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The Internet is full of "Tin foil hat" kind of people who would not dare to use a wireless setup, but as the amount of wireless networks grows, I am interested in good and objective case studies and the general attitude towards the subject.

Does your company take the possible health risks into account or is generally not being seen as a threat at all?

If you have links to good case studies or resources on this matter, please include them in your answer or add them to the aggrate list below.

Resources and relevant reads:


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Do you mean good and objective? – Jon Skeet May 6 '09 at 7:59
Haha nice one, thanks. My bad. – Aron Rotteveel May 6 '09 at 8:00
I'd suggest that the amount of soda people drink is far worse for your health than a few radio waves passing through you ;-) – csjohnst May 6 '09 at 8:09
This whole "wireless/health issues" discussion is so pointless and uninformed that it makes me cringe. But people selling esoteric stuff seem to be able to make a good living from it. :) – Tomalak May 6 '09 at 12:43
up vote 14 down vote accepted

The WHO published a report in 2006 with the following conclusion:

Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects.

I'm sure that if any convincing studies had found problems, we'd have heard an awful lot more about it. Instead, all I've ever heard about are studies not finding any effect, and studies which find an effect but then get debunked.


In most countries maximum Wi-Fi power is limited to 100 mW (0.1 watts). The power drops proportionally to the square of distance.

By comparison, cell phones are limited to some 2 W (2000 mW), and using them you hold them right by your head, and yet there isn't any proof that they do any harm.

CB radio has max output is 4-5 W (5000 mW).

More examples of output power (wiki).

As noted by X-Istence in the comments below, in all cases, this is the maximum power. Both Wi-Fi and cell phones automatically lower their power when possible.

2W is the peak output, this is generally only used to find and identify with a base station, from there the power is modulated so that the phone can stay connected but still have good battery life. Generally a phone is connected at about 500 mW. That being said, Amateur radio guys, myself included, generally will push out 5W over small hand held HAM radio devices to be able to reach repeaters and or other people, and we hold that up to our face to speak into a microphone :P – X-Istence May 6 '09 at 8:10
More on Cell phones and the amount of wireless power they may output: – X-Istence May 6 '09 at 8:12

Wireless health risks tend to be touted by the same nutters who think DNA can be supercharged, water can be infused with memory, cancer can be cured with a coffee enema, etc.

It's entertaining to take such a person and ask them to turn on their radio or older TV, switch to a channel that's getting static, and explain to them that the fuzz they're seeing/hearing is radiation coursing through their bodies from the Big Bang.


Health? If people only knew how much wireless traffic was being sent over the airwaves they would go dig a hole in the Grand Canyon and line it with lead.

As a society we are so dependent on radio signals to do our day to day jobs that adding 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi is not going to be an issue. Cell phones, police radio, satellite communications, HAM radio enthusiasts, CB radio, microwaves, cordless phones, cable networks, FM radio, just to name a few.

The US has a Frequency Allocation Chart that you may freely download and view, it contains all the various slices of bandwidth that are available, who is allowed to use them, and for what purposes.

The company I work for does not have any wireless network access points, mainly because we have no users using laptops and everyone is able to be hardwired. If anything we are more worried about the wireless being less secure than wired since to tap into our wired you would have to physically walk in, to get into wireless you only need to have a lot of time on your hands and a place to sit outside where our signal reaches.


I think you are asking the wrong question!

We know that tripping over network cables is a risk, and that the building work to put in network cables have risks. Therefore…

Is wireless more of a health risk then cables?

(nothing is risk free)


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