New Zealand Parents Remove Wi-Fi From Kids School: 'Could Cause Cancer'

Damon Wyman and David Bird, two New Zealand parents, have successfully petitioned their children’s school to remove its Wi-Fi network, reports TVNZ.

The school will maintain an Internet connection by way of cable, but the fathers are concerned with any potential health dangers their children might face by being near wireless data signals.

Wyman began researching Wi-Fi networks after a brain tumour killed his young son. He theorises that this was linked to his son’s sleeping with a Wi-Fi-enabled iPod under his pillow at night.

The school issued a statement saying that its decision to remove Wi-Fi networking equipment was based on feedback from a survey of parents, and while the junior school will see its wireless Internet capabilities removed, students at the senior school will continue to enjoy Wi-Fi functionality.

From TVNZ’s report:

[The school] maintains that it believes wireless internet is safe, a view shared by the Government.

“We have sourced information from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and other submissions,” the statement read.

“Based on this information the board believes that Wi-Fi does not pose a health risk to staff or students.”

My Wyman and Mr Bird have said they will continue to advocate for the total removal of the system at Te Horo School.

Originally published on Business Insider Australia



    very sorry to hear about his son,

    but its completely idiotic to be worried about that,
    RF radiation will never give you cancer, it will heat you up depending on the frequency, and at the power of a WiFi modem, ill lick the antenna all day and nothing will happen

      > RF radiation will never give you cancer
      Really? Why do you think microwaves have shielding?
      2.4GHz, about the same frequency as wifi

      Now the microwaves in your oven are much higher power than a wifi hotspot and that's how it cooks things, but being cooked isn't the only risk, microwaves interfere with cell function and that can cause cancer.
      It is not a good idea to put a growing child next to a wifi transmitter, nevermind putting them in a computer lab full of wireless computers and then add everyone's phones, is it still safe?
      And then some people are electromagnetically sensitive and have measurable reactions when exposed to strong EMF fields or RF transmissions.

      Barrie Trower goes into great detail of the effects of microwave transmissions on the body

      There is extensive literature on the subject as well, but people will ignore all risks, until the evidence is undeniable and the damage is already done.

      It took a loooong time for the medical community to realise tobacco and asbestos were harmful. Cellphones and wifi have been around for less than twenty years, lets see how the next generation turns out.

        My only question is how you managed to post this from the middle of nowhere on your keyboard made of wood and stone? Because realistically that's the only way you could've done so without receiving a lethal dose of RF.

          Your keyboard doesn't emit RF...
          Well at least mine doesn't, cause it's wired.

          You can use wireless communications safely if you take into account distance from transmitters, transmitter power, number of transmitters and duration of exposure

          No need to go back to the stone age, but anyone using a cellphone near a pregnant woman should get a punch in the face.

            "but anyone using a cellphone near a pregnant woman should get a punch in the face"
            No. You would go to jail for hitting that person and rightly so. The baby would turn out fine.

            Anything that carries an electric charge must produce an electromagnetic field that rotates around the flow of the current. Therefore, the keyboard (unless it is indeed made of wood and stone) does emit some EMF.
            While there is little to no peer reviewed evidence for the harmful effects of low-frequency EM radiation, I agree that we must err on the side of caution. The industry that produces microwave ovens has decided to put shielding there so that they might not be responsible for some effect found later on. Proving the safety of something is nigh on impossible, as nothing is entirely safe . Take pens for instance. They can be used effectively as a weapon, but since we know how to safely use them, we assume that they pose little to no risk to us.
            Maybe keeping a wireless emitter in close proximity to something as important as our brain for hours at a time while we sleep isn't the greatest idea but that doesn't necessarily mean that wi-fi is as dangerous as I have observed some people claim them to be.
            I also realize that this is the internet, and we are all anonymous, but resorting to extremes helps no one (least of all the guy who just got punched in the face by a pregnant woman for no apparent reason).

        mackeral: If you're going to be using scientific terms, please quote research from scientists , not psuedo-scientists, and pay attention to basic physics ...


