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Wi-fi. Are there any health risks?

by yannis / February 21, 2006 12:59 AM PST

Does someone know if a wireless router in a bedroom emit radiation (microwaves) that may pose health risks for humans? Should we worry or use wi-fi without any concern? Thank you.

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RF health risks
by linkit / February 21, 2006 1:34 AM PST
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Many have suggested that WiFi Accesspoint
by Melati Hitam / February 21, 2006 4:25 AM PST

should not be place to close to the user, they should atleast 3meters (9ft) away from the user.

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I incorporated Wi-Fi systems in my office within 3 weeks out
by Leechips / October 12, 2013 3:41 AM PDT

I have been sensitive to all E M I emissions and profoundly affected by them. I have experienced that my hand burns and goes numb when using a normal mouse. Whilst on my computer my hand will get burnt on my small finger middle finger first finger and thumb also the basis of the palm of my hand, this has been the case over the 20 years, I've worked with numerous computers, and get affected by all of them. On Laptops If I move the cursor with my fingertip the static burns it, and overtime it makes my fingertips hardened and less sensitive according to the amount of time I am on the computer,
One day back seven years ago I incorporated Wi-Fi systems
Into my office this was to link two or three computers for the children, it was not long before I found out the effects of these devices, I sat down in my office on the computer working on my website, within ten minutes I received headaches aching shoulders, I would leave the office, make a cup of coffee, then feel clear headed and re-entered back into the office, to find out within ten minutes my mind was again affected by these extra emissions which E M I, within the week I had dismantled all Wi-Fi units from the office and the children's computers replacing it with hardware systems , I realized right away that the devices we were being affected by, have a greater consequences than one can imagine, mobile phones wireless networks,
Our children all have mobile phones let's look at the situation, we all know that a mobile phone whilst in your hand you become the aerial this effect on the body is well known.
The manufacturers keep a low profile on this matter. On a HP unit I hade purchased, in the manual there had been a warning inserted. Obviously because of the money losses that will be involved,
in the case of people knowing the dangers, from these devises.
as an ex, appliance engineer myself I say to people a mobile phone is practically like using a microwave, would you put your head in a microwave, even on the lowest setting even put it on to defrost with your head in, the answer will be NO because you know of its outcome, ( apart from not closing The door wouldn't work the microwave in the first place), of course this is hypothetical but still in the same league,
I find that a mobile phone I cannot hold to my head for more than about two or three minutes and then I have to swap ears, but if I use a phone now I used a phone on the loud speaker whilst not holding it, lay it'on the side of where you are sat and talked whilst keeping a distance of at least 10in. this will help limit the indirect emission levels, headphones also can give you a low grade Emi from the speakers,
Some of you will remember yuppie flu, well this is part of the scenario, whereas electromagnetic forces working against us with health issues, back in the eighties and engineer I was training was from a tank core in the army, he had to leave his post and I believe He had bought himself out of the army, he did tell me the problems he had in the tanks with the other electronics equipment there, at that time I was working as an appliance engineer, my time on computers were limited then, but I did believe what my engineered told me of his own accord, I think we need to think seriously about what we're projecting onto our children in the sense of mobile phones
Wi-Fi and electronics a like, you,
I will put my name up against these devices, specially been used in our schools colleges and the like, we are starting to get knowledge of these things existing we must act now, five years ago I was devising a glove that could protect your hand from these emissions, the idea was good but I believe the electromagnetic emissions coming from keyboard, mouse, and screens, in many have emissions too. We have to understand the consequences and act now, I can see in years to come many problems and I believe that there will be damages awarded to people for using these devices,
The same way as the scare of asbestosis and its People perhaps disregarded it consequences at the time, but everyone is sitting up and listening now, I do hope that what I have written will make people sit up and listen and protect our children and ourselves from any possible future mutations,

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Get checked for a RSI
by HappyHimitsu / December 29, 2013 5:56 AM PST

Hello, not to suggest that RF signals aren't potentially dangerous (I definitely believe they are), there is also a lot of over-paranoia and I have noticed some people tend to begin to blame every health problem they have on such things.
I too have the same exact mouse-related symptoms you describe, but I have always ascribed them to a repetitive stress injury from years and years of mouse and keyboard use; mostly because I have the same symptoms regardless of whether I am using a cordless mouse or not. So perhaps you should check to see if you have possible nerve damage being done by sitting at the computer too much?

