The Russian Ministry of Health has set new health and safety rules banning Wi-Fi and banning smartphones for distance learning. The Guide “Hygienic standards and special requirements for the device, content and modes of operation in a digital educational environment in the field of general education” is on the website of the Institute of Child Hygiene of the Ministry of Health which states, “The guidance is based on the results of scientific research carried out in recent years, including in the framework of multicenter studies to ensure safe digital educational technologies for the health of children under the auspices of the Departments of Medical Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences.”
The new rules for digital school and computer learning at home include the following:
- A ban on Wi-Fi and wireless Internet connections for primary school.
- A ban on smartphones for purposes of education.
- Recommendation to use books for home study, not computers.
- Recommendation against locating mobile network base stations (cell towers) on school grounds.
Ministry of #Health – #WiFi banned for primary #school. And smartphones bunned in schools too. Our proposal became the #official opinion in the new #hygiene regulations for #digital school. The #electromagnetic exposure of #children will decrease pic.twitter.com/8oVp4zkjdN
— Oleg A. Grigoriev (@O_Grigoriev) July 18, 2020
The recommendations united the opinion of the Ministry of Health, the Academy of Sciences, Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and other institutions.
“Children should not go to school on smartphones. While over a dozen countries recommend that children’s exposure to cell phone radiation is reduced, the US federal government is going in the opposite direction pushing wireless into schools and supporting Telecom in using under-resourced schools as testbeds for 5G in the classroom. It is time for the United States to protect our children and issue strong recommendations for distance learning as well as to provide wired (not wireless) equipment for education,” stated Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust.
Cyprus has removed Wi-Fi from elementary classrooms and has a strong, ongoing, public awareness campaign educating parents, teenagers, and pregnant women. Israel and France have banned Wi-Fi in kindergarten and restricted Wi-Fi in school.
The European Parliamentary Assembly issued Resolution 1815 which recommends reducing EMF exposure to the public and recommends, “for children in general, and particularly in schools and classrooms, give preference to wired Internet connections, and strictly regulate the use of mobile phones by school children on school premises.”
Local governments worldwide have passed resolutions to promote wired rather than wireless internet and many individual schools have removed and/or halted the introduction of wireless systems into school buildings.
In 2019, Oregon USA passed a bill, SB283, which directs the Oregon Health Authority to review peer-reviewed, independently funded scientific studies of health effects of exposure to microwave radiation, particularly exposure that results from use of wireless network technologies in schools, and to report to a Legislative Educational Assembly in 2021.
In 2017, the Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health And Protection Advisory Council issued first ever state recommendations for reducing wireless exposure in schools by providing wired—rather than wireless—Internet connections.
Despite the published scientific evidence of harm placed on the record, the US FCC decided in December 2019 that there is no evidence that wireless technology is harmful and no reason to update their 24 year old, outdated, non-protective limits for wireless radiation. In February 2020, Environmental Health Trust filed historic legal action against the FCC to reverse this decision. Our legal brief will be filed July 29, 2020.
Science to Know
Clegg et al. “Building science and Radiofrequency Radiation: What makes smart and healthy buildings.” Building and Environment, 2019.
Pall M. “Wi-Fi is an important threat to human health.” Environmental Research, 2018.