Campaigners who fear exposure to wifi and mobile phone signals can put children’s health at risk want to reduce its use in public places.

More than 100 people met to discuss the alleged dangers of the technology during a talk by microwave energy expert Barrie Trower at the Patcham Memorial Hall in Old London Road, Brighton, on Saturday.

The physicist, who worked for the Royal Navy and the British Secret Service, led the talk. Claims the signals could affect fertility rates, harm developing foetuses and even lead to autism were made.

Attendees who travelled from across the country for the event want to meet with business leaders and transport bosses who offer free wifi, as well as schools and local authorities, to try to crack down on exposure to people in public places.

Homeopath Stuart Deeks, 63, from Patcham, said: “We would be keen to talk to anyone involved in offering wi-fi in public spaces and we particularly think it’s important to talk to schools about the dangers. The meeting was well attended and all the information, although concerning, was helpful and well received.”

Doctor Karl Cox, a senior lecturer in computing, engineering and mathematics at the University of Brighton, believes exposure can cause brain tumours.

He said: “I’ve spoken to some schools already and they were shocked at the risks. I would be happy to talk to more.

“People cannot lead a healthy lifestyle when they are constantly exposed to these signals. There is a wealth of research on this topic already.”

The 46-year-old father-of-two, who suffers from electro-sensitivity, powers his technology through cable connections. He keeps his mobile phone turned off except when he needs to use it.

Patrick Lowe, chairman of Brighton and Hove Governors’ Association and the chairman of governors at Coldean Primary School, said: “I have not yet been approached by anyone voicing these concerns but would be happy to discuss this and learn more information.”

Martin Harris, managing director of Brighton and Hove Bus Company, which offers free wi-fi on its services, echoed Mr Lowe’s comments but said no evidence to suggest the risks had been presented to the organisation.

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said people could petition the council or speak to their councillor or MP to get the topic raised at a meeting.

Concerns about the health risks of technology were brought to a head in Sussex after grandmother Stefanie Russell, from Steyning, spent thousands of pounds wi-fi-proofing her house after suffering electrosensitivity symptoms.