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Health effects of WiFi radiation: a review based on systematic quality evaluation
Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology  (IF12.561),  Pub Date : 2021-07-24, DOI: 10.1080/10643389.2021.1951549


Abstract

Although WiFi contributes little to total radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure in our everyday environment, concern has raised whether this specific type of modulated RF-EMF causes health problems. The aim of this review is to evaluate all types of studies that investigated biological and health effects of WiFi exposure and fulfilled basic quality criteria. Eligible for inclusion were epidemiological, human experimental, in vivo and in vitro studies using realistic WiFi exposure settings. We conducted a systematic literature search for all papers published between January 1997 and August 2020 followed by a quality review addressing blinding and dosimetry in experimental studies and various types of biases in epidemiological studies. All studies fulfilling the quality criteria were descriptively summarized in terms of observation or absence of associations. From 1385 articles identified by the literature search, 23 fulfilled basic quality criteria: 6 epidemiological papers, 6 human experimental articles, 9 in vivo articles, and 2 in vitro articles. Whereas in vivo and in vitro studies applied exposure levels up to 4 W/kg, human studies dealt with exposure levels several orders of magnitude below the ICNIRP guidelines, which are typical for WiFi exposure situations in the everyday environment. Numerous outcomes ranging from biological markers to symptoms were mostly found not to be associated with WiFi exposure. Sporadic findings were not consistent in terms of outcomes or exposure-response associations. This review based on a systematic literature search and quality evaluation does not suggest detrimental health effects from WiFi exposure below regulatory limits.