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Health risk to pupils using Wi-Fi

Health risk to pupils using Wi-Fi

Wireless computer networks in schools pose a greater health risk to pupils than mobile phone masts, an investigation has found.

Wi-Fi, which allows Internet surfing on demand, has already been taken up in 70 per cent of British secondary schools and half of primaries.

Tests on a wireless-enabled laptop in a classroom found peak radiation was three times the level of a typical mobile phone mast.

The findings have prompted the chairman of the Health Protection Agency, Sir William Stewart, to publicly call for an inspection of the health effects of Wi-Fi.

He said: 'I believe there is a need for a review and I think it's timely for it to be done now.'

A Department of Health spokesperson said: 'Current evidence does not suggest there is a health problem with Wi-Fi but we look to the HPA to advise Government on these issues.'

Under Government guidelines, phone masts are not placed near schools without consulting parents, because of worries over possible health risks.

Recent research has linked radiation from mobiles to cancer and brain damage, and children are thought to be more vulnerable than adults.

While the health risks associated with mobile phones and masts remain unproven, new concerns were raised last month after a study of seven sites reported higher cases of cancer, brain haemorrhages and other serious illnesses within 400 metres of the towers.

The latest tests were carried out for a BBC Panorama programme to be shown tonight.

Philip Parkin, head of the Professional Association of Teachers, said: 'I think schools and parents will be very worried.


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