Saturday, May 12, 2012

Frightening Fact 4: the experts don't agree

Well, actually they do. Of course, they word things cautiously, but basically they tell us that they think Wi-Fi is safe.

The UK's Health Protection Agency says"the HPA does not consider there to be a problem with the safety of WLAN."

The World Health Organisation which  in 1996 launched a large, multidisciplinary research effort, The International EMF Project "bringing together current knowledge and available resources of key international and national agencies and scientific institutions"says: "Despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals. Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields."

Canada Santé says, "Levels of radiofrequency energy emitted from Wi-Fi equipment are typically well below these safety limits. As long as exposure is below these established limits, there is no convincing scientific evidence that this equipment is dangerous to schoolchildren or to Canadians in general."

Or, in French:
 « Le niveau d'énergie des fréquences radio qu'émettent les systèmes Wi-Fi est généralement très en-deçà du seuil recommandé. Dans la mesure où l'exposition est inférieure au seuil prescrit, aucune donnée scientifique probante ne permet d'établir que ces systèmes sont dangereux pour les élèves ou pour les Canadiens en général. »

The Fondation Santé et RadioFrequences says, « Les études menées jusqu'à aujourd'hui n'ont permis d'identifier aucun impact des radiofréquences sur la santé en deçà [des limites de puissance légales]. »

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Your ignorance amuses me

On a frigid and snowy winter day Mulla Nasruddin was having a chat with some of his friends in the local coffee house. Nasruddin said that cold weather did not bother him, and in fact, he could stay, if necessary, all night without any heat.
- We'll take you up on that, Nasruddin, they said. If you stand all night in the village square without warming yourself by any external means, each of us will treat you to a sumptuous meal. But if you fail to do so, you will treat us all to dinner.
 - All right it's a bet, Nasruddin said.

That very night, Nasruddin stood in the village square till morning despite the bitter cold. In the morning, he ran triumphantly to his friends and told them that they should be ready to fulfill their promise.
 - But as a matter of fact you lost the bet, Nasruddin , said one of them. At about midnight, just before I went to sleep, I saw a candle burning a window about three hundred yards away from where you were standing. That certainly means that you warmed yourself by it.
- That's ridiculous, Nasruddin said. How can a candle behind a window warm a person three hundred yards away?
All his protestations were to no avail, and it was decided that Nasruddin had lost the bet. Nasruddin accepted the verdict and invited all of them to a dinner that night at his home.
They all arrived on time, laughing and joking, anticipating the delicious meal Nasruddin was going to serve them. But dinner was not ready. Nasruddin told them that it would be ready in a short time, and left the room to prepare the meal. A long time passed, and still no dinner was served. Finally, getting impatient and very hungry, the guests went into the kitchen to see if there was any food cooking at all. What they saw, they could not believe. Nasruddin was standing by a huge cauldron, suspended from the ceiling. There was a lighted candle under the cauldron.
- Be patient my friends, Nasruddin told them. Dinner will be ready soon. You see it is cooking.
- Are you out of your mind, Nasruddin? they shouted. How could you with such a tiny flame boil such a large pot?
- Your ignorance of such matters amuses me, Nasruddin said. If the flame of a candle behind a window three hundred yards away can warm a person, surely the same flame will boil this pot which is only three inches away.

Frightening Fact 3: People ignore warnings when it suits them

Take the case of Alice Stewart, who in the 1950s tried to discover why young children were being increasingly threatened by an certain kind of leukaemia.

She and her team visited all 203 public health departments around Britain to obtain details of every child who had died of leukaemia between 1953 and 1955. As part of the survey, a questionnaire was sent to the mothers of these children as well as to the mothers of children in two control groups - children who had died of other cancers, and children who were alive and well. The interviews with mothers covered topics including consumption of various food items, maternal age, birth rank and social class, pregnancy illnesses, drugs, x-rays; postnatal infections, inoculations, parent's occupations, family histories of cancer.

What she found in 1958 was evidence that foetal irradiation was a major cause. X-rays were associated with about one child death per week.

But, what was the reaction? The official line was that there was a threshold beneath which x-rays were safe. Alice Stewart's results were viewed with scepticism. Her funding was cut. Doctors went on x-raying pregnant women right into the 1980s, even though it doubled the chance of a childhood cancer. It took a long time for Alice Stewart's work to be proved true.

- o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o -

So, yes, it's right for people to be able to challenge received wisdom, and sometimes such challenges are wrongly ignored.

But how does this compare with our case, the case of microwaves?

Remember firstly that Alice Stewart found results that were instantly recognisable from her survey - a very clear link. Studies into microwaves have found no clear link to ill health.

And the reason why is obvious from a little scientific background.

The energy of an x-ray photon is in the region of 120 keV.

The energy of a microwave photon is in the region of 120 µeV.

That first unit is a kilo electron volt. Kilo = a thousand. The second unit is a micro electron volt. Micro = a millionth. So we have a difference in order of magnitude of a billion.

What can we compare that to? Lets say a whale at 200 tonnes and some plankton at 0.2 grams. They have a difference in order of magnitude of a billion too. Yes the x-ray photon is like a whale and the microwave is like the plankton. One you wouldn't notice if it swam against you. The other would be more dramatic.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Frightening Fact 2: But Wi-Fi uses the same microwaves that you use in your microwave oven!

(Would you put your head in a microwave oven?? Would you?)

A microwave puts out 800-1000Watts,  but a WiFi base station only uses 0.1Watt.


There is another option. Use Wi-Fi, but protect from it. There are all sorts of scientifically-designed products.

How about a spray?
"Made from moonlight, cyclamen essence in vitalised water, this spray is for those who are negatively affected by electro magnetic frequencies (EMFs)."
This Shinju Binchotan Radiation-Shielding Bracelet  will also keep back the potentially harmful stuff:

Need more coverage? How about a silver lined tank top?

Tank Top
"This silver-plated, stretchable, washable nylon mesh is electrically conductive. It provides EMF radiation protection by reflection. Fabric provides up to 35dB of shielding at 100 MHz. Made in USA. Surround what you want to protect!"
Which may extend to boxer shorts. Good RF shielding with cotton and Silver fabric. Elastic waist band. Fly front with 1 button. 


or gloves...

Shielded Gloves

I'm sure it's all very effective.

Like  Nasreddin keeping tigers away.

One of the neighbours found Nasreddin scattering crumbs all around his house.
"Why are you doing that?" he asked.
"I'm keeping the tigers away," replied Nasreddin.
"But there aren't any tigers around here," said the neighbour.
"That's right," said Nasreddin. "You see how well it works?"

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Frightening Fact Number 1: WiFi is radiation!

But what kind of radiation?

Wi-Fi uses a frequency of 2.4Ghz. These are microwaves, down below infra-red on this diagram of the electromagnetic spectrum.

All of these different frequencies are radiation. Some are dangerous. Radiation on the high-frequency and short-wavelength end of the electromagnetic spectrum is called "ionising" — high frequency ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays—are ionizing because photons at this end of the spectrum have high energy and can do a lot of damage. That's why we put sun cream on.

Visible light radiation has less energy, infra-red even less and microwaves and radio waves even less.

We wouldn't really worry about putting another light on. And yet microwaves have a lot less energy than visible light.

A meeting with Nasrudin

One day people came across Nasruddin pouring the last bit of his yoghurt into the lake.
"Nasruddin , what are you doing? "someone asked.
"I am turning the lake into yoghurt," Nasruddin replied.
 "How can a little bit of yoghurt do anything to all this water?" the man asked.
 "I know, I know, it's not supposed to," Nasruddin replied," but what if it did...?"