Canadian Schools Ban WiFi Based On Bad Science

from the and-what-are-they-teaching-our-kids dept

A decade ago, we first wrote about some freaked out, clueless parents suing a school district for wanting to install a WiFi network. The parents believed -- based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever -- that WiFi networks emitted "harmful" electro-magnetic radiation. Since then, we've heard of many such stories of people fearing the health impacts of WiFi, despite a near total lack of evidence of any harm at all. Studies have found that an entire year sitting next to a WiFi access point gives you the equivalent radiation of 20 minutes on a mobile phone. And yet, every few years, we hear about parents or politicians freaking out about the issue and trying to get WiFi banned in schools.

Amazingly, they've succeeded in some places, including 12 elementary and middle schools up in Canada, which are now being called out by a group called "Bad Science Watch" for making decisions based on absolutely and totally bogus science. You can read the full report here, in which they call out "anti-WiFi activists" who are "spreading misinformation." It seems they ought to call out schools as well. You would think that places of learning would investigate the actual science.
These claims are not substantiated by the scientific literature and have little acceptance from medical professionals and the scientific community. This activism therefore amounts to nothing more than fear-mongering by misguided special interest groups who are attempting to have these networks removed.

Nevertheless, the media has been all too willing to fan the flames of controversy and has contributed to a growing false uncertainty over the safety of WiFi. As a result many school boards, libraries, and town councils across Canada have been called on by concerned citizens to limit or remove WiFi networks.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 1:52am

    And I thought kids were silly for believing in the bogeyman without any scientific evidence....

     

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

  •  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 2:33am

    But Mike...

    You need to think of the children!

    If you give them free wi-fi then the kids won't have any reason to go to class anymore since they can get all their stuff easily from anywhere.

    Now who doesn't want to go to the class with the annoying teacher who always picks on you for no reason?

    *Remembers in high school we didn't have wi-fi, we had Lan parties to play Descent until the computer teacher uninstalled it from all computers*

    Man, that was some fun matches.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      alanbleiweiss (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 2:48am

      Re: But Mike...

      "we had Lan parties to play Descent until the computer teacher uninstalled it"

      Sadly, I'm much older than you. We had no such things as computers. VCRs had just become fashionable in our school's AV department, although film reels were still all the rage except for special occasions like taping the high school football games.

      So I joined the AV club, and became the student in charge, reporting directly to our advisor. Which meant I was free to skip classes, using "has an assignment to operate film equipment" notes.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    alanbleiweiss (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 2:44am

    "Studies have found that an entire year sitting next to a WiFi access point gives you the equivalent radiation of 20 minutes on a mobile phone."

    As if that's acceptable ! I've been using cell phones since 1996. And as a result, many years ago I began caring about personal freedom, human rights, and fairness in life. Clearly it was the radiation from those cell phones that fried my brain into thinking this way.

    So clearly then, we can draw a direct correlation to the notion that the wifi I've been using for the past year and a half was responsible for even more of my brain being fried, and thus the reason I became a Techdirt insider. Clearly that decision was not rational or logical, so it must have been the fault of the wifi!

    Thank God someone's thinking logically enough to save the children!

     

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

    •  
      icon
      G Thompson (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:20am

      Re:

      I remember a study done a few years (decades) back about Radio waves (HF & UHF) and microwave ovens and the like and its true radiation can cause major deaths. They found out, and I tell you this with the full warning it deserves. IF you sat next to a microwave oven for over 100yrs you will most likely die.

      The same study found that anyone who had used the Telephone or Telegraph or that dangfangled Marconi device before 1890 is now dead! Dead I tell you!!! and they mostly withered away and got all wrinkled with loss of hair before they died too.

      It's a tragedy. Next I propose an ending to this radiation we are all getting that operates at the dastardly levels of between 380 to 740 nanometres. It not only can cause cancer it burns too!

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Bengie, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 5:18am

        Re: Re:

        Don't forget about that horrible Dihydrogen Monoxide chemical that is so commonly used and kills thousands every year.

        They should at least require someone to be 18 to purchase it.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Ninja (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It is said that substance is very wicked. Mind you it is called an universal solvent that can dissolve and carry incredibly dangerous substances into those who make use of this malevolent liquid.

