Library Director resigns over WiFi irradiation risks
Rebekah Azen resigned from her post as the director of the library at Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, because she believes that exposure to WiFi emissions is a health hazard and got no response from administrators after complaining. Library Journal covered this story yesterday. The Council on Wireless Technology Impacts, a group that Azen works with, put out a press release detailing their view of the situation and talking about the dangers of WiFi radiation as they view them.
I debated Azen on the SRRT email discussion list about this issue last year, saying that WiFi radiation is no worse than many other sources of electromagnetic radiation that we’re exposed to all the time, from natural and technological sources. Ultimately, I had to admit that man-made electromagnetic fields are something that we expose ourselves to without knowing as much about their potential effects as we should. They constitute a way that we have changed our environment that might alarm us if it were perceptible to our senses. At the same time, I finally argued, and this is what I think, electromagnetic radiation all over the spectrum is in our environment all the time and there is really no getting away from it unless you move to a a pretty remote part of the world. Then again, this is something that is difficult to argue about unless you have an unusual level of technical knowledge. Whatever the truth is, I think Rebekah Azen is brave and principled to take the step that she did.
10 comments on “Library Director resigns over WiFi irradiation risks”
I fully agree with what you are saying here, Rory. But. Regarding this point: “electromagnetic radiation all over the spectrum is in our environment all the time and there is really no getting away from it unless you move to a a pretty remote part of the world.”
First, it doesn’t sound like an argument you would make to me. Nor is it even remotely a good argument. Here’s why: Lead, mercury, uranium and such are all around us in the natural environment, yet there is some threshold level for all of these at which man-made increases in these substances are extremely toxic. The same applies for many forms of electromagnetic waves. So perhaps we shouldn’t go around increasing the levels of these things before we know what they do and at what levels.
I am certainly not an expert in any of this, but I did spend many years in the Army repairing various radio equipment and we were certainly trained to observe significant safety precautions when working on radio equipment or antennas.
I am one who has serious concerns about the proliferation of these radio frequencies, yet I also seem to have taken quite well to using wifi with my laptop. It is a complicated situation, to say the least.
By the way, not trying to debate here, just saying there is another way to look at the form you say your argument took. It may be that we can limitlessly expand the output of these frequencies without harming humans, or the planet and its other inhabitants, in any way. But until we know that for certain, that form of argument is (or should be) unavailable to anyone based on the other naturally occurring substances that we know are deadly when increased past their naturally occurring levels.
She may be brave and principled but she is still misinformed and, in my very strong opinion, wrong! For information on safety and health issue go to my blog tag Health Issues.
Mark: I think we do know that in certain areas of the spectrum, especially very close to antennae, naturally occurring levels of electromagnetic radiation don’t come close to what we are exposed to through technology. I could have worded that sentence more carefully though.
I would also point out that usually when science tells us about something being dangerous it’s a while after many people have been harmed by it. Physicists have known about EMF for over 100 years, but it’s relatively recently that we’ve all started wearing sunblock when we go out in the sun to block UV rays, to prevent cancer.
I have a friend who has not been able to use her local library since they installed a wireless system. The electromagnetic radiation causes her to suffer very badly. I know of a schoolgirl that kept going into seizures when she was in a classroom close to a school wireless computer system. I know of a woman who developed brain cancer, discovered a defective WiFi component on her computer system and when it was removed, the cancer tumor shrunk back to scar tissue. I know of a teacher that can no longer teach since his school installed WIFi. I recently used a radio-frequency meter to check a home and found that the WiFi system was producing a huge amount of dangerous high frequencies, this was not low power as often described. My advice is – if you use any sort of wireless producing device, whether it is a cordless phone, cell phone or WiFi, measure it before you use it, to know the level of danger that you are exposing yourself to.
Rebekah Azen is a pioneer, who I am sure will be proved correct in her concern for health damage being caused by WiFi.
Agreed, Rory. I started to add something about how it is usually much later that hazards are clearly identified, and even later before they are acted on, but my comment was getting long and I didn’t want to turn it into a critique of society.
I just visited Bill Drew’s link, above. If you’re interested in this issue you really should check it out – it really is a ton of stuff on wifi safety, from the “it’s okay” perspective.
Agreed, Rory. I started to add something about how it is usually much later that hazards are clearly identified, and even later before they are acted on, but my comment was getting long and I didnâ€™t want to turn it into a critique of society.
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