Wireless Technology's Unanticipated Consequences: Potential Health Concerns

Posted: 7 Feb 2013

Date Written: February 6, 2013


This study examines the potential for human health hazards resulting from exposure to wireless emissions. Measurements were taken of non-ionic radiation levels created by wireless devices on a university campus to determine if they contribute to an unhealthy environment.

Recent studies suggest that high concentrations of non-ionic radiation emitted from wireless sources, which are measured by radio frequency waves and electromagnetic fields, can possibly cause human DNA damage, produce sleep disturbances and create other ill effects.

Measurements were taken using two different metering instruments: one gauged radio frequency levels and the other electromagnetic fields. The meter readings were evaluated using safety standards set by the government of Switzerland. The ambient levels of radio frequency waves were measured in empty classrooms and compared with levels in occupied classrooms with wireless devices engaged. Readings were also taken at various outdoor campus locations and of individual cell phones while transmitting.

The results showed that a typical classroom filled with students with their wireless devices turned on had radio frequency levels in the “low cautionary range.” Readings in close proximity to large outdoor wireless routers located on campus were in the “cautionary” range. Electromagnetic field readings were low except in locations in the vicinity of large electrical transformers, where they were high. The highest radio frequency readings were recorded when the meter was in direct contact with individual cell phones while they were transmitting, which often spiked into the danger zone.

These findings suggest that extensive use of wireless devices in a confined area, such as a university classroom, could produce problematic non-ionic radiation levels. The readings also indicate that cell phones may not be benign. The data collected in this study suggests that caution should be exercised when increasing the use of wireless technology in classrooms and that it may be best to use ear plugs when operating cell phones instead of placing them directly against the head.

Keywords: radio frequency, electrical hypersensitivity

Suggested Citation

Caress, Stanley, Wireless Technology's Unanticipated Consequences: Potential Health Concerns (February 6, 2013). APSA 2013 Teaching and Learning Conference Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2213042

Stanley Caress (Contact Author)

University of West Georgia ( email )

Department of Political Science
Carrollton, GA 30118-3030
United States

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