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Mr. Applegate, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Purchase?

          It is forced on everyone from birth. Children are now hooked on it and will die if they don't get their fix of "Dihydrogen Monoxide".

          For the children let us ban this illicit "Dihydrogen Monoxide" before even more children become dependent on this substance.

           

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

        •  
          icon
          ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Don't forget about that horrible Dihydrogen Monoxide chemical that is so commonly used and kills thousands every year.

          It kills thousands every year directly. It is, however, present in large quantities in every person that dies, so it has become quite a problem in our groundwater supplies.

           

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

    •  
      identicon
      jjmsan, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 8:32am

      Re:

      You may have just found the reason for piracy. Clearly, as the number of cell phones has increased piracy has increased. Maybe we can get a grant from the government to study this>

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 3:38am

    I wonder how many of these parents buy their kids mobile phones and yet they freak out about WI FI. Do parents lose all capacity for logic when they have children?

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:03am

      Re:

      I blame the politicians myself, they have taught the practice of demagoguery to their citizens by showing that science and evidence have no part in decision making.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        Zakida Paul (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 5:52am

        Re: Re:

        Actually, I blame organised religion for that.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Ninja (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          A million times that.

           

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

        •  
          icon
          silverscarcat (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually some religions teach parents to raise their kids and not rely on others to do so. However, they're quite strict with policies...

          *Grew up in such a religion*

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Mr. Applegate, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Sure this is true, but what other things do they teach which defy explanation?

             

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

            •  
              icon
              silverscarcat (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 10:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Other than what's in the bible?

              But, then again, it is true that humans used to be a lot more badass several thousand years ago.

              Even if humans didn't live nearly as long as they do these days.

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:57pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Supposedly they lived for a thousand years back then, the earth is only a six thousand years old and they lived alongside the dinosaurs. Amazing times those must've been - amazing times.

                 

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

                •  
                  icon
                  silverscarcat (profile), Feb 7th, 2013 @ 1:39pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I thought only one person lived nearly 1000 years (957 actually), most lived to be around 500 to 700 or so, humans have only been on the planet for 6000 years or so and nothing about dinosaurs from what I remember.

                  But, seriously, there are accounts of people back then doing some amazingly crazy things. Where do you think the term "marathon" comes from? From the guy who ran across Greece in less than a day non-stop, over the mountains, across rivers, etc to deliver one message.

                  Today we think of that stuff as impossible, but, think about it, we have technology to make our lives easier, and yet, people back then built the pyramids and other monuments and scientists today are still trying to figure it out.

                  Today you're strong if you can lift your own body weight. Back then children apparently could rip the jaws off of a donkey with relative ease.

                   

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

    •  
      icon
      Deimal (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:22am

      Re:

      Well, how many smart phones are running around in pockets in that school? I can't think of any smart phone that doesn't include WiFi as part of the device. How about the computers? Unless they disable WiFi cards in them, they're constantly searching for networks as well. How about the neighborhood nearby, the local coffee shops. These idiot parents and vastly more idiotic journalists are far more consistently exposed to WiFi on a daily basis then they probably know!

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:07am

    This is so ridiculous that I am inclined to believe that the real motive is other and this one is just the only one they could possibly find to not enable Wi-Fi for children.

    Which undoubtedly they would use to share their loot...aham...media.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    BS Simon, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:27am

    In related news...

    The Administratuon is concidering banning dihydrogen monoxide for the following reasons:

    is called "hydroxyl acid", the substance is the major component of acid rain.
    contributes to the "greenhouse effect".
    may cause severe burns.
    is fatal if inhaled.
    contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
    accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
    may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
    has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.
    Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:
    as an industrial solvent and coolant.
    in nuclear power plants.
    in the production of Styrofoam.
    as a fire retardant.
    in many forms of cruel animal research.
    in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
    as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      G Thompson (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:34am

      Re: In related news...

      Oh dear, this bullshit again (and I hope you were being sarcastic in posting this dribble.. otherwise you are an idiot

      ok.. for those who don't realise. The chemical formula for is H2O

       

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

      •  
        icon
        G Thompson (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:36am

        Re: Re: In related news...

        dammit...

