Wi-fi is one of the most fantastic inventions of our time. So powerful is it's ability to disseminate information that the majority of governments and schools have created free wi-fi hot spots to allow citizens and students to access critical information. However, many have raised concern around children being exposed to radiofrequency energy that is the same frequency as a microwave (2.4 gigahertz).
Is exposure to wi-fi boiling our cells, changing our DNA and causing symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and memory loss? Or is it safe?
It is important to note that ALL the world's health organisations have listed wi-fi as safe including the WHO. Every electronic device produces EMF including refrigerators, microwaves, cellular phones and laptops. The safety of these devices is determined by three things- 1. level of frequency; 2. ability to cause heating and 3. type of radiation.
1. Level of frequency
Wi-fi registers as low-level radiofrequency energy. This means that the energy it transmits cannot enter our bodies or alter cellular information. On the other side of the spectrum are X-rays. X-rays register as high-level radiofrequency energy and their waves can enter the body and with repeated exposure change the cellular information. These changes to the DNA is what causes various cancers. Cellular phones and sunshine pose a greater risk than wi-fi but are not treated with as much skepticism.
2. Ability to cause heating
Electronic devices that cause heating are seen as more dangerous than electronic devices that don't. A microwave can heat and change food so it's exposure would be harmful to a human. A computer placed on someone's lap for hours every day could be damaging to the underlying organs. Prolonged use of a cellular phone causes heating of the ear and head. This could be harmful. Fortunately, wi-fi does not cause heating and therefore has no thermal effects.
3. Type of radiation
There are two types of radiation- ionising (such as X-rays and gamma rays) and non-ionising (such as radio waves). Ionising radiation has enough energy to strip atoms of tightly held electrons and change their charge. This has a profound impact on a substance's chemistry. Luckily, wi-fi falls into the non-ionizing category and is thus found on the safe list.
If exposure to wi-fi still makes you feel uncomfortable, considering that there are some scientists that disagree and some reports of individuals that suffer from electro-sensitivity, then consider using these strategies to limit your and your child's exposure:
1. Remove all wireless technology from your home- including your router, sound equipment and printer. Opt for using a landline or old-school cables instead.
2. If this is not an option, consider limiting the exposure by turning your wi-fi off when not in use, especially when sleeping.
3. Ask that your child's school has wi-fi hot spots where they can download the information they require for a lesson rather than being able to access the information from anywhere on the property.