Is Wireless a Health Hazard?

Some have speculated that prolonged exposure to wireless network devices can cause memory loss or other brain damage. Potential health hazards from the microwave signals of wireless LANs (WLANs) and Wi-Fi have not been scientifically validated, however. In fact, using Wi-Fi is most likely much safer than using a cell phone.

Health Risks From Wi-Fi

Traditional Wi-Fi transmits in the same general frequency range as microwave ovens.

Yet compared to ovens and even cell phones, wireless network cards and access points transmit at much lower power. WLANs also send radio signals only intermittently, during data transmission, whereas cell phones transmit continuously while powered on. The average person's cumulative exposure to microwave radiation from Wi-Fi is overall much, much less than exposure from other radio frequency devices.

Despite the lack of definitive correlation, schools and parents have remained concerned about the health risks of wireless networks on children. A few schools have banned or limited the use of Wi-Fi as a safety precaution over the years including one ​in New Zealand following the death of a student from a brain tumor.

Health Risks From Cell Phones

Scientific research into the effects of cell phone radiation on the human body also has produced inconclusive results. Some are adamant there is no health risk, while others are convinced that cell phones increase the risk of brain tumors.

As with Wi-Fi, some schools in France and India have considered banning cell phones due to radiation concerns in countries.