Apple was recently forced to pull its AirPort Extreme Base Station from sale because it used components that violated European environmental laws. Now the whole future of Wi-Fi is threatened by the latest in a long history of radio-wave scares.
First kids living near power lines were believed to be at risk for leukaemia. Then mobile phones were going to fry our brains, and even change our DNA. Now, scaremongers are suggesting that Wi-Fi hotzones will give us all cancer. Following a Canadian university’s decision to ban Wi-Fi hotspots from its campus, Toronto’s Board of Health is conducting a study of the potential health risks posed by plans to blanket the city’s downtown area with Wi-Fi access points.
Should we be rushing back to our Ethernet cables? I doubt it. The risk from mobile phone towers has yet to be proven, and these operate at 10,000 times the power of our Wi-Fi units. FM radio towers are 100,000 times more powerful.
The greatest health risk posed by Wi-Fi is our tendency to spend far too long sitting in the garden browsing eBay with the sun beating down on us. Worry about that first.