Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health And Protection Advisory Council on Wi-Fi in School
Wi-Fi in School Report
In 2017, the Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health And Protection Advisory Council issued recommendations that local school districts reduce classroom wireless radiation exposures by providing wired—rather than wireless—internet connections and educating students on several steps they can take to reduce exposure to Wi-Fi computers.
The Council’s health experts include Governor appointed pediatricians, health care providers, Maryland State House/Senate appointees and representatives of the Department of Education and Department of Health.
The Maryland Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council recommends:
- “The Maryland State Department of Education should recommend that local school systems consider using wired devices“ “WiFi can be turned off” and instead “a wired local area network (LAN) can provide a reliable and secure form of networking…without any microwave electromagnetic field exposure.”
- New construction and renovations: “If a new classroom is to be built, or electrical work is to be carried out in an existing classroom, network cables can be added at the same time, providing wired (not wireless) network access with minimal extra cost and time.”
- The Maryland State Department of Education should recommend that local school systems use strategies to minimize exposures: “Have children place devices on desks to serve as barrier between the device and children’s bodies; Locate laptops in the classroom in a way that keeps pupil heads as far away from the laptop screens (where the antennas are) as practicable; Consider using screens designed to reduce eyestrain; Consider using a switch to shut down the router when it is not in use”.
- “The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene should provide suggestions to the public on ways to reduce exposure: Sit away from WiFi routers, especially when people are using it to access the internet. Turn off the wireless on your laptop when you are not using it. Turn off WiFi on smartphones and tablets when not surfing the web. Switch tablets to airplane mode to play games or watch videos stored on the device.”
- “The General Assembly should consider funding education and research on electromagnetic radiation and health as schools add WiFi to classrooms.”
- The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene should “ask the United States Department of Health and Human Services to formally petition the FCC to revisit the exposure limit to ensure it is protective of children’s health and that it relies on current science.”
- The Report should be shared with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Communications Commission, Maryland State Department of Education and Maryland General Assembly
Maryland Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council Letter to the FCC
In addition, the Council also wrote the FCC requesting children’s health be prioritized in regards to the FCC’s outdated wireless human exposure limits.
“The current FCC guidance on RF is decades old and we are calling for it to be updated to reflect current science on thermal and non-thermal health effects and newer (or emerging) exposures, especially to children.”