New Mexico group lobbies to ban Wi-Fi in public buildings

A group of electro-sensitive Santa Fe residents has asked the Santa Fe government to ban Wi-Fi in public buildings.

radio antennae

A group of "electro-sensitive" Santa Fe residents has asked the city government to ban Wi-Fi from public buildings. The group's members attribute a range of symptoms, such as chest pains and headaches, to the electric fields produced by Wi-Fi routers and cell phones.

The citizens claim that Wi-Fi networks in libraries and other civic buildings constitute discrimination as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The city attorney is looking into the matter and expects to make a legal recommendation by the end of the month.

This isn't the first report of a so-called "gadget allergy." We mused on the subject about a year ago, when the Daily Mail ran a story about a woman who experienced a severe allergic reaction to a broad range of electromagnetic fields. And even earlier, scientists at the University of Essex found sufficient numbers of people claiming to suffer from "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" (EHS) to launch a scientific study of the matter.

It's worth noting that the World Health Organization currently doesn't give much credit to EHS claims: "Well controlled and conducted double-blind studies have shown that symptoms were not correlated with EMF exposure." Judging from the comments on the original news story, the average citizen doesn't, either.