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Woman claims Wi-Fi makes her sick

In another case of EMF (electromagnetic field) junk science making the news, a Woman in the UK is claming that Wi-Fi technology makes her sick and that she could "instantly tell whether it is installed in a particular room".  If that's really the case, it should be fairly easy to confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt if she possesses such an ability to detect 2.

In another case of EMF (electromagnetic field) junk science making the news, a Woman in the UK is claming that Wi-Fi technology makes her sick and that she could "instantly tell whether it is installed in a particular room".  If that's really the case, it should be fairly easy to confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt if she possesses such an ability to detect 2.4 GHz radio waves in a standard double blind study.

Take the highest power industrial grade Access Point and put it in front of her.  Let's use something that puts out 500 milliwatts which is about 10 times more powerful than typical access points and set it 6 feet in front of her in plain sight.  Then mask off the Wi-Fi activity indicator so you can't go by the LED indicator when the Wi-Fi is on or off but let her see that the Access Point is plugged in and turned on.  Remotely SSH in to the Access Point and toggle the radio on and off for durations of at least 10 minutes on or off in a random pattern and note the time of each change in state and repeat this test for a few hours.  Have her write down the times she believes the she feels the 2.4 GHz radio waves assaulting her and let's see how she scores.

I also have to wonder what she thinks about cordless phones, especially the older analog ones that put out far more energy with a far wider band.  I also have to wonder about the regular AM/FM radio waves since those go in to every single home.  It's also strange that she wouldn't be affected by the Wi-Fi access points from her neighbors since radio waves go through walls.

In typical fashion, the anti-EMF campaign she's working with said that "the telecommunication companies pour scorn, but none of them has been able to prove Wi-Fi is safe".  Aside from the fact that it's not the telecommunication companies that are pushing Wi-Fi, it's impossible to prove a negative.  It's like asking any person on the street to prove that they have never murdered another person.  Most educated and reasonable people can understand this, but this won't keep the crazy cellphone and breast implant-style lawsuits from coming.

[UPDATE 11/25/2006] Some parents and teachers force some schools in the UK to ban Wi-Fi citing "health concerns"

Stowe School, the Buckinghamshire public school, also removed part of its wireless network after a teacher became ill. Michael Bevington, a classics teacher for 28 years at the school, said that he had such a violent reaction to the network that he was too ill to teach.

Interesting, I wonder if Mr. Bevington has the same reaction around all the cordless phones.  Surely there are plenty of 2.4 GHz cordless phones in use in the UK.  I wonder if Mr. Bevington has one in his own home.  As with the woman above, I'd like to see Mr. Bevington duplicate his sickness in a controlled double blind environment because his testimony is starting to sound an awful lot like the Salem Witchcraft trials in the 17th century.