Massachusetts EMF Bills

The following two documents provide background information for our public servants, journalists and the public on the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of radiation emitted by all of today's wireless technology:

In 2017, Massachusetts introduced five bills to address wireless radiation and public health:
  • S.1268 Resolve creating a special commission to examine the health impacts of electromagnetic fields will look at non-industry-funded science and recommend public protections. Sponsored by Senator Karen E. Spilka and referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health

  • S.1864 An Act relative to utilities, smart meters, and ratepayers’ rights gives utility customers the no-fee choice of retaining non-wireless radiation-emitting water, gas and electrical meters and refusing installation of “smart” utility meters. Sponsored by Senator Michael O. Moore and referred to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy

  • S.107 An Act relative to disclosure of radiofrequency notifications requires manufacturer warnings be prominently displayed on product packaging of wireless radiation-emitting devices. Sponsored by Senator Julian Cyr and referred to the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure

  • S.108 An Act relative to the safe use of handheld devices by children requires specific language be included on product packaging, as modeled by an ordinance unanimously passed in Berkeley, California. Sponsored by Senator Julian Cyr and referred to the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure

  • H.2030 An Act relative to best management practices for wireless in schools and public institutions of higher education requires the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish wireless technology standards to protect the health and safety of public school students and staff. Sponsored by Representative Carolyn C. Dykema and referred to the Joint Committee on Education

    • Please note, Maryland has a similar bill in their legislature this session too, House Bill 866: AN ACT concerning Primary and Secondary Education – Health and Safety Guidelines and Procedures – Digital Devices. 

    • The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is the first state agency in the United States to issue a report on Wi-Fi in Schools, and recommends using hard-wired internet connections over wireless:
      http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OEHFP/EH/Pages/WiFiCEHPAC.aspx


I used to run fundraising campaigns to bring technology into our local public schools. Then an electrical engineer friend tipped me off in 2013 that there could be potential harm from wireless devices, so I started researching. I opened the conversation with our school committee and administration and they put it on a public meeting agenda to address.  

There was pushback from a few influential community members who didn't want to alter the course of wi-fi, some of whom worked in the telecommunications and technology industries and didn't believe there was harm. Our school committee sought expertise from higher authorities but potential harm from wi-fi was new to all.  Then our school committee came across the manufacturers' fine print.  They saw that even the manufacturers warn consumers to keep all devices away from the body, so that's when they took action.  (Note, wearables have since come on the market and do not include distance warnings. However, as this two-minute video demonstrates, they emit a high level of radiation.)

In 2014 ​Ashland Public Schools, Massachusetts became the first public school district in the U.S. to begin putting precautionary measures in place with Best Practices for Mobile Devices.  Although scientists across the world implore us to use hard-wiring to protect especially our children, fetuses, the elderly and those with ​known health ​conditions, I am grateful they took a first step and hung signs in each of our classrooms​. They fell short of informing the students and staff that all active wi-fi devices are emitting microwave radiation, however, and did not inform the parents either. They are still awaiting direction from a higher authority before they enforce Ashland's Best Practices for Mobile Devices.

Municipal Inquiry

I then spoke with our town health agent to see if our town could help inform our residents and schools, and he was not aware of wi-fi radiation but he was familiar with potential harm from cell towers. He was ​gracious to reach out to the MA Department of Public Health but they were not aware of the scope of this issue ​at the time ​either. Our Board of Selectmen and Town Manager were also unaware of the issue.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

So, I met with my state legislator in May 2014, Senator Karen Spilka, and taught her what I was learning. By then I had invested in an EMF-detection meter, and was able to demonstrate the amount of radiation coming out of her cell phone and her district director's laptop. Grasping the magnitude of this issue, she indicated from a legislative perspective we could aim to form a commission to examine the issue and hopefully come up with a plan to protect the public.  She put me in touch ​with a lawyer in her office and together we crafted S. 1222, An Act creating a special commission to study the health impacts of electromagnetic fields.

Senator Spilka introduced the bill in the next legislative session in January 2015.  The House of Representatives concurred, and it was assigned to the Joint Committee on Public Health.  I was told it would be scheduled for public hearing sometime during that legislative session, and it was, on July 28, 2015.

As bills come up for hearing on short notice, it was difficult for supporters to testify in person but several citizens rearranged their schedules to do so.  Each had three minutes to convey their message.  Many others took the time to send in testimony via email, including world scientists, doctors, technology leaders, concerned parents, and those suffering from electrosensitivity (ES).  Here are some of the testimonies, each one offering unique insights:

As I delivered my testimony above, I realized from the expressions on the legislators' faces that this was the first time they were hearing about potential harm from wi-fi radiation.  So, I made it a priority to set up one-to-one meetings with each of the members of the Joint Committee on Public Health or a designee.  To each I gave an overview of the issue and then asked to measure their personal devices with an Acoustimeter.  They were all very grateful to be informed, if not a little shocked.

In February 2016 I received word from Senator Spilka's office that out of the thousands of bills in the MA legislature that session, S. 1222 was one of the few reported out of committee favorably.  Next, it was assigned to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and I met with as many of those legislators as I could in the three-week window before they voted. I learned at that juncture that bills are bundled into big lots and voted on, and S. 1222's lot was not approved. I was told not to be discouraged as it is rare for a bill to even get voted out of committee favorably the first time it is introduced, so we should be proud of our efforts to educate the legislature to that point.

