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is wireless technology good for our children?

(103 Posts)
djshed Wed 16-Feb-11 22:01:12

I am posting this to help raise awareness of my condition and to hopefully protect all of our children in the future.

Having recently discovered that i am electro hypersensitive (ehs) i have discovered some very disturbing facts about our children's schools their wifi access and the effect our mobile and wireless communications are having on our children. This includes digital baby monitors.

We all enjoy the convenience mobile technology gives us but there may be serious health risks, especially for children.

A classroom fitted with wi-fi means that the children and staff are exposed to constant low-level microwave radiation. A small number of people are likely to suffer symptoms like headaches as a result.

Everyone is affected cumulatively by this exposure and current evidence suggests that children may be more likely to develop medical problems during childhood, as well as cancers and other serious illnesses later in life.

Low-level microwave radiation has also been linked to problems with cognitive skills, particularly memory, concentration and reaction time. Read more about the health effects...

Of particular significance for children are studies which indicate that children absorb more radiation in the brain than adults which may indicate a greater risk of brain tumours.

I have spoken to my four year old son's head teacher and that very afternoon she started to remove the DECT cordless landline phones from the class rooms, this is a great start but the wifi and mobile phone signals are still there. i want to protect my child, what will you do to protect your's from this invisible pollution??

if you have any information on how we can get the schools to take notice and ado[pt a cautionary approach towards this growing technology please respond, also if you want to find out more then respond and lets all get communicating with our children's schools.

many thanks for reading

JBellingham Thu 17-Feb-11 11:24:46

wikipedia article on EHS

BadgersPaws Thu 17-Feb-11 11:35:47

World Health Organisation conclusions: www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs296/en/index. html

"EHS is characterized by a variety of non-specific symptoms that differ from individual to individual. The symptoms are certainly real and can vary widely in their severity. Whatever its cause, EHS can be a disabling problem for the affected individual. EHS has no clear diagnostic criteria and there is no scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF exposure. Further, EHS is not a medical diagnosis, nor is it clear that it represents a single medical problem."

However it's worth noting that they are still very interested in continuing to research the effects of Electromagnetic Fields on health (www.who.int/peh-emf/en/).

The UK's Health Protection Agency concludes that "There is no consistent evidence to date that exposure to RF signals from Wi-Fi and WLANs adversely affect the health of the general population."

Very relevantly to us the HPA also say "On the basis of current scientific information, exposures from Wi-Fi equipment satisfy international guidelines. There is no consistent evidence of health effects from RF exposures below guideline levels and no reason why schools and others should not use Wi-Fi equipment."

So a campaign to support the WHO to continue to look into this is a good idea.

However a campaign to get schools to strip out existing wireless equipment or forcing them to turn down wireless when it can be cheaper than wired seems to be a step too far right now.

BadgersPaws Thu 17-Feb-11 11:36:51

Oh and the HPA page is here:
www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/Radiation/UnderstandingRadia tion/UnderstandingRadiationTopics/ElectromagneticF ields/WiFi/

BadgersPaws Thu 17-Feb-11 11:38:48

Oh and another thing...

I'd also be keen to see Schools consider wired communications devices rather than just assuming that wireless is the way to go. Wired networks, for example, can often be cheaper than wireless networks and are a lot easier to support and fix when they go wrong.

JBellingham Thu 17-Feb-11 11:41:07

Excellent posts BadgersPaw.

kreecherlivesupstairs Fri 18-Feb-11 12:33:49

My DH is an IT teacher, when his last school introduced wireless stuff, he spent hours researching it. He could find no evidence that harm would be done to people exposed to it.

djshed Sat 19-Feb-11 15:21:11

The world health organisation, and most other proclaimers of safe microwave radiation, (which by the way is what we are talking about here, wireless technology transmits using microwave electromagnetic fields), have so far taken their information from outdated, flawed and biased studies.

for example in the 'Interphone' study, the largest study of it's kind so far, only took and reported information on the effects of microwave radiation for the age group 30-59? my son is four?

again the same study they considered a 'frequent user' to be someone who made ONE phone call per WEEK for SIX MONTHs!! how many free minutes do you use each month?

take a look at these links and let the experts tell you and then maybe think again?

http://wiredchild.org/schools.html

http://vimeo.com/17270263

http://vimeo.com/17263893

http://vimeo.com/8109152

i am looking at and acting on this as an individual who can feel the emf's flow through me and i feel the wifi change my mood dramatically! and i do not want to wait to hear my son ask me in ten years time "Why didn't you do anything to protect us when we had the chance?"

one last thing for now is that ehs is a recognised disability and physical impairment in Sweden. There are also an estimated 2 million people suffering badly in the UK with an estimated 45% having milder effects of ehs being misdiagnosed by doctors who do not recognise the condition.

djshed Sat 19-Feb-11 15:28:50

There are 3 really important words to consider in the HPA statement;

"There is no *consistent* evidence to date that exposure to radio signals from Wi-Fi and WLANs adversely affects the health of the *general population*"

Also the HPA announced on 12 October 2007 that it would be carrying out a systematic programme of research into WLANs and their use, to include measurements of exposures from Wi-Fi networks, in particular those in schools.

