Canadian Schools Ban WiFi Based On Bad Science

from the and-what-are-they-teaching-our-kids dept

A decade ago, we first wrote about some freaked out, clueless parents suing a school district for wanting to install a WiFi network. The parents believed -- based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever -- that WiFi networks emitted "harmful" electro-magnetic radiation. Since then, we've heard of many such stories of people fearing the health impacts of WiFi, despite a near total lack of evidence of any harm at all. Studies have found that an entire year sitting next to a WiFi access point gives you the equivalent radiation of 20 minutes on a mobile phone. And yet, every few years, we hear about parents or politicians freaking out about the issue and trying to get WiFi banned in schools.

Amazingly, they've succeeded in some places, including 12 elementary and middle schools up in Canada, which are now being called out by a group called "Bad Science Watch" for making decisions based on absolutely and totally bogus science. You can read the full report here, in which they call out "anti-WiFi activists" who are "spreading misinformation." It seems they ought to call out schools as well. You would think that places of learning would investigate the actual science.
These claims are not substantiated by the scientific literature and have little acceptance from medical professionals and the scientific community. This activism therefore amounts to nothing more than fear-mongering by misguided special interest groups who are attempting to have these networks removed.

Nevertheless, the media has been all too willing to fan the flames of controversy and has contributed to a growing false uncertainty over the safety of WiFi. As a result many school boards, libraries, and town councils across Canada have been called on by concerned citizens to limit or remove WiFi networks.

Filed Under: canada, health, scared, wifi


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  1. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 6 Feb 2013 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Not dangerous?

    You know what "mismatched" (whatever that means in this context) antennae can't do? Add power to the radio signal. They can only shape it. So, you're saying that the total power output of that WiFi installation was at least 90 watts.

    That's pretty high. I hope they had an FCC license for it, because they take that sort of thing pretty seriously.

    literally frying the brain of the receptionist sitting underneath with low-dose microwaves.


    No, it wasn't. "Literally frying" would be that the receptionists brain was actually being cooked at temperatures that would cause it to sizzle. Low-dose microwaves wouldn't be able to do anything other than a slight warming.

    That entire anecdote sounds incredibly implausible. It's far more likely that the ransom ham radio operator's math was wrong.

    If there was really a concern, why didn't somebody rent a meter and directly measure the amount of power in the emissions?

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