Industrial Wi-Fi in our schools: “Why or Why not” presentation on September 25

Above: The schools are excited by the learning potential for students using iPads in the classroom. But some parents are worried about the type of Wi-Fi used by the schools for the devices. (Photo posted to Flickr by flickingerbrad)

Last year, the community debated about a parent-funded 1:1 iPad pilot. For most, their issues were resolved when Neary School announced it would provide iPads in class. Public debate ended.

But for some parents, their concerns haven’t disappeared. Some had health related worries.

Now I’m hearing about parents specifically troubled by the use of  Wi-Fi. This isn’t like the Wi-Fi that you probably have at home.

One parent wrote to me:

Wi-fi is ubiquitous in today’s society but schools are using the new generation of Wi-fi. . .

even more problematic from an exposure standpoint and children are more vulnerable to the effects of the RF radiation the devices and the wi-fi emit constantly emit.ny children are experiencing sensitivity to industrial Wi-fi in schools (headaches, dizziness, chest pain/pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, vision and hearing disturbances, dermatological symptoms etc.)

Industrial Wi-Fi is characterized by more sensitive MIMO (multi input/multi output) antennas, the capacity for high RF energy beam forming, higher order modulation, wider bandwidth and throughput capabilities, etc. All of these factors contribute to an industrial , blanket, chronic, and involuntary exposure at school.

That writer represents one of a small group of parents who reached out to an expert in the field, Michael D’Aleo. They asked D’Aleo to come to Southborough to present his knowledge and answer questions on the subject.

The presentation is scheduled for Thursday, September 25, 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Southborough Library:

Wi-Fi in Schools

Why, Why Not!

A discussion of health risks & solutions for the safer use of technology

Presented by Michael D’Aleo

Michael D’Aleo, is an engineer, author, and physics teacher. He lectures nationally and internationally on topics of science, education and environmental issues. Mr. D’Aleo is the co-author of Sensible Physics Teaching and forthcoming title Embracing Materialism and Letting it Go.

He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University and has worked in the electronics industry for several years. Mr. D’Aleo is listed as inventor on 17 US and several International patents.

Additionally Michael suffers from electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) and will demonstrate firsthand how the convenient technology we all love can have a negative impact on health, specifically for children. He will discuss safer ways to use technology in the digital age and prudent suggestions for reducing exposure for children.

The Wi-Fi in question was installed by the schools so they could utilize iPads in school classrooms.

Increasing use of the iPads as learning tools is a priority for the Southborough schools and School Committee. Over the past year, the schools have increased regular iPad use in the 4th and 5th grade classrooms. The School Committee hopes to expand 1:1 use to Middle School as the Neary students advance.

And eventually, they want to increase use in earlier grades. In fact, this year iPads replaced the apple computers in 2nd & 3rd grade “Computer” classes.

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Greg
8 years ago

Two things:

1) There’s no such thing as “industrial” WiFi — at least not in terms that would impact RF exposure. When that term is used, it usually refers to routers and other WiFi hardware being made extra-rugged so it can survive harsh environments and last longer. The factors mentioned (MIMO, beam forming…) are just features of the latest WiFi standards, which are prevalent in homes as well.

2) Ultimately, WiFi is just radio waves — nothing more, nothing less. And in the grand spectrum of all radio waves, it’s pretty weak. If someone is concerned about WiFi, they should be *really* concerned about the the higher-powered radio waves we’re being constantly exposed to all the time from TV, radio, and even the universe itself via cosmic background radiation.

david
8 years ago

both commenters 1. and 2. are dead wrong. the routers in schools are made to be used by hundreds of students which requires a very strong signal. the more computers in a room only increases the amount of exposure which is, in spite of commenter 2’s false belief that microwaves from wi fi is harmless. wi fi utilizes PULSED radio frequency microwave radiation. the key word here is pulsed. look it up. one can’t compare a few radio towers to the millions of routers that are flooding schools and polluting neighborhoods with microwave radiation. Different power densities have different effects and there is no safe level of exposure. This has been proven many times. for more information: http://www.wirelesswatchblog.org

Greg
8 years ago
Reply to  david

The power emitted by a WiFi router has nothing to do with the number of devices that router can support. In theory, increasing the power would increase the *range*, but in practice that’s not how you’d increase the range of a wireless network (since you couldn’t correspondingly increase the power of the wireless adapters in each device so they could talk back to the router). The number of devices that can be supported is a function of the particular wireless standard and frequency in use. And it’s worth pointing out that the maximum power a WiFi router can emit is limited by the FCC, based on studies of what levels are safe (what a good idea).

