Monday 24 November 2014

School Boards are Refusing to Listen to Parents and Teachers about the dangers of Microwave Radiation

Parents and  Teachers’ Unions in Canada, USA, UK, and Germany Have Done Their Research and Do Not Support WIFi in Schools

1)  BCCPAC - The BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils
- 800 Public School PCs & DPACs in BC
- Studied WiFi issue for THREE years

2012 AGM Resolutions adopted for Parent Choice and Precaution:

#18 calls on Boards of Education to "cease to install Wi-Fi and other wireless networks in schools where other networking technology is feasible."

#17 "calls on each Board of Education to have one public school at each education level (elementary, middle, secondary) that is free of Wi-Fi, cordless phones and cell phones. This school will only be equipped with wired computers and wired telephones for personal, educational and administrative purposes.",2,2199

2) BCCPAC 2013 Resolution: On/Off Switches for WiFi Routers and Protocol for Use of Wireless Devices

Adopted by strong majority votes (140-94) on May 4, 2013. Last year, the two resolutions passed by BCCPAC called for a halt in installing wireless network where other networking solutions are feasible, and for the creation of at least one fully-wired school at each level per school district. This 2013.11 resolution focuses on schools which already have WiFi installed and cannot get it removed right now.   

Please read the resolution along with the rationale, which contains important safety information not just for the school environment, but for homes as well. Please share this information with parents, grandparents, teachers, school administrators and school board trustees. We demand that safety protocol be put in place.,19,3111

3) Greater Victoria Teacher’s Association (GVTA): WiFi in Schools

The GVTA recommends a precautionary approach to the School District with regard to provision of wireless internet in schools.

The precautionary approach comes from the environmental movement and has been adopted as common practice in areas regarding potential environmental, ecological or biodiversity damage. It suggests that the lack of significant evidence is not enough of a reason to be unconcerned. The fact that many other countries have instituted regulations to protect children, seniors, pregnant women and other susceptible populations should be the guide for a District policy on WiFi installation and use in the worksites.

The GVTA recommends:
1.     The blanket approach to WiFi coverage needs to be amended.
2.     WiFi free schools should be available for those people who appear to be affected by EMRs and/or EMF.
3.     Staff approaching the Health and Safety Representative with concerns or reporting to be 'electrically hypersensitive' should be advised to:
o        keep a record of any adverse health effects they consider to be caused by exposure to WiFi/WLAN at work; and
o        report any adverse health effects and concerns to their GP.
4.     The use of router stations that will shut down when not in use or no connection is established.
5.    Strategic placement of the routers or only using them in places where they are needed most.
6.     Use of routers that comply with international standards such as those used in Europe (Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland for example).
7.     Minimal or non-use within elementary schools and middle schools.
8.     Before any wireless networks can be set up within a worksite, a complete wireless survey needs to be conducted, so the issue is transparent and open.
9.     Consider developing a policy and regulations governing the use of cell phones and other such devices that utilize WiFi technology, similar to the policy developed by the National Association of Head Teachers in the UK. (Online Safety: a toolkit for early years settings. April 2010. Chpt. 5, Appendices 2)
10. If WiFi routers are installed that annual monitoring and quantification of EMRs and EMFs be conducted annually during regular instructional hours, and that reports are made available via the SD61 website.

4) BCTF passed a resolution March 2013 - 40,000 teachers

The BC Teachers' Federation has adopted this Wi-Fi resolution to protect teachers' health. March 18, 2013,19,3018

5) Canadian Teachers' Federation - over 200,000 teachers across Canada (2013)
  • That Safety Code 6 include a recommendation for prudent use of Wi-Fi whenever possible including the recommendation to limit consistent exposure in schools by turning off wireless access points when not in use.
  • That Safety Code 6 exposure thresholds be based upon both thermal and biological effects of exposure to Wi-Fi
  • That the Expert Panel recommend an education program regarding the relative safety of Wi-Fi exposure and that appropriate resources be developed to educate the public regarding ways to avoid potential exposure risks of Wi-Fi access points and devices.” 

Elementary Teachers Want Cellphones Turned Off In Class - For Health Reasons
by Dan Blakeley, Aug 17, 2013

"Citing workplace safety, the Elementary Teachers Federation of  Ontario has passed resolutions asking that cellphones be turned off in classrooms, unless a student has special permission, and that WiFi transmitters in schools be in the open and clearly marked. The federation is worried about the health risks associated with radiation from the devices. The resolutions are non-binding; it's up to school boards to decide policy on wireless devices."
            From a CBC news report:
"In a separate resolution, ETFO [Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario] voted to study the effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, the potentially harmful radiation emitted by cellphones. A report is due on the matter in February."
Resolutions (2) passed at Elementary Teacher's Federation of Ontatio (EFTO) Annual General Meeting:
1)    15 August 2013,  Resolution - 53. Peel Teacher Local: 
"That ETFO study the impact of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, including the possible implications for schools and members, with a report with recommendations to the February 2014 Representative Council.
There are growing health and safety concerns regarding the widespread use of technologies, which produce and emit non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation. It is estimated that over one million Canadians have an environmental sensitivity to this radiation and experience serious physical and biological effects. As has been the case with other known societal health dangers, the health effects of long-term exposure to this radiation may not be known for some time. Widespread exposure to wireless communication devices and infrastructure in Ontario schools can be a potential workplace hazard. Further study is needed to ensure the safety of members."
2) 15 August 2013, Resolution - 90. Peel Teacher Local:
“That ETFO, through OTF, lobby the Ministry of Education, the Ministry or
Labour, and the Ministry of Health to ensure that school boards:

