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Microwave ovens and wireless networks

Jim Geier reports in an article at Wi-Fi Planet, Dueling with Microwave Ovens, about his experiments, which show how radiation from microwave ovens might interfere with wireless local computer networks, so-called WLAN’s. From a health point of view this seems to indicate that our microwave permeated environment not only includes radiation from cordless phones, cell phones, burgler alarms etc., but also leakage from microwave ovens, short in duration maybe but still adding to the total exposure. A quotation from the article:

A more realistic distance from the microwave is from one of the break tables, which is about eight feet away from the microwave. At this range, I reran the throughput tests, resulting in 178pps. This still equates to around a 75 percent decrease, something that would likely make users unhappy. […]
I also repeated the tests down the hall about 20 feet away with the microwave running and still experienced fairly sluggish responses. In fact, throughput from there was still only 260pps. Obviously, the microwave was making the WLAN crawl at surprisingly great distances from the microwave.

Pingad på Intressant.

First Spanish social survey on microwave syndrome

More than five percent of the population in La Nora, Murcia, Spain, participated in a survey trying to relate severity of symptoms to power density in the vicinity of a cell phone base station working in DCS-1800 MHz:

This survey contained health items related to ”microwave sickness” or ”RF syndrome.” The microwave power density was measured at the respondents’ homes. Statistical analysis showed significant correlation between the declared severity of the symptoms and the measured power density. The separation of respondents into two different exposure groups also showed an increase of the declared severity in the group with the higher exposure. (E. A. Navarro, J. Segura, M. Portolés, C. Gómez-Perretta de Mateo, ”The Microwave Syndrome: A Preliminary Study in Spain”, Electromag. Biol. and Med. vol 22, issue 2, 2003, DOI: 10.1081/JBC-120024625)

From a population of around 1,900 in La Nora, a little more than a hundred were selected and after individuals with a history of deep psychological or neurological disease were excluded, 101 surveys were considered valid. 47 percent of the respondents were male and 53 percent female, within a wide age range. Navarro et al. write in their article:

The first group ( 250 m from BS). Asthenic syndrome was 42% higher in the first group, diencephalic syndrome was 55% higher in the first group, sensorial alterations were 25% higher in the first group, and cardiovascular alterations 55% higher as well.

Navarro and his co-authors claim that the most interesting aspect of their results is the significance of the dependence between the declared severity of the symptom and the logarithm of the measured electric field:

[…] our work shows a similarity in procedure and results with previous surveys on noise annoyance. […]
Although noise is perceived by the senses, the same is not true for the electromagnetic field. Therefore biasing is less likely in the present study, and the results are probably more objective than in the surveys on noise annoyance.

See Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine.

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