Regarding Wi-Fi in
preschools and schools

Without delay, Wi-Fi should be removed from New Zealand pre-schools and schools because of the proven biological effects of radio-frequency radiation. In New Zealand, the telecom industry is heavily involved in driving the policies of use of technology in classrooms, which unfortunately means that there is adherence to the outdated principle that there is no harm from EMF if it doesn't noticeably heat the body.

The radiation from Wi-Fi frequencies has been found to affect memory, the decline of attention, cause oxidative stress, and affect developing sexual organs. 

  • the absorption of electromagnetic energy in a child’s head is considerably higher than that in the head of an adult. A child's brain has higher conductivity, a smaller size, and thinner skull bones than that of an adults brain, however, our regulations are based on that of a large adult.

  • a child’s organism has more sensitivity to  EMF than the adult’s.

  • a children’s brain has higher sensitivity to the accumulation of the adverse effects under conditions of chronic exposure to the EMF because it is developing.

  • EMF affects the formation of the processes of the higher nervous activity.

  • Grigoriev et. Al. (2010) showed that 30 days exposure to demodulated Wi-Fi frequency radiation triggered a small but significant increase in anti-brain antibodies in the blood of rats…..which could then result in an autoimmune attack on the brain and/or nervous system. An example of an autoimmune disease of the brain is Graves disease in which the pituitary gland (at the base of the brain) is affected. 

  • On ScienceDirect Dr Martin L. Pall, (Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences, Washington State University) has tabled the research on the effects of Wi-Fi-on human health.

Some countries, for instance, France and Israel (and also regions within countries) are already passing laws to protect their children: 

100,000s of doctors have signed petitions asking for Wi-Fi's removal from schools. 

A document dated 25.3.2013 (updated from 19.3.2013) by the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine wrote a letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District with the following recommendation:

‘…..do not add to the burden of public health by installing blanket wireless internet connections in Los Angeles Schools.’

Just prior to this in December 2012 the American Academy of Pediatrics   (representing 60,000 Pediatricians ) wrote to Congress requesting more protection from low-level microwave irradiation for children and pregnant women. With regard to Wi-Fi in schools, they wrote:

‘…..this is an unprecedented exposure with the unknown outcome on the health and reproductive potential of a generation.’

 

In 2002, 36,000 Physicians and Scientists etc. signed the ‘Freiburg Appeal’. Ten years later it was re-launched. It specifically warns against the use of Wi-Fi and the irradiation of children, adolescents and pregnant women. Collectively there are approximately 100,000 of the world’s most knowledgeable health professionals expostulating this same warning. While the responsibility to review the science on biological effects in New Zealand appears to rest with one expert who is not a doctor.

 

The Reykjavik Appeal on Wireless Technology in Schools was released following the International Conference on Children, Screen Time and Wireless Radiation in Iceland in 2017.

It discusses: 

  • Cognitive impairments in learning and memory that are shown. Results from the OECD's PISA performance surveys in reading and mathematics show decreasing results in countries that have invested most in introducing computers in school.

  • Multitasking (which tends to be not good for either mental health or for a high quality of achievement).

  • Too many hours in front of a screen, less time for social contacts and physical activities with risk for aches in neck and back, overweight, sleep problems.

  • IT addiction 

 

It asks for:

  • No wireless networks in preschools, kindergartens and schools.

  • A hard-wired direct cable connection is recommended to each classroom for the teacher to use during lessons.

  • Prefer wired telephones for personnel in preschools, kindergartens and schools.

  • Prefer cabled connection to the Internet and printers in schools and turn off Wi-Fi settings in all equipment.

  • Prefer laptops and tablets that can be connected by cable to the Internet.

  • Students should not be allowed to use cell phones in schools. They can either leave them at home or the teacher collects them in turned off mode before the first lesson in the morning.

 

A selection of scientific papers referenced by the appeal: 

  • Sangün Ö, Dündar B, Çömlekçi S, Büyükgebiz A. The effects of electromagnetic field on the endocrine system in children and adolescents. Pediatr Endocrinol Rev. 2015;13(2):531-45.

  • Calvente I, Pérez-Lobato R, Núñez MI, Ramos R, Guxens M, Villalba J et al. Does exposure to environmental electromagnetic fields cause cognitive and behavioral effects in 10-year-old boys.  Bioelectromagnetics. 2016;37:25-36.

  • Hensinger P. Big data: a paradigm shift in education from personal autonomy to conditioning toward excessive consumerism. Umwelt-Medizin-Gesellschaft.. 2015;28;206-13.

  • Megha K, Deshmukh PS, Banerjee BD, Tripathi AK, Ahmed R, Abegaonkar MP. Low intensity microwave radiation-induced oxidative stress, inflammatory response and DNA damage in rat brain. Neurotoxicology. 2015;51:158-65. 