1. Follow the 'Right to Know" legislation under the Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act by clearly labelling the location Of Wi-Fi access points

2. Develop a hazard control program related to wireless microwave radiation through the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC).”
Please see attachment or go to “Session 7" at:

Ontario Teachers' Union Votes To Ban Cell Phones In Classrooms

7) The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association - 37,000 teachers (2012)

A position regarding the use of Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation, including WiFi, in the workplace:

1. We do not know what the long-term effects of low-level non-ionizing radiation are on those who are exposed (workers and students). No form of radiation can be deemed ‘safe’ as it depends on the constitution of the individual exposed, the amount of exposure as well as a sufficient amount of time to pass to observe any health effects that have a long latency period (i.e. cancer).

  2. The WHO has classified low-level non-ionizing radiation in the microwave band associated with celluar phones as a class 2b carcinogen (possible carcinogen) and Health Canada has warned about limiting the use of handheld personal electronic equipment such as cellular phones among youth. Initializing WiFi for personal electronic equipment will result in an unpredictable exposure as use varies.

 3. A segment of the population are environmentally sensitive (a disability according to the Canadian Human Rights Commission) to low level non-ionizing radiation and may experience immediate physical/biological reactions when exposed.

 4. Employers including School Boards have the duty to accommodate persons with disabilities including that of electro-hypersensitivity. A widespread investment in a redundant WiFi network may limit the ability to reduce WiFi exposure thereby accommodating workers with an electro-hypersensitivity disability.

 5. The safety of this technology has not thoroughly been researched and therefore the precautionary principle and prudent avoidance of exposure should be practiced.

 6. The purposeful introduction of non-ionizing radiation transmitters, such as WiFi, into the work place is considered to be the introduction of new equipment that presents a potential health and safety hazard for workers. As such, it is the duty of the Joint Health and Safety Committee to develop a hazard control program to; assess the risk of injury from the potential hazard, recommend controls to be applied to address the hazards, and to monitor the effectiveness of the applied controls.

 7. Administrative and physical control methods to address the hazards of non-ionizing radiation, such as WiFi, in the workplace are readily available and relatively easy to apply. Application of controls would be completely consistent with the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) approach and the precautionary principles as well as the general duty clause, Section 25 (2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

 I. OECTA recognizes that there is a growing concern regarding the potential adverse health effects of the use of wireless technology which requires the broadcasting of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, typically in the radio/microwave frequency band.
 II. OECTA recognizes that the installation of WiFi microwave transmitters and the expanded use of wireless devices in Catholic schools and educational facilities across the Province of Ontario may present a potential Health and Safety risk or hazard in the workplace.
 III. OECTA recognizes the need to provide information to the Joint Health and Safety Committee(s) at the local Unit level regarding the potential hazards and prudent avoidance control measures regarding the presence of non-ionizing radiation (WiFi) in the workplace such that they may exercise their powers as established under S. 9(18) the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
 IV. OECTA post this position paper on the OECTA website.

8) United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) - 40,000 teachers & staff
2013 Resolution:

“UTLA will abide by current National NEA Policy for Environmentally Safe Schools which states that all employees and stakeholders should be informed when there are changes in their exposure to environmental hazards including electromagnetic radiation and that all stakeholders and the public should be notified of any actual and potential hazards. UTLA will advocate for technological solutions that maintain technology upgrades while not increasing employees exposure to electromagnetic radiation.”

9) United Federation of Teachers - 200,000 teachers and educational professionals in New York City (2014)

Advisory: Wireless radiation is emitted by the myriad of wireless devices we encounter every day. It was once thought to be relatively harmless. However, we now know that wireless radiation can cause non-thermal biological effects as well, including damage to cells and DNA, even at low levels.

10) UK: Voice - The Union for Education Professionals - 20,000 members

 “In the last few years there has been a great weight of evidence from around the world which suggests that exposure to electromagnetic radiation can have long-term health impacts, particularly on children, and that exposing young children (from birth to 12) to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) can produce changes in cell formation, genetic changes, and potential cancers.
Exposure levels are only half the story; length of exposure is crucial too. Long exposures at lower intensity levels may be as damaging as high exposure levels for short periods hence our concern about wireless networks in schools and nurseries.
It is a considerable concern that in schools we are installing wi-fi systems and we have no clear evidence that they are safe. Our concern is that until they are declared to be safe and proven to be safe we should not be installing them in schools.
The difficulty is that once installed in schools, they are switched on constantly. Whether the children are using them or not, they are exposed to that level of radiation.
Voice has advocated that new wi-fi systems should not be installed in schools, that existing systems should be turned off when not required and that schools should consider whether they really need to use wi-fi, which was developed to facilitate Internet access on the move rather than to be used as a convenient alternative to cables in dedicated IT facilities.”

11) UK ATL: Association of Teachers and Lecturers - more than 160,000 members (2009)

12) UK PAT: Professional Association of Teachers - 35,000 members (2007)

13) Germany GEW: Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (Education and Science Workers’ Union) - 260,000 members

* * *

(2013) Members of 5 major unions in France which represented workers of the following large corporations and organizations protested to
demand reduction of electromagnetic radiation in their work place.

WiFi Safety in Schools  -  16:9 The Bigger Picture (about 14 minutes):  

No comments:

Post a Comment