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.

wifi -in-schools-wirelesseducation.jpg

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 Garda Mast Action Group launched and challenges politicians, teachers and health officials

by James Quigley

James Quigley, (BGMAG) and Kim McMenamin (5G Awareness Inishowen) organisers at the launch of Buncrana Garda Mast Action Group in The Exchange, 02 Thurs 2019.

James Quigley, (BGMAG) and Kim McMenamin (5G Awareness Inishowen) organisers at the launch of Buncrana Garda Mast Action Group in The Exchange, 02 Thurs 2019.

Buncrana Garda Mast Action Group launched their campaign to stop OPW’s plans to use the existing Garda mast for 3G and 4G wifi antennas.

James Quigley who chaired the meeting thanks everyone who attended particularly those who signed our petition and offered to help. BGMAG has now a foundation to build for future action.

I believe most people in Buncrana will be aware of the issue by now since the town has been leafleted. A lot of people have since voiced concerns. However, because of slick PR by Government and the influence and lobbying of telecommunications companies, who are pumping trillions of euro into wireless development worldwide, it is not surprising that people have been brainwashed by the hype of ‘Smart’ technologies and the Internet of Things (IOT).

People seem reluctant to question or investigate for themselves. Whether it’s lethargy or perhaps trusting what Government officials tell them they are not aware of the many independent studies from scientists worldwide that prove that radio frequency radiation (RFR), as used in wireless technology can cause many health problems including cancer.

Challenge 1
I challenge anyone, particularly political candidates and politicians to read the following documents, linked below. Investigate the issues and then tell me how you would feel living next to these mast monstrosities? Would you still believe that the rollout of wireless technology is safe? Perhaps you might think that resident should can object even on health grounds?

I challenge you to read the International EMF Scientist Appeal to the the UN, updated Jan 2019, with over 200 names of scientists worldwide, some of whom have published peer reviewed papers. It 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.”

Challenge 2
I challenge you to read the paper, published Jan 2019, “On the Clear Evidence of the Risks to Children from Smartphone and Wifi Radio Frequency Radiation” by Professor Tom Butler, University College Cork.

Professor Butler is a former satellite and microwave communication engineer and IT professional. According to the studies notes, “his Pauline conversion from the engineering perspective on RFR thermal safety occurred through research engagements with the Chief Risk Officer of a global corporation who pointed out the significant risks to children from the non-thermal effects of RFR.”

Professor Butler is a former Government of Ireland Research Fellow, Principal Investigator of the Governance Risk and Compliance Technology Centre, PI SmaRT and SamRT4Reg Commercialisation Fund Projects and Co-PI of two Marie Skiodowska-Curie Career-FIT Fellowships in Artificial Intelligence. With over €8.5 million in research funding on the application of digital technologies to date, he has 220 publications and 11 inventions. He is a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Regulatory Obstacles to Financial Innovation (ROFIEG) in the area of FinTech, a member of the Global RegTech Council, and a member of the Financial Industry Enterprise Data Management Council (EDMC).

He also wrote a recent article published in RTE 24 Apr 2019: “Why everyday wireless tecnology poses a health risk to children”.

Challenge 3
I challenge you to read 2011 HSE’s advice: “Advice from the Chief Medical Officer on mobile phone use” It states:

“In the last few days, WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as emitted by mobile phones as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B). This is based on research which has shown that a positive association has been observed between mobile phone use and an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer”

Challenge 4
I challenge you to read the “Department of the Environment and Local Government 1996 Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures Guidlines to Planning Authorities

This is the 1996 Government guidelines setting out recommendations regarding masts i.e. where to erect telecommunication masts. It states that they should not be in residential areas, beside schools, near roads and even in towns and if absolutely necessary should be sited in Industrial estates.

Since 1996 warning the Government has diligently watered down planning restrictions in favour and at the behest of telecommunication companies and have even exempted them from the planning process altogether. Electromagnetic Sense Ireland states:

“Some countries are putting guidelines around placement near residential areas, and places where children spend a lot of time (school, home, care centres). Other countries are also reducing the power output or encouraging providers to share services rather than placing more antennae on masts.

In Ireland, no such guidelines are in place. Mobile phone and wireless broadband companies, An Bord Planala, local councils and government agencies in Ireland do not consider any health risks from mobile phone mast radiation.

In 2012 the Minister of the Environment, Community and Local Government issued an update to certain sections of the Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures Guidelines (1996) as used by the planning department.  This stated that separation distances from vulnerable places such as schools in development plans, should not now be included in applications and, conditions limiting the life of telecommunication masts and antennas should cease.

