News Release – January 27, 2014
Does WiFi Cause Brain Cancer? NZ School Says Yes, Science Says No
After circulating a controversial petition, two New Zealand fathers, Damon Wyman and David Bird, have succeeded in getting wireless Internet removed from their children’s school.
The reason? Wyman believes the school’s WiFi signal may have caused the death of his ten-year-old son. Ethan Wyman passed away from brain cancer earlier this year.
“We're not saying that caused it, but it seems like a bit of a coincidence. Most people would be very cautious about giving their 5-year-old a cellphone — well, this is 30 kids in a classroom (being exposed) to the same thing,” Mr. Wyman said.
Wyman and Bird are sincere, but unfortunately, they’re misguided. Multiple scientific studies show that WiFi really isn’t the problem.
Wireless systems and cell phones emit low amounts of non-ionizing radiofrequency energy (radiation). Ionizing radiation, the type used in X-rays and radiation therapy, can sometimes cause cancer. However, there is no known link between non-ionizing radiation and cancer. The only known effect of non-ionizing radiation is heat. (Microwave ovens heat food using non-ionizing radiation.)
Numerous medical studies have shown that radiofrequency energy does not cause DNA changes in cells, and does not cause cancer in animals or trigger existing carcinogens to increase chances of cancer.
Not to mention the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program tracked incidences of brain and nervous system cancer in the U.S. from 1987 to 2007, the years when cell phone use expanded exponentially. Millions more people were exposed to non-ionizing radiation during these years. But did the number of brain cancer cases increase? They did not.
What’s more, countless families and communities around the world use cell phones and wireless Internet every day with no adverse effects. Just ask Steven Scheck, founder of Inspire WiFi, a nationwide provider of wireless networks for the multifamily, hospitality and healthcare industries.
“We have installed WiFi services in hundreds of sites – hospitals, schools, medical offices, multifamily communities – and have never had a single issue or complaint,” Mr. Scheck says. “We think thousands of satisfied customers should count for something!”