Worldwide Recommendations and Guidelines on Wi-Fi use in Schools


Education systems in various countries are adopting E-learning programs in schools. These programs require installation of infrastructure including wireless networks (Wi-Fi) in the school. Alongside the advantages of computerized learning, concerns about student health have arisen, because of their exposure to end-user devices and radiation emitting technologies.

Around the world several approaches exist towards the issue of striking a balance between the benefits of using advanced technologies and protecting student health.

An international review indicates that most countries support the approach that based on the existing scientific knowledge, the use of Wi-Fi in schools does not pose a health risk to children or staff, and therefore there is no reason to avoid using it. 

Flags of various countriesFor detailed recommendations in each country


Digital technology is found everywhere today and its incorporation into schools was classified as a global educational goal by The International Telecommunication Union (a United Nations specialized agency). Educational systems in various countries are adopting E-learning programs in schools. In the past few years more and more countries allow students and teachers to use their personal end-user devices for learning (BYOD-Bring Your Own Device). In a study (Blamire)  that was conducted in Europe in 2015, it was found that 75% of the countries participating in the study support this policy and implement it.

Implementation of an E-learning program necessitates the installation of infrastructure to enable use of advanced technologies. This infrastructure includes installation of wireless networks (Wi-Fi) in schools. Alongside the advantages of E- learning, concerns about student health arose as a result of their exposure to end-user devices and radiation emitting technologies).


Around the world several approaches exist towards the issue of striking a balance between the benefits of using advanced technologies and protecting children’s health:


1. There are those who oppose installation and use of wireless networks in schools. The opposition stems from reasons including the following:

  • This technology has only been widely used for relatively few years, and the health effects of exposure to non-ionizing radiation below the recommended threshold are still being studied
  • The students are obliged to be on school property according to education laws, and therefore their exposure is forced, as opposed to use of this technology at home, which parents can decide about
  • Radiation from Wi-Fi is relatively low, but children are in school for prolonged times
  • In general, children and adolescents are a sensitive population compared to adult population


2. There are nations and organizations that have decided that there is no reason not to continue using Wi-Fi in schools. This decision is based upon the fact that exposure to Wi-Fi in school from installations and end-user devices is very low, and, based upon current scientific knowledge, there is no scientific evidence that use of wireless devices has health related consequences. In some instances, as a part of this policy, there is a recommendation to continue studying health effects of Wi-Fi radiation.


In the following, we have summarized worldwide recommendations and guidelines for use of Wi-Fi in schools. The review includes selected countries only and is correct at the time of writing (June 2017). For each source, the document’s date and update, where applicable, are noted.

In general, amongst the countries and organizations that we reviewed, it is clear that most of them determine that, based upon current scientific knowledge, Wi-Fi use in schools does not endanger students and teachers and there is no reason not to continue using Wi-Fi in schools. This stance is consistent with the increasing digitalization, E-learning programs and end-user device usage in schools around the world.

This said, in France, for instance, a law from 2015 limits the scope of Wi-Fi use in educational establishments and a number of organizations in the world recommend using wired technology in schools.


For extensive information on policy regarding Wi-Fi use in schools in Israel



Recommendations and guidelines on Wi-Fi use in schools from around the world–policy stances of selected countries:




Based on scientific evidence, Health Canada has determined that low-level exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy from Wi-Fi equipment is not dangerous to the public:

  • RF energy levels from Wi-Fi equipment in all areas accessible to the general public, including school settings, are required to meet Health Canada's exposure guidelines.
  • Levels of RF energy emitted from Wi-Fi equipment are typically well below exposure limits.

(Document from September 2011, updated in 2015)


Canada – Alberta Province


The Chief Medical Officer of Health of Alberta Province determined that using Wi-Fi in schools does not pose a health risk to either staff or students.

(Document from August 2012, updated in February 2016)





The Australian Ministry of Education runs a program bringing high speed broad band into all schools in Australia (Digital Education Revolution)

  • The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) determined in 2015 that based upon current scientific knowledge there is no reason not to continue using Wi-Fi in schools. That said, the agency will continue to study Wi-Fi and other devices in order to provide up to date tools for informed usage.
  • In a study by ARPANSA that was published in 2017 it was found that exposure of children to Wi-Fi, as measured in 23 Australian schools, is very low and is similar to or lower than other environmental sources like radio, television and antennae.
  • The Australian Communications and Media Authority determined in 2017 that there is no reason for concern regarding Wi-Fi use and public safety. They found that exposure to electromagnetic energy from Wi-Fi transmitters is far below exposure limits set by ARPANSA. They note that the responsibility for decisions regarding Wi-Fi installation in schools falls to the state education authorities and to private schools.



