Are Your Wireless Devices Out To Get You?

Most people probably think of their wireless devices—their cell phones, tablets, laptops, GPS, and more—as indispensable objects, even as friends. However, these wireless devices may be out to get you in the form of the electromagnetic field (EMF, aka electromagnetic radiation) they emit.

For years, experts and concerned citizens have been voicing their concerns about electromagnetic fields. In the past, that concern was associated mainly with high-voltage power lines, appliances, and electrical wiring. But more recent times have left us living in an ever-growing EMF jungle, surrounded by low level radiation from all sides and closer to home: at our fingertips, in our pockets, and against our ears.

It’s not unusual to see young children, even infants, playing with or using cell phones. We have an entire generation growing up having constant, intimate relationships with wireless devices. These EMF exposures are being associated with cancer, autism, depression, sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, tinnitus, and anxiety, among other health issues.

Read more about how tablets and other devices disrupt sleep and how to prevent it

Calls for action

Various scientific groups and physician organizations have called for steps to be taken to protect the public against the damage EMF can have on human health. The latest effort was announced on May 11, 2015, when nearly 200 scientists appealed to the United Nations, its member states, and the World Health Organization to adopt protective guidelines and educate the public about the dangers of EMF.

What are the specific dangers of EMF? Martin Blank, a retired special lecturer in the effects of electromagnetic radiation on cells at Columbia University Medical Center, explains that the radiation is causing premature deaths and damage to the DNA in our cells. “It is clear to many biologists that this can account for the rising cancer rates,” says Blank. He notes that cell biologists understand the science behind exposure to constant electromagnetic radiation, but that those who make the policy decisions do not.

“When you have physicists and engineers and politicians and industrial people who are sitting and making these decisions as to what is safe, we’re getting into a situation where it’s more and more of this radiation in our environment with no apparent control,” Blank says. He warns that the EMF levels are so high, they are causing more and more medical problems.

Studies of EMF

A new (May 2015) study appearing in the International Journal of Oncology reported on the French national study called CERENAT, which found an increased risk of glioma (a type of tumor in the brain or spine) associated with cell phone use. Research also has uncovered a risk of meningioma from mobile phone use. As a result, the authors of the report recommended that mobile phone radiation be classified as a probable human carcinogen.

In Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine, a team conducted a lab experiment in which they explored the impact of low-frequency electromagnetic fields from car electronics, LCD monitors, and physiotherapy equipment on blood platelets. They found that EMF caused changes in the cells, which suggested it may cause oxidative stress in humans and could lead to free-radical diseases; namely, any disease that involves damage to the cells, a list that is too long to include here.

Sleep quality suffered in medical students who used their cell phones more than 2 hours per day, according to one study. The participants who used their phones more than 2 hours daily also exhibited day dysfunction and sleep disturbances when compared with those who used their phones for less time.

In an animal study, researchers evaluated the impact of extremely low-frequency EMF on mice. All the animals were tested for sociability, locomotion, exploratory behavior, motor coordination, anxiety, and sense of smell. Compared with a control group of mice, those exposed to EMF showed a lack of normal sociability and a decrease in exploratory activity. The authors concluded these results supported the hypothesis of a causal link between EMF exposure and autism spectrum disorder.

What you can do

The wireless devices in our homes, schools, and offices have become part of our lifestyle. In addition, we are exposed to EMF from cell towers, high-voltage power lines, wireless antennae on buildings, GPSs, and more.

There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from EMF exposure, such as having device-free days (or at least half a day), unplugging wireless devices when not in use, and using an ear piece with your cell phone. Young children should have limited exposure to cell phones, tablets, and laptops. Wireless devices are a part of our world, but they should not take over our health.

Read more about how to protect yourself from your cell phone

Image: Raúl Hernández González

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By Andrea Donsky| June 15, 2015
Categories:  Care

About the Author

Andrea Donsky

Andrea Donsky

Founder & Chief Passionista at See my full bio here.

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