Wireless in Schools
"We have enough evidence to justify taking action and we are not willing to wait until our members, their children and the students suffer health consequences from not doing anything. The history of occupational disease shows the devastating consequences of doing just that."
- Paul Pecorale, Vice President of New York State United Teachers
In classrooms across America, screen learning has begun to augment traditional teaching models in ways we never expected. While kids love their tablets and screen learning has its place in education, everyone should be aware that wireless technology comes with a concern for student health and safety.
Wireless devices use radio-frequency, or RF radiation (also called microwave radiation) to communicate. For many years, scientists and engineers believed the only impact of exposure to this type of radiation for humans was heat. Therefore the exposure limits set by the FCC back in 1996 were based solely on the capacity of these waves to burn the skin.
More recently, scientists have discovered how chronic, low-level exposure to RF radiation can weaken the blood-brain barrier, damage cells and lead to a variety of human health conditions, including abnormal brain development and cancer. Vulnerable populations, including young children and pregnant women and their unborn children, are particularly at risk.
This is not just a problem for IT managers. School administrators are under various state and federal laws that require them to provide a safe learning environment for students under their care. This includes investigating any possible hazard and taking steps to reduce or eliminate it.
The good news is that there are many relatively easy ways for schools to reduce the amount of radiation in classrooms. Please visit the TechSafe School program to learn more.