Comprehensive study shows wireless radiation does not affect people

by Steve Blum • , , , , ,

It’s safe to take off the hat now.

There is no scientifically valid evidence that radio waves produced by WiFi or mobile telecoms equipment harm people or make them sick. That’s the conclusion of a systematic review of 29 scientific studies that looked for connections between electromagnetic fields (EMF) and illnesses that people claim are caused by them…

Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) is a controversial illness in which people report symptoms that they believe are triggered by exposure to EMF. Double-blind experiments have found no association between the presence of EMF and self-reported outcomes in people with IEI-EMF…At present, there is no reliable evidence to suggest that people with IEI-EMF experience unusual physiological reactions as a result of exposure to EMF. This supports suggestions that EMF is not the main cause of their ill health.

Of the studies, 24 showed that exposure to wireless transmissions does not produce any physiological changes or ill effects in people, including those who claim to be hypersensitive to EMF. Some physiological effects were observed in the other 5 studies, but either those results have not been reproduced or the way the experiments were designed didn’t insure that participants’ knowledge could not affect the outcome. Both are key requirements for scientific validity.

Science notwithstanding, there are people who are convinced that their health problems are caused by technology, for example cell towers and smart meters. Many of them are tiresome fixtures at public meetings, angrily protesting anything that might lead to the construction of more wireless infrastructure and regularly lambasting elected officials who rely on science rather than ignorant and inchoate complaints.

The review was conducted by a team of researchers from Norway, Sweden, Holland and the UK, and published in the journal Bioelectromagnetics.

Update – in answer to requests, the title of the paper is:

“Do People With Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance Attributed to Electromagnetic Fields Display Physiological Effects When Exposed to Electromagnetic Fields? A Systematic Review of Provocation Studies”, published in the December 2011 issue of Bioelectromagnetics. The abstract is available here. The full paper is behind a paywall. If can find a free source for it, I’ll update this post.

Big thanks goes to Jim Warner at U.C. Santa Cruz for pointing me to the paper.