back to article German Government works itself up into Wi-Fi panic

The German Government has told the country to avoid using Wi-Fi whenever possible, because of the possible risks to health, according to a report in UK newspaper The Independent on Sunday. According to the newspaper, Germany's radiation protection body also suggests that citizens refrain from using mobile phones, and try to …

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Now, your mistake is believing the Indy (and not having a journalist who speaks German)

See this blog post:

http://yorkshire-ranter.blogspot.com/2007/09/independent-of-facts.html

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Bloody...

...hippies. 'nough said.

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I'm getting tired

Of hearing this story again WiFi...

Someone Microwave them or something.

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This post has been deleted by its author

LIGHTENING!

We've not ruled out the possibility that a flash storm will crop up and I'll get struck by lightening.

Nor that bird flu is going to kill us all.

However we're not to advise people to stay in their homes, or not to go near chickens.

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Anonymous Coward

Did they broadcast that warning?

So I assume there will be broadcast TV and Radio programs warning of Wi-Fi's supposed dangers? Political and ecological pundits touting the dangers of "Electro-smog" wouldn't have it any other way! (or perhaps they prefer pasting handbills on street light posts).

Apparently the anti-wifi crowd didn't get enough "graft" from the wifi providers. Better check to see how Alcoa is doing on the market, going to be alot of tinfoil sold this year in Germany.

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""that there is no consistent evidence to suggest that Wi-Fi poses a threat to health""

Now that has to be one of the thickest sentiments I've ever heard. Just because we don't have the evidence of something causing damage certainly doesn't mean it is safe. I wonder what evidence of lung cancer there was to the first smoker or liver damage for wine drinkers in Roman times.

Common sense says, Radiation cannot be good for you. Once again the UK is way behind it's european counterparts and is impotent in providing the public with any helpful information. Shame on you!

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@WarrenG

Firstly I must stifle the urge to say regulate. Damn.

Anyway "Common sense says, Radiation cannot be good for you". Try living in total darkness for a few months - see how that goes. Some radiation is certainly bad for you, but not all radiation.

Frankly I don't worry about WiFi radiation. I live in the middle of a council estate so I can only pick up my own WiFi connection. My dear lady on the otherhand can pick up 3 of her neighbours. Ok, I admit there is no need for your router to be pushing out that kind of power, but Jesus, my mobile phone picks up a signal when I'm *miles* from the nearest base station never mind 3 doors down. WiFi in comparison is weak.

I must spend 99% of my life being irradiated by mobile phones, GPS sats, TV/radio transmissions, satellite TV, solar radiation, RF from home appliances, RF from overhead power lines, etc. A few extra watts of RF from WiFi isn't going to add much into the mix tbh.

Phew, got thru that without any poor jokes about emissions...

*snigger*

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Anonymous Coward

@WarrenG: Common sense...

... as the old saying goes... is neither common nor sense.

A logical extension of your argument is that we should fear *anything* and *everything* for which there is no evidence of a threat to health. So should we really spend 24/7 stressing and worrying about what might turn up next to give us cancer of the face, or similar?

Alternatively we could chill out with a beer and a fag and get on with enjoying what little time we have left on this planet. I know I will! *ching* *ching*.

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Oh dear...

>I wonder what evidence of lung cancer there was to the first smoker or liver damage for wine drinkers in Roman times.

None, but I'm still glad that cigars and wine exist as a result of that ignorance.

>Common sense says, Radiation cannot be good for you.

Actual sense says that without it we wouldn't exist - it's an inherent part of our environment which we're adapted to. You just try avoiding it :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Bah

It recommends to keep your exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields low on a "general basis" = don't fry yourself more than you have to. I'm fine with that. It also says the gov plans to look into age-related dispersion and absorption of energy. This, too, is much more akin to what I expect of govs looking after "potential hazards" than certain other things they tend to do lately, here in Germanistan.

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Didn't they say the same thing about smoking?

The warnings have been floating around for quite a while and its like smoking, consensus is that smoking is bad for you and causes nebulous health problems, but only a short time ago did anyone sue BIG tobacco.

Cell phones generate radiation which is pointed at you head, is this bad for you? I think the question is, if it is bad for us are we willing and can we go back to land lines until they make it safe?

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Radiation is our friend! :D

>Common sense says, Radiation cannot be good for you.

Radiation is the reason you exist to complain about it. :) At this very moment in time, you are absorbing and producing thermal radiation to regulate your body temperature, and visible light radiation from your monitor is streaming through your eyeballs allowing you to read this sentence.

Granted, visible light radiation and wireless network radiation aren't of anywhere near the same energy levels. Wireless network radiation is several orders of magnitude less powerful. There's no known scientific mechanism by which it could be bad for us, nor any evidence to suggest that's the case. Granted, common sense also says to investigate what could potentially cause health effects, but it makes no sense to be frightened of something simply because it's unfamiliar.

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Also @ WarrenG

There's plenty of evidence that the fine powder effluent from laser printers causes health problems. There's plenty of evidence that the exhaust from petrol-burning cars causes health problems.

There's *ZERO* evidence that the non-ionising radiation from cell phones, Wifi, AM, FM, and SW radio, and electric lights cause any sort of health problems.

