WiFi in Schools
In May 2011, RFs were classified as "possibly carcinogenic" (Group 2B) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). "We're potentially producing a generation that will be significantly exposed to radiofrequencies, which could have dire consequences," said the 83-year-old physician who promotes wired internet connections which are more reliable and less vulnerable to hacking. "I feel I have a responsibility to the public. For multiple exposures to carcinogens, it took 20 or 30 years of research to confirm the link. Cancer takes years to develop. I will not be here in 30 years!"
On September 12, the University of Toronto professor emeritus of public health was one of the several expert speakers at a symposium on health concerns associated with electromagnetic fields (EMF), held in the Queen City. The event targeted at health professionals was organized by pressure group Canadians for Safe Technology and Environmental Health Clinic of Women's College Hospital, affiliated with the same university.
Last year, Dr. Miller cosigned a scientific paper concluding that RFs should rather be classified as "probably carcinogenic" (Group 2A). In an interview, he told us the experts IARC convened did not consider that the risk of cancer in the part of the brain most exposed to cell phone RFs for at least 10 years is 2.8 times higher than average. This discovery was also published in May 2011, at the same time as the 2B ranking, in a study signed by scientists part of the famous international Interphone study. "Since that review there has been increasing evidence of biological effects of RFs, particularly on DNA and other mechanisms of cancer causation, Dr. Miller explained. There has been additional case-control studies by Swedish oncologist Lennart Hardell and his colleagues. One advantage of Nordic countries is that they collaborate very well, so they don’t have the bias seen in other studies when people who could be good controls dont participate, as was the case in the Interphone study. And much more recently, a French multicenter case control study long also found a link between long-term cell phone use and a risk of brain tumors. A number of people, not just in government, have been downplaying the Hardell results; if it was only those studies we were relying on, the link would be suspicious, but it has been confirmed by other studies. Though he has done more work and has been very active in this field, it isn’t Hardell alone.
Since the second World War, radiofrequencies have been linked to dozens of ailments and diseases such as heart palpitations and more recently autism. Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 guideline limiting human exposure to RFs is only intended to prevent tissue heating and ignores the biological effects occurring at doses thousands of times lower to those causing thermal effects, said Dr Miller who is concerned about the massive installation of Wi-Fi in schools. Health Canada official Sara Lauer responded that Wi-Fi is completely safe, "Based on current scientific data, Health Canada scientists have concluded that exposure to RF energy levels allowed by the Code 6 security will not cause any adverse health effects. "
Kids with heart attacks
Yet, since 2010, several parents, teachers and children have complained of headaches, nausea, dizziness, palpitations and other symptoms occurring after the installation of Wi-Fi in schools. "There has even been seven cardiac arrests among schoolchildren in Collingwood (Ontario). Cardiologists don’t know what's going on ", another speaker at the Toronto symposium, toxicologist Magda Havas, Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University, told us in an interview.
Most schools use industrial-type Wi-Fi routers that "are typically hundreds of times more powerful than the home consumer systems you may be familiar with", underlined the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) in a March 2013 letter sent to the Los Angeles Unified School District. These devices are powerful enough to serve hundreds of computers through thick walls. When communicating with multiple computers, they can expose children to very high doses of microwaves, even greater than from a cell tower located at 100 meters, AAEM wrote.
"Wi-Fi exposes many children to annual RF doses greater than received from a cell phone that may give you a higher dose but is rarely used, Magda Havas explained. The dose depends on the proximity of computers and routers. With a cell phone, it is mostly your head and your hands are exposed, whereas with Wi-Fi, it's the entire body. As most schools never turn off the Wi-Fi, children are exposed six hours a day, five days a week and 40 weeks per year, which is about 12,000 hours of exposure over 10 years. According to the Interphone study, adults who used a cell for 1,640 hours over 10 years raised their risk of getting brain cancer by 40%. This is why women who keep their cell phone in their bra increase their risk of developing breast cancer. This is not because of high exposure, but rather a long-term exposure to radiation pulsed every few minutes. "
In a Youtube video on Wi-Fi, Prof. Havas emphasizes that a study funded by the United States Air Force in 1984 showed that mice exposed to low intensities of RFs, 21.5 hours daily for 25 months, developed 260% more cancerous tumors.
For more information: Electrosmog: twelve ways of avoiding it