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NK Prepares to Install WIFI in Schools: But is it Safe?

As North Kingstown prepares to spend $688,000 on WIFI in the schools
are we asking the tough questions? Sure, WIFI is ubiquitous. You can't completely get away from it 24/7. So, it may feel risky, even scary, to ask the question, "Is it safe to install WIFI in our schools?" After all, most of us are exposed to WIFI at work or even at home. Still, don't we owe it to our children to ask the question before the WIFI gets installed?

Mary Adkins, M.Ed. Rhode Island Regional Director of Citizens for Safe Technology has been advocating that communities across Rhode Island educate themselves on this issue before rushing to implement technology in our schools. So as our North Kingstown High School and Elementary Schools prepare to install WIFI, here are some facts she shared:

1. "The American  Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has done its homework on this issue.  This organization representing 60,000 pediatricians has sent a letter to Congress, begging them to stop this unnecessary exposure of our children to wireless electromagnetic radiation.  Under Rhode Island state law (§28-21-2(13)), wireless radiation is considered a toxic substance in the workplace due to its classification by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a class 2b carcinogen.  Does this sound safe for our children and teachers?"

2. "The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has something to say about Wi-Fi in schools, too:  “The peer reviewed, scientific literature demonstrates the correlation between (radio frequency) RF exposure and neurological, cardiac, and pulmonary disease as well as reproductive and developmental disorders, immune dysfunction, cancer and other health conditions.  The evidence is irrefutable.”  (http://aaemonline.org/docs/WiredSchools.pdf ) That's why the AAEM supports the use of HARDWIRED internet connections in schools."

3. "There is a lot of misinformation about Wi-Fi being promulgated by industry, and sadly, echoed by school administrators and IT directors who have no expertise in bio-sciences.  Wi-Fi is a cute marketing meme that coupled with aggressive marketing has school officials, parents and children all duped into thinking that Wi-Fi is magic that floats through the air like butterflies.  But Wi-Fi is not magic, it is radiation....an artificial, man made, pulse/modulated form of radiation that has been known for decades to be detrimental to human health.   Radiation does not magically lose its hazardous qualities because it is invisible.

"Big Players like Cisco, Apple, and AT&T convince you Wi-Fi is “safe” because it meets FCC guidelines.  Yet the guidelines don't actually apply to pulse/modulated radiation, nor to children, nor to multiple, co-located devices and chronic, 6+ hours a day of exposure.  The Big Players are busy raking in a fortune from the “21st Century Learner” program, the goal of which is to get a wireless device into the hands of every student in the country.  School administrators are busy too-- handing out awards and patting themselves on the backs for building huge wireless infrastructures.  But what no one has told you is that fortunes are being made and legacies are being built by playing Russian Roulette with your child's life."

4. "The biggest trial lawyers association in the world, the American Association for Justice (AAJ), has been paying attention.  They've publicly thrown down the gauntlet to the Wireless industry ( ) in a complaint to the FCC, acknowledging that wireless radiation health effects are equatable to the same disease latency as that from nuclear radiation exposure.  The AAJ has done their homework. And as if the carcinogenic nature of this radiation isn't bad enough, the wireless signal oscillating at 2.45 GHz has also been found to cause heart arrhythmia and tachycardia, as detailed in a study by Magda Havas, PhD."

According to Atkins, "In school districts across Rhode Island and the nation, teachers are dying, kids are getting cancer, and school staff and students alike are getting sick in record numbers with unexplained symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, heart palpitations, chronic sinus and respiratory symptoms, attention problems, and changes in behavior.  Is it from Wi-Fi?  I am networked with parents from across the country who believe that it is, and many have had to remove their children from school."

Atkins says that, "The AAJ's FCC complaint suggests they anticipate a rash of lawsuits resulting from harm caused by wireless radiation that will make Big Tobacco, Asbestos, and Lead Paint litigation look like a cakewalk.
But it seems our school officials are more concerned about getting their fair share of the Wireless Pork Barrel kickbacks from big Telecom's gaming of the US Department of Education's E-Rate Program.  Have we learned nothing from the lessons of Big Tobacco, Asbestos, and Lead Paint?   History is repeating itself, and unfortunately this time it's our children and teachers who are suffering the consequences."

Parents, teachers and members of the public who want to promote the use of only safe, hardwired  technology in our schools may email Mary Atkins at rhodeislandcst@gmail.com for information about upcoming monthly meetings and can also go to the website www.citizensforsafetechnology.org.




