I couldn't believe my ears when I heard the dreadful BBC Breakfast "news" show trot out the 'Wi-Fi is killing children' story yet again this morning. This scare story has been doing the rounds for ages, and now the BBC's once-great Panorama programme has caught up with it.
Parents can now be scared of mobile phone masts and Wi-Fi, as well as child abduction, unhealthy foods and local paedophiles. Congratulations, BBC. I'm sure the Beeb would have been at the forefront of "travelling at more than 30mph is fatal" scare story that circulated at the dawn of the rail age.
Panorama tests show that radiation levels from wireless kit in one school was up to three times the level of mobile phone mast radiation. This certainly sounds scary, until you factor in the facts that the intensity of Wi-Fi radiation is 100,000 times less than that of a domestic microwave oven, and the readings were 600 times below the government's safety limits.
The UK Health Protection Agency says that sitting in a Wi-Fi hotspot for a year results in receiving the same dose of radio waves as making a 20-minute mobile phone call. You'd also get body sores and drink far too much caffeine if you sat in Starbucks for so long.
We have lived with radio waves (ie. WiFi) for more than a century. We are right to investigate possible dangers, but the BBC should be ashamed of regurgitating year-old news stories just because constantly scaring parents seems to get the highest viewing figures.