WIFI in schools
a Precautionary Approach is needed
A little historical context – during the development of radar by all the so-called super-powers from the 1930s onwards, it was well known and documented that exposure to microwave radiation initiated many adverse biological effects including cancers. Between the 1940s and up to the present day, militaries around the world have been catalouging these effects. The question to ask the telecoms industries and their regulators – are they not aware that as far back as the 1930s, occupational exposure to microwave radiation led to many observed adverse biological as well as thermal effects. In fact, it was the norm to assess biological effects because the causes of the observed cancers needed to be understood much better. Hard to believe? Download and check out this US military review of the available literature up to about the mid-1980s – you will be shocked to understand that even though many scientists defined microwave radiation as ‘non-ionising’ they knew exposure to these frequencies initiated cancers of different types. Click here.
Unfortunately, children are routinely exposed to microwave radiation for every second they attend school, day in day out, year after year. Children are probably more susceptible to being harmed from WIFI microwave radiation because their immune system is not yet fully developed, their skeletal body is much thinner than an adult and their body organs relative to their body size are much larger. Within the past 10 years, there has been an explosion of evidence from medical studies around the world that show adverse biological effects from exposure to microwave radiation.
Exposure to microwave radiation i.e. electromagnetic frequencies radiated by WIFI, mobile, DECT phones and other electrical products was recently classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) (a scientific body of the World Health Organisation) as a Class 2B Carcinogen i.e. a Possible Human Carcinogen.
Click here for a few medical study abstracts on the adverse effects of microwave radiation on our biology.
The evidence of harm from WIFI routers is substantial and so powerful that many health and professional organisations around the world are asking that the Precautionary Principle is used. The Precautionary Principle is used in situations in which there is conflicting evidence of harm. It basically asks that until there is overwhelming evidence of biological damage or otherwise, alternative methods are implemented.
The use of WIFI in school
Schools normally use relatively high transmitter output WIFI routers in order to ensure good coverage of all areas. A typical school setup is that several routers are normally mounted on the ceiling or high up a wall with the antenna pointing downwards.
The use of WIFI in school is discussed here (http://safetechforschoolsmaryland.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/top-ten-facts-about-wi-fi-in-school.html) and I quote: “School Wi-Fi is a much more powerful system than the router in your home. The classroom access points and routers are meant to handle up to 30 devices in the room and in some classrooms, up to 100. This means a huge amount of radiation from each of these transmitters. Every school has somewhere between 30 to 80 access points depending on the size of the school, emitting radiation in the building. Even if students are not using wireless devices, the radiation signals are sent out every minute of the day from these access points. The radiation moves through the room and our children’s bodies are absorbing it all day long”.
The image below illustrates what happens to the inside environment of a school when the WIFI routers and access points are switched on. Regardless of the duty cycle of these transmissions, it is clear that the inside environments of these schools are awash with pulsed microwave radiation. It is perhaps a little easier to visualise what is going on when you consider a scenario in which the teacher suddenly asks a class of 25 pupils to access the internet at the same time using their tablet computers. The resultant signal strength of pulsed microwave radiation within that room and beyond is high and everyone is exposed. What is even more worrying is the fact that individuals of a certain size of body resonate with the signal being transmitted preferentially to other individuals. In other words, out of a group of 25 children or young adults, there might be a subgroup of individuals who will receive proportionally, much higher doses of pulsed microwave radiation.
For kids sake, use the Precautionary Principle!!
Because no proper safety experiments have been carried out on microwave frequencies on all currently authorised devices, it is very clear to argue that any level of signal from pulsed microwave radiation must be treated with extreme caution. This is especially true for children due to their immature physiological and skeletal development.
We are all in a situation in which there is no ‘rocket science’ to look at. The facts are straightforward: in one corner are the many thousands of medical and epidemiological studies showing adverse biological non thermal effects and in the other corner are the regulators, government leaders and the telecommunications giants telling us that mobile and cordless DECT phones, WIFI etc. are perfectly safe because the dose measured to skin are 1/1000th of the dose guidelines derived by the ICNIRP!!!
We as individuals, parents, school governors and headteachers must take a precautionary stance.
This stance involves one of two simple strategies:
(a) remove WIFI routers and access points and replace with hard-wired alternatives, such as ethernet or optical ‘hardwire’ cables. These alternative methods of connecting to the Internet are much safer and incidentally, result in faster and more stable connection speeds
(b) or at the very least, limit the level of microwave radiation exposure by developing a protocol within teachers and IT departments that develop safer ways of working. These include limiting WIFI to only those classes using it, switching off WIFI when not in use and pre-downloading all teaching materials onto children’s IT equipment during out of school hours.
