I write this today because of a conversation last night I had with a very fervent parent claiming that Wifi was bad for children’s organs. Her main point was that some schools in [Europe banned Wifi because of the possible adverse health effects on children](https://www.wirelesseducation.org/1073-2/).

So of course I went and found the research they cited and dug a bit deeper. Ultimately what much of the scare lands on is the [WHO classing Wifi as a Class 2B carcinogen](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IARC_Group_2B_Agents_-_Possibly_carcinogenic_to_humans). Class 2B items are _possibly_ carcinogenic to humans and includes stuff like:

– Coffee
– Any fermented vegetables (like pickles)
– The foaming agent in most shampoo, bath bombs and soaps
– aloe vera

Now the truth is that there are some things on that list that really aren’t good for you, like gasoline. So there is a wide range of things classed as 2B and just because Wifi is on the list doesn’t mean it’s bad for you at all.

[I think that this is the best summary I found of the research](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3142790/) which ends with:

> On a serious note, breaking news like the link between cell phone use and cancer made a splash in the media, with little consideration given the fact that the report was a summary of the deliberations of the IARC committee and was not an outcome of any carefully planned study by the IARC. It is not always easy to communicate the intricate details of any study to the public; the philosophical and methodological broodings of an international committee are even less easy to communicate, without causing concern and confusion. In an era when the media looks for material for quick sound bites and sensational news, I believe reports like the one by the IARC must have a ‘media summary,’ just like an executive summary in a complex business report. The purpose of the studies and analyses like the one discussed in this editorial must be communicated clearly to the public, to avoid panic and encourage the public to use caution, and also suggest the limitations of the studies on complex subjects related to human health. The discipline of public health may need to evolve strategies for educating the public in an objective, yet effective manner.

Earlier in that piece it’s also noted that the studies used in the deliberation were for 2G phones so have no bearing on the phones at the time (this was written in 2011 and 3G phones were common then), let alone our 4G phones and the coming 5G phones.

So I guess the truth is, we don’t know at all and any guess past that is totally a guess. If you’re going to guess that Wifi is bad, make sure none of your children eat pickles or use shampoo too. We need more studies on the effects of Wifi and cell signals to be done if we want to be able to draw any conclusions.

## Some of the stuff I read

– [Wi-Fi is not harming our children](https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/11599311/Wi-Fi-is-not-harming-our-chidren-heres-the-evidence.html)
– [Cell phones are as carcinogenic as coffee](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3142790/)
POSSIBLY CARCINOGENIC TO HUMANS](https://www.iarc.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pr208_E.pdf)
– [Pooled analysis of case-control studies on malignant brain tumours and the use of mobile and cordless phones including living and deceased subjects](https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/ijo.2011.947/download)
– [Cellular phone use and brain tumor: a meta-analysis](https://zero.sci-hub.tw/795/adc47693262075e26de0839ec9538e5c/kan2007.pdf)