Despite wifi health risks, most people prefer it to the cumbersome wires that come with Internet connectivity. But have you ever wondered why your cell phone gets hot when you use it? It’s because the cell phone is emitting microwaves which cause it to become hot. These days if you question the safety of wireless technology, you’re in danger of being branded a Luddite.
It would seem that wi-fi has become the acceptable standard for Internet connectivity as well as a host of other electronic gadgets. As more and more municipalities decide to blanket communities with free wireless Internet access, some citizen groups are concerned about wi-fi health risks. Is an environmental review in order? What does the research say? You may be surprised to learn that there is a lot we don’t know about the health effects of wireless technology.
Are Wifi Health Risks Worth It?
One of the first groups to come against wireless technology is firefighters–although they might not want it publicized. Firehouses are often the targeted by cellular phone companies as ideal places to place antennas. Because firefighters work and sleep in the same location, they opposed the continuous exposure to non-ionizing radiation and were able to litigate against it. The International Association of Firefighters has taken the position that firehouses should not be the site of cellular base station antennas until more is known about the long-term effects of exposure.
The firefighters found that they could not respond as well when exposed to continuous radiation. They understood that by using wi-fi, you never give your body a break. Many people sleep in close proximity to wireless devices–cell phones, routers, PDAs. The intensity of the exposure is not the issue. Chronic exposure to low-intensity exposure is considered to be worst than a single high-intensity exposure.
The work of Canadian scientist Magda Havas is frequently referenced to demonstrate the adverse biological impact of electromagnetic radiation. Her research focuses on the effects of radio frequency radiation (RFR) used by cell phones and other wireless technologies. There is little funding in the United States for research of the biological and health effects of RFR or and EMF by government agencies. Available studies are often funded by the wireless industry, and not surprisingly, these studies often find no adverse effects.
So what are the potential health effects? Keeping in mind that much of the information is conflicting, potential health effects are:
- genetic effects such as damage to DNA,
- cellular and molecular effects such as a reduction in enzymes critical to the central nervous system
- changes in electrophysiology such as reduced activity between nerve cells, and
- physiological and behavioral changes such as impairment of peripheral vision
Consumers can protect themselves best by simply using wired devices instead of wi-fi. Wi-fi is slower in comparison to wired technology, and wireless networks are notoriously insecure. In the meantime, educate yourself on the various issues.