Digital learning and wireless connectivity have become so entrenched in schools that many educators now consider high-speed Internet access a requirement for effective teaching.
But schools are finding that a substantial number of people have health concerns about the radio frequency, or RF, signals emitted by Wi-Fi devices, even as exposure levels are far below government safety limits.
Suggestions to minimise EMF in Schools
- Institute a policy that allows for convenient, non-wireless methods for students to communicate with parents about last-minute scheduling issues. Non-wireless methods could include: corded phones, electronic bulletin board, and other practical, accessible ways to get messages to/from students.
- Incorporate a Technology Curriculum into other curricula. For example, in the health curriculum, include information about why and how to reduce exposure to wireless radiation, including step-by-step instructions how to disable wireless on their personal devices. In the environmental science curriculum, review current and historical regulatory policies on EMFs, including international approaches.
- Educate administrators, staff, and volunteers at least annually and when newly hired, about the safer use of technology. This might include: Reviewing school policies and how to reinforce them in the school setting and explaining how to eliminate/minimize health risks of cell phones, screens, and wireless digital devices with hands-on workshops that explain and demonstrate how to hardwire electronics and create a low-EMF computer workstation.
- Install wired rather than wireless LAN and communication services in schools.
- Only purchase or use computers, tablets, and other school and personal technology devices that can be ethernet-connected and allow all wireless applications (including locators) and antennas to be disabled.
- Locate computer stations and ethernet ports throughout school for convenient internet access.
- Hard wire all technology devices. This includes: fixtures such as printers, projectors, scoreboard controls, and boards; computer accessories such as audio speakers, mouse, keyboard, microphone, headphones, etc.; all locations at school (auditorium, gymnasium, library, office, indoor and outdoor lounge or activity areas, daycare facilities, etc.). Always include a step to disable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth antennas via settings in the device, because otherwise even when the device is connected with wires, its antennas will often continue to emit EMF radiation.
- Operate laptops and tablets only in battery mode and not when plugged into an electrical outlet.
- Place corded phones in every room and in common areas so students and staff can communicate without cell phones. No cordless phones.
- Hardwire security systems.
- Do not use fluorescent lights. If fluorescents are already installed, consider improvements and perhaps optimizing natural daylight.
- Install wired charging systems instead of wireless charging systems.
- Do not place microwave ovens in classrooms or schools. If you must use microwaves, then ensure ovens are checked for leaks and damaged seams. Teach students and staff to distance themselves from ovens.
- Replace wirelessly communicating environmental sensors with non-wireless alternatives.
- Ensure cell network towers, antennas, and boosters are not located on, in, or near school property.
Source: Environmental Health Trust