by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
ada, allergic, santa fe, wifi

Santa Fe Ignores WiFi Allergists; Recognizes Setting Up WiFi Isn't A Violation Of The ADA

from the bring-on-the-lawsuits dept

Last month, we noted that a bunch of folks in Santa Fe, New Mexico were claiming not only were they allergic to WiFi, but the city's plan to install WiFi hotspots would be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Considering that multiple double-blind studies have shown there's no such thing as a WiFi allergy, we figured that those complaining of it should at least be forced to prove that such a thing exists. Indeed, it now appears that Santa Fe has decided to ignore the so-called WiFi allergists and move forward with installing WiFi. One of the folks protesting claims in response: "My first reaction is, it's a disaster. My second reaction is, they're inviting a lawsuit." That would be a fun lawsuit to follow, as I would imagine they'd have to show some sort of proof that a WiFi allergy exists.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 11:47am

    TV gives me a rash and adds 10 pounds

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 11:53am

    Hmmm, I think I will claim to have a 'tax allergy'. I know I can prove taxes exist and that I don't like paying them.

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

  3. identicon
    hegemon13, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 12:01pm


    Yeah, and I can prove that I get an elevated heart rate and shortness of breath when I come into visual contact with a tax bill. Good idea.

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

  4. identicon
    userX, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 12:08pm

    i'm alergic to moving slowly, speed limits violate my civle rights

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

  5. icon
    Jeffry Houser (profile), Jun 16th, 2008 @ 12:16pm

    I wouldn't mind..

    I wouldn't mind if my tax dollars went to a study to examine the effects of stuff in the air ( WiFi, Bluetooth, Cell Phone, Radio ) on people.

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

  6. identicon
    anne, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 12:26pm

    I know one of these people. She swears on her mother's grave that she's allergic to cellular and wi-fi signals. I think she's fucking nuts.

    My favorite torture is to whip out my PDA, which she doesn't know has a wi-fi signal, and I start reading my email and surfing the Net while she explains her theories about wi-fi signals, migraine headaches and heart palpitations. So far, she hasn't dropped dead in front of me.

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

  7. identicon
    James, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 12:34pm


    I have a severe allergy to techdirt. I plan to sue.

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

  8. identicon
    workerbee, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 12:53pm

    I'm allergic to work. Will someone please give me some money.

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

  9. identicon
    Daniel, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 12:59pm


    The fact that people are actually going forward with such junk as a WiFi allergy, and are threatening to sue over it just continues to show that people will do anything to get their 15 minutes in the spotlight. Another sad pathetic day in the life of the American Public.

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

  10. identicon
    Jeje, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 1:01pm


    My mother in law gives a headache. I'll sue her.

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

  11. icon
    Steve R. (profile), Jun 16th, 2008 @ 1:04pm

    Serial Entranpeanuer Opportunity

    On June 13, 2008 TechDirt reports 'Free Software' Scammers Fined $2.2 Million"

    This is a great business opportunity if you would like to sell Faraday Cage.

    Be a servant for those who suffer from RF allergies. The Faraday Cage an antihistamine that relieves your allergy symptoms. In fact if you call now, you will be sent two Faraday Cages for the price of one as a preferred customer.

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

  12. identicon
    uncle bob, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 1:06pm

    If these people sue, they're gonna need a lawyer... I recommend Jack Thompson.

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

  13. identicon
    Hugh Mann, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 1:25pm


    Keep trying....


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

  14. identicon
    Jack Thompson, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 1:27pm

    WiFi allergies cause terrible illnesses in people, as do video game allergies, television allergies, wireless telephone allergies, computer allergies, electricity allergies, and allergies to anything that involves technology. I can back this up with no facts and only my testimony. I will also be suing you for recommending my services to somebody and using my name.

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

  15. identicon
    ehrichweiss, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 1:36pm

    please, please, please, please sue...

    No really, please give us all a laugh that we will talk about for generations to come because the smoking lawsuits were the first step, then the "fast food makes us fat" lawsuits were icing on the cake, so if we get to watch a bunch of people who can't even prove such an allergy exits(whereas we can prove lung cancer, emphysema and obesity exist at least) then I'll be sure to point and laugh at all the hypochondriacs, Luddites and other whiners.

    Maybe we need to wear those Wifi detector shirts(they're really shirts with a wifi detector built into/onto them) just to show them that they're out of their minds and that they're already likely being bombarded by wifi-type radiation every single moment of their lives.

