My last post prompted a couple of questions and feedback about Wi-Fi and what I thought about it.

I did answer this briefly elsewhere but it definitely requires a broader response and so has become the topic of this fortnight’s blog.

The thing about mobile phones and Wi-Fi is that they are communicating using the same part of the electromagnetic spectrum – the microwave bandwidth or radiofrequency bandwidth RF.  Your microwave oven, anything that operates via Bluetooth and radar are also using the same part of the spectrum.  This means  all of these devices are essentially the same when it comes to the radiation they emit.  There are, of course, ways to break these down and differentiate them but at the end of the day it can all be bundled under the same heading.

In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO)/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency radiation as a Class 2B carcinogen which means it is ‘Possibly harmful to humans’. 

There are just over 300 other items on the IARC list with a 2B classification and I have seen commentators making light of the fact that ‘chinese pickles’ are also classified as a 2B carcinogen so there is no need to worry about Wi-Fi or phone radiation…  

Some of the other more alarming things, however, that make the 2B Class are: chloroform, lead, diesel fuel and gasoline.  (You can check the entire list on the IARC website here)

A Wi-Fi modem with lights on to show that it is operating

The thing that makes Wi-Fi different from many of the other items listed is that we are all subjected to some level of exposure on a daily basis.  You cannot simply elect not to have a modem, or turn off your own modem, and not be exposed.  Your neighbours will have their Wi-Fi and whether you like it or not you are exposed to it.  If I sit in my lounge room and ave a look at the Wi-Fi networks available to me I can usually see 5 Wi-Fi networks and I do not have one!  People who live in very dense housing or in the inner city can often see more than 50 networks.

This is not taking into account exposures in schools, cafes, from phone boxes, from mobile towers, in public transport, shopping centres and other public places.

The questions you need to be asking yourself are along the lines of:…

‘Would I willingly send my child to school to sit in a classroom full of diesel exhaust for 6 hours?’

Or

‘Would I willingly sit on a bus or train for an hour on my way to work if it were full of chloroform?’

I am guessing your answer would most likely be ‘No’.

The upshot is that we are not aware of the impact of Wi-Fi on our health, we are not taking precautions and the effects are downplayed in the media and we are told that ‘there is no evidence of harm’ which is not the same as ‘safe’.

In the same way as many other health concerns of recent times we are barrelling along having a good time and not paying attention to the warning signs.  This time though there is no population that is unaffected and while we may not know all of the effects of this radiation if we are not careful then it may be too late to change anything.

We should be playing it safe.  We should be distancing ourselves from sources.  We should be turning off devices and modems when we don’t use them.  And we should be especially careful of how and where our children are exposures.

The Easter break is coming up.  Try leaving your phone behind when you go out, turning off your Wi-Fi and spending time in nature and see how much better you feel.

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash
and by Host Sorter on Unsplash