School WiFi defender cherry-picks her facts 

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October 5, 2010

School WiFi defender cherry-picks her facts

by Magda Havas, BSc, PhD

Peterborough's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, talked about WiFi in schools to the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board last week and said that anyone can cherry-pick results to support their conclusions and this is exactly what she did.

She quoted from a review of WiFi recently released by the Ontario Agency for Health Promotion and Protection. One of the many "cherry picked" quotes was the amount of radiation coming from a WiFi laptop computer at a distance of one metre. Who sits that far away? Don't you want to know what the levels are if you have the computer in your lap?

Dr. Pellizzari correctly stated that research on WiFi does not support the Bradford-Hill criteria of causation. However, she left the impression that studies have been conducted and they failed the test. This is false!

There is only one study on the biological effects of WiFi, which showed altered sperm DNA and motility. That's it! We have no idea how this radiation is going to affect growing bodies in the long-term.

The closest research is with adults using cell phones or living near cell phone antennas. These studies show an increased risk of tumours in the side of the body where a cell phone is held after 10 years of cell phone use and an increased incidence of cancers and other health effects for those who live within 500 metres of cell towers. Shouldn't this cause us to be concerned about microwave transmitters in the classroom?

Most schools with WiFi have not measured the levels of radiation. Since some schools use industrial strength WiFi systems we can't be blasé about this exposure.

Dr. Pellizzari recommended that schools monitor microwave exposure. I couldn't agree more. This is the least we can do.

By the way, does anyone care about the exposure of teachers?

Magda Havas, BSc, PhD


Environmental and Resource Studies Trent University.

Article ID# 2786024  

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