BBC Panorama airing on Monday night in the UK fans fears of health risks from Wi-Fi through bad interpretation: As the Guardian points out, not only are the classroom measurements discussed in the program 600 times below the level that the government expresses concern at, the measurement of Wi-Fi signal strength and a cell base station signal are made at different points. The measurement for Wi-Fi is at 1 meter, and the cell base station at 100m. At those disparate differences, Wi-Fi comes out three times stronger. I haven't seen the program, as it hasn't aired yet, and in parts of the program description online, it makes it clear that they are measuring exposure within the classroom to Wi-Fi and exposure at the same location to signals from the mast; in others, they appear to be making an apples-to-apples comparison.
The entire basis of the program appears to be using the many studies of mobile phone emissions and resulting health effects and applying them against Wi-Fi on the basis of this erroneous measurement. The Guardian doesn't note the other specious element. The point isn't a cell base station radiating to a user, but the cell phone someone carries produces a signal that reaches the base station. No measurement appears to have been taken of a cell phone in use.
Lest we forget, the Guardian writes, "The Health Protection Agency says a person sitting within a Wi-Fi hotspot for a year receives the same dose of radio waves as a person using a mobile phone for 20 minutes."
Scientists quoted in the program apparently say that using thermal effects--heat produced by exposure to electromagnetic radiation--to determine risk isn't enough to, well, determine risk.
You will likely be able to hear me speak on this issue on the UK's Channel 4 Morning Report podcast being posted Monday morning GMT.