New Report Suggests Wifi is Probably Not Frying Your Brain

A new wi-fi[1]report from the Royal Society of Canada calls into question the ongoing urban legends about the possible harmful effects of Wifi.

The 165 page report was generated on behalf of Health Canada as part of that organization's regular reconsideration of safety standards, and while it doesn't contain any new data it does include a review of existing research.

The tl;dr version of the report is that a panel of experts have concluded that current safety standards are sufficient. While it is true that a sufficiently powerful electromagnetic signal can have effects like shocks, a tingling sensation, or increase your body temperature via a general heating of water, the report concludes that these effects are unlikely to occur with existing Canadian safety standards.

Most importantly, the report notes that there is no conclusive evidence that currently widely used technologies (Wifi, for example) are dangerous at the time. So long as equipment meets existing certifications, the many groups trying to get Wifi banned from schools are panicking about nothing.

It's worth noting that the reports did find some in the risks of exposure to em signals that met current safety standards, but it was inconsistent:

Therefore, the Panel has concluded that the balance of evidence at this time does not indicate negative health effects from exposure to RF energy below the limits recommended in the Safety Code. However, research on many of these health effects is ongoing and it is possible that the findings of future studies may alter this balance of evidence. The Panel recommends that Health Canada should continue to monitor the literature for emerging evidence and that it aggressively pursue scientific research aimed at clarifying the RF energy-cancer issue and at further investigating the question of electromagnetic hypersensitivity, in particular.

Within the constraints of available resources and time, the Panel reviewed the scientific literature on biological effects of radio frequency fields. This literature includes a number of reports of effects in various biological systems at exposure levels below recommended SC6 limits. In general, these reported low-level effects are often not consistent across similar studies and have no clear implications with respect to human health.

The report says that further study is needed.

PDF

Ars Technica

About Nate Hoffelder (11593 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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