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Wi-Fi and Health: Review of Current Status of Research

Foster, Kenneth R.*; Moulder, John E.

doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e31829b49bb
Review Paper

This review summarizes the current state of research on possible health effects of Wi-Fi (a commercial name for IEEE 802.11-compliant wireless networking). In response to public concerns about health effects of Wi-Fi and wireless networks and calls by government agencies for research on possible health and safety issues with the technology, a considerable amount of technology-specific research has been completed. A series of high quality engineering studies have provided a good, but not complete, understanding of the levels of radiofrequency (RF) exposure to individuals from Wi-Fi. The limited number of technology-specific bioeffects studies done to date are very mixed in terms of quality and outcome. Unequivocally, the RF exposures from Wi-Fi and wireless networks are far below U.S. and international exposure limits for RF energy. While several studies report biological effects due to Wi-Fi-type exposures, technical limitations prevent drawing conclusions from them about possible health risks of the technology. The review concludes with suggestions for future research on the topic.

*Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104; †Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact: K. Foster, Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, or email atkfoster@seas.upenn.edu.

(Manuscript accepted 9 May 2013)

© 2013 by the Health Physics Society