An interesting discussion is emerging (finally) in regards to the safety of wifi. An article, published by Mobile Tech Today brings to light the safety issues surrounding those short wavelengths that seem to have us all in awe.
Headaches, fatigue and irritability were the main concerns. One person in the article went as far to say that one should not install new wireless lans in an office, if it does not already exist. Although there is some caveat in regards to distances from nodes.
My take on this is quite simple. I use wireless access, but only minimally. Mainly because of my fear of intracellular damage. However, I must preface this by stating that I used wireless access minimally. I now find myself using it a lot more due to the fact that it is convenient and so readily available. However, I prefer to use Bluetooth as opposed to 802.11(a-g). This is mainly for security reasons and due to the fact that bluetooth lan shuts off once it has stopped transmitting. It is only on when it is transmitting or receiving information.
But having access via my Palm is one thing. Here I am willingly using the machine. But being an unwilling recipient of radiowaves is quite a different matter. Placing repeaters and nodes all over an office is something completely different. Most of the staff, patients etc., didn't ask to be bombarded by our radio waves and actually are unwilling guinea pigs in our high tech race. San Francisco has been having a field day putting nodes in small places to blend in with the environment. Some people are in an uproar over the entire audacity of company owners placing these devices in areas where we cannot see them, exposing unwilling recipients to wifi radiation.
To me, the genie is out of the bottle. You cannot go back and decide to hardwire everything. It would cost a lot more than money to attempt such a pullback. Perhaps we can take a cue from the cellphone industry. After all, when we talk about short wavelengths, the cell phone industry is the model that most people assume that we are talking about. Over the past twenty years, the cell phone industry has been fighting a winning battle convincing the public that cellphones are safe. They are winning because of the sheer number of people using cell phones today, with no appreciable increase in brain cancer rates. Ubiquity aside, the industry introduced -- although with great reluctance -- an SAR system to measure effective radiation levels of exposure to individuals. Such a system does not seem to be in place for our bluetooth or wifi counterparts. Additionally, the cell phone companies have been mandated to place their antennae well above the ground, away from people. Although I cannot understand why anyone would put one atop their apartment or how this affects people travelling along an interstate parallel to the apex of the antenna !!!
Thus, placing a wireless repeater, node or hub well above the patient population in an office would seem to be appropriate. In most hospitals, most of these things are poking out of the ceiling. I am not sure how safe that is, but it beats hiding it behind the geraniums.
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