Parents Still Freaked Out About Health Effects Of WiFi

from the this-again? dept

Back in 2003, we wrote about parents suing a school district over plans to offer a WiFi network for the students. Apparently, some of the parents believed that WiFi networks would somehow be dangerous to the kids. We hadn't heard much else on the topic, but the Times Online has an article claiming that plenty of parents are now pushing to have school districts remove WiFi networks -- and many schools are complying. The article quotes plenty of worried parents, but the reporter apparently couldn't find a single study that suggested there was any harm whatsoever in WiFi networks. The article mentions some completely unsourced research saying the risk is even greater to kids because of their thinner skulls (no, seriously). It also quotes one teacher who insists that WiFi made him too sick to teach, though again, no one suggested any possible alternative explanation (or why his thicker skull didn't protect him). Instead, parents complain that until WiFi is proven safe, it shouldn't be near kids and one other parent says it's the same thing as having a phone mast in the room -- despite the fact it's nothing like that at all, and even the health effects of cellular wireless signals is in question (though there was one silly study that actually suggested proximity to a tower could make you smarter). We've also discussed the fallacy of saying that you can have no innovation until things are proven to be 100% safe. That would kill plenty of useful (potentially life-saving) innovations just for the sake of a few that also have adverse effects. It's certainly important to keep studying the health impact of WiFi and other wireless signals, but to completely ban it until it's somehow proven safe (as opposed to proven unsafe) seems a bit extreme.


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  1.  
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    zarquon, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 10:42pm

    one fact overlooked

    people are often ****ing stupid.

     

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    godofdoom, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 10:48pm

    parents freaked

    why we will never be advanced we need to stop being of grate things like WiFi it just needs to STOP i know we can advance remember when thy said you cant break the speed of sound and what hap ind so we need to put a stop to this or stop thinking in 3D and move on.

     

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    lil'bit, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 11:12pm

    Typical of Americans

    The saddest part of this is how little attention anyone pays to the few sane voices. I don't know how long the page has been up, I usually log in in the early afternoon and have never had a hope of first post!

    It is symptomatic of what is happening in this country - especially among less educated lower income Americans. We are on a downward spiral, to some extent unavoidable as all "empires" that rise also fall. People are less and less capable of thinking for themselves, too ready to believe whatever the media, despite obvious bias and hidden agenda, tell them.

    On the one hand, I obviously agree with you. Wherever do people get the idea that they are or could ever be "safe"? What is safe anyway? The odds of dying of a terrorist attack in this country are probably close to the risk of being crushed by an asteroid while skiing through an avalanche as you get struck by lightening. People see sensational news promos during the sweeps - many without even watching the full report - and it's mass hysteria. Child abduction and molestation or harmful WiFi waves - it doesn't matter if it's unproven or unlikely to occur. It's almost as if the less likely whatever "menace" is to occur, the greater the hysteria!

    How many of the parents in those schools that have removed WiFi have taken a class in nutrition or made dietary changes or introduced family exercise in response to the media coverage about obesity in children? How many sit down with their children at night and go over homework? How many strictly enforce all safe bicycling rules and regulations? How many even bother to know the rules let alone teach them to the kids? How many parents have any idea what the actual statistics and greatest risks are?

    It's a lot easier to get hysterical about risks that are inherently less knowable, like WiFi, then to actually have to make the changes that would really protect children from the greatest risks they face.

    On the other hand, is any of the article verifiable? You say the article reports plenty of parents are demanding and schools are complying the removal of the service - what schools? How many? What proportion of all schools does that equal? Then again, it goes without saying that these are all upper income schools, does it not? I'm sure there aren't all that many schools in inner cities and rural areas that ever had WiFi - so who cares? Taking it out just levels the field.

     

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    lil'bit, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 11:13pm

    oh well, it took me a long time to write - but I started out as first!

     

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    N1ck, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 11:15pm

    Thanks...

    ...for Cheering me up this morning. What ever next, banning water in cups incase you drown?!?!

     

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    We're all doomed, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 11:19pm

    What the...?

    I think it's obvious that godofdoom sleeps with his WiFi router, cell phone, TV, laptop, cordless phone, bluetooth headset, glowing watch, and microwave oven in his home under the power lines.

    Seriously. I'm not asking for perfect English/grammar/punctuation/spelling, but can you at least try?

    My vote: Turn off WiFi at godofdoom's school.

     

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    Jay, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Typical of Americans

    Nevermind the fact that the recently linked article is about schools in England, not the US.

     

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    Brad, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 12:17am

    Paranoia and stupidity

    Okay, I feel it is my duty as an electrical engineer and physicist to point the following things out.

    1) WIFI operates (In the US and EU) in the 2.4gHz range, with the exception of 802.11A, which operates at 5.8gHz.

    2) These are unlicensed frequencies, and are shared by countless devices, including television remotes, cordless phones, Bluetooth, microwaves, wireless microphones, wireless video game controllers, and many others. There are literally hundreds of 2.4gHz signals spinning around you at any time. Turning one off is a drop in the ocean.

    3) Radiation from WIFI, or any in the 2.4gHz range for that matter, is non-ionizing (as are the 900mHz and 1.8/1.9gHz range used by cell phones). This means that it can't even effect molecular state changes. "Radiation" as it is commonly feared, causes cellular mutations and structural changes by exciting the outer-most electrons and producing ionized elements, which re-bond into new molecules. Non-ionizing radiation does NOT change your body, or much of anything else for that matter. I'd go so far as to say it's benign.

    4) The amount of energy given off by a Wifi point (be it router, node, etc), is so trivial. In the US, I believe the limit is 100mW. This is so little power that if it were run directly into you, you wouldn't even notice. Radiating out over three dimensions on 2.4gHz radio wave, I would equate to shining a flashlight against your own chest. It's just not that much power, period. It reaches a long way because it is a highly redundant system, and because radio waves bounce off of things. NOT because it is some kind of super-radio that'll melt off your skin.

    5) I've heard Penn & Teller's "Bullshit" episode on cell phone radiation has some good stuff in it. I've not seen it myself, but the same paranoia seems to apply.

    6) Someone beat the teacher that claimed WIFI made him too sick to work. And then castrate the doctor that backed him up.

     

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    MYarms, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 12:32am

    There certainly is a lot of FUD going around these days.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 1:50am

    Hospitals

    OK, so if WiFi is sooooo bad for you, then why do hospitals have it installed all over the place? I do not know of any hospital that does not have the telltale antennas hanging out of vent covers all over their buildings.

    So, to the mothers that have issues with WiFi... STFU and get a life. If you spend all your time worrying about all of the nasty little ghoolies that can harm your child, you are going to turn your child (or yourself) into an agorophobic or a germaphobe.

     

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    August West, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 3:09am

    These people pushing to have Wi-Fi removedfrom schools probably think the eart is flat and the Apollo moon missions were a hoax. You can't fix stupid, and these people have already been breeding. All we can do is hope the kids of these mouthbreathers evolve a little more than their parents. At least for once the morons are not American. we seem to keep the title more often than not these days. But at least we have the freedom to be stupid.

     

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    JohnRed, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 3:12am

    Ungodly

    My son went to one of them theyre wai fai enabled schools. An he done come back with all this funny ideas about us bein' kin to monkeys..

    I reckon those antenna are messin' wit' his head and giving him signals from the devil. These crazy things are the work of the devil, and it is sinful that they should be allowed around any gentlefolk, least of all our kids.

