Press Release January 30, 2011

Submitted by: Karen Weiss, spokesperson for Citizens for Safe Technology Victoria (CST-Victoria)

CST-Victoria are a group of parents and citizens concerned about the potential adverse health effects to students and staff in our public schools that could occur as a result of excessive exposure to radio frequency radiation (RFR) emitted from wireless internet routers (Wi-Fi).

CST-Victoria is calling for the Board of School District 61 to adopt the Precautionary Principle and not install any more wireless internet systems in public schools until it can be proven safe. There are several misconceptions about how wireless technology works and about the true costs of these networks.

Health & Safety

A Committee of School District 61 is holding hearings about the widespread implementation of Wi-Fi technology in our public schools. The purpose of these hearings is to develop a policy that ensures this controversial technology is safe for children. The second of three planned hearings will take place Monday, January 31 from 5:00-7:00pm at the SD61 Office, 556 Boleskine Road, Victoria.

Until now, BC School Districts have deferred to Health Canada’s recommended guidelines based on Safety Code 6, while citing there is no credible evidence of adverse health effects from Wi-Fi.
A growing number of concerned parents disagree and are very concerned about Health Canada’s  information, which is very confusing, and some claim, deliberately misleading.

Even though the recommendation was made in 1999 by the Royal Panel to Health Canada to conduct further research into the effects of Wi-Fi, Health Canada has never acted on this recommendation. CST-Victoria is deeply concerned about School Boards following guidelines set out by an agency that never tested the consumer safety of this technology before it was introduced to the public, and continues to ignore the dangers by not implementing studies even now.

When Health Canada has been “called” on their absence of studies, they claim that research into the adverse health effects from Wi-Fi cannot be conducted on children, as it would be unethical. We agree. Yet somehow, Health Canada infers that mass installation of long-term, low-level microwave Wi-Fi radiation in our schools is perfectly ethical. Concerned parents do not consent to their children being used in “the largest human biological experiment ever conducted.” (Dr. Leif Salford)

An oversight in Safety Code 6 has been reported to Health Canada prior to and during last year’s HESA parliamentary hearing by a government licensed body. Health Canada has not yet acknowledged receiving notice of this oversight, although it would be correct practise to immediately act on the reporting of an unintentional oversight that could cause harm.

Contrary to what Health Canada states, there is credible evidence, as the studies existing on Wi-Fi-specific frequency do demonstrate harmful biological effects1.  Thousands of ‘peer reviewed’ studies confirm adverse biological effects at levels deemed acceptable (or safe) by Canadian standards.

Health Canada’s acceptable levels of microwave radiation are many times higher than many other countries. Why are they putting their citizens first and adopting the Precautionary Principle, while Canada does not? Why are Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Russia, Israel, Monaco, Lichtenstein, United Kingdom, Brazil, France etc. choosing to protect their children, and Canada is not?

Access to High Quality Educational Resources

Some proponents of Wi-Fi in our schools suggest that ONLY wireless technologies will provide students with high speed, reliable and convenient access to high quality and up-to-date educational resources. This is not true.

Wireless networks are not reliable, are harder to manage and maintain, and are prone to instability due to outside interference, which can quickly cancel out any potential convenience. Most people are aware that access to the internet is much faster, more secure and utilizes greater bandwidth with a wired system. The latest and greatest high-quality and up-to-date educational resources can be delivered to all students using safer, faster, more stable, secure and cost-effective wired solutions.

Return on Investment

Wi-Fi proponents also claim it is more cost effective. This is also not true.

Networking professionals within the industry have always recognized that wired networks are the most cost effective in an enterprise environment. While the basic initial installation costs of setting up wireless routers within a school may at first appear more “cost effective”, this does not take into account their long-term, overall costs.

The staff and equipment required to manage wireless capacity and to monitor usage puts the overall costs much higher.  Smart wireless devices associated with wireless networks can cause unexpected congestion, adding to the costs. The demand from these devices will only increase as they become more powerful, and result in the need for more Access Points (A/P’s).

Before any wireless network can be set up in a school, a complicated wireless survey needs to be conducted. A full cost-benefit and cost-comparison analysis should be conducted, as decision-makers must be held fully accountable.

There are more than enough valid concerns and reasons for the School District 61 policy and decision makers to follow the wisdom of the Precautionary Principle. We must all ensure this new technology is safe while protecting the health, safety, and educational future of our children – and before it becomes a liability and negligence issue.

Victoria, BC:  Karen Weiss – 250-721-4129; Tammy Jeske – 250-478-9881
Vancouver, BC:  Una St. Clair – 604-532-1863

World-renowned scientist, educator, and humanitarian Dr. David Carpenter plans to present via Skype at the third planned SD61 Wi-Fi Committee hearing on February 28th, 2011. He has agreed to act as a science advisor for CST Victoria and is willing to take calls from the media:
David O. Carpenter, M.D.
(phone)   518-525-2665 (FAX)      Email:
Director, Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY 12144)


1 A typical exposure to the Wi-Fi base station beacon signal in schools is approximately 6 hours per day, 5 days per week, over a period of many years. As yet, there are no studies that document this long term, chronic low-level exposure. However, many biological effects have been documented for shorter term exposures at very low intensities in the radiation frequency ranges similar to those used by the Wi-Fi base station beacon signal.

Effects reported in these documented, peer-reviewed and published (gold standard) scientific studies include:

– Changes in immune (at 0.001mW/cm2) and decrease in reproductive (at 0.000168-0.001053 mW/cm2) functions;

– Increases in calcium efflux from human neuroblastoma cells (at 0.005W/kg) altering normal cellular functions;

– Increases in permeability of blood brain barrier (at 0.0004-0.008 W/kg)

– Increase in DNA damage in brain cells (at 0.0008 W/kg)

– Changes in DNA repair mechanisms (at 0.0037 W/kg),

– Behavioural changes,

– Increases in cancer risks.

Specific studies evidencing biological effects of pulse modulated radiation frequency 2.45 GHz (2450 MHz), a frequency used in Wi-Fi base stations are as follows:

– Kesari et al (2010) (in vivo) (rat whole body) – DNA double strand breaks in brain cells causing significant brain damage and indication of tumour promotion (exposure 2 hours per day for 35 days)

– Navakatikian and Tomashevskaya (1994) (in vivo) (rat whole body) – Behavioural and endocrine changes and decrease in blood concentrations of testosterone and insulin

– Pologeau-Moraru et al (2002) (in vitro) – Change in membrane cells in retina

– Somosy et al (1991) (in vitro) – Molecular and structural changes in cells of mouse embryo

– Chou et al (1992) (in vivo)(rat whole body) – alterations in immune system and four fold increase in primary malignancies and increase in secondary cancers

– Havas et al (2010) – pulse modulated 2.45 GHz radiation affects autonomic nervous system at 0.5% of federal guidelines.

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