School Bans Wi-Fi Over Heatlh Concerns

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School Bans Wi-Fi Over Heatlh Concerns

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An Ontario elementary school has become the first in Canada to ban Wi-Fi because of health concerns after students complained of feeling sick after the wireless system was installed.

Wi-Fi is a very common, widely available wireless networking technology but one place you won't find it is St. Vincent Euphrasia elementary school in Meaford, Ontario. Parents voted to remove and ban Wi-Fi transmitters from the school because of the risk they pose to students, some of whom fell ill not long after they were installed.

"After learning the whole story about how risky Wi-Fi is, parents voted to protect their children's health and plug the computers back in with hardwires," said school council member Andrew Couper. "This is something every school council across Canada should be questioning."

Couper's breathless concern over "the whole story" notwithstanding, extensive research conducted by the World Health Organization's International EMF Project, launched in 1996, has found that exposure to electromagnetic fields below the recommended ICNIRP limits "do not produce any known adverse health effect." The Health Protection Agency, meanwhile, states, "There is no consistent evidence to date that Wi-Fi and WLANs adversely affect the health of the general population," and that it "sees no reason why Wi-Fi should not continue to be used in schools."

Health Canada also addressed the matter with a statement saying, "Wi-Fi is the second most prevalent form of wireless technology next to cell phones. It is widely used across Canada in schools, offices, coffee shops, personal dwellings, as well as countless other locations. Health Canada continues to reassure Canadians that the radiofrequency energy emitted from Wi-Fi equipment is extremely low and is not associated with any health problems."

Nonetheless, parents are worried and their concerns are bolstered by a number of high-placed, vocal Wi-Fi critics. Susan Clarke, a former research consultant to the Harvard School of Public Health, said the thinner skulls and smaller brains of children make them more susceptible to absorbing the wavelengths of Wi-Fi signals, while provincial NDP Health Critic France Gelinas added, "Within a few months of Wi-Fi being installed, stories start coming forward with kids complaining about headaches, neurological effects, loss of balance and problems with fine motor skills. There is enough anecdotal evidence from parents that this is worth looking into."

Sources: Ottawa Sun, CBC

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Not a fan of wireless, myself.
Just using a mobile makes my head feel weird.

There's something more than people imagining things going on with the microwaves being emmited from wireless devices, if you were to ask me, anyway.

You know another way kids get sick at school? By being stuffed in rooms full of their germ-infested classmates. I hope that was considered, too.

Or maybe it was food poisoning, or a student has a very contagious sickness.

You know, look into everything instead of just labeling all on one culprit.

This is in the listening area of the radio station I work at.
We've been running this story on our news cast, and I think it's ridiculous.
Seems more like sensationalism then a genuine health problem.

Clearly they put in a lot of scientific study in this.

"Hey guys this is just a coinci-"

"WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!"

Eh I prefer Hardline ethernet anyway. I Just have had so many horrendous experiences with wireless devices it is no biggy to me the fact that more and more full sized devices going wireless is an added annoyance.

In reality though I highly doubt wireless had anything to do with kids sickness, they would have been sick long before it was put in.

They use microwaves to broadcast, the same as every wireless communication device on the planet. Is the school also planning on getting rid of all it's AM/FM radios?

All I know is that I've been steadily getting dumber after being on the internet... wirelessly.

Actually, I'm pretty sure it's just the internet.

Anyone else think it was because kids were playing on mobiles with internet access rather than working or something along those lines?

The f**k. They're ELEMENTARY SCHOOL KIDS. If a third the class isn't ill with something, then you've probably got a few pod people infiltrating your area.

Til someone gets a good, fully independent/non biased, double blind, large sample-space and otherwise scientifically and statistically valid study on the go - and it finds that sub-1-watt, non-focussed levels of non ionising radiation at a frequency also emitted by the sun, or at much higher levels by kitchen equipment, somehow causes a measurable detriment to human health - I'm calling horseshit on the very idea.

It's the whole thing that people hear "radiation" and think automatically think "hiroshima, chernobyl" again, then start looking for the slightest pattern of unusual activity around them. Never mind that they'll happily sit out for hours under the planet's largest vaguely-local source of nuclear radiation whilst on vacation. And don't seem (any longer) to have much issue with the very similar radiation required to e.g. run the teacher's cellphone, beam in the educational TV and radio programmes that they may show to the children at some point in the day, allow GPS to work etc. I wonder even if they're maybe close to some power lines, or an air traffic control radar? Either of those -should- have a bigger effect, even allowing for inverse square law and the like.

