At Greenwood, the health and wellbeing of your child is central to everything we do. Most of our team members are parents, and as such we understand how vital it is to keep our children protected from potential harm at all times.
Recently there has been some coverage in the news regarding the safety of using Wi-Fi devices in schools. The issue raised is that Wi-Fi devices (such as wireless modems) transmit electromagnetic energy – and that these electromagnetic fields could possibly cause health problems.
What is an Electromagnetic Field?
An electromagnetic field (also EMF) is a physical field produced by electrically charged objects. They are created when there are differences in voltage – the higher the current, the stronger the magnetic field.
Low field levels are generated naturally by the electromagnetic activity of the Earth’s core. Man-made Electromagnetic fields are found in many areas around the home, including power sockets, TV antennas, induction cooktops, mobile phones and wireless modems.
Are Electromagnetic Fields Monitored and Regulated?
Yes. EMF levels are subject to a number of regulations, guidelines and protocols, including:
• NSW Government Requirements and Guidelines;
• Electromagnetic Radiation: Human Exposure Standard 2003;
• Specific Guidelines for Young Children (Refer Section 3)
Greenwood Early Education Centres are required to comply with these regulations in order to gain government approval for operating a childcare facility.
Is Wi-Fi Safe for Use in Schools?
Yes, extensive scientific testing has confirmed that it is safe to use Wi-Fi devices in schools and childcare centres.
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is the Australian Government’s primary authority on radiation protection and nuclear safety, and it has issued a report confirming that Wi-Fi is safe in schools. The report states:
“There is no established scientific evidence showing that the low exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic energy from Wi-Fi adversely affects the health of children or the general population.”
(You can read the full report here).
A member of ARPANSA’s Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council, Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe, was interviewed recently by News Corp Australia. He said: “When children’s health is concerned it’s always sensible to err on the side of caution.”
Dr Lowe is also president of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and an eminent environmental scientist. When asked, he confirmed that the level of electromagnetic radiation from Wi-Fi is “very low’’, and that children would absorb more radiation from an electric blanket than from Wi-Fi.
These findings are in line with the World Health Organisation’s official stance on electromagnetic fields and public health:
“Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects.”
(Read the full report here).
Where Can I Get More Information?
- Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency: Wi-Fi and Health
- World Health Organisation: Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health
- Public Health England: Wi-Fi in Schools – the HPA Research Project
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Greenwood administrative team on: 1300 947 336.