Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News
26 November 2010
NON-THERMAL EFFECTS AND MECHANISMS OF INTERACTION
National Institute for Prevention and Safety at Work (ISPESL), Rome, Italy
Protection against Non Ionizing Radiation is based on a paradigmatic assumption: "We know very well the interaction between electromagnetic fields and living organ-isms: it is a thermal interaction; thus the standards internationally accepted are adequate to protect people and workers". This is a fairy tale. Since the 1970s the non thermal effects of electromagnetic fields on living organisms have been well known and also the non thermal mechanisms have been investigated.
Nevertheless, until today, we have been condemned to listen to representatives from international institutions repeating the old refrain above.
Furthermore when scientists participating in the ICEMS agreed to edit a monograph – the present one - with the aim of illustrating the non thermal mechanisms and effects due to the electromagnetic interaction with living organisms - mechanisms that are well known today - some of us withdrew their contribution because they did not share the locution "non thermal" in the title. The following discussion, which many ICEMS scientists and the coauthors of this monograph took part in, focused on some basic points, maybe obvious but not infrequently forgotten.
For a PDF of this important document:
Schools probe Wi-Fi safety
Health effects of wireless connections on students to be examined
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Health worries over the use of Wi-Fi in schools have spread to Victoria.
Greater Victoria trustees, who oversee nearly 20,000 students in 43 schools, are taking a closer look at concerns about Wi-Fi -- or wireless-fidelity, the wireless link that connects laptops and other devices to the Internet.
Most of the district's secondary and middle schools have Wi-Fi, as do several elementary facilities.
Presentations about possible health issues caused by Wi-Fi were first made to the board in the spring. There were more last week by a group of speakers. As a result of the most recent session, the district is forming a committee to study Wi-Fi usage, and is inviting trustees, district workers, members of the Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils and the public to take part.
District secretary-treasurer George Ambeault will lead the committee, which is due to make a report next spring.
"If there's any level of concern about it, then we need to be able to at least respond to people's questions," board chairman Tom Ferris said. "If we're going to do that, we have to educate ourselves."
Health Canada says exposure to low-level electromagnetic frequency, such as that coming from Wi-Fi, does not pose a danger to the public. It says energy levels emitted are limited by guidelines that were set after looking at thousands of peer-reviewed studies.
"As long as the exposure is below these established limits, there is no convincing scientific evidence that this equipment is dangerous to schoolchildren or to Canadians in general," a Health Canada statement says.
Not everyone is convinced. Last summer in Barrie, Ont., a request was made to disconnect Wi-Fi in area schools after parents voiced fears that it was causing nausea and headaches in students. The board declined, saying there was no evidence indicating Wi-Fi caused such symptoms.
In November, Roots and Wings Montessori Place in Surrey banned wireless devices.
Citizens for Safe Technology is a Vancouver-based group that has about a dozen active supporters in the capital region.
Two of them, parents Tammy and Rob Jeske, were among the speakers who addressed the Greater Victoria board about Wi-Fi last week. The couple have two sons, aged nine and 11, in local schools.
Tammy Jeske said there is plenty of expert opinion that indicates sources of electromagnetic frequencies such as Wi-Fi can pose a danger. "I've seen it in my own children, I've seen it in myself," she said.
Like others, she said she has noticed the positive effect of removing Wi-Fi from her environment.
"The biggest thing for us is we weren't sleeping well. Myself, it was to the point where I had to take medical leave from work because I had become so chronically fatigued."
She said Wi-Fi also affected the family's immune systems and led to increased illness. Last year, however, after removing wireless items from the home, her sons both earned awards for perfect school attendance, Jeske said.
She said members of the group are pleased that the Greater Victoria school district is considering the Wi-Fi issue.
"We think there's enough evidence to warrant precaution and to hold off on Wi-Fi, certainly when there's an alternative in place that's easy to use."
Jeske said the alternative is to hard-wire devices.
The group is scheduled to make another presentation on Wi-Fi concerns to the Sooke board of education on Dec. 7. Saanich board of education chairwoman Helen Parker said she expects Wi-Fi to be discussed in the near future.
Aaron Gulliver, Canada research chair in advanced-wireless communications at the University of Victoria, said discussion of Wi-Fi use is a positive thing.
"Here at the university, it's completely Wi-Fi-enabled from end-to-end on campus. We have Wi-Fi availability everywhere," he said.
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