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Be wireless wise

Wireless technology looks like it’s here to stay but are you aware of the potential adverse health effects?

Conflicting information can leave parents feeling confused and overwhelmed. There is mounting independent scientific evidence showing possible long term health effects from exposure to wireless radiation that we can’t afford to ignore any longer. Recently, The World Health Organisation (WHO) / International Agency for Research on Cancer ( IARC ) classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer and acoustic neuroma. Just like tobacco, asbestos and lead the possibility of serious illness developing may not be known until years of chronic, low-level exposure to wireless radiation has been endured.

As a Building Biologist and certified Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) consultant I have noticed increasing levels of concern in the community about the rapid expansion of wireless technology. Wireless devices such as mobile phones, IPads, DECT cordless phones and baby monitors transmit and receive microwave radiation. There is increasing evidence that microwave radiation can cause biological harm. It has been found to alter brain metabolism, weaken all membranes including the blood brain barrier, affect memory and learning and reduce sperm count, quality and motility. Latest independent research has found nervous system effects, damage to DNA and increased risk of brain cancer (Bioinitiative working Group 2014). This concerning research as well as the WHO classification of radiofrequency as a 2B Carcinogen has prompted many countries to adopt a precautionary approach towards wireless technology. However, Australia’s allowable public exposure guidelines are amongst the highest in the world.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps we can take to greatly reduce our exposure and more importantly our children’s exposure to microwave radiation. I have put together a list of tips that you may want to consider implementing at home if you are concerned about wireless technology.

Tips to reduce your exposure:

  • The best way to reduce your exposure at home is to avoid using WiFi and hard wire your computers.

  • If you must use wireless then turn the router off at night. Microwave radiation interferes with melatonin production. Melatonin is an extremely important hormone which regulates sleep and protects against cancer formation.

  • Keep the router away from bedrooms or any place people spend time. Turn it off when not in use.

  • Never use a lap top or IPAD on your lap (especially kids). IPads emit a constant burst of radiation every 4secs up to 900 times an hour.

  • IPADs have up to 5 antennas emitting radiation. The fine print in the IPAD manual recommends the user aim the cellular antenna away from the body to avoid exceeding FCC standards.

  • If one child is playing on the IPAD don’t allow other children to lean over the top or the sides to watch. They will be in the direct path of the antennas.

  • Turn the IPAD on airplane mode and the WiFi function to ‘off’ when you are not connected to the internet.

  • Same rules apply to mobile phones. If children must play games or watch a video on a phone ensure it is on ‘airplane mode’ with the WiFi turned ‘Off’.

  • If children must make calls on the phone they should only use it on speaker phone or to text. Air tube headsets are another option. Many countries such as Russia advise that children under 18 should never use a mobile phone unless it is an emergency.

  • Mobile phones should not be carried on the body and the phone should not be pressed against the ear. The Fine print warning on all brands of mobile phones state that to ensure you do not exceed FCC radiation standards you should hold the phone 5/8ths inch away from ear.

  • Limit the length of calls.

  • Only use a phone in an area with good reception. The better the reception the less power the phone uses.

  • Don’t place the phone on your ear when the call is connecting. This is when the phone is sending out the strongest signal.

  • Don’t sleep with your phone. If you need the phone for the alarm the turn it onto airplane mode.

  • Bluetooth headsets usually emit less radiation than phones but people tend to use them longer and are therefore exposed to more radiation.

  • DECT Cordless phones emit a pulsed frequency 24hrs a day. The cordless phone base station is like having a mini phone tower in your home. A corded phone is less convenient but a much safer option. Avoid cordless phone base stations in the bedroom or where people spend time.

  • Wireless baby monitors are another source of microwave radiation. Some of the highest readings I have detected with my High Frequency Analyser came from baby monitors. Many scientists believe they should be banned.

Remember: Distance is your friend with all electromagnetic radiation.

I have put together an awareness program to educate school children about safe use of wireless technology. If you are interested in me coming to your child’s school please contact us.

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