News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Minister's Wifi Report Measured the Wrong Thing

WIFI IN SCHOOLS IS NOT SAFE- THE MINISTER's TEST REPORT MEASURED THE WRONG THING


Submitted by Sue Grey LLB(Hons), BSc (Microbiology and Biochemistry), RSHDipPHI

Nobody asserts that wifi in schools creates a heating effect, so why did the Minister commission a report that assesses the classroom radiation levels from wifi and BYOD only against the dated heating standard (NZS2772:11999)?

Clearly her report answers the wrong question and proves nothing.

The real question is whether wifi in schools, particularly in combination with 30 or so BYOD's can cause or trigger irregular heartbeat, headaches, hormonal effects, electro-sensitivity, tumours or any of the other biological effects which are of concern to parents, governments and experts around the world.

In May 2011, the World Health organisation and IARC reclassified all RF EMR (whether from cellphones, cordless phones, wifi, smart meters, baby monitors or other sources) as a Class 2B carcinogen. This is a biological effect which is understood to occur at much lower levels (100, 1000 or even 10,000 times lower) that when heating effects (death, burns and electric shock) start to cause harm.

The Gledhill study released by the Minister today, does nothing to help answer this important question.

TEN IMPORTANT QUESTIONS FOR THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER OF HEALTH IN RESPONSE TO HER PRESS RELEASE of 19/3/2014 on WIFIin SCHOOLS


1. Why does the Minister assert that this snapshot report proves wifi in schools is “safe”, when it has been assessed only against a dated standard (NZS2772:1 1999) that protects against heating effects only ie death, burns and electric shock but not biological effects.

2. How confident is the Minister that NZS2772:1 1999 represents best international practice when Parliament’s Local Government and Environment Committee recommended review of this standard in November 2009, in its recommendation of November 2009 on Petition 2005/179 of Sarah Allen and 3,100 others; when the World Health Organisation and IARC reclassified all RF EMR as a Class 2B possible carcinogen in May 2011 (based on the considerable analysis explained in IARC Monographs Volume 102) and when states such as Russia, Israel and China have much stricter standards and others such as France and Germany are removing wifi from schools, and bearing in mind the 2014 WHO/IARC World Cancer Report which recognises the explosion of brain and other tumours in recent years?

3. What advice has the NZ government received from its Interagency Advisory Committee on the Health Effects of non-Ionising Radiation about the implications of the WHO and IARC reclassifying all RF EMR as a Class 2B (possible carcinogen) in May 2011, implicitly recognizing RF EMR is capable of causing biological effects as well as heating effects? When was this advice received, why was this advice not minuted in its advisory committee meeting minutes, and what action has been taken by the government in response?

4. Can the Minister explain why New Zealand has adopted a far less precautionary approach towards RF EMR exposure by children than states such as Russia, France, Belgium and Israel and why does she consider that NZ children are safe with less protection against microwaves than children overseas.

5. Is the Minister aware that the recommended maximum exposures to protect against biological effects from RF EMR are several hundred or thousand times lower than the standards such as NZS2772:! 1999 that are designed to protect only against heating effects (death, burns and electric shocks)

6. Can the Minister please explain what protection is available in classrooms for children who are electrosensitive and who suffer from headaches, skin rashes, irregular heatbeat and other stress and allergic type symptoms when exposed to even low levels of RF EMR, and how the learning opportunities for these children will be enhanced by wifi and BYOD in their classrooms?

7. Can the Minister please explain what protection is a viable for teacher and others with pacemakers bearing in mind NZS2772:1 specifically excluded protection for people with electrical devices

8. Can the Minister explain why she is promoting a report of such poor design that the closest measurement to the wifi source was some 2.5m from the source when wifisources and actual exposures in many classrooms will be much closer and more powerful than this? NB: the report writer admits that the exposure levels reduce by inverse of the square of the distance from the source, but fails to explain why he did not measure at the closest feasible location a child might sit from the wifi- where levels could be many times higher

9. Does the Minister agree it is misleading to use a logarithmic scale graph as it seriously downplays the variation of RF EMR expsoures within the classroom, and disguises the significantly higher exposures that would be expected where the closest children sit (or the teacher stands)

10. Does it concern the Minister that the report writer at page 6 highlights the requirements of NZS2772:1 1999 para 10(d) to avoid unnecessary exposure to RF EMR but then fails to recommend simply ways of achieving this such as turning wifi off when not in use and turning BYOD's off or setting them to flight mode?

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

Theatre: The F Word: Sex Without The 'ism'

Sex without the 'ism' Okay, so the sexes are equal in the eyes of the law. What the F happens now? More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Don’t Eat The Fish

On 'The Catch' by Michael Field What the ecologically edible lists don’t appear to take into account – and they should – is slavery... It’s not an easy read, but it’s definitely near the top of my listicle of “5 Political Books You Must Read This Year”. More>>

ALSO:

Caracals: Small Cats With Big Ears Arrive At Wellington Zoo

Visitors to Wellington Zoo will be able to see New Zealand’s first Caracals in the Zoo’s new Grassland Cats habitat, with a special visitor opening day on Saturday 27 September. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Classics - Tales From Moominvalley
Can’t speak for the reading end of it but the Moomins ( or maybe the story about Margaret Wise Brown) were the most enjoyable subject to think about and write about during these whole first 50 issues of Werewolf. For that reason – and because the Moomins always reward re-reading – I’ve decided to reprint it. The only added element is a link to an interesting hour long documentary about Tove Jansson. More>>

ALSO:

Repping In The Pacific: All Blacks And Manu Samoa To Play Historic Apia Test

The All Blacks will play Manu Samoa in Apia on Wednesday 8 July next year as part of both teams’ preparations for Rugby World Cup 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news