A BRITISH neuroscientist is backing a Venus Bay mother’s call to ban Wi-Fi in schools, with fears the internet technology could cause cancer.
Kylie Laing argues that “industrial strength” Wi-Fi networks could be putting children’s health at risk. It is a claim supported by Dr Sarah Starkey, who is calling for a similar ban in her own country.
Victorian building biologist Narelle Haw is also supportive of stripping the technology from the state’s schools.
Ms Haw, who assesses the healthiness of buildings, addressed a group of concerned locals at the Venus Bay Community Centre recently.
She told her audience: “As parents we have the right to demand a safe and healthy learning space for our children. Convenience should not come at the cost of our children’s health. We need to heed the warnings and when a wired option is available it should be adopted whenever possible.”
Aside from cancer, Ms Haw believes the technology could be causing headaches and migraines; learning, concentration and behavioural problems; insomnia; fatigue; anxiety and depression; muscle and joint pains and spasms; ringing in the ears and hearing loss; palpitations, high blood pressure, arrhythmias and shortness of breath; Motor Neurone Disease; lowered sperm count; electrical hyper-sensitivity; and blood brain barrier penetration.
Dr Starkey told The Star: “It is reasonable to suppose that Wi-Fi in schools may be damaging human DNA, altering brain activity, decreasing attention or cognitive abilities and damaging fertility, because there are published studies supporting these effects.
“For some people Wi-Fi may be having adverse effects on heart rate. The question which I think needs asking is why, when there is evidence of harm from microwave radiation in the scientific literature, have health protection agencies not called for biological studies to be done into its safety.
“For many people, finding out that Wi-Fi is harmful would be inconvenient. But inconvenience doesn’t stop it being true, stop children being damaged in schools or take away the responsibility of those who are advising on its safety for school environments.”
Ms Laing said the “things showing up are quite scary as a parent”.
“There is a group of people that are quite sensitive to the wireless technology, with studies suggesting that there are immediate effects on some people, along with the unknowns, which may include cancer,” Ms Laing said.
“They’re talking about a latency period of 20 to 30 years before evidence of brain tumours might manifest themselves. In schools the Wi-Fi is never switched off and this is the concern.
“The guidelines for radiation exposure in Australia are set up for thermal exposure not non-thermal exposure, the low-level type that Wi-Fi produces over a sustained period.”
Ms Haw told The Star the issue of Wi-Fi radiation had been “on a lot of people’s minds”. She has plans to launch a website in Australia to “start getting the awareness out there” about the potentially negative effects of Wi-Fi.
“We really want to start a conversation about it. I meet people who are debilitated because of the effects Wi-Fi has on them. They go from being perfectly functioning people, to not being able to leave their homes,” she said.
“There have been international studies suggesting Wi-Fi has a biological effect on people. I’m saying that a certain percentage of the population succumb and we don’t know the whys and hows. So, why would we be putting them in every school and subjecting our children to that?
“They’re at the developmental stage, where their metabolism is working so much faster, their heartbeats are so much quicker and their skulls are thinner. Everything they absorb is absorbed a lot more effectively than with adults.”
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