Is Wi-Fi safe?

by Ranabir Bhattacharyya | 28 MAY 2018

is wi fi safe
 Image used for representational purpose only

Wi-Fi has become an integral part of modern life. One can get online from a coffee shop or shopping mall or even from the living room. With Wi-Fi, one doesn't necessarily need a desktop or laptop connected to the internet. Does the convenience come with a price? There are various aspects of Wi-Fi. Just like the wireless signals, the electromotive forces (EMFs) can pass through walls. As people don't generally turn off routers at night, there is constant exposure to these electromagnetic radiations. Quite naturally, in urban domain, people are exposed to multiple router networks. Anyhow there are rather extreme opinions with Wi-Fi and its possible impact on human beings.


Theoretically speaking, Wi-Fi operates in the 2 to 5 GHz range which invariably includes part of the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The specific spectrum is not different from what cell phones or mobile phones operate. These radio waves have a frequency lower than visible light and can be safely termed as non-ionization radiation. As of now, there is no radiobiological reference or association in this regard. However, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers wireless radiation as a class 2B possible carcinogen due to limited evidence. Thus many people opine of the fact that Wi-Fi can eventually progress into diseases like cancer and neurodegenerative diseases after long-term exposure. Anyhow, the conclusive remark is still a far way to mention whether Wi-Fi is bad for health or not.


According to Dr. P.R. Krishnan, Consultant Neurologist, Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore,” The literature on the effects of Wi-Fi on human health has been confusing. Major literature from non-profit publications has revealed the following effects of W-Fi exposure:  Insomnia, Nausea,  fatigue,  may affect fertility,  promotes obesity,  affects blood pressure, may cause headaches, neuropsychiatric disorder, blurred vision and other symptoms.


Many news publications including Telegraph have run stories warning about the risks associated with WIFI usage, but it’s not really an increased cancer risk, here’s why:


Humans have been exposed to man-made radio frequency radiation for over 100 years and have always been exposed to cosmic background radiation. However, there is no evidence of any increased incidence of cancers. There is also a popular misconception regarding Wi-Fi routers that their wireless routers are constantly sending and receiving information. In reality, these devices actually transmit just 0.1% of the time and go up if someone is streaming video. Otherwise, the router is simply sitting idle. Altogether, it is too early to predict the direct relationship between constant Wi-Fi usage and cancer risk of any human being.

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