Why are Some Countries Removing Wi-Fi in Schools and Others Not?

This article is from https://www.wirelesseducation.org written by Mikko Ahonen, PHD.

France [1] and Russia [2] have current laws to minimise Wi-Fi exposure to children in schools. These two countries have the world’s longest research history on health effect of microwaves, both over 100 years.

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1. Too many devices for long periods of time = chronic exposure

Much of the research has focused on the effects of mobile phones, but there is already some research on chronic exposure to 2450 MHz frequency microwaves, including Wi-Fi devices. The problem in Wi-Fi routers lies in children’s chronic (24/7) exposure to pulsed microwave radiation. Isn’t that reason enough to minimise children’s risks in classrooms?

2. It can have damaging effects on our bodies

Wi-Fi and cell phone data is transmitted by pulsed microwave radiation. This creates a continuous electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure in which we are engulfed. When you browse the world’s largest EMF research database [3], it reveals the effect of Wi-Fi in two areas:

  • Fertility[4]

  • Oxidative stress [5]

Fertility damage is seen in animal and cell studies showing reduced motility of sperm and testes malfunction. Oxidative stress is seen both in animal and cell (in vitro) studies, indicating a risk of inflammation also to Wi-Fi users [6]. Chronic inflammation leads to diseases to which children and pregnant women are especially susceptible because child and fetal cells are still growing, their bones are softer, and they absorb more radiation. Women’s immune systems are suppressed during pregnancy so they are more vulnerable to radiation too.

3. Wireless transmitters are becoming more powerful

The Council of Europe warns about installing routers in schools and recommends a 100 µW/m² precautionary level in classrooms [7]. When a Wi-Fi router is installed in a classroom these levels can reach 30.000 µW/m² (peak value). In many schools, Wi-Fi routers are attached to the ceiling of the classroom. This may be particularly risky, because the router uses microwave radiation to transmit its device ID continuously, even when there is not a single wireless device connected to it. Often the router is rather close to children’s and teachers’ heads [8] and these signals enter one’s body as they travel through walls, ceilings and floors.

4. Wi-Fi routers don’t have to be on all the time

Today the default is to have Wi-Fi on all the time, which adds up to a very heavy cumulative dose of radiation. The mobile industry has a patent [9] to change Wi-Fi routers and the continuous 10 times per second (10 Hz) beacon signal for health reasons. 10 Hz pulse itself is problematic, since in human brainwaves this 10 Hz ‘hits’ the alpha band and can interfere with cognitive abilities and sleep.

The patent is to automatically shut down this continuous device ID sending [SSID]–functionality in the Wi-Fi router when not in use. This would bring a radical decrease in pulsed microwave radiation exposure especially when there is no traffic (no devices connected to the Wi-Fi router). This will create an environment where the Wi-Fi only turns on when it is needed, almost like “Eco-mode” on the cordless DECT phones available in some countries. The patent application mentions DNA damage, which has been found in multiple-studies [10]. Until this new technology is brought to market however, we would be wise to turn off the Wi-Fi when not absolutely needed.

So why do we still have Wi-Fi and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies in schools? Often Wi-Fi risk is down-played by saying “the exposure is only a fragment of the public exposure guidelines.” Current radiation guidelines are 20 years old and do not take into consideration biological effects or the pulsed-nature of the signal, where there is a great difference between average and peak values [11]. When Wi-Fi devices produce pulsed microwave radiation, its peak values will exceed several precautionary recommendation levels of what is considered safe for exposure.

Additionally, current guidelines only account for radiation from one device. With dozens of devices emitting radiation at once in a typical classroom, children and staff are exposed to very high amounts of microwave radiation not accounted for in outdated guidelines. It is no wonder the EUROPAEM environmental health group listed Wi-Fi as one of the riskiest RF-technologies [12]. They point to the exceptionally fast rise time and fall time of Wi-Fi signals, which may have an effect on calcium channels in human cells and the unnatural opening of these channels [13] which can lead to disease.

5. What can be done to reduce the risk?

Generally, schools should be hard-wired, so that in every classroom the Internet is accessible through Ethernet-cable connections. It is feasible to have wired schools, with no Wi-Fi at all.  Even tablets can be attached to the Internet by Ethernet cables and adapters. For laptops and tablets, the Wi-Fi and other antennas (Bluetooth, data, locator) should be turned off (at least most of the time). As a half-measure, Wi-Fi could be used by the adults in the building during the hours in which children are not present. Data uploads and system updates could be done before and after school, or overnight. If Wi-Fi routers are installed, they should be placed away from classrooms and there should be a switch to turn each Wi-Fi router off immediately after use.

Maryland, USA, recently set a positive example and a precedent for healthier schools. Maryland Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council has provided excellent recommendations for safer use of Wi-Fi and other technologies in schools [14]. These recommendations echo our suggestions to use hard-wired connections with the wi-fi turned off.

