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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

anyone else concerned about danger of WIFI in schools?

(61 Posts)
kalo12 Sun 02-Dec-12 21:38:49

My child's school has just announced that they have installed WIFi extensively throughout the school. I am horrified. I have done a bit of research on the internet and found a very good website
which explains the dangers, especially to children, of having multiple wifi devices altogether.

There is a wealth of new research coming to light of the dangers of WIFi and many countries are making proposals to ban it in schools entirely (and in some countries, public places in general).

Britain has the second highest levels of radiation from wireless devices in the world - hundred times higher than some countries.

Can't schools just use wired connections?

Anyone else concerend about this? Is this something to worry about?

allison1234 Mon 17-Jun-13 19:02:14

I am astounded at the aggressive nature of your comments!! Do you work for a mobile phone company??? Anyway - I won't bother to justify myself to you - but Kalo, please look at this and do what is best for you and your children. Don't take my word for it... look at real scientists and real studies... there are plenty out there. Anyway - thats my last word on it - didn't realise mums on here got so insulting!

specialsubject Mon 17-Jun-13 16:27:09

nothing in life is 100% safe and we are all going to die. Asking for 100% proof of anything except the effects of gravity shows a level of scientific ignorance that is quite embarrassing.

If you believe all this, you'd better get off the internet, stop using a mobile or cordless phone, cut off the electricity to your house (generates e-fields - aren't you worried?), and go live in a cave to stay away from sunlight. You will of course need vitamin D supplements.

alternatively you could learn the basic science which shows that this is all bollocks. Studies done by real scientists, not the purveyors of woo, have never shown any problems.

allison1234 Mon 17-Jun-13 13:16:28

Kalo keep researching this subject. There are 1800 peer reviewed studies to suggest there are biological effects from wifi. Its exactly because 'its everywhere' that we need to keep it out of schools. Our children are there approx 35 hours a week and are therefore subjected to pulsed radiation for the whole of that period. It is the NON-THERMAL effects which are harmful, and these are NOT covered by any safety guidelines in the UK. Indeed the UKs Chief Medical Officer said our safety guidelines were outdated about 10 years ago and think how much more widespread wifi is now! Until the mobile companies can offer conclusive proof that it is 100% safe, why would any parent think it ok to take the risk instead of a wired system?

Ragusa Wed 12-Jun-13 21:18:21

Not worried, no, because there seems to be no giod evidence it's harmful anf like other posters have said, wifi is everywhere.

I also don't rate that site (wiredchild). It looks amateur and the websites it links to are equally rubbish.... some nonsense about curing cancer with vegetables hmm

lookWho Wed 12-Jun-13 18:44:25

Thank you ColdHardyJill I totally agree with you - I found this discussions while trying to research the dangers of Wi-Fi in schools. I am also concerned as my little D started full time this year.

Reading through all the comments above, I was shocked as I also thought that this site would be more open-minded and supportive of another members 'completely legitimate' worries over her child. I know it's been a few months since the debate started however I thought I'd update you on the fact that France have recently banned Wi-Fi in all their schools!!!

So, for what it is worth, I think Wi-Fi in schools is something we should all be concerned about and should not idly dismiss without further researching and debating etc. After all modern technology has been evolving so quickly, how much research on its safety has there been before they have been dished out to the public.

France looked at the long term research conducted thus far and have concluded that they are not going to risk their children's health just because the service providers of wireless Industry say it is safe - they are obviously going to be bias. After all didn't the Tabaco industry do the same years ago.

In a modern world with so many new gadgets (some very useful and others I agree are essential now) how do we protect our children in the classrooms? It's simply not good enough to state that just because children are already exposed to a layering effect from the electromagnetic smog wherever they go now that we should not worry about it the schools. Due to the directness, proximity and continual exposure (even though it is low) that the children subjected to throughout the day is the harmful effect. At home you can turn the Wi-Fi off when not in use but at school they are exposed all day whether they are using it or not and that it what concerns me the most.

kalo12 - I hope there will be a safe solution for all our kids... thank you for raising the issue x

ColdHardyJill Fri 07-Dec-12 20:22:29

How disappointing. Someone asks a question 'are you concerned' to receive a surprisingly high proportion of sarcastic, ridiculing answers. There's just no need, why not be supportive? 'no, I don't think you should worry, that site ignores the science.if you want more realistic information try ... .com'
I assumed this site would encourage a more supportive culture in these forums.
I personally don't know much about radiation, and had I been pregnant 60yrs ago I probably would have let the hospital xray my unborn kid, a practice which was accepted as safe for a time, and it's now known to increase chances of cancer. Good on you kalo12, there's no harm in questioning what you are suspicious of, and seeking more info.

MrsGeologist Wed 05-Dec-12 22:44:00

Yes, Cinnabar, science gives me the horn grin

CinnabarRed Tue 04-Dec-12 08:57:10

Anyone else now a little bit in love with Snorbs?

Kalo you can't even tell wifi from mobile networks can you? You use the mobile network on the Internet at the bus stop. I haven't seen a dentist offering free wifi either so it's also likely you will be on the net through the mobile network there as well. Those have nothing to do with wifi. You might as well be comparing wifi to electric car charging stations giving out harmful radiations.

Snorbs Mon 03-Dec-12 22:13:46

Nice ignoring of all the points I raised, kalo.

Let's not let facts get in the way of some good old scare-mongering bollocks, eh?

kalo12 Mon 03-Dec-12 22:10:37

I just remember an article in the TES some time ago discussing the dangers and how children were more vulnerable because of their thinner skulls.

I know you can't stop progress though and its just brilliant being able to watch a bit of a film on your phone whilst waiting at the bus stop, or checking your ebay account from the dentisit wating room. hmm

Snorbs I think we should let kalo go back and live in a cave. By the way, are you using a computer to type on mumsnet? Do you know you are sitting very close to a radiation device?

Snorbs Mon 03-Dec-12 21:48:44

The WHO said no such thing regarding WiFi signals. Or cigarette smoke, for that matter. Cigarette smoke is a WHO class A carcinogen (ie, it's known to cause cancer).

What the WHO did say was that there is limited evidence that mobile phone use might cause an increase in the risk of gliomas (a rare form of brain cancer). Because of this limited evidence, it's classed as a 2B carcinogen - there might be a link but there isn't enough science to be sure either way.

I noted previously the significant differences between mobile phone signal strength/usage and those of WiFi systems that means that any risks presented by mobile phones are not necessarily applicable to WiFi. It's like the difference between being hit with water from a fire hose and that from a water pistol.

Regarding use of multiple devices in a confined space, if there is a WiFi access point in the classroom then the total signal strength will actually be lower than if there the access point was a long way away. The WiFi transceivers will automatically scale back their signal strength as they won't need to be operating at full power to get a good connection.

Here is the WHO's summary of its findings. I really do suggest you pay more attention to the source documents and the science behind it and less to made-up, scare-mongering bollocks such as the website you linked to.

kalo12 Mon 03-Dec-12 21:21:19

I thought the WHO had classed wifi rays as a class 2B carcinogen - the same as cigarette smoke and exhaust fumes, which I certainly wouldn't want pumped in to my child's classroom 9-3 everyday.

I know wifi is everywhere, but the website suggests that it is the multiple devices in a confined space like a classroom. I'm not very technical at all but it is a bit worrying when other european countries are proposing to ban installation in schools, (infact I think I read that Germany and Israel already have)

Snorbs Mon 03-Dec-12 19:10:13


even low level electromagnetic radiation has a polarising effect on other electromagnetic fields

Really? Are you suggesting that, say, a low level of microwaves can change the polarisation of, eg, light? Because to my admittedly non-expert view, that sounds like Nobel prize-winning physics. Please cite any and all peer-reviewed research published in reputable journals that demonstrates this effect.

after all we do get interference between various sources of electromagnetic radiation - and all our cells do have a v v weak electromagnetic potential.

What's the connection? Please cite any and all peer-reviewed research published in reputable journals that demonstrates this effect.

Don't they tell us to switch off mobiles when flying or in hospitals?

Er, yes, but I don't see the connection between this and human effects. They also tell us not to drop our mobile phones in the bath. Does that mean that humans shouldn't get wet?

This is on the man-made scale, but none of this is ever considered in terms of effect on our cells.

