Saturday, December 02, 2006

Hypochondriacal electromagnetosis

Who can resist a news brief with a title like "Hypochondriacal Electromagnetosis"?

This short item from the Wired blogs is referring to an increasing number of individual claims that wireless networks are causing health problems, linking to a more in-depth discussion in the Guardian, "Is there any proof that Wi-Fi networks can make you sick?" Associated symptoms ranging from vague feelings of illness to those serious enough that people terminate wireless connections in their homes.

Both pieces note that there are not any studies demonstrating a link between the increasingly ubiquitous presence of WiFi to any health conditions, though the Guardian article briefly summarizes a few research projects currently underway in the UK to explore potential "EMF sensitivity" (a reaction to electromagnetic fields) in some individuals.

The World Health Organization has a related factsheet, "Electromagnetic fields and public health," and a handbook to aid scientists and others in facilitating dialog on the topic. OSHA also has a good page linked to evidence and recommendations regarding this issue.

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