Tell Ontario teachers that they should ban pickles, too.

Ontario teachers:

The Ontario English Catholic Teacher’s Association says computers in all new schools should be hardwired instead of setting up wireless networks.

It also says Wi-Fi should not be installed in any more classrooms.

In a position paper released on Monday, the union — which represents 45,000 teachers — cites research by the World Health Organization.

Last year the global health agency warned about a possible link between radiation from wireless devices such as cellphones and cancer.

Some believe wireless access to the Internet could pose similar risks.

What the WHO actually says:

Are there any health effects?

A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.

What a smart commenter (ve5cma) pointed out:

Headline should read:

“Teachers’ Union Falls for Junk Science”

Sub head:
Standing within sight of a 50,000 watt radio station transmitter, the head of the teachers’ union complained about the 4 watt WiFi router.

What I’m doing right now:

Found at guyism.com

I knew that when the WHO classed cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic” (a classification so soft that it includes pickles as possible carcinogens) people would crawl out of the wood work using that as an excuse to ban anything electronic that scares them,  and wi-fi seems like an obvious target.  And let’s face it, Ontario has had problems with this before.  So I guess I can’t say that I’m too surprised something like this happened, but I sure am disappointed.  No one, including the WHO, has been able to find a link between cancer and cell phones.  So how does the Ontario English Catholic Teacher’s Association think that a radiation emitter being held against your head and failing to cause cancer is a good reason to ban wi-fi  throughout schools?   There’s no reason to believe that this kind of radiation has any effect on biological tissue  (even if it’s not physically impossible), and the available evidence is strongly against the idea.

It’s just sad that a group of people responsible for teaching science to children can fail so badly at basic scientific literacy.  For shame, Ontario English Catholic Teacher’s Association, for shame.

Update: Orac at Respectful Insolence hits the same notes with a lot more depth.

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