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Shelley McDonald March 06, 2014 at 07:28 PM
Dark Star- First, I don't know if a website entitled Quackwatch is the most credible resource. If I were you, I'd read a study or two. Actually if I were you I'd read a lot of studies. I'd listen to the doctors (do you have a problem with the American Academy of Pediatrics too?). The fact is that the doctors who comprise the AAEM are MDs who take into consideration the interaction of the human physiology with the environment. I'd say that they're more than qualified to offer their opinion. Certainly their opinion in this matter is worth more than yours. You make the statement that the studies that I reference are not peer reviewed. They ARE peer reviewed and easily accessible (why would you make a statement like that without checking to see if it was even true?). http://www.bioinitiative.org/participants/do-we-know-enough-to-take-action/. And, yes, the Canadian website wifiinschools.com is a great resource for the primary sources that I've provided you with. Take a moment, consider that you're wrong. Consider the consequences of not investigating these concerns. I think that our students are worth the investigation. Don't you?
Dark star March 07, 2014 at 08:04 AM
Its not my opinion, it is the opinion of the American Board of Medical Specialities that does not recognize the AAEM.
Mary Adkins March 11, 2014 at 01:31 PM
Dark Star, you said “The "science"” (showing evidence of harm) “is ignored because it is not sound science.“ In fact, quite the opposite is true. In Morrison v. Portland Public Schools, PPS spent close to a quarter million dollars defending their position that WiFi was “safe” and claimed the Plaintiff was relying on invalid science to show evidence of harm. However, the science presented by the Plaintiff passed the Federal court system's bar for credible under Civil Rights actions, and the case proceeded forward on the basis of that good science. Since the Defendant failed in their attempt to discredit the science, they went on to the next tactic, which was to play the jurisdictional card. So the bottom line finding in a court of law was that the science on the side of the Plaintiff showing evidence of harm was PROVEN VALID. You said “there is no medical proof WiFi harms anyone.” I don't think you understand what it is you should be looking for in order to figure out whether WiFi is dangerous or not.. First of all, Swiss Com AG, one of Europe's biggest telecom firms, admits in their own patent application that WiFi is harmful. http://www.safeschool.ca/Swisscom__WiFi_Harms.html Also, I highly doubt you will find any studies showing WiFi is unequivocally safe. If you do, please let us know. Contrary to what you stated, there are in fact studies showing harm from both “WiFi” and laptop computers. Here are links to two such studies: http://www.bcna.ca/files_3/documents/LaptopsandEMFs.pdf http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21714138 What's important to understand is that the bulk of the research showing evidence of harm will not be labeled with “WiFi” in the study title. You should be searching for studies that pertain to electromagnetic radiation of the type (pulse/modulated, radio frequency/microwave), frequencies (MHz and GHz), and power densities that are consistent with the devices employed by wireless networking. So for example, “Mortality in rats exposed to CW Microwave Radiation at 0.95, 2.45, 4.54 and 7.44 GHz” which showed cause of death was due to congestion, hemorrhage and obstruction of nasal passages and/or congestion, hemorrhage and often edema of the lungs: http://www.magdahavas.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Mortarity_in_Rats_Exposed_to_CW_Microwave_Radiation.pdf I found this study particularly interesting considering my own child reacts to WiFi radiation by developing acute swelling/inflammation of the sinuses accompanied by production of thick, profuse mucus. This led to chronic infection and a misdiagnosis of “atypical cystic fibrosis.” The severity of his reaction has become life-threatening, thanks to the mast cell/histamine response this radiation produces in susceptible individuals. So my firsthand experience with this supposedly “safe” technology has rightfully led me to question blanket statements of safety by school officials.
Mary Adkins March 11, 2014 at 01:33 PM
Essentially, the term “WiFi” is nothing more than a cute marketing meme used to describe the concept itself of communicating wirelessly with multiple devices. It is not a “thing” per se that you test. What you are testing is the type of radiation these devices emit. The studies demonstrating significant biological harm from this type of radiation is staggering, and very often using only one device, not multiple, co-located devices such as you would find in a school setting. Just because a study isn't labeled “WiFi” doesn't mean it's not applicable. It most certainly is if the study pertains to electromagnetic radiation within the parameters described above. And so contrary to what you imply, the biological harm caused by this type of radiation is extremely well documented and has been for decades. And the biological effects are quite severe. In the case of mitochondrial DNA, for example, the damage is irreparable. Bleeding of the blood-brain barrier can lead to stroke, aneurysm, and penetration of the barrier by medications circulating in the body that normally would be kept out of the brain if the barrier were intact. Recently, Dr. Martin Pall has identified the mechanism of harm: http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/new-study-on-emf-mechanisms-of-action-plausible-mechanisms-of-action-for-low-intensity-emr-exposure/ As Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” I would ask that those of you not willing to devote the proper time and effort to properly research this issue please refrain from passing your opinions off as facts. Because parents need facts in order to make prudent choices for their children, and our teachers deserve the facts regarding the safety of their workplace.
Dolphin<3 June 06, 2014 at 05:50 PM
I think with all the abuse and neglect in the school systems that instead of spending this money on WI-FI it should be put to a better use of installing camera's in the schools. We send our kids to school thinking they are safe, but are they really safe? Look at all the recent teacher attacks on kids, kids beating up other kids ect.. Let's find a better way to keep kids off their phones and teachers off of theirs and use this money for something that can prevent things from happening in our schools.

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