    I say remove all this stuff, and go back to readin' the Gods Good Word from The Book instead. We dont need that there superinfomation highway, we have enough roads as it is.

     

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    The infamous Joe, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 4:23am

    Don't even get me started.

    The freakin' soccer moms will destroy this country.

    I'd like to say more, but it would end in a rant, and no one wants to read that. :)

     

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  14.  
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    A typical stupid American, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 4:27am

    Re: Typical of Americans

    Your so smart.
    You should start a religion and move to France!


    Oh, can you tell I am really just saying F. U?

     

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    Typical Stupid American, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 4:30am

    Re: Paranoia and stupidity

    You are very smart too! You should join lil'bit in France starting a new religion.

    Oh, I AM telling you to FO as well!

    Tired of being preached to.

     

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  16.  
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    Todd, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 5:50am

    Re: Paranoia and stupidity

    Brad,

    Thanks for adding some valuable information to this discussion (rant). I wish more people would stick to facts, rather than just complaining about the way things are. I'll even let it slide that you didn't cite your sources.

     

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    Alexander Muse, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 6:12am

    Wow...

    Um, the cell phone towers around those same schools (i.e. assuming your cell phone works in the school) emit far more wireless radiation than an access point ever could. If this is an issue, and I have no idea, the real problem is cell phone transmissions and not wifi.

    This came up in Canada a while back and made about as much sense. Funny thing is that people thought if they turned off their cell phone everything would be fine. The cell phone isn't the issue, it is the tower pumping signal at you all-day, every-day. I sure hope the radiation is safe... :)

     

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  18.  
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    BINARY ROCK, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 6:13am

    Right on, Brad

    Brad,

    Great post. Finally, someone that knows what they're talking about.

     

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  19.  
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    Devious..., Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 6:58am

    Re: Paranoia and stupidity

    Guess we need to pull Wi-Fi out of Starbucks and the Mall...

    Seriously, Cellphones, which parents allow their kids to have, produce 4 times the power of Wi-Fi. Many as much as 750 mw (milliwatts, not much at all). It's not the Wi-Fi messing with the kids, it is the Cellphones.. LOL.....

    That teacher is probably one that any technology makes them sick or has a germ phobia. I have seen people like that, it is freaking crazy.....

    Oh, take away that Remote Control Car too, it produces RF, and that TV, and that computer, it might have Wi-Fi in it, also the CPU and on board systems, even the Power Supply product estranged radio signals....

    Ok Parents, you all need to become Amish!

     

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  20.  
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    heavyw8t, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 7:28am

    dummies

    And nobody has explained to these idiot parents that WiFi is the same signal you get with FM radio and cell phones? RF energy? You know, those cell phones they buy for their spoiled little brat kids?

     

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  21.  
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    Not Far Enough, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 7:51am

    Tip of the Iceberg

    A good start with the schools what about those vigilant parents possibly dangerous homes!

    Better get those cordless house phones and microwave ovens out of there... 2.4Ghz is everywhere... we need to stomp them out those harmful radio waves before everyone starts growing extra appendages!

    Think of the children!

     

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  22.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 8:08am

    Really...

    if WiFi was as dangerous as these people say then why would so many cities still be pushing to have MuniWiFi setup?

    What about hospitals that have WiFi networks?

    Lots of hotels/motel/convention centers offer WiFi services.

    And if WiFi was so dangerous a good chunk of the IT industry would be sick by now.


    I'm glad to see that parents are concerned for their kids but they seem to not think clearly when it comees to identifying what issues to pursue.


    I just had to borrow this bit that comment #3 said.

    It's a lot easier to get hysterical about risks that are inherently less knowable, like WiFi, then to actually have to make the changes that would really protect children from the greatest risks they face.

    WiFi=homosexuality=different religions (note that I didn't say nonChristian)=violent games=books about magic=music=...etc.

     

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  23.  
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    two-two, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 8:12am

    Re: Paranoia and stupidity

    Check out the brain on Brad !!!

     

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  24.  
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    Stone age, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 8:22am

    As technology grows, people get more stupid. I guess it's the ying and yang of it all. Let's go back to bleeding to cure what ailes you.

     

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  25.  
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    xxl3w, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 9:03am

    This is a good idea.

    Guys, stop ruining it for us. I'm "sick" with Wifi-Flu every Monday and Friday. This is a great way to get out of work and on the plus side the DR.'s have Wi-Fi too, so sometimes i "come down" with a serious case of WiFi-Flu when i go to the dr. and i get the whole week off. hopefully in a few years i can start claiming disability because of the effects of this new nanotechnology neuro-transmission devices. Then, after i get disability i can sue the dr's office and my work for having it, MUAHAHA. i'll be able to play WoW on my home WiFi network all the time! no one can stop me, except you internet-highway biway mumbo jumbo 'google is the best thing ever,' sons of bitches

     

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  26.  
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    Justor, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 9:57am

    parents are dumb

    This is the stupid thing I have ever heard... LOL ok band WIFI networks while u are on the cell phone talking it up. What about that, not worried about that are u. Well u should allot worse than a WIFI network. And I bet they all have microwaves too :D This is just ignorant people and should get educated instead of being afraid of fire like a caveman.

    Grow up people want to ban WIFI, but lets all put are head in the sand with global warming, no it not a problem because the F'n Oil companies say that there is not a problem.. That is like asking a crack dealer if you have crack problem.

    and GodofDoom learn to type english.. or are u drunk?

     

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  27.  
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    Astravian, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 10:32am

    The thing that terrifies me the most about parenting is deal with other parents.

     

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  28.  
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    Jo The B, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 11:24am

    RF health risks

    Gees people leave some real facts in your comments like this.
    There are minimal health risks using wireless cards when used in Cafe shops, WarDriving, and the like. At the power levels used*, you have a better chance of doing damage to yourself or others by dropping the laptop on your foot. There may be an increased health right using high-gain antennae and/or RF amplifiers depending on several factors.

    Additionally, the FCC states that the greatest health risks associated with RF occur in the frequencies between 30MHz and 300MHZ. Wifi is at 2.4GHz and 5GHz. You can search through the FCC website at www.FCC.gov for more information of RF health risks.

    *As a comparison, the average WiFi card puts out between thirty-two to one hundred thousandths of a watt (0.0032 to 0.1 watts.) The average cell phone puts out about 1 to 3 watts; several orders of magnitude higher. Now thats HELPFULL INFORMATION!

     

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  29.  
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    Wabbits, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 12:26pm

    Re:

    It is! *rants* IT IS! *starts crying* ItIs!

     

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  30.  
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    Panicked Parent!, Nov 23rd, 2006 @ 11:31am

    WiFi is the least of their worries, this stuff is

     

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  31.  
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    Not So Mindless American (profile), Nov 23rd, 2006 @ 9:01pm

    RE: 14, 15

    If you're tired of being "preached to" then quit reading the comments

    Nobody is forcing you to read *every single* comment. Lil'bit and Brad are two people actually coming forth and trying to educate and inform those of us who wish to actually know what the hell is really being said. I know I don't have time to ready all the links in the article, and sometimes I want to know info about something in the article. All they are doing is showing another side to the story.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2006 @ 10:09pm

    Re: one fact overlooked

    Yes, most people are stupid. Most people assumed that nuclear test in the Nevada desert were safe, if not really cool to watch.

    People have argued for decades that secondhand smoke has no inherent dangers as opposed to firsthand smoking. It has been empirically proven that secondhand smoke is indeed hazardous.

