Leadership magazine March/April 2019 V48 No. 4 - Page 25

covariates” (Mark and Janssen, 2008). The dangers of electromagnetic radiation Today, very few people are completely insulated from the potentially damaging effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF’s). Children, however, are even more prone to its dangers because their growing bod- ies naturally absorb more radiation. Un- fortunately, many of today’s classrooms are ground zero for electromagnetic radiation: computers, tablets, cell phones and Wi-Fi all emit EMFs in similar frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum. Emerging research is studying the effects of manmade electromagnetic fields: “What- ever the mechanism, tangible evidence of the EMF-stress relationship exists for both systemic (whole body) stress reactions and cellular stress reactions. Exposure studies have demonstrated systemic stress reactions in the form of high blood sugar, low heart- rate variability, altered circadian rhythms, disruptive sleep patterns and impaired cog- nition. Cellular stress has been evidenced by increased levels of heat shock proteins (HSPs, whose function is to stabilize other proteins when the cell is exposed to stress), oxidative stress (free radicals), breaks in DNA strands, and excessive unbound cal- cium inside the cell (Dunckley, p.301). In my first period class alone, there were 26 smartphones, 37 laptops, numerous per- sonal tablets (as well as a cart of 40 shared with other classes), a desktop PC, and high speed Wi-Fi – not including the EMF’s emitted from the rows of fluorescent light- ing. It’s only slight hyperbole to suggest today’s classrooms are like Hiroshima fall- out to developing bodies and brains. EMFs have been shown to elevate blood sugar in certain diabetics, disrupt sleep patterns and impair cognitive performance, damage reti- nal epithelial cells, and increase oxidative stress. In addition, the “use of laptop com- puters connected to the internet through Wi-Fi decreases human sperm mobility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation” (Av- endano, 2011). Is it any wonder the French government has banned the use of Wi-Fi in its preschool childcare facilities, and many other coun- March | April 2019 25