Children and exposure to WiFi, 4G


A quick word about risk. My work as an environmental attorney has taught me that when it comes to public health risks, we can never be cautious enough. The incident that precipitated the launch of this blog, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, took place because BP and others didn’t fully understand the risks of drilling in such a deep section of the Gulf of Mexico, nor did they prepare for what could go wrong.

 Over the course of the last generation, we have rushed headlong into a technological revolution of cell phones and now wireless Internet, without properly studying the risks from electromagnetic radiation. Despite the fact that some studies have suggested a link between cell phone use and cancer, we have expanded the exposure of young children to electromagnetic radiation by installing wireless Internet, or WiFi, and 4G cellular service in classrooms without studying the impacts.

This week,  Dr. Olle Johansson, a neuroscientist at the world-renowned Karolinska Institute, forwarded to me an online petition urging a halt on expanding wi-fi and 4G service until classrooms until more research is carried out. Here is an excerpt:

School children are facing a massive health crisis if the governments and education authorities continue to ignore the warnings on the potential health effects from long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation from wireless devices.

Many scientists and medical experts warn that long-term exposure to EMR interferes with the body’s internal bioelectrical signals which may lead to diseases such as cancer, immune dysfunction, infertility, reproductive disorders, DNA damage and other cognitive and neurological disorders. Children are also most vulnerable as they absorb more radiation due to their thinner skulls, bones and developing cells. Their life-time exposure will also be greater than adults today.

Scientific studies on the long-term health effects of WiFi on children have not been conducted, yet this technology is being vigorously rolled out in schools without parental consent or choice. Children are being involuntarily exposed to wireless radiation for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. This is unacceptable as there are safer wired options for schools to provide children with internet access.

Let’s raise our voices calling on the EU [European Union]  to adopt the precautionary principle, and to act now to protect our children and future generations. Stop the use of WiFi and 4G internet in schools until long-term exposure is proven harmless. Favour wired internet connections, and reduce microwave electromagnetic radiation exposure from all wireless devices.

There is also a second petition urging world governments to refrain from using 4G (also known as LTE) technology for mobile phone and Internet until scientifically proven safe. 

I could not agree more. Children can learn the computer skills they need to succeed in today’s world on traditional high-speed Internet connections — why take a chance and later learn that WiFi exposure is harmful? So please take a minute to consider signing this petition and protecting society’s greatest asset, our young people.

Learn more about children, radiation from wireless and health at:

Sign the petition at:

The petition calling on governments to stop 4G, or LTE, until proven harmless is here:



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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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