TORONTO, Oct. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - A survey published today shows that a hundred candidates running for school Trustee in next week's election say school Boards must reassess the safety of Wi-Fi.
The survey, published by Canadians For Safe Technology has revealed that the safety of Wi-Fi in schools is strongly on the radar of parents and teachers across Ontario.
"Wireless technology is being adopted in our schools faster than our understanding of its possible side effects," said Howard Kaplan, Toronto District School Board Trustee for York Centre.
"There are enough teachers unions asking for caution that it's clear we must slow down and examine the safety of so many wireless devices in our schools," he said.
Kaplan is part of the Toronto Board's Learning Technology Workforce, and is also Chair of the Health and Mental Well Being Committee for Toronto schools.
"I sit at the intersection of technology and health and there are enough warnings that we can't ignore them any more," he said.
In 2011 the World Health Organization declared microwave radiation from Wi-Fi and cell phones to be a possible carcinogen, placing it on the official Class 2b list.
Since then several private schools in Ontario and two school districts in British Columbia have reduced or eliminated their use of Wi-Fi. However large public Boards continue to install it.
Last year the American Academy of Environmental Medicine warned that school Boards should not install Wi-Fi systems as they are not safe for children.
The new trend toward caution by Trustee candidates is celebrated by Frank Clegg, CEO of Canadians for Safe Technology, and former President of Microsoft Canada.
"We applaud these visionary candidates who are placing child safety ahead of wireless marketing," said Clegg. "Dozens of doctors and scientists have declared that Health Canada's microwave safety standards are out of date and do not protect children in schools," he said.
Among the suggestions from candidates is that teachers be allowed to turn off a Wi-Fi router when not in use, and that students be told about the fine-print health warnings that come with most wireless devices installed in their schools.
More info: www.C4ST.org
For Interviews email: media@C4ST.org Phone: 705-444-9662
Interviews: Howard Kaplan TDSB Trustee York Centre.
Frank Clegg, CEO of C4ST
SOURCE: C4ST: Canadians For Safe Technology