Expert forum on mobile phone and wireless risks to children, June 2015, videos and slides of presentations. Speakers addressed the questions: Should safety guidelines be strengthened to protect adults, children and vulnerable populations? Should parents, teachers and schools restrict technology overuse among children?
An increase in the number of tumours of the brain or central nervous system of unknown type in the population in Sweden follows the increase in use of mobile phones from 1999 to 2013 (Hardell and Carlberg, 2015, Int J Environ Res Public Health 12:3793).
Videos of the Conference at the Belgium Royal Academy of Medicine on Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity, May 2015 (also accessible on YouTube). Article 'Electrohypersensitivity conference debunks 'nocebo effect' theory', by André Fauteux.
Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Commission is Dominated by the Industries it Presumably Regulates, by Norm Alster. "the FCC, prodded by an industry ever on the lookout for incremental growth opportunities, is ignoring the health of youngsters to promote expanded Wi-Fi subsidies in schools across the U.S.".
In 2009 Gul et al published a paper which showed that when pregnant rats were exposed to a mobile phone signal for 30 minutes a day, their female offspring had approximately a third fewer follicles (eggs) in their ovaries than the control (unexposed) rats. Now Bakacak et al (2015) have reported that exposing female rats to a mobile phone signal for 15 minutes a day for 15 days significantly and dramatically reduced the number of follicles in their ovaries. Exposed rats had less than 50% of the number of ovarian follicles than the control rats, after just 15 days. Schools are exposing girls to wireless Wi-Fi-enabled devices on a daily basis, often positioned on their lap or desk, with the transmitters close to their ovaries. Schools may be dramatically reducing the fertility of girls. Use of Wi-Fi-enabled devices in schools needs to be stopped until the effects on fertility have been properly investigated.
On the 11th May 2015, 190 scientists from 39 nations submitted an appeal to the United Nations, UN member states and the World Health Organization (WHO) requesting they adopt more protective exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields (EMF) and wireless technology in the face of increasing evidence of risk. These exposures are a rapidly growing form of environmental pollution worldwide. The appeal: http://www.emfscientist.org/. PDF of the appeal is here. The introductory 3 minute video by Dr Martin Blank is here (Vimeo) and the transcript of the video is here.
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Wi-Fi in schools
Recent years have seen a huge increase in the number of UK schools installing wireless computer networks (Wi-Fi, WLAN), wireless white boards, and similar devices. Schools have been encouraged to use 'smart' and 'mobile' technologies (BECTA). For many families there is no longer the choice of a school without Wi-Fi.
Wireless systems offer freedom to move around the school with laptops/hand-held computers and are easier and sometimes cheaper to install than wired networks. Schools have invested money in the technologies, pupils like them and they have become a part of school culture.
However, schools, parents and staff are often unaware of the enormous number of scientific studies now published which demonstrate that mobile and wireless technologies which emit microwave radiation may pose a health risk, especially to children. The science is published in scientific journals, often only available to subscribers. The concerns of scientists and scientific studies are not always communicated to the public. Thus schools rely upon the statements about the use of wireless technologies in schools made by Public Health England (formerly the Health Protection Agency) and the AGNIR.
This web site aims to provide more information about the science and calls from doctors and scientists for greater protection of children and staff in schools. The hope is for this information to become more widely known, so that parents and schools will be better equipped to make informed decisions about which technologies schools should be choosing for children and teenagers to use. For further information please see 'Safe Schools 2012' and 'Wireless technologies and young people'.
A safe place for children
Most children have to attend school. Home tutoring is rarely a practical option, and it may not provide the social education that is gained by being part of a large group.
Schools need to provide safe environments for all children, irrespective of their susceptibilities to different diseases or genetic make ups.
Children deserve a safe environment to learn, play, develop and thrive. Many households now use some form of mobile or wireless technology, and this is their choice. Others have chosen not to use wireless technologies where there are wired alternatives. In school children have no choice about their exposure. Schools therefore have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for all children whilst in their care.
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