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By Ricardo Luis Mascheroni
Without taking for granted or categorically affirming that electromagnetic pollution is one of the worst plagues of modernity, as is increasingly expressed by numerous studies and scientific reports, which outline its negativity, one must begin to pay attention to this possible disturbing factor. sanitary.
Increasingly and with greater assiduity, doctors and researchers attribute undesirable effects to this contamination, likely to generate pathologies that would have an impact on the morbidity and mortality of people.
Despite this, and trying to maintain an objectivity and impartiality, not simple on the subject, I recognize that there is a library in favor that highlights the harmlessness of this radiation and another that expresses the opposite.
This dispute is not peaceful, since the interests at stake are many and powerful. But, this should not prevent us from recognizing that in recent years a series of previously uncommon pathologies have appeared, attributable according to many to this form of radiation.
Within the extensive bibliography on the subject, specialists point out: attention deficit, hyperactivity, irritability, concentration and memory disturbances, pruritus, eye discomfort, dermatitis, muscle aches, headache, insomnia, and in cases where the exposure is long-term: electrohypersensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, arrhythmias, cardiac disorders, epilepsy, autism, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, infertility, hormonal disorders, leukemia and various cancers.
Recently a doctor told me about this form of pollution: "We are the same as with cigarettes in 1930, since at that date we knew that tobacco was bad, which was not known how much."
This contamination by electromagnetic fields (EMF) originated in transformers, high voltage lines, Wi-Fi, it is aggravated with the exponential increase of cellular telephony.
Due to the risks posed by this technology, WHO included it within the Group 2B: Possibly carcinogenic to humans, together with the dangerous insecticide DDT (banned in most of the world) and cigarettes.
If all these warnings are true, we are obviously in trouble, since cellular telephony and Wi-Fi have generated widespread adherence and addiction throughout the community.
We must be aware that all that powerful technological arsenal mentioned, has and will have more and more incidence in daily life and in its different manifestations. Already having a strong impact on educational and pedagogical activity, with all the good and bad that it can contain.
Despite the voices of alerts, it is an objective fact that children, from their earliest years, interact more and more with this technological baggage.
For many, including parents, officials and pedagogues, the use and management of computers and other devices of the digital age are praised without a critical analysis of their implications and influences.
All its advantages are taken for granted, elevating it to the category of panacea for human evolution.
So much so that, the distribution of personal computers by the governments in turn to students, constitutes a sample of progressivism and modernity, as if this by itself meant an advance in the contents, educational quality or in the understanding of the learners.
Faith in this system can be summarized in the following: “the digital revolution will make resources not scarce, but widely accessible; opportunities to learn will be abundant, and people will have the ability to enter and exit that learning flow more easily. Who anticipates this scenario for education is Marina Gorbis, director of the Institute for the Future, a think tank in Palo Alto that since the 1970s has been developing methods to anticipate trends and scenarios ”. (1)
I believe that these tanks of ideas, rather than anticipating trends and scenarios, impose them, in an anomic world, which in many respects has lost its ability to alert and critically analyze projects that are alienating or at least of doubtful efficacy.
What is reported by the newspaper is significant Le MondeExperts prefer that their children go to schools that do not use computers. This is the case for professionals in Silicon Valley (Northern California and a leading center for innovation and development of high technology), where they prefer that, at least in schools, their children study without them.
The Waldorf School, near the area, is one of the schools that the hyper-connected employees of Google, Apple and other leading computer companies choose to educate their children away from screens. Three-quarters of students enrolled in the Waldorf are children of people who work in new technologies.
The medium collects the testimony of a father, Pierre Laurent, who has worked at Microsoft for 12 years and chose that school because he does not confuse computing with human learning. The computer is nothing more than a tool, and whoever only has a hammer thinks that all problems are nails, he says.
On whether he is concerned about a possible disadvantage for his children by postponing computer use, Laurent responds: We don't know what the world will be like in 10 or 15 years; the tools will have had time to change many times.
While in our country, progress is being made at a redoubled pace in the installation of Wi-Fi networks, in public places and in educational establishments, in much of the world this trend is under review and frank decline.
Groups of parents and teacher unions in different countries are organizing around the campaign "Schools free of WiFi", due to the possible adverse effects of this radiation, demanding the prohibition and replacement of cable internet, since in schools, students and teachers do not have freedom of choice.
In France, the kickoff was given at the request of the Paris Committee on Hygiene and Safety (CHS), from which the National Library of France, as well as other libraries in that city, replaced wired Wi-Fi.
The undoubted freedom of movement offered by Wi-fi must be set against the increase in risks to the health of students, teachers and anyone exposed to its radiation.
Suppose, even hypothetically, that everything outlined in this note, about the dangerous effects of this contamination, has an acceptable degree of certainty, what is the future we are planning for our children and grandchildren?
Are we aware of the risks to which we expose them because of our comfort and laziness to discuss these issues?
Despite the fact that many speak of the "precautionary principle", which requires measures to reduce the possibility of suffering serious harm despite the fact that the precise probability of it occurring is ignored, which has been enshrined in more than one national law , its effective and practical application is far from being a reality.
And what another paradox; While regulations prohibit the installation of cell phone antennas near schools to avoid damage, they are now being irradiated from inside such establishments.
Are teachers informed of the risks? Do they discuss in their assemblies and joint ventures, beyond salary, the environmental and occupational health conditions that affect their quality of life?
With more doubts than certainties, I leave you to think about it.
Ricardo Luis Mascheroni
Ref: 1.- Guyot, Carlos, La Nación, July 28, 2013