Wi-Fi Radiation Health Effects

Scientific Literature

Update 1/20/23

Like cell towers, Wi-Fi systems at home and work expose whole bodies and environments to continuous radiofrequency radiation as they are typically in the on mode day and night. Safety guidelines are based on short term exposure of 30 minutes. There is increasing concern among scientists about the cumulative effects of long term exposure as they are finding broad effects on living organisms from human organs, to plants to bacteria and in a non-linear pattern (not a typical dose-response).  Effects are seen in the immune system, the nervous system and the reproductive system.

Wi-Fi radio frequencies used are typically in the range of 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz. These frequencies penetrate living organisms and target cell structures causing alterations in calcium movement across membranes. These seemingly small calcium shifts result in changes in electrochemical gradients and cell function. These can cause dysregulation of the cells which can ultimately affect the whole organism.

Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation (RF EMR) does not break chemical bonds but does affect biological systems. Some biological effects of RF EMR appear to be mediated by an increase in free radicals, mediated by calcium channel membrane alterations.  RF EMR in wireless devices has been shown to increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells.  Excess ROS generates oxidative stress, a damaging process that can, in excess, alter cell structures such as  proteins, lipids, lipoproteins, and DNA.  Oxidative stress is associated with development of chronic diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, autoimmune diseases and aging.  Reactive oxygen species are also produced by exposure to pollutants, tobacco smoke, pesticides, industrial chemicals, heavy metals and some drugs. Many studies show that antioxidants inhibit damage from wireless radiation as well as chemicals.

Wi-Fi: 7 Human Health Effects

Martin Pall, PhD  (2018) has written thorough  review of 23 controlled scientific studies on non-thermal Wi-Ft radiation and health related effects in animals, human cells and in humans. He documents sperm/testicular damage, neuropsychiatric abnormalities with EEG changes, endocrine changes, oxidative stress, cellular DNA, ptosis (cell death) and calcium overload. He notes that pulsed waves, which are typically used in wireless devices are much more damaging to cellular structures and effects are non-linear meaning there is not a typical dose response curve.  Dr Pall also highlights research showing these effects can be cumulative and irreversible.

Understanding Wi Fi’s  Two Spectrum Bands: 2.4GHZ and 5GHz

Wi Fi can now work over one of two spectrum bands- 2.4GHz (2.4 billion cycles per second) or 5GHz (5 billion cycles per second). Wi Fi devices traditionally have and still work on 2.4GHz wavelengths, the same as your microwave oven. This unlicensed 2.4GHz band has become crowded so companies have added the 5GHz band to devices to reduce increasingly common interference both in homes, in hospitals and in businesses. For a full explanation see  Understanding WiFi’s Two Spectrum Bands. To provide uncrowded bandwidth for the Internet of Things a 5G (5th Generation) network is proposed and being developed which will use spectrum in the 6 GHz to 100GHz or even up to the 300GHz range. These wavelengths are much faster but travel shorter distances (250 m) thus requiring a field of antennas in cities. No premarket testing by the NIEHS or National Toxicology Program is planned. Fiberoptic alternatives, which remove the risk of radio frequency radiation, exist and are already in some cities – Community Open Access Networks.

The German Parliament examined WiFi in 2007 and recomended reducing exposures to WLAN and wireless computers and laptops. They also recommended further studies.  Radiation exposure due to wireless Internet-Networks (WLAN). Lower House of the German Parliament [Bundestag] printed matter 16/6117. July 23, 2007. https://www.icems.eu/docs/deutscher_bundestag.pdf

Scroll down to see effects on plants as well.

See Also

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