Center for Safer Wireless
Promoting Safety in Our Wireless World
Wi-Fi is a class of wireless local area networks based on IEEE 802.11 standards. Wi-Fi operates in 2.4, 3.6 and 5 GHz frequency bands and uses radiofrequency radiation. 
Since microwave ovens, cordless phones and Bluetooth also use the 2.4 GHz frequency, Wi-Fi can interfere with these products.
Many office buildings, libraries, schools and homes use Wi-Fi technology.  When Wi-Fi is on, there is pulsing microwave radiation present regardless of whether a computer is on or being used. Wi-Fi radiofrequency radiation travels through most kinds of matter including walls, furniture, pets, and people, as well as into your neighbors’ homes.
Wi-Fi enabled products entered the marketplace with no prior health trials, like cell phones.  We don’t know the long-term health implications of using Wi-Fi. Environmental impacts may not manifest themselves for 30-40 years.
People with electrosensitivity cannot be around Wi-Fi because it enhances their adverse health conditions.
How Wi-Fi Affects Our Bodies

The wireless signals emitted by Wi-Fi, oscillating at 2.4 to 5 GHz, moves much too fast for the body to recognize. Therefore, this wave isn’t creating biological damage. However, when information is transmitted, through our voice, text messages or  data transfer, the data is packaged and “piggy-backed” onto the first wave. This creates a second carrier wave and this wave is called the information-carrying radio wave, or ICRW.

This second carrier wave, or ICRW, oscillates in a much lower Hertz (Hz) range that is easily recognized by the body. Some scientists believe that when the ICRW comes in contact with the body, the body recognizes this wave and responds to it as if it were a foreign invader.
When this happens certain physiologic changes occur. First, at the cellular level, the cell membrane becomes hard and inflexible. The active transport channels cease to work as the cell goes into a protection mode. This hardening effect of the cell membrane also causes the cell to lose its permeability, meaning needed nutrients can’t get inside the cell where they are needed. As a result, the cell doesn’t get nourished. There is a cascade of damaging events that can lead to a multitude of symptoms and failure of the body’s defense mechanisms to act appropriately.



Since Wi-Fi is so popular in the home, office, airport and coffee shop, many cities are now developing “hot spots”. In a hot spot, someone can carry a laptop computer, set it up, and freely access the Internet without cables over the provided network.  These “hot spots” are springing up everywhere. Entire cities are becoming wireless allowing one to connect to the Internet from anywhere in the city.

 Legal and Public Health Problems of the Wireless Age an excellent article by Deborah Kopald (BA, Harvard; MBA, MIT Sloan School of Management)  an environmental health and public policy consultant and author who has developed and overseen the passage of legislative initiatives and has served as a guest expert at various media outlets


Recommendations Concerning Connecting to the Internet

Replace wireless Internet routers with hard-wired units. Certain wireless routes enable you to shut off the wireless part and use the router as a hard-wired unit.

Once the wireless portion of the router is disabled, disable the wireless connection on your laptop.  Look for Network Settings on a PC or Airport on a Macintosh computer.

If you must use Wi-Fi, consider having at least one computer hard-wired.

Limit your exposure to Wi-Fi due to potential health effects.

Do not sit in close proximity to a Wi-Fi router and keep it in an isolated area.

Turn Wi-Fi off at night.

Avoid using a wireless laptop on your lap.

Actions in Other Countries

In September 2007, after the release of the Bioinitiative Report (, the European Environmental Agency, called for immediate action to limit exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi, cell phones and cell phone towers. The Agency suggested that delay could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking and leaded gasoline.

Because of health complaints from staff, in 2007 the French National Library removed all Wi-Fi systems in Paris.

The German government issued a warning in September 2007 to avoid using Wi-Fi at work and home and recommended cabled connections.

The Austrian Medical Association recommended in 2005 to use cables instead of Wi-Fi.  The Salzberg, Austria government, the Frankfurt Germany Local Education Authority, and the German Teachers Union have also banned or advised against having Wi-Fi in schools.

The Progressive Librarians Guild recommended the precautionary principle for Wi-Fi in libraries as of June 2008
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