New Zealand's School WiFi Declared Safe, Father of Boy Who Died with Brain Tumour Not Convinced
By Reissa Su | March 21, 2014 12:46 PM EST
New Zealand's Ministry of Health released the findings of the study that revealed WiFi in schools are safe. WiFi radiofrequency fields in schools do not have any implication to students and staff, according to the study.
Students use computers to study at Elswood Secondary School in Cape Town, September 20, 2012. REUTERS
The ministry presented the results of the Snapshot Study: WiFi in Schools on March 20 with measurements of exposures to radiofrequency (RF) fields from WiFi in New Zealand schools. The report said exposures to WiFi in schools both from devices and access points were found to be low. Since there is low exposure, WiFi does not present a health risk to those in school.
The results of the study were compared against the New Zealand Standards for exposure and international research findings. Associate Minister of Health Jo Goodhew said WiFi exposures were generally 10,000 times lower than the specified standard.
However, a father from the Kapati Coast who has campaigned for the removal of WiFi in schools does not feel reassured. Damon Wyman launched the campaign after his 10-year-old son died from a brain tumor. He was able to convince his son's primary school, Te Horo, to remove WiFi from some of the classrooms.
Along with another parent, David Bird, Mr Wyman urged the Te Horo School to allow Internet access using a cable connection. Wi-Fi has been linked to cancer and other health problems in some studies.
According to Mr Wyman, health professionals as well as the school board have expressed their concern of WiFi exposure to students inside the classroom. The school board has decided to replace WiFi with cable-based Internet in junior classrooms to alleviate health concerns. However, WiFi will still remain in senior classrooms based on a survey of parents who were consulted about the issue.
Despite reports of WiFi being linked with cancer, the New Zealand government believes WiFi is safe. In a statement, the government based its views on the matter using information taken from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and "other submissions." The government believes that WiFi in classrooms is not a risk to the health of students and staff.
To contact the editor, e-mail: