Parents Still Freaked Out About Health Effects Of WiFi
from the this-again? dept
Back in 2003, we wrote about parents suing a school district over plans to offer a WiFi network for the students. Apparently, some of the parents believed that WiFi networks would somehow be dangerous to the kids. We hadn't heard much else on the topic, but the Times Online has an article claiming that plenty of parents are now pushing to have school districts remove WiFi networks -- and many schools are complying. The article quotes plenty of worried parents, but the reporter apparently couldn't find a single study that suggested there was any harm whatsoever in WiFi networks. The article mentions some completely unsourced research saying the risk is even greater to kids because of their thinner skulls (no, seriously). It also quotes one teacher who insists that WiFi made him too sick to teach, though again, no one suggested any possible alternative explanation (or why his thicker skull didn't protect him). Instead, parents complain that until WiFi is proven safe, it shouldn't be near kids and one other parent says it's the same thing as having a phone mast in the room -- despite the fact it's nothing like that at all, and even the health effects of cellular wireless signals is in question (though there was one silly study that actually suggested proximity to a tower could make you smarter). We've also discussed the fallacy of saying that you can have no innovation until things are proven to be 100% safe. That would kill plenty of useful (potentially life-saving) innovations just for the sake of a few that also have adverse effects. It's certainly important to keep studying the health impact of WiFi and other wireless signals, but to completely ban it until it's somehow proven safe (as opposed to proven unsafe) seems a bit extreme.