Open Letter – WiFi in Schools (#2)

Date: January 11, 2010

To: Second Open letter to School Boards, Teachers, and Parents

From: Dr. Magda Havas, B.Sc., Ph.D., Trent University, Peterborough, Canada.

Re: ALERT: Wireless routers in schools may be harming students and staff

Very little research has been published on the health effects associated with wireless routers used in schools and on the effects of cell phones on children. Studies have focused entirely on adults and these studies are showing an increased risk of several types of tumors, including tumors of the brain, the eye, the nerve leading to the ear, and the salivary gland with mobile phone use. These tumors appear on the same side of the head used to listen to the cell phone and appear after 10 years of moderate to heavy cell phone use. One of the most recent studies by Hardell and colleagues (2009) reported that the highest risk was for those who started using a mobile phone before the age of 20.

Other studies are finding an increased cancer rate for those who live within 300 to 400 meters of cell phone antennas. The cancer rates are higher and the cancers grow more rapidly than in populations further from these antennas.

This is particularly disturbing for the following reasons:

1. Younger children are beginning to use cell phones and they are much more sensitive to this radiation than adults.

2. Tumors are developing in adults at a much faster rate than expected with cell phone use and this is likely to be even faster for children whose cells are dividing.

3. A growing number of schools are installing wireless routers for internet access. The same frequencies are used for wireless routers in schools as are used for mobile phones (cell and cordless phones). These frequencies are between 2.4 and 6 GHz in North America. Consequently children are receiving a double dose of microwave radiation from both wireless routers and mobile phones.

4. Some of these children may be exposed to wireless routers at home as well and they may be living near cell phone antennas giving them around the clock microwave exposure.

Studies also are documenting reproductive problems for men who use cell phones. There is a decrease in sperm density, motility, and viability. While sperms are produced every few months, females are born with all of their egg cells and are much more vulnerable to damage as a result. To date there have been no studies on the effects of microwave radiation from mobile phones and wireless computers on egg cells and reproductive success in women.

The purpose of this open letter is to alert those who are responsible for the health and safety of children to think twice before installing wireless microwave technology in schools and exposing students and staff to radiation that could be potentially harmful.’

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