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Wireless Internet in SD 20: good for learning, bad for kids?
Canada Created: 9 Jul 2010
While I very much support providing students with access to the Internet to expand their learning opportunities, the decision to provide all schools in District 20 with wireless technology subjects our children to "the largest human biological experiment ever."

This view, voiced by Dr. Lief Salford, chairman of the department of neurosurgery at Lund University in Sweden, is echoed by scientists around the world calling upon schools to restrict use of wireless technology until we have a better understanding of the health effects of low-grade electro-magnetic radiation, particularly on children.

Dr. Magda Havas, of Trent University, is Canada’s foremost authority on the health effects of electromagnetic radiation. In an open letter to schools, Dr. Havas warns “those who are responsible for the health and safety of children to think twice before installing wireless microwave technology in schools and exposing students and staff to radiation that could be potentially harmful.”

Dr. Havas notes that, “Very little research has been published on the health effects associated with wireless routers used in schools.” She points out that the same frequencies are used for wireless routers in schools as are used for mobile phones (cell and cordless phones). While research continues on the effects of cell phones on humans, most of that work is being done on adults, and not on growing children’s brains. Children exposed to WiFi at school may also have wireless routers at home and may also be using cell phones, subjecting some to radiation around the clock.

Research has linked cell phone use to increases in brain tumours. One study found that after a decade of cellphone use, the chance of getting a brain tumour increased as much as 40% for adults (Interphone, 2010). Research at the University of Washington confirmed that exposure to frequencies emitted by cell and wireless technologies leads to damage of cell DNA – an undisputed cause of cancer. (Dr. Henry Lai, 2010)

Research continues, but it is interesting to note that only 25% of studies funded by the wireless industry show some type of biological effect from microwave radiation, while among independently funded studies, 75% show a bioeffect. (Dr. Henry Lai, 2010)

Because of concern about health effects, governments and medical associations in France, Germany and Austria advise schools not to install wireless Internet. WiFi has been removed from some schools in the U.K.

In Canada, Lakehead University has chosen not to install wireless technology. Parents at Mountain View Elementary School in Collingwood, Ontario have taken their concerns about their children’s headaches in the classroom, after wireless technology was installed, to Health Canada. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Health held hearings in late April, with testimony by experts in Canada and internationally. The outcome of these hearings is yet to be made public. It may determine the fate of children in Canada about their exposure to wireless technologies at school.

In the meantime, I would hope Trustees of School District 20 and all other school trustees in Canada would hold off on subjecting our children to involuntary radiation. Our children’s long-term health and well-being are worth more than the short-term convenience of wireless Internet service.
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Source: Rossland Telegraph, Diana Daghofer, 08 Jul 2010

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