Mum-of-three Alisa Keane, from Northern Ireland, says her sons James, Conn and Dara were all struggling in class but the ‘fog lifted’ a few hours after the bell rang


A mum has taken her three children out of school because she believes the building’s WiFi makes them sick.

Alisa Keane, from Downpatrick, County Down, in Northern Ireland, says her sons James, Conn and Dara were all suffering severe headaches, nausea and problems with concentration during class.

But their symptoms vanished after spending an hour or two at home.

Alisa, 45, a trained teacher and communications expert, told Belfast Live: “I was very concerned about them. The issues seemed more pronounced with James who is the oldest, but all three boys were struggling with the same problems.

“When James told me he just couldn’t think in school I was really concerned. He said he could only think straight when he was at home.

“This was from a very bright boy who loved to learn, he loved to participate but he was really struggling. He was even getting annoyed with his classmates when they chatted because it broke his concentration and he was feeling generally irritated.

“But once he was home, the fog lifted and he was able to get down to his work happily.”

She continued: “But he often felt nauseous and had a runny nose from an inflammatory problem which took longer to ease off and by the time it did, he’d be back in class and the problem would start again.

“Their dad Mark and I noticed a pattern had developed and the only difference between their surroundings in school and home was that we had no WiFi at home, we use the Ethernet which is hard wired.

“I started researching to see if it was possible that radio frequency radiation, the RF/EMF that delivers WiFi to us, could be an issue and I learned that in their little primary school they had two industrial sized routers for 23 iPads.

“The more I researched the more concerned I became. I kept thinking about James telling us that he just couldn’t think straight in school.

“I discovered Lloyds of London had dropped their insurance cover for WiFi use, and then discovered shockingly that the World Health Organisation International Agency for Research on Cancer classified wireless WiFi radiation as a Group 2B ‘Possible Human Carcinogen’.

“Then they outlined how children’s bodies absorb wireless radiation deeper into their bodies than adults.

“And what Dr Victoria Dunckley said worried me immensely. She explained WiFi in a classroom is constant, occurring all day every day, because signals are emitted by the access hubs even when the devices are not in use.

“She explains that the signals produced are also much stronger than those produced by your average home WiFi hub because the amount of bandwidth required to accommodate a large number of users.

“And in a school setting, multiple devices tend to be in use at once, which she says causes EMFs to reverberate and magnify one another.

“On 26 May 2017 I hand delivered a letter to the principal, including 20 scientific studies and reports on the adverse health effects from WiFi and wireless radiation.

“In the letter Mark and I asked for the WiFi in the school to be turned off, we asked that we receive the school’s risk assessment for WiFi emitting devices and associated equipment.

“We also asked for their risk assessments for asbestos and lead and the Certificate of Indemnity from the schools insurance provider and underwriters confirming that any damages or adverse health effects from WiFi/wireless radiation were covered.

“A couple of weeks later the principal, wrote to us stating: ‘As an employee of CCMS and in this capacity, I have made all reasonable enquiries into your request and have decided to continue to use WiFi in school’.

“Mark and I offered to pay to have the Ethernet installed in the school at our expense but it was turned down.”

A Freedom of Information request revealed that Tim Matchett, Head of Managed Services at C2k which is part of the Education Authority, confirmed that after contacting colleagues, contractors and staff within the wider EA, no risk assessment in relation to WiFi was held on file.

Alisa explained: “We discussed with the boys what we thought we should do to see if removing them from the school building would help. They were open to the idea and trusted us.

“So we took the boys out of school as a precaution. Their health and welfare is the responsibility of their parents, myself and Mark. We won’t take any risks with that especially when the risk of WiFi is unnecessary.

“Within one week we noticed a vast difference in their health. Their headaches and nausea were gone, the runny nose and what appeared as allergy symptoms cleared up and they were all able to concentrate and focus.

“What they learned went in and stayed in. They were happy and healthy and that has not changed in the last year.