        The chemical formula for dihydrogen monoxide is: with di meaning two for the hydrogen and mono meaning one for the Oxygen (oxide) H2O

        Most people commonly refer to this dangerous substance that can kill you though you are made up of +70% of it as

        WATER!

         

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

      •  
        icon
        Rikuo (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:46am

        Re: Re: In related news...

        Can't believe you fell for that...excuse me, I'll just be over there feeling embarrassed for both of us.

         

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:52am

        Re: Re: In related news...

        I always thought the whole dihydrogen monoxide thing was meant to be a hoax right from the start. A practical joke meant to cause dumb people to reflexively freak out over the dangers of a substance that is no threat at all just because they don't stop for two seconds and think about what it is. Hell, the nature of the substance is right there in the name: it's water!

        So, given this, and the theme of the article, I am pretty sure the other poster meant it as a joke...which you kind of, you know, ruined.

         

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

      •  
        icon
        PaulT (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 5:09am

        Re: Re: In related news...

        "ok.. for those who don't realise. The chemical formula for is H2O"

        http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpu26ggu641qj1cg2o1_500.jpg

        "Oh dear, this bullshit again"

        Stop getting wound up about this. The whole thing is intended to be a hoax, a joke to expose people so reactionary about surface level "threats" that they don't even look into what they're getting angry/scared about. As in, you know, people who want to ban wifi without any real evidence of harm.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihydrogen_monoxide_hoax

         

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

    •  
      icon
      OldMugwump (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:05am

      Re: In related news...

      Hydroxyl acid may be dangerous, but responsible adults should be able to buy it legally.

      Let us compromise.

      Instead of banning it, purchasers should have to be over 18, show ID, and sign a register with each purchase. And be limited to 100 mL/day.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Aaron *Head* Moss (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 7:47am

      Re: In related news...

      Thanks. I just found my new Facebook post to "warn" people of "dangerous" things.

      LOL

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:46am

    In the age of "How To's" I want to leave this here.

    How to steal others hard work using the DMCA

    That was just priceless.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:50am

    Not to side step the issue, but why is wifi needed in non university level schools? btw, would they be referred to as schools of lower learning?

    Maybe it is due to the proliferation of wifi enabled devices which the students are not allowed to have or use while in school. In that case, what do the teachers need wifi for? Furthermore, if it's only the administration staff that need connectivity, then I'm guessing that hard wiring would be less expensive.

    Or, perhaps it is the lucrative telecommunications industry calling for towers on school property for which the school district gets a pittance. This would make more sense as to why folks are getting all upset about it.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      This Anonymous Coward EH!, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:06am

      Re:

      "Or, perhaps it is the lucrative telecommunications industry calling for towers on school property for which the school district gets a pittance. This would make more sense as to why folks are getting all upset about it."


      Really? No these are wireless networks like we put in our homes that they are freaking about up here.

      Next time think before you write something down.

      Yes we know the parents up here and a bunch of idiots that believe this. The best is that parents are saying that little Johnny or Suzie have headaches at school because of the wifi, but forget to mention that these Headaches only come on the days they have tests.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 5:01pm

        Re: Re:

        "Next time think before you write something down."

        Yes ma'am - will do ... I'm sure the industry experts are not influencing decisions about such things up there.

         

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

    •  
      icon
      Ninja (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:09am

      Re:

      What if I want to have a security system connected via wi-fi in my school? What if the computers used by the staff are connected via wi-fi? What if the classrooms have audiovisual resources that use a central server, via wi-fi, to recover videos, pictures and other learning material?

      Wiring WAS cheaper in the past. Today most computers come with built-in wi-fi capabilities. Also, wireless setups make it much easier to move things around and change layouts. The only real reasoning to use wired connections is 1- security and 2- speed.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Some Other AC (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:43am

      Re:

      Well in the case of my oldest child, the district where he attends school issues netbooks to Middle school and High school students. As it would be cost prohibitive to install the required network drops in addition to the additional network gear, using a protected WiFi system was the best and most cost effective solution.
      I have assisted in projects at my employer to expand office space and install additional network drops and gear. When you factor the hourly rate for the wiring techs, the cost of cabling and accessories, and the network gear to expand the network to accommodate the expansion, adding just 30 cubes can easily run into tens of thousands of dollars.
      Now expand that to a multi-room school and you can see that the cost to wire it would easily reach into 6 figures.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 7:09am

        Re: Re:

        Also add in the cost of dropped machines as kids forget to disconnect the network before picking them up. Unlike power connections, cat5 cables are latched into the machine and so do not pull out when they are forgotten.

         

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 5:07pm

        Re: Re:

        The question was why, not how. I realize there are school districts handing out wifi enabled devices like candy ... some districts use them to spy upon the kids eating candy and changing clothes in their rooms at home. Many schools have told the kids to not bing or not use their electronic devices of any kind - they must be missing put on the obvious benefits.

         

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 7:49am

      Re:

      A WiFi network can be create on the spot by anyone, not just a service provider.

      Ad-Hoc networks are all WiFi.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:54am

    I'll bet the record labels and movie studios are jumping for joy after this decision.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    vegetaman (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:58am

    I don't feel so bad for not carrying my cell phone on me all day after reading this, though. I usually put it on the table or leave it in the car.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Ninja (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:14am

      Re:

      I think he meant 20 minutes using the phone (talking). And possibly with a mobile connection enabled. I keep mine disabled till I need to use it.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    miatajim (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 5:24am

    Information is a great thing, giving it to "dumb" people you get this.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Karim, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 5:24am

    You are so wrong. Here's why.

    Mick just hates it whenever copyright law is enforced and Internet is killed real good to prevent DMCA from working where it would not work if there weren't no pirates, and/but for the children. The law is the law.

    Last week I had to give my neighbor money for medicine because he works in an industry which has been killed off by Internet Piracy (carwash).

    Mick never even bothered to assume the fact that less Wifi in schools means less child porn creation, and more importantly, tornado clients cannot work on No Internet.

    Google just wants Mick to pay him money.

    **Copyright 2013. Unauthorized reproduction strictly prohibited**
    **This comment is protected by RightClickBeGone 2.23 (trial - unlicensed)

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:05am

    Anyone here a Medical Scientist? No? Ok then.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Ninja (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:12am

      Re:

      Probably not but the article has enough citations. If you are feeling bothered by it why don't you throw in your own citations so we can analyze the methodology employed in the studies you may know that try to prove those waves are really harmful and bring them into the discussion?

       

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

    •  
      icon
      John Fenderson (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 12:57pm

      Re:

      Are you? No? Ok then.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:17am

    Evolution of the species

    Keep in mind that natural selection does not favor the most intelligent or useful of the species. The process of evolution favors the individuals that breed most.

    We are watching the birth of the Idiocracy.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:55pm

      Re: Evolution of the species

      The process of evolution favors the individuals that breed most.

      Evolution did favor individuals that were most intelligent and useful, as they didn't tend to get themselves killed off before they could procreate. Which is why we are here. We have removed those pressures, which has reduced the need for intelligence and usefulness in order to survive and breed.

      We have created the birth of Idiocracy, not evolution. I suspect the problem with Idiocracy is that at some time between now and its fruition, we will lose the ability to keep those pressures removed; they will reintroduce themselves and the process will begin anew (or, we'll evolve in another, more productive direction.)

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 5:11pm

      Re: Evolution of the species

      "natural selection does not favor the most intelligent or useful of the species"

      This is perhaps the wrong way to look at it.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    PRMan, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:43am

    Not dangerous?

    "WiFi networks emitted "harmful" electro-magnetic radiation"

    Wifi networks DO emit harmful electromagnetic radiation. It's in the Microwave band 2.4 GHz, exactly the same as your microwave oven, only (usually, if everyone follows instructions) at a low enough dosage that it doesn't do anything.

    Of course, that didn't stop the network guys at my old work who purposely bought mismatched giant antennas for the WiFi router and were literally frying the brain of the receptionist sitting underneath with low-dose microwaves. (Some math from a ham radio operator that worked for us proved why she was feeling light-headed every day since they put it in, it was like a 90 watt microwave oven).

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 11:19am

      Re: Not dangerous?

      Wifi networks DO emit harmful electromagnetic radiation. [...] only at a low enough dosage that it doesn't do anything.


