Exposure to Wi-Fi Will not Kill Your Kids

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Recently, a blog post at the blog on Forbes by contributor Robert Szczerba, about Wi-Fi exposure killing people, especially children. The post claimed that Wi-Fi exposure from cell phones, iPads, microwave ovens and other mobile devices are “more dangerous to children than previously thought.”

Szczerba made the claim that Wi-Fi devices might be causing cancer, especially in children. It was illustrated with a photo of a toddler playing with a tablet PC, possibly an iPad, which obviously added to the attention the post received.

The problem with the post was that it was all wrong. Even the premise is wrong, there was no “previous” evidence of danger from Wi-Fi devices, except from conspiracy theorists.

Szczerba based his article on a new paper published in the Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure, titled “Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences.”

The article contained several red flags that prompted the reader to dig a little deeper on their own just to get the story straight. The first red flag is that it appeared in a very obscure journal that does not focus on radiation or environmental health.

The second red flag is that two of the authors, Lloyd Morgan and Devra Davis, work for a private organization whose sole purpose seemed to be the promotion of claims that cellphones and other Wi-Fi devices cause cancer.

Compared to other scientific papers, the article very poorly written and even so transparent that it didn’t take a scientist to see that it wasn’t professional, let alone believeable.

The article is essentially a series of claims, most of them unrelated to one another, about the effects of MWR and other topics. The authors have carefully chosen several studies that support what they need them to, being that Wi-Fi causes cancer in children.

The paper purports to be a review of some sort on microwave radiation (MWR) exposure in children. It isn’t even close, it’s not even written like a scientific paper.

The authors have chosen whichever study worked to support their hypothesis, which they cited without any explanatory details, while ignoring hundreds of studies that contradict their claims. For example, they write:

“In 2008 Joe Wiart, a senior researcher for French telecom and Orange reported that the brain tissue of children absorbed about two times more MWR than adults’ brain tissue.”

This turned out to be a simulation study with little or no relevance to the health risks of MWR on actual people. The article contains several more citations like this one that include references to studies that either aren’t credible or only include information to support the claims that Wi-Fi does cause cancer in children.

The fact of the matter is that Wi-Fi is not more dangerous than previously thought, and it’s not going to give your children cancer, which is what Robert Szczerba should have written, if he’d looked at the real science instead of one really bad paper.

However, if that were the case, then the post may not have gone viral.