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UK
 

The UK Chief Medical Officers strongly advise that children and teenagers under 16 should not use mobile phones except for short essential calls.

Scroll down to see what other governments are saying.

Read about what scientists are saying...

 
 
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EU

The European Parliament voted in September 2008 by a very large majority to recommend tighter safety standards for mobile phones and other wireless technology (including wi-fi and DECT cordless phones) particularly to protect vulnerable groups like children. It points out in particular the need to "address vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, newborn babies and children"

The Parliament commented on the Bio-Initiative international report and stated that:

"the limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields which have been set for the general public are obsolete" and called upon the Council to "set stricter exposure limits for all equipment which emits electromagnetic waves ..."

 


 

 
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Germany
 

The German government's health protection agency recommends the public reduce their  exposure to high frequency radiation to minimise health risks. It recommends:

The Frankfurt City Government  and the Bavarian Parliament have recommended against installation of wi-fi in schools. 

Read more about alternatives to cordless DECT phones, wifi and bluetooth...


 

 
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img title="France" border="0" alt="France" src="/images/stories/flags/France.gif" />

City of Lyon a mobile phone before we're 12 no way lets keep them healthy and way from mobile phonesThe French government has announced that it is introducing legislation to ban advertising of mobile phones to children under 14. The French Senate is also pressing for a ban on the use of mobile phones in primary and middle schools.

Over the Christmas period 2008/9, the French city of Lyon ran an advertising campaign to dissuade parents from buying mobile phones for their children:

Read about what scientists are saying...

Read about the dangers of mobile phones...

French national libraries (BNF) has imposed a moratorium on wi-fi networks in French libraries following a moratorium in Paris libraries after staff reported ill effects.

A town in France (Hérouville-Saint-Clair) is removing wi-fi networks from all its schools before the end of the 2009. "We are going to apply the precautionary principle. Our job is to protect people's health," declared the mayor Rodolphe Thomas in April 2009. The council is also launching a campaign to inform the public about precautions for protection from radiation

Read about the dangers of wi-fi and other wireless technology...

 
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Russia

The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, with the the equivalent role of our Health Protection Agency, has expressed concern at the marketing of mobile phones to children and teenagers and has stated that it believes that the risk to children from mobile phones is not much lower than the risk to children’s health from tobacco or alcohol.

The Committee explains this high potential risk as follows:

  • the absorption of electro-magnetic energy in a child’s head is considerably higher than that in the head of an adult (a child's brain has higher conductivity, smaller size, thin skull bones, smaller distance from the antenna etc.)

  • children are more sensitive to electro-magnetic fields than adults

  • childrens' brains have higher sensitivity to the accumulation of the adverse effects from chronic exposure to the electro-magnetic fields

  • electro-magnetic fields affect higher nervous activity

  • today’s children will spend a longer time using mobile phones than today’s adults will do

The Committee states that children mobile phone users are likely to face the following hazards in the near future:

  • disruption of memory

  • decline of attention

  • diminishing learning and cognitive abilities

  • increased rritability

  • sleep problems

  • increase in sensitivity to stress

  • increased epileptic readiness

It states that children have the following possible long-term health risks:

  • brain tumors

  • tumors of acoustical and vestibular nerves (at age 25-30)

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • dementia

  • depressive syndrome

  • other types of degeneration of the nervous structures of the brain (at age 50 to 60).

 

 
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 The Indian Ministry of Telecommunication has recommended that children under the age of 16 should be discouraged from using cell phones

 
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The Israeli Ministry of Health has recommended limiting children's use of cell phones, avoidance of cellular communication in enclosed places such as elevators and trains, and use of wired, not wireless, earpieces.

 
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Finland

The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) has advised that children's mobile phone use should be restricted.

The Authority says that children will have more time to use a mobile phone for a longer period of time than adults. The long-term risks from the use of mobile phones can not be assessed before the phones have been in use for several decades. Additionally, children's brains are developing up to the age of 20 years.

"With children, we have reason to be especially careful, because there is not enough research on children's mobile phone use. Unfortunately, it will not be easy to obtain this information in the future, either, because of ethical considerations, the use of children as research subjects must always be heavily justified"
, according to STUK research director Sisko Salomaa.