      Umm - wouldn't that mean it's *not* harmful? You know, like if it doesn't "do anything", then (by definition) isn't causing HARM, and therefor is not HARMful.

      Microwave radiation just causes heat - heat in and of itself isn't harmful - every house in Canada has a furnace that produces *way* more heat than any Wifi device could put out in a year.

      it was like a 90 watt microwave oven


      90 watts isn't an "oven" - 90 watts is barely a lightbulb. If she was feeling lightheaded, it wasn't because of a 90 watt transmitter near her.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      John Fenderson (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 1:04pm

      Re: Not dangerous?

      You know what "mismatched" (whatever that means in this context) antennae can't do? Add power to the radio signal. They can only shape it. So, you're saying that the total power output of that WiFi installation was at least 90 watts.

      That's pretty high. I hope they had an FCC license for it, because they take that sort of thing pretty seriously.

      literally frying the brain of the receptionist sitting underneath with low-dose microwaves.


      No, it wasn't. "Literally frying" would be that the receptionists brain was actually being cooked at temperatures that would cause it to sizzle. Low-dose microwaves wouldn't be able to do anything other than a slight warming.

      That entire anecdote sounds incredibly implausible. It's far more likely that the ransom ham radio operator's math was wrong.

      If there was really a concern, why didn't somebody rent a meter and directly measure the amount of power in the emissions?

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Qyiet (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 2:24pm

      Re: Not dangerous?

      The difference in energy release from a microwave and the energy by a human body is 10 DBm. So to go from harmful (putting your hand in a microwave) to harmless (touching another person) that's a good baseline on an exponential scale.

      Now the difference between standing in a wifi zone, and a microwave is ~60DBm. To put it another way, the person standing next to you is emitting the same amount of energy as just over 3000 laptops wifi. If you afraid of wifi, you should be deathly afraid of other people.

      Numbers came from here.. any math was my fault :)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DBm#Unit_conversions

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Art Tricque, Feb 8th, 2013 @ 6:39pm

      Re: Not dangerous?

      They bought 27 db parabolic antennas for your router? That makes no sense for an office…

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      peter, Feb 11th, 2013 @ 3:54am

      Re: Not dangerous?

      Hmmm. With your scientific reasoning, lack of technical knowledge and your gift of the hyperbole you should have no trouble getting a job at a Canadian school.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 7:33am

    Mike! You need to remove this story now! Seriously!
    If the government comes across this they will possibly take this post as evidence that WiFi is deadly and anyone owning a router is a terrorist.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 7:43am

    I bet the RIAA is funding their research.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Chad, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 8:06am

    Studies show...

    Over the years there have been many things thought to be good "based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever" which were later proven to be extremely bad (major drugs like heroine and cocaine as well as smoking or giving your child a bit of alcohol to stop their colic, etc).

    The real issue isn't that it's good or bad, it's that there is "absolutely no evidence whatsoever". Unfortunately in the case of wifi and other similar technologies that are stirring people's emotions, the complaints are about the long-term effects which we frankly cannot know until it's been a significantly long-term exposure.

    One thing you have to keep in mind to remain completely neutral and unbiased on the subject is that there are advocates on BOTH SIDES that have no information or evidence of what they're trying to prove.

    I just hope that in 30 years when talking to my kids I can tell them that the technology was a huge advancement instead of a huge health hindrance.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      PaulT (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 8:44am

      Re: Studies show...

      "One thing you have to keep in mind to remain completely neutral and unbiased on the subject is that there are advocates on BOTH SIDES that have no information or evidence of what they're trying to prove. "

      Indeed. However, if somebody's going to start banning things "for the children" based on zero evidence (and while there is certainly evidence that access to it *benefits* their education), I'd prefer to demand proof. Rolling over just because someone thinks there might be harmful effects is as wrong as merely letting people ban vaccines, videogames, movies, TVs, books, music or whatever else the current nutjob scapegoat of the week is.

      The call for banning things just because there's a fear about them, especially from those who don't understand them, will never stop. Only the target of that call will change. But, it's down to them to prove that the ill effects outweigh the benefits. While those things you mentioned do seem obviously bad in hindsight, that's just a matter of perspective. There are many other things that have mostly positive effects that were called to be banned over the same timescale, and that same hindsight shows them up for the stupidity that those calls were.

