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Director Resigns Over Wifi Health Concerns

Jaclyn_McKewan writes "A Library Director at Southwestern College in Santa Fe, NM left her position due to wireless Internet in the library. This story was posted on the RUSA mailing list today, with the original message having come from the librarian in question. The press release is also available." Compare to WiFi radiation is low-risk.


Virtually all radiation risks come from ionizing radiation - forms of high energy rays (UV, x-rays, gamma, etc) that can knock electrons from atoms and so alter the chemistry of molecules. In DNA, altering can lead to mututations which can sometimes lead to cancer.Radio waves such as used for wi-fi, simply cannot ionize atoms. And therefore should not pose a health risk. For more on how radiation does and doesn't kill, see the chapter on radioactivity from the textbook Physics for Future Presidents.

Wifi, your microwave, and cellphones, cordless phones, and your FM radio are all using the same kind of nonionizing radiation (RF energy) just at different wattage.

I meant fries. Also, it is impossible to prove something is safe. It is up to her and others to prove that it is dangerous.

She's going to become an arsonist? [Sorry, Bill, couldn't resist. Check your comment carefully.]

Her press release (I wasn't aware that most people wrote press releases when they resigned from a job...) lost me when she said that it hasn't been proven that wifi is safe.

Of course it hasn't been proven. Given that "safe" can mean "free of any risk whatsoever under any circumstances," that's proving a negative, generally impossible. Water is certainly not safe, for example [as five jackass DJs should have known]. No food that I'm aware of is safe--eat enough of it and you'll suffer consequences.

Wifi isn't safe. The largest hazard is probably using it while you're "driving" a car, but there--as with nonionizing radiation--cell phones are probably tens of thousands of times less safe.

she must have flunked high school physics and biology. Maybe she can find a job that requires her to say 'want fires with that?'

I would think that knocking electrons out of orbit doesn't alter the chemistry of molecules so much as knocking the protons out of the nucleus. I think the biggest problem with radiation by-products is free radicals, and I don't mean those such as Jane Fonda or Abbie Hoffman. In health care terms, free radicals can be thought of as broken molecules; in the case of the human body, broken water molecules. Another big problem is secondary and tertiary radiations; isotopes.

I'll have to read that reference you cited when I get the time, however.

Where do you think I got the idea?

I had some long rambling reply composed in my head until I read the from the tinfoil hat department and then I burst out laughing at my desk at work. (Luckily my co-workers don't find this odd anymore).

Rest assured some, if not all of us read the departmental dispatches and they bring great jocularity unto my mundane world.

N.B. Most of my replies take considerably less time to compose than your posting the articles. I have a specific area from which I pull my replies. It has served me well.

The "from the _ dept." line at the top of the story? Most of us add something in that field for each story. I usually spend about the same amount of time coming up with the dept. field as writing/editing the story itself, so if you haven't been reading them, you best review my stories to view more! :0

Tinfoil hats do NOT defend against NON-ionizing radiation. Copper or brass are the only way to go.

Thats all I have to say, tinfoil hat.

Gosh, and you'd think she would have resigned over her library not having an OPAC.