Tonight’s Panorama on BBC1 here in the UK has the fair and balanced title ‘ Wi-Fi: a warning signal’ and is introduced on the BBC website as follows:
Britain is in the grip of a Wi-Fi revolution with offices, homes and classrooms going wireless – but there is concern the technology could carry health risks.
The Government insists Wi-Fi is safe, but a Panorama investigation shows that radio frequency radiation levels in some schools are up to three times the level found in the main beam of intensity from mobile phone masts.
It’s depressing to see this sort of scaremongering, especially as I’ve just heard Radio 4′s Today say that wifi networks ‘can give out more radiation than mobile phone masts’ with no context. As I’ve already pointed out, there’s no evidence of problems, there’s no mechanism that would lead us to think there are going to be problems, and apart from claims from people who say that they are magically sensitive to wifi – and yet seem not to notice TV or radio signals coursing through their bodies – there is no reason to limit the use of wifi.
But of course it’s a new technology that can’t be proven to be safe, largely because nothing can be proven to be safe, and appeals to the sort of scientifically illiterate campaigners and journalists who like attention and ratings. As The Guardian points out, the programme’s methodology is scientifically unsound and misleading.
Why don’t they turn their attention to something that has really killed people, like dihydrogen monoxide:
Research conducted by award-winning U.S. scientist Nathan Zohner concluded that roughly 86 percent of the population supports a ban on dihydrogen monoxide. Although his results are preliminary, Zohner believes people need to pay closer attention to the information presented to them regarding Dihydrogen Monoxide. He adds that if more people knew the truth about DHMO then studies like the one he conducted would not be necessary.
Yet we don’t see Panorama investigations into this potentially lethal chemical.