As a professor and scientist who does research on the biological effects of non-ionizing radiation, I am deeply disturbed that the North Kingstown School Department has decided to go against the wishes of teachers and parents and plans to install Wi-Fi in schools.

Experience in other school districts that have installed Wi-Fi has not been positive. Students are complaining of headaches, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, nausea, weakness, dizziness and heart palpitations in schools after Wi-Fi installation. Teachers, who have become ill and can no longer work, are unable to fulfill their dream of educating the next generation.

Doctors in Europe have been concerned about this for decades as a growing population is developing an adverse reaction to this radiation when their exposure becomes ubiquitous.

The Freiburger Appeal in 2002, signed by hundreds of physicians and scientists, states, “Our therapeutic efforts to restore health are becoming increasingly less effective: the unimpeded and continuous penetration of radiation into living and working areas...causes uninterrupted stress and prevents the patient’s thorough recovery.”

The International Doctors’ Appeal of 2012 recommends special protection for children and adolescents regarding exposure to wireless technology; conversion of continuous transmitters, currently used for Wi-Fi, to on demand transmitters and wireless-free zones similar to smoke-free environments for those who are sensitive.

The Austrian Medical Association released a document in 2012 providing ways to diagnose and treat electromagnetic syndrome also referred to as electrohypersensitivity. This illness is being increasingly documented by a growing number of health care practitioners in North America.

And if electrical sensitivity isn’t enough, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in 2011, classified microwave radiation as a possible human carcinogen.

Schools have been highly responsive to concerns raised about asbestos, pesticides, toxin-free cleaners and nut-free lunches. Why is it so difficult for administrators to accept the fact that constant microwave exposure in the classroom is not in the best interests of students and staff? Schools that place health above convenience need to install wired Internet access. Not only is wired Internet safer, but it also is faster and more secure than Wi-Fi. Wired Internet is the wise choice!

The author is a professor and scientist in Environmental & Resource Studies at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

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