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No, but...
by drewu / February 22, 2006 6:06 AM PST

Even if there was, there isn't much you can do about it aside from moving to a cave. TV/Radio/Cellular/Cordless phones and the other thousands of transmitters wouldn't disappear overnight. If you're still worried, move the AP at least a meter away from you, the power level at 1 meter drops by a power of 10,000.

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Pick your cave wisely
by Visualdude / February 22, 2006 10:51 PM PST
In reply to: No, but...

Many caves have background radiation as well, from unstable elements (such as uranium and radium) in the rock and soil. Then you also have to worry about things like arsenic and bacteria in your untreated water source.

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No Risk Wireless Router in Bedroom: notion is unfounded
by caraj / February 22, 2006 2:19 PM PST

The wireless router offers no danger.

Routers radiate approximately 1 watt.

When you pass a full power AM broadcast station you are being exposed to 50,000 watts.

Many amateur radio hobbyist radiate 1000 watts.

Shipboard environments exceed 1,000,000 pulsed watts.

All decrease at 1/(R x R)[R = the distance from the router], so the further away you are from the antenna (R) the lower the RF intensity.

I haven't included the increase in intensity antennas can create.

The belief that a wireless router's radiation is dangerous is unfounded and entirely false.

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I'm not saying its dangerous... just
by Melati Hitam / February 22, 2006 2:37 PM PST

don't be too close.. -- would you place your AP close to your head, and use it on daily basis? I don't thing so..---

even TV remote control and electrical outlet, have some effect on you.

Aside from those 'unfounded and entirely false(?)' thing, Your body can reduce the signal strenght..

By the way, unfounded means Not found yet... doesn't mean None.

If I have to choose... I choose further away from the device.

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Not 1 watt
by Watzman / February 22, 2006 9:50 PM PST

The output of a wifi card or access point is generally a couple hundred milliwatts, which is no where near 1-watt. [Also, 50,000 watts is the maximum for a broadcast radio station (most are 5,000 to 20,000 watts, very few are 50,000) and 1,000 is also the maximum for an amateur radio station, most are more like 200 watts on HF or 1 to 20 watts UHF).

But the point, really, is that an access point or wifi card is considered to be safely low powered and is also at a reasonable distance. Consider a cell phone, which has similar power outputs (a few hundred milliwatts ... a few tenths of a watt). Most are operated less than 2 inches from your head. In my view, regulations and scientific findings not withstanding, that is cause for concern for people who use a cell phone hours and hours per day. But at 3 feet, the exposure to a wifi WAP of the same power is less than one 200th of the exposure from the cell phone at two inches, just due to the distance. And if that number becomes 5 feet, it's one 900th. So distance is your friend here, the power output is low, but once you are even a few feet away, it's the distance, coupled with the low power, that keeps your actual exposure very low. I'd be much more worried about the cell phone that is on your belt holster constantly and 2" from your brain when in use. [Cell phones are transmitting and emitting radiation even when they are not in use, although not continuously].

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Re: Distance
by LoriQ / March 18, 2013 1:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Not 1 watt

You said that distance is your friend but I don't understand that. If the power drops off the way you say then there wouldn't be any power to transmit to a cell phone tower

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missing a couple factors
by Visualdude / February 22, 2006 10:59 PM PST

You missed the frequency of the energy and the directivity of the antenna.

The technical comment about the distance from the router is what makes the point that a router is not a dangerous thing.

Anyone that uses a cell phone on a regular basis has far more to worry about than a wireless router or cordless phone. I don't think I would sleep with it under my pillow though.

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okay your wrong 1 watt routers ya right
by lraff1234 / January 17, 2008 12:39 PM PST

first thing a router does not output a watt of energy more like
100ma 1/10 of a watt. second AM broadcasts are way lower in the spectrum than microwaves. 50 watts in the 2.4ghz or 5.8ghz band can kill you!!!!!
with direct contact within 50 feet in a minute. I install the big drums on radio towers you see driving down the road. Site to site data transfer line of site up to 50 miles. I also install hawking 500ma boosters on routers to extend range by 6 x in home installs
Any thing more than a half watt 500ma needs a fcc license to buy.
Just think your microwave oven works off 600 to 1200 watts power at
2.4 GHz and can cook food in a minute or two. One time when I was installed my first two watt WIFI amp on a 14 story roof I was putting
Up a 25DB gain antenna dish and my co worker hade the amp on and I tasted metal in my mouth at first then got dizzy and almost fell off the roof. Stay away from any amped source over 1GHZ. at 1-? watts The IEEE states
Anything over 1 GHZ is microwave energy 1 watt 2.4ghz 3-6 feet bad headache!!!