The Authority suggests that the children's mobile phone use could be restricted in the following ways:

  • favouring the use of text messages rather than calls,

  • parents limiting the number of calls and their duration,

  • using hands-free devices

  • avoiding talking in an area with low connectivity or in a moving car or a train.

 

 
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The International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety (ICEMS)

ICEMS is made up of scientists, medical doctors and engineers from around the world. In their Beneveto Resolution (2006) and Venice Resolution (June 2008), they stated their concern for the effects of human exposure to electromagnetic fields on health. They state:

"We take exception to the claim of the wireless communication industry that there is no credible scientific evidence to conclude there is a risk.  Recent epidemiological evidence is stronger than before, which is a further reason to justify precautions be taken to lower exposure standards..."

"We strongly advise limited use of cell phones, and other similar devices, by young children and teenagers, and we call upon governments to apply the Precautionary Principle as an interim measure while more biologically relevant standards are developed to protect against, not only the absorption of electromagnetic energy by the head, but also adverse effects of the signals on biochemistry, physiology and electrical biorhythms."

The Education Professionals Union (Voice) (formerly the Professional Association of Teachers)

Voice is calling for a moratorium on new Wi-Fi networks in schools and the suspension of existing Wi-Fi if possible. It has called for a full investigation into wifi networks in schools: 

"We continue to be concerned about the possible effects of Wi-Fi. Particularly on children whose brains and bodies are still developing".

Speaking about the announcement of an investigation into Wi-Fi by the Health Protection Agency (measuring emissions from computers in schools to check whether they are within ICNIRP guidelines), Voice General Secretary, Philip Parkin stated:

"Whilst we welcome this investigation I do not feel that it goes far enough.  It seems to be concentrating on what should be known already rather than on what is not known.  It seems to me that the HPA:
- has pre-judged outcomes before they have done the work;
- seems to only be considering the thermal effect of EMR (electromagnetic radiation) and not the potential long-term health risks associated with the non-thermal effects;
- is assessing against the totally inadequate ICNIRPS guidelines which only relate to the thermal effects of EMR;
- does not appear to be doing any health-related investigations amongst children; and
- appears to be concentrating on measuring radiation levels which are already known, or should have been before the technology was allowed to be used in schools."

Read more...

Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)

In April 2009, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers called for classroom wireless networks to be suspended immediately until research has properly considered the threat to health. Members said they were concerned by scientific reports linking wi-fi with impaired concentration, loss of short-term memory, chromosome damage and increased incidence of cancer.

The German teachers' Union for Education and Knowledge (GEW, Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft)

GEW has told its members to resist the rollout of Wi-Fi into schools in Germany on safety grounds.  The GEW Union in Hesse has proposed:

"Due to possible effects on school performance, a healthy school should not only be smoke free, but also allow teachers and students to teach and study in a radiation free environment"

Public Health Department of Salzburg

The Public Health Department of Salzburg has warned that Wi-Fi should not be installed in schools or nurseries.

The Austrian Medical Association

The Austrian Medical Association is lobbying against the deployment of Wi-Fi in schools.

Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada

Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada has limited its use of Wi-Fi, due to health concerns.  It has comprehensive fibre-optic computer network throughout the campus.  Its policy on the use of Wi-Fi states:

"There will be no use of Wi-Fi in those areas of the University already served by hard wire connectivity until such time as the potential health effects have been scientifically rebutted or there are adequate protective measures that can be taken"

Libraries in France

French national libraries (BNF) has imposed a moratorium on wi-fi networks in French libraries. Paris libraries have switched off wi-fi after staff reported ill effects.

The Progressive Librarian's Guild in America

The Progressive Librarian’s Guild in America recommends:

"that via their professional organizations, information workers address the risks of wireless technology in public spaces, take steps in learning about the risks of wireless in terms of exposure and impact on library services, monitor wireless technology in their facilities, critically evaluate and adopt alternatives to wireless technology especially in children’s sections of libraries, create warning signage on risks of wi-fi throughout their libraries,and act as a community resource in the public education on wireless technologies."

Some of the information on this page was provided by www.wifiinschools.org.uk.

 
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