Compared to future medical costs, emotional trauma and lack of productivity costs: fibre is a very cheap option. 

Our children are receiving no precautionary guidance regarding the use of mobile phones, tablets and other devices

 

Portable devices:
'Laptops' are safety tested for the specific absorption of radiation (SARs), with the device kept 20cms away from the 'body' which in SARs testing are really containers of salty water to approximate the body. These devices have fine print warnings about keeping a distance from them, who knows this and where are these warnings? You want to keep a distance from the radiating antenna (which can be near the top edge of the keyboard or the top or side of the screen)  the near field plume is the most dangerous, but also these devices emanate a magnetic field from the motherboard and the monitor. Safe ICT NZ's advice is to keep your device off your body and let's stop calling them laptops. In reality to keep the magnetic field from these lower than the 2MG you possibly need to be 1 metre away from them! They vary in the magnetic field they produce, but The EMF Academy reports tests finding between 25 to 500 mG at 2.5cm away and for perspective, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends you limit your exposure to between .5 mG (milligauss) and 2.5 mG. So keep your laptop 30cms away from the body or do some testing with a meter.

 

According to the opinion of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, the following health hazards are likely to be faced by the children mobile phone users in the near future: disruption of memory, the decline of attention, diminishing learning and cognitive abilities, increased irritability, sleep problems, increase in sensitivity to stress, and increased epileptic readiness. 

Recently Russia released recommendations for children's protection while working at home during the lockdown. These included:

  • Tablets for distance learning at home conditions permissible by adolescents over 15 years of age.

  • The location of the Wi-Fi point should be on a distance of at least 5 metres from the student’s workplace.

  • The tablet is placed on a table on a stand at an angle of 30°.

  • The distance from the screen to the pupil’s eyes is not less than 50cm.

  • It is necessary to exclude work with a laptop or tablet on knees, in hands, lying and the like.

  • For all age categories: for reading and completing tasks, it is recommended to use mainly ordinary books and notebooks.

  • Children under 6 years old must completely exclude the use of any computer equipment for educational purposes at home.

  • Children aged 6 to 12 are advised to minimize the use of computer equipment for educational purposes at home conditions.

Remember that Russia has researched the biological effects of EMF for one hundred and twenty-three years.

Screen time is a mixed bag in relation to cognitive development

There are some mixed findings relating to screen use by children and the effects on their cognitive development. Effects depend a lot on where a child is developmentally and what in what context their screen use takes place. The World Health Organisation recommends no screen use for children up to the age of two because of the way children at this age need to orientate themselves in the world using all of their senses.  

More screen‐time for children means less self-generated imagery

Researchers Sebastian P. Suggate and Philipp Martzog reviewed the findings of screen use by children and asked themselves the question: does screen time help or hinder the creation of mental imagery? Mental imagery lies at the heart of mental life. They conducted a study measuring 266 preschool and primary school children's mental imagery and screen‐time use at two points in time, 10 months apart. What they conclude is that screen‐time participated is linked to reduced mental imagery in children. They recommend limiting screen time and increasing activities to foster mental image-making.

 

Parents For Safe Technology NZ group is a Facebook site for New Zealand parents working on a campaign on this issue, the group wants wired schools, strict guidelines around screen time and no cellphones in schools. 

Regarding safety, we have to avoid the syndrome known in safety education circles as the "cynical bastard" phenomenon, where a senior person accepts the risk as inevitable and promulgates a casualness about risk amongst others. 
 
Instead, we need to aim for the highest safety standard that can reasonably be achieved for our children.  

The Reykjavik Appeal outlines the harm to children from Wi-Fi exposure.

"Imagine you are a 15-year-old schoolgirl. All of the 400,000 eggs in your ovaries were with you at birth. They are not fully developed but they are with you. They are 10 x more susceptible to radiation than all of the other DNA in the body... So the real damage here is [to] your grandchildren! That is where it is going to show most, and we already see this in animals that have reproductive cycles of 1, 2 or 3 years."—Dr Barrie Trower.

Dr Barrie Trower is a British physicist, former Microwave Weapons Expert for the Royal Navy, and former cold-war captured spy debriefer for the UK Intelligence Services. During the 1960s, he was trained at the “Government Microwave Warfare Establishment.”

 

When Dr Trower learned that the communications industry was using power densities and frequencies that were similar to those used as weapons during the Cold War were being used in schools, he decided to come out of retirement and travel to explain exactly what the problem is going to be in the future.

Dr Barrie Trower's submission in relation to civil court action in Oregon to protect children against WiFi.

New Zealand schools Wi-Fi safety testing is done with the children in classrooms all typing to represent the highest use.
 
Typing does not represent the highest amount of radiation generation, which would be emitted when streaming of video takes place, which in project-based work is a likely scenario.

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