    I remember hearing a story from my psychology teacher about a guy who thought he was a turnip.

    Psychologist: What are you?
    CrazyGuy: I'm a turnip.
    P:Can turnips bleed?
    CG: No, of course not.
    Psychologist then takes a small Xacto knife and cuts the tip of his thumb.
    CrazyGuy looks at his thumb as it's bleeding and then declares "I guess turnips CAN bleed"

    Even with empirical evidence to the contrary, these nut cases are going to believe what they will but judges aren't going to allow the cases to proceed without proof positive so that will be our biggest saving grace.

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

  16. identicon
    Allergic, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 1:40pm

    Allergic to Stupid people

    I'm allergic to stupid people. I'd like to sue those people and their insurance companies for stupid people causing me headaches. I have a legitimate cause and effect. Jack, can you represent me?

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

  17. identicon
    John, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 2:35pm

    A better headline...

    ... would be "Company Finally Stands Up to People".

    How many stories have we read where companies give in to people with every little complaint, many of which are completely bogus.

    Though I would be willing to bet that there's a lawsuit coming... complete with "expert consultants" (meaning: paid to say things) about how wi-fi allergies really exist.
    While the case may be a no-brainer, the city will still have to spend thousands or millions of its tax dollars in court. :(

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

  18. identicon
    Learn to spell, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Serial Entranpeanuer Opportunity


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

  19. identicon
    Tim, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Keep Trying!

    Maybe you'll discover she's right, and then...! Wonder if that will qualify for a Darwin Award?

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

  20. identicon
    Tony, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 4:59pm

    Re: I wouldn't mind..

    Well, I would mind. If you are so interested in funding research like that, why not donate directly, instead of making other people pay for it?

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

  21. identicon
    Jerk, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 5:01pm

    I'm allergic to knives, they make me break out in a red ooze when i slide my skin accros them.

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

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 6:55pm

    Time to roll out my self grounding Mylar lined track suit, guaranteed to block all hi frequency radiation. Order now and I'll through in a free roll tinfoil.

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

  23. identicon
    Another Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 8:56pm

    What are you supposed to do if you're allergic to WiFi AND aluminum foil? I also no longer breathe out and I wear shoes 2 sizes too small so I can reduce my carbon dioxide footprint.

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

  24. identicon
    Agonizing Fury, Jun 16th, 2008 @ 11:18pm

    I wonder...

    I wonder if these people with a supposed wifi allergy use a microwave oven? I know that my microwave creates much more electromagnetic energy in the 2.4 GHz range than my Wi-Fi as every time I start cooking something in it, my Wi-Fi drops off. (Very irritating when streaming a movie to the TV from my server and someone decides to make popcorn).

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

  25. identicon
    lauren, Jul 19th, 2008 @ 10:33pm

    why is everyone so sure!

    I just don't get why on this particular topic, ordinary people are so sure that there can't be any problem with wifi exposure. As Americans and especially Santa Feans, you would think we would question anything coming from authority. Fact is, my 5-year old son stopped having screaming headaches and started sleeping through the night when we shut the wifi off overnight. I've seen first-hand how it affects him in a most unusual and uncomfortable way in public places where he is in close proximity to wifi transmitters. Why all the anger? How can you be so sure it's not real? I love wifi. And yes, some people have a sensitivity to the microwave oven as well. Others don't. I still don't stand in front of it when it's running. There are so many things in this world that we don't understand, when did you start thinking you know everything - or worse yet, believing the well-funded "studies?"

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

  26. identicon
    greg, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 9:35am

    Re: why is everyone so sure!

    The initial post, suggesting that you and your son (and animals) are being showered with much more powerful radiation than that from wifi, is why we think this is most likely the power of suggesion and/or mental illness. There have been more interesting studies on the effects of electromagnetic radiation on birds and bees, and of digital phones on our cranial nerves when held to the head--but wifi at a distance is unlikely to cause immediate ill effects in humans.
    The anger is probably at the prospect of jerks using up our public monies with baseless lawsuits.
    The laughter is because when daily experience of the majority contradicts the claims of a few, the few lose. Especially when they are jerks.
    Mob rule, aka democracy, has some weaknesses, and i agree we should not blindly accept innovation...but these people don't have my sympathy.
    As for your son, assuming there is no wifi from other sources, that you didn't change anything else at the same time you stopped using wifi at night, and that the wifi isn't plugged in next to his bed, well, i'm glad he's better but anecdotes like this aren't going to convince...

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

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