School WiFi passes safety tests

WiFi in schools does not post a health risk to children or staff says a Ministry of Health report welcomed by Jo Goodhew, Associate Minister of Health.

In fact the report, released on 20th March, shows that exposures are many thousands of times lower than the relevant standard.

Following the concerns from some schools and parents regarding the exposure to radiofrequency fields produced by WiFi, a snapshot study was conducted in two New Zealand primary schools.

Exposure was measured from access points and devices, with the results compared to the current New Zealand Standards for exposure to radiofrequency fields, and international research.

“Generally, exposures were 10,000 times lower than the level specified for the public by the Standard. At their maximum, exposures were approximately 4,000 times lower than the Standard,” Goodhew says of the New Zealand results.

Average exposure from laptops was also generally 100 000 times lower than the Standard. Results indicated that typically devices were transmitting, in total, for less than 18 seconds per hour.

“These levels are similar to what a person would be exposed to when walking down a main city street,” Goodhew says.

“These results are also consistent with data published by the British Health Protection Agency and Industry Canada. These also measured exposures and concluded they were so low, they do not pose a health risk.”

For a copy of the report, go to http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/snapshot-study-wifi-in-schools 

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