Monday, January 21, 2008

How Safe is Wireless?

When mobile phones first came on the scene, there were concerns regarding potential health risks. Most agree that modern cell phones have done much to mitigate these concerns. Unfortunately, the rapid proliferation of cell phones, wireless laptops and pdas, bluetooth headsets and ubiquitous wireless networks has seemingly out-paced our ability to understand the effect of all these wireless signals.

According to a January 21st John Timmer story in ars technica, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - to determine if wireless technology poses a health risk to consumers -

commissioned the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science to determine what areas need further study in order to better assess safety.
The recently released report identifies

gaps in our current knowledge of biological changes that may result from exposure to wireless radiation and any health outcomes that these produce.
Further study is recommended to investigate:

  • differences between long- and short-term exposure,
  • local versus whole-body exposure, and
  • potential for risks in specific populations (children, pregnant women, and fetuses).

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