The Minister included two reminders i.e. that health grounds should not be considered as part of the planning application and that ‘all future Development Contribution Schemes must include waivers for broadband infrastructure provision … The implications of these changes for local communities who might wish to object to such infrastructure was they could no longer initiate their campaign on policies quoting separation distances as a viable reason to object and, the potential that the previous temporary nature of permission had allowed in challenging application for renewal had ended.

“2.3 The Development Plan and Separation Distances The 1996 Guidelines advised that planning authorities should indicate in their development plans any locations where, for various reasons, telecommunications installations would not be favoured or where special conditions would apply, and suggested that such locations might include lands whose high amenity value is already recognised in a development plan, protected structures, or sites beside schools. While the policies above are reasonable, there has, however, been a growing trend for the insertion of development plan policies and objectives specifying minimum distances between telecommunications structures from houses and schools, e.g. up to 1km. Such distance requirements, without allowing for flexibility on a case-by-case basis, can make the identification of a site for new infrastructure very difficult. Planning authorities should therefore not include such separation distances as they can inadvertently have a major impact on the roll out of a viable and effective telecommunications network.”

Another update on the planning guidelines came just last year where the Minister allowed for higher structures, more antennas and dishes on masts. This gives even more leeway to telecommunications companies. See: Circular Letter PL/01/2018 to City and County Councils.

Challenge 5
Finally read about worldwide legal cases in France, Italy, South Africa, Australia, India and many other countries banning and removing cell phone towers and wifi in schools read: www.radiationresearch.org.

Residents powerless to protect their home and family

Government have exempted themselves and telecommunications companies from planning regulations, even watered down what planning conditions that existed so as to ease and quicken development. It is a bonanza for telecommunications companies and residents are powerless to prevent it. It seems they have no recourse to legally object either on health grounds or where masts and antennas are erected. This is the state of the country today where residents are guinea pigs whose health is not counted.

To cap it off, with regards to their railroading attitude, neither the OPW, An Garda Síochana or Shared Access had the decency to contact immediate residents to inform them about any of this. Even my own family who, I would say are nearest, within 400 meters of the Garda mast only found out recently through social media. This was despite the OPW knowing of our concerns during the building of the Garda Station. Since we found out, through social media, we are experiencing difficulties finding out any official information about the plans other than being told by An Garda that licenses were granted last October by OPW to Shared Access for 3G and 4G equipment. Having written to OPW over two weeks ago we are still waiting for official confirmation and an explanation.

BGMAG plans future action
We have a right and duty to protect ourselves and our families. What person would not do that? I am not an expert in Constitutional law but I think that that right is there. I believe that the Government has acted unconstitutionally by denying residents the right to have a say in planning by objecting on health grounds.

I feel I must do everything in my power to object to this plan not only because of the injustice but more importantly for the sake of my family’s health. I invite all those concerned about the dangers of microwave radiation technology to join me in this. There is power in numbers and especially commitment and if nothing else we can always say we told them and they stood idly by.

Telecommunication masts using EMF should not be anywhere near residents schools or sensitive areas. Because of recent scientific proofs this frenzied wifi rollout must be stopped until an informed and independent debate takes place.

BGMAG Petition
In the near future a BGMAG petition will go door to door and a possible online one might take place. Anyone willing to help go door to door in their area is asked to contact James Quigley, Mill Brae. Although this is a lot of work it will not only give us an opportunity to talk to people but it will also highlight the issue. We need everyone to understand what is happening and we are confident that if they do they will support us.

Actions so far
Up to now we have sent objections to the OPW and Garda Siochana. We have sent what is called a Section 5 Declaration of Exemption to Donegal County Council querying the OPW planning exemption. Further legal opinion will be investigated and if there is any possible avenue open we will consider it.

Future Action
I hope that suggestions for the online 5G Inishowen Awareness facebook group forming a structure steering committee happens and plans for a future public information meeting takes place. Another constructive action that has been mentioned by 5G Inishowen Awareness is to encourage schools to educate themselves about effects of wifi equipment on children. This could be done through students projects on the effects and studies of EMF technologies. Hopefully parents might come on board and put pressure on schools.


I know and understand that people may be reluctant to physically protest but because of serious consequences to my family’s health I feel something public is required. I will begin a campaign of picketing Buncrana Garda station for an hour most days (excl Sun, of course) at 12 noon beginning this Saturday 11 May. This will continue until I feel it has fulfilled it’s objective. The protest will keep the issue in focus and hopefully garner some publicity and gossip. Anyone interested in joining me this Sat 11 May at 12 noon come along.

My placard will read “Garda Mast Plan Endangers Lives”.