Question: Do wireless networks in schools pose health risks for students and teachers?
The IT Guy says:
A recent court case in Illinois (http://www.op97.k12.il.us/lawsuit.html) has caught headlines and raised fears about wireless networks posing health risks. I have wondered myself about all the invisible signals traversing our atmosphere and bodies these days, with microwave signals, wireless phones, microwave ovens, radio and TV signals, and now wireless internet signals filling space with invisible electromagnetic spectrum waves.
I am not a lawyer or a health expert, but I do know that most of the current wireless networks (802.11b standard) use the same part of the radio spectrum as many wireless telephones used in homes and emit signals similar to those originating from microwave ovens. If wireless networks are a health risk, then there are many other appliances in our homes and schools that we probably need to also be concerned with.
Although the plaintiffs in the Illinois wireless technology lawsuit allege there have been over 400 studies indicating health risks from wireless computer network technologies, many of these studies focused on exposure to Radio frequency electromagnetic radiation (RFR) at close range and high intensity. This type of exposure is common for cell phone users. The type of exposure posed by wireless computer networks is more similar to that posed by a microwave oven or cell phone tower: low intensity and distant range. As with many issues in the medical community, a broad range of opinions and supporting research studies exist on this question. It will be worthwhile to follow the Illinois case as well as continuing medical research in this area.
Next Tip: Microsoft Monoculture?