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Can We Be Allergic to Wi-Fi Signals?

wi-fi
(Image: Getty Images)

As we progress and change the world around us, our bodies have to adjust to these changes as well. For example, before the advent of certain cosmetics no one had allergic reactions to them. Once they were invented some people started to notice they don’t do well with those chemicals interacting with their skin. Currently, most of our advancement is in the digital and technical world. One of the biggest breakthroughs in recent times is the advent of Wi-Fi technology. Can we be allergic to Wi-Fi signals? Listen to this Question Your World radio report produced by the Science Museum of Virginia to find out.

There are a lot of things that our living system can react to. We can totally be allergic to certain foods, chemicals, some plants, specific animals, work, and so on. However, when hearing about an allergic reaction to Wi-Fi signals one’s curiosity may be peaked. That’s exactly what just recently happened in France, the world’s first court case based on the allergic reaction to Wi-Fi signals flying through the air.

A 39 year old French woman won a court case in which she claimed that Wi-Fi signals, which often permeate the airwaves around us, are causing her to suffer. The claim was that she’s been experiencing headaches, nausea, mental fog, dizziness and beyond due to being in environments with Wi-Fi signals. Many other people have shared similar thoughts and have reported they have EHS, electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

Here’s the issue though. While their complaints about pain and suffering are totally valid, there has yet to be a study concluded that links these symptoms to electromagnetic waves. One case study was conducted on the effects of electromagnetic fields and their correlation with illness. This 2011 study is the only occasion in which these symptoms were viewed through the lens of science. In terms of general acceptance a study must become peer reviewed and retested many more times to be considered valid. In this instance we have yet to gain further testing or different testing in general to address these concerns.

The greater issue now is that by ruling in favor of her disability the courts have temporarily legitimized the connection between physical symptoms to Wi-Fi signals even though there is no evidence to support this woman’s claims. Furthermore, this ruling bypasses the actually concern here; what is actually causing these people to suffer? By awarding her the monthly disability check (approximately $900 a month USD) the French government is putting logic and evidence in second place.

From the times of Copernicus to contemporary issues, science has occasionally faced some hurdles due to religion, governments, culture, or lack of education. Though not as harmful, this court ruling evokes the same notions that were used during the Salem Witch Trials. Without working through the logical means of understanding, without evidence, and without repeated testing on an outcome, the decision was made and the gavel came down. As our society advances we'll have more and more innovation and many more opportunities to see how these new technologies react to our bodies, using evidence of course!