Page last updated at 10:17 GMT, Thursday, 22 October 2009 11:17 UK

Parents concerned by school wi-fi

More than 40 parents have signed a petition against the installation of a wi-fi internet connection at a Merseyside primary school.

They fear radiation emitted from the system could leave pupils at Woodlands primary in Formby with a range of conditions, including brain problems.

School head Simon Grilli told parents the wi-fi would be set up next week.

He disputed their claims and said the Health Protection Agency (HPA) had been consulted over the installation.

One of the reasons we picked the school is because it was not near a phone mast so we did not have to worry about radiation coming from that
Phil Hughes, parent

Phil Hughes, a homeopathist whose nine-year-old daughter attends Woodlands primary, said he was already looking into moving her to another school.

"I have carried out a lot of research into the effects and engineers who have installed wi-fi in the past have recorded suffering from headaches and other ailments," he said.

"Many experts say there could be a link between wi-fi emissions and things like memory loss in children. We are very worried and we don't want our daughter exposed to that."

Wi-fi, or Wireless Fidelity, connects computers to the internet at broadband speeds without cables.

Evidence 'inconsistent'

It emits the same electromagnetic radiation as mobile phones and there has been a long-running debate as to whether the radiation can affect people's health.

Mr Grilli said: "I am aware of the concerns of a small number of parents and have considered this matter at length with the school governors.

"We have looked very carefully at the advice of the Health Protection Agency and BECTA (British Educational Communications and Technology Agency) which says there is no evidence to suggest it is unsafe to use wireless LAN in a school environment."

Information on the Health and Protection Agency (HPA) website states "there is no consistent evidence to date that Wi-Fi and WLANs adversely affects the health of the general population".

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