The mayor of Borgofranco d'lvra, a town in Piedmont, Italy, told the town's high school and elementary school to shut down its Wi-Fi and return to using cables to connect to the internet after hearing rumors that electromagnetic waves given off by wireless routers can make children sick.
"It's not that we're against technology, our choice is merely a precautionary measure," said Mayor Livio Tola, according to La Stampa.
"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.
Reports of children becoming sick from electromagnetic waves have emerged in recent years, with one notable case being in August when a boarding school in central Massachusetts was sued for $250,000 in damages by the parents of a 12-year-old, who they say has "Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome" and has suffered headaches, nosebleeds and nausea after the school starting using a stronger wireless signal in 2013, according to CBS Boston.
Following reports of such incidents caused by "Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome," the World Health Organization has started to investigate the correlation between electromagnetic field exposure and child illness, but have failed to find any conclusive results.
On the other hand, independent studies have found that electromagnetic radiation can directly stunt the development of brain cells in children, which was more than enough to convince Tola to order the shuttering of Wi-Fi in the two schools, according to Signs Of The Times.
Despite his best intentions, the decision has prompted a backlash from councillors, some parents and even ex-mayor Fausto Francisca who say that even if the signals are proven harmful, it would do little since children are already exposed to them from a myriad of sources such as their phones and wireless connections at the library and 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 argued.