That is simply not true. There's an enormous wealth of research out there on the effects of electromagnetic radiation of varying energies and duration on living cells, individual organs and entire organisms. As a starting point, try the World Health Organization.

nightcat Mon 03-Dec-12 18:20:22

Anyone interested could scroll about half way in the link below how ELF (extremely low frequency) can affect people, examples being sleep, epilepsy as well as therapeutic uses.

ArkadyRose Mon 03-Dec-12 18:08:09

Anyone who actually believes the rubbish on that wiredchild site deserves the sleepless nights of worrying they're going to give themselves for reading such bollocks.

That people actually believe such tinfoil crap is a sad indicator of the level of scientific teaching in this country.

thixotropic Mon 03-Dec-12 18:05:26

Xpost with Snorbs.

thixotropic Mon 03-Dec-12 18:03:43

I have one thing to say on the subject of radiation sources.


And not the bloody newspaper. Really everything else is utterly piddling by comparison to what comes off that baby.

nightcat Mon 03-Dec-12 17:57:44

True for ionising/non-ionising radiation in the context of structural/physical damage to molecules/atoms.
However even low level electromagnetic radiation has a polarising effect on other electromagnetic fields whether biological or man-made - after all we do get interference between various sources of electromagnetic radiation - and all our cells do have a v v weak electromagnetic potential.
Don't they tell us to switch off mobiles when flying or in hospitals? This is on the man-made scale, but none of this is ever considered in terms of effect on our cells. My 2 pennies worth..

Snorbs Mon 03-Dec-12 16:59:40

why WOULDN'T continual low level electromagnetic radiation

Because the key phrase there is "low level". We are continually bathed in electromagnetic radiation from the universe as a whole and the Sun in particular. For instance, on a sunny day at our latitude you can expect to be hit with close to a 1000W of multi-frequency radiation from the Sun. That's ten thousand times more radiation than you would absorb compared to sitting there with the aerial of a WiFi access point stuck up your bum.

The other issue is that not all electromagnetic radiation is the same. High-energy electromagnetic radiation is powerful enough to disrupt the structure of atoms. This is known as ionizing radiation and can be very dangerous. UV light, X-rays, gamma rays etc are all ionizing electromagnetic radiation.

Lower-energy electromagnetic radiation simply isn't strong enough to disrupt atomic structure. Such radiation is consequently known as non-ionizing radiation. The worst non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation can do is to cause localised heating and even then you need a lot of it. For example, the hundreds of Watts of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, all concentrated into one small spot, that a microwave oven has to generate to be able to heat food.

WiFi signals are significantly lower energy than even infrared light. They are most definitely non-ionizing. Plus they're generated at low overall power levels. They're simply not powerful enough to cause damage.

ByTheWay electromagnetic radiation has been around us for, um, forever. As you say, even visible light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum. We have radios and TVs since the 20s at least (I don't know if my 80yo grandma has radio when she was young). And the crucial difference between all the rays you listed, x-rays, gamma rays, visible light, etc, is that spectrum we use for communication is very low frequency. They are all below infrared (and microwave fyi). The longer the wavelength, the lower the energy it is in the wave.

NulliusInBlurba Mon 03-Dec-12 15:46:18

"Or is it just the electric fields around power lines that are dangerous, and not the magnetic fields?"
I have no idea what this woman was thinking exactly, but I certainly wouldn't want my house covered in the stuff. I suspect she was just terrified by the lack of control that comes when someone close to you seems to inexplicably fall ill sad and she was just looking for something, anything, to blame as a way of 'protecting' her own family from the same fate. Logic doesn't really come into it.

ByTheWay1 Mon 03-Dec-12 15:45:29

What gets me most I think is that we now live in this electromagnetic "fog" ALL the time and yet no studies have been done (or publicised at least) on the effects this is all having on long term health - I guess because they have not been round long term yet.

I'm not hysterical just curious - why WOULDN'T continual low level electromagnetic radiation have any effect.... electromagnetic wavelengths at various parts of the frequency spectrum HAVE been found to cause long term harm - X-Rays, gamma rays, parts of light itself UVA and B are all harmful to the human body in some ways especially when subjected to them repeatedly or over long periods of time....

You mean this NulliusInBlurba

It doesn't sound very 'safe' to me. The paint has magnetic particles grin. Or is it just the electric fields around power lines that are dangerous, and not the magnetic fields?

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