First, wireless communications (and your microwave oven!) do not use the same type of radiation that is known to be harmful. All emitted energy is radiation, that's why we have radiators for heaters - they emit heat radiation. Only the most energetic electromagnetic radiation - ultraviolet and above - is known to cause cancer. This is known as ionizing radiation, because it has the ability to create ions. Radiation with less energy - visible light, heat/infrared, your microwave oven, your cell phone, and your walkie-talkies - is known as non-ionizing radiation. As far as we know, it does not have any affect on the human body except producing heat. Exposure guidelines are based on heating effects with an enormous margin of safety. Ten times the exposure would likely be perfectly safe.
Second, people worry about things based on their assumptions. Not on reality. To many people a list of power levels would probably look something like:
- Cell phones
- Cordless phones
The real order is more likely to be:
- Cordless phones
- Cell phones
Yes! It's true! Say what? Cell phones go the furthest - don't they? Yes, they do but not because the signal is stronger. Cell phones go the distance by using extremely efficient coding that allows the signal to be usable at very low received power levels (as low as -113dBm for UMTS) and by having tall towers that help to assure a clear path. Wi-Fi requires a theoretical received signal level of -96dBm - over 50 times stronger than your cell phone requires! Additionally, Wi-Fi in the real world can barely function at that low of a power level, if at all, due to noise in the 2.4 GHz band used and very low speeds possible. Due to this, most of the time, your Wi-Fi devices are transmitting full power or close to it. On the other hand, a UMTS phone will rarely be transmitting at anything close to it's full rated power, usually at a small fraction of it - unless you happen to be a very long distance from a cell site in a poor coverage area. Yes, the NIMBY's blocking of cell towers increases your phone's power output! Cordless phones and walkie talkies both broadcast full power constantly. Walkie-talkies are often 1 watt or more! That's five times the maximum output for a UMTS cell phone. Cordless phones are fairly low, 1/4 of a cell phone's peak output generally - but they're always there, and your cell phone will rarely reach those power levels - only in poor coverage.
So, does this simply mean these people are correct? No way. Even Wi-Fi is running at power levels absolutely minuscule. Logic says if people survived analog cell phones, CB radios, etc for so many years, there is no way modern cell phones, Wi-Fi, etc are going to prove harmful. Maybe they will, but the best studies say no, and logic says no. If they do prove harmful, the risk will be absolutely tiny - since any substantial risk would be well demonstrated by now. We take tiny health risks for convenience all the time. Look at the pollution we tolerate from our vehicles and factories - it's many times more likely to cause us health problems than any wireless technology ever could, even if there did turn out to be a health risk to wireless (which seems very unlikely).
Finally, what about the "just in case" - even I will admit you can't prove a negative? All you can do are bigger, longer studies that continue to demonstrate no risk. We've established that any risk must be infinitesimally small, and that there is no known mechanism for any risk. But we haven't established no risk. But why not buy some protection devices "just in case" "for the children"? Because the people selling these things are con artists. Devices intended to block or re-direct signal are mostly ineffective, and if effective, will only cause your cell phone to ramp up power output - shortening battery life and possibly increasing exposure in areas not blocked by the case/device. But of course, that's if they worked, which the vast majority do not at all. Even worse are devices intended to "neutralize" or "make harmless" radiation. I won't call out a brand name here, but I sure have one in my mind - though I've seen several similar products. These chips of plastic and metal designed to be worn as a bracelet, necklace, or stuck to your phone are claimed to neutralize the radiation and render it harmless. LOL. If I need to explain to you why this is a bad joke, you may as well buy one. It's a really expensive and ugly piece of toy jewelry, that's all. Use your brain for 30 seconds and think, there is no way a small necklace made of plastic or metal will have any effect on radio waves from your cell phone into your brain. The people who sell these devices are often 100% convinced they work, that's one way this scam continues. There's no point in arguing with a person selling them, I tried once. Science, reason, and logic mean nothing to them, and they are completely convinced by their company's pseudo-science and brainwashing.
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