See our courses for additional safety measures [15].

We urgently need accessible and healthier classrooms. We at Wireless Education are pleased to develop these together with learning-focused schools and parents, and look forward to doing so with the support of responsible companies.


  1. http://ehtrust.org/france-new-national-law-bans-wifi-nursery-school/

  2. https://www.scribd.com/document/182641315/RNCNIRP-Russia-Wi-Fi-Regulation-19-06-12-pdf

  3. http://www.emf-portal.org

  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22112647,26199911,24460421,22465825,24490664

  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24792079,26578367,23479077,26520617

  6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279863242_Oxidative_mechanisms_of_biological_activity_of_low-intensity_radiofrequency_radiation

  7. http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-en.asp?fileid=17994&

  8. https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/wifi-in-nz-schools.pdf

  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19285841

  10. https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=WO2004075583

  11. http://tinyurl.com/rf-guideline

  12. https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/reveh.2016.31.issue-3/reveh-2016-0011/reveh-2016-0011.xml

  13. https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/reveh.2016.31.issue-3/reveh-2016-0011/suppl/reveh-2016-0011_suppl.zip

  14. http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OEHFP/EH/Shared%20Documents/CEHPAC/MD_CEHPAC_SchoolWiFi_022017_final.pdf


Cork University professor exposes cancer risks from wifi/wireless and 5G technology

In this Youtube video Professor Tom Butler, University College Cork exposes the cancer risks from wifi or wireless technology, particularly in schools and homes, and says that the risks are known but ignored and mitigated by authorities and the telecommunication industry. This risk is about to explode due to the Government’s rollout of 5G. Mr Butler urges us to resist and question the imposition of 5G.

Professor Butler was speaking at a public event in Co Cork hosted by Stop 5G Kinsale & Surrounding Villages. Unfortunately the quality and volume is not great but the message is powerful.

Read Mr Butler’s paper "On the Clear Evidence of the Risks to Children from Smartphone and WiFi Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR)."

Link to youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvcATkW5APE&feature=youtu.be

Buncrana residents protest against Garda mast plan for 3G & 4G antennas

Buncrana residents protest against the decision by OPW to grant a license to a private company to erect 3G & 4G antennas on the existing Garda mast at Buncrana Garda station. Residents feel let down by the planning system which gives undue influence to telecommunication companies over their rights to a healthy home environment. The residents demand that this development should be stopped because of the overwhelming scientific proof that these antennas can damage health.


The Buncrana Garda Mast Action Group and 5G Inishowen Awareness held a protest outside Buncrana Garda station last Saturday May 11. The protest was in support of local residents opposed to plans by an American private company Shared Access to erect 3G and 4G wireless antennas on the station's mast.

James Quigley, who lives approx 100 yards from Garda station mast said that he only learnt, in the last couple of weeks, that the OPW granted a license last October. “The OPW hadn’t the courtesy to inform us and there was never any consultation with residents. I am in the process of trying to find out what rights I have especially in defense of the health of my family. However, I am finding it very difficult to get information. Apparently this development and the OPW may be exempted from the normal planning process. I am questioning this exemption and the fact that we residents have no say. I can not see how it is fair. I believe there is a question mark over whether it should be exempted at all and or whether there should have been a consultation process in the first place. There seems to be a major conflict of interest here since the Government will be paid by the company for use of the mast, yet it is the Government who oversee the planning process”

According to the Dept of Housing, Planning and Local Government the 1996 Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures Guidelines for Planning Authorities are still in force but amended in certain sections by Circular PL07/12.

According to Electro Magnetic Sense Ireland the Government have watered down legislation in favour of the telecommunication companies. In 2012 the Minister removed separation distance from vulnerable places as a condition as well as stating that health grounds should not be considered as part of the planning application. A further update in 2018 on the planning guidelines allow for higher structures and more antennae and dishes on masts, giving even more leeway to telecommunications companies.

BGMAG spokesman, Mr Quigley said “Imagine having no rights to object to something that could potentially kill me and my family. How come the Government were allowed to get away with that? “

BGMAG has written to OPW requesting clarification about the development and to at least lodge an objection. So far they have not received an answer from OPW. A Freedom of Information request was sent this week for a copy of the license and relevant legislation. Initially they sent Donegal County Council Planning a Section 5 Exempted Development form.

Mr Quigley said that the Section 5 form seems to be the only legal avenue there is, at present, to object or query the development. It potentially could be a route to An Bord Planala. Failing this, he said, they could pursue EU legislation since it is clear that the Government is ignoring health grounds.

If anyone has any doubts or has not heard about the dangers of wireless, Radio Microwave Radiation or EMF technology read Prof Tom Butler, University College Cork,- On the Clear Evidence of the Risks to Childrenfrom Smartphone and WiFi Radio Frequency Radiation or the International EMF Scientist Appeal which states:

”Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.”

Members of 5G Inishowen Awareness.