WiFi Radiation investigation – Response to Panorama, BBC1, 21st May 2007

Summary of programme: WiFi is bad for you. The radiation may give you cancer and is on par with mobile phone masts, but potentially more harmful due to plans to have WiFi in every school in the UK. Children’s skulls are softer and thus are more prone to serious harm. The government are ignoring research from WHO which suggests harm and are pressing ahead regardless.

– —
The War on drugs. War on junk food. Smoking bans. Binge drinking awareness campaigns. It seems whatever is bad for us that we choose to consume in our own bodies is being outlawed or stigmatised by government. But advances in technology that MAY also be bad for us, but are external to our bodies and that we have no control over, are being embraced, if not enforced by government.

We are discouraged to consciously consume harmful substances, but are being forced to unconsciously be exposed to potentially harmful radiation. There’s some tricky ethics at play there.

I use WiFi when I’m in the city centre, but I know for sure that the only reason I don’t have it in my house is because I was never comfortable about the levels of radiation. I didn’t ever know what the levels would be, but I knew I wasn’t comfortable with whatever they were. Of course I use a mobile, etc so am a hypocrite – but in this day and age all a city person living in the West could be described as someone just trying to juggle their lives as best they can considering the environment and fair trade and healthy eating and equality issues and work/life balance and ethical banking and free-range and all the other small print in modern living. We are all hypocrites, and it would be a hypocrite who says any different. It’s not really about our individual carbon footprints, as that is too selective. It really about our Footprint in totality, but that is too unwieldy and unpalatable to comprehend.

We love new technology because it is convenient and makes things faster. For example: MP3 players are popular because you can store your whole record collection on them and each new version of player allows you to access each track slightly easier/quicker than the previous model. Mobile phones, computers, digibox, HDTV, the list goes on. Once we’ve got them it’s damn difficult to give them up. So if mobile phones prove to be harmful. And WiFi, and bluetooth and Sky dishes and god knows what else is pumped across our airwaves. Who will be the ones to unplug, switch off and consign these “bright idea but harmful” gadgets into the locked drawers? And who will be the ones to continue using, in the same way that many still smoke, knowing it is bad for their health and others, but they like it and in it’s own way keeps them sane. If I didn’t have my mobile phone and email and the Internet I too would go slightly potty I’m sure.

Hypocrites the lot of us but what can we do?

1) Accept things as they are without questioning.

2) Embrace things (technology). All this talk is just scare mongering.

3) Pretend we’ve never heard anything and carry on regardless.

4) Move to the countryside and live like the Good Life.

5) Pray.

6) All of the above.

I don’t know where this article is going just in the same way I don’t know where I’m going.

Actually that’s a lie. No matter how much I love the Internet and other modern trappings, I now need to turn them all off and go to bed. When all said and done we are nothing but flesh and bone and are not invincible. We would do well to remember that.

See> Schools want urgent wi-fi advice

See comments and opposing opinions at Debate on Possible Health Risk from Wireless

If you missed the programme you can watch again here

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One thought on “WiFi Radiation investigation – Response to Panorama, BBC1, 21st May 2007

  1. Hoooray! Nice to know I’m not the only one who won’t have it in the house. We made sure that the kids school didn’t – or have any plans to ever – have wireless before we sent them there.

    All my IT friends think I’m a freak. All I know is this; if I’m somehwere with absolutely no coverage for wi-fi and very little for mobile that I never get a headache.

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