We, the signers, are concerned about our children's health and development in schools with wireless technology for teaching. A vast amount of scientific studies have shown considerable medical risks with long-term exposure to Radiofrequency Radiation (RFR) from wireless devices and networks well below the recommended reference levels from the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). We ask the authorities to take their responsibility for our children's future health and wellbeing.
In May 2011 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at WHO classified RFR as a Group 2B carcinogen, i.e., ‘possibly’ carcinogenic to humans. Since then more scientific studies on exposure to RFR in humans, animals and biological material have strengthened the association of an increased risk for cancer, especially brain tumors. Several laboratory studies have shown mechanistic effects in carcinogenesis such as oxidative stress, down regulation of mRNA and DNA damage with single strand breaks. The IARC cancer classification includes all sources of RFR. The exposure from mobile phone base stations, WiFi access points, smart phones, laptops and tablets can be long-term, sometimes around the clock, both at home and at school. For children this risk may be accentuated because of a cumulative effect during a long lifetime use. Developing and immature cells can also be more sensitive to exposure to RFR. Based on scientific studies no safe level of this radiation has been established and therefore we have no safety assurances.
Besides the cancer risk, RFR may also affect the blood-brain barrier to open and let toxic molecules into the brain, hurt neurons in hippocampus (the brain centre for memory), down or up regulate essential proteins in the brain engaged in the brain's metabolism, stress response and neuro-protection and affect neurotransmitters. Sperms exposed to Wi-Fi have been seen with more head defects and DNA damage. RFR can increase oxidative stress in cells and lead to increase of pro-inflammatory cytokines and lower capacity to repair DNA single and double strand breaks.
Cognitive impairments in learning and memory have also been shown. Results from the OECD's PISA performance surveys in reading and mathematics show decreasing results in countries that have invested most in introducing computers in school. Multitasking, too many hours in front of a screen, less time for social contacts and physical activities with risk for aches in neck and back, overweight, sleep problems, and information technology (IT)- addiction are some of the known risks and side effects of IT. They stand in marked contrast to the often claimed, but largely unproven possible benefits.
We ask the school authorities in all countries to acquire knowledge about the potential risks of RFR for growing and developing children. Supporting wired educational technologies is a safer solution than potentially hazardous exposures from wireless radiation. We ask you to follow the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle and Council of Europe Resolution 1815 to take all reasonable measures to reduce exposure to RFR.
Practical rules for schools concerning children and wireless technology.
- No wireless networks in preschool, kindergarten and schools.
- A hard wired direct cable connection is recommended to each classroom for the teacher to use during lessons.
- Prefer wired telephones for personnel in preschool, kindergarten and schools.
- Prefer cabled connection to Internet and printers in schools and turn off Wi-Fi settings in all equipment
- Prefer laptops and tablets that can be connected by cable to Internet.
- Students should not be allowed to use cell phones in schools. They can either leave them at home or the teacher collects them in turned off mode before first lesson in the morning.