I am very grateful Senator Spilka decided to reintroduce the bill in 2017. This time she introduced it under her own name rather than By Request. It has been given a new bill number, and was formed as a Resolve rather than an Act. A resolve dissolves after the Commission is appointed and the members complete their work. An Act places legislation in the law books. The bill is now S.1268 Resolve creating a special commission to examine the health impacts of electromagnetic fields.

How a Bill Becomes a Law
  • If you remember School House Rock, you may appreciate this three-minute refresher on how a bill becomes a law at the federal level:

  • This document outlines how a bill becomes a law in Massachusetts; other states will have their own processes on file:

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Dr. Robert Knorr at the MA Department of Public Health would likely be appointed to the Commission if S. 1222 passes. He has hired an epidemiologist, part of whose responsibilities is to investigate the public impact of electromagnetic radiation from wi-fi and cellular technologies, and they are coming up to speed on this issue. At this writing, he reports hearing from constituents weekly with concerns over wireless radiation. Please feel free to call his office and lend your support for issuing EMF Fact Sheets to educate and protect the public, 617-624-5757. They appreciate hearing from the public and our public servants.

United States Federal Legislation

https://www.congress.gov/bill/112th-congress/house-bill/6358 H.R. 6358 - Cell Phone Right to Know Act was introduced in 2012 by Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich to require:
  • Labels on mobile devices at point of sale
  • A comprehensive national research program to study biological impact of wireless devices by the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency 
  • Exposure level regulations that protect humans from harm
The bill did not make it out of committee, but received strong support from many organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In 2017, the wireless industry is trying to fast-track two bills in congress for 5G (S.19 MOBILE Now Act) and the Internet of Things (S.88 DIGIT Act). If these pass, the industry will be able to put non-ionizing microwave radiation antennas on poles at street-level in our neighborhoods every 4-12 houses and our local municipalities will be unable to refuse them. The Internet of Things will pulse radiation throughout our homes to gather data from our "smart" appliances. 

The U.S. National Toxicology Program in 2016 began reporting out findings from a $25M multi-year study, and have already found this kind of radiation causes DNA damage, brain and heart tumors. More findings will be reported out in 2017, so industry is trying to get these bills passed and their infrastructure in before the public notices. 

Folks are encouraged to reach out to their U.S. Senators and ask them to VOTE NO on S. 19 and S. 88: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/. Please consider taking these two actions ASAP, these bills have already been reported out of committee favorably and are headed to the Senate floor for a vote:

1. Call your U.S. Senators' office with the following message; you can read it to the person who answers the phone, or leave it in voice mail. 

My name is ______ from (city/state) and I am calling to ask the Senator to Vote NO on MOBILE Now Act S.19 and DIGIT Act S.88 to stop 5G infrastructure and rollout of the Internet of Things. The National Toxicology Program has found the electromagnetic radiation used by wireless technology causes DNA damage, and brain and heart tumors. Non-industry funded studies all over the world report other short-and long-term biological effects ranging from infertility, Alzheimer’s and autism to digital addiction, insomnia, headaches, skin rashes, learning disabilities, behavioral issues, depression, anxiety and more. Please VOTE NO on the MOBILE Now Act S.19 and DIGIT Act S.88. Please insist on public hearings, and send a clear message to industry that they need to work with non-industry funded scientists to develop biologically safe technology. Thank you.


2. Email your U.S. Senators with the following message:

Subject: Please Vote NO on MOBILE Now Act S.19 and DIGIT Act S.88


The National Toxicology Program has found the electromagnetic field (EMF) of radiation emitted by wireless technology causes DNA damage, and brain and heart tumors. Non-industry funded studies all over the world report other short-and long-term biological effects, ranging from infertility, Alzheimer’s and autism to digital addiction, insomnia, headaches, nausea, nose/ear bleeds, skin rashes, cognitive impairment, learning disabilities, behavioral issues, depression, anxiety and more. Children, fetuses, the elderly and those with known health compromises are especially vulnerable. See www.emfscientist.org.


If this subject is new to you, you will likely have questions as we have all rapidly adopted wireless technology into our lives. Please read this high-level three-page overview titled, "EMF Points of Confusion vs. Fact" at 

TinyURL.com/EMF-Facts.


The FCC and industry are trying to fast-track these bills which will take away local authority from communities to decide whether they want toxic 5G/Internet of Things infrastructure installed at the street-level on poles right outside homes, schools, and offices. Please insist on public hearings, and send a clear message to industry that they need to work with non-industry funded scientists to develop biologically safe technology. Retired Microsoft Canada President Frank Clegg assures us they can, if given a nudge. See https://vimeo.com/134411701.


Please VOTE NO on the MOBILE Now Act S.19 and DIGIT Act S.88. Thank you.



This is how the system works. They log your call, then print out your email for the legislator. Multiple calls and emails get their attention. If there is no activity, or very little, the industry wins. Setting meetings with your local legislators is also a wonderful way to educate them on the biological hazards of EMFs if you can.

Thank you for taking the time to use your voice for issues that matter to you.


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