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Internet: Health Hazards

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 2 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent studies his Department has carried out on the effect of wi-fi on the health of (a) people who are electro-sensitive and (b) others. (303441)

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) advises the Government in relation to the protection of communities from radiation hazards, including those associated with exposure to non-ionising radiation such as the radio waves from wireless communication systems. The HPA has concluded that there is no consistent evidence to date that exposure to radio waves from wireless networks adversely affects the health of the general population and that there is no reason why schools and others should not use wi-fi equipment. The HPA also keeps the situation under review.

The HPA has reviewed technical standards and wireless equipment used in United Kingdom schools, and performed laboratory measurements with examples of typical equipment. The results are consistent with the position that exposures to the radio waves from Wi-Fi equipment are not expected to exceed internationally-accepted guidelines and that they are less than from mobile telephones. Further measurements in school classrooms are planned, as are computer modelling studies. Information about these studies is available on the HPA website at:

The Department of Health has not commissioned or undertaken any studies specifically on the effect of wi-fi on the health of people who are reportedly electrosensitive. The independently managed Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme, jointly funded by Government and industry, has investigated whether electrical hypersensitivity symptoms result from exposure to radiofrequency fields emitted by mobile telephones. In its 2007 report the MTHR Programme Management Committee concluded that the MTHR research results, taken together with earlier evidence, offered no support for this hypothesis. The MTHR report is available at: