What is EMR? What are the potential health risks? What can we do?
The aim of this message is to convey the reason the P&C has an Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) Panel and why we have recently had Wi-Fi Plugs installed in classrooms at CHHS.
Our committee first formed when we battled the Telstra Tower on the RSL roof and subsequently we learnt that we created our own internal EMR footprint with Wi-Fi. Telecommunication towers, Wi-Fi, mobile phones, wireless devices (laptops, tablets), smart meters and cordless phones are examples of devices that emit radio frequency (RF) microwave radiation or EMR.
The Australian Radiation standards are thermally based, not biologically based which means there is no definite consensus either way as to the long-term effects of EMR exposure, especially in the younger generation. The P&C believe that it is in everyone's best interest at CHHS to act in accordance with the Precautionary Principle to minimise potential health risks.
The Wi-Fi Plugs are an example of the Precautionary Principle meaning we choose to err on the side of caution. The Wi-Fi plugs are designed to be plugged in when Wi-Fi is required and pulled out when it is not. Many other countries are concerned about EMR emissions and over 20 countries have acted in terms of minimising Wi-Fi in schools.
You may recall the free school laptops under the Kevin Rudd governments Digital Education Revolution (DER) in 2008. The DER also gave every public high school a Wi-Fi Router in every single classroom with no way of turning the W-Fi off. We now have the ability to turn off Wi-Fi at CHHS. We believe that CHHSs Wi-Fi Plugs is a landmark initiative in Australian schools. The program has taken well over 12 months to trial and implement with close co-operation between the school and P&C.
The project came at a cost of $6k to the P&C, which we believe is money well spent. A policy and Procedures document exists and has the approval of Mrs Vicki Brewer. This means it is now School Policy to disconnect the Wi-Fi Router when access is not required. Teachers have all been made aware and mini posters have been placed neat the Wi-Fi Plugs to remind teachers to 'Pull the Plug' when Wi-Fi access is not needed.
In addition, we are encouraging students to use flight/airplane mode on all their devices including mobiles and laptops when wireless is not required. Airplane mode is the non-radiating emitting mode. We need your help - please talk to your children about Wi-Fi Plugs and ask them to remind our busy teachers to 'Pull the Plug' if the class is not using wireless access that lesson.
CHHS P&C EMR Committee
Over the phone or online
via school: (02) 9634 4199
Get in touch with EMR:
ABN: 53 809 007 900
Castle Hill High School P&C Association
Castle Hill High School
CASTLE HILL NSW 2154