WiFi Health Risks on Children: Should it be Banned in Schools?

WiFi Health Risks on Children. In April 2007, United Kingdom’s leading government health adviser warned children against placing their computers on their laps while using wireless internet connections, saying there were potential health risks.

Amid mounting public concern over the health risks posed by long-term exposure to Wi-Fi devices, Professor Lawrie Challis, who heads U.K.’s national committee on mobile phone safety research, urged the government to monitor students’ exposure to Wi-Fi devices in schools.

wifi health risks on children

The Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme, which Challis heads, is an £8.4 million investigation into the potential health risks of mobile phones set up in 2007. It is funded by both government and industry.

On its Website, the Health Protection Agency, UK’s health regulator, says that radiofrequency (RF) energy emitted by Wi-Fi equipment is extremely low and is not associated with any health problems. This is also the position of the World Health Organization.

WHO also says that despite growing concern over the wifi side effects and long-term exposure to low-level RF energy, there is still no consistent evidence to show that these are dangerous to human health.

WiFi Health Risks on Children: Brain Development? But Prof. Challis said he was concerned that few studies have been carried out to investigate the level of RF exposure particularly in classrooms. He said he worried that if health problems do emerge they are likely to be more serious in children, whose bodies and brains are still developing.

“Children are much more sensitive than adults to a number of other dangers, such as pollutants like lead and UV radiation, so if there should be a problem with mobiles, then it may be a bigger problem for children,” he told the Telegraph in 2007.

Until more research had been carried out, he said, children who used Wi-Fi enabled laptops should only do so if they are kept a safe distance from their embedded antennas. He also advised that the intensity of Wi-Fi waves in schools be measured and monitored.

Prof Challis said: “With a desktop computer, the transmitter will be in the tower. This might be perhaps 20 centimeters from your leg and the exposure would then be around one percent of that from a mobile phone.

“However if you put a laptop straight on your lap and are using Wi-Fi, you could be around 2cms from the transmitter and receiving comparable exposure to that from a mobile phone.” he said.

Read more about WiFi Health Risks on Children after the jump.