Wi-fi is the boogeyman of the moment, and we'll see this whole palaver disappear quietly into the dust when the next big bad phantom rolls along. The emissions from a typical 802.11 AP are the radiological equivalent of a mouse fart... in a hurricane. Take 'em on a tour of a radiology, or better yet radiotherapy deparment and let them see some serious (and beneficial - if properly handled) radiation at work. Then tell them that being in the beam does damage equivalent to being stabbed with all the wifi points in their county at the same time. Will they get the hospital shut down because of the danger of that leaking out and hurting the children?

/ex nuclear medicine technician and current IT tech in a department that can't actually get hold of APs powerful enough to penetrate a useful distance through our steel-reinforced concrete structures.

EDIT - oh, and what if they have PCs with CPUs operating at 2.4Ghz, and poorly shielded casings?

Tim Latshaw:
You know another way kids get sick at school? By being stuffed in rooms full of their germ-infested classmates. I hope that was considered, too.

And florescent lights.

I think it's fine, though it caters only to a special few as some people can feel weird being around electronics like wireless routers. I, for example, always feel better being around a computer even if I'm not doing anything.

i doubt it's the wi-fi, I use wi-fi all the time and I've never gotten sick from it.

Correlation =/= Causation. I still can't believe I have to keep saying that...

What we have here is a lack of actual investigation. There are about 100000000000000000 things that could make the kids sick and until you investigate all the children who allegedly got ill from wi-fi and can guarantee that they didn't get sick from getting sneezed on, touching door handles, or not washing their hands then I would say that you're probably a little crazy to assume it was the internet that did it.

My college is one of the most wireless campuses in the United States and we aren't all dead in our rooms. Granted, we are because we don't want to go to class...

>> and the fluorescent lights

aha... I think you just fingered the next boogeyman. High-freq fluorescents. Thus far, they've been a revelation... silent, efficient, better light quality. It's only a matter of time before some twat gets their underwear in a knot and ruins it for everyone.

Argh! People can imagine that they're feeling sick! I'm doing it right now, completely intentionally.

We have a huge amount of control over our bodies, and being told that you should be feeling ill is very likely to actually cause it. It's a stupid reason to remove an expensive system which has never shown any adverse effects elsewhere in the world.

Pah. I'd be willing to bet that all the florescent lights stuffed into the ceiling cause more harm than wi-fi.

Wow, reminds me of the guy who went to court over a neighbour setting up a wifi in his area because these things "make him feel ill".

I hope that whenever I become a father I retain my basic common sense.

Desworks:
They use microwaves to broadcast, the same as every wireless communication device on the planet. Is the school also planning on getting rid of all it's AM/FM radios?

AM and FM frequencies aren't microwaves.

Andy Chalk:
Nonetheless, parents are worried and their concerns are bolstered by a number of high-placed, vocal Wi-Fi critics.

And how many are even bothering to do a little bit of research themselves? If they listen to one biased group that hardly did any work themselves in the matter, then the parents are as guilty of being ignorant. Are we really in that lazy of a society anymore?

Health Critic France Gelinas added, "Within a few months of Wi-Fi being installed, stories start coming forward with kids complaining about headaches, neurological effects, loss of balance and problems with fine motor skills. There is enough anecdotal evidence from parents that this is worth looking into."

Anecdotal? Seriously? When people don't bother to use the proper words to stress what they are trying to say, they are only making themselves sound as dumb as they really are.

Tim Latshaw:
You know another way kids get sick at school? By being stuffed in rooms full of their germ-infested classmates. I hope that was considered, too.

Probably not. That's too ordinary. They have to go with something NEWSWORTHY in order to make a big deal out of it.

Of all the possible causes they could've gone with:
bad cafeteria food
kids bringing in contaminants from outside the school's controlled environment
teachers and faculty doing the same
some asshole dumping garbage on campus
idiots setting off some of the nastier stink bombs

of all the possible causes, they immediately pick the one that doesn't make ANY sense.
Yeah... it has to be that damned newfangled wifi.

This just in: Earth's magnetic field causes unfortunate few to have headaches!

BAN IT!!!!1!!1ELEVENSIES

"After learning the whole story about how risky Wi-Fi is, parents voted to protect their children's health and plug the computers back in with hardwires," said school council member Andrew Couper.
My immediate reaction was to call BS, but after reading it through, I'm not sure. I have no educated opinion on the matter. Has a scientific study ever been done? I can certainly see why children would be much more vulnerable. I would like to hear this "whole story." I would say "Come back when there's an analytical increase in cancer rates" but my personal policy is preemptive action and better safe than sorry.
It's probably mass hysteria and/or a bout of the flu. These effects seem pretty mild and subjective.

