Westhampton LibraryWi-Fi health advocate
Cecelia Doucette is urging the Westhampton Library to quickly pull the plug on Wi-Fi, citing dangers to patrons and especially children. The newly expanded library board is resisting so far.

Not only is wired internet access safer, it is also faster and more reliable than Wi-Fi, said Doucette in an email yesterday to the library board headed by Tom Moore, husband of Westhampton Beach Mayor Maria Moore, and the six other board members.

Cecelia DoucetCecelia Doucette

Doucette provides links to a number of sources that support claims that Wi-Fi does not belong in a public place like a library. Especially at risk, they say, are children, babies, fetuses and senior citizens.

The French National Library, Paris, the largest such facility in France, opted for fully-wired internet access in 2008 after considering whether to use Wi-Fi throughout.

WH library director Danielle Waskiewicz has emailed Doucette that the board will take up the issue at its regular meeting March 16.

Doucette wrote to the library trustees as follows:

I stumbled across this issue three years ago, and have done in-depth research. I shared this with my children's school district, Ashland Public Schools in Massachusetts, and they did their due diligence.

They have implemented the attached Best Practices for Mobile Devices as a first step in safeguarding our students and staff. When they read the fine print that comes with each device, they asked themselves, "Why wouldn't we do at least what the manufacturers tell us to do?" Ultimately, non-industry funded scientists urge us to use only hardwired technology which is safer, faster and more reliable than wi-fi.

Our public health officials were not aware of potential harm from wi-fi radiation at that time either, so I have worked with Mass. Senator Karen Spilka to introduce legislation to start informing the public on ways to protect themselves. Please feel free to see Bill 1222, which has just been reported out favorably by the Joint Committee on Public Health.

Westhampton Library Board(L to R) Tom Moore, husband of Westhampton Beach Mayor Maria Moore and president of the library board, Robert Santucci, Mary Anne Yutes, Eric Mirell, Barbara Matros, Susan Rosenberg and Jennifer Mendelson.

I understand your concerns that this issue seems to be coming out of left field, and we all love our cell phones and wi-fi devices. Surely, if there were health issues surrounding wi-fi, we would know about them, right?

Unfortunately, the telecommunications and energy industries have deployed the tobacco industry playbook whereby if they can suppress evidence of harm and create sufficient doubt, consumers will continue to buy their toxic products. Harvard's Law School Center for Ethics in June published the Captured Agency report which details how the FCC is being run by the industries it presumably regulates.

This is how the FCC has been able to suppress evidence of harm, and how we have now come to be bathed in wi-fi radiation 24/7. They have put profits over public health.

The health fallout is now happening, and I hope you will take an active role in protecting your citizens by removing wi-fi from the library and providing information as a community service. Feel free to peruse and share my research repository as a starting point to your own investigation.

Here in Ashland, a member of the Friends of the Ashland Library got curious and did his own research. He then put together our six-part film and discussion series on "Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) and Health" to help inform the public. I have also received a grant to place a wi-fi radiation meter into circulation in our library collection. The Acoustimeter is now available for our residents to measure and remediate their technology spaces.

I believe both of these initiatives are the first in the U.S. for a public library, but both could easily be replicated at the Westhampton Library too. Again, I know this is a lot to digest, but please let me know if I can provide you with any additional information as you begin to learn about potential harm from wi-fi radiation.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Cece Doucette