Wi-Fi radiation exposure sparks fears

Europe’s top environmental watchdog, the European Environment Agency (EEA), is calling for immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi, mobile phones and their masts, which could lead to a health crisis similar to that caused by asbestos, smoking and lead in petrol.

The warning follows an international scientific review which concluded that safety limits set for the radiation are “thousands of times too lenient.” The scientific review, produced by the international BioInitiative Working Group of leading scientists and public health and policy experts, says the “explosion of new sources has created unprecedented levels of artificial electromagnetic fields that now cover all but remote areas of the habitable space on Earth,” causing “long-term and cumulative exposure” to “massively increased” radiation that “has no precedent in human history.”

EEA’s Executive Director, Professor Jacqueline McGlade, said, “It would be prudent for health authorities to recommend actions to reduce exposures, especially to vulnerable groups, such as children.”

This spring, Britain’s top health protection watchdog, Sir William Stewart, called for an official review of the use of Wi-Fi technology in schools, which has been installed in nearly half of all primary schools and 70 per cent of secondary schools in the country.

Carmarthenshire County Council is drawing up a code of practice for using the technology that it plans to enforce on local schools. It says that the code is “absolutely necessary” as the safety of children should be “paramount”. The move, which was welcomed by the Professional Association of Teachers, is the first of its kind taken by a local authority.

However, the all-Labour cabinet of Haringey Council threw out recommendations for controls on Wi-Fi in schools. Councillor Martin Newton accused the cabinet of “playing Russian roulette with the future of our children.”

The EEA’s initiative will increase pressure on governments and public health bodies to take precautionary action over the electromagnetic radiation from rapidly expanding new technologies. The German Government is already advising its citizens to use wired internet connections instead of Wi-Fi and landlines instead of mobile phones.

In response to the EEA’s recommendations, Vodafone has reiterated its health policy, stressing that they follow very stringent international exposure guidelines as supported by the World Health Organisation and set by the International Commission on Non-ionising Radiation Protection.




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Oktober 2007

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