And, you are right that WiFi uses pulsed radio transmissions. It’s worth pointing out that that’s not terribly unusual or unique, though. As just two examples, GPS satellites also communicate with devices on earth using pulsed transmissions, and so do the transponders on aircraft — and both of those are much, much more powerful than WiFi routers, since they have to have such a huge range.

It’s worth mentioning that no one is trying to say that radio waves are 100% safe at all levels in all situations — that would be silly. It’s just prudent to keep things in perspective, that in the grand scheme of all things constantly transmitting radio waves at us, WiFi routers are both incredibly weak, and quite useful, and should be the least of our concerns.

david
8 years ago

Greg. For whom are you commenting on behalf of? The FCC Standards were set in 1996 when it was made “illegal” to consider banning the location of a cell tower for “health or environmental concerns” of course you know that. The voting block that gave the go ahead were made up primarily of industry and military personnel. So called “non thermal” studies were not considered. To make a very long story short, The Russian ambient exposure levels are a hundred times less than ours. What do they know that our industry and “government” also knows but is not telling us.
Environmental Lawyer Talks About Wifi In Schools September 10 2014 | From: Youtube

Wi-Fi Utilizes the Most Lethal Microwave Frequencies 0.95 and 2.45 GHz Dr. Magda Havas, BSc, PhD September 6, 2010.

Canadian Teachers’ Federation Brief on Wi-Fi Exposure in Classrooms Brief to the Expert Panel of the Royal Society of Canada Reviewing Safety Code 6 Canadian Teachers’ Federation, October 2013 25 April 2014

Is wireless technology in Swedish schools adversely affecting the kids? EM Facts Consultancy. March 14, 2014

Canadian Medical Association: Federal Wi-Fi safety report is deeply flawed, say experts April 16, 2014

Olle Johanson: Kick Out Politicians Who Give Students Hazardous Ipads & Other Wireless Technology Swedish School Scores Plummeting Since Introduction of Wireless Technology

Santa Clara County (California) MD warns: Internet and Wi-Fi in schools can affect learning Feb. 2014

UK Expert Report In-depth analysis of health issues resulting from the use of WiFi in schools January 2014

Great Article From the B.C. Teachers Federation: WHY WI-FI DOES NOT BELONG IN SCHOOLS

Dr. Martin Pall (Internationally acclaimed scientist) & Merry Callahan Testify Before the Portland OR Schoolboard About the Biological and Ethical Problems of Exposing Children to Radiation From Wi Fi in Schools November / 2013

Papers finding adverse biological effects or damage to health from Wi-Fi signals, Wi-Fi-enabled devices or Wi-Fi frequequencies

American Academy of Environmental Medicine Open Letter to Superintendents of School Districts of the U.S. May 13, 2013

Ipads: How Safe Are Our Children? The Green Gazette July-August 2013

American Academy of Pediatrics Statement to FCC Regarding Dangers of Wireless Technology to Children. FCC 13-84 09-03-2013

Professor Olle Johansson: WI Fi in Schools = Irreversable Sterility in Future Generations August: 2013

The Collaboration for High Performance Schools (CHPS) has decided to take a stand against EMF in their most recent version of National Core Criteria August 2013

UK doctors letter wifi SSITA 6 June 2013
France Enacts the Precautionary Principle. Move Towards Removal of WiFi From Schools
Barrie Trower: 14 Video Clips on Wi Fi in Schools. Must Watch!!
Microwave Weapons Specialist Barry Trower says, “Wi Fi Same as Microwave Weapon” The Real Agenda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 7, 2013: LA Teacher’s Union Passes Resolution to Ensure Safety from Hazardous Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) in Schools including EMF Emiss ions from Wireless Technology

HARVARD DR. WARNS AGAINST WI FI IN SCHOOLS Feb. 8th Letter to L.A. Unified School District

Facebook Link: Parents Against Wi Fi in School

Removal of Wi-Fi from Schools and Libraries in Canada and Other Countries

Medical Doctors Warn About The Risk Of Wi-Fi In Schools Short Video

The Real Reason For Wi-Fi In Schools by Brian Thiesen | November 14, 2012

NYU Professor: Put Away Your Laptops Or “Go Enroll In The University Of Phoenix” By Ben Zweig on September 13th, 2012 NYU LOCAL

