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    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012 edited
     
    I spent a lot of years worrying about exposure to emfs but I have recently decided (for a trial period) to turn on the WiFi at my router so that my son can use facebook from his pda without going on a big computer. Do forum users think that WiFi is a danger as background exposure?
    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012 edited
     
    Just found this as part of a longer diatribe on the subject. Sounds convincing:

    Why Wireless Connections Are Harmful
    There are two potentially harmful mechanisms in which Wi-Fi users, including school children, may be harmed. The first mechanism involves the exposure to radiation from the distance or proximity of the user to the computer monitor. This form of exposure originates from the electromagnetic field being given off by the monitor itself and has nothing to do with the wireless connection. Electromagnetic radiation is given off by the computer screen regardless of whether the connection is wired or wireless. Any and all computer screens produce electromagnetic radiation. These electromagnetic fields can be substantial in strength and can reach levels much higher than the 1 milligauss (1 mG) threshold level of exposure recommended by experts as being safe. Such a field can easily be measured with an inexpensive instrument called a gauss meter.

    The second mechanism of harm comes from the radiation or radio wave itself. The wireless signal, oscillating at 2.4 to 5 GHz, moves much too fast for the body to recognize. So this wave isn’t doing the damage. However, anytime any data or information is transmitted, say through our voice, through text messages or through the sending of information, the data is packaged and “piggy-backed” onto the first wave. This creates a second carrier wave and this wave is called the information- carrying radio wave, or ICRW. It is the information-carrying radio wave that is producing the harm. Here’s how this happens.

    This second carrier wave, or ICRW, oscillates in a much lower Hertz (Hz) range that is easily recognized by the body. When the ICRW comes in contact with the body the body recognizes this wave and responds to it as if this carrier wave were some type of foreign invader. When this happens certain physiologic changes occur which are very significant. First, at the cellular level, the cell membrane becomes hard and inflexible. This occurs because the active transport channels shut down as the cell goes into a protection mode. This hardening effect of the cell membrane also causes the cell to lose its permeability, meaning needed nutrients can’t get inside the cell where they are needed. In other words, the cell doesn’t get nourished.

    http://www.holistichealthsecrets.com/alternativehealth/main-content/wi-fi-and-wi-max-why-you-shouldnt-use-them/
    •  
      CommentAuthorJSHarris
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012 edited
     
    Absolute, unscientific, baseless tosh, I'm afraid.

    I spent some time running a research establishment that did a fair bit of work on RF exposure and the effect on the human body. After exhaustive testing we concluded that there were some reasons to suggest that the UK/EU RF exposure limits might be set at a level that is slightly too high, but only by at most an order of magnitude, and even then no ill heath effects could be found - we were primarily following the precautionary principle and suggesting a limit we knew beyond doubt to be safe.

    Wifi levels are millions of times lower than even our ultra-conservative findings.................

    Most of that stuff quoted is mumbo-jumbo pseudo science, I'm afraid, and seems to be snipping bits from the 1950s/60s Russian work on cell-level observations (at field strengths way above wifi levels) that we double checked as part of our research in 1997/98.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012
     
    Yep
    All been looked at before, along with living near power cables, mobile phone masts, TV and Radio transmitters (though Radar was good for keeping warm, leading to the microwave oven).

    Wish it was true, could save on heating, just stand between the router and the PC, download a movie and feel all warm :cool:
    • CommentAuthorTimber
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012 edited
     
    Well if WIFI and 3G networks cause problems for humans, I am screwed! (Sat here, with my laptop running, 3 feet away from my mobile boardband (3G/GPRS) WIFI roughter. In the office I am surrounded by by computers, WIFI, 3G, GPRS etc. I can't get away from it!)

    These days, you seem to be able to 'get' cancer from everything, so we are all doomed anyway!
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012
     
    Posted By: TimberThese days, you seem to be able to 'get' cancer from everything, so we are all doomed anyway!

