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didjean
2009-10-21, 07:44
I read more and more articles concerning the hypothetical implications of Wifi on health.

As a happy customer of different Squeezeboxes (SB3, Duet, Boom and Radio), I wouldn’t be able to live without them now.

I am using Wifi to feed my different players as well as 2 laptops. Wifi is so simple and convenient…

Should I care about those stories/studies and investigate for alternative such as PLC (Powerline Communications) or drawing Ethernet cables into my walls? Or I really shouldn’t pay attention to this and should carry on using Wifi?

What about having the SB Radio as an alarm clock next to my head during I sleep?
Wondering if using different squezeboxes raise the amount of Wifi waves?
As soon as you plug an Ethernet cable, are squeezeboxes internal Wifi antennas disabled?
Regarding PLC, is it stable? Can I use multiple PLC receivers? And would this be safer for the health then Wifi (heard that PLC was also transmitting waves)?

I wanted to have the feedback of the community regarding this as I couldn’t find a thread covering this subject.

Many thanks,

gbruzzo
2009-10-21, 07:48
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs304/en/index.html

"...Public perception of risk

Some people perceive risks from RF exposure as likely and even possibly severe. Several reasons for public fear include media announcements of new and unconfirmed scientific studies, leading to a feeling of uncertainty and a perception that there may be unknown or undiscovered hazards. Other factors are aesthetic concerns and a feeling of a lack of control or input to the process of determining the location of new base stations. Experience shows that education programmes as well as effective communications and involvement of the public and other stakeholders at appropriate stages of the decision process before installing RF sources can enhance public confidence and acceptability.

Conclusions

Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects...(World Health Organization Fact sheet N°304
May 2006)"

SuperQ
2009-10-21, 12:15
No, don't worry, it's all fearmongering.

brucegrr
2009-10-21, 13:47
I certainly wouldn't dismiss it out of hand. Read. Be informed. Fact is no one knows for sure the long term effects or the cumulative effect. Often we want certainty when all science can give us is probability.

I always look at "who" is sponsoring a study and what do they stand to "gain" from the study turning out a certain way.

My home is filled with wireless equipment. I am inclined to accept the WHO viewpoint BUT I don't dismiss every report that suggests another point of view. Definitive science has been proven wrong more than once.......so it always good to be receptive to opposing views (though I don't think we should give a moments notice to the crackpots who use pseudo-science and fear)

This issue will be studied many many more times in coming years. I am sure more information will come to light as we go along.

Adam_F
2009-10-21, 15:37
No, don't worry, it's all fearmongering.

Totally agree. My take is that public anxiety over the safety of Wi-Fi is unecessary and mostly the result of irresponsible and ill-informed speculation in the press. Many of the stories that appear use overly emotive language and betray a poor understanding of the science involved (why do reporters insist on referring to the emmissions from mobile phones and Wi-Fi devices as "radiation" when "radio waves" would be a more appropriate term in an article aimed at the non-specialist reader ?) A Wi-Fi device is in effect a very low power radio transmitter - we have been living and working in close proximity to such things for the best part of a century, so the idea that there are still undiscovered health risks assocaited with them is just not credible in my view.

mlsstl
2009-10-21, 15:48
Keep in mind that radio waves follow the inverse square law - if you double the distance, the strength of the signal is only a quarter of what it was at the shorter distance.

Cell phones have been a concern for some because we are holding the active device right next to our brains. Laptops might also be a concern if we are truly holding them on our laps.

However, I suspect that not too many of us hold the Duet controller next to our bodies for long periods of time, nor are we sitting on top of our router or Squeezebox.

The natural world has exposed us to all manner of toxins, poisons, contaminants, radiation and other things from the beginning of time. Sure, modern life has added a few exposures that weren't there before, but so far the overall studies in this area for cell phones have been either negative or inconclusive. One would anticipate that a radio device held against the head would be the first to show an unquestionably conclusive effect if it was there to be seen. If there is an increased risk it pales in comparison to the other risks we routinely accept as the price of being alive.

pippin
2009-10-21, 16:00
All those who fear WiFi, please have a look at the field strength your average TV transmitter emits into your room to be in for a surprise.

Actually, in the recent years the radiation we are subject to has _decreased_, not increased.
I agree that you can't always just conclude an biological effect from the sheer power level (although TV signals really are in the same frequency ballpark), but a lot of the hype is irrational.
Here in Germany, for example, people often oppose new 3G transceivers (base stations) even in areas that do already have coverage although any additional towers will actually _reduce_ the radiation level because the average distance to the next transceiver will be lower and thus the transceiver as well as all devices around you can operate on a lower power level (on average that's a factor of four for twice as many towers).

Adam_F
2009-10-21, 16:10
Keep in mind that radio waves follow the inverse square law - if you double the distance, the strength of the signal is only a quarter of what it was at the shorter distance.


Exactly my point - the scare stories in the press always omit this small but important point. A mobile phone handset will generate 2 Watts of RF energy typically, and a fair proportion of this will be absorbed by the body as the device is pressed up against the head. A Wi-Fi device generates 0.05 Watts typically and is genrally further away - put these together and any "threat" is orders of magnitude less.

The fact that many live near regional or national radio and TV transmitters generating anything up to 1 million Watts seems to pass without comment. Not the whole story I know, but acknowledging this simple fact at least puts the "risk" from Wi-Fi into some sort of context.