Have they produced any papers supporting it yet?

in 2004 BMW removed all wifi and cordless dect phones to reduce the levels of microwave radiation to protect their employee's!!

http://vimeo.com/17271105

Snorbs Sat 19-Feb-11 15:33:42

djshed, how did you discover that you were electro hypersensitive?

djshed Sat 19-Feb-11 15:43:56

Food for thought;

if i take a reading using one of my electro smog meters inside a classroom with wifi being used, and i then take a reading from 100 feet away from a mobile phone mast, the reading in the classroom would be 2 to 3 times greater!

remember i would be standing in the the classroom where our children would be standing!

Even without all the science telling us there is reason for concern and further research, just common sense tells me this can't be good!

harvalp Sat 19-Feb-11 16:01:46

One of your 'electro smog' meters??!!!!

I'm sorry, this thread is a load of old cobblers but I shall leave those involved to continue their delusions. I hear tinfoil hats are very useful.

djshed Sat 19-Feb-11 16:03:51

thanks for asking Snorbs, it is a very long story but in brief here goes;

we brought a nintendo wii for christmas and set it up in the morning. by 12 midday i had the mother of all headaches.

let me explain that i have been suffering with chronic pain syndrome related to cervical spondylosis. i get lots of headaches and muscle cramps and spasms. which until now have always been put down to the strong pain killers and medication i have to take to cope day to day.

so back to topic i had to put myself to bed at midday as the pain was unbearable. when i awoke the pain was still there and was not going away.

the day after boxing day, me still with headache, we had friends visit and we started to play wii and the pain grew and grew to the point i felt like tearing my hair out. we switched the wii off and the pain reduced but it was still there, the following day still with a bad head i though i would try something so i took out the batteries to the wii hand controller and the balance board, and the very second the last batteries came out the head ache stopped, just like that.

i have never been able to use nokia phones, it only ever been a party trick really you could blind fold me and i would be able to tell when the nokia was placed in my hands as it would make my arms tingle. i have also had to return many new mobiles over the years as they made me feel funny but never thought anything of it until Christmas day. then i started exploring this dreadful condition.

in 2009 i completed a 6 week residential pain management course called 'INPUT' where i was trained by the Guy's & St Thomas's hospital pain management team to identify my own specific pain and manage it. using my training and experience i have been experimenting and have been able to attribute at least 80% of my chronic pain to EMF exposure. EMF exposure includes the wiring in the house and all the appliances as well as microwaves radiation generated from wireless technology.

i have a very long way to go but i am finding if i avoid exposure where possible my pain is greatly reduced.

djshed Sat 19-Feb-11 16:04:51

do some research harvalp you may find it useful...

harvalp Sat 19-Feb-11 16:26:25

Your own research should be based on a little more science. For example, for the last 2 or 3 days the earth has been subjected to massive bombardments of microwave radiation cause by solar flares. I assume you have noticed these on your 'electro smog' meters?
These are much higher energy levels than any possible technology created radiation. So much so that when they occur, there is always concern about them knocking out satellites and power grid cabling.

Of course there is nothing you can do about them passing through your body except go and live down the deepest mine. And even then, you will still be zapped by even higher energy cosmic rays which pass right through our planet.

gerontius Sat 19-Feb-11 16:38:34

"Even without all the science telling us there is reason for concern and further research, just common sense tells me this can't be good!"

Yeah, let's ignore any scientific evidence for things and just use our common sense. Like all that bollocks about the world being round hmm

djshed Sat 19-Feb-11 18:01:41

I am basing my research on other peoples science in the field of man made microwave radiation and my own personal condition. my emf metering devices, 'electro smog meters' have helped reduce my symptoms by aiding me to avoid higher levels of exposure. i am sure that there are other metering devices out there which would pick up the solar flares you are talking about, but it sounds like you may be more knowledgeable than me and may be able to confirm this.