        "The electromagnetic spectrum is pretty simple to understand. It starts at the low end with a frequency of zero, up through the radio frequencies, past visible light and up through gamma rays and onto infinity, with higher and higher frequencies. The frequencies at the lower end are what we call non-ionizing, because they lack sufficient energy to strip electrons and change chemistry. The frequencies at the higher end are ionizing, which makes it damaging to living tissue. The dividing line between the two is the upper end of visible light, where ultraviolet begins. A sunburn is actually tissue damage caused by ionizing radiation; that UV has enough energy to just barely penetrate the outer layer of your skin. But as we go even higher, into the X-ray range, the radiation is energetic enough to penetrate all the way through your body. X-rays can be stopped by the lead-lined blanket they give you. But even higher energy frequencies, like the strongest cosmic rays, can go all the way through the entire planet."

        "All known cancer-inducing agents — including radiation, certain chemicals and a few viruses — act by breaking chemical bonds, producing mutant strands of DNA. Not until the ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum is reached, beyond visible light, beyond infrared and far, far beyond microwaves, do photons have sufficient energy to break chemical bonds. Microwave photons heat tissue, but they do not come close to the energy needed to break chemical bonds, no matter how intense the radiation. --Dr. Robert L. Park of the American Physical Society (New York Times Oct. 1, 2002)"

          Oh, I get it, psuedo scientist is anyone you don't agree with

          I'm not talking about microwaves heating up tissue to break chemical bonds
          I'm talking about it interfering with cell function like replication, and it's a bigger risk to children for that reason
          Faulty replication can cause cancer

          Way to completely miss the point

            Thanks Mack, for showing us the "Way to completely miss the point".

            I'm sorry, but you don't "get it" because the quotes provided weren't "talking about microwaves heating up tissue to break chemical bonds":

            To wit: "Microwave photons heat tissue, but they do not come close to the energy needed to break chemical bonds, no matter how intense the radiation"

            A 'psuedo scientist' is not necessarily 'anyone (I) don't agree with'.

            I propose it is someone who:

            1) uses scientific jargon without understanding scientific principles or the scientific method,
            2) misrepresents scientific research, and
            3) does not seem to understand what scientific terms & words mean ..

            mackerel, I have to commend you on the lengths you are going to keep this trolling up!

            Post on how good homeopathy is next please.

          Good response!
          The fish named fellow is aptly named, for the odour of his posts...

        Yes Mr Trower sounds like an incredibly reliable source
        and the list goes on and on and on....seriously ?

        Sorry jibber jabber man, neither wifi nor phones, not even microwaves will give you cancer. There are NO risks of that. Your "literature" on the subject is similar to the "litereture" that tells us Sasquatch is hiding in the forest, aliens probe people, chem-trails are a thing and fluoride in water makes you stupid. Oh, and vaccines cause autism.

          I think there was one study a few years ago showing that holding a mobile phone directly against the ear caused some slight heating in the head and brain on that side, but the study didn't seem all that certain whether this was due to EM emissions or because you were holding a warm insulated brick against your ear. It also wasn't certain what the long-term effects of that slight heating might be.

          All other studies I've heard of have indicated no effects.

          Unfortunately the public perception of risk is really skewed. The odds of damage from microwaves may be one in a billion (for example), but people just don't have a handle on how big a billion is.

          If you ever choose to walk across the road rather than taking a pedestrian crossing, you have no business demanding that wifi be abandoned. If you ever go outside without a hat and sunblock...

          It's the inverse of winning the lottery. People play the lottery because odds of one in ten million sound achievable. Evaluation of risk is similarly addressed on an unreasonable level.

      Pretty much this,

      While it is unfortunate that his son had died, I don't think there is a great link between the two. Hell, I sleep with my tablet and mobile on my nightstand, both with wireless signals broadcasting, i've never had any issues from my end.

      Jokes about kids procrastinating on the net aside, I think removing wireless access is a mistake, especially when you think about how laptops have become a great way to assist learning. When I left school this sort of thing was only starting to pick up (and yes it meant that the lone person with a laptop stood out), however at university it was more widespread and the benefits really stood out.

