Calling Ben Goldacre!

Mr Miller, better known by his stage name Afterlife, is unable to use trains, stay in hotels or visit his local high street because of his sensitivity to the \”electrosmog\” cause by wireless internet waves.

He is among around two per cent of the population who suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensetivity, while the number of people and businesses pumping out the Wi-Fi signal is rising.

I\’m just about willing to believe that there might be some unfortunates who are indeed sensitive to certain electromagnetic waves. Hey, people have been found to be allergic to all sorts of things.

But 2% of the population? Especially when almost all (all?) of those actually tested in a proper double blind manner turn out not to be able to tell when there are indeed such waves around and when there aren\’t.

6 thoughts on “Calling Ben Goldacre!”

  1. He is among around two per cent of the population who suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensetivity,

    Surely it should read, “who claim to suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity.

  2. How does he know it’s WiFi that’s at fault? It could be that his chakras have become unbalanced.

  3. Hmmm. Can’t ride on a train because of the Wifi? Didn’t notice that 25kV overhead cable, then?

  4. The reason things like mobile phones and WiFi transceivers are such astounding examples of human technological achievement is that the signal strengths associated with them are so minute that it requires marvels of engineering to distinguish them from the background. A 3mg snowflake falling at 1 m/s has a kinetic energy of 1500 nJ. A cellphone signal at the lower limit of detectability might be -110 dBm (or even less). This is 10 fW. At this level, the antenna in your phone needs to collect signal for the best part of five years to get the same energy as the falling snowflake.

    A microwave photon in the DCS1800 band is around 7μeV. In the 5GHz band of 802.11n it’s around 20μeV. This is the sort of photon energy associated with hyperfine splitting, which has no known biological significance. You need energies in the electronvolt range (UV) to cleave chemical bonds.

    Dielectric heating of biological material even at peak output power (20dBm) is so small as to be almost unmeasurable. It is certainly much less than that associated with moving from a shaded spot into direct sunlight.

    We should cease paying any attention to these hypochondriac wasters, unless it is to mock them.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    The tests I have seen done on these people involves putting them in a white room, turning on an electromagnetic field at various random times and asking them how they feel.

    If they don’t know it is on, they are not allergic.

    It is a myth and these people need medical help.

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