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Frequencies Too Frequent

JENNY LEE
Features Editor

Crack! Scribble-scribble. Tap, tap, tap. Down by the tennis courts, tennis balls fly furiously over the nets as rackets swing at them. Up in C building, a hardworking girl scrawls in her notebook paper, dedicatedly jotting down notes. Across the campus in S building, a bored kid stares off into space, tapping his pencil rhythmically to the monotonous droning of his teacher. Above him, a substance is emitting from the ceiling, submerging the room in its presence. Leaking from multiple walls and classrooms, it flows across campus foliage and concrete floors. Waves from the AHS’ newly installed Wi-Fi system engulf each student, whether he or she is working in the gym or sitting behind a desk.

Tasteless, soundless and invisible to the eye, electromagnetic waves begin seeping through every nook and cranny of the 21st century. As technology begins to soar, so does the amount of radiation. This now ubiquitous technology allows the average Joe run devices like cameras, video-game consoles, printers and audio players with exceptional convenience.

Many wireless devices run on a frequency of 2.4 GHz, the same frequency commonly used in microwaves; directed at the food, these waves “excite” certain substances in water and fat, triggering a scientific process called dielectric heating, which heats up the food. Note that the human body also consists of water and fat. With this in mind, what side effects could Wi-Fi radiation have on the health of families and students?

“I have no doubt in my mind that at the present time, the greatest polluting element in the earth’s environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields. I consider that to be far greater on a global scale, than warming, and the increase in chemical elements in the environment.” two-time Nobel Prize nominee, Robert O. Becker said, according to an interview conducted in 2000 by Linda Moulton Howe.

To many born in the nineties, Wi-Fi seems engraved into their lifestyles because the majority of the population in today’s generation not only knows about wireless devices, but also uses them on a daily basis. Scientists agree that these waves are a danger at high levels and many hope that the low levels emitted in family households are safe. However, these waves of radiation may seem harmless now, but after a couple more decades, its safety grows questionable.

In an executive report published in 2009, Andrew Goldsworthy, a retired lecturer from the prestigious Imperial College London, stated that weak electromagnetic fields act on the calcium ions lodged between our cells. These leakages may cause a range of disorders from DNA damage to stress headaches and sleeping difficulties.

Contrary to popular belief, electromagnetic waves do not need to be strong to cause damage. Goldsworthy mentioned in the Foreword of his 2012 article that “all this happens at levels of radiation that the cell phone companies tell us are safe because the radiation is too weak to cause significant heating. This is the only criterion that they use to assess safety.”

This issue poses a far greater concern because it has been proven that children are more susceptible to radiation than adults. A research in the past found that children living in the front of the Skrunda Radio Location Station had a less developed memory and attention span; their reaction time had slowed and their neuromuscular apparatus endurance decreased.

“People who start mobile phone use before the age of 20 had more than five-fold increase in glioma, [a cancer in the nervous system.]” University Hospital Professor Lennart Hardell said, according to The Independent.

The present young generation is the experimental lab rat for the future. In fact, the probable consequences has urged officials from Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Finland to express their concerns toward citizens and advise against wireless networking.

AHS has recently installed a new school Wi-Fi system. Every day, nearly 3,000 students file into the school, affected by the cumulative radiation exposure. It may be low, but the reality is that every student is exposed to this radiation from 7:45 AM to 2:41 PM—nearly 7 hours every day, more so if the student has a Wi-Fi router at home. How this chronic exposure will affects us is a question we should be wary of.

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