Such ignorant technophile gibberish
Gosh, I find it both ironic and hugely irritating that there is such incredible bigoted, ignorant trash in 80 to 90% of the posts in here. Either the comments are factually incorrect, grossly misleading or totally irrelevant -- ironically exactly the same thing you accuse a fairly logically reasonable documentary of.
"Secondly a WIFI access point has a small effective range - you know why? Because it puts out at a lower voltage..... Mobile Phone Masts need higher voltages to cover the distance between the various cells."
A lower voltage, you mean a lower power / Watts? Besides which, what a pointless comment. I would sit next to a wireless laptop, but not a mobile phone base station. The "nutter" was taken for a "cooked up" test by the Panorama team, the test is part of a big double-blind peer reviewed study soon to be published by Essex University - How do you feel happy posting such "crap", to use your own terminology - do your research and learn some physics!
The antenna designer then comes out with some technical facts about mobile antennas and the inverse square law, as did Clive Page. The inverse square law is completely relevant regarding the radiation both devices give off, but utterly irrelevant within the context of the program.
The point was that Sir William Stewart recommended school playgrounds not be in the main beam of the mast, and therefore both RF radiation in the main beam of the mast (signal strength ~0.5 V/m), and RF radiation in the place a typical child would be sitting using the WiFi enabled laptop (signal strength ~1.5 V/m). No-one on the program was claiming that the WiFi laptop was pumping out 3 times as much radiation as the base station, merely that was the exposure level at the points of concern.
Of course Rob Beard can't pick up the WiFi of his daughter's classroom down the road is a perfect application of the inverse square law, but I suspect she wasn't _using_ the laptop from that distance.
Simon Hobson. I'm guessing people didn't notice this, as it isn't true. The measurements were taken about 60 cm from the laptop, positioned having sat on the school physics bench and observed where the head was. Go twice as far away and you would not have long enough arms to operate the laptop.
@Rob Crawford: What utter drivel. Your CRT gives off power frequency EMFs, nothing in the RF spectrum at all, unless yours is miraculously wirelessly connected to your computer. Yet more technophile nonsense.
The programs premise was simple:
1) In 2000 the chairman of the Health Protection Agency recommended that school playgrounds should not be in the main beam of a mobile phone base station at the point at which it reached the ground (about 70 or so metres normally).
2) The typical signal strength of RF energy found at that distance from a base station is less than the typical strength a person would be exposed to using a wireless laptop with high network traffic.
3) The recommendation therefore, under a reasonable logical argument, should apply to WiFi too - A point that Sir William himself raised.
I don't understand how such a simple logical argument is scaremongering luddite nonsense - It appears to be fairly simple logic to me.
I am not sure which side of the fence I fall on, but reading the utter crap posted by so many here I do at least feel sympthathy to those claiming to be affected. The reasoning from you side appears to be less supported and more full of flaws than that which you are criticising, and poor Joe Public has to read this drivel (on both sides) and make his mind up.