WiFi In Schools

Share
wifi-in-schoolA 21st century classroom must bridge the digital divide so that all students are engaged with technology. Best Practices for schools allows for full technological access in the classroom while minimizing health risk so that schools and safe technology can work together.

Background

Millions of children and adults in schools around the world spend significant amounts of time around wireless devices and Wi-Fi. Many schools are introducing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies and installing industrial wireless routers for tablets. However, wireless devices expose students and staff to microwave radiation that can impede learning and overall health. Studies have shown that microwave radiation can damage reproductive systems, impact the immune system, alter brain functioning, and may increase cancer risk. Tablets have up to 5 antennae that are constantly emitting short intense bursts of radiation even when not connected to the Internet. Wireless devices in classrooms thus result in multiple sources of wireless radiation exposure.

Solutions Exist

Schools are are becoming increasingly aware that healthy and environmentally friendly facilities foster academic achievement and staff well-being. Low-EMF Best Practices allow for schools and safe technology to work together, using safe wired internet connections, thus reducing the overall impact on students and staff. Schools can incorporate Safe Tech Curriculum into health classes so that they can use their devices more safely at home, as well at school.

Join Us

The Environmental Health Trust is developing materials for schools and parents on Schools and Safe Technology. We are partnering with schools to decrease children’s wireless exposure. Every Step Counts! Please contact EHT if you would like to discuss your school’s needs and resources with us. We are hoping to foster informed dialogue to support schools and the students they serve. Please review our documents so that we can tailor them to meet your needs — so send us your comments and questions!

Tips for Safer Tech in Schools
  1. Hardwire all devices that connect to the Internet such as computers and tablets.
  2. Hardwire all fixed devices such as printers, overhead projectors and boards.
  3. Teach students about how to minimize radio frequency radiation exposures.
    • Integrate SAFE TECH into health curriculum.
    • Explore the politics of the precautionary principle in ethics and debate classes.
  4. Share resources with parents on how to decrease exposures at home.
  5. Integrate SAFE TECH into your school’s official Bring Your Own Device Policy.
  6. Hold a staff meeting and PTA meeting to share this information.
View/Download our Resources for Schools below:
Download PDF Doctors Letters on Children and the Health Risks of Wireless
What resources can I share with my school?

EHT’s Wireless Radiation and Children’s Health: This document  provides information and links to sources that discuss the critical issues regarding school technology, including: Health Issues and Best Practices for Technology. The second half of the document contains internet-linked research studies.

Safe Schools 2012. A document detailing medical and scientific experts calling for safe technologies in schools.

Wi-Fi in Canadian Schools: A Health and Safety Issue: Read a detailed document of peer-reviewed scientific studies (50) documenting potentially harmful biological effects of Wi-Fi frequency (2.4-2.45 GHz) at or below Health Canada’s Safety Code. (Note: Canada, Australia and US RF Limits are similar)

International Precautionary Policy by Governments: Over twenty countries are taking various action to reduce radiation exposure to children. This document details each country and the various policy and policy efforts underway. EHT updates it 4 times a year.

Children & Wireless FAQs Fact Sheet: This Q and A details many questions that parents and school officials have about this issue.

2012 AAP Letter for the Cell Phone Right to Know Act: This letter from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) details the organization’s support of the Cell Phone Right to Know Act, and states that children are more vulnerable to cell phone radiation. The AAP also wrote the FCC in 2013 calling for a review of RF guidelines.

Upper Sturt Primary School WiFi and Cell Phone Policy: The Upper Sturt School has an excellent safe technology policy on WiFi and Wireless that can be used as a template for other schools looking for an example of how to approach this issue.

Schools, Unions & PTAs Precautionary Actions: Many unions and PTA’s are taking action on this issue. This is the current list with hyperlinks.

CHPS Low EMF Criteria Fact Sheet: The Collaborative for High Performance Schools has developed Best Practices for LOW EMF classrooms that details how schools can replace wireless networks with wired networks.

Big Data: A Paradigm Shift in Education: Read Peter Hensigner’s report on digital media and children’s development which looks at health, safety, learning and and privacy issues.

What resources can I share with friends so they can educate themselves about this issue?

Environmental Health Trust Educate Yourself Page

Grassroots Environmental Education

The BabySafe Project for Pregnant Women

What resources exist for detailing best technology practice in a school setting?

Several organizations have developed best practices for schools. Several teacher unions and governments have as well. Please see the below information.

Best Technology Practices Example: Upper Sturt Wireless Policy

Collaborative For High Performance Schools   Low-EMF Best Practices Criteria

The Child Safe School Website

Guidelines for Safer Use of Technology for Schools developed by Grassroots Environmental Education for the New York State Teachers Union

Canadian Teacher Federations Brief “The Use of Wi-Fi in Schools”

Read policy efforts by governments such as France, Israel, Belgium and Spain.

What materials detail simple steps that families can take at home to reduce exposures?

Dr. Moskowitz Director of the Center for Family and Community Health Tips to Reduce Exposure to Cell Phones and Wireless

Vienna Medical Association Cell Phone Tips Full Poster Printable PDF

Doctors Advice on Cell Phones Brochure

Doctor’s Advice on Wireless Brochure

BabySafe Recommendation Booklet for Women, PDF of Printable Poster

EHT’s Ten Steps to Safe Technology

What resources can I share with my pediatrician?

