No scientific basis behind claims that Wi-Fi signals cause cancer

| | January 20, 2015
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Last week, several media outlets including ran with an alarming-if-true story that equated the low frequency radiation emitted by Wi-Fi equipment and cell phones with lead, chloroform, gasoline fumes, and the pesticide DDT.

By the end of the story, readers might be misled into thinking that the scientific community or bodies such as the American Cancer Society are raising concerns about wireless devices. They aren’t. The same small group of researchers keeps trying to claim there’s a danger and the wider scientific community continues to consider it a fringe idea. The new paper doesn’t appear to have changed anything.

“This is not what I would call an academic paper,” said Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

Is there any harm in these kinds of health scares? Yes, said the cancer society’s Brawley, who spoke via cell phone. The problem is that it distracts from more important cancer risks such as smoking. And now an emerging long-term risk factor for kids is having parents who refuse to get them vaccinated against the class of viruses known as HPVs. These are implicated in most cases of cervical cancer as well as some head and neck cancers.

“If you overload people with health messages that don’t matter,” he said, “it dilutes reception of health messages that do matter.”

Read full, original story: Why Scientists Say Wi-Fi Signals Won’t Give Your Kids Cancer


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