Breaking News: Oregon State Health Authority Downplayed Wi-Fi Health Risks to School Children and Omitted Scientific Research Showing Harm

Experts worldwide slam the Oregon Health Authority report and call on the governor and legislature for retraction. An investigation may result in hearings in the Oregon State Legislature. 
The Washington Spectator has published an investigative report by Daniel Forbes entitled “Oregon Health Authority Condemned by Scientists For Scrubbing Report on Wireless Hazards in Schools,” which exposes how the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued an error-ridden report to the legislature on children and health effects of wireless radiation in schools. An international group of experts, the Environmental Working Group and Physicians for Safe Technology have sent letters on the scientific basis for a retraction of the OHA report to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

“No way round it: Oregon’s public health agency, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), has issued a shoddy, biased report on the potential harm to the state’s roughly 600,000 school kids from the wireless devices proliferating in classrooms" Forbes wrote. 

Forbes, a Portland-based reporter, documents how the OHA relied on wireless industry-funded studies, inaccurately presented research findings, and ignored studies showing harmful effects. 

Forbes was interviewed on Bill Meyer LIVE Oregon's FM 106.7 and AM-1440 KMED and 99.3 KCMD in Grants Pass and Streamed on

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Forbes analyzed several drafts of the OHA report that he obtained from wireless health and safety advocate Cindy Franklin. All but the first draft (which was withheld without justification and in violation of state public records law) were provided to Franklin by OHA through Oregon public records requests. Forbes found an inadequate review process coupled with deletions of scientific findings linking wireless radiation exposure to cancer and other health issues.

Listen to a podcast of reporter Dan Forbes discussing the Oregon Report.

In response to the OHA report, senior scientists from the United States and around the world, including Dr. Linda Birnbaum, former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program, signed a letter sent to Brown, the State Legislature, and OHA’s leadership calling for immediate retraction of the report due to its flaws, inconsistencies, and lack of science-based conclusions.

The numerous inadequacies and lack of science-based conclusions have been documented in a 100-page report by Environmental Health Trust, referenced in the scientists’ letter. 

Devra Davis, Ph.D., founder of Environmental Health Trust, released a video commenting on the report. She says it would never have passed peer review or been published by the National Academy of Sciences. “It’s a highly selective, skewed analysis of a limited amount of literature that includes biased studies funded by industry.”

Investigative Hearings in Oregon

Cindy Franklin of Consumers for Safe Cell Phones characterized the report as reeking of "pressure by the wireless industry to repeat the lie that wireless radiation is safe, even for children." She urged Oregonians to call or email their representatives. “OHA leadership has been implicated in this blatant, coordinated public health deception," Franklin said. "How high up does this go? Governor Brown and the legislature must immediately hold investigative hearings."

The Washington Spectator investigation could lead to hearings in the Oregon State Legislature. Oregon State Sen. Michael Dembrow was quoted by Forbes as saying, “If there are flaws in the report, they need to be remedied. The report is important to get a clear assessment of the science.”

“We need to have a hearing to hear both a critique of the report and OHA’s defense. Then the legislature needs to come up with funding to do a more in-depth report," added Dembrow, chair of the Senate Committee on Education.

Dembrow concluded, "It was a mistake on OHA's part to make it look like a real study. It’s more like a memo." Unlike a scientific journal article, "There were no reviewers as such."

Scientific Letter by International Experts, Physicians, and Environmental Health Organizations

The letter by scientists to Brown states, “The report would not pass peer review as it omitted animal and cellular studies and thus it does not provide a comprehensive or systematic review of the relevant literature. ... The failure of Oregon Health Authority to utilize in their review the significant body of evidence showing harm to animals from wireless radiation exposure is contrary to public health principles and OHA's own established protocols of using animal studies in many other reviews. By omitting key peer-reviewed scientific evidence of adverse effects and downplaying the scientific studies showing impacts to memory and the brain, the OHA review does not comport with the agency’s mission of protecting and promoting public health." 
Watch Dr. Devra Davis's Response to the Oregon Health Authority Wireless Report in the video below.

Physicians For Safe Technology (PST) also sent a letter to the Oregon Health Authority stating the Oregon Health Authority report "endangers the public by asserting that health risks are absent or minimal." 

"PST believes that today the scientific evidence strongly suggests risks for cancers, neurological disease, reproductive harm, and neurodevelopmental risks for the fetus and newborn. Sufficient evidence exists in peer-reviewed professional and scientific papers published over more than two decades to reach the conclusion that public health warnings are necessary, and that the public should be both educated and protected by health agencies. ... Existing FCC (Federal Communications Commission) guidelines for public exposure are grossly inadequate. The public is not protected by them. The State of Oregon is unwise to rely on the FCC's outdated and grossly inadequate wireless health safety standards as a measure of protection for children."

Environmental Working Group Response

Another major environmental health organization, the Environmental Working Group, also submitted a letter to the Oregon Health Authority stating, "Given the substantial scientific evidence demonstrating that RFR (radiofrequency radiation) exposure can negatively affect the brain and the heart, EWG is calling for the Oregon Health Authority, or OHA, to revise its report ... by including the latest findings from human and animal studies that demonstrate the risks of RFR for children's health and public health generally." 

Background on the Oregon Report 

On New Year’s Eve 2020, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released the "Wireless Technology Health Risks Report" following the Oregon State Legislature’s Senate Bill 283 mandate to "review peer-reviewed, independently funded scientific studies" of the health effects of exposure to microwave radiation, particularly exposure that results from the use of wireless network technologies in schools or similar environments." 

About Daniel Forbes 

Daniel Forbes is a Portland, Ore.-based reporter whose 20-article series on Portland’s Bullseye Glass helped spur Oregon’s air toxics regulatory reform. (Bullseye paid its neighbors $6.5 million to settle claims against it.) His journalism helped lead to a change in Portland's regulation of neurotoxic lead dust from unfettered housing demolitions. He has also covered issues such as lead in Portland school water and lead dust from construction.

He has received awards from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, the Online News Association, and a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He's published widely, appeared on national TV and radio, and also testified before the U.S. House and Senate at hearings his reporting initiated after catching the U.S. drug czar paying TV networks to demonize marijuana to influence voters. He also published a series on the theft of a black Southern Baptist church. Sparked by his successful, free-speech federal lawsuit against Lincoln Center and the New York Police Department, he authored the novel Derail this Train Wreck, published by Fomite Press
Final thoughts
Safety is not assured. Schoolchildren deserve a safe environment.

"The Oregon report exposé highlights the urgent need for science-based wireless safety limits. As EHT documents in our critique of the OHA report, no U.S. health agency — not the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — has ever reviewed the full body of research on the health effects of wireless radiation in the last 30 years."

"The webpages of U.S. federal agencies are a house of cards. No group of U.S. government experts is staying updated on the latest science. No pre-market safety testing of Wi-Fi was done before it came to market. There is no post-market surveillance of effects. The EPA was fully defunded from setting proper safety limits in 1996, and the federal government adopted its current "safety limits" based on input by groups dominated by the telecommunications industry. These limits did not consider long-term exposure and did not incorporate research on health effects to children whose brains are developing. Yet despite over a thousand studies showing harm, these wireless radiation limits have not changed since 1996. This is why Environmental Health Trust has filed legal action against the FCC."

— Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust
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