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Your wireless router may be killing you April 23, 2007

Posted by Al in : scary,science , trackback

There are always arguments for, and against the ill effects of various forms of electromagnetic radiation. Some arguments even have evidence, although often conflicting and opposite evidence that helps support whichever point of view is currently being argued. However, senior British scientists are now weighing in on the side against radiation, and the mobile phone and WiFi booms are what’s worrying them both.

This article, from The Independent, uses one of the older studies from Finland, which shows an increased rate of brain tumours in those that use mobile phones regularly. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen another study which then showed absolutely no increased risk for heavy mobile users, but maybe that was paid for by the mobile phone companies. The article also brings in the arguments about radio masts and electricity pylons, which I really don’t worry about that much. But there is one point made which makes me wonder whether there may be some merit to the argument against radiation: we are currently living in an environment containing up to one billion times more radiation than life has ever had to deal with in the past. And this massive increase in radiation would only have come about in roughly the last 100 years, which is not a lot of time for our bodies to react and evolve to deal with this radiation.

I know that without the Earth’s magnetic field deflecting the Sun’s radiation there would be little, or no chance of life on this planet. (One of the reasons Mars is so barren is that it doesn’t have much of a magnetosphere, which has let the solar wind rip it’s atmosphere away.) And I’m also aware that one of the greatest dangers facing astronauts is this solar radiation; so much so that the Space Station has a specially hardened room they can retreat to if the sun starts to erupt more than usual. Admittedly the biggest danger of this solar radiation comes from large particles, however the broad electromagnetic component cannot be too good for you. Since all our ancestors were protected from this radiation for so long by our magnetosphere, maybe exposing ourselves to massive amounts of “electromagnetic smog” is not such a good idea. I’m really not sure about this, so I’ll just carry on using my wireless router and my mobile phone (which also has WiFi), and just let the low grade worrying that will probably be going on in my subconscious kill me with stress, instead.


1. y - April 30, 2007

You are so clueless. The magnetosphere doesn’t deflect electromagnetic radiation, otherwise we would not see the Sun (light is electromagnetic radiation).

2. Al - April 30, 2007

Clueless, eh?!?!

You’re probably right – maybe the Magnetosphere mainly deflects charged particles, however it must have some effect on electromagnetic radiation as well (the clue is in the name, really).