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Egotism and Ignorance
by DrJoeRoss / February 25, 2012 9:11 PM PST

Your writing this statement, "The belief that a wireless router's radiation is dangerous is unfounded and entirely false." is simply egotism and ignorance. To say "entirely False" without huge data to back you up is ridiculous!

The simple observation is to note that the frequency of a router is pretty much what comes out of your Microwave Oven! Now I know you would not put your head in the microwave so don't try to convince others to do so! Their suffering would be on you hands.


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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 25, 2012 9:24 PM PST
In reply to: Egotism and Ignorance

Blimey, I thought they used Radio Waves.

I'm gonna have to be more careful next time I pick my router up.


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Re: waves
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 25, 2012 9:37 PM PST
In reply to: Microwaves? says (I didn't check elsewhere, however) that
- your router uses a 2.4 Ghz signal
- your magnetron uses a 2.45 Ghz signal

But the power is different. It's not advised to go sitting into a magnetron oven and boil yourself. While there seem to be very few negative effects of being somewhere where there's wireless.
We have it all over the building at work for at least a year and nobody yet died. I don't even think that anybody got ill due to it. Neither did I read about a significant increase of illness for Starbucks employees compared with non-WiFi coffee shops.

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Nobody Died
by LoriQ / March 18, 2013 1:32 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: waves

You said nobody died in a year. What if the danger from wifi is cumaltive? Like cigarette smoking. You might be able to smoke for a year and have no symptoms. You may be able to smoke for 10 years and have no symptoms. But maybe 30 years down the road the effects catch up with you and you end up with lung cancer.

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Notion is Unfounded
by LoriQ / March 18, 2013 1:26 PM PDT

You said that when you pass a full power AM radio broadcast station you are being exposed to 50,000 watts. But are those watts from microwave energy?

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Let's get real here
by mail1 / February 22, 2006 9:27 PM PST

Let's take a common sense and logical approach here.
We live on a planet orbiting a star system in a galaxy where everywhere there is background radiation. That radiation is in all spectrums, including X-Rays, beta rays, and gamma rays, all of which are deadly if lethal doses are absorbed by living tissue. Even if there was zero technology on this little planet, we would be surrounded by this radiation. So, the real question is "Does the radiation from my wifi router significantly increase the radiation from the Sun and the galaxy?". The answer is not just "No", but "Hell no".

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(NT) Well said!
by schooltech / February 22, 2006 10:12 PM PST
In reply to: Let's get real here

While the increase in technology on our little floating orb is increasing the radiation exposure of us all, the background radiation is much more intense. Granted, we are adding to the rads we pick up, you are going to die from something!

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(NT) (NT) are you sure??
by Melati Hitam / February 22, 2006 11:31 PM PST
In reply to: Let's get real here
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Dangerous radiation
by deenie / February 23, 2006 12:17 AM PST
In reply to: (NT) are you sure??

In Europe, the cell phones are designed differently, so that the radiation towards the ear is reduced a lot. There are a couple companies, like BioPro and Advanced Tachyon Tech, which sell small round disks that are affixed to the outside of the phone. I have both on my cell phone, as a hedge. Microwave radiation like that from an microwave oven (aka ''radar'' oven) oven are banned in some countries. WRT to radiation coming in from the galaxy, I would think that part of the evolutionary process would've tweaked us to survive while bathed in some kinds of ''natural'' radiation. BTW, we here in the US get corporate science not real science. Real science still openly exists in some countries where politicians listen to their science advisors. Bottom line: cell phones and micros are not as harmless as we're told they are. Some people get the bluetooth headset which works with bluetooth enabled cell phones. This allows you to keep that antenna on the cell phone a few feet away from your head. Also if you must use a microwave oven, always keep some distance between it and yourself, at least six feet. If its door becomes warped, junk it.

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Microwave ovens
by unigamer69 / February 23, 2006 3:18 AM PST
In reply to: Dangerous radiation

I think I remember reading that in the U.S., the maximum allowed escape of radiation for microwave ovens is 1 watt... this is what you'd be exposed to if you stuck your noggand right by the door.