    Yet the life expectancy of the nation has increased by about 20 years over the last 50 (though the rate is slowing now)
    I do miss E numbers, in the 70's and 80's I was full of beans in the afternoons after lunch, now I just want a nap.
    • CommentAuthorTimber
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012
     
    ^ are you sure that is not just a side effect of age :devil:
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012 edited
     
    How can it be, was told that when I was older I could stay up later, lies, lies lies :shocked:
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012 edited
     
    Oh yes, that one about staying up later! With two sprogs I've got to be in bed before 10pm.

    Keith: JSH is completely right. These sort of stories are dreamed up by people, well-meaning or otherwise, who found maths and science at school boring and think that woolly feelings inside are a reliable substitute. Sorry, but no. You should see the Feedback page in the back of the New Scientist for more "fruit-loopery" in this vein.

    The word "tosh" is on the mark.

    Mobile phones pressed to your ear have field strengths far far higher than WiFi a few feet away from you. And so do leaks from your microwave oven, at a wild guess. The fact that mobiles and microwave ovens don't kill people outright is a strong clue that WiFi isn't any sort of risk at all, well no higher than exposure to dihydrogen monoxide falling from the sky; nasty stuff.

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012
     
    Don't listen to them Keith! We're doomed. We're all DOOMED, I tell you. :devil:

    :crazy::crazy::crazy:
    •  
      CommentAuthorJSHarris
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012 edited
     
    FWIW, following our work on looking at possible portable radio/mobile phone field strength effects we did conclude that there was a very tiny possibility of some measurable short term biological effect (at the cellular level) from the RF field strength of a mobile phone held tight to the skull when at maximum distance from a base station (mobile phones adjust their transmit power automatically, so transmit maximum power when at maximum usable range from a cell tower) for long periods of time. Even then we couldn't find any evidence to support any impact on health, good or bad.

    Personally, I tend to not use my mobile phone close to my head for long periods, just to be ultra-safe, but then a mobile phone signal is massively stronger than that from a wifi network - the RF field strength from a mobile phone held close to your head is many thousands of times stronger than that from a wifi router in the same room.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012
     
    My Mother still shouts down a phone, so never hold it close when she is on the line (or lineless I suppose we should call it now)
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012
     
    Just realised I'm sitting here with my hand on a wireless mouse typing on a wireless keyboard waiting for my mobile to ring. Every time I move my arm the wireless PIR sensor on the wall behind me transmits to the wireless buglar alarm in the cuboard. My wife has just arrived home and I think she accidentally zapped me with the wireless key fob for the car.

    Do you think if I use a black desktop image on my computer monitor instead of the blue one supplied by Microsoft I might live longer?

    :wink:
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012 edited
     
    You could try a tinfoil hat (not recommended when walking near drunken yoofs, I find a traffic cone better then)

    I got the Bluetooth dongle thing in my pocket, its not plugged into anything but:

    Dear Doctor
    I carry a bluetooth phone in my front trouser pocket and my girlfriend has just said she is having a baby, would that have been caused by the texts she gets off her ex.....
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeApr 17th 2012
     
    Or better still

    How many of us have tripped of a wire on the floor :shocked:
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012 edited
     
    Posted By: Timberif WIFI and 3G networks cause problems for humans, I am screwed!
    Yes you indeed are, we all are - old age will show the effect of a lifetime of homeostatic over-efforting that our immune systems are called upon to provide.

    Posted By: JSHarrisAbsolute, unscientific, baseless tosh, I'm afraid.
    You're too quick to say that, ST likewise. Every paradigm change in history is preceded by such statements; hitherto from stalwarts of organised religion, nowadays from true believers in the religion of Scientism. The meaning of the same data, the same honest research, can change over time. On a different level, look at Dr Feist's 25yr old conclusion that only insulation and airtightness matter, which remains dogma in the PH world, despite new perspectives on the possibility and practicality of serious solar capture, and the disappearance of 'accidental' heat gains, both of which PH almost ignore, with religiously indignant defence by its trained accolytes.

