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Snapshot study confirms WiFi in schools is safe

Hon Jo Goodhew

Associate Minister of Health

20 March 2014

Media Statement
Snapshot study confirms WiFi in schools is safe

Associate Minister of Health Jo Goodhew has welcomed a Ministry of Health report which has confirmed WiFi in schools does not pose a health risk to children or staff, with exposures many thousands of times lower than the relevant standard.

“The report covers a snapshot study carried out following concerns from some schools and parents over whether exposure to radiofrequency fields produced by WiFi could cause health problems, particularly in young children” says Mrs Goodhew.

Two WiFi-enabled New Zealand primary schools took part in the study, which included consideration of intense WiFi usage. The results were compared to the current New Zealand Standards for exposure to radiofrequency fields and international research.

The study found exposures were very low, especially when compared to the New Zealand Standard for radiofrequency fields.

“Generally, exposures were 10,000 times lower than the level specified for the public by the Standard. At their maximum, exposures were approximately 4,000 times lower than the standard,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“The study also measured exposure from laptops, and found the average was generally 100,000 times lower than the Standard. The results indicated that typically devices were transmitting, in total, for less than 18 seconds an hour.

“These levels are similar to what a person would be exposed to when walking down a main city street. These results are consistent with data published by the British Health Protection Agency and Industry Canada. These also measured exposures and concluded they were so low, they do not pose a health risk.”

A copy of the report and further information on WiFi networks can be found on the Ministry of Health website by searching ‘WiFi’.


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