Monday, August 10, 2015

Boston Parents Newspaper: Is School Wi-Fi Safe?

Putting EMF exposure on your radar of potential health risks.
by Brian Spero

A primary responsibility of being a parent is diligently protecting the safety and well-being of your children. We spend a lot of time teaching our kids techniques for navigating dangerous situations, scrutinizing the individuals and institutions we temporarily entrust them to, showing them how to eat right, looking after their personal hygiene and so on. When it comes to a rising new concern that could potentially contribute to a host of health complications, we owe it to ourselves, and our kids, to listen and learn.

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are a form of radiation or invisible area of energy associated with the modern use of electrical power. Common sources of EMF radiation include power lines, computers, cell phones and wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) networks. While most of us over the years have probably heard rumblings of the possibilities of negative health effects attributed to high levels of exposure to EMFs, little definitive word has reached the mainstream stamping it as a legitimate concern. But in a world in which experts estimate we encounter 100 million times the exposure to artificial EMF radiation than our grandparents did, there’s never been a more critical time to take a closer look.

A Voice of Warning

One person who has been fighting to get the word out about pervasive negative health implications relating to EMFs and Wi-Fi in schools is Camilla Rees. An investment banker by trade, Rees realized she has a particular sensitivity to EMFs about seven years ago. Since then, she’s dedicated herself to learning as much as possible about the science and research regarding EMF exposure and relating the facts in everyday terms people can understand, founding electromagnetichealth.org along the way.

“It’s hard once you know something that is very important happening to society to turn a blind eye to it,” says Rees, who feels certain EMF radiation poses a threat. “You have to ethically move to educate people, raise awareness and try to move things in the right direction.” And with institutions ranging from daycare centers and grammar schools all the way up to colleges and universities racing to remain on the cutting edge by upgrading to campus-wide, industrial strength Wi-Fi, there’s a growing number of concerned individuals desperate to get to the truth.

What We Know About EMFs


According to Rees, the first thing to understand about this complex and often controversial topic is radio frequency radiation is biologically active. “We know for certain, it’s absolutely unquestionable,” she says, citing more than 20,000 studies.

“We think of ourselves as solid beings, but we’re actually electromagnetic,” Rees explains. “And when there’s an energy source that’s more powerful than the delicate balance in our bodies, it causes disruptions. So as a result, you’re going to see every system potentially being affected.”

From cancer risks and behavioral changes to cardiovascular irregularities and sleep disorders, Rees offers a laundry list of related concerns that includes many of the most prevalent medical conditions plaguing our society. “Chronic illnesses have skyrocketed since the mid-1990s when all this technology started to proliferate,” says Rees.

Martha Herbert, an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and a pediatric neurologist and neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, contributed an article to the Autism Notebook Spring 2015 edition, titled “Connections in Our Environment: Sizing up Electromagnetic Fields,” in which she details documented parallel issues that occur in cases of EMF exposure and autism. “There is a whole series of problems at the cellular, sub-cellular and metabolic levels and immune levels that have been identified in autism. And interestingly, for every single one of those problems, there’s literature about how EMFs can create those kinds of problems,” says Herbert. “The argument I made is not that it proves EMF causes autism, but that EMF can certainly contribute to degrading the physiological integrity of the system at the cellular and molecular level.”

She sees this type of radio frequency radiation as yet another element encountered in modern life, along with toxic chemicals, air pollution, stress, poor sleep and pro-inflammatory foods, which serve to degrade our health.

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