Our town’s elementary school is about to be renovated. With wireless technology taking off like a flash flood, I thought it was time to collect some resources in support of keeping the building wired for internet connections. I’m concerned about the possible health effects of wireless technology for our children. While we don’t hear too much about the drawbacks of Wi-Fi in the United States, other countries are taking the risk seriously. That’s just it: We don’t know how “risky” this convenient technology is. Until we know more, perhaps we should favor caution over convenience for the sake of our children and keep wireless networks out of our schools.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that people who are especially sensitive to electromagnetic radiation suffer when exposed to the microwaves emitted from wireless routers and masts. Many children complain of headaches, racing heart rates, dizziness, hyperactivity, nausea and loss of concentration when they are in a wireless school. Their symptoms resolve at home.
Children are considered a more vulnerable population with regard to electromagnetic radiation. Not only are their nervous systems still developing, but their skulls are also less dense, allowing more radiation (such as from cell phones) to enter their brains. Even children who are not “electrosensitive,” may face an elevated risk of cancer and reproductive health problems down the road if they are exposed to too much microwave radiation. Should we take the chance by exposing them to Wi-Fi all day at school?
I thought I’d post a few links for anyone interested in learning more about the science, policies and movements taking place around the globe cautioning us against using Wi-Fi in schools. There are some articles and many videos, ranging from scientific presentations to television shows:
- EMR Health Alliance of BC (lots of videos with parent testimony)
- Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly: The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment
What can we do?
- Keep wireless networks out of our schools – use cable or fiber optics networks, instead.
- Don’t aim Wi-Fi towers towards schools or playgrounds.
- Turn off home wireless routers at night, or when not in use.
- Stay informed: When new buildings go up or are remodeled, make sure they are wired. Your community just may avoid an expensive retrofit when more evidence comes in!
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Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks on flickr