WiMax on the Brain: Is "WiFi on Steroids" Safe?

I laughed when I first saw TreeHugger Jasmin's Hulger phone, but they say it reduces the exposure to microwave radiation by 95%. TreeHugger has covered the issue of the dangers of cellphones and WiFi before, usually not taking it very seriously, as when we wrote about the university without WiFi or in our survey about microwave ovens, where a typical comment might be "I'm simply too occupied with life and real concerns to take-up fictitious ones as a hobby."

Others are not so sanguine.

Mark Anslow at the Ecologist takes it very seriously and says that there has been little real research. "If you are a drug company marketing a new drug, you have to go through years of testing to prove your product is safe. If you are a WiFi developer using the 2.4 Gz spectrum, you don't have to prove anything."

But if WiFi was a problem, what about WiMax, "WiFi on Steroids," with more powerful broadcasting and with WiMax laptops that put out twice the power of your basic WiFi unit? In the UK, Health Protection Agency is studying the issue of the health of WiFi and has not even started considering the issue of WiMax, but already more than 150 million Americans are now in range of it, with inconsistent and contradictory research about the effects of being surrounded by it.

The German government advises its citizens to limit their exposure to WiFi wherever possible, and to use wired connections. The local government in Salzburg sets limits thousands of times below international standards. The Australian government has rejected the industry guidelines on microwave exposure as inadequate.

And in the UK and North America? Anslow writes "the final decision on which powerful new Wi-Fi technologies are allowed into our homes, schools, offices and towns well rest with a powerful coalition of IT developers, internet service providers and lame duck regulators."::Ecologist

The precautionary principle indicates that "When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically." Learn what steps you might take at ::Planet Green.

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