Leading the way in adopting the ‘precautionary approach’, in March this year the French Assembly banned the use of wifi in schools ‘until it is proven safe for human consumption’. Bravo for the Assembly! (They were absolutely not, incidentally, being Luddite here – they just recommended the use of safer, wired Ethernet connections.) The assembly also made it clear that they were worried not only about the children in the schools but the effect that wifi might have on the health of the teachers.
Back in Blighty the government, surprise, surprise, has specifically stated that they will take no responsibility for anything! As EMFields say in their newsletter:
The current UK coalition Government has made a clear statement that they are not indemnifying Headteachers, Governors or Local Authorities from their personal and corporate duties to protect the health and well-being of the children in their care. That specifically includes the use of WiFi, wireless tablets and smart phones in school.
Public Health England, (used to be the HPA), is effectively immune from prosecution. If children become ill and parents believe that WiFi is the cause, then the school Head and Governors of schools who use wireless devices are first in the legal firing line and so they should ensure that they have appropriate and adequate insurance cover. Damage from radio frequency radiation is excluded from many policies.
Also check EMFields newsletter for links to groups fighting wifi in schools in this country.
Meanwhile, the roll out of smart meters has been delayed for a year until the autumn of 2015. This does not, of course mean that the project has been shelved – far from it – but it does at least mean that there will be a little more time to address the concerns of the numerous consumer groups who have have been worried not only by the EM effects of smart meters in every home but the privacy issues, the security issues and whether there will be any cost benefit for consumers.
For those who are not already familiar with the smart meter debate see:
The BBC report on the delay
A Which report on the privacy issues
An interesting article in the Baltimore Sun about the debate in the US
An information sheet on the possible health impacts of smart meters from ES-UK
A more detailed exploration by Andrew Goldsworthy on the possible link between smart meters and autism and cancer.
And if you want to get involved – or at least stop the authorities installing a smart meter in your house, check in to Stop Smart Meters – the UK campaigning group.
Readers of the blue tops may also have noticed that the Guardian’s in depth article on ES a month or so ago was followed by another excellent in depth article in last Sunday’s Telegraph by Julia Llewellyn Smith.