Wi-Fi and other signals that everyday devices like smartphones, computers, and tablets don’t cause cancer. Not only do these signals not cause cancer, they are unable to do so without rewriting what we know of physics and biology. Here’s why.
I wanted to write this editorial because of emails I’ve gotten from the company behind a product called energydots. Aside from marking the email as spam, I figured I should write a PSA.
To start, let’s take a look at the claims this company makes. Here is part of the pitch they sent me:
Wouldn’t you say that everyone knows that WiFi and cell phone signals are inescapable in our current environment? Doesn’t matter if we’re awake, sleeping, exercising, relaxing, we are constantly surrounded by invisible, harmful waves of EMF radiation.
Every time I see someone in front of their computers, and they’re texting someone, while their smartwatch is sending alerts and they have earbuds in, I always think to myself, wow, they might as well be glowing!
Electro-stress is everywhere and rears its head in the form of headaches, tiredness, anxiety – each DOT is programmed with a powerful resonant energy signature which retunes energy interference.
This myth isn’t a new one. I don’t know who started it and when, but I’ve been hearing it for at least a decade. In this editorial, I’ll be using the term radiofrequency (RF) radiation instead of Wi-Fi or cellular signals. Both are included in this type of radiation.
I know the pitch doesn’t specifically mention cancer, just electro-stress (whatever that is), but it’s part of the same nonsense belief.
Radiation Not Causing Cancer
According to HowStuffWorks, which cites credible sources like the American Cancer Society, there have been two types of studies that look at RF radiation: Ones that observe human cancer rates and others involving lab animals. The human studies haven’t found a link between increased cancer rates and people who are around a lot of RF radiation.
In the animal lab studies, no link between cancer and RF radiation has been found. However, some studies have observed “trace biological changes” that could be hypothetically linked to cancer. Translation: A scientist found an interesting data point but it isn’t serious enough to say anything other than “hypothetically.”
RF radiation like Wi-Fi, cellular, and Bluetooth are classified as low-frequency, non-ionizing radiation. This means they aren’t powerful enough to charge molecules (Remember that an ion is an electrically-charged atom or molecule) and can’t damage your body at the cellular level.
On the electromagnetic spectrum, Wi-Fi operates in the 2GHz to 5GHz range, making them microwaves (Microwaves being a sub-class of radio waves). Microwaves have lower energy than visible light. Products like energydots don’t mention visible light, but according to their logic, if Wi-Fi is harmful, visible light should be more harmful just by being more energetic. But no one worries about getting cancer from visible light.
Now, we do worry about UV radiation, but although visible light and UV rays come from the same source (the sun), the visible part of it isn’t the cancer-causing part.
Radiation Causing Cancer
Sources of UV radiation include stars, mercury-vapor lamps, tanning lamps, and black lights. Sources of X-rays include lightning bolts, x-ray tubes, certain stars, black holes, and the moon. Sources of gamma rays include nuclear explosions and nuclear reactors, solar flares, cosmic rays, and a bunch of other non-terrestrial sources.
As you can see, you have to be in contact with specific, powerful devices and objects to get harmful radiation. And to be fair, you wouldn’t be able to tell either, because our senses can’t tell the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. But with enough exposure you’ll notice side effects like radiation burns, radiation sickness, and death (A hell of a side effect!)
People are certainly welcome to buy products like energydots, but I urge everyone to be skeptical of claims such as what I was emailed. And we can also apply that in the opposite direction: Just because such-and-such scientific study says something, that doesn’t automatically make it true. Studies undergo an intensive peer review process that determines their veracity.
Thanks to our recent presidential election, we’re all becoming more aware of “fake news” and “alternative facts.” As we head into 2019 more skepticism should be a resolution.