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NGO: High radiation in schools, kindergartens
By SHARON UDASIN
Three-year study shows abnormally high radiation levels in 101 of 172 elementary schools, 125 out of 814 kindergartens examined.
An unusually high percentage of elementary schools and kindergartens in Israel
are unknowingly exposing their students to unacceptable radiation levels,
according to the NGO Malraz.
Malraz, the Council for the Prevention of
Noise and Air Pollution in Israel, conducted a study over the past three years
that found abnormally high radiation levels in 101 of 172 elementary schools
tested and 125 out of 814 kindergartens examined, according to data from the
organization. Particularly disturbing is that for the cases in which deviations
from the norm occurred, relatively simple means to minimize or eliminate the
radiation damage exist, but the parent committees – which would have the most
sway among school and authorities testing for radiation – lack awareness on the
subject, according to Malraz.
The radiation measured by Malraz was
divided into two types, the first being Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation –
non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, transmitted mainly through broadcasting
and communications, in a frequency range of 100 kHz to 300 Mhz. This type of
signal includes frequencies from televisions, radios, cellular communications,
microwaves and satellite radars.
The second type of radiation, Extremely
Low Frequency (ELF), includes frequencies coming from energy supply sources,
such as highvoltage and low-voltage cable lines.
This group can include
transformer stations and electrical cabinets in multi-story residential and
public buildings, as well as domestic electrical equipment like ovens, hair
dryers and washing machines, the organization said.
Looking at the three
separate years, in 2009, 50 of 67 elementary schools and 69 of 342 kindergartens
had abnormally high radiation levels. In 2010, 29 of 56 elementary schools and
21 of 226 kindergartens had disturbing levels, and in 2011, 8 of 18 elementary
schools and 11 of 101 kindergartens exceeded the norm, according to Malraz.
Through October 2012, 14 of 31 elementary schools and 24 of 145 kindergartens
deviated unacceptably from the norm, the Malraz data said.
important to us that parents in Israel be aware of the saddening results of data
abnormalities in electricity exposure to kindergarten and school students,” said
Hilik Rosenblum, chairman of Malraz. “Malraz, which is the oldest organization
in Israel in the field of radiation and noise protection, and the only
authorized laboratory in Israel, will do its utmost to bring the data to the
Israeli public while increasing the visibility and public awareness about the
environment in which our children study.”
Despite repeated requests for
comment, the Education Ministry did not provide a respond to The Jerusalem Post
by press time.
In response to the report, an Education Ministry
spokeswoman told the Post that “in principle, the issue of radiation and its
treatment is the responsibility of local authorities.”
been written by the Environmental Protection Ministry on the subject, the
The ministry takes all of the preventative measures it
is able to in terms of maintaining infrastructure in schools, such as wireless
networks, and has advised that schools to use local computer networks instead of
wireless, according to the spokeswoman. The ministry has sent professional
bodies to handle this issue and to monitor radiation, she added.
electronic products emit radiation, and the Education Ministry criticized Malraz
for not specifying which installations were most problematic.
necessary to address these issues with all relevant authorities, such as local
governments and the Israel Electric Corporation, the spokeswoman
Danielle Ziri contributed to this report.