Industry must refute wireless 'hysteria'

I never went in for the arguments that mobile phones cause cancer, but I do find something unnatural about microwave ovens.

I never went in for the arguments that mobile phones cause cancer, but I do find something unnatural about microwave ovens.

Last week, we had Canadian parents complaining that wireless internet being installed at schools is making their children ill.

While health bosses insist wireless internet is safe, and the schools have rejected parental fears, the situation has sparked a national debate.

Susan Clarke, who studies radio-frequency radiation bioeffects, addressed a Thornbury group last week with concerns. Wi-Fi, she told them, alters fundamental physiological functioning in humans and can cause neurological and cardiac symptoms.

One Canadian scientist brands it irresponsible to expose young children to radiation from wireless internet. The argument goes that young children absorb radiation far quicker than adults, and we spend longer online than we do making mobile phone calls.

However, Canadian health authorities agree with British studies that wireless internet is safe.

Indeed, the local paper I read over breakfast this morning, branded the parental concerns as "mass hysteria":

Electromagnetic radiation simply does not have sufficient energy to produce physical reactions until well into the ultraviolet range — well beyond the range of infrared and Wi-Fi signals. Microwaves, of course, can produce heat, but they do not break the chemical bonds of tissue required to trigger illness. The photon energy of the Wi-Fi signal is some 10 million times less strong than ionising radiation — the kind that can do damage.

So there is absolutely no danger whatsoever from Wi-Fi signals.

That may well be true and I believe it is. However, it perhaps would not do any harm for the wireless internet providers, as well as our local health and education providers, to give us some reassurance, just in case similar illnesses and concerns arise in our neck of the woods too.

We do not want similar "mass hysteria" here.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All