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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Protecting Our Children From Microwave Radiation at School

Jul 31, 2023 09:01AM ● By Lisa Smith, PhD, EMRS
The internet has become crucial to classroom learning, making it easier than ever for children to learn and use vast amounts of information. Like our homes, schools have two choices to access this information: wired or wireless. Almost all schools today have chosen the wireless option, which means they are filled with wireless devices and infrastructure that emit microwave radiation. Yes, the same kind of radiation we use to cook and heat our food in microwave ovens.
Schools, in fact, have some of the most intense concentrations of microwave radiation found today. Powerful, commercial-grade Wi-Fi systems use multiple routers or “access points” throughout classrooms, often in the ceiling above students’ heads. Add to these the devices the routers connect to (computers, tablets, audio-visual equipment) and students’ personal wireless devices (cell phones, ear buds, smart watches).
Almost all Tucson schools have cell towers either on campus or in close proximity that can emit extremely high levels of radiation into classrooms. And the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) Board has approved Verizon Innovative Learning Labs in multiple schools that come with their own 5G cell tower and provide Virtual Reality learning through wireless headsets placed directly on students’ heads (learn more at In short, students are attempting to learn, teachers attempting to teach, in a sea of microwave radiation.
It is now well established in peer-reviewed science that microwave radiation poses a significant threat to human health, including increased risks of neuropsychiatric effects that impede student learning, such as cognitive impairment, behavioral and memory problems, attention deficit disorder, migraine and emotional disturbances such as anxiety and depression. Long-term health effects of exposure may also include sperm damage, oxidative stress, DNA damage and cancer. Children are more vulnerable to these negative effects because their developing brains are more sensitive, and the radiation penetrates deeper into their brains because their heads are smaller and skulls thinner. Common symptoms of exposure to microwave radiation among school children are headaches, nausea, dizziness, lack of concentration, memory problems, skin rashes, nose bleeds and hyperactivity.
Parents, teachers and administrators should know that wireless products and infrastructure are not safety tested before being allowed in classrooms or on school property. Since their radiation levels fall within the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) exposure limits, they are simply assumed safe. This assumption is unfounded. In 2021, the FCC lost a landmark court case in which Federal judges ruled it ignored the scientific evidence of harm to children in setting its limits and of exposures longer than 30 minutes.
Furthermore, Public Law 90-602 passed by Congress declared that public health must be protected from electronic product radiation, mandating that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluate ways people are being exposed, develop techniques to reduce exposure and warn the public about potential harm. The FDA has ignored this mandate, despite the recent rapid proliferation of wireless devices. In June 2023, Americans for Responsible Technology filed a formal petition holding the FDA accountable to obey this law.
While policy catches up with the science and law, what can parents and teachers do? A good starting point is to use the resources at Tech Safe Schools ( to become educated about this environmental toxin, the legal ramifications of not protecting students and the safer alternatives. Solutions range from going completely wired to greatly reducing radiation through costless modifications to router settings. Parents can become Safe Tech Advocates to help ensure our precious children can learn and grow to their full potential in a toxin-free environment.

Lisa Smith, PhD, EMRS is a Certified Building Biology Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist at EMF Wellness Tucson. Connect at 520-248-0461 or [email protected].