Wi-Fi Unsafe? Sebastopol Says So


The Council had taken under advisement earlier complaints from a number of residents who feared the radio waves would pose a health hazard to the community, according to reports. Those opposed to Wi-fi often cite "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" and other health issues they associate with the technology; last year, a program broadcast on the BBC gave momentum to those lobbying against Wi-fi.

The World Health Organization does recognize electromagnetic hypersensitivity" or EHS. Although there are recorded symptoms of the ailment, including skin afflictions (e.g., a rash) and dizziness, nausea, heart palpitation, according to a WHO fact sheet, "EHS has no clear diagnostic criteria and there is no scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF exposure. Further, EHS is not a medical diagnosis, nor is it clear that it represents a single medical problem."

On his blog, Sonic CEO Dane Jasper noted that numerous studies have shown that those symptoms are psychosomatic, and are likely a result of fear and stress. In other words, it's the fear of Wi-fi that's most harmful, rather than the technology itself, Jasper wrote.

"Wi-Fi signals are typically 0.1 watt. Compare this to the mobile phone that you keep in your pocket, which is typically three to ten times this power level," he wrote in a March 23 post. "If there was a public network, would less people spend their own money to buy and set up private access points, resulting in less Wi-Fi transmitters? If you fear Wi-Fi, a single public network might be 'better' than hundreds of independent networks!"

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