    There are factors at work, which Science may admit exist (indeed are pervasive), but aren't 'scientifcally' quantifiable, therefore true scientists must ignore or risk ridicule from their peers. The first is Intentionality (which is the v first thing that Scientific Method eliminates as 'bias') but is actually what makes human existence function. You can be bathed in background radiation and your homeostatic system either ignores it, adapts to it or works hard to counteract. But when you add a bit more of the same more or less consciously, then the whole body system is alert to that bit. At that point, the weaker the signal, the more potent, as the body goes into resonance/matching mode in order to identify this signal it's detecting. As the signal gets too weak for 'passive' identification, then the body has to postulate signals from its own experience, until a resonance-amplified match is obtained. Being forced into such active participation with the signal, the body is v open to its effects, compared to vastly greater quantities of the same signal washing through un-noticed. This is the basis of homeopathic potentisation by dilution. And homeopathy can be just as readily administered as an electromagnetic signal, as it can by a minute dose of a substance

    I know I'm wasting my breath in saying this, but it's an example of how this generation of scientists can confidently miss the wood for the trees, which a following generation will see with new perspective. This generation will implicitly assume that 'lower dose = lower effect'
    Posted By: JSHarriswork on RF exposure and the effect on the human body ... we concluded that there were some reasons to suggest that the UK/EU RF exposure limits might be set at a level that is slightly too high
    when the next may discover that below a certain threshold the reverse becomes true.

    Posted By: DamonHDpeople, well-meaning or otherwise, who found maths and science at school boring and think that woolly feelings inside are a reliable substitute
    I found science fascinating, as a 'visual' person, tho hated the abstractions of maths for same reason, and consider that my inklings 'inside' about the cosmos are far from wooly - it's the rotweiller-poverty of the brainwashed research-technicians who call themselves scientists, that annoy me, as spewed out in
    Posted By: DamonHDthe Feedback page in the back of the New Scientist for more "fruit-loopery" in this vein.
  1.  
    We've been bathed in electromagnetic radiation for as long as we've been on this planet. The levels vary enourmously depending upon whether its day or night, inside or outside, the phase of the solar cycle, etc.

    We've been transmitting radio & TV signals for a century or more. In some cases the signal strengths are relatively high, e.g. next to a regional TV transmitter, near Radio 4's Droitwich LW transmitter or with a mobile phone to the side of the head. In other cases the signal strengths are relatively low, e.g. distant radio stations or wi-fi boxes in other houses.

    I'm aware of a lot of work being done on high field strengths, e.g. specific absorption ratio in the case of mobile phones. Its quite feasible to construct a room which is completely free of electromagnetic fields & just introduce a controlled source of radiation. Has anyone done any work to look at the effects of low field strengths?

    David
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012
     
    In such an experiment, forget double-blind - double-blind is the problem, not part of the answer. The subject wd need to be aware that he's being irradiated otherwise it might go right past him as per usual. That's exactly why 'scientific method' consistently refutes the postulate in such experiments.

    In fact awareness alone of such radiation might get same result even when in fact the researcher has switched it off! Don't call it Placebo (veiled insult) - call it Intentionality (powerful and useful!).
    •  
      CommentAuthorJSHarris
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: fostertom</cite>

    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: JSHarris</cite>Absolute, unscientific, baseless tosh, I'm afraid.</blockquote>You're too quick to say that, ST likewise. Every paradigm change in history is preceded by such statements; hitherto from stalwarts of organised religion, nowadays from true believers in the religion of Scientism. The meaning of the same data, the same honest research, can change over time. </blockquote>

    A bit of background. Our work came about as a consequence of concern being expressed about possible unknown health impacts from the increased use of portable radio equipment, including mobile phones. The research we did started from the view that the old model of determining the safety (or otherwise) of any RF emitting equipment by measuring its ability to raise the internal temperature of an biological organism above a given level might not hold true. The question was first asked back when the former Soviet Union work on cell-level changes that had been observed in the presence of lower RF field strengths was published.

