Wed, Jul 25th 2007 12:58pm
A lot of noise has been made in the UK lately about the supposed health dangers of WiFi and other types of wireless communications -- though the media stories about them are generally full of shoddy reporting and bad science. The reports, as a rule, feature a person who claims to have "electrosensitivity," and that radiation from WiFi or mobile phone networks makes them sick. Despite the claims, these people generally fail double-blind tests to see if they really can feel the presence of WiFi or other wireless networks, and another study has now once again confirmed this. Researchers said that people claiming to have electrosensitivity weren't faking it, and really were displaying the symptoms they claimed -- but that they were brought about by the people's belief that they were being harmed by radiation, and not the radiation itself. Just two of 44 people claiming to be "electrosensitive" correctly determined when the wireless signals were being emitted in six out of six tests; this compares pretty evenly to the 5 out of 114 control participants. Somehow, though, it's hard to imagine this study will end debate on the matter. After all, claiming that electronic smog is hurting children is far too juicy a story to pass up -- even if it isn't true.
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