Tuesday, 18 June 2019
MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEPLOYMENT NEWS, ISSUES AND SCIENCE

Australian expert says there is a fundamental lack of mechanisms whereby Wi-Fi could cause harm


Armstrong2
              Professor Bruce Armstrong

Concerns about Wi-Fi and its impact on our health has been raised and debated by parenting groups and health organisations worldwide but public health and cancer expert Professor Bruce Armstrong has told the ABC there is no need for concern.
 
“The evidence that there are health effects are just not there and the levels of exposure are very low,” Professor Armstrong told ABC Tropical North in a recent radio interview.
 
He says of all common communication technology – including mobiles, televisions and radio – Wi-Fi has the lowest environmental exposure levels.
 
“So of all of the things that they looked at – from FM broadcast, TV broadcast, mobile phones and Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi was by far and away the lowest level of exposure,” Professor Armstrong said.
 
Concerns about high traffic levels in a full classroom will not drastically change these levels, he said.
 
“Because of the way a Wi-Fi router regulates the traffic to and fro between it and people using the Wi-Fi, in practice the level of exposure that a whole class full of people all using their laptops at the same time communicating with the same Wi-Fi network gets to is really very much limited by the capacity of the system,” Professor Armstrong said.
 
“If you had everybody in that room trying to download files or upload files simultaneously at the same time, the total level of exposure would still be less than that from a mobile phone.”
 
The public concerns expressed about the health effects of Wi-Fi are common everyday health concerns, he said.
 
“The concerns mostly expressed are about very common health effects and they are things like sleep disturbance, difficulty concentrating, palpitations, headaches and fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression, stress, dizziness and so on ...things that are very common and rather non-specific,” Professor Armstrong said.
 
Professor Armstrong explained there was a lack of quality research in this area because there was no known mechanism for how they caused harm which reduced the interest of quality researchers.
 
“A lot of that work is not particularly well done often because it is done by people who have a particular interest in finding some result and usually they don't have strong scientific backgrounds,” Professor Armstrong said.
 
“And people with strong scientific backgrounds are not motivated to do that research because of the fundamental lack of a mechanism whereby radio frequency exposure at the levels that you get from Wi-Fi could cause any harm.”
 
“Scientists like to have a hypothesis that has some support”.

 

Published 29/05/2014

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