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Aug 9, 2016 9:54 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Resident Calls For Wi-Fi Routers To Be Removed From Westhampton Beach Schools, Library

Jack O'Dwyer outside of Westhampton Beach Village Hall where he wants all Wi-fi routers removed because of radiation concerns. BY ERIN MCKINLEY
Aug 9, 2016 2:58 PM

A Westhampton Beach resident is calling for all Wi-Fi routers to be removed from local schools and the Westhampton Free Library, citing health concerns.

Jack O’Dwyer has repeatedly petitioned Westhampton Beach Village Hall and library officials over the past several months, requesting to examine their respective Wi-Fi routers so he can log the model numbers. He has also stated on multiple occasions that the devices at both locations, as well as those inside Westhampton Beach schools, are emitting high levels of radiation as per the readouts on his acoustimeter, a device that measures the amount of radiation in a specific area.

Mr. O’Dwyer said he has read studies by Dr. Cindy Sage, an environmental sciences company owner in California, and Dr. Martha Herbert, a Harvard professor specializing in pediatric autism and neurology, that attribute the radiation emitted from the units to both cancer and autism. Therefore, he thinks the Wi-Fi units should be removed from all public spaces in the village.

Westhampton Beach Deputy Mayor Ralph Urban noted that Mr. O’Dwyer has asked several times to see the Village Hall router, but has not specifically asked for its removal. The board has denied his request, suggesting that he contact Optimum, the village’s Wi-Fi provider, instead.

At recent village meetings, Mr. O’Dwyer has also requested that the devices be removed from both the library and all three Westhampton Beach schools—all of which are outside of the village’s jurisdiction.

“We have a radiation problem here—this is a health issue in Westhampton Beach,” Mr. O’Dwyer said. “I have shown you guys that pulse radiation is dangerous here and in the library, all through the ceilings.”

But Dr. Samuel Ryu, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stony Brook Medicine and the deputy director for Clinical Affairs at the Stony Brook University Cancer Center, said this week that there are no recognized studies linking the radiation emitted by Wi-Fi systems to diseases like cancer.

Dr. Ryu, an internationally recognized specialist of radiosurgery, which uses radiation to treat tumors of the central nervous system, added that the strength of radiation emitted by the units is far too weak to alter human DNA. He said that, typically, frequent exposure to much stronger rays—such as X-rays or gamma rays—would be required to harm a person.

Dr. Ryu explained that Wi-Fi uses radio waves to transmit energy and that it takes light rays, like those emitted by an X-ray machine, to alter DNA. An X-ray typically releases upward of one million gigahertz, or GHz, of energy while Wi-Fi routers typically only release 2.4 GHz, according to studies.

“There would have to be some fundamental cellular or genetic change caused by the Wi-Fi,” Dr. Ryu said. “Without that it is hard to establish a cause or relationship with cancer.

“A Wi-Fi wave is very weak,” he continued, “it is not capable of cutting our DNA system or any of those chemical bonds.”

But the studies completed by Dr. Sage and Dr. Herbert conclude that the wireless devices are contributing to the increased number of children being diagnosed with autism. They also recommended that cellphone users not keep the devices attached to their belts or in their pockets, for women not to use cellphones during pregnancy and for people not to use wireless laptops. They also recommended that wireless iPads and tablets be removed from schools, as well as accompanying routers, and have stated that wireless baby monitors should not be used by parents.

Westhampton Free Library Director Danielle Waskiewicz noted that the Library Avenue facility is one of several Optimum wireless hotspots in Westhampton Beach. The facility’s board has stated at several public meetings that it has no intention of removing its routers unless it is determined that they pose a serious threat to people.

“The Westhampton Free Library provides Wi-Fi for its patrons and staff through a router provided by Optimum,” Ms. Waskiewicz said in a statement on Friday. “There are Optimum provided hotspots throughout Long Island in addition to Wi-Fi service in homes.”

Westhampton Beach School Superintendent Michael Radday could not be reached for comment this week, though Mr. O’Dwyer said he has emailed the district multiple times in recent months about his concerns.

In addition to Dr. Ryu, Mr. Urban also questioned the information being circulated by Mr. O’Dwyer, who runs a business dedicated to covering the news and public relations industries. Mr. Urban said the village would have to further vet the information that has been shared by Mr. O’Dwyer before considering any action. In addition to Village Hall, wireless routers are located at Glovers Lane Park, the village marina and other municipal sites.

