The parents of a New Zealand child who died of brain cancer are blaming their son’s death on an unlikely culprit: his school’s Wi-Fi system.
Earlier this year, Ethan Wyman died after an 11-month battle with brain cancer. His parents are now alleging that both his school-issued iPad and the school’s Wi-Fi system could have caused the cancer.
When doctors discovered tumors in Ethan’s brain, they told his parents the tumors were roughly three months old. Coincidentally, Ethan had been using an iPad at home and school for about four months. Though all scientific research shows no causal connection between electromagnetic fields (like Wi-Fi) and cancer, the Wyman family still believes the device played a role in his cancer development.
“We’re not saying that caused it, but it seems like a bit of a coincidence,” father Damon Wyman said. “Most people would be very cautious about giving their 5-year-old a cellphone — well, this is 30 kids in a classroom [being exposed] to the same thing.”
The Wymans are now pushing the local school board to remove Wi-Fi devices from all school buildings and classrooms. Though both the New Zealand Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education remain adamant that there is no link between Wi-Fi and cancer, the school board of trustees agreed to send out a survey to parents in order to gauge their opinions on the issue.
It appears that the actions of the school board are being done more to sympathize with the Wyman parents than to actually remove Wi-Fi from schools. After all, even if Wi-Fi were removed from school buildings, students and teachers would still be exposed to all of the radio waves emitted by countless other devices across the world.
The National Research Council (NRC) has gone to extensive lengths conducting and analyzing studies in hopes of calming the public’s occasional fear of radio waves.
Here is a statement from NRC panel chairman Dr. Charles F. Stevens on the issue:
Many people fear that EMFs cause cancer; however, a causal connection between EMFs and cancer has not been established. The National Research Council (NRC) spent more than three years reviewing more than 500 scientific studies that had been conducted over a 20-year period and found no conclusive and consistent evidence that electromagnetic fields harm humans. Research has not shown in any convincing way that electromagnetic fields common in homes can cause health problems, and extensive laboratory tests have not shown that EMFs can damage the cell in a way that is harmful to human health.