An increasing number of educational institutions are realising the effects that long-term exposure to high levels of radiofrequency (RF) radiation from computers, tablets, classroom wi-fi routers, and numerous personal cell phones can have on both teachers and pupils. There is a growing body of data on the health concerns associated with radiation therapy (RF), which include cancer, oxidative stress, damage to the reproductive system, neurological impairment, and neuropsychiatric side effects including anxiety, depression, ADD symptoms, behavioural and memory issues, and learning difficulties for students.

Several measures have been taken by Desert Sage High School, a tuition-free public Waldorf school in Tucson, Arizona, to lessen the radiation that staff members and students are exposed to via cell towers, wireless networks, and cell phones. Currently, they are insulating the school from the neighbouring cell tower’s wireless radio-frequency (RF) radiation emissions.

Eliminating a large number of Wi-fi boosters that were affixed to the ceilings across the facility was one of the initial actions Desert Sage took to lessen exposure to RF radiation. Additionally, the school has a responsible mobile phone policy that requires students to keep their phones in their lockers when participating in class and academic work periods. Consequently, there is less radiation exposure from cell phones in classrooms.

“However, an RF radiation assessment by Building Biology certified Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist (EMRS) Lisa Smith found that the levels of wireless RF radiation coming into the school from a nearby T-Mobile cell tower, located half a block away, were much higher in cell tower-facing classrooms.   

The cell tower had recently been ‘upgraded to 5G’. After the upgrade, her measurements show the levels of wireless microwave radiation had doubled and far exceeded science-based safety guidelines established by experts to protect against non-thermal biological impacts and long term health risks. 

Lisa Smith is now working with the local group Safe Tech Tucson to shield the classrooms from the cell tower radiation by covering the exterior walls with aluminum metal mesh screening material.  In November, volunteers conducted a demonstration shielding for a math classroom that reduced RF radiation by 95 %, greatly lowering students’ cell tower radiation exposure while learning at school. 

Safe Tech Tucson is now raising money for the remaining shielding materials and hopes to complete the project in March.

“‘We applaud actions taken to protect students, teachers and staff,’ stated Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust. She pointed to the New Hampshire State Commission on 5G and Santa Clara Medical Association recommendations on restricting cell towers near schools. She also highlighted that FCC limits do not protect against long term health effects, nor do they consider children’s unique vulnerability. Scarato pointed to the Ecolog Institute Report (2000)  commissioned by T-Mobile that recommended an exposure limit 1000 times lower than the FCC’s current power density limit. 

The Los Angeles California School District Office of Health and Safety developed a ‘cautionary level’ for radiofrequency radiation 10,000 times lower than FCC regulations because, “it is believed that a more conservative level is necessary to protect children, who represent a potentially vulnerable and sensitive population.’ 

The Los Angeles Unified School District has 3 resolutions opposing cell towers on school property. Several school boards have passed resolutions or taken actions to restrict cell towers at schools, including the Temecula Valley Unified (CA), Palo Alto Unified (CA), and West Linn-Wilsonville Oregon

The scientific research indicating serious safety issues has significantly  increased. A literature review on people living near cell towers entitled ‘Evidence for a health risk by RF on humans living around mobile phone base stations: From radiofrequency sickness to cancer‘ by Balmori (2022) found associations between exposure and radiofrequency sickness, cancer and changes in biochemical parameters.”

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