The vice president of Amica, Francesca Romana Orlando says, “Putting wi-fi in schools could be social suicide.” In order to reduce the exposure of electromagnetic fields, Associazione Malattie da Intossicazione Cronica e/o Ambientale (the association of chronic and/or environmental diseases and poisoning) has been holding campaigns in Italy for over 10 years.
There has been growing concerns about the use of Wi-fi in schools. Parents are forming committees to request the replacement of wireless connections with cables in primary schools because of the radiation from Wi-fi. One month back, in Civitanova Marche, the modem signal was disconnected and replaced by cable connection by the councillor of the primary school. According to Francesca Romana Orlando, “Scientifically, exposure to wi-fi is considered a potential health risk.” She further talked about how the government says that the legal limits set by the law pose no danger to health, but in reality these limits still do not protect health. People are likely to get affected from wireless and mobile signals with exposure that is 10 times lower than the limits set by Italian law. Biologists tell us that our cells have internal electromagnetic sensors that are affected by both, weak and strong external magnetic fields.
Italian schools, in numbers of thousands have applied for funding for wi-fi. Only 1554 applications from secondary schools of 2074 have been accepted by the Ministry of Education. €15 million have been allocated for the Wi-fi in classrooms for 2013 and 2014. However, the Organization for Economic Cooperation finds this amount of funding not sufficient if Italy has to raise itself to become equal to countries like Britain. Italy is encouraged to find funding in the private sector by the OECD.
The activists say that campaigns are being held in schools and libraries of those cities having Wi-fi. Although there hasn’t been any violation of the legal limits, the biological effects caused by the exposure cannot be ignored. By limits of law, they mean peaks of exposure, not occupied bandwidth. For Wi-fi, it happens to be very wide as it transmits data. Francesca said, “We planned a meeting with the researchers from the department of biomagnetism at the University of Athens in 2011. Their study’s findings included mice experiencing memory loss and spatial confusion after they were exposed to wi-fi radiation. These symptoms are similar to what ‘electro-sensitive’ people experience.”
To get recognition for electro-sensitivity, Campaigns are being carried out in Amica. “Several people have contacted us in the last two years, who were physically healthy before the installation of Wi-fi in their offices but later started experiencing insomnia, headaches, confusion and a sense of disorientation. These symptoms cannot be quantified and objectified that easily, but they do deteriorate the quality of life. Exposure to magnetic fields from cell phones and Wi-fi cause psychological and physical reactions. While we should be ridding the schools and libraries of Wi-fi, we are actually setting up more Wi-fi’s there. The radio waves have been categorized as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and keeping that into view, the plenary assembly of the Council of Europe warned that the use of wi-fi should be reduced.