Canadian Teachers Union Bans Cellphones in the ClassroomA resolution necessitating the children to switch off their cell phones in classrooms was passed by the  Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO), which is the largest teachers union in Canada. This resolution was based on the grounds that the school-going children and teachers should be protected in the school premises. This was a great move on part of Ontario’s 76000 elementary school teachers, who are also a part of ETFO.

Teacher Sandra Wash said in a meeting, “There is cause for concern for members’ health and safety, especially women.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) supports the ETFO’s vote and has categorized the microwave radiation from mobile phones and Wifi as carcinogenic. This means that it is a cancer causing radiation. It has also been demanded by the ETFO that Wifi transmitters in schools should not be hidden in the ceilings, instead they should be included in the hazard control program.

Radiation exposure poses risks for everyone, but children are more vulnerable because of their thinner skulls, smaller heads, highly conductive brain tissue and exposure starting at an early age resulting in long term exposure.

Children can absorb twice as much radiation as an adult due to their undeveloped nervous system and immature physical status. There are a lot of illnesses that children develop because of the microwave radiation, including ADD, nausea, vertigo, dizziness, headaches, racing heart, memory loss and sleep disorders. Other than these, brain tumors, cancer, cardiovascular disease and depression are also linked with radiation exposure.

The health of children is not the only concern, teachers are also worried about their own health. A researcher at the University of California Berkeley, who is also the director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the School of Public Health, Dr. Joel Moskowitz says, “There is evidence that cell phone radiation may damage sperm and increase male infertility, increase brain glucose metabolism and alter EEG readings, and may create neurological, memory, and sleep problems for some individuals.”

The Canadian government, along with many other Canadian organizations is raising concerns about the increase in radiation exposure. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health paid attention to the testifying experts, who also demanded for a ban on devices that emit microwave radiation including mobiles and Wifi routers in the school premises.

In France, Germany and Israel, governmental and non-governmental agencies are issuing regulations, bans and strong recommendations for the protection of people against the radiation risks. These agencies are well aware of the fact that using mobile phones at an early age increases the chances of developing brain tumors by five times.

Another Canadian organization, the Safe School Committee gives safety the first priority while supporting the equal access to technology in all schools. It believes that safety can be ensured by using cables to connect to the internet. Using this concept, many Canadian schools are able to connect to the internet while being safe at the same time.

With more and more research being done on the dangers of mobile phones and other technologies, a large number of people are being enlightened. The unsupervised use of wireless devices by children is no longer considered an acceptable norm.