Resellers dismiss health risks of Wi-Fi networks

Resellers dismiss health risks of Wi-Fi networks

Channel reports Wi-Fi sales are unaffected as HPA embarks on two years of research

Despite an investigation launched this month by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) into possible health and safety risks of wireless networks in schools, resellers have rubbished the idea that there is any danger.

VARs report no drop in sales, no negative feedback and no real evidence to conclude that emissions from Wi-Fi networks are dangerous.

“Leapfrog has seen no decrease in sales, whatsoever,” said Lee Bevan, managing director of reseller Leapfrog Computers. “No matter what the technology, someone will always try to find a flaw in it. If there was any risk from Wi-Fi then schools would not use it.”

Mike Gammie, IT services development manger at reseller Misco, said the firm has heard nothing negative about Wi-Fi and, as far as it knows, nor have any other resellers. No schools have asked about the risks as no one has pointed out any valid evidence of a risk. We have seen no dip in the sales.”

The HPA is not saying that Wi-Fi emissions are definitely a health hazard. In fact, its safety guidelines state: “On the basis of current scientific information, Wi-Fi equipment satisfies international guidelines. There is no consistent evidence of health effects from RF (radiofrequency) exposures below guideline levels and therefore no reason why schools and others should not use Wi-Fi equipment.”

Nevertheless, the HPA will conduct a two-year research programme to lay to rest any fears. The research is part of a larger investigation into measuring exposure to wireless LANs and has been welcomed by Becta, the government’s education technology partner.

Bob Fenton, a Becta representative, said: “Becta takes its guidance from the HPA and if there is a low signal there is no danger. The HPA says there is no evidence of a health risk.”