Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

13 May 2014

Comment on The Globe and Mail article, "Could WiFi in Schools Be Harming Our Kids?"

Following this paragraph are our comments on the Canadian newspaper's (The Globe and Mail) 11 May 2014 article,  "Could WiFi in Schools Be Harming Our Kids?":  Note they are quoting a spokesperson from Swisscom. 

"Switzerland prides itself on having among the most stringent regulations on electromagnetic radiation in the world. As of 2000, it has supplemented its exposure limits (which are in keeping with Canada’s) with much more restrictive limits for installations of power lines, television and radio transmitters, and mobile phone base-stations in well-frequented locations. The new regulations were accompanied by an aggressive public awareness campaign about the health risks of RF radiation. Swisscom, the national telecom company, promotes its line of low-radiation “Ecomode” phones and routers as “safer” – openly acknowledging the risks inherent in these devices. And for 10 years, Swisscom has been installing wired Internet connections in Swiss schools for free. Why not wireless? As company spokesman Carsten Roetz wrote in an e-mail, “because there’s no reason to put a radiation source that isn’t absolutely necessary in schools.” Of Switzerland’s 6,800 schools, Roetz estimates that fewer than 100 have opted for wireless connections."

Our comment:

What is written about Switzerland is not exactly true. The journalist cited a spokesperson from Swisscom, a pro-industry source of information. There is a move in Switzerland to install Wi-Fi in schools. Swisscom has confirmed that its "services end at the school's router. Each school is responsible for the in-house provision of its individual areas and classrooms... This means that it is the school's governing body or the canton that decides whether to opt for a wired or wireless solution". Furthermore, in a 2004 patent application for WLAN (Wi-Fi), Swisscom cited studies showing "that mobile radio radiation can cause damage to genetic material, in particular in human white blood cells, whereby both the DNA itself is damaged and the number of chromosomes changed. This mutation can consequently lead to increased cancer risk." - http://www.safeschool.ca/uploads/WiFi_Swisscom_Patent.pdf

There has been no "aggressive public awareness campaign about the health risks of RF radiation" that we are aware of. Cyberbullying, Internet pornography, cell phone/Internet addiction are, however, some of the serious issues the authorities recognize. People are addicted to their wireless gadgets and cannot understand that these carry risks because no one has ever told them this. Health warnings and precautionary measures lie buried in cell phone manuals and Websites of the Swiss Cancer League and Federal Office for Public Health. The telecoms industry and most authorities, including the World Health Organization, are covering up or distorting the truth about risks.

Although it is true that Switzerland has much more restrictive limit values for RF radiation, independent scientific studies show that even much lower values can affect health, particularly that of children, whose bodies are still developing and are thus much more vulnerable to this type of radiation. It is estimated that at least 5% of the Swiss population - some 400,000 persons - are hyper-sensitive to RF radiation, suffering at times, severe health effects.

The advocacy groups in Switzerland have as arduous a task to raise awareness of the harm of RF radiation and to keep Wi-Fi out of schools as those in other countries.

Signed:  Member of ARA, Swiss advocacy association to raise awareness of risks of wireless technologies - www.alerte.ch

Additional comment (16 May)


I am appalled by the level of ignorance of persons whose comments deny the health dangers of Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies, as well as the existence of electrohypersensitivity. 

One more comment re. Switzerland: the industry-connected person quoted in the article forgot to mention that his own company, Swisscom, offers a cell phone subscription to children from age 6 -

And readers should well heed the latest study from France which indicates that only 30 minutes a day on a cell phone for an average period of 5 years doubles the risk for brain tumors.

Ignorance is bliss.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/is-there-such-a-thing-as-too-much-wifi/article18592972/comments/
What is written about Switzerland is not exactly true. The journalist cited a spokesperson from Swisscom, a pro-industry source of information. There is a move in Switzerland to install Wi-Fi in schools. Swisscom has confirmed that its "services end at the school's router. Each school is responsible for the in-house provision of its individual areas and classrooms... This means that it is the school's governing body or the canton that decides whether to opt for a wired or wireless solution". Furthermore, in a 2004 patent application for WLAN (Wi-Fi), Swisscom cited studies showing "that mobile radio radiation can cause damage to genetic material, in particular in human white blood cells, whereby both the DNA itself is damaged and the number of chromosomes changed. This mutation can consequently lead to increased cancer risk." - http://www.safeschool.ca/uploads/WiFi_Swisscom_Patent.pdf
From a member of ARA, Swiss advocacy association to raise awareness of risks of wireless technologies - www.alerte.ch

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