Danger On The Wireless
Airwaves: Is The Wi-Fi Revolution A Health Time Bomb? Part 1
Life Bluetube Headsets
Cell Phone Towers Health Effects
EM Field Meter
Cell Phone Sensitivity
It's on every high street and in every coffee shop and
school. But experts have serious concerns about the effects
of electronic smog from wireless networks linking our
laptops and mobiles, reports Geoffrey Lean
Being "wired-up" used to be shorthand for being at the
cutting edge, connected to all that is cool. No longer.
Wireless is now the only thing to be.
Go into a Starbucks, a hotel bar or an airport departure
lounge and you are bound to see people tapping away at their
laptops, invisibly connected to the internet. Visit friends,
and you are likely to be shown their newly installed system.
Lecture at a university and you'll find the students in your
audience tapping away, checking your assertions on the world
wide web almost as soon as you make them. And now the
technology is spreading like a Wi-Fi wildfire throughout
Britain's primary and secondary schools.
The technological explosion is even bigger than the mobile
phone explosion that preceded it. And, as with mobiles, it
is being followed by fears about its effect on health -
particularly the health of children. Recent research, which
suggests that the worst fears about mobiles are proving to
be justified, only heightens concern about the electronic
soup in which we are increasingly spending our lives.
Now, as we report today, Sir William Stewart (pictured below
right), the man who has issued the most authoritative
British warnings about the hazards of mobiles, is becoming
worried about the spread of Wi-Fi. The chairman of the
Health Protection Agency - and a former chief scientific
adviser to the Government - is privately pressing for an
official investigation of the risks it may pose.
Health concerns show no sign of slowing the wireless
expansion. One in five of all adult Britons now own a
wireless-enabled laptop. There are 35,000 public hotspots
where they can use them, usually at a price.
In the past 18 months 1.6 million Wi-Fi terminals have been
sold in Britain for use in homes, offices and a host of
other buildings. By some estimates, half of all primary
schools and four fifths of all secondary schools have
Whole cities are going wireless. First up is the genteel,
almost bucolic, burgh of Norwich, which has installed a
network covering almost the whole of its centre, spanning a
4km radius from City Hall. It takes in key sites further
away, including the University of East Anglia and a local
hospital, and will be expanded to take in rural parts of the
south of the county.
More than 200 small aerials were attached to lamp posts to
create the network, which anyone can use free for an hour.
There is nothing to stop the 1,000 people who use it each
day logging off when their time is up, and logging on again
for another costless session.
"We wanted to see if something like this could be done,"
says Anne Carey, the network's project manager. "People are
using it and finding it helpful. It is, I think, currently
the largest network of its kind."
Not for much longer. Brighton plans to launch a city-wide
network next year, and Manchester is planning one covering
over 400 square miles, providing free access to 2.2 million
So far only a few, faint warnings have been raised, mainly
by people who are so sensitised to the electromagnetic
radiation emitted by mobiles, their masts and Wi-Fi that
they become ill in its presence. The World Health
Organisation estimates that up to three out of every hundred
people are "electrosensitive" to some extent. But scientists
and doctors - and some European governments - are adding
their voices to the alarm as it becomes clear that the
almost universal use of mobile phones may be storing up
medical catastrophe for the future.
A recent authoritative Finnish study has found that people
who have used mobiles for more than ten years are 40 per
cent more likely to get a brain tumour on the same side of
the head as they hold their handset; Swedish research
suggests that the risk is almost four times as great. And
further research from Sweden claims that the radiation kills
off brain cells, which could lead to today's younger
generation going senile in their forties and fifties.
Danger On The Wireless Airwaves: Is
The Wi-Fi Revolution A Health Time Bomb?
Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou
Ireland, Dublin (City)
Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
Rochester, New York, USA
Kuwait, Kuwait (City)