      People should keep an open mind, but these things should only be happening when there's a real reason to believe that they are harmful. Until then, you're probably basing any ban on baseless fears from people who usually don't understand the thing they're talking about.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2013 @ 4:26am

      Re: Studies show...

      "advocates on BOTH SIDES that have no information or evidence"

      Wrong. There have been many studies by scientific, medical and health organisations to gather evidence.

      Look up the reports produced by the UK HPA, the National Cancer Institute SEER programme the Interphone study, the CEFALO study, the FDA, the CDC and the FAA.

      You will find evidence produced by studying hundreds of thousands of phone users

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    a_w_young, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 9:04am

    WiFi is bad because it's WiFi, not because of "health concerns"

    I think the real crime is in making kids use inferior connections. WiFi isn't bad because of some hocus-pocus health issue, it's bad because it's wireless. Get faster, more stable, more secure internet for our children in schools. WiFi is improper for professional purposes in a fixed location.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Byte, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 9:23am

    Facts

    The only danger to a broadcast signal is its strength. Doesn't matter if the signal is 900mhz, 10mhz, 100ghz. If no signal is broadcasted at a frequency, guess what? The universe is broadcasting at that frequency! There's noise on every band known to mankind. Natual noise. But when you broadcast on a frequency, you have to boost your signal to be higher than the noise [an reed-solomon, qpsk, etc. help assure signals].

    POINT IS-- The danger to a signal is related to HOW CLOSE you are to the broadcast element (stength, not frequency, is what you have to fear). Like with cell phones, if it's right up against your head you're bombarding your cells with high signal... just like breaking up a stone in your kidney with ultalow wave lengths. But step a distance away and the signal degrades... becomes harmless.

    Dr. B

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 10:03am

      Re: Facts

      Unless I am much mistaken, simply not true. Some frequencies are more dangerous than others. If the frequency is "non-ionizing" it is probably safer at the same energy density than "ionizing" radiation. (gamma-/x-rays are more harmful than long-wave radio?). Similarly among the non-ionizing frequencies, ones that excite the h-o bond in water (at or close to the resonant frequency or a multiple thereof) are more harmful that ones that don't, because they couple better with living organic material and transfer more energy, so can cook the recipient at a lower energy density. This is, as I understand it, fairly basic and well-established science.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 2:33pm

    The electrical wiring in the walls produces electro-magnetic radiation. So does your phone, your stereo, your TV and your iPod. So do the power lines outside your house.

    So does the sun.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:18pm

      Re:

      So do human bodies. Fortunately they're pretty weak, so all you have to do to remain safe is NEVER GET CLOSE TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. Or any animal.

      And for God's sake, don't wear clothes, the friction just might generate static electricity. If you do wear clothes, don't move!

      Petting your cat is just asking for trouble!

      Remember, everything gives you cancer.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Matthew Cline (profile), Feb 7th, 2013 @ 9:18pm

      Re:

      The electrical wiring in the walls produces electro-magnetic radiation.
      Oh, the same people who worry over WiFi already have that covered. Just google "dirty electricity".

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 4:07pm

    Fetch my tinfoil hat!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2013 @ 12:19pm

    it's more a fear of liability that 'bad science',

    I also do not agree that decisions are based on 'bad science' I do not believe that is such a thing, it is in fact good science, that determined the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation, it is 'bad politics' to use good science for the wrong reasons.

    yes, you can compare it to some time on a cellular phone, but it would be far better to equate it with a period of time standing in sunshine..

    middle of the day you receive 1200 watts per meter square, a wifi would be microwatts.. millions of times less that 1 second in the sun.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      ijpelaar, Aug 27th, 2013 @ 5:55am

      Re:

      Hi

      I think the dirty modulation is the cause of the radiation sickness like i have, or people has heavy metal poisening like fillings without there knowledge, this heavy metal thing should have be investigated , like mercury, lead, cadmium, who react on microwaves special mudulated with pulses.

      Pulses in the microwave is nat natural, natural waves are sinusoidal, always, digital signals looks to much as brain waves, special the very low ones, for example in the dect, I can not call with a dect, special the first types, I do fall down.

