from the shaky-science dept
Regardless, a lack of science hasn't stopped parents in Massachusetts from suing their local private school, claiming the school installed new Wi-Fi gear in 2013 that triggered "headaches, nosebleeds, nausea, and other symptoms" in their thirteen-year-old child. The suit hopes to have "Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome" classified under the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the lawsuit (pdf), the child's mother, after "much research and study," concluded that it was the Wi-Fi making the child sick, something family doctors were willing to substantiate.
Justifiably, the school brought in EMF analysis experts to document the specific EMF hazard being posed (spoiler, there wasn't any):
"Isotrope found that the combined levels of access point emissions, broadcast radio and television signals, and other RFE emissions on campus ‘were substantially less than one ten-thousandth (1/10,000th) of the applicable (FCC) safety limits."The family was also annoyed when the school district wanted to use their own doctors, who in about ten minutes (at least according to the parents) came to the conclusion that whatever is ailing the kid, it wasn't Wi-Fi radiation:
"The family was also unhappy after officials at Fay asked them to have G see another physician, who after speaking to G for 10 minutes and not conducting any tests “pronounced that in his view there was not enough study yet done to link Wi-Fi emissions to symptoms such as those G is experiencing at Fay School,” they say in the complaint. "This doctor stated in essence that he does not believe in EHS,” the lawsuit says. “Yet he made no alternate diagnosis."All told, the parents demanded the school run Ethernet to classrooms their child attends, lower the overall power of Wi-Fi transmissions in the school, and provide $250,000 in settlement funds. A new, updated report suggests that a preliminary settlement with the school may have already been reached. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like these disputes could be settled very easily (and without hindering the school's coffers or other student's capacity for learning) by having the electromagnetically-sensitive participate in a blinded study requiring they clearly illustrate their ability to detect electromagnetic fields.
While there are countless diseases that constantly illustrate we certainly don't know as much as we think we do (Lyme Disease, for example), if EMF exposure really is having that dramatic of an impact on certain individuals, this is surely reproducible and provable, right? Right?