Children should not place computers with wireless internet connections on their laps, a UK government adviser has warned.
Professor Lawrie Challis, head of the UK government’s committee on mobile phone safety research, told The Daily Telegraph that children using computers with WiFi connections should be monitored until more research into the possible health risks is carried out. Until then, Professor Challis is calling for children to be kept a safe distance from the embedded antennas.
Professor Challis told The Telegraph, With a desktop computer, the transmitter will be in the tower. This might be perhaps 20cm from your leg and the exposure would then be around 1% of that from a mobile phone. However, if you put a laptop straight on your lap and are using WiFi, you could be around 2cm from the transmitter, and receiving comparable exposure to that from a mobile phone.
Professor Challis added that children are much more sensitive than adults to dangers such as pollutants like lead and UV radiation, and thus, if there should be a problem with mobiles, then it may be a bigger problem for children.
It is estimated that half of UK primary schools and four fifths of secondary schools are using WiFi networks. According to the BBC, The Professional Association of Teachers union is writing to the education secretary for clarification on the WiFi safety issue.