    The fact is that most people are ignorant about things that they directly come in contact with every day, they simply accept the assurances given them by the people who are to benefit the most from that ignorance.

    Some examples,

    Growth hormones in our dairy supply
    Fast foods trans fats
    Candies artificial colors
    Candles parabens
    Asbestos's carcinogenicity
    Bleach and its pontential to convert organic matter into VOC's

    the list goes on and on and on.

    This article argues that we are perhaps rushing too fast to condemn an unproven technologies, that the technologies benefits outweigh its cons. However, how do we know the benefits outweight the negatives when there has not been even the most basic research has yet to be conducted on the field of RF and its relationship with human health in the long term?

    Without sounding too alarmist, the opposite could be said about not reacting harsh enough to "new" techonologies. After all, just becuase something improves our lives greatly in the short term does not mean its postives outweigh the effects that will have to be acknowledged in the long term.

    Now does that mean we should ditch RF technology? No, but it should mean that people that create and market this technology should also have the responsibility and burden to disapprove that the technology is not a threat to human health if not atleast to a reasonable degree.

    Now, the "reasonable degree" is the problem. What constitutes "reasonable?" Big business tries to find the fastest and cheapest reasonable possible. Advocacy groups tend to seek a definitive definition of reasonable.

    Personally I would argue that safety tends to get thrown out the door when and if at all possible, after all, the less a company has to wait due to regulation or safety assurances the quicker they can get their product to market.

    So! in reality money trumps safety becuase the financial types argue that too rigorous of safety standards kills innovation and the entrepernerial spirit. So big business would have everyone think that we need little to know safety standards until something bad occurs, only then should the goverment step in. Unfortunately thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people might have been effected by then.

    Moral of the story. Saftey? who needs safety? we got a 4% unemployment rate and the economy is humming along swimmingly.

    Everything in the U.S. is about money and the short term. Therefor we miss the point entirely. Life is not just about ourselvs, it's about future generations aswell. China is following our bad example, and America is looking on in abject horror. Ask yourself why the chines should do things differently than we did? They have just as much right to F! up the planet as we did. And together we are doing and excellent job of it.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2006 @ 10:09pm

    Re: one fact overlooked

    Yes, most people are stupid. Most people assumed that nuclear test in the Nevada desert were safe, if not really cool to watch.

    People have argued for decades that secondhand smoke has no inherent dangers as opposed to firsthand smoking. It has been empirically proven that secondhand smoke is indeed hazardous.

    The fact is that most people are ignorant about things that they directly come in contact with every day, they simply accept the assurances given them by the people who are to benefit the most from that ignorance.

    Some examples,

    Growth hormones in our dairy supply
    Fast foods trans fats
    Candies artificial colors
    Candles parabens
    Asbestos's carcinogenicity
    Bleach and its pontential to convert organic matter into VOC's

    the list goes on and on and on.

    This article argues that we are perhaps rushing too fast to condemn an unproven technologies, that the technologies benefits outweigh its cons. However, how do we know the benefits outweight the negatives when there has not been even the most basic research has yet to be conducted on the field of RF and its relationship with human health in the long term?

    Without sounding too alarmist, the opposite could be said about not reacting harsh enough to "new" techonologies. After all, just becuase something improves our lives greatly in the short term does not mean its postives outweigh the effects that will have to be acknowledged in the long term.

    Now does that mean we should ditch RF technology? No, but it should mean that people that create and market this technology should also have the responsibility and burden to disapprove that the technology is not a threat to human health if not atleast to a reasonable degree.

    Now, the "reasonable degree" is the problem. What constitutes "reasonable?" Big business tries to find the fastest and cheapest reasonable possible. Advocacy groups tend to seek a definitive definition of reasonable.

    Personally I would argue that safety tends to get thrown out the door when and if at all possible, after all, the less a company has to wait due to regulation or safety assurances the quicker they can get their product to market.

    So! in reality money trumps safety becuase the financial types argue that too rigorous of safety standards kills innovation and the entrepernerial spirit. So big business would have everyone think that we need little to know safety standards until something bad occurs, only then should the goverment step in. Unfortunately thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people might have been effected by then.

    Moral of the story. Saftey? who needs safety? we got a 4% unemployment rate and the economy is humming along swimmingly.

    Everything in the U.S. is about money and the short term. Therefor we miss the point entirely. Life is not just about ourselvs, it's about future generations aswell. China is following our bad example, and America is looking on in abject horror. Ask yourself why the chines should do things differently than we did? They have just as much right to F! up the planet as we did. And together we are doing and excellent job of it.

     

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  34.  
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    Lawrence Alexander, Jan 23rd, 2007 @ 10:31pm

    Are Wireless Networks Safe?

    Are Wireless Networks Safe?

    Wireless technologies have suddenly proliferated in the US in the past five years. WiFi, WiMax, Bluetooth, WLAN and a score of other wireless technologies have quietly exploded onto the scene almost everywhere. The first phase began with the advent of WiFi at Starbuck’s in the neighborhood and corporate wireless local area networks (WLAN) in the workplace. By 2001, consumers, largely due to the urging of broadband providers like SBC and Comcast, were feverishly hooking up wireless routers instead of the traditional wire-based Ethernet network in their homes.

    The big idea was that mobile users could get connected anywhere: users could surf the Internet and send or receive email from almost any location, simply by activating the wireless detector on their laptop. Mobile users could finally be totally free! Web surfers suddenly found themselves un-tethered, freeing themselves from those nasty wires and the cost of installation of twisted pair wire throughout their home. This new era of individual empowerment raised a fervor of excitement not unlike the early days of the Internet.

    But did anyone ask the question: “Are these wireless networks safe?” Most wireless networks operate at a frequency of 2.45 GHz, which means that these transmitters send out radio waves at 2,450,000,000 cycles per second. This is the same frequency at which microwave ovens operate. It turns out that this frequency is ideal for cooking food as it was discovered that 2.45 GHz uniquely excites water molecules to such an extent that it causes them to heat. This is called the thermal effect of radio frequency (RF) radiation. Like humans, most food has high concentrations of water and high-powered microwave ovens will cause food to heat at a very quick rate and voila – dinner’s cooked!

    Explosion of Wireless Technologies

    Wireless networks are only one example of the myriad of RF technologies which have exploded onto the scene over the past fifteen years. Just since 2003, one-hundred twenty-five thousand new cell towers have been constructed. The number of cellular phones in the US has exploded from 10 million to more than 150 million in the US. Cordless phones, microwave ovens, security alarms, wireless computers and peripherals, remote control toys, baby monitors and even pest devices are standard appliances in the typical US household. Other wireless technologies like blue tooth, GPS, satellite, radar, AM/ FM radio and police/fire/ government emergency communications increasingly fill the airwaves all around us. All of these are examples of RF technologies, which share a common heritage, as they generate radio waves across a frequency spectrum from 300 Hertz (cycles per second) to 300 Gigahertz (billions of cycles per second). Whereas all these technologies deploy various intensities and frequencies, when evaluating the safety of wireless networks, they can not be ignored. Besides the complex interaction of these many frequencies, the sheer numbers and intensities must raise concerns. Even more troubling: could the current implementation of WiFi, which promises to add another 100,000 towers nationally, be a tipping point for the public health?

