~e; wireless economics 101

From bc <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Wed, 23 Jan 2002 13:29:31 -0600

  [wireless-economics (soc-cult) 101 and somekind of technocratic truthism.]

>Wireless Harmless, More or Less? 
>By Julia Scheeres 
>2:00 a.m. Jan. 22, 2002 PST
>  From Wired News, available online at:
>The debate over potential health risks from electromagnetic fields has
>raged for years and shows no sign of abating or assuaging public concerns. 
>Activists are especially worried about the proliferation of wireless
>technologies and fear that the industry is outpacing research and laws. 
>The number of gadgets using radio frequencies has rocketed since the
>mid '90s, when the FCC began to auction off pieces of the 
>electromagnetic spectrum for Personal Communication Systems (PCS). 
>Today, over 129 million Americans own cell phones, according to the 
>Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association.
>And more wireless gizmos and services are rolled out on a daily basis.
>Take wireless local area networks, which allow users to surf the 
>Internet unplugged. According to market research firm Cahners 
>In-Stat Group, the global market for wireless LANs will jump from $1 
>billion in 2002 to $4.5 billion in 2004. 
>"We're living with wireless all around us, and there are a lot of
>questions that aren't answered yet," said Janet Newton, the 
>president of the Electromagnetic Radiation Network, a nonprofit 
>group that advocates "responsible use" of electromagnetic radiation. 
>"We could be setting ourselves up for a health disaster down the 
>The group believes the FCC's guidelines for radio frequency exposure
>are too lenient and has launched several legal challenges in an 
>attempt to force the agency to adopt stricter rules. But so far 
>their legal challenges have met with no success. 
>Studies into the effects of electromagnetic fields -- and there have
>been oodles of them around the globe -- have turned up conflicting 
>evidence. While some have found that exposure to radio frequencies 
>(RF) may be harmful enough to cause cancer and other afflictions, 
>others show the opposite. One team of researchers even used RF to 
>destroy cancerous tumors. 
>Nevertheless, fears were serious enough to inspire the World Health
>Organization to create the international EMF project in 1996. One of 
>the objectives of the project -- which concludes in 2005 -- is to 
>establish international standards for RF exposure. 
>Until there are definitive answers, anti-wireless activists such as
>Newton say we should err on the side of caution and use traditional 
>communication devices as much as possible. 
>"If a drug had as many conflicting results, it would never be licensed
>for sale," Newton said. "No one's done enough research to know 
>whether wireless is a problem or not." 
>The FCC has no plans to change its exposure guidelines, which are
>determined by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. 
>"There is no conclusive evidence that electromagnetic fields hurt
>health," said Ed Mantiply, a scientist with the FCC's radio 
>frequency safety program. "We have a standard for exposure, which is 
>essentially like a speed limit --there's no guarantee that you're 
>safe below it or unsafe above it." 
>As a rule of thumb, the FCC recommends that consumers give themselves
>an inch of space for every watt of power used by a device. If you're 
>using a 10 watt transmitter, for example, stay 10 inches away from 
>Part of Mantiply's job is answering calls from people who worry that
>they're being affected by electromagnetic fields. Some of their 
>concerns are legitimate, but some are "UFO-ology," he said. 
>There are people who call him with a headache and blame the FCC. There
>are others who say they are "electrically sensitive" and believe 
>they can sense -- and are harmed by -- electromagnetic fields. 
>Bunk, Mantiply said. 
>"They may possibly have a psychogenic problem," he said. "I believe a
>good number of people who complain about these things have trauma or 
>obsessive disorders. There are a lot of sad cases out there." 
>Swedish researchers found that people who claim they suffer from
>electrical sensitivity failed to detect the presence of 
>electromagnetic fields in double-blind tests, he added. 
>Nevertheless, he acknowledged that more health studies need to be
>"We've got a fundamental science we don't understand. We get different
>results from different laboratories. The issue is not resolved."
>Copyright (C) 1994-2002 Wired Digital Inc. All rights reserved.

  (fair-use. EM education. debate still out on wireless-ons. 2oo2)

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