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Canadian Teachers' Unions Demands for No Wi-Fi in Schools Puts Spotlight on Health Concerns

Candian Teachers' Unions Demands for No Wi-Fi in Schools Puts Spotlight on Health Concerns

Two teachers’ unions in the Canadian province of Ontario are receiving attention for urging schools to turn off Wi-Fi due to the health concerns it might pose to students.

“'WiFi emits microwave radiation and it’s linked to cancer by the World Health Organization,' said Andrea Loken, Kingston area President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) in a press release, according to Radio Canada International.

"'No teacher has consented to be exposed to this. Nor has the Board ever warned us about it.’”

The article also says that former Microsoft Canada president and current CEO of Canadian’s For Safe Technology, Frank Clegg, has said that Canada’s school boards are "ignoring the mounting evidence of both cancer and infertility for the teachers and students exposed to all day WiFi.”

Could it be true? In the United States at least, most schools are equipped with Wi-Fi. Why are United States teachers’ unions or officials not discussing these potential health risks then?

Ever since 2007, a World Health Organization Task Group has concluded that Wi-Fi does not pose "substantive health issues related to EMF fields at levels generally encountered by members of the public,” said In-Cyprus.com.

Also according to In-Cyrpus.com, a recent study in Greece confirmed that Wi-Fi levels of radiation are safe for children according to WHO standards.

"George Komodromos is Director of the Department of Electronic Planning at the Ministry of Communication. Speaking to the Cyprus Weekly, he said that there was a recent spot check ordered by the Education Ministry to measure the RF EMFs in a classroom, with over 20 students using laptops and tablets connected to Wi-Fi. The findings were that measurements of electromagnetic waves were much lower than the level set by the Health Ministry, based on EU and WHO recommendations.

This hasn’t stopped some individuals from disagreeing with the findings and challenging the unknown, which ALPHR writer James Billington says stems from baseless fears.

"Fears surrounding Wi-Fi signal start when you mention the word radiation. Thanks largely to nuclear weapons, radiation conjures up images of deadly, invisible waves, with the power to turn us into mutants. While it’s true a Wi-Fi router does emit radiation, it’s within the radio-frequency (RF) band – a low-energy, non-ionising, non-harmful type. Science has proven it to be far, far too weak to give you any kind of radiation poisoning,” said Alphr.com.

But if you ask the right person- like Frank Clegg or Andrea Loken- they believe that even the mild radiation that comes from Wi-Fi devices is enough to do away with it, convinced that long-term negative effects are directly correlated.

What do YOU think? Is Wi-Fi dangerous to have in schools for fear of the unknown? Sound off by taking our poll below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

3/21/2016

Should health concerns about Wi-Fi in schools be addressed?

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