“I am not sure that his statistics merit any kind of action, basically,” Mr. Urban said. “We would have to look into it a great deal more rather than just taking his word on it.”

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Credit to Mr O'Dwyer for his persistence on this crucial issue, and for his coverage on his website.

Anyone in an environment with wi-fi who sees the radiation readings on a meter for themselves, or who hears the audible racket on an acoustic setting, would probably have a problem resting easy about the subject again.

With respect to Dr. Samuel Ryu, he seems to be unaware of a few facts, which he might like to look into.

1) Radiofrequency/microwave radiation is classified ...more
By DaveAshton (2), on Aug 9, 16 11:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Cece Doucette (2), Ashland on Aug 9, 16 2:02 PM
Thank you for that important information, Mr. O'Dwyer and Mr. Ashton. If I might make one clarification. The findings from the NTP study are not preliminary, they are partial. The findings from this section of the study have been peer-reviewed and are final. Additional findings will be published as the other sections of the study are completed, but the scientists felt compelled to inform the public now that electromagnetic radiation from cell phones caused statistically significant brain and ...more
By Cece Doucette (2), Ashland on Aug 10, 16 1:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
Yes, "preliminary" wasn't the right word to use. I should have said partial.

I'm not a scientist, but my understanding is that the extreme care taken by the scientists to restrict a rise in the body temperature of the exposed rats to 1 degree or less, and the tumours that resulted in some of them, is an absolutely critical aspect of this study, with stunning, and global, implications.

Generally speaking, "safety levels" for exposure to this pulsed microwave radiation are set based ...more
By DaveAshton (2), on Aug 11, 16 6:58 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Cece Doucette (2), Ashland on Aug 9, 16 1:55 PM
I hope Mr. Urban is committing to a date by which he will have looked into this matter because the children and teachers are counting on him. Do we have a date?
By DeborahRubin (2), on Aug 9, 16 3:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
Dr. Ryu and Mr. Urban should study the work of Drs. Lai, Singh and Phillips regarding dna damage. Also the Dr. Lai's paper in the BioInitiative Report which states: "In summary, the new radiofrequency studies report that 65% of genetic studies show effects and 35% do not show effects. " And please examine the National Institute of Health's NTP report this year that finds an increase in brain and heart tumors from exposure. Additionally, there are reviews of the literature regarding cancer ...more
By DeborahRubin (2), on Aug 9, 16 3:17 PM
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I hear a tinfoil hat does wonders for those oppressed by a fear of harmless radio waves.
By JodyRadzik (2), on Aug 9, 16 3:19 PM
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It might be helpful to note that all the brouhaha may have as much to do with Mr. O'Dwyer recouping his $300 - 400 investment on his acoustimeter as anything else.
By JodyRadzik (2), on Aug 9, 16 3:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
Its nice to see My O'Dwyer get some respect. To see the way some on the Village Board treat him at meetings is not very nice. Its a continuation of the influence of their benefactor on Oneck. They are afraid to step out of her shadow.
By realistic (472), westhampton on Aug 9, 16 5:25 PM
the typicl hegelian dialect: first they laugh at you, then they hate you then they fight you and then you win. they used to say that cigarettes were not harmful. they used to say that DDT has no ill side effects. Monsanto has said that Round-Up is harmless and they were just caught lying about that. The only reason everyone [except me] has a cell phone is because they are tracking devices and two way listening devices, even when you think it is off. golly-gee-willikeers, i had better put ...more
By sstorch (49), water milll on Aug 9, 16 9:14 PM
Tetraethyl lead was a real winner too...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 9, 16 9:28 PM
Hopefully residents will take the time to become educated on this important issue. Three years ago an electrical engineer friend tipped me off there could be potential harm from wi-fi. I had run many campaigns to raise funds to bring technology into our schools so I asked our school leaders about it. They too had never heard of the health impact, but after investigating and reading the fine print that comes with each device, our school committee in Ashland, MA put into place Best Practices for Mobile ...more
By Cece Doucette (2), Ashland on Aug 10, 16 2:03 PM
1 member liked this comment