“We arranged play dates with their school friends and because as brothers, there are only three and a half years between them, they play together too. They go swimming and to Jiu Jitsu together and are very content.

“To be honest I was amazed by the difference in their health and even more so because it improved so quickly.

“So I have become their teacher and it’s working out very well. It is not something I expected to do but I had to put their health first. Our hunch that they were sensitive to the WiFi in their school building appears to be correct and I know other parents who have concerns about the exposure.

“It has been deeply disappointing to know that the school and the CCMS did not act, did not accept our offer to pay for a different system and continue to have pupils exposed. It was just not a risk we wanted to take.”

Alisa said she was concerned about a number of potential dangers now associated with WiFi exposure including its:

  • Contribution to the development of insomnia.
  • Damage to childhood development
  • Affect on cell growth
  • Derailing of brain function
  • Neutralising sperm
  • Possible impact on fertility
  • Provoking stress on the heart
  • Links to breast and brain cancer

Dr Sarah Starkey, a neuroscientist, will on Thursday join the National Education Union to call for WiFi precautions to be introduced into schools.

She said: “The UK has taken no action to protect the public following the classification by the World Health Organisation International Agency for Research on Cancer of all radio frequency signals as a possible human carcinogen183.

“Indeed, PHE is withholding appropriate specialist advice by having no mention of the IARC classification of radio frequency signals on its current website.

“The UK has not yet listened to the concerns of over 200 scientists from around the world who are calling for action to better protect the public from radio frequency radiation, radio frequency effects on our health and well-being as well as the health and development of our children.

“This includes links to breast and brain cancer, to its associations with increased infertility and genetic mutations related to autism and ADHD, to newly identified illnesses, such as electrical hypersensitivity.

“The evidence indicating wireless is carcinogenic has increased and can no longer be ignored.”

Recommended Tips For Safety

  • Get wired. Prefer wired connection. They don’t use microwaves to transmit information. That means prefer a wired desktop computer and favour corded phones. You can transfer your wireless calls to your landline.
  • Get off the grid. Turn your router and devices Off or put on airplane mode and Bluetooth off when not in use. Don’t use wireless devices in metal enclosures like cars and elevators.
  • Get pure sleep with no wireless devices in your bedroom unless on airplane mode. EMF affects your melatonin secretions and your brain.
  • Get time conscious. Decrease your exposure time by speaking less on cell phones, switching ears if you have to talk and minimizing your time spent in Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • Get it out of your pocket to prevent risk of infertility and out of your bra to prevent breast cancer.
  • Get smart. Apply all of the above to minimise firsthand and secondhand radiations. Especially for children and pregnant women.

Mark Langhammer, the regional secretary for the National Education Union, said: “In less than a generation, mobile phones and the internet have revolutionised virtually every aspect of our lives, transforming how we work, shop, socialise and communicate.

“NEU will call on schools and education authorities to consider the case for implementing the ‘precautionary principle’ when it comes to the adoption of wireless technology and the steps that schools, education authorities and parents can take to safeguard and protect children and young people.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Education Authority, said: “We are committed to encouraging and supporting the use of new digital technologies in schools and the Education Network contract provides all schools with a modern, networked ICT infrastructure.

“While the majority of the equipment provided as a core element of the service continues to be connected through a cabled network, the strategy to enable schools to significantly enhance the levels of pupil access, by either providing school purchased devices or allowing pupils to bring their own smartphones, netbooks or tablet devices, has required that the cabled networks be supplemented with Wi-Fi connectivity throughout every school.

“This reflects the current advances in technology where all mobile and portable devices are now Wi-Fi enabled by default and Wi-Fi services are becoming increasingly available in homes and public spaces.

“Of course the health and safety of children and staff is of paramount importance to the Education Authority and advice from the Health Protection Agency and the International Commission on Non-ionising Radiation Protection is constantly monitored.

“The current position being taken by the HPA is that radiation exposure levels from laptops and wireless access devices is low in classroom situations and should not constitute a reason to discourage their use.”