WiFi Legislation: Children
Some insights into legislation that is limiting the deployment of WiFi in schools because of health concerns brought about by RF emissions include the banning of WiFi in France's Pre nursery/Nursery schools, state legislation in the US that prohibit cell towers in schools, new guidelines regarding Wi-Fi use in schools in Israel, and the RNCNIRP resolution in Russia.
FRANCE: WiFi Banned in Pre nursery/Nursery Schools
- On January 29, 2015, the French National Assembly passed a new national law to reduce exposures to wireless radiation electromagnetic fields.
- According to the legislation, WiFi is banned in Pre-Nursery and Nursery Schools. The law states that "WIFI and Wireless devices will be banned in the spaces dedicated to home, to rest and activities of children under 3 years."
- The WiFi usage will be minimized for school children up to 11 years, WiFi routers should be turned off when not in use for pedagogic purposes, and the board of the school should be informed when new tech equipment is being installed in the school.
- The precautionary level for Wi-Fi routers installation in classrooms recommended by the Council of Europe is 100 µW/m² since the router uses microwave radiation to continuously transmit its device ID even when no device is connected making the routers harmful to children.
- The National Radiofrequency Agency has also been established to "keep surveillance and vigilance, evaluating potential risks and setting up scientific research, including information on health effects.
- A 2018 news article highlights the prevalence of the country regulation passed in 2015 for banning WiFi from all nursery schools along with strict adherence to the directives wherein supporting to this act "the French National Library and many others in Paris, along with several universities, have completely removed all Wi-Fi networks, and it’s also banned in many municipal buildings. "
UNITED STATES: States legislation to prohibit cell towers in School
- As compared to other countries, the US is taking a different approach in ranging WiFi in schools, with some states taking a more precautionary approach and prohibiting WiFi for students.
- In 2015, 68% of the students in schools had access to WiFi internet, out of which 54% were at the elementary level.
- According to the 2018 State of the States Report, only 1,356 schools still lack a fiber-optic connection, down from 22,958 schools in 2013 and the cost of K-12 Internet access declining by 85% in the last five years.
- Today, more and more state government school legislation are taking voluntary action in the US towards limiting WiFi exposure to school children, with the state of New York recently passing a bill that prohibits cell towers in school property to because of the harmful microwave radiation's dangers on the children
- In June 2019, The Oregon Health Authority announced that it "will review independently-funded scientific studies of the health effects of exposure to microwave radiation, particularly exposure that results from use of wireless network technologies in schools."
ISRAEL-New guidelines regarding WiFi use in Schools
- In 2013, the Israeli Ministry of Education issued new guidelines regarding WiFi usage in schools in an attempt to stop the installation of wireless networks in classrooms prior to the first grade and limit the use of WiFi between first and third grades along with investigating the number of children suffering from EHS (electromagnetic hypersensitivity).
- According to the guidelines led by the authorities, no installation of wireless networks in classrooms in kindergarten is allowed "to limit unnecessary exposure teachers will be required to turn off mobile phones and Wi-Fi routers when they are not in use for educational purposes."
- According to the regulations, "desktop computers and power supplies be kept at least 20 cm from students and all Wi-Fi equipment be tested for compliance with safety limits before and after installation in an Israeli school. "
- Through a news article of 2019, the Israeli WiFi regulation in the schools is still prevalent and continued to be followed by the schools wherein it is totally banned for children up to the age of 6 years, and allowed only one hour exposure up to 3rd Grade and 1-2 hours for up to 6th Grade.
RUSSIA: The RNCNIRP resolution
- In 2011, the Russian Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP) released their resolution entitled “Electromagnetic Fields From Mobile Phones: Health Effects on Children and Teenagers" which revealed the health hazards posed to children by the use of mobile phones such as "disruption of memory, decline of attention, diminishing learning and cognitive abilities, and others."(
- In 2012, based on the RNCNIRP recommendations, the Radiation Protection officially recommended that mobile phones and Wi-Fi not to be not be used in schools.
- In a 2018 paper by the Radiation research organization of Russia indicates the prevalence of RNCNIRP from past 11 years and the regulation is still in place, and the RNCNIR recommendations have closely paid attention towards the RF for children stating "Children and mobile phones- The health of the following generation is in danger."
To obtain and list the insights on the global legislation related to limiting the deployment of Wi-Fi in schools because of health concerns brought about by RF emissions along with the evolution in these in the past 5-10 years and any regulation on products, including insights on Pre-K/Pre nursery children, we searched through credible industry research studies along with referring to various Internet and WiFi regulatory organizations which shared the findings related to the current and past years regulation, the implications and further details on the insights in the country schools in this direction. We searched through Science Direct, WiFi In Schools, NCBI, WW, Environmental Health Trust, FCC, WHO, and Wireless Education.