Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Wi-Fi Health Risks

Wi-Fi was in the news in relation to possible health risks associated with exposure, apparently they wi-fi devices and hotspots give off radiation beyond that given off by mobile phones, although you don't exactly put your wireless network cards to your head like with your phone. It's one of those grey areas where the technology hasn't been around long enough to make a health assessment based on prolonged use, as it might be years before health effects are known, I mean you don't exactly get lung cancer from cigarettes overnight do you. It's pretty much too late to stop the relentless roll out of wi-fi in the UK now, since there are wireless networks and wi-fi hotspots just about everywhere these days.

I must admin for many years when I have been configuring wi-fi access points, and I always get a headache, but then again I get a headache whenever I go near a power pylons too, perhaps I'm just sensitive like that or it's just psychological. Having said that, there's no way on earth I would I let my kids sit with a wireless enabled laptop on their knee, dam right I wouldn't!

11 comments:

Corzair said...

You have to wounder theseday with all the stuff thats transmitted that surely must have some effect over time... radio, TV, satellite, HiDef Satellite, Mobile phones... And God only knows what else...

Dave Whitelegg CISSP said...

Yes, there is invisible "wireless" smog plaguing our cities, who knows in the future it might be treated in the same way as carbon emissions are today. In the meantime you could always cover your house in aluminum foil, that will block most of it ;)

Kentlass said...

Wise decision not to let children use laptops on their knees. I experience peculiar feeling in chest and a slight headache when using wireless laptop. Not one to imagine things, but accept for the moment that levels emitted are supposedly safe. How long before we can be 100% sure though? At times I do consider getting rid of the wireless system especially when children are in the house. Of course, I might be one of those individuals sensitive to these things.

David said...

Hi,
having worked in the IT industry for 20 years, I had no problems other than when I had been working too many hours, and that was probably just tiredness. However, after having wi-fi in the house for a few weeks I started to get headaches and chest pains, and as time went on they got far worse. (the centre of my chest was in spasm for a while!) I have other symptoms as well, such as loss of concentration, irritated scalp, and giddiness, but they do get less intense when I am away from all technology for a few days. It definitely seems to be an accumulative thing, where the more you are exposed over time the more sensitive you get, and although it reduces with days away from it, it does not go away.

The biggest problem seems to be wi-fi PCI cards, and the Nintendo Wii!

FYI - until the other day I had not come across ANY wi-fi device that could have its wi-fi turned off. Yes, it can be disabled, but they nearly all still have the transmit signal still working! A very large manufacturer with several million devices out there has also recently admitted this to me, but only after several requests to their support teams.

BTW: the only device I have found to be able to actually turn off its wi-fi is the newer 40Gb (UK version) of the PS3. The other versions don't seem to be able to when I have asked shop staff to demonstrate it for me.

Most studies seem to use 'tissue' that has not previously been known to be affected by wi-fi or mobiles. This is like testing for an allergy from pollen using someone who has not previously had any problems with it. Daft!

Anyway, you are doing the right thing by being cautious.

dugdale towers said...

i've turned wifi off in my house

headache has gone

it isn't a coincidence

chewy said...

any updates on this topic? Everything seems to be out of date when I google on wifi and headaches.

surely with increasing saturation, others with electrosensitivity will start speaking up - if only they know where....

tinfoil is not an option.

damo said...

update for you; i've got an xbox360 - didn't really think it was wifi until i found out the controller connects at 2.4 - anyway, used it and no complaints whatsoever

then, last week the xbox died (it was just over 2 years old) so i phone the shop where i bought it and they say send it back and we'll fix it and they send me a new one

i turn the new one on, try to sync the controllers and within a few minutes get a headache.

for me, it isn't the wifi signal, its the signal or whatever is getting transmitted out, looking for the signal (the receiver) that causes the headache ..

i'e also accidentally left wifi on at home for nearly 2 months and no headache - but then i have no devices looking for a wifi signal any more or the ones that can have that switched off and rely on cable instead

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"I must admit for many years when I have been configuring wi-fi access points, and I always get a headache" - I really hope that it's only psychological. I think everyone should have health insurance because it can provide financial support during emergencies.

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Boyd J said...

It's nearly terrifying to think technological advances such as Wi-Fi can pose serious health risks. How many more discoveries do we have to find until planet Earth can no longer sustain human life?

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