This is enough - even at a distance - to interfere with low-power communications in the same frequency range, e.g. Wi-Fi @ ~2.4Ghz, Bluetooth in the same range possibly, cordless phones in that range... AFAIK, Wi-Fi operates at anywhere from ~20 milliwatts (mW) at minimum, to the 100 mW legal maximum... to the questionable (but people use them anyway, hehe Grin ) 500mW amplifiers. I don't know the specs on Bluetooth. Cordless phones generally operate at 100mW or so, except for those which use spread-spectrum, which can run at 1 watt (1000mW).

I doubt even 1 full watt is going to do any harm, esp. for the 90 seconds you're cooking your Hungry Hombre Heat'n'Eat Entree. But... the intensity diminishes the further you are from the microwave, so...

Don't like the so-called "risk?" Stay back from the door! Grin

The guy who said you should trash a microwave with a damaged door though is right. The above stats apply only to new equipment. If the seals are damaged... you can get a lot more radiation coming out, even to the point where it can start to burn you (in the worst cases).

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Just FYI
by drewu / February 24, 2006 4:35 AM PST
In reply to: Microwave ovens

100mW (20dBm) isn't the legal limit. The limit is actually based on your EIRP, which is the transmitter and antenna combination. 4W (36dBm) is the limit for non-point-to-point communication. An example of 200mW (23dBm) card attached to a 15dBi omni antenna after losing a couple dB in cabling and connectors sits you right at the limit. 23 - 2 + 15 = 36.

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need to know about how far wifi can go
by pereranver / February 25, 2006 2:34 AM PST
In reply to: Just FYI

I am trying to build a wifi file sharing network at a range of about 4 miles. I need to know if and how i can do this in a cos effective way and if an omni antenna and booster will work?
Stephen Shanko

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Listen to reason......
by ROB_213 / February 22, 2006 11:02 PM PST

There are several posts that say there is no hazard, and they are correct!

People who become worried about non-hazardous things because of articles in magazines, etc, can fall victim to those who would sell absurdly worthless gizmos at high prices to ward off, prevent, or otherwise negate the mythological hazard.

Enjoy the benefits of your wireless connectivity and forget the health hazard scare nonsense!

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(NT) (NT) Yup, just like virus creator and Anti virus creator..
by Melati Hitam / February 22, 2006 11:32 PM PST
In reply to: Listen to reason......
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Interesting experiment
by unigamer69 / February 23, 2006 3:26 AM PST

Want to try something interesting?

I have a Linksys WRT54G, with third-party firmware that lets me boost the power output somewhat. I also have high-gain antennae hooked to it.

A foot away is a dual-cassete deck with a turntable (yes, it's old. I use it to dub my folks' old stuff to CD for them). It's hooked up to the sound card of the computer underneath it (the deck and router are on a hutch).

If I switch the deck to tape mode and listen... you can hear little pings and pulses, several every second in bursts. At first, I thought this was being introduced through cables, but then I realized that it only happens in tape mode, and not phono mode.

Also, if I disable the router's radio, it stops.

Conclusion: That noise - presumably the beacon signal from the router - is being picked up magnetically, rather than electrically. By the tape deck heads.

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very helpful info on offending neighbour
by duglus / March 5, 2006 11:51 PM PST
In reply to: Interesting experiment

I eventually figured it out before reading this, but this "experiment" confirms my hypothesis with the offending 'router' (that I do not have, to test with).
The range on these units is roughly 30 meters so it has to be a neighbour on either side. Since the problem persisted when the landlord neighbour to the west had no tenants in their house, it only could have come from The East house.
I have a wireless 2.4Ghz audio stereo transceiver.
The noise problem went from small initially to very large shortly after. Thus showing a disposition of purposeful annoyance; by using the noise generated on my stereo (outside) to find the best results, from the position of their router, upon my equipment.
The machine gun sound became louder than the source music. I liked to play classical in my backyard garden!

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What to worry about
by La reina / February 23, 2006 4:37 AM PST

You'd be much better off worrying about heart disease -- it's the number one cause of death in the US and most of Europe. They order: cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer's Disease and accident (in that order). Alzheimer's victims usually die of pneumonia, a lung condition or a cerebrovascular condition -- so Alzheimer's victims are often declared to die of other causes. Watch out for motorcycles and cars -- very dangerous!

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Link to an article
by yannis / February 26, 2006 11:40 PM PST

I find the following article,( So this is a valid concern. I just hope that people are overreacting and that there isn't a lot to worry about, as most of those who answered my question said.

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