People will say 'Why weren't we protected?': Lakehead president.
Posted By Nathan Taylor
Federal guidelines for the use of wireless technology are dangerously outdated and should be more in line with emerging research, experts say.
And some Simcoe County parents, who say their kids have experienced adverse health effects as a result of wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) in their schools, agree.
Rodney Palmer, who has two children, four and nine years old, at Mountain View Elementary School in Collingwood, recently made a presentation to the Simcoe County District School Board. He informed the board that some students were experiencing headaches, dizziness, distorted vision and other symptoms that otherwise weren't usually a problem with the children.
Palmer's four-year-old daughter would get a rash on her leg ? something that would happen only at school, he said.
"It's really the long-term effects that I'm worried about. Introducing a four-year-old to microwave radiation for six hours a day when it's not being used is profoundly unnecessary," he said, noting the majority of the school's eight transmitters were left on when they were not needed.
The long-term effects are what worry researchers, too.
The longer people are exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), the more sensitive they become to them, and the symptoms become more severe, said Magda Havas, an associate professor at Trent University who has been conducting electromagnetic research for 20 years.
She cited a study out of the University of Stockholm in Sweden, where human cells were exposed to radiation at frequencies of both 915 and 1,900 megahertz (MHz). The ability of a cell to heal itself was shown to be impaired when exposed to either frequency.
Havas was involved with a 2008 blind study in Colorado that tested the effects of EMFs on 25 adults. Researchers used cordless phones with a frequency of 2.4 gigahertz (GHz), which is used in schools, Havas noted. When the phones were turned on, six people's hearts "started behaving erratically," she said, adding their heart activity normalized after the phones were shut off.
What's alarming to Havas is that 2.4 GHz is a microwave frequency.
"What we're using for Wi-Fi in schools is basically a weaker microwave," she said. "With a microwave oven, you close the door and the microwaves are contained within the oven, whereas, with our schools, the microwaves are released into the environment. The school becomes the microwave."
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