I suggest you go repeat your first-year biophysics classes. Oh, you didn't take biophysics? Then perhaps you might consider learning a little science before spouting your Luddite opinions.

I know, I'm the eternal optimist. Still.

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Anonymous Coward

TaintnatchralOitellee

I hate to state the obvious but - heck.. ignorance is curable and stupidity is an non treatable chronic condition. The really exasperating thing is that those afflicted with terminal stupidity aren't totally incapable of communication - and we have to put up with the brain numbing smog of their witless witterings.

However - I digress - protect yourselves from cancer causing negative radiation thingies with these wonderful thingies

http://www.lessemf.com/personal.html

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Most fun things in life...

...are Illegal or Immoral.

Every else has been found to cause cancer in rats.

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Anonymous Coward

Health effects of electromagnetic waves...

"There's *ZERO* evidence that the non-ionising radiation from cell phones, Wifi, AM, FM, and SW radio, and electric lights cause any sort of health problems."

The human neural system is working around 1 volt. Every conductor picks up at least a tiny amout of electriciy from electromagnetic fields. Humans are no exception. The only problem is that high frequency (above ~17khz) electromagnetic waves can't be detected by our neural system because our highest operating frequency is lower, but we still get the aggregated effects of each pulse in the form of shifts in our neural voltage levels. This is the same problem when a computer gets a slightly different voltage, like 6 volts instead of 5. Usually it keeps working but either you have to decrease the operating frequency or it keeps making errors. The human neural system works the same, we either slow down (feel tired) or make errors. Fortunately our system is robust enough to cancel out most of the errors, but they are there and overall performance suffers.

So electromagnetic radiation probably doesn't cause any direct illnesses, it only damages our neural system, which many don't consider a ciritical part of their bodies.

ps: Anyone who doesn't belive electromagnetic radiation is bad should try to stand in front of a low frequency emp field, set to the power of a common mobile phone or wifi router. When set to a low enough frequency that humans can sense you can actually feel its presenece. This is the same as a loud noise. Because you can't hear the high frequency, it doesn't mean you can't be hurt by the vibration.

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The Biological Effects of Weak Electromagnetic Fields

I suffer from this and now route my LAN through the power supply! (Sadly, Watford FC have taken it upon themselves to jump on this "cool" new wireless technology and have installed a wireless network at the ground)

http://www.hese-project.org/hese-uk/en/papers/goldsworthy_bio_weak_em_07.pdf

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more BAH

The paper also says that there is absolutely no evidence for a health risc. Measurement, made under the most inconvenient conditions possible, resulted in values of 5-10% of the recommended peak values. Bear in mind that this paper just answers the questions of green party members. It's not as if the german government has a special interest in WiFi. The green party is no longer part of the government, and almost nobody in Germany gives a fsck about them anymore. They are just trying to get some attention

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Anonymous Coward

No Evidence eh?

That'll be like there was no evidence that eating beef from BSE infected cows could give you CJD then. No evidence until they found it later.....

What a crap argument - we can't find any evidence that it is harmful, ergo it is safe.

So if a router weighs the same as a duck.........

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Anonymous Coward

german gov wifi

the PQ bases its answer on a FOX NEWS reportage of a "Professor Lawrie Challis, head of the British research program on mobile telecommunication and health" Gesundheit" who recommends that children stay away form wifi base stations until further research is (financed ) carried out as to date his research has shown no links between wifi and health problems. www.mthr.org.uk

the said professor is responsible for the discovery that uk policemen suffer health problems if they use TETRA radios (they use them anyway and to my knowledge the streets of the UK are not littered with policemen with brains fried to death by their little TETRA handsets - and no other country's police force has suffered anything either...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No Evidence eh?

This is nothing like BSE/CJD or tobacco/cancer. In those cases there was no evidence because people hadn't looked for it. In the case of EM radiation there have been people looking for evidence of a link to cancer and other diseases for many years and it simply has not been found.

And I'm not just talking about some piddly little WiFi or 3G signal here. People have been conducting studies on members of the armed forces exposed to much higher powers transmitted by radar and there is no evidence one way or the other - some studies have found *reduced* cancer rates in people with relatively high exposure levels.

@Christopher D'Souza. That pdf you link has this quote in the opening paragraph:

"Defence mechanisms have evolved by natural selection over countless millions of years of exposure to natural electromagnetic radiation, such as that from thunderstorms. They can often hide the underlying effects of man‐made fields so we do not always see them in our experiments. We therefore have to concentrate on the experiments that give positive results if we are to discover the mechanisms. In this context, negative findings (frequently published in work financed by the telecoms and power companies) have no meaning."

This is what's known as "cherry-picking" your data - it's something that real scientists don't do. I could go through the rest of document and brutally set about it with my two degrees in physics, but I'd probably fill up far too much space.

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Anonymous Coward

COINCIDENCE?

Is it any wonder that electrosmog has reached pestilential levels in Germany, considering their persecution of the one religious organization with the tools to 'clear' this electrosmut from our bodies? I think it's about time Germany allows Scientology to return and delouse their society of these WiFi-loving thetans!

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