United Kingdom


Public Health England determined in 2013 that there is no reason not to continue using Wi-Fi in schools or other places.  According to the precautionary principle, it is recommended that investigation of the subject should continue to reduce knowledge gaps and to reduce concerns, mostly amongst parents. A study done by the authority that included measurements of exposure to Wi-Fi in schools supported the opinion that exposure from Wi-Fi is low in comparison to ICNIRP guidelines and compared to exposure from cellphones. (Document from November 2013)



The Netherlands


The Health Council of the Netherlands determined that there is no scientific evidence of adverse health effects from exposure to electromagnetic fields from cellphones, base stations or Wi-Fi devices on children’s health. (Document from 2011)





The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government determined in January 2013 that, based upon scientific studies, it does not see any reason to disallow the use of Wi-Fi in schools (Document from 2013)



United States


There are no federal governmental regulations or guidelines regarding Wi-Fi usage in schools.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) write in their position paper on wireless devices and concerns about health effects, and that there is no scientific evidence of association between using wireless devices and cancer or other diseases. In addition, it is written that the FCC is carefully evaluating the results of long-term studies, but as of today, there is no basis to change exposure limits.



New Zealand


The New Zealand Ministry of Health determined in 2016 that Wi-Fi in schools does not pose a health risk to children or staff.

The results of measurements of exposure from Wi-Fi in schools that were published in 2014 show that the level of exposure measured was lower than the New Zealand standard for public exposure. These findings showed that exposure to Wi-Fi in schools from devices and end points is very low.





The Federal Office of Public Health in Switzerland determined, in general, that it is not known if electromagnetic fields created by a WLAN cause health risk (Document from October 2016)


Germany – Federal Government*


The German Federal Government recommended in 2007 that in general it is preferable to use wires where possible. That said, the decision whether to implement a wired or wireless network in a school is made by individual schools. (Document from July 2017)


Germany – Bavarian Government


The German Federal Office for Radiation Protection recommended in 2006 to the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection that wired alternatives should be preferred over WLAN systems. As a result of this, the Bavarian Parliament recommended that schools should refrain from WLAN as much as possible. (Document from December  2006)




In February 2015 the French National Assembly adopted a new law in France dealing with exposure to electromagnetic waves emanating from wireless technologies. The law, called “Law on Sobriety, Transparency, Information and Consultation for Exposure to Electromagnetic Waves”, determines the following, amongst other things:

  • A ban on use of wireless access points or wireless routers in nursery schools and daycare centers for children under the age of 3 years
  • In elementary schools, wireless access points will be turned off when not in active educational use
  • The school board should be informed before installation of wireless networks in elementary schools
  • Clear signage at the entrance to public places that use Wi-Fi

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) determined that exposure to radio wave radiation (RF) should be restricted amongst children (July 2016)


* According to Google translation 

Worldwide recommendations and guidelines for Wi-Fi use in schools –policy stances of selected organizations around the world


Norwegian Institute of Public Health


According to the Norwegian Protection from Radiation Network report, published in 2012, there is no scientific evidence that exposure to low levels of electromagnetic radiation from cellphones, and other transmission facilities, has effect upon health.

The Network does not recommend replacing wireless networks with wired ones. In their opinion, there is no reason to assume that typical exposure of the public to radiation emitted from Wi-Fi will cause any adverse effect upon health. 


Swedish Radiation Saftey Authority



The organization has determined that there is no health risk from exposure to wireless networks. (Document from 2013)


World Health Organization



In a position paper published in 2006, it was determined that considering the very low level of exposure and the results gathered from studies till now, there is no substantiated scientific evidence that radio wave radiation emitted from wireless networks is liable to cause adverse effects upon health.  


Irish Doctors Environmental Association (IDEA)



In a letter to school directors in Ireland, the organization wrote that they were concerned about Wi-Fi use in schools and that there is no evidence that it is safe. Therefore they recommend using wired technologies for the safety of students and staff. (January 2013)


Washington State Department of Health


The Department of Health for Washington State checked studies from international organizations that conducted a review of the literature on health effects of radio wave radiation (RF) published between 2001 - 2014. Most studies concluded that there is no clear evidence that exposure to low levels of RF radiation, like that emitted from Wi-Fi, cause health effects. (Document from January 2014)


Maryland Children's Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council


The Council recommended limiting exposure of students to Wi-Fi radiation as much as practically possible without interfering with education.

Also, The Maryland State Department of Education should recommend that local school systems should consider use of wired equipment:

  • When classrooms have internet access with a wire connection, Wi-Fi can be turned off and a wired network used
  • When a new classroom is being built,  network cables should be added
  • Students should have a table to place their devices on, that will constitute a barrier between the device and the child’s body
  • Consider using a switch to shut down the router when it is not in use
  • Children should be taught to turn off the Wi-Fi when not in use
  • Consider placing routers as far away from students as possible

(Document from December 2016)


American academy of Environmental Medicine



It’s better to exercise caution & substitute with a safe alternate such as a wired connection. This is because of studies suggesting effects such as learning difficulties, immune system reactions and headaches as a result of exposure to radio wave radiation from wireless networks (Document from May 2011)


Council of Europe* 



Recommendation to prefer the use of wired networks in schools (Document from May 2011)


* This is NOT the European Commission




Date update: 29/10/2017