Broadband News..

March 10, 2006

Wi-Fi Killed My Baby!
Make it wear Faraday cage diapers? 

In 2003, a group of Illinois parents sued their local school to stop them from installing Wi-Fi – citing health concerns and using rather specious scientific arguments. Last month we reported that one Canadian University banned Wi-Fi on campus, the College’s president likening Wi-Fi to second hand-smoke.

Now Toronto’s public health department wants to investigate potential health issues stemming from the city’s plan to build a city-wide Wi-Fi network, according to the Toronto Star. Officials say they simply want to learn more about any potential risks such a system could pose.

For the record, not a single legitimate study has concluded that Wi-Fi or 3G poses any serious health risks. Health officials will realize this when they dig deeper, but some locals remain worried. “I do not want my daughter exposed to this unwanted health risk,” one concerned parent writes in to the Star. “Why should we all become guinea pigs?”

“Cordless phones, garage door openers, baby monitors – there’s a lot of stuff that has used this spectrum for a long time,” says Dave Dobbin, president of project planners Toronto Hydro Telecom. “If something concrete comes along and says this is bad, we will take immediate action at that time.”

Hydro Corporation is Toronto’s largest municipal electrical utility, and the plan to wire the city would be the largest of its kind in Canada. Hydro purchased all of the city’s light-poles last year for $60 million. The plan is to perch transmitters and receivers on every fourth of fifth lamp-post, and use a Wi-Fi mesh-networking solution.

Perhaps concerned individuals could force their children to roam the streets wearing mobile Faraday cages.

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