Wi-Fi in schools

Atlas Monitor | 16 Sept 2014

At the same time NZ schools and workplaces are rolling out Wi-Fi en masse; other countries around the world are reviewing the wisdom of Wi-Fi technology and acknowledging that there are very real health related concerns with it. Consequently Wi-Fi is being removed from schools and replaced with hard-wired Ethernet systems.

The Parliamentary Council of Europe  has issued precautionary advice on Wi-Fi exposure; France is working towards legislative restrictions removing Wi-Fi from schools; Israel’s supreme court has enacted legislative restrictions ordering the government to facilitate the removal of Wi-Fi from schools and has criticized the government for not acting fast enough; Switzerland’s telecom company Swisscom has funded the installation of Ethernet systems in schools for both health and efficiency reasons; states in Germany including Bavaria as well as the city of Frankfurt have prohibited the introduction of Wi-Fi in schools; and Russia has far tighter restrictions on electromagnetic radiation exposure than many Commonwealth countries on the basis of the known effects of electro-magnetic frequencies (EMF). there is a growing consensus that the hard-wired Ethernet systems are faster and safer than Wi-Fi are therefore should be the technology used in schools.

There are thousands of scientific studies demonstrating the biological effects of  EMF exposure. Radio frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF EMR) emits non-ionizing radiation that changes chemical composition in cells and affects DNA.

RF EMR is classified as a 2B carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Other class 2B substances include mainly industrial and agricultural chemicals. RF EMR is the only 2B carcinogen that is actively and consciously transmitted into our community and this is occurring at a time of increasing cancer rates from environmental causes according to the WHO 2014 World Cancer Report.

Electro-sensitivity to RF EMR-EMF has been raised as a major issue in Canada where school students have experienced cardiac arrest among other adverse reactions.

NZ Government ESR scientist Sophie Walker conducted a bi-annual review of EMR research and found that 22 out of 35 studies demonstrate cancer and other adverse health effects from cell phones; and 11 out of 11 found molecular and cellular effects from EMR.

According to Environmental lawyer Sue Grey; under OIA requests she was able to learn that Walker’s research funding was subsequently cut by the NZ government.

Grey notes that he NZ Government’s Interagency Advisory Committee on the Health Effects of Non-ionizing Radiation is stacked with vested interests including representatives from the telecommunications industry and Ministry for Economic Development.

Political agendas are preventing any meaningful action being taken in addressing the acknowledged and known health concerns about RF EMR-EMF in NZ. Evidence of harm is being purged from government agencies. Grey notes that NZ government policy is not aligned with NZ law, the facts or international best practice. Precaution is mandatory under NZ law for known risks.

See presentation by Sue Grey

Wi Fi Australia

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