Skip to comments.Some doubt safety of wireless
Posted on 03/14/2006 8:06:26 PM PST by Denver Ditdat
Wireless Internet networks are cropping up in coffee shops, campuses and even entire cities, and though you can't see or feel them, one man thinks they are dangerous.
Frederick Gilbert, president of Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada, is concerned about the radio waves that wireless systems emit and has vetoed the idea of constructing a campuswide wireless Internet network.
Like cell phones, radios and TV broadcasts, wireless networks use equipment that generate electromagnetic fields, which Gilbert said are hazardous.
Penn currently offers wireless Internet access in several buildings and plans to install the service in all college houses by this fall. Philadelphia also aims to create a citywide wireless network next year.
Gilbert, who holds a doctorate in zoology, said that people exposed to such waves may be at risk for nausea, fatigue and even brain cancer.
He said that more research must be performed before wireless networks can be considered completely risk-free.
But Andrew Newberg, a Penn Radiology professor who specializes in nuclear medicine, said that there is no clear evidence suggesting that wireless devices pose health risks. He added that more long-term studies are still needed because even mild effects could have dramatic overall consequences on the body.
Gilbert said that there are indications that exposure can create long-term problems.
"If there is definitive data that zero risk is involved, we'll certainly proceed with deployment. But the jury is still out on this one," he said.
His rejection of a wireless network comes at a time when wireless networks are proliferating in many locations, including at Penn, with little resistance from technology experts or doctors.
The widespread use of cell phones, wireless networks and other radio devices is generally accepted, said Robin Beck, vice president of Penn's Information Systems and Computing.
The available evidence doesn't show any health problems associated with using wireless phones, according to the Federal Communications Commission Web site, though it adds that there is no proof that wireless phones are absolutely safe.
Gilbert said that while he watches his students casually chat away on their cell phones, he firmly avoids using them.
Some Lakehead students who want wireless networks say Gilbert is being stingy rather than paranoid.
"Most students think it's ludicrous," said Noel Quinn, a fourth-year Lakehead engineering student. "I think the school just doesn't want to pay."
Wireless networks can come with steep price tags. Finishing its network construction is expected to cost Penn $700,000.
In the United States, the FCC regulates all devices which generate radio frequencies or microwave radiation. Before wireless networks can be constructed, facilities must undergo an evaluation for compliance with the FCC's radio-exposure guidelines.
Its guidelines for human exposure to electromagnetic fields are based on the recommendations of the National Council of Radiation Protection and Measurements and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
News flash - John Travolta has landed the coveted role of Frederick Gilbert, President of Lakehead University -
Please Freepmail me if you want to be added to or deleted from the list.
They'll soon be replacing all the "No Smoking" signs with "No Networking" signs.
Newsflash: Some doubt earth is round and the heliocentric solar system theory.
It's not as if they are transmitting 5 million watts of power, for Pete's sake. Funny, no one seems to care if they live near a TV transmitter, or microwave relay station, or under massive power lines. But Heaven forbid if they use a little
802.11 device that only carries for 300 feet maximum.
I scanned through the article pretty quickly but did not see the magic words that will immediately return us to the strictly wired universe: "Could be harmful for pregnant women and thier babies."
These idiots worried about radio waves have been around for awhile. Same mentality as loons who think that somebody is sending subliminal messages through radio waves. They belong in mental institutions.
Hmmm - years and years ago I used to engineer as an undergrad for WXPN AM and FM "The Radio Voice of the University of Pennsylvania" - we had limited-power AM transmitters located around campus and the only danger I recall from that setup was that once in awhile the signal would hop to the trolley wires and broadcast to parts of Philly where it wasn't supposed to be - can't believe that wireless internet would be more hazardous.......
Put on a Tinfoil hat.:)
Time to get the tinfoil hat. :)
Time to get the tinfoil hat. :)
Every Canadian knows what a joke Lakehead U is...
Sunlight is dangerous... So what?
More MSM alarmism. Holding a cell phone next to your brain is far more dangerous than a lousy 100 milliwatt signal 30 feet away.
Tinfoil hats dont work. You need EMF protective clothing.
I will do it for a half of price, twice as good and safe even to idiot scientwists. Stuck on ssssstooopid with pH Duuuuh!
steve-b, who holds a degree in computer engineering, says that people exposed to such nitwittery may be at risk for bafflement, loss of composure, and even split sides.
Originally, I thought that Frederick Gilbert would have no reason to hold a cell phone next to his brain, but then I remembered that he talks out his ass.
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