Reasons for supporting BCCPAC's Resolutions for Choice and Precaution over the use of Wireless Technology in Schools:
1) Not using wireless doesn't mean not using technology. Not using wireless doesn't mean going with dial-up. Broadband wired network provides faster, more secure and more reliable connection, without microwave radiation. If money is to be spent on further upgrade, fibre optics would be the ideal choice. It is magnitude (thousands of times) faster, does not emit RF-EMF radiation and is the preferred connection in Switzerland for their students' 21st Century Learning.
2) Compared to Shaw/Telus or other consumer grade routers, the commercial grade Wi-Fi routers in schools send much stronger signals. More importantly, signal from routers is only the "background" radiation. Each wireless laptop, iPad or other handheld device has a client card which is a live antenna that also emits beacon signals. When students use these devices to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi network, they have a live antenna in direct/close contact with their bodies, emitting continual microwave frequencies (similar to each person holding a router in his hand / on his desk / having one behind his head from another student behind). Multiply that you get 20-30 times of signals in the classroom. Adding the bounced waves from metal surfaces in the room you get additional "reflection" rates.
3) Most parents are careful not to put a cellphone to the child's ear. They have no idea Wi-Fi radiation from an iPad spikes several times HIGHER than an iPhone on talking transmission. Unlike cellphone signal which is continuous during talking, the Wi-Fi signal stops and goes every few seconds, but peaks at much higher measurements. Also, when a cellphone is on standby, it only "pings" about once per minute to the celltower. When a Wi-Fi enabled device has the Wi-Fi function turned on - even NOT being connected to a network and NOT downloading anything - it still radiates with microwave that peaks every few seconds. Watch the following video of the measurements: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n097VN7KB_A http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVJI-0YogGo
4) Choice - What people use at home is their choice. Most parents who object to wireless in schools do not use Wi-Fi at home. In fact, wired connection at home is faster for browsing and more secure for online banking/shopping or sending personal data. We have measured many schools and most of them do not receive signals form neighbours. For those that do, the signals from neighbours would definitely be weaker than signals that come from the commercial routers inside the school, and way lower than signals coming straight from the tablet or smartphone in direct contact with the student and from the person sitting at the next chair.
5) EHS - Some children are more sensitive to the microwave signals than others and they have valid physical reaction while attending schools with Wi-Fi routers and devices. This condition, know as Electrohypersensitivity (EHS), is a recognized disability in Sweden where there are about 500,000 patients. It is also recognized by the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Microwave radiation is mandatory and penetrating. Resolution #17 provides the only viable way for EHS students to attend school without feeling sick (headaches, heart palpitation, nausea, dizzeness etc). We have nut-free schools and scent-free schools for the similar reasons. See latest findings on EHS by French Health Research:
6) What school boards have received from BC's Chief Medical Officer in referencing the level of Wi-Fi radiation for students was an industry study (Foster 2007) sponsored by Wi-Fi Alliance, the companies that make and sell Wi-Fi products. That study measured laptop radiation from "distances of 1 meter and further". It specifically stated, "The user of a laptop would be exposed to stronger fields than reported here, particularly if the antenna in the client card were close to the user's body. No attempt was made in this study to assess near-field exposures to a user of the laptop itself." (Pg.10 http://www.medfordumc.org/celltower/wifirfexposure.pdf ) The advice that school boards have been given is outdated, irrelevant to current classroom situation, and does not protect the health of children. Actual measurement of "near-field" radiation from a Wi-Fi-enabled device was 700,000 times higher. The probe of our meter was encased inside the speherical casing, about 2cm further in. If in "direct" contact, the levels would be even higher. Children are touching the device directly, in their hands or against their reproductive organs on their laps. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVJI-0YogGo
7) The World Health Organization and Health Canada are both warning parents to reduce exposure for children. It is up to us as parents to take precaution. The Precautionary Principle according to the United Nations is to protect people from harm, especially irreparable harm (such as cancer, heart disease, infertility and damage in brain function as has been demonstrated to result from microwave radiation in animal studies and studies on occupationally exposed humans). The Precautionary Principle applies to such harm from technology that is "scientifically plausible but uncertain", and states that actions should be take BEFORE the harm occurs, to AVOID or PREVENT that harm. It has taken long latency period for the irreparable harm from DDT, PCB, BPA, tobacco and asbestos to show up and decades before "official" health authority ban them with certainty. Parents should absolutely have the choice to follow the advice for precaution.
Doctors and Scientists around the world have warned against unnecessary exposure of children to RF/microwave from wireless technology and recommend safer WIRED internet connection instead, both in school and at home. We are parents who fully support the use of computers and the incorporation of technology in education, and we believe that it must be implemented in a SAFE manner.