Health worries over WiFi

Thursday 8th March 2007
BBC1 London News

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Health worries over WiFi

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Dear London News

First of all congratulations on covering the wifi issue. It is particularly concerning since the government are behind a drive to have this technology in all our primary and secondary schools. Over half are reported to already have these systems.

There are safe alternative solutions such as Home Plug (where the internet can be accessed through the mains) or floor boxes which can be put in classrooms and portable laptops simply plugged in and out as required.

Sweden officially recognise electrical hypersensitivity and estimate that up to 5% of the population are sensitive to the radiation emitted by wifi and other devices. This would mean in a class of 30 children that at least one child in each class would be immediately affected in the form of headaches, dizziness, concentration problems, etc Apart from this being unacceptable, this is not even considering the longer term effects of a high risk of cancer and leukaemia already shown up in research. (such as the REFLEX study and others)

I note that in your piece Dr Clark said measurements should be taken in schools! We know what the emission levels from Wifi are. We know they are below the 'guidelines' set by the UK. However we also know, and the HPA will not acknowledge, that these ICNIRP 'guidelines' are set to prevent heating of body tissue over a very short time period. (6 minutes). There are no guidelines to prevent other 'biological' effects (other than heating) that may occur from long term exposure and at lower exposures.

The pulsed microwave radiation emitted from the Wifi transmitters (access points) is still over billions of times higher than the natural background levels that there used to be just 15 years ago! Scientists are saying our bodies do not have repair mechanisms to cope with this new form of radiation now in our environment.

The Wifi transmitters are on all day in our schools. What are we doing to our children?


Sarah Purdy

ICNIRP guidelines for exposure from electromagnetic radiation

From the paragraph entitled "Basis for Limiting Exposure" (page 3)

"Induction of cancer from long-term EMF exposure was not considered to be established, and so these guidelines are based on short-term immediate health effects such as stimulation of peripheral nerves and muscles, shocks and burns caused by touching conducting objects and elevated tissue temperatures resulting from absorption of energy during exposure to EMF.

In the case of potential long term effects of exposure, such as an increased risk of cancer, ICNIRP concluded that available data are insufficient to provide a basis for setting exposure restrictions, although epidemiological research has provided suggestive, but unconvincing evidence of an association between possible carcinogenic effects and exposure levels of
50/60 HZ, magnetic flux densities substantially lower than these guidelines."

NB. By short term, they mean 6 minutes exposure.

Source: Federal Gazette Nr. 43 dated 03 March 1992, ­ Publications of the Federal Radiation Protection Commission, Germany, Volume 24, Page 6

Specific effects which are not related to heating have been described in the scientific literature for approximately 15 years. If a high frequency radiation is amplitude modulated with another frequency, field effects can occur, which do not exist under unmodulated radiation.

These manifest mostly as changes in the permeability of the cell membranes.

For example, it has been found that with high frequency radiation with a frequency of 147 MHz which was modulated with frequencies between 6 and 20 Hz, the calcium efflux from cell cultures was significantly (by 10 ­ 20%) increased for certain frequencies. Generally, a complex dependency of these effects on intensity and frequency has been observed, showing that certain frequency windows are particularly active. These membrane effects have been replicated many times, so that their existence has become accepted scientific knowledge.

It needs to be noted that the SAR values used in some studies were lower than 0.01 W/kg, and therefore significantly below the threshold of thermally relevant intensities.


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