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The Real StoryNot being told the facts about EM radiation? Read accounts of what's really happening

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Wireless computer networks (WLAN) and other microwave emitting devices.

Although people are aware of the controversy surrounding phone masts, fewer people are aware that the same problems will occur with any microwave emitting device. Such devices include wireless computers, WLAN, WiFi, WIMAX, burglar alarms with microwave detectors, wireless interactive whiteboards, DECT (digital cordless) phones, cordless digital baby monitors etc.

Radiation is continuously emitted from these devices in the same way that it is emitted from a mobile phone mast. It appears to cause damage to the immune system leading to cancer and all sorts of other diseases including short term effects of hyperactivity, concentration difficulties, headaches, nose bleeds and sleep disorders.

Schools

There is a huge drive by OFSTED to put computers in every classroom and integrate them into all lessons:

"Almost all schools are now connected to the internet with the proportion with broadband connections having risen from 68% in 2002 to 90%. Many schools have benefited from more flexible deployment of resources, for example through the use of laptops wirelessly linked to school networks and clusters of machines in various curriculum areas around the school. This has enabled more use of ICT to take place in other subjects across the curriculum."

If you are concerned with this approach, sign the government petition to introduce legislation to require all UK schools to remove Wi-Fi installations and replace them with wired alternatives.

With the U.K Department for Eductation encouraging school's to provide computers for students use, many schools are finding that wireless network connections are a cost effective and in some cases the only solution to providing computer data points.

Warnings

There is now an excellent site created recently that is dedicated to looking at the scientifically supported reasons that rolling WiFi out in schools is premature, and may be a very unwise decision.

Although not specifically mentioned in the UK government's Stewart Report, Stewart warned against masts being near schools. In January 2005 in an interview with the Daily Telegraph Sir William said that he is 'now more worried than he was 5 years ago' and that he 'did not want to see masts near schools'.

  • The Public Health Dept of Salzburg has specifically warned that WLAN and DECT (digital cordless phone) should not be put in schools and nurseries.
  • The German doctors appeal, the Bamburger appeal also now includes a warning about WLAN.
  • The German equivalent of the HPA have just put out a soft warning on DECT phones.
  • The German teachers union has told its members to resist the roll out of WLAN into schools in Germany on safety grounds.
  • Lakehead University in Canada has decided not to put in wireless computers as the technology they use has never been tested and so not proved to be safe.
  • The Vienna Chamber of Doctors has warned that WLAN emits high levels of radiation.

Although generally EMF levels for wireless LAN devices are lower than mobile phones, there seems to exist less public awareness of the health issues for wireless LAN devices than there is for mobile phones. Wireless LANs work by setting up microwave communication, in narrow frequency bands around 2.4 and 5.8 GHz, depending on the protocol that is used (WiFi, WiMax, OFDM, etc). The system is comprised of a base station (called access point, or AP) which establishes point-to-multipoint communication with a number of subscriber units or SUs, to which client computers are connected. Both devices are bidirectional and have antennas that emit at a certain RF power. Thus in effect all the computers connected to the wireless network and the wireless base station are a mini 'mast'.

There have already been schools across the U.K affected by this issue:

  • Prebendal School, Chichester, West Sussex has removed its wireless network after lobbying by concerned parents.
  • Ysgol Pantycelyn, in Carmarthenshire, Wales. Has switched of its wireless network due to parents and governors concerns.
  • Stowe School, a Buckinghamshire private boarding school, removed part of its wireless network after a teacher became ill.

We are calling for a re-think of the current trend to adopt wireless networks and devices over traditional wired ones until further research is made available on its potential health affects. We would urge all wireless computer owners whether in schools, offices, homes etc. to reconsider or limit usage especially around children.

© The EM Radiation Research Trust, Charity Reg No. 1106304 :: 2003-2009