The science of wifi health risks

While the vast majority of us are at this point quite content to enjoy the high convenience that wifi affords our active lives, most of us remain unaware of the actual impact wifi has on our health. According to an assessment by Health Ambition, science has provided evidence to support both sides of the argument for scaling back our use of wifi (Health Ambition, 2015). While some studies claim there is little to no evidence of its harmful effects, others warn of risks as serious as brain cancer and tumours. So then, what are the actual risks, and how do we proceed?

What exactly is wifi?

Wifi, or wireless fidelity, refers to a wireless internet connection that uses 2.4 GHz Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and 5 GHz Super High Frequency (SHF) radio waves. Both can be blocked by physical structures like hills, but can still transmit through walls. Any wireless local area network product must meet IEEE’s 802.11 standards, and products that pass are cleared for use, including: personal computers, smart phones, etc (Wikipedia, 2017). Unlike wired products that employ a physical connection such as an ethernet, wireless products use non-ionizing microwaves which are not considered strong enough to cause real damage. Some researchers, however, disagree.

What effect can wifi have on the human body?

While there are studies that conclude potential cancer risk from long-term cell phone use (due to its proximity to our heads), there is no evidence that points to wifi being an equal risk. The consensus holds that long-term use of low exposure wifi is relatively harmless. Nonetheless, possible short-term symptoms of wifi exposure include: headaches, memory loss, irritability, digestive problems, and an irregular heart rate, while possible long-term symptoms include: links to cancer, neurological illnesses, brain function changes, and irritable bowel disease. Whatever the risks, limiting your wifi exposure and leading a healthy life can make all the difference!

References:

Sanders, H. (2015). “Are There Any Wifi Health Risks?” Health Ambition. Retrieved from: https://www.healthambition.com/wifi-health-risks/
Wikipedia (2017). “IEEE 802.11″ Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11

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