• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Italian town shuts down Wi-Fi over health fears
A northern Italian town has shut off Wi-Fi in two schools due to the risks it could pose to children's health. Photo:Scott Beale

Italian town shuts down Wi-Fi over health fears

The Local · 8 Jan 2016, 10:51

Published: 08 Jan 2016 10:51 GMT+01:00

Mayor Livio Tola told the town's high school and elementary school to return to using cables to connect to the internet after reading that the electromagnetic waves given off by wireless routers were especially harmful to young children.

“It's not that we're against technology, our choice is merely a precautionary measure,” La Stampa reported the mayor as saying.

“We cannot say with certainty if these electromagnetic waves are dangerous for children or not,” he added, acknowledging that there was still a lack of scientific consensus on the issue.

The World Health Organization has recognized the "anxiety and speculation" surrounding electromagnetic field exposure, but is still investigating its possible health affects.

But some studies have suggested that electromagnetic radiation given off by wireless routers can affect the development of cells in young children, enough to convince Tola to shut Wi-Fi off in the two schools in the town of 3,800 inhabitants.

“Who knows? In 20 years' time some people might thank us for it,” the mayor added.

But the controversial decision prompted a backlash from councillors and some parents, who argue that even if wireless signals prove to be harmful, the measure will do little to protect the town's children.

They also argue that it prevents wireless devices, such as tablets, being used in classes as educational tools.

Story continues below…

Ex-mayor Fausto Francisca slammed the decision as short-sighted, explaining that the town's children are already exposed to electromagnetic waves from a myriad of different sources each day, such as their mobile phones and Wi-Fi connections at home.

“What's the point? We already have Wi-Fi in two of the town's squares and in our library, places where children also spend a lot of time,” Francisca said. 

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.it)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Northern Italian region approves 'anti-mosque' laws
One of Italy's few purpose-built mosques, in Rome. File photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Similar laws in other regions have been scrapped for being anti-constitutional.

Former nuns to get civil union in northern Italy
The former nuns have asked for anonymity; this photo is representative only. Photo: Pexels

The nuns fell in love during a mission, and will get their civil union on Thursday.

Earthquake volunteer dies on way home from Amatrice
Amatrice was the town most severely damaged by the earthquake. Photo: AFP

The engineer had cut short his summer holiday to assist with the post-earthquake recovery.

Italy tests 3,500 children for TB after doctor diagnosed
The doctor had carried out vaccinations on thousands of small children. File photo: Pexels

The hospital stressed the tests were a "precautionary and preventative measure".

Ancient Roman coins unearthed at Japanese castle
The 4th-century copper coin found in Japan. Photo: Jiji Press/AFP

How the coins got there is a mystery.

Italy slashes growth figures ahead of crucial referendum
Matteo Renzi at a press conference last month. Photo: AFP

Italy's economy has barely grown since 1999 - hitting working and middle class voters hardest. Economists say Italy will struggle to hit even the "prudent" revised targets.

Italy professor: Students should plagiarize - teachers do
One of the university buildings. Photo: Maris Firsova

A professor at Italy's oldest university says teachers are granted "impunity" in case of plagiarism.

Pope cars auctioned off to help Syrian refugees
The cars have personalized number plates. Photo: AFP

Got a spare €9,000?

Renzi revives plan for a 'bridge to Sicily'
Renzi said the bridge would "bring Sicily closer". Photo: Sarah Murray/Flickr

The bridge was first dreamed up in the 1960's, but no prime minister has succeeded in bringing it to fruition.

‘Destitute’ private jet owner fined thousands for tax fraud
The private jet-owner claimed to have no income or property. File photo: Bob Adams/Flickr

He had a private aeroplane and eight homes.

Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
Culture
Eight things you should know about Rome's Spanish Steps
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The incredible hero dogs of Italy’s earthquake
National
Why quake-hit Amatrice will never be the same again
National
Why discontented Italians could derail their economy
Society
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Culture
Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand
Society
The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still rich today
Culture
So why do pasta-loving Italians live such long lives?
National
Italy's Renzi prepares for stormy autumn
Society
This 104-year-old just saw the sea for the first time
National
Should Rome give up on its 2024 Olympic dream?
Society
The Italian doctor giving hope to thousands of migrants
Culture
Ten 'Italian' dishes that don't actually exist in Italy
Sport
Five Italian athletes going for gold at the Rio Olympics
Travel
Trastevere: From a fiery past to Rome’s souvenir stand
Politics
Think Trump would be a disaster? Just ask the Italians
National
How Brexit has helped to expose Italy’s banking malaise
Politics
After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Lifestyle
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
National
Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
2,523
jobs available