Wi-Fi and Cell Phone Radiation in the Classroom
Wi-Fi is invisible.
The invisible wireless signals that Wi-Fi laptops, chromebooks, notebooks and tablets send and receive are wireless radio-frequency radiation. This exposure is linked to cancer, headaches, memory damage and reproductive harm.
Classrooms today have dozens of wireless devices. Each device used wirelessly, and each network access point, is generating and emitting a type of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation called radiofrequency radiation (RFR). Wireless frequencies pulse billions of times per second.
Cell phones in classrooms also emit radiofrequency.
Schools today allow cell phone use by students and staff. Each of these cell phones also emits wireless radiation, significantly increasing levels of wireless emissions inside classrooms because the phones constantly emit pulses, even when not being used.
Students and staff also wear “smart” watches, have wireless headphones and various other wireless devices on their bodies and in their backpacks – often powered on. These add to the classroom exposures.
Doctors recommend parents reduce children’s exposures to wireless.
In the United States, the largest group of children’s doctors, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recommends that children’s exposures to cell phone radiation emissions be reduced. AAP recommends: minimize cell phone use, avoid carrying the phone against your body, and “if you plan to watch a movie on your device, download it first, then switch to airplane mode while you watch in order to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure.” Internationally, the Cyprus Medical Association, Athens Medical Association and Vienna Medical Association all recommend reducing wireless exposures, especially for children.
Most parents and teachers are unaware of doctor recommendations.
Children put tablets on their laps and stream videos in schools every day. Teachers are not aware of the doctor recommendations to reduce wireless exposure. Many schools get safety information from the companies that sell the wireless equipment, and the information is not accurate because it excludes the research studies that show harmful effects.
More and more educators are aware of the health issues.
Coast to coast in the United States, teachers and staff are learning and sharing more accurate information.
- The New Jersey Education Association recommendations for reducing wireless health risks include “hard wire all devices, including printers, projectors and boards.”
- The Babysafe Project includes a Joint Statement signed by more than 200 doctors, public health experts and educators.
- The United Educators of San Francisco passed a Resolution on Safer Technology that calls for the California Department of Public Health guidance to be shared with students.
- The New York State United Teachers union passed a resolution regarding safer technology, hosted a webinar “Risks of wireless technologies and protecting children and staff in schools” and developed “Best Practices For Schools.”
Scientists say wireless in school is not safe.
Scientists recommend we replace the Wi-Fi networks in schools with wired ethernet-connected networks because of the peer-reviewed published research studies that found harmful effects from exposure to RFR.
Hardwired internet networks using ethernet cords (instead of Wi-Fi) in schools will reduce RFR inside the school building.
Government laws do not protect children.
Schools often tell parents that the levels of RFR in classrooms do not exceed the legal limits. However, United States FCC and international ICNIRP limits for cell phone and wireless radiation are based on the radiation absorption into a model of a 6-foot-tall man who weighs over 200 pounds (the model is called the SAM). Those limits only protect against heating effects, not against biological effects. As the United States Environmental Protection Agency stated, limits in place are not protective against effects from long-term exposure.
Children have higher exposures than adults.
“The average exposure from use of the same mobile phone is higher by a factor of 2 in a child’s brain and higher by a factor of 10 in the bone marrow of the skull,” according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 2011 Monograph on Radio Frequency Fields, which categorized wireless RFR as a “possible carcinogen.”
Children have thinner skulls and smaller bodies. Research shows wireless will penetrate more deeply and intensely into children’s bodies and brains, as compared to adults. Research also has found that wireless radiation from tablets penetrates more deeply into children’s brains, as compared to adults.
Pregnant women are extremely vulnerable.
Pregnant teachers, staff and students need to be informed and protected. Several studies show wireless exposures during pregnancy can impact brain development. Yale animal studies found that cellular radiation exposure during pregnancy led to increased hyperactivity and memory problems in offspring. Replicated research on humans also found exposures during pregnancy linked to behavioral problems in children.
Students and school staff are unaware of the fine print warnings.
If you look in the user manual for your wireless laptop or tablet, you will find an FCC statement about radiofrequency. Many laptops will often state that the device should be at least 20 cm (approximately 8 inches) away from the body to prevent “exceeding FCC radiation exposure limits.” These instructions are in the user manuals because cell phones and wireless devices are tested for radiation emissions levels at those specific distances.
In other words, a laptop in a child’s lap could be exposing the child to radiation levels that exceed the limits our government regulations presently allow. However, even if the distance separation instructions are followed, safety is not assured because government regulations are currently not adequate to protect children or the rest of us.