Wi-Fi doesn't harm children; misguided parents do

Posted by Liam Britten

A Meaford, Ontario elementary school’s parent-teacher association is asking the school board to shut down the school’s Wi-Fi broadcasting because they fear health risks being posed to their children.

The CBC broke the story yesterday:

"After learning the whole story about how risky Wi-Fi is, parents voted to protect their children's health and plug the computers back in with hardwires," said Andrew Couper, a member of Saint Vincent Euphrasia Parent Council, in a statement issued Monday.

"This is something every school council across Canada should be questioning."

The parents group has about 210 members, and 88 per cent of those polled said they want the Wi-Fi shut off, Couper said in an interview. The parents believe Wi-Fi at the school, which has about 350 students, is causing a number of symptoms among students, including headaches and an inability to concentrate, all of which disappear on weekends.

The CBC reported that the fears were backed up by the receipt of reports from the Royal Society of Canada and LEX Scientific, an environmental consulting firm based in Guelph. LEX Scientific tested the school and although “found radiation levels to be below official guidelines, it could not say what long-term exposure may result in.”

Health Canada weighed in on the issue in August, and said in a statement:

"Health Canada continues to reassure Canadians that the radiofrequency energy emitted from Wi-Fi equipment is extremely low and is not associated with any health problems," the statement said. "Based on scientific evidence, Health Canada has determined that exposure to low-level radiofrequency energy, such as that from Wi-Fi equipment, is not dangerous to the public."

No offense, Meaford parents, but you have to stop drinking the Kool-Aid and come back to reality. Wi-Fi has been known to be harmless for years now, and efforts to convince us otherwise are simply nonsense.

What really seems fishy to me is this LEX Scientific company. Note how they run the tests, find nothing to be concerned out, then add cryptic comments about how they can’t predict what the future effects will be. With one breath, they say there’s nothing to fear, and with the other, they say that parents need to be concerned — they’re basically delivering to these parents exactly what they want to hear, and probably making a pretty penny in the process.

And come on — students are only now suffering from symptoms like “headaches and an inability to concentrate, all of which disappear on weekends?” When I was in school, we didn’t have Wi-Fi, and you bet your ass I suffered from illnesses that magically disappeared on weekends! That’s because weekdays were filled with school and homework, and weekends had a little something called video games. Gimme a break here.

People who fight Wi-Fi because of mysterious waves that no reputable scientific body is concerned about are just ridiculous. They have zero credibility, and the fact that more and more schools are succumbing to this paranoid hysteria is not a good trend. Listen: Wi-Fi isn’t scary; what’s scary is how quickly these parents are willing to deny their children educational opportunities because of some unscientific hogwash based on unfounded fears.

But time and time again, these sorts of societal panics keep on happening. They’re on the same level as people who fear the Illuminati. Or spy satellites. Or that most dangerous of threats — communists fluoridating our water supply.

And be careful about those fluoridation nutjobs; they take things pretty seriously.

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Liam Britten

Liam Britten

Liam Britten is a writer and editor with a journalism background operating out of Vancouver. In addition to his work at Techvibes, he has been published in student publications across Canada, as well as local newspapers such as The MapleRidge-Pitt Meadows TIMES and The Langley Advance. An aficionado for the finer things in life — such as video games and sports — Liam is plugged into the tech... more



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