Peel Public Health’s Position on Radiofrequencies (RFs) from Wi-Fi
Health Canada: Busting Myths on Safety Code 6
Public Health Ontario states that among the numerous studies on radiofrequency exposure and its impacts on human health, there is no evidence of negative health effects. The specified limits for public exposure apply to everyone—including the elderly, individuals with health concerns, children and pregnant women—and allow for continuous, 24/7 exposure.
As well, WHO indicates that, “Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak radiofrequency signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects.”
We will continue to rely on the expertise and standards of public health agencies to guide our use of technology in schools. We will also comply with all governing legislation, and will conduct random, representative testing of Wi-Fi levels. As always, our decisions are based on the best interests of students.
Did you know…the access points we install in schools operate at a fraction of the power of home routers—they are not considered industrial-strength. Find out more about wireless technology and health, here: wireless technology and health.
Wi-Fi testing results
Despite assurances from public health agencies that there is no evidence of the negative health effects of Wi-Fi, trustees agreed to go above and beyond regulation and policy requirements and conduct representative testing of Wi-Fi levels in schools and work sites.
Testing followed industry protocols and was conducted by an external independent consultant. The purpose of the testing was to help us to ensure Wi-Fi levels continue to be well below Health Canada's guidelines for safe human exposure to radiofrequency energy (Safety Code 6).
The Peel board retained G2S Environmental Consulting to complete electromagnetic radiation (EMR) testing at 25 schools. The list is a mix of north and south, elementary and secondary, and older and newer schools. Testing occurred both during and after the regular school day, and reflects the total levels, including any background emissions from nearby sources such as cell towers.
In total, 551 locations were measured. All measurements were well below federally
established Safety Code 6. The federal government recently reviewed and reaffirmed Safety Code 6 limits of 10 W/m2. In looking at comparative maximum average results by location, the percentage ranged from a low of less than two per cent of maximum established to a high of just under six percent of Safety Code 6 requirements. In fact, 19 of the 25 results are less than five percent of the allowable limit.
Peel board wifi test results well below standard of revised Safety Code 6
In 2014, the Peel District School Board completed an electromagnetic radiation survey in 25 of its schools throughout the region. This information was reported publicly and posted to the board's website at http://www.peelschools.org/aboutus/21stCentury/byod/wifi.
The findings of this survey can be found in the report below entitled Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) Testing Report Twenty-Five Schools, Peel District School Board. The measurements collected as part of the survey were compared to the exposure limits provided in Health Canada's Safety Code 6, which was published in 2009.
Safety Code 6 is periodically revised to reflect new knowledge in the scientific literature.
In March 2015, Health Canada published a revision of Safety Code 6 (2015). This current version reflects scientific literature published up to August 2014 and replaces the previous version. Safety Code 6 (2015) provides revised exposure limits for electromagnetic radiation.
With the revision, it was prudent to see how the measurements collected during our extensive survey conducted in 2014 compared to the new limits provided in Safety Code 6 (2015).
The Peel board requested that G2S Environmental Consulting Inc., the independent consultant that performed the original survey, prepare anaddendum report comparing the 2014 measurements to the revised 2015 exposure limits. Please note that addendum report must be read in conjunction with the original full report G2S survey report dated May 16, 2015.
As identified in the addendum, the original testing "was conducted during the school day and reflects all devices in use at that point. An additional four devices were set to operate at maximum download/upload rates during the collection of the radio-frequency (RF) measurements."
Although the 2015 exposure limits are more stringent than the 2009 values, the addendum report indicated that all measurements for the 25 schools were well below the Safety Code 6 (2015) limits. In fact, the maximum spatial average results by locations, ranged from 2.63 per cent to 8.75 per cent of the electromagnetic radiation exposure limit provided in Safety Code 6 (2015).
Full report - May 2014
Summary - May 2014
Regular Meeting of the Board -- Wi-Fi Testing -- May 27, 2014