Center for Safer Wireless
Promoting Safety in Our Wireless World

Many school districts in the United States and abroad are implementing Wi-Fi systems in their schools.  Administrators are compelled to use the latest technology to increase educational performance. Is it necessary to risk the health of students and teachers for the convenience of wireless technology when wired technology performs better, with more speed and security and without microwave exposure?



Wi-Fi in Classrooms
How Does A Wi-Fi System Operate in a Classroom?

A Wi-Fi system in a classroom is like having a cordless phone in your home with multiple handsets throughout the house. The base station is the headquarters, and all the peripheral phones connect with it wirelessly. A typical classroom may have a laptop for each student (for example 28 laptops for 28 students.) Wireless computers use transmitters to push data through the air, which gives resistance, and are less reliable than wired computer networks.  In a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), transformers send millions of bits of information to transmitters through the laptop antenna.  This data is packaged onto a signal and sent to a microwave antenna that is on the wall or ceiling in the room.  The wall/ceiling antenna downloads the information into its attached waveguide, which sends the information to computer users or to another antenna receiver/transmitter in the school for processing. 

The radiofrequency radiation is continuously transmitted while the system is on 24 hours a day every day. Connections from the computers and other wireless devices throughout the school to the wireless access points cause any user around it, (children, teacher, staff, etc.) to be continuously exposed. A child in a classroom can be irradiated simultaneously by any one computer associated with a different base station in the Wireless Local Area Network.


How Much Radiation Density Could A Child Be Exposed to in a Classroom with Wireless Computers?

In a letter (link) dated February 24, 2000 from Bill P. Curry, Ph.D., Consulting Physicist at EMSciTek to Dr. Gary Brown, Dr. Curry provided investigation results from reviewing the microwave radiation environment for children learning in a classroom with computers on a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). Dr. Curry calculated an estimated radiation power density assuming 30 children working in a classroom with wireless computers. According to Dr. Curry, “I think one can conservatively say that any one child will receive a radiation dose commensurate with a radiation density of at least 6-8 microwatts per square centimeter.  Presumably, this will continue for the duration the child is in the classroom where the computers are being used, every school day.  I think this is likely to be a serious health hazard.”

 Biological Effects are Dependent on These Compounding Factors

Research has shown that biological effects from radiofrequency/microwave radiation exposure are dependent on compounding factors:

1.       The length of time a person is exposed to transmitters. In a Wi-Fi equipped school, children are exposed upon entry into the school and until they leave.  A child entering the school district in kindergarten may face 13 years of radiofrequency/microwave radiation exposure. 

2.       The distance between the transmitter and the person.  In a wireless classroom, transmitters and antennas could be found on the computer, printer, ceiling, walls, outside of classroom trailers, and outside of the main building.  Children could be as close as 1.5 feet away from a transmitter with using a wireless computer. 

3.       Frequency of the radiation is the third exposure factor.  The current radiofrequency/microwave radio signals in classrooms are in the 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz frequency range. Our bodies are made up of 65% water by weight and have a high absorption rate to radiofrequency radiation.  The rate of absorption of radiofrequency radiation in the body climbs as the frequency of radiation increases.

Some researchers are concerned that these higher radio frequencies combined with power density, length of exposure, distance from antennas, and absorption rates may produce adverse health effects
Symptoms Reported

Symptoms Reported by Children in Schools

According to, these symptoms are being reported by students inside Simcoe County Schools in Canada. Children did not experience these symptoms prior to Wi-Fi’s introduction into the school system.

* Headaches (3-5X per week, that require medicine)

* Dizziness - Nausea - Vertigo (gone after student leaves the school)

* Visual and Auditory Distortion

* Racing Heart Rate (Tachycardia)

* Memory Loss 
(difficulty remembering school information)

* Attention Deficit (difficulty concentrating while in class)

* Skin Rash  (mostly lower leg, goes away on weekends or longer breaks)

* Hyperactivity
(appears mostly among children not previously hyperactive)

* Night Sweats
(unexplainable, unrelated to fever, and lasting several nights)

* Insomnia
  (restless sleep)

These reported symptoms tend to subside when the children are at home, or on weekends and extended periods away from their school. Something in their school environment is affecting certain children.

Parents taking action
Posted: 07 Mar 2015 08:15 AM PST


Andrea McCarren of WUSA9  broke the story of parents concerned about the health risk of WiFi in Schools. Please watch it at

In the report, several parents from Montgomery County gathered to talk about their concerns. 

Join us on Facebook at Safe Tech For Schools Maryland

Contact us at to learn more.

Parent Comment Section:

Here are a few comments from parents at whose children attend schools in Simcoe County Schools in Canada:

March 10, 2010,

   “Both of my kids are coming home with headaches for the last year. It doesn’t seem right for kids to get headaches. They don’t concentrate as well in class and my older one has seen his grades drop this year. He’s fine on the weekends and can concentrate fine and doesn’t get headaches. It’s only at school that he has these problems.”

June 3

   “My son is in grade 1 at Worsley Public School in Wasaga Beach. He  spoke at a very young age and has never stopped!  He is outgoing and active. 

   His teacher contacted his mother and I in May as she has observed over the past couple of months a significant change in his behaviour.  She describes that at times he seems to tune out and disassociate to what is going on in class and is unable to focus. His mother and I went into see her where she expressed her concerns.  His mother and I have never observed that behaviour from him at home and we were quite shocked about hearing what is going on when he’s at school.”

June 12
  ``I have 2 children at Birchview Dunes in Wasaga Beach. My son who is 6 and in senior kindergarten has come home with headaches and my daughter who is in grade 4 has come home and told me things like she can't concentrate and she feels like she's not at school also her grades have declined considerably since last year, I just thought she was getting lazy until I heard about other parents having the same problems. ``

If you notice changes in your child’s health or behavior at school as compared to home (if you have no Wi-Fi at home), please contact us at

What’s happening in other countries?

Germany warns its citizens to avoid Wi-Fi for health reasons - September 2007
City of Herouville St. Clair, France removes Wi-Fi from primary schools due to health risks - April 2009
Teachers in UK call for immediate dismantling of Wi-Fi in schools due to health risks - April 2009
BioInitiative Report

Section 17: Key Scientific Evidence and Public Health Policy Recommendations
.“Health agencies and school districts should strongly discourage or prohibit cell towers on or near (within 1000’ of) school properties, should delay any new WLAN installations in school classrooms, pre-schools and day-care facilities; and should either remove or disable existing wireless facilities, or be required to offer classrooms with no RF exposure to those families who choose not to have their children involuntarily exposed.”
Ontario English Catholic Teacher Association issued a position paper on Wi-Fi in schools which proclaims Wi-Fi in schools may present a health and safety risk or hazard. February 2012 
Watch this CBC news report aired on September 8, 2010 across Canada about parents whose children are experiencing health effects they believe are linked to Wi-Fi in classroom.
15 minute video
Mary Garofalo of 16:9 The Bigger Picture does an investigative piece on W-Fi in schools in Canada.