Doctors Information Package October 2012 & Large List of Scientific Studies

Position Paper on Use of RFID Chips in Schools Chip Free Schools 10/2012

5 Minute Video Explains Wi Fi Threat

Israel: Deputy Minister of Health Says, “Rethink Wi Fi in Schools” “No Radiation For You” Blog

SAFE SCHOOLS 2012 — Medical and Scientific Experts Call for Safe Technologies in Schools (Extremely Comprehensive Overview) June 25 2012

IPAD Danger Worse Than Cell Phone Globe & Mail, June 5 2012

[caption id="attachment_1491" align="alignright" width="219"] RF Reading in Mt. Tabor Middle School[/caption]

Ontario Catholic Teachers Union Calls for Wi Fi Ban in Schools. March 2012

“IARC Classification of RF as Possible Class 2B Carcinogen Includes Wi Fi” Dr. Baan, IARC April, 2012

VIDEO: Wi Fi In Schools; Is it Safe? Magda Havas (xlnt

Dr. Sinatra WI FI HARMFUL TO CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS) VIDEO

Second Ontario School Removes Wi Fi Due to Health Concerns (Digital Journal 10/15/2011

(VIDEO) Wi-Fi in Schools: Testing for Microwave Radiation Dangers in the Classroom

Petition to End Wi Fi in Schools Citizens for Safe Technology

WI-FI ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS EXERT GENDER RELATED ALTERATIONS ON EEG
CHRISTOS N. CAPSALIS

Radiation Fears Prompt Possible Restrictions on Using Wi Fi in Schools
Rory Watson

Effects of Wi-Fi Signals on the p300 Component of Event-Related Potentials During an Auditory Hayling Task — June, 2011

Dr. David Carpenter Letter on Wi Fi in Schools

Why Children Are More Vulnerable Than Adults Microwave News, May 2010

Paul Wehrle, Candidate for School Board Explains Effects of Wi Fi

VIDEO:- Dr. George Carlo: Wi Fi and Schools, Children are More Vulnerable. Part 1..

VIDEO: Dr. George Carlo: Wi Fi in Schools – Part 2

WI FI RISKS IN SCHOOLS MUST BE REVIEWED

Radiation Education Action Pack !! Download

SCHOOL’S GUIDE
Brochure

Magda Havas’ Site

Powerwatch on Wi Fi

EMF Fertility Citations 2011 No Abstracts

Greg
8 years ago
Reply to  david

For the record, I’m just an engineer living in town who’s worked with this stuff for a long time. I don’t have a horse in this race other than trying to make sure that things that are presented as fact are, in fact, facts.

Since this thread has degenerated into government conspiracies and pages of links to blog posts and questionable websites, I won’t be making any more responses. I think you’ve made my point for me.

Fiona
8 years ago

Beth, I do not know much about this topic area, but I was provided with information from Cece Lee Doucette, a mom in Ashland who spearheaded an effort in her town with the schools to limit the health effects of wi-fi on children. Just thought I would share her opinion and resources below.

Cece says, “I am very encouraged though that Southborough Public Library is hosting this event. I am so proud of the Ashland School Committee for doing their due diligence when I raised this issue as it was news to all. They did in-depth research and at our staff orientation last week our Curriculum Director began training our teachers to download apps in advance where practicable, disable the wi-fi when not in use, ensure the students are at least 12″ away from monitors, and only use wireless devices on a desk, never on the body.”

“I bought an EMF meter that I used with our technology department to measure radiation in the learning and work environment. I took measurements in my own home too. I showed my family what it was all about, and my teenage daughters no longer put their laptops on their laps. We put our router on a timer, and bought hollow-tube headsets so the radiation doesn’t travel up the wire as it does with traditional headsets right into the ear canal. I also never put the cordless phones up to my head, they emit a lot of radiation too.”

“My head was spinning as I began to delve into EMFs, so to keep the information straight and in a format I could refer back to, I created a simple Google Site”: https://sites.google.com/site/understandingemfs/home. FYI, the best resource for scientific, peer-reviewed information is http://www.bioinitiative.org/

Frank Crowell
8 years ago

I wonder if MCAS scores would get even better if WiFi were removed from the schools. There must be a study on that somewhere.

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