You may or may not believe the reports asserting that exposure to wireless data frequencies is dangerous to our health. Either way, one gadget maker has decided to be proactive about it.
China’s Qihoo 360 just announced a Wi-Fi router that can be set to “pregnant woman” mode, cutting the router’s radiation output by 70 percent, the BBC reports. The home network device is called the P1 and offers two stronger signal modes as well: “wall penetration” and “balance.”
Though there’s no wholly accepted verdict yet on the true dangers of Wi-Fi frequencies for adults or babies, many studies have failed to find evidence that serious negative effects exist.
A U.S.-based nonprofit group, The BabySafe Project, has called for more research into the potential dangers of wireless radiation and urges pregnant women to exercise caution when using cell phones, microwave ovens, and other devices that emit low-level radiation.
According to the BBC, however, some companies in China see Qihoo’s new device release as pure fear-mongering.
Hardware company Xiaomi recently released a retort on social media: "The so-called pregnancy mode is just a marketing tactic. Wi-Fi usage is safe, so please rest assured when using it.“
“We will wait and see who has a more profound understanding of Wi-Fi routers, me or our competitors,” Qihoo CEO Zhou Hongyi said at the launch event for the P1.
The World Health Organization has posted this advisory to its website: “Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature … current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields. However, some gaps in knowledge about biological effects exist and need further research.”
Of course, WiFi signals degrade quickly over distance. It’s likely that Qihoo cuts the radiation emitted by a router by cranking down the power on the router’s internal radio — effectively limiting its range. You could achieve the same effect by sitting farther away from it.
And if you’re pregnant, just wrap your belly in tin foil. It may not help, but it certainly couldn’t hurt.
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