• Author Deb Mayer

Before We Knew Better . . .

Before we knew better, we encourage women to smoke, fed sugar-laden colas to babies, and exposed children to lead paint.

We even made toys for kids with asbestos.

Once we learned of the health risks associated with each of these, we took action to protect children and ourselves from the dangers they posed. It wasn't always easy. Corporations that manufactured these products often manipulated public opinion to persuade consumers that the threats were exaggerated, that these products were actually safe. In the end, citizen groups have been able to mount a resistance to protect the public.

Now is the time to step up once again to keep children safe. The careless use of cellphones, tablets, laptops, and other wireless digital screen devices is putting our children at risk for all kinds of health problems. The wireless networks that power these devices is also problematic. We are not against computer technology. We are for the safe, sensible, and responsible use of technology for children.

SB 281, SB 282, and SB 283 are all sponsored by Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson and were filed in pre-session. The bills are related — all having to do with adverse health effects from wireless devices and wifi radiation.

In a nutshell:

SB 281 requires that wireless digital products be labeled to disclose health risks and safe ways to use devices. This is something manufacturers do already except the information is hidden deep inside the devices so most users do not know it exists. We are asking for health and safety information to be visible when customers are purchasing devices.

SB 282 asks for a study of screen time in classrooms. Since kids are spending more and more time on computers at school, screen time limits may be necessary to protect kids from adverse health effects associated with spending too much time on tablets, laptops, and cellphones. The bill also that requires that parents be warned of potential risks and be given alternative choices for their child that do not require extensive use of screen devices.

SB 283 requires that steps be taken to reduce the amount of wifi radiation children are exposed to at school. Ideally, cell towers and routers would be removed from schools, and computers and other screen devices would be hard-wired for safer usage.

Please contact your Senator to express your support of these bills.

Like our Parents Across America for Safe Technology FB page for updates.

Bill information:

SB 281. Relating to radiation-emitting wireless digital products; declaring an emergency.

Requires manufacturer of digital product to label product with information relating to health risks associated with use of product. Authorizes Oregon Health Authority to adopt rules related to labeling of digital products. Declares emergency, effective on passage.

SB 282. Relating to use of electronic devices in classrooms; declaring an emergency.

Requires Department of Education, in cooperation with Oregon Health Authority, to conduct study to determine and recommend appropriate health standards to govern student use of computers, mobile digital devices and other electronic media in classrooms. Requires department by rule to adopt guidelines for limiting student use of computers, mobile digital devices and other electronic media in classrooms in accordance with health and safety guidelines department develops, allowing parent to give or deny consent for parent's child to participate in curricula that involve extensive work with computers, mobile digital devices or electronic media and offering parent alternative curricula that involve less exposure to computers, mobile digital devices or electronic media. Declares emergency, effective on passage.

SB 283. Relating to exposure to radiation in schools in this state; declaring an emergency.

Directs Department of Education to prepare and make available statement that discloses potential health risks of wireless network technology and requires public and private schools to distribute statement to employees, students and parents or guardians of students. Requires department to adopt by rule guidelines for including in school curricula, assemblies, open houses, meetings between parents and teachers and related settings information concerning hazards of exposure to microwave radiation and how to use wireless devices more safely to reduce risk. Requires department and Oregon Health Authority to conduct review of peer-reviewed, independently funded studies of effects of exposure to microwave radiation in schools and similar environments, particularly exposure that results from use of wireless network technologies, to

develop recommendations to schools in this state for practices and alternative technologies that would eliminate students' exposure to harmful microwave radiation and report results of review and recommendations to interim committee of Legislative Assembly related to education not later than September 15, 2020. Declares emergency, effective on passage.

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