Many countries around the world are removing WIFI-enabled routers and other devices in schools and using alternative and much safer methods of connecting to the Internet
A snapshot of schools that have chosen to replace WIFI:
|School, Australia .||They have a “No WIFI” and a LOW EMF Policy.
Read their Tech Policy Here and watch the excellent news piece about the schools new position.
|St. Augustine School, Italy||Turned off Wifi and went back to wires.Check out the news article showing all the parents gathering as the router is ceremoniously removed from the wall by the administrator.|
|City of Lakes Waldorf School Minneapolis, Minnesota USA||,WiFi taken out.
Read the Magazine article about their bold move here.
|Surrey, BC Roots and WingsMontessori||Wi-Fi removed. Read the letter from Principal Kristen Cassie below. Watch the news coverage|
|Portland Waldorf School, Milwaukie, USA||WIFI taken out!|
|Ghent, Flanders||Wi-fi banned from pre-schools and day care.|
|Winlaw Elementary School. Canada||WiFi banned.|
|Te Horo Primary School, New Zealand||Replaced WIFI with cable-based internet.|
|Kootenay Lakes District, Canada||Winlaw parents have successfully lobbied the school district to have Wi-Fi turned off in their local elementary school|
|Blaise-Cendrars High School, Switzerland||Teachers vote to remove WiFi.|
|Kivioja primary school, Finland||Bans phones and minimizes Wireless|
|Halton Waldorf, Burlington Vermont, USA||Remaining free of Wireless Radiation|
|Aurora School in Ontario||Removed Wifi and replaced with hardwire solution|
|North Cariboo Christian School, Quesnel, B.C, Canada||Removed Wi-fi|
|Pretty River Academy, Ontario, Canada||No WiFi|
|Wayside Academy, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada||No Wi Fi|
|St. Vincent Euphrasia elementary, Ontario, Canada||Parents voted to turn off Wi-Fi|
|Ballinderry and Maghaberry Primary Schools, Ireland||Removed Wi-Fi|
|Ysgol Pantycelyn, Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK||Switched off Wi-Fi network|
|Stowe School, Buckinghamshire, UK||Removed part of Wi-Fi network after teacher became ill|
|Prebendal School, Chichester UK||WIFI switched off|
There are probably many more that could be added to this list which is just from one website. The point is, once parents are advised of the scale of risks involved in the use of WIFI, they want it turned off. The schools where teachers are being harmed also want WIFI switched off.
There is a bandwagon gaining momentum here and the only reason things are the way they are is because those most at risk i.e. the majority of consumers, have absolutely no idea that all the gadgets they use to connect to the internet and used in schools day after day employ pulsed microwave radiation to function and how dangerous it is to our health. No-one in the schools mentioned in the above table waited for scientists and regulators to announce these frequencies as being dangerous to use. They took it upon themselves to apply the precautionary principle and to remove WIFI from their schools.
Please note that in 2008 the UK Department for Education and Skills (DfES) placed the responsibility on individual schools to decide whether or not to install WIFI technology. Back in 2008, the DfES must have decided the use of WIFI in schools as a very ‘hot potato’ and assumed no further responsibility. This is the level of ‘hesitancy’ that some sectors of the government have towards the use of pulsed microwave radiation. At least the National Health Service provided some advice to parents and consumers by suggesting that young children need their exposure to mobile phones to be as limited as possible.
What is happening at a wider level in certain countries?
It is good to see that many organisations and countries around the world have or are starting to dismantle their WIFI networks and school connectivity policies
France, Italy, Germany and Israel have been particularly proactive in attempt to reduce their population’s exposure to microwave radiation. You can read more information about individual countries and their initiatives here.
Get involved – what can you do?
Finally, I include a small sample of medical and epidemiological studies in pdf format here. You can send these data to your local MP, local councillors, planning department members, school governors, headteacher etc. It is a call for action on your part in ridding the educational and urban landscape of pulsed microwave radiation that has quickly evolved from the use of mobile phone transmitting antennas and WIFI routers. Get clued up and get involved because the removal of WIFI and other microwave-enabled gadgets has to be initiated by us. If we stop complying with instructions from the media on what the ‘latest must have is’, we can stop this consumerist and deeply damaging biological juggernaut. It is no use waiting for Health Protection England or any other regulator anywhere in the world to tell us anything about the safety of these devices – their position on safety is very clear and they dispense unsound advice. The evidence of harm is out there for those with eyes to see and brains to think. The emissions from a soup of microwave energies are harming us, our children, family members and friends.
If not you – who?