New Zealand Parents of Boy with Brain Cancer Want Wi-Fi Out of School

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By Reissa Su | December 20, 2013 6:30 PM EST

New Zealand parents want to remove Wi-Fi from classrooms at Te Horo School after their son died from brain cancer. Ethan Wyman died 11 months after doctors diagnosed two brain tumours.

The death of the boy prompted a Kapiti Coast school to conduct a survey about what parents think of Wi-Fi in schools. The board of trustees has sent the survey to all parents after the Wymans told them about the risk of radiation from Wi-Fi. A recent study has shown the effect of radiation from Wi-Fi may be associated with cancer.

However, the Ministry of Education, which has been attending meetings with the New Zealand's Ministry of Health in the school, said research findings show Wi-Fi is safe to use.

Damon Wyman, father of Ethan, said his son was diagnosed with brain tumours three months after the boy was given an iPod with a Wi-Fi connection. The parents found out later on that their son had been sleeping with the iPod under his pillow. Mr Wyman said even if the device was on standby, the iPod was still giving off bursts of radiation as it tried to connect to a router.

According to doctors who examined the boy, the tumours were estimated to be four months old. Mr Wyman's son died at the age of 10, only less than a year of his diagnosis.

Mr Wyman said he did not say it was the Wi-Fi that caused the death but "it seems like a bit of coincidence" since most parents are cautious about giving their young children a mobile phone. He said having a Wi-Fi connection in the classroom is exposing about 30 children to the same thing.

Despite the ministry's statement of Wi-Fi being safe, research studies advise to take precautions against Wi-Fi. Some parents had suggested cable Internet as an alternative way to connect.

School board chairman Steve Joss said the school was taking the parents' concerns seriously. Although no final decisions were made, they were still working on gathering more information.

Research findings

A research study has confirmed that the electromagnetic radiation coming from WiFi can be dangerous to health. Safe Wireless Technology New Zealand (SWTNZ) said WiFi has negative effects to health and the New Zealand government has chosen to ignore the findings.

Based on the findings, SWTNZ chairman Greg Kasper said radiation from WiFi can cause nausea, headaches and even cancer. He said too much exposure is detrimental to health.

Some research studies have suggested a possible link between the use of WiFi and a variety of symptoms like tingling and burning sensations, skin redness, fatigue, nausea, heart palpitations and problems with digestion.

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