The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
Man claims to be allergic to Wifi
DJ Steve Miller claims that he is allergic to Wifi. Being caught near a Wifi connection causes him agonizing pain. From the Daily Mail:

The condition, known as electromagnetic sensitivity, affects two per cent of the population, and this is set to grow as more people opt for wireless internet signals. Steve navigates normal daily chores with the help of a ‘wi-fi detector’ which spots areas he should avoid. But the sensitivity has made moving house a real mission for Steve, who has needed to avoid homes close to a connection. He said: ‘I can’t live within 50 yards of anyone. I wouldn’t be able to stand it feeling ill in my own house. In his current home, in a remote area of Cornwall, he is shielded from the ‘electrosmog’ by sturdy 18-inch walls.

There are a growing number of people who complain that they're allergic to WiFi. Last year there were reports of a group of "electro-sensitive people" trying to stop the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico from creating a wireless internet network, claiming it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Ian Douglas, of the Telegraph, explains why no one is allergic to Wifi:

Wifi consists of electromagnetic waves, just like light or radio waves, with a frequency of 2.4GHz, giving it a wavelength of around 12.5cm. There is some variation but not enough of a range to make any difference. 2.4GHz is on the long end of microwave, getting close to radio, rather similar to mobile phone signals. It transmits at much lower power than a mobile phone mast, so even if those signals were harmful, Wifi would be less so.
Mr Miller makes no mention of mobile phones, he is only bothered by Wifi. If it is electromagnetic radiation in general he’s sensitive to, he’s in real trouble as radio waves and visible light flood our atmosphere every minute of every day.

However, there is one group that is well known to have an extreme sensitivity to electromagnetic waves such as light: Vampires! Intriguingly, Steve Miller's stagename is "Afterlife." So I'm betting he's a vampire.
Categories: Health/MedicineTechnology
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 28, 2009
Although it is not specified what the "sturdy 18 inch" walls are constructed of, I'd bet that all kinds of electromagnetic fields permeate his home. I'll bet that his home is not a Faraday Cage.

I like what one reader wrote in response - "Show me a double blind test and I'll believe it".
Posted by KDP  in  Madill, OK  on  Tue Jul 28, 2009  at  10:39 AM
Microwaves *are* radio waves. Ian Douglas knows as little about the subject as the dufus he's talking about.
Posted by Goober  on  Tue Jul 28, 2009  at  11:49 AM
I'm allergic to fart gas. And kool-aid. Thank god they don't make fart-flavored kool-aid. I'd be in big trouble, and never leave the house. Glug glug, sniff whew
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Tue Jul 28, 2009  at  12:44 PM
Yup, I concur about the double blind test. This claim would be VERY easy to confirm or disprove. It wouldn't take more than an hour at most.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Tue Jul 28, 2009  at  07:11 PM
I'd even be willing to bet that James Randi would shell out for 'being able to detect Radio Waves'.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Tue Jul 28, 2009  at  08:04 PM
I've forwarded the Daily Mail story to James Randi. Cross your fingers.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jul 29, 2009  at  05:52 AM
Goober, Ian Douglas is right on the money. Radio proper goes up to 1 GHz. If you look on an electromagnetic spectrum chart above that frequency you find microwaves. And indeed, Wi-Fi does actually use microwaves (see for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_spectrum#Microwaves). So Ian's wording is *very* accurate. He could've been even more accurate by calling it a spade, but nobody wants to say "aw shut up, Wi-Fi is totally safe because it uses microwaves".
Posted by Gutza  in  Romania  on  Wed Jul 29, 2009  at  09:11 AM
It's a hell of a read (and I haven't read it all myself yet), but the comments on the Daily Mail article are fascinating. Someone by the name of Phil Kean chimes in, claiming he's allergic to WiFi too. Others offer some evidence which he pushes aside and stands by his claim... personally, I think he's nuts, especially since he goes so far as to claim that he once tried WiFi on his laptop, and his hand hurt for weeks because the transmissions went up the cable, to the mouse, and into his hand. Cuckoo!
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Wed Jul 29, 2009  at  09:56 AM
I heard back from Randi:

"I've posted a comment on the Mail site..."

Let's watch the fireworks, shall we?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jul 29, 2009  at  03:48 PM
It's hitting various techie news sites, like Ars Technica and Slashdot, that the whole story was a publicity stunt.

http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/09/07/31/1528241/Wi-Fi-Allergy-a-PR-Stunt?art_pos=2
Posted by TexasAndroid  in  Texas  on  Fri Jul 31, 2009  at  05:22 PM
Ok, Wifi sensitivity? You have got to be kidding me. This has to be the pinnacle of Luddite nonsense. Even if it is from the UK, normally thought to be far more sensible than the USA. There ARE some ill health effects one can suffer from cell phones, but since mobile phone transmissions are far more powerful than WiFi (Wireless has a range, per router, of only a few hundred feet - cell phones have far larger ranges - miles to the nearest tower) but the bodily harm one can pick up from phones have naught to do with transmissions that they make, and everything to do with far more ordinary body mechanics. I do NOT mean cancer, which has never been proven to happen due to cell phones.
I speak of course, of cell phone elbow. Makes sense, doesn't it? You have your arm crooked for long periods of time, move only yr. thumb muscles typing text messages...people get tennis elbow, makes sense they would pick up cell phone elbow. Obviously, being poisoned or affected by WiFi transmissions is bunk - if he were around a satellite TV or the tiniest of AM/FM radios he'd be on the floor if WiFi really could do anything to him.
Posted by AnnanAmos  in  USA  on  Mon Aug 03, 2009  at  07:09 PM
I like this part of the article on people trying to stop the city from installing wi-fi:

"A number of studies have been conducted where [electromagnetic hypersensitivity] individuals were exposed to [electromagnetic fields] similar to those that they attributed to the cause of their symptoms. The aim was to elicit symptoms under controlled laboratory conditions," the organization says. "The majority of studies indicate that EHS individuals cannot detect EMF exposure any more accurately than non-EHS individuals. Well controlled and conducted double-blind studies have shown that symptoms were not correlated with EMF exposure."
Posted by daveprime  in  Deep in the sticks...*yay internet!!*  on  Thu Aug 06, 2009  at  09:02 PM
Mr. Miller. Your ignorance has confirmed itself with the perfect reflection of ignorance you illicit
from your viewers. Try taking on your own insensitive nature instead of rousing the ignorant with mere emotional dismissive rhetoric.

Wi-fi operates on a frequency which affects everyone's biology, at the cellular level. It interrupts intercellular communication and over time, will cause tumors, and disease. The testing done by the organizations responsible for unleashing this on the consumers was entirely in favor of selling them and not protecting humans. The fact that most people cannot feel anything has absolutely nothing to do with its apparent safety.

That logic didn't work well on the first few thousand people who were working (without feeling a thing) with asbestos.

What an idiot. It's people like you who keep others in harms way by virtue of having a little audience for your little capacity to connect the dots.
Posted by Harrison  in  USA  on  Fri Feb 05, 2010  at  06:41 PM
Sorry Mr. Miller, I inadvertantly put your name at the top of the response I intended for your/our
opponents in this.
Posted by Harrison  in  USA  on  Mon Mar 15, 2010  at  11:38 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.