Indeed cosmic rays have been hitting this planet for millennia, this we can do nothing about, but seeing as the last solar flare, of planetary significance which put out the vast majority of the electricity being used at the time by industry, occurred in 1859. flares of this significance happen every 100 years or so, and the 'experts' indicate because of this fact we are in for alot more of that.

The fact is we are producing a vast amount of low level microwave radiation on an permanent basis all the time 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and this is a slightly different scenario to cosmic rays.

"Put a frog in boiling water and it'll jump straight out, but put it in cold water and heat it slowly and it will be too late by the time it realises!

And one doesn't need to life down the deepest mine to avoid them one only needs to build a 'Faraday cage'. but that would also disconnect one from the earth's very own electromagnetic fields which enriches us on far more than a cellular, level but that is for another science topic.Oh and tin foil hats don't work! ;)

http://vimeo.com/17270263

Snorbs Sat 19-Feb-11 18:40:43

"i have never been able to use nokia phones, it only ever been a party trick really you could blind fold me and i would be able to tell when the nokia was placed in my hands as it would make my arms tingle. "

Wow! I've got some great news for you - I think that ability would qualify for the JREF million dollar prize! As you can reliably tell whether a Nokia phone was turned on or off merely by it being placed in your hand, I think that would be regarded as genuine proof of a hitherto unknown sense.

If you didn't want to keep the money you could then donate it to research to help people with your affliction. What a wonderful gift to the world that would be!

djshed Sat 19-Feb-11 20:24:55

HaHaHa yes very funny, i had to look up the JREF reference to see what you where talking about. There is nothing paranormal about it at all, it is a serious condition that i and many others have to live with! it is a cumulative condition so everyone could be a sufferer before too long.

but my thread was not about my ehs it is about whether or not this wireless technology is good for our children. having people mocking me and others with the same condition was not my intended coal. i am being open and honest, answered what i thought was a serious question as i thought that an intellectual thread may bring this topic to peoples awareness. unfortunately it would appear alot of you are too busy enjoying the convenience of the wireless age to consider the possible long term negative health effect it could be having on everyone especially our children while they are at school.

Snorbs Sat 19-Feb-11 20:41:08

My problem with this is that I don't know for sure one way or the other about the risks of wireless technology. My feelings, based on what science I've seen on the matter and my knowledge of how electromagnetic waves propagate and what happens when they are absorbed, are that if any risks do exist that they are acceptably low.

When I do try to find any evidence of actual risks of such energy, any discussion tends to be surrounded by stuff about electro hypersensitivity etc.

I'm sorry but I cannot take that seriously. A significant number of trials have been carried out on such claims and the word "psychosomatic" could have been invented to describe the results. In all proper tests it has been repeatedly shown that those claiming such sensitivity cannot tell through their symptoms if a transmitter is turned on or off. The results are the same as if the subject had simply guessed at random.

So, on the one hand, there's a lot of hard science that suggests that any issues are of very low risk. On the other, we have a bunch of woo-merchants flogging massively overpriced "electro-smog" meters to the gullible and people claiming sensitivity to fields that they have been shown to be unable to detect.

If there's hard science out there - and, ideally, presented as a peer-reviewed scientific paper from a respected journal rather than Yet Another Vimeo Video - I'd love to see it.

Snorbs Sat 19-Feb-11 20:46:00

Incidentally, I'm serious about the JREF prize. If you really can tell if a Nokia phone is turned on or off merely by touching it, you're in for a million bucks. I am puzzled why you dismiss this so quickly.

BadgersPaws Sat 19-Feb-11 20:51:15

"i am looking at and acting on this as an individual who can feel the emf's flow through me and i feel the wifi change my mood dramatically!"

If you can genuinely do this then you could almost single handily prove that there is something in this so far unproved theory. This is a "provocation study", and scientific tests do not so far give the theory any weight.

At the last count that I'm aware of there have been 37 peer reviewed studies into EMS published. The BadScience web site covers this best:

'There have now been 37 such double blind “provocation studies” published in the peer reviewed academic literature, and they are almost all negative, although you could argue that the evidence is unanimous. There are, to be clear, seven studies that did find some statistically significant effect for electromagnetic signals: but for two of those, even the original authors have been unable to replicate the results; for the next three, the results seem to be statistical artefacts and for the final two, the positive results are mutually inconsistent (one shows worsened mood with provocation, and the other shows improved mood).'

So right now the weight of argument is very much in favour of wireless technologies being of no harm. And all of those studies are, as said, published. You can go and get them, read their methodology, read their results and really understand what they were doing.

