Wi-Fi Worries and the Radiation Risks

Looks like Wi-Fi is running into a similar plethora of discussion, research, and conflicting arguments as mobile phones did a few years ago. A spate of publicity surrounding the potential health hazards presented by Wi-Fi networks has come from countries worldwide. So let's look at some of the "for" and "against" discussions.

First the "against" antagonists. They have us believe that radio waves used by wireless networks interfere with brainwaves, disturb cell growth and calcium balances in the body, create DNA problems, cause headaches, and affect cognitive and behavioural patterns. Of particular concern is the effect they can have on young people, mainly because their nerve systems are still developing, their skulls are thinner, and because much of their lives will be bombarded by Wi-Fi waves.

Now what say the "for" protagonists? Basically, that it's impossible to actually prove Wi- Fi is hazardous to health, and that we should be more concerned about the far greater risk to health posed by mobile phones, microwave ovens, TV, and radio-transmission towers and electricity pylons.

The problem for Wi-Fi protagonists is that they're up against not only eminent scientists and doctors, but also the governments of some countries. The view is that we are now living in a fog of electromagnetic radiation that's many millions of times stronger than the natural radiation levels in which human cells have evolved since man came into being.

However, the World Health Organisation says that only three in 100 people are sensitive to Wi-Fi radio waves. Instead, they worry more about the long-term effects of mobile-phone use. This concern gets quite a lot of support these days.

Several studies from Sweden and Finland highlight the increased chances of developing a brain tumour following 10 years use of mobile phones, particularly if users habitually places the phone to the same side of their head. Some institutes call mobile phones the cigarette of the future.

So who is right? It's impossible to say right now. The principles of scientific research rely on the procedure of proving hypothesis, anecdotal evidence, and speculative theories wrong. It's much easier to do that than to try and prove them right. So any proof that says Wi-Fi or mobile phones are safe can quickly be disproved when new evidence arrives.

Maybe only time will make the judgement. It did in the case of the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, and punk rock. They were predicted to totally destroy the moral fabric of a younger generation and history proved that wrong.

TAGS: Mobile
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