Nonreality
2009-10-21, 23:15
Really does it even matter. We have so much stuff going through us and around us how could you even tell which one kills you if it did? Just don't go out of your way to pin inputs or outputs to your head and you will probably be ok. If not then go to the foil helmet system and try to block them all. You'll look stupid but hey you might live a year or two longer. ;)

Adam_F
2009-10-21, 23:35
You'll look stupid...

Hmmm...

http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/

Sike
2009-10-21, 23:46
Hmmm...

http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/

Good stuff! :)

I read this the other day:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/iandouglas/100002500/why-no-one-is-allergic-to-wifi/

Adam_F
2009-10-22, 00:01
A couple of years ago the BBC fell for one of the scaremongers:

http://www.badscience.net/2007/11/bbc-editorial-complaints-unit-debags-the-panorama-wifi-scare/

adamslim
2009-10-22, 00:32
Wifi kills! Your children will all be deformed, the radiation will mutate your cells, turning you into a pustulated freak, albeit with a remote chance of developing super-powers. And wired sounds better - say no to wifi!

kelvinelk
2009-10-22, 07:00
http://miscellanea.wellingtongrey.net/2007/05/27/the-truth-about-wireless-devices/

didjean
2009-10-22, 11:31
Great links guys... :-)

It does confirm more or less what I thought...

Though, just for my knowledge, some questions to my post are not yet answered:

> Wondering if using multiple squezeboxes raise the amount of Wifi waves?
> As soon as you plug an Ethernet cable, are squeezeboxes internal Wifi antennas disabled?
> Regarding PLC, is it stable? Can I use multiple PLC receivers?

Adam_F
2009-10-22, 22:02
1. To some extent yes, but probably only significant if they are playing at the same time.
2. I think so, but ths is something that Logitech should be able to confirm definitively. Note though that the amount of energy that a Wi-Fi device generates is very low unless it is actively exchanging data.
3. Yes in my experience and yes.

Adam.

pski
2009-10-23, 16:55
"60 billion solar neutrinos go through each one of our fingernails every second."

I guess when we have used cell-phones for a few millenia we can be sure our bodies can tolerate them.

Of course, for those who consider evolution heresy: CALL ALL YOU WANT.

P

Nonreality
2009-10-23, 21:24
Hmmm...

http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/
thanks Adam very good stuff.:)

iPhone
2009-10-23, 22:22
Wifi is completely safe. Think about it, if it wasn't it would be banded!

The human body's resonant frequency is nowhere near WiFi's frequency. The human head is resonant on average around 10MHz. WiFi is never going to couple to the human body and besides at the low power levels it isn't even worth talking about.

WiFi is also non-ionizing radiation which is not cumulative.

pfarrell
2009-10-23, 22:30
iPhone wrote:
> Wifi is completely safe. Think about it, if it wasn't it would be
> banded!

Right, just like tobacco, booze, and crooked politicians.

> The human body's resonant frequency is nowhere near WiFi's frequency.

Er, Wifi uses 2.4 gHz (at least a, b, and g and the low side of n).
This is the resonant frequency of the Oxygen/Hydrogen bond in water.
Human's are mostly water.

Microwave ovens are also at 2.4 gHz, which is why my wifi goes away when
I use the microwave. Microwave ovens work by heating water using the
resonance of the water molecule's bonds.

That said, I don't think there is any issue. Inverse square law and all
that. But its just wrong to claim that the WiFi frequencies, by
themselves, are never harmful to humans or other living things.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

ModelCitizen
2009-10-24, 00:56
Cell phones have been a concern for some because we are holding the active device right next to our brains.
Mine spends a lot longer near my nuts. :-(

MC

Mnyb
2009-10-24, 01:05
Wifi kills! Your children will all be deformed, the radiation will mutate your cells, turning you into a pustulated freak, albeit with a remote chance of developing super-powers. And wired sounds better - say no to wifi!

Yesss , when the wifi mutant zombies attack I can wear leather and assorted Hockey and motorcyckle gear (per example in mad max ) and 2 sawed of shotguns and go to the mall ;)

NewBuyer
2009-10-26, 00:01
Mid to long-term exposure to low-level radiation from in-home wifi, etc is currently an unknown human health risk. Also, if it is a risk, it is a damn inconvenient fact for the industry and the consumer - so most studies regarding this topic are usually defensively funded at least partly by the industry (both direct and client), hence potentially obscured and biased. [For instance, the tobacco industry still I think even now insists that their product isn't "proven" to cause illness, and dares anybody to ever conclusively prove it.]

As a general rule, I personally try to avoid adding another wireless device to my home. Currently I use an older "wired only" SB3 (which unfortunately is not a purchase option anymore I believe), and my home is networked with powerline networking devices (which work perfectly). As I have not become spoiled with the convenience of wifi (yet), I don't miss it at all, and don't feel defensive about the topic. Also, I've heard from others that Wayne at Bolder Cable will take out the wireless card in a SqueezeBox for a very minimal fee...

pippin
2009-10-26, 00:17
and my home is networked with powerline networking devices (which work perfectly). As I have not become spoiled with the convenience of wifi (yet), I don't miss it at all, and don't feel defensive about the topic. Also, I've heard from others that Wayne at Bolder Cable will take out the wireless card in a SqueezeBox for a very minimal fee...

1. You can turn off the WiFI part of a Squeezebox

2. Are you sure that your powerline adapters radiate less than a WiFi device?
That's one of these misconceptions that only devices that generate radiation _on purpose_ would do so at all. But a lot of devices will and 0.05W is really not a lot.
I once found out that the switch of a switching power socket extender radiates more (and in similar frequencies) than a WiFi transceiver and that one really looks harmless...