• 05 JUL 05
    • 0

    Wireless modem affected heart rhythm

    Some time ago a local Trade Union rep. expressed concern to me that his daughter’s school was going for wireless laptops. Since then, many of our local private schools in Hobart have gone the wireless way, as a result of hard sales pitches by wireless companies – “after all you must stay on top of the wireless revolution”.

    One of our prime considerations in chosing our youngest son’s high school was that they have an up to date computer network THAT WAS NOT WIRELESS. For our reasons see:
    “Wireless Devices, Standards, and Microwave Radiation in the Education Environment” – Gary Brown, October, 2000, at:

    As a result of the Gary Brown paper, my oldest son, who recommends and organises all the IT purchases at his work, decided not to look at wireless as an option for the company- because of the health issue. Too bad school IT decision makers dont include the health risks when considering the ‘benefits’. The problem is that school management and boards only hear of the wonders of the wireless world – told to them by salesmen totally unaware (and don’t want to be aware) of any possible adverse health effects.

    On the weekend my oldest son was asking me about any other information that was available on possible health effects from wireless lap tops.

    With a quick search I found the following article on the excellent Omega News Site. It is from an email sent to Omega News.


    “Wireless Modem Affected My Heartbeat”

    “Last July, out of the blue, I developed a disruption to my heart rhythm. The arrhythrria continued to the point where I was aware of it for most of the day. I also experienced disturbances to my sleep, waking in the early hours and then being unable to fall asleep again. From the tightness of my chest, I knew I was not getting enough oxygen.

    I linked the onset of my symptoms to our acquisition of a laptop with a wireless modem. This base station had been transmitting microwaves 24 hours a day at a frequency of 2.4 GHz, extending to a radius of 150 feet.

    We disconnected the base station and replaced it with a fixed line. Within three weeks I was totally free of any abnormality; my sleep and energy levels settled back to normal.

    On looking back, during that summer, others in my family had been abnormally fatigued with disturbed sleep patterns. My 18 year old daughter had an episode of dizziness lasting a whole day after close contact with the transmitter. My 22 year old son experienced vomiting and vertigo after spending two hours within feet of the apparatus.

    The base station is marked by NET GEAR and is called a Wireless ADSL Modem Gateway DG824M. They are being placed in the foyers of airports, hotels, in GP surgeries, coffee shops and students’ halls of residences so that individuals can use their laptops with the minimum of fuss.

    From March 2004, a number of airlines will have introduced them on their planes, following trials by BA and Lufthansa.

    If this is how it affects a healthy family of adults over a short period of time, what will be the consequences on the general population, let alone those with recognised heart problems or pacemakers, the pregnant and the young?

    What is the real price of convenience? – Francesca J. Fox, via e-mail.”

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