Wi-Fi Safety in Schools

Many schools are using Wi-Fi as an effective way to make the Internet available to more students.

A state resident contacted the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Health expressing concern about Wi-Fi use in schools. The concern is based on increased use of Wi-Fi to allow students to do work online, and whether that increased use exposes students to radiofrequency (RF) radiation that poses a health threat.

The two agencies reviewed all summary documents published in English by national or international health agencies since 2000. The reviewed documents included a thorough review of scientific literature on some aspect of human exposure to radiofrequency (RF) fields. Wi-Fi devices generate RF fields, as do cell phones, cell towers, radar, microwaves, and radio and TV broadcasts. The consensus conclusion of these documents was that there is no clear and consistent evidence that low levels of RF fields, such as produced by Wi-Fi equipment, have any adverse health effects in people.

The Department of Health and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction produced a draft report about Wi-Fi safety in February 2014 and invited Washington residents to submit comments to be included as an appendix in the final report.

Comments sent by Washington residents are included in Appendix C in the revised report. Comments, and attachments to comments, can be found within this report.