A Year Of WiFi Radiation Equals 20 Minutes On A Cell Phone

from the Munchausen dept

Some people in the UK have been working themselves into a lather over the supposed ill effects of WiFi, claiming a hypersensitivity to its signals that causes all sorts of health problems, and worried parents getting schools to shut down their wireless networks. This debate du jour has raged on in the press there, and now Glenn Fleishmann points to an article in The Times that says the radiation exposure from a WiFi network for a year is equivalent to that from talking on a cell phone for 20 minutes, despite the claims from the head of an anti-radiation lobby group (who also happens to sell equipment to detect and block electromagnetic radiation) to the contrary. Despite claims from sufferers of "electrosensitivity", a researcher points out that they generally can't detect the presence of WiFi or other signals in double-blind laboratory tests. The Times article closes rather dramatically: "As to whether the convenience is worth the risk - only you can decide." Since that risk hasn't really been defined clearly or authoritatively and the latest research says mobile phones pose no cancer risk, it seems unlikely that too many people will give up that convenience since all the other side can offer are the wild-sounding claims of a small minority.

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  1. identicon
    RiskyMethodz, 12 Dec 2006 @ 6:04pm

    "The water analogy rebuttal is not perfect as it is conceivable that water constantly dripping might eventually screw you up. Imagine instead someone across the room whispering so quietly that it takes sophisticated equipment to amplify and hear it. Indisputably you are in the same room as the whisper and it is vibrating the air and your skin but the thought that it is slowly wearing at you is laughable. So it is with low power radiation. There are no effects, at those power levels, and so the effect cannot accumulate."

    I'm afraid your analogy is worse, however. If you put 100 people there whispering, the noise will not be negligible, but would be rather bothersome. The poster of the concern was talking about this same effect: the accumulitive amplification of harm. Your "disproof" of the concept actually backs it up.

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