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Past 29th of February, the association Escuelas sin Wifi (Schools without Wifi) announced it was petitioning the president of the Spanish government, Mariano Rajoy, to legislate the ban of Wifi connections in Schools. Even though they have been working for a long time to convince people electromagnetic radiations are harmful, resolution 1815 of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly de la Asamblea Parlamentaria del Consejo de Europa urging member States to take actions in order to "protect people's health" from electromagnetic emissions has given them more renewed strengths.
Resolution 1815 is based on the decision of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), depending on the World Health Organization, to include electromagnetic radiations in Group 2B, that is, as "Possibly carcinogenic to humans". The Wikipedia offers a list of agents in this group. The different groups used by IARC are:
- 1: carcinogenic to humans
- 2A: probably carcinogenic to humans
- 2B: possibly carcinogenic to humans
- 3: not classifiable
- 4: probably no carcinogenic
Also recently, the Turin's public prosecutor has started the first official investigation to determine whether intensive use of mobile phones is the cause of a brain cancer detected to a citizen. The medical report received from a local hospital stated so.
The question of electromagnetic waves being harmful for health or not is alive from a long time ago. Thousands of studies have been made with many different conclusions. Those stating there is no danger or there is no clear link between exposure to such waves and cancer have been accused of being financed by carriers or telephone makers, interested in hiding any evidence of health harm produced by their activities. TV documentaries can be found in favour of the latter theory and against it.
It is not a simple issue. Most of us don't have the knowledge to determine whether electromagnetic radiations are harmful for our health or not. The best would be to do that a complete, consistent and robust study, conducted by independent scientists having the consensus of all the stakeholders. But I'm afraid this is not possible and it seems to me the technologies we use are so young that there isn't enough data to reach a definite conclusion.
I'd like to consideration anyway. Both from a business and personal point of view, it isn't wise to get carried away by our convictions and despise other beliefs. The existence of Escuelas sin Wifi shows that even if electromagnetic waves are proven harmless there is a group of people sensitive about their presence in products or services. So special care must be taken when deploying or using this technologies in areas considered of most importance by this groups. A business betting exclusively on wireless architectures can be easily accused of underestimating people's health. And, in this case, children's health.