"unfortunately it would appear alot of you are too busy enjoying the convenience of the wireless age to consider the possible long term negative health effect it could be having on everyone especially our children while they are at school."

No we're not too busy, a number of us seem to have taken the time to research this, and there doesn't appear to be a problem.

To make matters worse there are a lot of people who make money out of this scare and will try and sell you the aforementioned meters or protective curtains and other such materials.

They will cherry pick their studies and results, where as those who say there is no problem are looking at every published study, to try and sell people things.

Read more on this here: www.badscience.net/2007/06/electrosensitives-the-n ew-cash-cow-of-the-woo-industry/

I don't consider the case to be closed on this, as said I'm keen to see more studies (and if you can do what you say you can then put yourself forward to be a part of one as no one's ever done that before in double-blind laboratory conditions).

BadgersPaws Sat 19-Feb-11 21:12:03

"If you really can tell if a Nokia phone is turned on or off merely by touching it, you're in for a million bucks. I am puzzled why you dismiss this so quickly.'

I'm puzzled too...

With a million dollars you would simultaneously not only prove that their is something behind EHS but gain a large amount of money to either fund your own study or to spend raising awareness of the issue (as if winning a million dollars and proving numerous scientific studies, the HPA and the WHO wrong wouldn't raise awareness enough on it's own).

I'm not saying that there's absolutely nothing to EHS.

What I am saying is that there is no conclusive proof that there is and there have been numerous studies that have set out to test this.

And we can't base public policy, or even a Mumsnet campaign, on something for which they would be no proof yet alone on something which numerous studies have gone through the effort of testing and found no evidence for.

rinabean Sat 19-Feb-11 21:19:13

I'm fairly sure all these symptoms you experience are to do with noise. Where there's no wireless stuff, there's no wires either, no machines and no people. It's a far more rational explanation. I have sensitive hearing and I can hear electronic devices everyone else thinks are silent (yes, I've tested with them being turned on/off when I'm not looking). I'm also quite prone to headaches. Unfortunately I don't think mumsnet can make the whole world shut up once in a while, though it would be nice.

djshed Sat 19-Feb-11 21:31:11

ok fair comment about the vimeo vid's but have you watched them? the people on them are prominent scientists in this field.

have a read of the report on this link. 'cell phones and brain tumours 15 reasons for concern'

www.radiationresearch.org/pdfs/15reasons.asp

i can understand your scepticism, however i am not a gullible individual 'claiming' sensitivity. i am a 10 year long sufferer of chronic pain! finding out that EMF's are the cause of at least 80% of my pain i am a very keen student of the 'FACTs'.

you said "I'm sorry but I cannot take that seriously. A significant number of trials have been carried out on such claims and the word "psychosomatic" could have been invented to describe the results. In all proper tests it has been repeatedly shown that those claiming such sensitivity cannot tell through their symptoms if a transmitter is turned on or off. The results are the same as if the subject had simply guessed at random." so does that mean that if this were the case all of the members of the health and safety concious Swedish government are deluded then for recognising and accepting that this is a physical impairment and considered an official disability, with grants available to sufferers to shield there houses from the microwave pollution around them?

you talk about gullible, we are all swimming in a sea of bullshit when it comes to what the government and communications companies, who fund the research, tell us about their findings. they would have us believe it was good for you to chat for a thousand minutes per month if they could.

in 2000 the "Stuart report" recommended much more research needs to be carried out! No further research has taken place! but out of the 22 billion pounds the government made last year from the auctions of the communications leases and the 15 billion pounds they make every year on the rental of those leases they have spent only 6 million on the research and have to date and none of which included further research of the studies the Stuart report reffered to.

take a look at the ECOLOB study funded and carried out by T-mobile. the ECOLOG review of over 220 peer reviewed and published papers found evidence for; effects on the central nervous system, cancer initiating and promoting effects, impairment of certain brain functions and loss of memory and cognitive functions. It called for an immediate downward regulation for the current guidelines set by ‘ICNIRP’ no further studies have been carried out as yet!! I wonder why??

Take a look at the 'Interphone' study, which is such a flawed study they only looked at the results of participants between the ages of 30 - 59 ??

In not a single Medicine book or journal in the world, be it a genetics, a physiology, a histology, a molecular biology, an embryology, a biochemisty, a microbiology, an internal medicine, a pediatrics, a surgery, a neurology, a cardiology, or any other text, does it say that the human cell was designed to withstand microwave radiation day and night throughout the years.

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