    More likely parents want their kids concentrating on their school work so they can get good grades. After all, when they leave school into the real world, they will need those grades. They won't be on the 'net, using up their employers time on facebook, reading reddit while spending an extra 5 minutes in the loo.

      pobo90: So, you cant conceive of a future where these children may grow up and need wireless/mobile internet access for communication, research or any other aspect of gainful employment (not related to going to the toilet) ...

      That is so sad.

    He's drawing a long bow to be linking those two together, ah well, what ever makes 'em happy...

    By their logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away...

      I wish to buy your rock.

        Don't buy that one, buy *this* one - it keeps away lions too!

      Well, I don't see any Tigers so I guess you must be right. Rock for PM!

    "...but the fathers are concerned with any potential health dangers their children might face by being near wireless data signals."

    Seriously? Radio frequencies are everywhere. Have these "fathers" ever heard of science? You can pick up bloody radio transmissions emanating from Jupiter on the right AM frequency and on a clear night. Too much nerdrage to contain.

    Might be easier to put the kids in Faraday cages.

    Well I hope the Te Horo School plans to dismantle its science curriculum as well. Clearly it's of no use to anyone.

      In its defense, the school does agree that wifi is safe. And I think removing wifi from primary schools is probably a good idea, but that is more to do with social media and other crap that children use to distract themselves.

    From PC World:
    "The study exposed 20 ash trees to various radiation sources for a period of three months. Trees placed closest to the Wi-Fi radio demonstrated a "lead-like shine" on their leaves that was caused by the dying of the upper and lower epidermis of the leaves. This would eventually result in the death of parts of the leaves. The study also found that Wi-Fi radiation could inhibit the growth of corn cobs."

    I think the fathers have every right to be worried.

      OOps: that was a study by the Dutch Wageningen University.


        Or maybe more research into the research was necessary - two days after the report came out (from ""):

        "A recent report out of Wageningen University in the Netherlands suggested that Wi-Fi was killing ash trees in areas where networks were present in large numbers. Headlines such as “Does Wi-Fi kill trees?” carried dire warnings for plant life. But as Yahoo News reports, some experts, including the scientists involved in the study, are toning down the rhetoric.

        ... The scientists concluded that they needed to perform more tests to declare that Wi-Fi was the reason for the tree decline. The Dutch Antennae Agency issued a statement further clarifying, “The researcher from Wageningen University indicates that these are initial results and that has not been confirmed in a repeat survey. He warns strongly that there is still no far-reaching conclusions from its results. Based on the information now available, it cannot be concluded that the Wi-Fi radio signals leads to damage to trees or other plants.”"

      Humans are not made of leaves. You would think if wifi was that dangerous, many more people working in the towers would be dying?

    Any person with a "basic" knowledge of physics will know the power drops off as a square of the distance. The power going into your body from a wifi signal is minimal at best. There's more things in our air causing problems than wifi. Maybe these parents need to go back to school first before banning something that will potentially improve the education of their children.

      A "basic" knowledge of physics is not enough.

      You are precisely right though, the LV and HT 50Hz cabling in your street and house is far more of a worry than Wifi. Far more.

    Poor stupid New Zealanders, giving their country a bad name.

    I've had really big arguments with my mother about this. Her point of view is basically 'they don't know if it is dangerous, and I think it is'.

      They always argue strongly about these things don't they? Like someone is actually taking notes.

    The funny thing is, they are probably perfectly happy to walk out in the Sun on a hot day, which is more dangerous and proved to cause cancer from its UV radiation.

    Oh no, I have a wi-fi disabled Ipod under my pillow! Must put lead shielding in pillow.

    I hear WiFi is responsible for global warming and the world running out of Helium gas as well...oh and WiFi probably killed the Dinosaurs as well.

    Fact: In 2011, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organization, classified wireless radiation as Group 2B - possibly carcinogenic.

      Fact: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organization, classified Alcoholic beverage consumption as Group 1 - Definitely carcinogenic.

      So, in order of importance - Put that beer down (definitely), then turn off your Wifi (just in case).

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now