“Dozens” of “electro-sensitive” residents of Santa Fe want a ban placed on public wireless signals because the signals are allegedly causing allergic reactions in people with radio wave allergies. Sufferers of “electro-smog” reportedly experience various degrees of sickness, including chest pains lasting a couple days. 

According to USA Today,

The [TV] station says Firstenberg and dozens of “other electro-sensitive people” are arguing that the city’s proposal to establish WiFi hotspots in public places is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

It doesn’t appear that a lawsuit has yet been filed, if one ever will be (an attorney is merely “looking into the issue” at this point). USA Today devotes the second half of this very short blog entry to debunking electromagnetic sensitivity, turning to the World Health Organization, which refers to “a number of studies” that found no link between symptoms and EMF exposure. Most of the USA Today readers who have commented on the online story have been less than sympathetic towards the victims, to put it mildly. 

A video report (uncaptioned) from MSNBC tends to treat electro-sensitivity seriously — at least on the surface. Rather than cite debunking studies, the report ends with an excerpt from an interview with a city councilor who affirms that the city of Santa Fe is already saturated with wireless networks anyway (“it’s here and it’s not going away”). He argues, as a result, that Santa Fe must embrace this technology because, well, that’s what we do in 2008 (and “it’s not 1692 anymore”). 

The merits of the ADA complaint aside, surely the city rep can come up with a better response than one grounded in unreflective techno-optimism and -determinism?