      We have to go cable, or very low wattages like less then 1 milliwatts, and more little transmitters like in modems of every home, then we keep it under the trigger level, but the best is cable, like glass.

      anyway,, I sleep in the livingroom to excape the 12 watts ruckus of the nabure who is capable of have a working distance of 15 km.

      regards

      kees

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Lyle Courtsal, Feb 16th, 2013 @ 4:12pm

    you are the idiots, hahahahahaha-hahahahaha

    Yes folks, it's true. There is actually serious damage being done to brains and genetic material above 2 milliwatts/sq. cm., especially to young developing children. They're growing so mutations can definitely creep in, but all you wonks care about is no dropped calls. Try hardwire lines then. Gawd, I hate americans; yes, it does damage, and yes it can be reduced, but not removed. It's about energy and how it damages genetic material, which it does. Not only that, above certain energy levels, your ears ring massively if you are sensitive to it.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Joe Wargo, Feb 18th, 2013 @ 12:54pm

    Wireless safety

    Being an integrator in the wireless industry the topic of safety comes up quit often. It becomes a point of education to those that do not understand what RF really is and is not. There is too much junk on the internet that is misleading and inaccurate.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    streamingchurchesonline (profile), Mar 28th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    Wireless? Is it safe?

    We will know more in 10 to 20 years. I think there is some truth to possible health issues. I still think we need more studies for cell phones and wireless routers to see what the long term health effects are.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    M. Callahan, May 11th, 2013 @ 7:47pm

    A bunch of no-brain air suckers...

    I have never seen such and long list of lemmings blathering about their no brain idiocy. Science that doesn't get read, doesn't exist in the monkey pack. Google a phrase, why don't you; the Google mind will be magic for you guys. Try EMF as a class 2 carcinogen- that ought to lengthen this thread by about 50 'missing links' screeching about the biggest word in their book.... pseudoscience... Wow. You guys are soooo smart! You say such full-of-important things! I wonder why anyone in the International Agency for the Research on Cancer ever read a $10,000,000 grant by any guy with a Ph.D? I'll bet you guys will tell me what Ph.D means! What kind of stupid label is that? Why waste a dime on a degree to tell us what to do? Gee, I wish all you smart guys were around when I signed up for Nuclear Engineering. I coulda saved some money.... you're all so smart, with your microwave oven jokes- I don't get it! Why would a guy sit by an oven for a 100 years... is that funny?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Devid Conway, Jun 25th, 2013 @ 10:37am

    Aw, this was a certainly nice post. In thought I would like to put in writing like this furthermore - taking time and actual effort to make a particularly fine article?- but what can I say?- I procrastinate alot and by no indicates seem to obtain something completed.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    ijpelaar, Aug 27th, 2013 @ 5:44am

    wifi transponder Ruckus wireless.

    Hi

    I am from holland, I have a nabure who has a wifi antenna on his roof who do deliver 12000 milliwatts max, and sinds this antenna recides there I have trouble with health, I am kwown to be electro sensitive, I have moved here because of gsm radiaton, I was sick 5 years back and here a clean place did make me healthy again, unfortanely my nabure has now again a magnetron on his roof, I believe however that the unnatural signals in the microwave transmitter are the major cause of the problems, digital signals looks to much on body language like brain signals interfere with it.

    We need to stop with this terrible dangereus experiment.

    Aned never buy a ruckus wireless, she do make dangereus strong signals, the nabure has a child of 2 years olds, it is complete freaken out sometimes, so she don,t want go in the house, she yells terrible and go lay down on the street, this kid sleeps 4 meters from that antenna, I sleep also 4 moters from it, but now in the livingroom because I did go also get to sick because of lack of sleep and pulsing in the head.

    regards

    kees

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Cheryl Khan, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 3:22pm

    Study on the effects of wifi on plants

    I read about wifi harming trees somewhere in the UK. They found that trees in urban areas were developing a silvery decay on the bark. It's kind of scary if you think about it.

    http://www.patioproductions.com/blog/gardens/is-wi-fi-killing-your-plants/

    Although I haven't tossed out my router just yet (hope I don't have to), one has to wonder if this has any truth behind it. There was also another study where routers killed seeds. If that happens to plants, I'm sure it could be causing adverse health affects on humans.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This