We’ve come a long way since the days when a child standing in front of a microwave oven was a parent’s biggest worry over potential radiation exposure.
The massive growth in cell phones, computers and other electronic devices has prompted a new wave of concerns that children are being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.
While most of those concerns have centred on cell phones, now a growing number of parents and other citizens are raising the alarm about wireless networks.
The issue taps into common fears that technological innovations come with serious drawbacks. But many leading health organizations and experts say there’s no solid science to back up the concerns. It’s a major debate that doesn’t seem to have a resolution on the horizon.
Wireless networks use radio-frequency signals to allow users to connect to the Internet without plugging their computer into a cable. Wi-Fi is a particular type of wireless local area network.
The issue flared up recently when a group of Ontario parents began urging the Simcoe County District School Board to unplug Wi-Fi networks in its schools amid fears they cause some children to develop nausea, headaches and other symptoms.
The school board said on Monday it would not bow to pressure, however, citing a lack of scientific evidence backing up the link between wireless networks and health risks.
But it’s not the first time the issue has come up – and it’s unlikely to be the last.
In 2006, Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., said it would not allow campus-wide installation of Wi-Fi networks. A handful of schools in other countries, such as Britain, have also made moves to limit the use of Wi-Fi networks in order to protect against potential health threats.
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