    We started from a position where we were openly sceptical of the current safety limits, if you like, and we did get a fair bit of flack (particularly from mobile phone companies) for even daring to question the accepted wisdom re: allowable safe limits for exposure.

    We tried extremely hard to detect changes in cells from RF exposure, and repeated some of the work the Russians had originally done, with similar results. We did find that some mobile phones could theoretically produce fairly high field strengths in the region of the skull around the ear, under certain conditions we suspect these levels may have been close to, or even slightly exceeded, the safe limit for continuous exposure.

    We did find that mobile phones and portable radios created local RF field strengths in the human body that were orders of magnitude greater than those from any other source, due to the proximity of the antenna to the body.

    RF field strength falls very rapidly with distance from the antenna, so, for example, a 1 watt mobile phone signal (and it's quite rare for a mobile to operate at a power as high as 1 W, it will normally modulate the transmit power down to a much lower level if it's within reasonable range of a cell tower) at a distance of 50 mm has a field strength of around 140 V/m, but move the phone to a distance of just 1 metre away and the field strength drops to about 7 V/m, a reduction of around 95%. At a distance of 5 metres the field strength has dropped to about 1.4 V/m, or about 1% of the field strength when held close to your head and at 10 m the field strength is down to about 0.7 V/m, or about 0.5% of that when held close to your head.

    A wifi router has an EIRP of not more than 100 mW when actually transmitting data (many are actually a bit lower than this, plus they don't transmit data all the time - a laptop is typically around 30 mW maximum, for example). For the same distances as the example above, here are the approximate field strengths:

    1 m from the router antenna ~ 1.7 V/m
    5 m from the router antenna ~ 0.34 V/m
    10 m from the router antenna ~ 0.17 V/m

    Background RF field strength, from the sun and all the other big natural RF emitters in space, is much lower, around 1 pW average at the Earth's surface, but it is present all the time and over a very wide frequency spectrum, so the total "dose" is quite high, through life. Like pretty much any radiation (or medicine or poison, come to that), any effect of non-ionising radiation is probably dose-specific, so duration of exposure is as important as the magnitude of the field when looking at possible biological effects. Given the natural wide variation in RF field strength from the sun, in particular (it varies by an order of magnitude or more through the suns natural cycle), and given that we see no noticeable correlation between the suns natural 11 year cycle and health impact on the human race, it seems reasonable to conclude that any such effects are small and don't present a significant health risk.

    Of course, if you believe that something has an effect on health, then in all probability it will. As has been shown many times, the power of the human mind to create physical symptoms when it believes in something is quite remarkable. It doesn't mean that the thing in question is good or bad though!
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012
     
    Posted By: DamonHDdihydrogen monoxide falling from the sky; nasty stuff

    You do realize that a fraction of the dihydrogen monoxide is actually extra heavy? So your tinfoil hat should be at least two layers thick. But I'm sure that the threat posed by the small amount that is radioactive is overstated.
    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012
     
    Thanks for all the feedback. largely as expected. Society does not go backwards and I think too many consumers are in too deep now to be able to reverse out.

    Schools will be the battleground to watch I guess.

    From my own perspective I have decided to turn it back off actually encouraged by my son after we both spent a bit of time researching on the web. Will adopt a cautionary approach. Meaning that I will switch it on occasionally and temporarily 'as and when needed'.

    We should not forget that the green movement was born out of the concept of precaution!

    To answer Davidfreeborough. We used to publish quite a lot on EMFs in the mag but it does not seem to be much of interest any more as it entails serious self-denial of gadgetry and technology. I thought cancers were on the increase not decrease? The only advances surely are that they have discovered ways of keeping people that have cancer alive for longer. And what about illnesses such as dementia where the causes are still as yet largely unknown.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012
     
    Posted By: GBP-KeithI thought cancers were on the increase not decrease?
    five-fold - now why could that be?
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012
     
    Posted By: JSHarrisLike pretty much any radiation (or medicine or poison, come to that), any effect of non-ionising radiation is probably dose-specific
    What if it's not, in fact sometimes, smaller the dose bigger the effect e.g. by the mechanism I outlined? Wd that change anything?
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012
     
    Much more likely to be pertinent to cancer death figures per capita is that we're living long enough to be affected by them and not killed by famine or infectious disease first (etc).

