"The search identified 50 studies published between 1990 and the end of September 2015. Studies were conducted on human subjects, laboratory animals (including two on insects), and tissue and cell cultures. Fifteen (15) found effects on brain chemistry and oxidative stress. Eleven (11) documented DNA (genetic) damage. Adverse effects were reported on behaviour and learning in ten (10) studies. Also affected were the immune and cardiovascular systems. Nine (9) studies found abnormalities in sperm and testes."
Wi-Fi in Canadian Schools: A Health and Safety Issue
Peer-reviewed scientific studies (50) documenting potentially harmful biological effects of
Wi-Fi frequency (2.4-2.45 GHz) at or below Health Canada's Safety Code 61
and recommendations for precautionary measures
by Margaret Friesen M.Sc. on behalf of Canadians for Safe Technology*- 28 November 2015
Potentially harmful health consequences of exposure to non-ionizing radiation from Wi-Fi devices being installed
widely in Canadian schools is a growing concern for parents, students, school personnel and those responsible for
health and safety in the school environment. Most non-federal Canadian bodies e.g. school boards, defer to
Safety Code 6 guidelines for safe Wi-Fi exposure. Safety Code 6 is established by Health Canada, and sets the
levels (limits) for "safe" human exposure in the radiofrequency/microwave range for "all individuals working at, or
visiting federally regulated sites." Safety Code 6 has been called into question, with federal legislators
recommending a full review of the scientific literature, public risk reduction and education. Health Canada has
never revealed its entire reference list or its “weight of evidence” analysis to justify determination of Safety Code
The objective of this work is to identify original research studies in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, which
show potentially harmful biological effects of Wi-Fi frequency radiation at levels that are at or below Safety Code
6 guidelines, and to compare that list with the reference list in Health Canada's Safety Code 6 (2015) Rationale
document. The Rationale document stands as Health Canada’s evidence that the updated Safety Code 6 protects
the health of all Canadians. Also compared to the identified list, is the list of 16 studies that Health Canada
released to a news reporter in October 2010 when Wi-Fi was first deployed in schools and parents reported that
their children were becoming ill from newly installed Wi-Fi in their school.
The search identified 50 studies published between 1990 and the end of September 2015. Studies were
conducted on human subjects, laboratory animals (including two on insects), and tissue and cell cultures. Fifteen
(15) found effects on brain chemistry and oxidative stress. Eleven (11) documented DNA (genetic) damage.
Adverse effects were reported on behaviour and learning in ten (10) studies. Also affected were the immune and
cardiovascular systems. Nine (9) studies found abnormalities in sperm and testes. None of these are listed in the
Rationale document or in the "16 studies" list.
The 50 studies compiled here provide only a portion of the scientific evidence that exposure to Wi-Fi should be
considered a high priority health and safety issue, requiring immediate implementation of effective precautionary
measures. It is especially important to protect young children, pregnant women and men who want to conceive
healthy children. Precautionary measures in schools can be taken immediately by eliminating exposure wherever
possible and otherwise implementing a policy to achieve exposures As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA).
Until Safety Code 6 is adequately revised, Canadian school boards can and should take the initiative to use the
most protective guidelines available globally.
* Science Advisor (pro bono) to Canadians for Safe Technology http://c4st.org/ Email the author at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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