So naturally parents are going to take away all their cell phones too right?

...right?

Tim Latshaw:
You know another way kids get sick at school? By being stuffed in rooms full of their germ-infested classmates. I hope that was considered, too.

"Um, shouldn't we consider that black mold on the ceiling?"

"Shut up, blame technology!"

OT: This seems ridiculous. Schools are very public places. Public places breed illness. Everyone eventually gets the bug and then they all get better. Here is my prediction of a follow up article: "More kids feeling sick. School removes lights. Kids to work with candles."

Oh Ontario :)

this is a school, a centre of knowledge. they really should know better than to listen to anecdotal evidence. Especially in the face of real scientific evidence to the contrary.

I'm going to list a couple reasons why kids get 'sick' at school:
-Genuine sickness
-Being around classmates whos parents were too stupid to keep them home and prevent them from spreading their sickness
-Food poisoning/bad diet
-Headaches and stressed based inflictions (Be it home or school based, you get one out of every 50 or more kids who have this)
-FAKING IT

These five reasons are a MUCH more sense as the cause of these kids 'sickness'... And I bet those kids are looking to blame the wifi as a bullshit reason for going home early.

Remove the wifi, the lies will come tumbling down and those little bastards will be exposed. Wifi will return to the school eventually and then when someone complains about the wifi, they'll be told to suck it up, LIKE THEY SHOULD.

This makes sense to me, and it kind of upsets me that so many of you are instantly saying OMG [email protected]!1212//1

Wi-Fi utilises microwave radiation to send signals, you know the same stuff thats cooks your pizza pockets in a microwave. It has been know to cause cancer and other illnesses, personally after prolonged exposer to Wi-Fi i get migranes, sometimes these can be serious other times they are just a nuicence; on another note because wi-fi and microwave radiation is becoming more populer more and more people (including children) are having migranes and other possibly dangerous health issues.

There will be more schools to do this...

Well when the next lot of school kids shoot up there classmates, i am sure they will be glad atleast they did get the brain fried by WiFi. Way i see it, everything can kill you in school. Food poisoning, woodwork class and all the stuff in chemistry. It is just another fear thing and they are more worried being sued by parents. I say why worry, if WiFi was indeed a major risk then i am sure we would be told by now.

Great, the media has a new thing to fear. Like hating vaccines wasn't good enough for them.

Andy Chalk:
Nonetheless, parents are worried and their concerns are bolstered by a number of high-placed, vocal Wi-Fi critics.

Define 'high placed, vocal Wi-Fi critics'....I wasn't sure we allowed that kind of idiocy to go any further than politics. But...seriously...how do you criticise Wi-Fi? I won't deny that you can have some effects from technology, hell, walking through a shop's anti-theft alarms makes me tingle all over.

samsonguy920:

Health Critic France Gelinas added, "Within a few months of Wi-Fi being installed, stories start coming forward with kids complaining about headaches, neurological effects, loss of balance and problems with fine motor skills. There is enough anecdotal evidence from parents that this is worth looking into."

Anecdotal? Seriously? When people don't bother to use the proper words to stress what they are trying to say, they are only making themselves sound as dumb as they really are.

I just watched a youtube video about how anecdotes are unusable to prove anything. Huh.

Althought I do remember hearing of a neighbourhood complaining about ill health due to a radio tower... which wasn't even on at the time.

Wi-Fi utilises microwave radiation to send signals, you know the same stuff thats cooks your pizza pockets in a microwave. It has been know to cause cancer and other illnesses, personally after prolonged exposer to Wi-Fi i get migranes, sometimes these can be serious other times they are just a nuicence; on another note because wi-fi and microwave radiation is becoming more populer more and more people (including children) are having migranes and other possibly dangerous health issues.

Correlation doesn't imply causation, though I suspect looking at tiny mobile phone screens, tv, and computer screens will cause a bit of eye strain that, yes, will cause bad headaches. I doubt any such proof of cancer after long exposure has been proven in any way shape or form, to my knowledge their power would be limited to heating in very high exposures, not any direct DNA damage.

I won't deny that you can have some effects from technology, hell, walking through a shop's anti-theft alarms makes me tingle all over.

Yet several billion people wouldn't feel a thing which leads me to logically conclude you're either a mutant with extra senses or you're psychosomatically feeling the tingling in reaction to your concious knowledge of walking through a detector rather than anything its doing to you.

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