I'm a bit of a radiation safety nut, so when news of a new, high definition home video networking standard using 60-GHz microwave radio frequencies arrived, my usual alarm bells went off. If 2 GHz and 2.4 GHz -- the frequencies used for WiFi home networking, microwave ovens, and most cell phones -- are suspicious, how could thirty times those frequencies be safe? (See WirelessHD group readies 60-GHz home video network spec ).
60 GHz is already used in computer data networking to provide point-to-point links, such as between buildings on a corporate or college campus. But is it really safe for home use?
Terrabeam is one of the main players in the commercial point-to-point market, and here's what a white paper from their web site says about the safety issue: (See www.proxim.com/products/gigalink for more info.)
"Terabeam's 60-GHz MMW systems are among the safest RF communication systems ever designed. Due to their combination of low power emissions and high operation frequency, the Gigalink can be safely installed in any location. The Gigalink is certified as a FCC Part 15 device, placing it in the same category as controllers for garage door openers. Under this certification, the Gigalink is allowed to transmit a maximum average power of 9 microwatt/cm2. This threshold represents less than 1 percent of the power limits established by standards organizations and the federal government for the general public's safe exposure to 60 GHz and similar radio systems.
In addition to the very low power levels discussed above, 60 GHz systems do not penetrate the human body. High-frequency emissions such as 60 GHz are absorbed by the moisture in the human body and are thereby prevented from penetrating beyond the outer layers of the skin. As a result, exposure to 60 GHz is very similar to the exposure to sunlight " but at 1/10,000 of the energy. Lower-frequency emissions penetrate and may even pass completely through the human body. The minimal penetration of 60-GHz energy sets it apart from the debate that currently surrounds the safety of other RF communication systems."
Any other opinions?