"People have studied whether there are adverse effects from living in a vicinity of high tension wires … There is none," said Dr. George Newman, chairman of neurosensory sciences at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.
But limited research, both physiological and psychological, on exposure to electromagnetic fields has shown that some people report varied physical reactions when they encounter electromagnetic fields.
Firstenberg says his responses to electromagnetic fields, and to Wi-Fi networks in particular, are immediate, almost like an allergic reaction, and can last for several hours.
But lack of concrete evidence to explain a mechanism for these reactions leaves most experts unconvinced.
"It is still in the realm of suspicion rather than proof," Toole said. "Research should be encouraged in a scientific way rather than hearsay."
Still, Firstenberg and his group, the Santa Fe Alliance for Public Health and Safety, are working to prevent the local government from installing wireless Internet access in several public buildings, including libraries and the city hall. The Santa Fe City Council will be discussing and voting upon the issue in June.