Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Wi-Fi Fears Disputed

By AusSMC

The ABC’s science program Catalyst drew widespread criticism after giving precedence to the views of US cancer epidemiologist Dr Devra Davis in an episode that examined “whether our wireless devices could be putting our health at risk”.

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“I was particularly disappointed to see “Wi-Fried” air yesterday in the guise of science journalism, and felt it important to reassure other viewers that the fringe position provided by Dr Davis and associates is merely that: a fringe position that is not supported by science.

“There is very strong scientific consensus that, even after considering such personal views as Dr Davis’, there is no substantiated evidence that the low levels of radiofrequency emissions encountered by mobile telecommunications can cause any harm. Of course it is impossible for science to demonstrate that anything is absolutely safe, and so regardless of whether we’re talking about Wi-Fi or orange juice, science cannot demonstrate absolute safety.

“However, given that radiofrequency emissions are one of the most heavily researched agents that science has ever assessed, and given that (contrary to Catalyst’s claims) no substantiated health effects have emerged, we can be very confident that the emissions are indeed safe. For further information about the international consensus view in this area, you may find the website of the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) of interest (www.icnirp.org)."

Professor Rodney Croft is Director of the National Health & Medical Research Council’s...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.