    The Advent of Electrosmog

    Using data from the World Health Organization (WHO), experts estimate that the intensity (power density) of radiofrequency (RF) fields in the average US community has risen by between 50-100 times just since the year 2000. Experts are calling this radio frequency proliferation – electrosmog. Many are now beginning to ponder the larger question: “Is it really safe to be continuously bombarded by the millions of tiny invisible waves, arising from the rising levels of electrosmog, as a result of all these RF fields?

    New Waves

    During three billion years of human evolution humans have never before experienced exposures to these man-made frequencies until the late twentieth century. Now, in any US town, thousands of wireless transmitters create radiofrequency (RF) fields, or microwave (MW) signals, which seamlessly pass through our bodies, potentially disrupting the finely-evolved electromagnetic human organism. Until now humans have only been exposed to naturally occurring electromagnetic fields (EMF), which range from 0 to 30 hertz. These extra low frequencies (ELF) prove critical to biological function, cellular growth, endocrine function, cancer protection and to the integrity of the central nervous system. How will the new waves affect our core biological functions?

    Game Change: Non-Thermal Bioeffects

    If the only biological effects from RF-fields arose from the thermal characteristics (heating of tissue) of radio waves, then the story would be simple and our safety concerns about wireless networks put to rest. However, the story is not so neat and simple. Since the early years of RF adoption when it comes to pubic safety, the FCC, which is chartered with regulating RF and Microwave transmitters in the US, has been singularly concerned about the ‘thermal effects’ of RF radiation. Meanwhile hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies have demonstrated a variety of biological effects at ‘non-thermal’ levels. Yet, the FCC and more generally, the US Federal Government have been staunchly dismissive. US Federal regulators remain focused only on thermal hazards, where there is a universal consensus that RF radiation can cause significant biological damage at levels above 4 Watts per Kilogram squared (4 Watt/ Kilogram2). As a result, both the FDA and FCC have adopted guidelines for cell phones and other wireless technologies which limit the extent of heating to the brain, or body tissue. Exposure limits for humans, which was calculated by engineers (not scientists, or doctors) in 1985 was based on ensuring that brain and whole body tissue would not heat more than one degree per hour. For instance, the standard for the head exposure from cell phones, which is called the Specific Absorption Ratio (SAR) is currently set in the US at 1.6 Watts/ Kilogram2. Thus those using a cell phone, pressed to the head are hypothetically protected by this standard from the ‘thermal effects’ of RF radiation – at least if they don’t use a cell phone for more than one hour continuously.

    But while the FCC has doggedly clung to this narrow scientific view of RF thermal effects, which was originally conceived and propagated in the 1950s on behalf of the US Navy by Herman Schwan, a former Nazi physicist, the science has moved on. Intrepid and independent scientists like Ross Adey, Neil Cherry, John Goldsmith, Robert Becker, Anna Liakouris, Stanislaw Szmigielski, David Savitz, Henry Lai, Nancy Wertheimer and dozens of others have produced a powerful body of literature which stiffly challenges Schwan’s outdated, theoretical construct for RF/ EMF biological effects.

    Exposure Standards for Wireless Networks: What Standards?

    What about wireless networks? What are the exposure standards for the continuous waves transmitted by WiFi and home-based wireless routers? Surprisingly, the US government admits that it still has never actually set specific US standards for exposures to RF radiation from any kind of wireless transmitter. Instead the FCC, which is responsible for regulating the millions of US-based RF/ Microwave transmitters, claims to have only ‘adopted’ standards, for human exposure. Moreover the few standards the FCC adopted only apply to a select group of RF transmitters, which do not include low-level wireless networks. Surprisingly these standards were developed by two non-governmental organizations neither of which is noted for having expertise in biological sciences, or public health: the IEEE (International organization of Electrical Engineers) and ANSI (a technology standards organization). The current standard adopted for regulating human RF-exposure from cellular phone transmitters recommended by the IEEE, which is a membership-only, international body of engineers (not doctors, or biologists) is 580 microwatts/ cm2. This standard stands among the highest in the world and is more than 50 to 100 times higher than the public health protection found in Russia (10 microwatts), China (6 microwatts), Italy (5 microwatts) as well as dozens of other countries. Not surprisingly the US standard is so far above typical WiFi transmitters that the FCC classifies WiFi and wireless routers as unregulated transmitters. The FCC states explicitly that it has no interest in these RF-devices unless they are causing interference with electronic equipment. According to an FCC spokesperson, human health is not even a consideration. One wonders why the US has chosen one internationally-based and two non-government organizations with little or no competency in the biological sciences, and both of which have potential conflicts of interest for setting US exposure standards for RF/ Microwave radiation.

    Beyond Intensity: the Broader Wireless Threat

    The total extent of the wireless threat may be even more daunting. Many scientists have found that the intensity (power density) of RF fields may pose only one facet of many potential hazards caused by these invisible radio waves. The complexity of RF-fields and their interaction is driving researchers to examine a variety of possible health impacts arising from 1) unique frequency windows; 2) signal modulation (combined signals); 3) pulsed waves; 4) the huge variety of simultaneous frequencies; and 5) long-term, continuous human exposures. A cadre of scientists has demonstrated increased biological impact on humans, which is frequency-specific. For instance, one signal sent at 300 hertz might be relatively safe, but another at 2.45 Gigahertz could be devastating to a number of human biological systems. Scientists, who have studied various ‘windows’ of frequency, have observed varying impacts on melatonin production, triglycerides, incidence of cancer, chromosome/ DNA damage and various brain chemistry changes.

    Other researchers believe modulated (combined frequencies) may hold the key to bioeffects from wireless; while others point to the unique hazards from pulsed signals. Still other researchers are concerned about the impact of the wide-variety of radio frequencies to which we are now all exposed. At any given moment, most of us living near the coast are being simultaneously penetrated by dozens of frequencies, including military radar (2-7 Gigahertz), AC electricity (60 Hertz), cellular networks (900 Megahertz, 1800-1900 Megahertz plus 217 Hertz modulated signal), satellite (3-15 Gigahertz), cordless phones (2.45 and 5.6 Gigahertz) and now WiFi at 2.45 Gigahertz. The full implications of the burgeoning electrosmog are still poorly understood.

    Finally, what about the health impact of wireless networks transmitting continuously, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and fifty-two weeks a year? Shockingly, neither the FCC, nor any US agency has ever set, or adopted standards about the safe duration of exposures. This is important as dozens of peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated a ‘dose-relationship’ of RF radiation on humans. That is, scientists have established that there is a cumulative effect from wireless radiation which depends in part on the length of the exposure as well as the intensity of the field. This means that even though any given wireless transmitter may emit very low-levels of RF radiation, falling well within Federal standards, chronic-long term health effects from continuous exposures may unfold due to the total dose of radiation from the signal, which is dependent upon the duration of the exposure. When the original exposure standards for RF were set back in the 1980’s, there were only a handful of human (epidemiological) studies, addressing the long-term effects of RF/ Microwave radiation. However, by the late 1990’s dozens of studies outlining the direct health effects of wireless radiation had raised a warning on RF fields, even at very low levels. Still the US Federal Government has failed to revise standards, nor notify the public of the emerging science.



