One of our parents recently brought to our attention the ongoing debate about the potential dangers to health associated with long term exposure to “the non-ionising radiation of electromagnetic fields” i.e. cell phone masts, cell phones, WiFi routers etc. We have done considerable research on the subject over the last few weeks. Our conclusion is that our microwave link for internet and telephone connectivity (made necessary by Telkom’s inability to provide a fixed line service) and our hot spots and routers are of far less concern than cell phone antennae and cell phones themselves.
However many concerned people worldwide are encouraging everyone, and particularly schools where children spend a number of hours each day to take a precautionary approach, and, wherever feasible, to limit the use of equipment which may in the future be considered to be harmful. We believe this approach is wise and have therefore drafted a policy which we will adhere to in future. A copy of this policy is attached.
In assessing our own situation we believe that our actions to date have been in harmony with the policy. Some examples are: We refused to allow a cell phone mast to be erected on our property because of the potential danger to health. The backbone of our connectivity on the HeronBridge campus has been converted from radio to fibre optic cabling and we use CAT5 cabling rather than WiFi wherever feasible, albeit for reasons of efficiency and stability rather than potential health considerations. One major positive for HeronBridge’s location is that we are largely out of the fog of radiation in the city caused by these devices!
One important element of the policy is just to make the children aware of the potential dangers of radio wave based communication (cell phones, internet links, hotspots etc.) and to encourage them to take precautionary measures even though the danger may be very small.
This has been a time consuming but valuable exercise. We are still trying to obtain more specific information on our internet radio link and would replace this with a fixed line link as soon as this became available. Once again, this would be for reasons of cost and stability as much as to avoid the potential danger to health.