Best Practice Guidelines for Saving Energy and Minimizing RF Exposure
In March and April 2015, parents have a tremendous opportunity to green their school and to ensure that students are as safe as possible when exposed to Wi-Fi at school by voting on parent resolutions at their next parent council meeting. From there, a representative will be chosen to cast a vote in support of these resolutions at the Alberta School Council Association (ASCA) AGM on April 26th.
The resolutions are based on key messages from a Canadian Teachers Federation Brief “The Use of Wi-Fi in Schools” (2014), and also on a motion passed by Edmonton Catholic Schools calling for a Provincial Symposium to examine this issue more closely in order for stakeholders to exercise their due diligence on the matter.
In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), reclassified the microwave radiation emitted from cell phones, Wi-Fi and wireless devices such as tablets and baby monitors a Class 2B “possible” carcinogen, in the same category as lead and DDT. The CTF brief warns that “Teachers and school communities have not been informed regarding the implementation of Wi-Fi and any potential hazards.” Parent were never informed about this reclassification and most are not aware that levels of radiation in the classroom can be similar to standing 100 m from a large cell tower.
The CTF Brief shares that “In the absence of a definitive statement regarding the safety of Wi-Fi raised through social and regular media, teachers are rightly concerned for their personal safety and the safety of children in their care.” It points out the Health Canada’s guidelines do not include biological effects while an article in the Canadian Teacher Magazine “Canadian Teachers’ Federation Sounds the Alarm on Wi-Fi,” points out that scientists involved in the IARC cancer classification warn that new research warrants reclassifying the cancer risk as much greater than originally thought.
Teachers’ unions in Canada, USA, Germany and the UK and countries such as France, Germany and Europe have already taken action to minimize exposure to microwave radiation in order to protect the health of their members and citizens. The Alberta Teachers’ Association local 37 passed a local resolution to allow teachers to turn off Wi-Fi when not in use, and the BC Confederation Parent Advisory Council, representing 500 000 parents, voted to support similar measures to protect their children. Private Members Bill, C-648 has been introduced into the House of Commons with cross party support which would require health warnings on cell phones and other wireless devices such as Ipads and baby monitors.
On October 4, 2011, Health Canada updated its advice to cell phone users on practical ways of reducing exposure to RF energy from these devices. Health Canada states they are “in agreement with the World Health Organization that additional research in this area is warranted.” In the meantime, simple strategies such as turning off Wi-Fi when not in use would prevent students from being exposed to about 1400 hours of low level radiation each year. Supporting these common sense resolutions would allow students the benefits of using technology, while saving energy, reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring that our children are as safe as possible at school.
WE Request that Alberta Education provide a copy of the Canadian Teacher's Federation Brief “The Use of Wi-Fi in Schools” (2014) to School Boards advising they implement a prudent approach to the use of Wi-Fi and that a “Best Practices” method be explored to ensure that students are as safe as possible when exposed to Wi-Fi at school. WE support the Alberta School Council Association partnering with Alberta School Board Association and the Alberta Teachers Association to organize a Provincial Symposium regarding the safe use of Wi-Fi in Schools.
Physicians Call to Health Canada
C4ST Letter to Health Minister Ambrose
Government Statements and Actions
Think Health Canada's Guidelines Ensure Our Children are Safe? Think Again!