    Scientists and Physicians Challenge “Received Wisdom”

    While the US Government continues to dismiss biological impacts from low-level RF fields, thousands of scientists and medical professionals strongly challenge their view that the only effect from RF is the thermal effect. In direct opposition to the ‘received wisdom’ of the 1950s theories of classical physicists, the emerging scientific evidence is staggering and the signs are everywhere. There are now hundreds of epidemiological studies (human studies), in vivo (animal studies) and in vitro studies (laboratory) that show substantial biological effects from RF fields even at very low levels (far below those levels that cause heating). There is also a burgeoning body of anecdotal evidence from the medical community. The Freiburger Appeal which was generated by concerned physicians and medical professionals and signed by more than 30,000 in Germany and Austria explicitly links cell phones, cordless phones, cell towers and other radiofrequency technologies with the following health impacts:
    • Learning, concentration, and behavioral disorders (attention deficit disorder, ADD)
    • Extreme fluctuations in blood pressure, ever harder to influence with medications
    • Heart rhythm disorders
    • Heart attacks and strokes among an increasingly younger population
    • Brain-degenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer‘s) and epilepsy
    • Cancerous afflictions: leukemia, brain tumors
    The EPA Raises the Alarm
    In 1990 the EPA raised serious concerns about the biological impacts of electromagnetic fields and low-level RF radiation and even issued a draft resolution proposing the classification of RF/ EMF fields as a probable human carcinogen. The 156 page report titled, “An Evaluation of the Potential Carcinogenicity of Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)” was circulated within other government agencies and raised tremendous controversy with industry groups. The implications of having RF radiation classified as a probable carcinogen lay the US Government wide open to tremendous liability and possible lawsuits from the hundreds of thousands of military personnel who suffered “Gulf War” type symptoms, which have been linked to radar, microwave communications and RF weapons used in every conflict since the Korean War. Sources say that the EPA resolution was ultimately silenced by officials in the White House, apparently on the basis that such a classification of RF/ EMF as a class B1 carcinogen would “scare the American public.” The EPA draft resolution was ultimately leaked to the press but due to lack of media interest and public attention, the public health warning fell on deaf ears, thus opening the doors for the rapid proliferation of wireless technologies and growth of then fledgling cellular industry to a more than $1 Trillion juggernaut.
    Links to Cancer and Central Nervous System Impacts
    There is now evidence of clear links between RF fields and a plethora of mystery illnesses that have exploded onto the scene since 1980, including central nervous system (CNS) disorders like Alzheimer’s, Autism, ADD and depression, as well as seven ‘new age’ cancers. The explosion of cancers which have escalated over the past 20-30 years has long concerned public health officials and researchers but there is now evidence that most have apparently been focusing in the wrong direction. Scientists have long received generous funding to discover cancer types and mechanisms of “initiators” like chemicals, sunrays, viruses and fungi, but few public research dollars have been deployed to look at the “promoter’ effects RF radiation. Led by research pioneers Robert Becker, M. A. Visintainer Jack Hasson, there is now ample research which confirms the prolific growth-enhancing capabilities of RF radiation. While RF radiation has been used successfully to promote regeneration of bone mass and cellular division, it has also been shown to cause rapid growth of tumors, both benign and cancerous. Some predict RF radiation is so effective at promoting cellular growth that it might ultimately turn out to be the ‘universal promoter’ of cancer growth.

    RF-Fields Roles in Cancer: Promoter, Initiator and Traitor

    Besides its promoting effect, RF radiation also plays a crucial role in both initiating cancer and severely undermining the body’s ability to fight cancer. For instance, RF fields have been shown to interfere with the pineal gland which regulates hormone production and distribution. Apparently, continuous exposure to low-level RF fields generated by WiFi, cellular networks, cordless phones, baby monitors and security devices disrupts the production of melatonin and serotonin by the pineal gland when we sleep. While serotonin helps regulate our moods and such deficiencies presage depression and unexplained mood shifts, Melatonin helps regulate our Circadian rhythms, which are crucial to regulating our internal biological clock. Yet even more critical is melatonin’s role as a chief scavenger of free-radicals. These aberrant invaders are known to cause cellular damage and accumulate, creating pre-cancerous conditions. Without sufficient melatonin production, the body loses a chief defense against the accumulation of precancerous cells, which includes damaged cells, chromosomes and DNA material. Thus in the war against cancer, RF-fields act like at traitor, undermining our inherent defenses against cancer.

    RF radiation also plays a third role in the cancer equation. Studies show that even low-level RF fields damage DNA and break chromosomes. As such, these materials accumulate in the body, acting as cancer-initiators and actively create a pre-cancerous environment for future cancer growth. In sum, RF fields play three crucial roles in the development of cancers. Studies show they 1) initiate; 2) promote; and 3) undermine the body’s cancer defenses.

    Since 1970 more than three-hundred scientific studies have painstakingly outlined the extent of the threat embodied by a wide range of biological effects unrelated to the thermal effect of RF fields. The health impacts span across key human systems: neurological, cardiovascular, reproductive and the immune system. Further biological impacts which deal with disruptions and damage at the cellular/ molecular level are also outlined. Finally links to a broad range of cancers are implicated by the science. Here is the overview of key health and disease impacts outlined by internationally-recognized scientists, showing links from exposures to RF/ Microwave radiation:

    Cancer

    • Leukemia
    • Brain Tumor
    • Breast Cancer
    • Prostate Cancer
    • Testicular Cancer
    • Melanoma
    • Lymphoma
    • Eye, Cervical, Pharynx, Esophagus,

    Relevant Citations: (Robinette et al (1980), Milham (1985, 1988), Szmigielski (1996), Hocking et al (1996), Dolk et al, (1997 a, b), Beale et al (1996), Grayson (1996), Thomas et al (1987), Lilienfeld et al. (1978), Zaret (1989), Davis and Mostoff (1993), Hayes et al. (1990), Tynes et al. (1996), Cantor et al. (1995), Goldsmith (1997); Repacholi et al. (1997); Stang et al. (2001); Hardell et al (2000); Muscat et al. (2000); Johansen et al (2001); Prausnitz and Susskind (1962); Szmigielski et al. (1988); Maskarinec et al. (1993); Tarone, Hayes et al. (1991); Bullman et al. (1994); Lin et al. (1985); Garland et al. (1990) and Chou et al. (1992)

    Neurological Activity

    • Neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer’s, ALS, MS
    • Cognitive: alters brain activity, including memory loss, headaches, concentration
    • Increased permeability of blood-brain barrier
    • Increase suicide risk
    • Microwave Syndrome: nausea,
    • Impairs sleep and learning; alters reaction times

    Relevant Citations: Gordon (1966), Deroche (1971), Moscovici et al. (1974), Lilienfeld et al. (1978), Shandala et al. (1979), Forman et al. (1982), Frey (1998), Frey et al (1975), Alberts (19767, 1978),Oscar and Hawkins (1977); Von Kiltzing (1995); Mann and Roschkle (1996); Bordley et al. (1999); Huber et al. (2000); Preece et al. (1999); Eulitz et al. (1998); Freude et al. (1998); Hladky et al (1999); Koivisto et al. (2000); Krause et al. (2000); Lebedeva et al. (2000); Lamble et al. (1999); Mild et al. (1998); Hocking (1998); Baranski and Czerski (1976); Johnson-Liakouris (1998); Hardell (1999); Frey et al (1975); Alberts (1977, 1978); Oscar and Hawkins (1977); Salford et al (1994); Baris and Armstrong (1990); Perry et al (1991); Van Wijngaareden et al (2000); Silverman (1973).



