No scientific basis for WiFi health concerns

Is WiFi bad for your health? We have written several stories about mounting health concerns among WiFi users--some more real than others. If you are interested in the topic, then you should read Wi-fiplanet's Naomi Graychase's summary of the the evidence to date. Here are the main findings:

  • The biological effects of radio frequency radiation (RFR) are measured in terms of specific absorption rate (SAR), that is, how much energy is absorbed into human tissue. That measurement is expressed in Watts per kilogram (W/kg). The U.S. government's standards stipulate that a dangerous level is considered to be anything above 0.08 W/kg. From what we know, RFR measurements for WiFi are but a minute fraction of emissions that could amount to this level.
  • Dr. Michael Clark of the U.K. health agency HPA says that typical exposures from WiFi are around 20 millionths of the international guideline levels of exposure to radiation. By comparison, a child on a mobile phone receives up to 50 percent of guideline levels. "So, a year sitting in a classroom near a wireless network is roughly equivalent to 20 minutes on a mobile."
  • There are organizations insisting that rather than simply measuring emissions and comparing them to scientifically accepted levels, we should test whether people who report being sensitive to mobile phone signals have more symptoms when exposed to a pulsing mobile signal than when exposed to a sham signal or a non-pulsing signal. The results of a two-year study of 120 subjects were published in March 2006. The conclusions: "No evidence was found to indicate that people with self-reported sensitivity to mobile phone signals are able to detect such signals, or that they react to them with increased symptom severity."

For more on the health effects of WiFi:
- read Naomi Graychase's Wi-fiplanet report 

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