How To Reduce EMF Exposure in Schools and Classrooms

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Eliminate and Reduce Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposures in the Classroom:

An Introductory Guide for Schools

EHT recommends eliminating sources of EMF radiation inside school buildings by the installation of corded/wired (instead of wireless) internet/phone/tech connections. Corded/wired connections will significantly reduce hourly and overall exposures to students, teachers and staff.

This is a living document intended for schools to use as a starting point.  

Routines In the Classroom

  • At start of class, remind students that cell phones and Personal Digital Devices (PDD) must be powered off and stored.
    • Regularly remind students about phones and wireless PDD: 1. distance devices away from body and
    • If cell phones are needed for photos or video remind students to turn transmitting antennas off: Select “airplane mode” and disable all wireless antennas including Cellular, Wi-Fii, Mobile hotspot, Mobile data, Siri, Bluetooth and Location.
  • Post policy and best practices signs in every classroom and prominently at room entrances.

 

Curriculum Planning

  • When curricula requires internet connectivity, limit it to specific times rather than interspersed throughout class. For example, curricula should not require students to use phones to look up things during class. Instead, have a plan that includes time when students organize their research questions and, subsequently, a separate time when students research online.
  • When internet or other electronic connections are needed, use hardwire connections (cords/cables/wires/adapters) for all equipment (personal computer, any size electronic screen, printer, audio speakers, headphones, microphone, smartboard, printer, mouse, keyboard, and other devices and accessories).
  • If hardwire connections are not available in the school, minimize use of cloud and other wireless network services and instead use applications and content that are pre-downloaded onto devices.
  • Download and install files for curriculum prior to students’ use. This will eliminate the need for Wi-Fi during class.
  • Teach students to turn OFF wireless antennas when not in use (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Data, Cellular) and to select Airplane Mode for their personal devices including on cell phones, laptops, and other wireless devices. Note that students may need to go to Settings to fully disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth*.
  • Store laptop carts outside of the classroom, and avoid recharging laptops near students/staff.
  • Instead of virtual reality “field trips,” show movies and video in class on a large screen.

 

* Wi-Fi “OFF when not in use” will still result in radiation exposures to students and staff during Wi-Fi use and continuously from WLAN access points. EHT recommends the installation of wired networks.

 

Community Education

  • Regularly schedule parent education sessions about safer use of technology, e.g.:
    • Strategies and practical advice on how to minimize health risks of cell phones, screens, and wireless digital devices
    • Hands-on workshops that explain and demonstrate how to hardwire home electronics and create a low-EMF computer workstation.
  • Regularly hold discussion forums about strategies to address the challenges of parenting in the digital age.
  • Hold student forums about how to reduce radiation, reduce eye strain, and minimize adverse psychosocial impact.

 

School Policy

  • Create and regularly update policies for cell phone and digital device use in classrooms that includes medical recommendations for children’s health and safety related to eyes, posture, addiction, and radiation. For continuous improvement, policies might include reporting and accountability measures.
  • Institute a ban on personal cell phones and personal hotspot devices. Prohibit use of all internet-connected devices in classrooms unless during supervised use for specific instructional purpose. Such a policy may help prevent students from rushing through schoolwork to go online for gaming or other non-school purposes.
  • PDD bans (unless wireless transmissions are OFF) should be extended to school buses. Prohibit Wi-Fi and cell phone network use in buses because EMF radiation is intensified inside metal vehicles.
  • Institute a policy that allows for convenient, non-wireless methods for students to communicate with parents about last-minute scheduling issues. Non-wireless methods could include: corded phones, electronic bulletin board, and other practical, accessible ways to get messages to/from students.
  • Incorporate a Technology Curriculum into other curricula. For example,
    • In the health curriculum, include information about why and how to reduce exposure to wireless radiation, including step-by-step instructions how to disable wireless on their personal devices.
    • In the environmental science curriculum, review current and historical regulatory policies on EMFs, including international approaches.
  • Educate administrators, staff, and volunteers at least annually and when newly hired, about the safer use of technology. This might include:
    • Reviewing school policies and how to reinforce them in the school setting,
    • Explaining how to eliminate/minimize health risks of cell phones, screens, and wireless digital devices with hands-on workshops that explain and demonstrate how to hardwire electronics and create a low-EMF computer workstation.

 

Low-EMF Infrastructure in School Buildings

  • Install wired rather than wireless LAN and communication services in schools.
  • Only purchase or use computers, tablets, and other school and personal technology devices that can be ethernet-connected and allow  all wireless applications (including locators) and antennas to be disabled.
  • Locate computer stations and ethernet ports throughout school for convenient internet access.
  • Hard wire all technology devices. This includes: fixtures such as printers, projectors, scoreboard controls, and boards; computer accessories such as audio speakers, mouse,  keyboard, microphone, headphones, etc.; all locations at school (auditorium, gymnasium, library, office, indoor and outdoor lounge or activity areas, daycare facilities, etc.). Always include a step to disable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth antennas via settings in the device, because otherwise even when the device is connected with wires, its antennas will often continue to emit EMF radiation.
  • Operate laptops and tablets only in battery mode and not when plugged into an electrical outlet.
  • Place corded phones in every room and in common areas so students and staff can communicate without cell phones. No cordless phones.
  • Hardwire security systems.
  • Do not use fluorescent lights. If fluorescents are already installed, consider improvements and perhaps optimizing natural daylight.
  • Do not use RFID systems for persons or property.  
  • Install wired charging systems instead of wireless charging systems.
  • Do not place microwave ovens in classrooms or schools. If you must use microwaves, then ensure ovens are checked for leaks and damaged seams. Teach students and staff to distance themselves from ovens.  
  • Replace utility smart meters with analogue meters.  
  • Replace wirelessly communicating environmental sensors with non-wireless alternatives.
  • Ensure the electrical wiring in all school rooms complies with U.S. National Electrical Code and applicable state electrical code and local jurisdiction regulations. Have an electrician evaluate, and remediate if necessary, to ensure:
    • Student- and staff-occupied areas have no common wiring errors,
    • ELF magnetic field exposure is not above 1 mG (100 nT),
    • Classrooms are not above electrical panels, electronics, or facility equipment/appliances that generate high EMFs.
  • Ensure cell network towers, antennas, and boosters are not located on, in, or near school property.

Additional Resources 

What are examples of best practices for schools?

 

What do medical doctors recommend?

 

What other printable resources can I use to share this with others?

Where can I find the articles mentioned in the webinar by Dr. Russell? 

We highly recommend the Santa Clara Medical Association articles

Wifi In Schools: Are We playing It Safe With Our Kids?” 

Shallow Minds: How the Internet and Wi Fi in Schools Can Affect Learning”

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