    Reproductive Activity

    • Increases miscarriages and congenital abnormalities
    • Reduced fertility
    • Increased fetal/ embryo lethality
    • Reduces sperm counts
    • Impacts plant growth and cellular structure

    Relevant Citations: Weyandt et al. (1996); Kallen et al. (1982); Larsen et al. (1991); Ouellet-Hellstgrom and Stewart (1993); Flaherty (1994); Magone (1996); Balodis et al. (1996); Brown-Woodman et al. (1989); Nawrot, McRee and Galvin (1985); Magras and Xenos (1997)

    Cardiovascular Activity

    • Increased Heart Disease and heart attack mortality
    • Significantly increases blood pressure
    • Alters heart rhythm

    Relevant Citations: Braune et al. (1998); Bortkeiwtcz et al. (1995, 1996, 1997); Szmegielski et al (1998); Forman et al (1986); Hamburger, Logue and Silverman (1983); Savitz et al (1999).

    Immune System

    • Impairs immune system

    Quan et al (1992); Dmoch and Moszczynski (1998); Bruvere et al. (1998)

    Hormonal/ Genotoxic

    • Breaks DNA strands
    • Chromosome aberrations (dose response); cell proliferation
    • Calcium ions significantly altered;
    • Reduces melatonin production; enhances free radicals
    • Changes in thyroid, pancreas, ovaries, testes and hormonal balance
    • Doubles c-fos gene activity (a proto-oncogene); increases tumor necrosis factor
    • Reduces pituitary production of Thyrotropin (thyroid stimulating hormone)


    Relevant Citations: Carlo and Schram (2001); Tice, Hook and McRee; Ali and Behari (1994); Lai and Singh (1995, 1996, 1997); Phillips et al. (1992, 1993); Balcer-Kubiczek and Harrison (1991); Garaj-Vrhovac et al. (1991); Mattel et al. (1999); Byus et al. (1988); Litovitz et al. (1997); Phelan et al. (1992); Burch et al. (1997, 1998); de Seze et al (1999); Scarfi, Lioi, d’Ambrosio et al (1996); d’Amrosio et al. (1995);


    If we can trust the science and the observations of the medical community, the evidence is definitely there to call into question the safety of wireless networks. A broad body of scientific and anecdotal evidence concludes that continuous human exposure to RF-fields from wireless technologies is not safe. Moreover, there is not one scientific study that refutes this. Just how big the public health threat might be is still unknown, as the Federal Government mysteriously stopped funding the science on the perils of RF-radiation by 2000. Yet the proliferation of abnormal, man-made radio waves, invisibly pouring out from millions of microwave transmitters, are clearly interfering with the electromagnetic integrity of the finely-evolved human organism. Science has shown that these RF-fields are disrupting our body chemistry at the cellular level and across multiple systems. Yet most of us still aren’t making the connection.

    Why aren’t we making the Connection?

    One explanation is that the causal mechanism of harm from RF/ Microwave radiation is invisible and time delayed. The health impacts are insidious and invisibly buried in the morass of modern health issues, for which the cause of each commands a myriad of alternative explanations. Furthermore, cynics resist the idea of a simple, comprehensive explanation to the meteoric rise of breast cancer, melanoma, cognitive effects, unexplained anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s, Autism, ADD, suicide, Leukemia, Lymphoma and other ‘new age’ illnesses, all of which are predicted by the science on RF-fields and closely parallel the explosion of the mass commercial adoption of wireless technologies beginning in the 1980s. Yet there is overwhelming scientific research that supports this view.

    Impediments to Action and Public Awareness

    While the evidence piles up, two powerful impediments cruelly block governmental action and public awareness. First, the stakes are unimaginatively high for both government and industry admitting bioeffects and human hazards from ambient RF-fields. By acknowledging the presence of bioeffects from non-thermal RF-fields the US Government stands to lose in at least three ways:

    1) The US Federal Government opens itself to huge financial liabilities from the victims and families, who have suffered disease and health impacts like ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ from occupational exposures to radar, sonar, microwave communications and RF-weapons in the field of battle, intelligence gathering or other government-related activities, including national security.
    2) The US Federal Government opens itself to profound criticism for failing to protect the general public, as many of the scientific studies demonstrating human hazards were published before long before 1995. Thus the Federal Government has knowingly put the US public at risk for more than ten years, during which we have just undergone the most prolific build-out of commercial wireless infrastructure in the history of civilization.
    3) In the event that a moratorium is ultimately established on wireless build-out, or a roll-back of technologies, triggered by more stringent regulation takes place, either of which might be prescribed for adequate public protection, the US Federal Government would both reap the blame for any negative economic impacts and find itself potentially overwhelmed by a general economic instability in the US.

    The stakes may be even higher for the wireless industry. Estimates place the value of wireless industry and ancillary technologies at more than $1 Trillion worldwide. The US is a major player in this sector and US Venture Capitalists have allocated billions to the future expansion of the wireless revolution. Any public admission of health impacts from these technologies could be disastrous.

    The second major impediment to action and public awareness is the insider’s perception that the science is divided. While experts on the human organism in the biological sciences and epidemiological disciplines widely agree with the RF-driven bioeffects; scientists in the physical sciences like engineers and many physicists staunchly deny non-thermal bioeffects, mainly based on rigid theories borne in classical physics. Yet, these theories depend upon outdated mechanistic assumptions of how the human organism operates and run contrary to emerging science around the subtle and complex energetic capabilities of humans and other animals.

    Meanwhile as scientists square off in the ivory tower, carrying on their arcane, academic debate of theory versus observed science, the general public remains uninformed and unaware – and at risk! The problem is that no one is warning us of the potential harm from wireless technologies and as a result we aren’t on the lookout for the RF-field connection to our ailments. While most of us believe that we are being protected, the Federal Government is conflicted and paralyzed.

    The Federal Government is Conflicted

    There has been profound conflict on the RF-issue within the US Federal Government for some time. At various times the FDA, EPA and other agencies like the NIEH (National Institutes of Environmental Health) have tried to sound the alarm and warn the public of the hazards of RF/ EMF fields. But the FCC, the US Military, the State Department, the White House and even the US Congress have been intrepid, by quickly stamping out any acknowledgement of the RF public health threat, whenever there is a glimmer of arising scientific evidence to the contrary. In this regard the US Government has shown itself to be eerily methodical and highly efficient at obscuring its actions from the public. (See the addendum to this missive for a brief history).

    As a result of the internal conflict combined with a strong propensity to embrace the status quo, the Federal Government has doggedly rejected the powerful body of emerging scientific evidence on RF-fields, while doggedly hanging onto the received wisdom of classical physicists, which denies any possibility of non-thermal RF-bioeffects. As long as the science can be painted as somewhat divided, the FCC and other regulatory agencies can indefinitely play the ‘rope a dope’ game, which is evident by their continued failure to revise standards in light of new science.

    For the telecommunication sector, soaring corporate profits, or worse: the very survival of the burgeoning commercial wireless industry could be at stake if the Federal Government recognizes RF health impacts. One can easily speculate as to what the strategy and response to studies identifying ‘potential health effects,’ might be from powerful interest groups like the wireless providers, manufacturers, content providers, computing companies, defense contractors or utilities? How will Verizon, T-Mobile, Cingular, ATT, Sprint, Apple, Motorola, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Cisco, Intel, Sony, or Microsoft react to the possibility of human health effects from wireless technologies? If history provides any insight, the story of the CTIA and George Carlo provides a chilling glimpse.