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence fostertom.

    Rgds

    Damon
    •  
      CommentAuthorJSHarris
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012 edited
     
    The really big challenge is proving causality, particularly where any impact on health is involved. I've always kept an open mind on health-related issues, because there have been far too many cases in medicine, in particular, where cause and effect have been incorrectly linked. As ST is fond of saying, "correlation does not demonstrate causality", yet we hear time and time again of people who do exactly this, particularly when it comes to diagnosing illness.

    FWIW I too take a precautionary approach to RF emissions, I tend to avoid using my mobile phone, try to use it hands free when possible (which keeps the field strength right down around me) and I've always had a healthy respect for high powered transmitters, ever since working in an office that looked out on an airfield radar and being able to actually hear the radar PRF inside my head every time it swept around!

    However, I've worked with a lot of people who were exposed to high RF field strengths for significant parts of their lives, and, unscientific as it seems, I can't see any difference between their health and those of friends who've not worked in such an environment.

    When it comes to gadgets like wifi, Bluetooth, cordless accessories etc, then the field strengths are so tiny as to be negligible when compared to the big emitters around. For example, if you were to stand 15 m away from a 400 kV power transmission line, then the field strength would be around 1100 V/m, which makes the paltry figures from even a mobile phone held right against your head pale into insignificance (for comparison, a mobile phone at 15 m and 1 W is less than 0.5 V/m). Stand close to a big surveillance radar and you may well see field strengths many times greater than this.

    Given that any health effect will almost certainly be dose-related, as I mentioned above, we should expect to see clusters of any adverse effects close to every high field strength location, yet years of analysis has failed to show any statistically relevant correlation to all emitters, let alone a causal link. The statistics of disease and ill health make things hard to analyse, anyway, I've been told (by my ex-boss who was an epidemiologist), because they are naturally "lumpy". Genetic predisposition, rather unsurprisingly, has a strong geographical correlation, making it very hard to determine cause with certainty, unless the link is fairly strong.
    • CommentAuthordickster
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012
     
    But I wonder if the sharp decline in bird population could somehow be linked to our flooding the airwaves with stuff?
  2.  
    Posted By: fostertom
    Posted By: GBP-KeithI thought cancers were on the increase not decrease?
    five-fold - now why could that be?

    "The number of global cancer deaths is projected to increase 45% from 2007 to 2030 (from 7.9 million to 11.5 million deaths), influenced in part by an increasing and aging global population"

    http://www.who.int/features/qa/15/en/index.html

    The rate of population growth over this period is similar:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population

    David
    •  
      CommentAuthorJSHarris
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: dickster</cite>But I wonder if the sharp decline in bird population could somehow be linked to our flooding the airwaves with stuff?</blockquote>

    More likely to be big (man-made) changes in habitat, significant increases in the populations of predators, the effect of changes in weather, the impact on migratory species of changes in other countries.

    Mind you, a neighbour of mine many years ago (who kept pigeons) reckoned that the craze for CB radio in the early 80's was the reason he was losing so many of his racing birds - he believed that the CB radio transmissions stopped his birds homing. He got quite upset with me when I mentioned that raptor populations in the area had increased a fair bit and might just be a more straightforward reason for him losing birds............
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012
     
    Posted By: fostertom
    Posted By: JSHarrisAbsolute, unscientific, baseless tosh, I'm afraid.
    You're too quick to say that, ST likewise.


    Even if WiFi is a danger to health that particular article/explanation for how it might happen is rubbish.
    • CommentAuthorSeret
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2012
     
    Posted By: GBP-KeithDo forum users think that WiFi is a danger as background exposure?


    Nope. It's pretty low power stuff. You're in more danger from the spoons in your kitchen. One of them could be nasty if you tripped and poked one in your eye.
   
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