Thursday, 7 March 2013

Questions (45)

Gerry Adams


45. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether school principals are legally and financially responsible should a student or teacher become ill as a result of the untested pulsed microwave radiation emitted by Wi-Fi equipment; and if a similar liability applies to schools in the 26 counties. [11746/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Under the provisions of the Education Act 1998, the board of management is the body charged with the direct governance of a school. In general, individual school authorities are responsible, in the first instance, under Safety, Health and Welfare at Work legislation for ensuring the safety and welfare of children and others in their care. It is the responsibility of individual school management authorities to have a safety statement in place which should be reviewed on a regular basis.

The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government have specific responsibility with regards health effects of electromagnetic fields. They published a Report of the Expert Group on the Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields in 2007. The report concluded that the weight of scientific evidence currently available shows no adverse short or long-term health effects from exposure to the radiofrequency signals produced by base station transmitters. The report was accepted by the then Government. Accordingly the advice from DCENR is that there is no scientific basis for, or evidence of, adverse health effects in children or adults as a result of exposure to electromagnetic fields.