EHT’s Science Lectures

American Academy of Pediatrics Letter to the FCC on Radiofrequency Fields 8/29/2013  

AAP Letter to Rep. Kucinich Support of H.R. 6358, Cell Phone Right to Know 12/2012

Textbook of Children’s Environmental Health, 2013 Edited by Philip J. Landrigan and Ruth A. Etzel, Chapter 41. Electromagnetic Fields by Kurt Straiff, Robert Baan, and Neela Guha

The EHHI Report on Cellphones

The BioInitiative 2012 Report on Electromagnetic Fields

Where can I learn more about the science?

Environmental Health Trust webpage on science and health

Dr. Moskowitz Director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health Electromagnetic Radiation Safety.

Microwave News

TRANSCEND Research Program  (Martha Herbert)

EMF Portal An extensive literature database from Aachen University

Collaborative on Health and the Environment/Electromagnetic Fields

WiFi in Schools UK

Wi-Fi in Canadian Schools: A Health and Safety Issue: Read a detailed document of peer-reviewed scientific studies (50) documenting potentially harmful biological effects of Wi-Fi frequency (2.4-2.45 GHz) at or below Health Canada’s Safety Code. (Note: Canada, Australia and US RF Limits are similar)

I am concerned about all the screentime in school. Where can I learn more about the impact of screens and social media on children’s development?

Dr. Dan Siegel’s Website

Victoria Dunckley M.D. Blog

Campaign for a Commercial free Childhood Website

How to Make a Family Media Use Plan AAP HealthyChildren.org

Children, Adolescents and Media

The Impact of Social Media Use on Children, Adolescents and Families (AAP Clinical Report)

Children, Adolescents, Obesity and the Media (AAP Policy Statement)

Sexuality, Contraception, and the Media (AAP Policy Statement)

Media Use By Children Younger Than 2 Years (AAP Policy Statement)

Talking to Kids and Teens About Social Media and Sexting

Center on Media and Child Health: Boston Children’s Hospital

What are experts recommending to schools about wireless radiation?

Environmental Health Trust has written several letters to school districts and educational institutions recommending safe wired technology in school.

In 2015 scientists wrote the Secretary of Education. Please click here to see the letter. In adition Dr Davis wrote several school umbrella organizations such as the National Education Association and National Association of Independent Schools (Please see the bottom of this page for the full list of letters by EHT.)

Letters to the Montgomery County Maryland School District: Dr. Martha Herbert’s Letter, Dr. Anthony Miller’s Letter, Dr. Lennart Hardell’s Letter , Dr. Carpenters Letter, Dr.  Olle Johansson’s Letter, Dr. Devra Davis’ Letter , Cris Rowan’s Letter, Dr. Martin Pall’s letter, Katie Singer’s Letter,Cindy Sage and Trevor Marshal  Letter, Ellie Marks Letter , Arthur Firstenberg  Letter, Mikko Ahonen PhD, Lena Hedendahl MD and Tarmo Koppel MSc PhDs Letter, Cece Doucette’s Letter, Alisdair Philips Letter, Lloyd Morgan’s Letter , Peter Sullivan’s letter.

2014: Four Expert Letters on Wifi in School sent to the Fay School

Dr. Blank, Dr  Johansson, Dr. Sinatra, and Dr. Carpenter advising against Wireless systems.

Canada

2015: Wi-Fi in Canadian Schools: A Health and Safety Issue:

2015: Open Letter to the Canadian Council of Education Ministers asking for removal of wireless radiation from school environments. This council oversees all Ministers of Education in Canada.

by Cris Rowan, BScOT, BScBi, SIPT

2011: Dr. Steven Sinatra Letter to the Kawartha School Board

Additional Letters of Note:

2015: Message to Public Schools about Wireless Devices by Ron Powell, PhD

2014: Frank Clegg’ Letter to Denmark’s Committee on Radiation Protection on school.

2014: Letter to Education Super Highway CEOs by Bioinitiative Report  Co-Editors in response to the CEO’s calling for the FCC to quickly create a school wireless infrastructure.

2013: Irish Doctors Environmental Association Letter

Letters to the Los Angeles Unified School District, California.

Olle Johansson’s Letter, Dr. Martin Blank’s Letter, Dr. Joel Moskowitz, Dr. Martha Herbert’s Letter

Letters from the Environmental Health Trust to School Administrators and Organizations

In August 2014, Dr. Devra Davis sent letters to the following organizations informing them of the potential health risks of wireless networks in their schools. The letters detail how schools can use safe technology best practices and raise awareness on this issue to protect students and staff. Please click on the links below to download these letters.

Letter to U.S. Secretary of Education from EHT on Wireless in Schools October 13 2015
National Association of State Boards of Education
National Education Association
National Association of Independent Schools
National Catholic Educational Association
AISNE-Association of Independent Schools in New England
Independent Education
Association of Independent Maryland & DC Schools
National Association of Private Schools
National Parent Teacher Association
Friends Council on Education
National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools
National Association of Catholic School Teachers
Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Services
Association of Waldorf Schools of North America
New Jersey Association of Jewish Day Schools
PARDeS: Progressive Association of Reform Day Schools

For more scientific evidence on the negative health impact of wireless radiation, refer to our Wireless Radiation FAQ’S. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Letters From Doctors on WiFi in Schools

Sign Up to Stay Informed

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and science from Environmental Health Trust. We email our subscribers with a newsletter just once a month and never share your email with anyone.