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.

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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.

About the author

    Tech expert Michelle Thatcher grew up surrounded by gadgets and sustained by Tex-Mex cuisine. Life in two major cities--first Chicago, then San Francisco--broadened her culinary horizons beyond meat and cheese, and she's since enjoyed nearly a decade of wining, dining, and cooking up and down the California coast. Though her gadget lust remains, the practicalities of her small kitchen dictate that single-function geegaws never stay around for long.


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