    In response to a lawsuit in 1993 brought by David Reynard of Tampa, Florida against the cellular industry for a fatal brain cancer as a result from cellular phone usage, a consortium of cellular telecommunications companies, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) announced a $25 million study to assure the American public of the safety of cell phones. The lawsuit had been widely publicized on The Larry King Show on CNN. The CTIA chose Dr. George Carlo, an epidemiologist at George Washington University, who had previously sided with industry on two major controversial issues. Earlier, Carlo concluded there was minimal public-health risk for breast implants produced by Dow Corning. Previously, on behalf of the Chlorine Institute, he had concluded low levels of dioxin did not endanger the public health.

    In 1999, after nearly $29 million of funding, George Carlo shockingly began to speak out on the disturbing findings of multiple studies, which supported biological impacts from cell phones like DNA damage and cancer links. The CTIA soon withdrew funding and the project was quickly scrapped. The naïve Carlo was caught off guard, as he had innocently believed that the industry really did want to know the truth about the extent of cell phone health impacts. Ultimately George Carlo’s reputation was greatly tarnished. He found himself strangely undermined with the press and within the academic communities and completely ostracized from the CTIA. Dozens of studies to which Carlo had committed CTIA resources were shut down, and a potentially-rich body of science, which promised to confirm the hazards of wireless radiation were lost forever due to lack of funding. It was later discovered, millions of dollars on public relations, spin and information/ damage control – and not the science. It is believed that the wireless industry still maintains a war chest for PR and disinformation purposes in order to control public perception on possible ‘bombshells’ on health effects.

    Of course, damage-control is relatively seamless for the wireless industry. Industry groups like CTIA can simply point to the fact that their members are fully complying with the FCC’s ‘adopted’ standards (as weak as they may be), while deftly wielding the shield of ‘scientific ambiguity’, inculcated by the never-ending, scientific debate on non-thermal effects of RF-radiation. Such ambiguity empowers well funded PR organizations to douse raging fires of truth with bucketfuls of confusion and doubt. Sadly, the self-preserving FCC will echo the doubt. In the end, scientific evidence disappears into ashes almost as soon as it appears.

    Early Warnings

    For those not already convinced of the gathering public health threat from WiFi and other wireless technologies, validation may be close at hand. The public health experiment is already on and signs of early warnings may soon be surfacing. Dozens of US cities have already deployed WiFi and we will soon witness the impacts first hand, if we take the time to look. For most of the public, diseases, including most cancers, Alzheimer’s, heart attacks and strokes, may take years to develop. But three highly vulnerable groups stand to show health effects early on. Children, pregnant women and those with weakened immune and central nervous systems will likely be among the first to experience significant tangible bio-effects from continuous exposures to WiFi.

    Children are the most vulnerable because their brains and skulls are not yet fully developed and scientific studies have shown this makes children able to absorb more RF radiation than adults. Also, children’s head size and many of their internal organs approximate the 2” to 8” wave size of the more popular microwave frequencies including classic cellular (900 Megahertz), PCS, (cell phones at 1800 to 1900 Megahertz), and WiFi at 2.45 Gigahertz. When radio waves interact with objects that approximate the amplitude (height) of a radio wave, there is an enhanced resonance-effect, which is thought to magnify the absorption potential of the microwaves. Children will also be among the first to show increases in cancer, as leukemia is one cancer that can develop quickly and children are at the highest risk. Finally, there will be other signs early-on that parents and teachers will be able to observe. Lack of concentration, tendencies toward ADD and hyper-activity are just a few of the many cognitive impacts predicted by the science on RF-fields. If we carefully watch towns like Mountain View, California, and track the incidence of these ailments, prior science predicts that we may observe as much as a doubling of leukemia, hyperactivity, ADD, concentration and other cognitive issues in children within just two years.

    Pregnant women and their unborn children will be also rank among the vanguard to be affected by massive WiFi deployments. Dozens of studies across the RF frequency spectrum, ranging from 60 Hertz to 3 Gigahertz, show profound increases in miscarriage and birth defects from RF fields. Two studies of physiotherapists showed an increase in miscarriage for those exposed for only a few minutes a day to RF-fields by as much as eight times the expected rate. What could complicate the analysis will be the fact that most towns and cities with WiFi deployments, already have sophisticated and widespread cellular infrastructure in place. Thus it may be difficult to tease out the ongoing effects from the existing RF-fields, except for those few who live within areas with spotty cell coverage and who do not already have a home-based wireless network. If municipalities act quickly to identify these potential control groups before WiFi deployments have matured, the impacts of WiFi on the public health can be isolated. Otherwise, just like watching slowly boiling frogs, WiFi bioeffects may be lost in the morass of the wireless proliferation.

    Finally, those who already have electromagnetic sensitivities or immune disorders like Chronic Fatigue, MS, AIDS or HIV, will likely experience immediate effects. One group at significant risk is those with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS). EHS is an emerging syndrome brought about by exposures to electromagnetic and RF-fields. EHS is currently a well-kept secret, which may affect as much as 3% of the population in developed nations.

    Sources say that millions of people worldwide may have fallen sick from exposure to the burgeoning load from RF/ EMF fields, which have been proliferating since the early 1990’s from wireless technology deployments like cellular, cordless and WiFi. In Sweden, where Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) is closely watched and is now recognized as a medical disability, it is estimated that nearly 5% of the population may be sensitive to RF/ EMF fields. More than 300,000 are now disabled from these radio waves in Sweden.

    One estimate pegs millions of Americans as electromagnetically sensitive with as many as one million already disabled by these invisible radio waves, which were previously thought to be harmless. The affected suffer a wide range of symptoms, including memory loss, severe headaches and head pain, skin rashes, disorientation, joint pain, nausea, lack of concentration and other cognitive effects when exposed to RF fields and electromagnetic fields (EMF), which are now found almost everywhere. A 1999 study of electromagnetic sensitivities revealed that about one million Californians self-reported sensitivity to electromagnetic fields, while some 125,000 claimed to be disabled from the pernicious waves. Extrapolating those numbers to the US population would mean there may be as many as nine million electro-sensitive people and about one million Americans disabled by the effects. The disabled are clearly victims of EHS. Like the proverbial ‘canary in the coal mine’, millions who suffer debilitating effects from RF/ Microwave fields may be silently signaling the greater public health impact that may already be afoot.

    While WiFi deployments stand to make refugees out of the EHS sufferers, immune-challenged people may also experience profound declines in their health. Studies of Chronic Fatigue, chemical sensitivities and electromagnetic sensitivities are consistently finding links between both the central nervous system (CNS) impacts and suppression of the immune system. Even HIV and AIDS patients, who have so far miraculously staved off these diseases with modern anti-viral drugs, may soon find their immune systems overwhelmed by RF-fields, which have been shown to suppress T-Cell production and disrupt immune systems in general.

    So we return to the question, “Are Wireless Networks Safe?” The FCC was the Federal agency empowered by Congress to be the authority on making this judgment according to the Environmental Protection Act of 1969. As a result, the general public mostly believes that we are indeed being adequately protected from health impacts, arising from wireless technologies. By inference, most assume that these RF/ Microwave technologies must be safe. Yet it is doubtful that the public is fully aware of the FCC’s spotty track-record in protecting our public health. Surprisingly, the FCC has not only consistently refused to accept the evidence put forth by more than 500 scientists, which enumerate dozens of bioeffects arising from non-thermal levels of RF-radiation; but has made no effort to validate, or refute the findings through replication studies. Moreover, once the FCC had adopted the narrow, thermal-effects only view of RF-fields back in the 1980’s, they have never once revised that view, which has caused them to overlook the possible impacts from the complexity of low-level RF-fields and their interactions such as the:

    • emergence of unique lethal frequency windows within the RF-spectrum
    • unique bioeffects from modulated signals (combined signals), coupling and reflectivity
    • increased bioeffects from pulsed waves versus continuous waveforms
    • overall health impacts from the sheer numbers of and the huge variety of exposures to simultaneous RF frequencies
    • impact of long term, continuous human exposures

    One wonders if the FCC is the right agency to be watching out for us and making determinations on behalf of the US public health. Besides the fact that the FCC is largely made up of engineers and bureaucrats, and not biologists, or medical professionals, this quote from the FCC’s website is indicative of the level of their diligence in protecting the public’s health from RF-exposures:

    The FCC is required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to evaluate the effect of emissions from FCC-regulated transmitters on the quality of the human environment. At the present time there is no federally-mandated radio frequency (RF) exposure standard. However, several non-government organizations, such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) have issued recommendations for human exposure to RF electromagnetic fields.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2007 @ 5:56pm

    Radiation is not safe and if you dont believe it, wait five to ten years and remember these warnings while your kids are in Pain - i guarantee it - I AM there NOW - ive been exposed to wifi for months and i didnt know it was there - now i feel it like liquid FIRE, previously from cell towers and i didnt know it, headackes and pains untill i moved away - but what i do know is i am in pain and i hate wireless beyond what you will ever understand. If you dare to follow the same path, you will see that it is real and regret every bit of it - while I am here i am fighting every bit i can to save your kids health - shouldnt you do the same? Do you really want them to ask "why didnt you do something - why??"
    Its not too late - wake up and get educated - save your health. save your kids.

     

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  36.  
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    Biff, Apr 22nd, 2007 @ 6:02am

    I have been using wifi for ages but I must admit I think I will get rid of it from my room now. I just read that the typical broadcast frequency is 2.45ghz which happens to be the frequency used by microwave ovens to cook food because it is the most efficient at exciting water molecules. I usually don't pay attention to health scares but I would prefer not to microwave myself day and night - it can't be good for you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2007 @ 3:12pm

    iwould like to say that i am concerned about WiFi because there is no evidence to say it is safe or unsafe, it could be seriously harmful to our health without us knowing, to have a blaze attitude is not good.

     

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    shaun, May 21st, 2007 @ 1:46pm

    Observation

    What about microwave ovens, these have been around for at least 30 years now and no ill-effects have ever been associated with them. People must have worried about radio and tv signals before that. I am a web designer in brighton and sit next to a transmitter all day but have no discernable negative impact on my health. Yes it took a long time to find out about the effcts of smoking, but no one had computers then and medical research is much more efficient these days, acknowledging the link with mobile technology, surely negative effects should be fully realised by now.

     

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    nugget, Jun 14th, 2007 @ 2:13am

    wi fi is sFE

     

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    Yohan, Jul 19th, 2007 @ 5:27pm

    Do you remember those pills in the 80s, declared "safe" just because a great corporation wanted to sell them ?

    What was the result ? those pills created a large number of malformed children...
    after that, we were told "well maybe some information weren't transmited about safety and side effects"
    (my ass, the industrials knew the risks, but too much money was at stake)

    Things haven't changed at all ! Money is still a priority above health.

    It the same for OMG, asbestos, etc...
    which were declared unsafe afterwards.

    Wifi can't be declared "safe" until a proof doesn't exist. That's all.

    Try to judge by yourself.

     

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    Joseph, child pridogy, Dec 13th, 2007 @ 5:05pm

    This reminds me of the ignorance of tthe public. Common sense is not so public. it's like they think the "Radiation" from the wifi broadcast. yea liek they will have cancer from internet. it's like the fear of converting to nuclear power ebcause of a meltdown, thinking it will be like hiroshima.

    Learning without thought is labor lost, thought without learning is powerless.

     

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    wifi is the latest mmr, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 3:36am

    EMR and EHS - some research info

    Just to add some facts to this

    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/332/7546/886

    Please would the clam rational person at the top respond to the huge entry.

    Thank-you.

     

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    dave, May 24th, 2008 @ 7:26am

    wake up

    We are hit with over 10 million times the radiation, through all types of communication and cooking, than humans of just less than 100 years ago. It is proven that humans use wavelengths in their bodies and brains that correspond to like signals used for communication.

    How much brain power is needed to figure out that we are electrical beings and electrical pollution is everywhere; both humans and plants will soon show signs that have not been prevalent in our lifetimes very soon.

    If you NEED your wifi, or your Cell phone, you are missing out on life. Pathetic needs and listening to gov studies will kill you quick, which may not be so bad for thinking individuals. Money is the name of the game and most technologies are untested.

    The 'great' USA, piece of shit country does not demand that GMO foods be labeled, whereas some countries do... why? $$$$$$$$$$$ and to limit your choice. I would not buy it if it were labeled GMO, so they keep it secret.

    Read all the 'facts' you want and go to your church and pray, while you are being preyed upon. Yes, I have gone to wired in my house just in case all the evidence against constant bombardment of these waves is absolutely true.

    Guess most don't believe mercury in fillings is bad either, especially when it has to be stored in a ridiculous manner-as in DO not touch.

    Just my opinions of course. Info is everywhere, but do you believe the shit that will 'fit' into your lifestyle; do you know that the corps and gov lie constantly about everything, including why fluoride is still on the market-it is a waste product...

    Peace

     

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    dave, May 24th, 2008 @ 7:35am

    forgot to mention

    forgot to mention, it is a cumulative effect... it is not just one wifi, it is multiple wifis, cell phones, laptops with wifi connections, satellite carrier waves, electrical devices, etc.

    I love the comment, 'it is a drop in the sea and won't help'... you pathetic brainwashed human. Make a choice that you find worthy regardless of if you believe it will help... it will.

    Amazing how many people surrender choice, and common sense based on not what they perceive to be true, but how it will be perceived, welcomed or not welcomed by others.

    The right thing to do is to investigate the claims. And for those in school, perhaps, you should investigate whey the same frequencies are used for microwave ovens... yes, less power, but cumulatively it may not be so benign... after all, microwave ovens have shielding to prevent the escape, whereas wifi has broadcast antennae.

    Peace... just think before you assume smoking is good for you.

     

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    david morrison, May 20th, 2010 @ 11:24am

    Re: Paranoia and stupidity

    you are obviously out of date on the latest research which does confirm biological effects to all living things including plants from nonionizing radiation at just these frequencies that you listed. engineers are some of the most bull headed ego centric people that cannot add anything new to their paradigm. check out the bioinitiative report for hundreds of studies on this.

     

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    Chris, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 6:26am

    Best not to use any technology and go back to the forest

     

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    Umowa, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 1:30am

    Wi-fi waves

    Generally, the waves emitted by various devices are very harmful. I've seen pictures of people who get cancer of the skin after excessive using of their laptop.

    You have to be careful.

     

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    Praca w domu, Jan 4th, 2011 @ 11:12am

    waves

    Yes WiFi is responsible for evey evil on earth. Blame Wifi!:)

     

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    Projekt Wiaty, May 15th, 2011 @ 6:57am

    Wi-fi and our brain?

    I m agree with Umowa. Some years ago we heard about cancer because using notebooks. Soon we will hear about unhealt effect of using wi-fi.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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