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The Wired Generation – should we be concerned?
Sharon M. Weinstein, MS, RN, CRNI, FACW, FAAN
We are facing a serious threat, and with time, it will challenge our health and our future. It is no secret that the public is increasingly concerned about exposure, and thus, the IHF has created an EMF Education link to disseminate information about this serious problem and what it means. A serious health threat that every parent should know about – do you mean WiFi and cellular technology?
Is there an invisible danger – wireless radio high frequency signals? Is it unsafe for students, and is it in your child’s school or in your own home? The impact on students’ health is real and is manifested as headaches, eye strain, a feeling that something is in your eyes, dizziness, and increased heart rate. The symptoms appear at school and disappear once the child gets home, if there is no WiFi at home, or if it is turned off when not in use! And cellular phones present similar challenges.
Let’s look at WiFi first:
Children and Wi-Fi Health Risks
For parents, it is important to understand how especially vulnerable children are to EMFs, as their nervous systems are still developing and their skull bones are thinner than those of adults. Studies have now been done which correlate:
- Behavioral problems
Children with both prenatal and postnatal cell phone exposure were 80 percent more likely to have emotional problems, conduct problems, hyperactivity, or problems with peers. Children who were only exposed prenatally had a higher likelihood of behavior problems compared to those who were only exposed postnatally, but not as high as those who were exposed at both times.
(Epidemiology July 2008, 19(4):523-529 and Reuters July 29, 2008)
- Autism and electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
The scientific community still debates the cause of autism, but a study conducted by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt on autistic children and their mothers during pregnancy, show significant results, strongly suggesting that “electromagnetic radiation in the sleeping environment of the mothers during pregnancy, as well as electromagnetic radiation in the sleeping environment of children may be key undiscovered contributing if not causative factors in neurological impairments in children, including autism…”
- Childhood Asthma and EMFs
Lloyd Morgan, Director of the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the US has important concerns about electromagnetic radiation—asthma:
“In the past decade many illnesses have exhibited a troubling and equally baffling rise. One of the most visible and alarming is asthma…an increase [in 16 years] of 209%. In about the same time frame as the increase in the rate of asthma incidence, high frequency transients on the electrical wiring in buildings began increasing due to technology changes in the mid-1980s.”
So, let’s look at the big picture and the real issues -
Wi-Fi in Schools
More and more schools are installing WiFi throughout their buildings, meaning that kids are exposed all during their school day to the harmful radiation. Even when children are not actively using a computer, they are being bombarded with EMFs.
Wi-Fi in Your Home
At home, many live in the sea of microwave radiation created by the wireless router their parents have installed for everyone’s convenience. Many kids have their own laptops with endless wireless connections.
So, are our kids being exposed to radiation? Are they increasingly sensitive to radiation? Based on studies related to cell phone tower exposure and increasing frequencies, many believe that WiFi can have the same long-term effects as cellular phones – but both are hazardous to our kids’ health. Think about it! Our kids are spending the day under a WiFi tower! In the past few years, WiFi signals have been installed in schools throughout North America – probably in your own community.
Should you be concerned? Should you be proactive in limiting exposure for your own children? We certainly all love the convenience of connectivity – but at what risk?
And, as far as phones are concerned:
Center for Safer Wireless (http://www.centerforsaferwireless.org) is a not-for-profit organization that educates people on how to use technologies like cellular phones and WiFi to reduce their risks of adverse health effects.
So, we have increased awareness – now, what can we do?
- You can always use a corded phone, although you may find it inconvenient
- Limit your kids use of cell phone
- Limit your kids exposure to WiFi by keeping it off when not in use – their young nervous systems and thinner skulls are simply too vulnerable to damage
- If you use a cell phone, keep it as far away from your body as possible
- Be aware of warnings issued by the manufacturers of cellular devices such as:
- iPhone’s guide which states “Iphone’s SAR measurement may exceed the FCC exposure guidelines for body-worn operation if positioned less than 5/8 inch from the body”
- and from Blackberry – “Keep the device at least 0.98 inches away from your body”
Are we unnecessarily concerned? I think not! Be safe rather than sorry! Our kids are our future, and we want to protect that future – and them – at all costs!
The Integrative Health Forum will publish information related to EMF, exposure and health issues. Information will be added as it is made available. We hope that you will use this resource to create a healthier environment in your community and beyond.
- Safe Schools 2012
- Action Alert: Rep. Kucinich Introduces Cellphone Right to Know Act
- Wi-fi in schools: an invisible threat?
- Frequently Asked Questions: Wi-Fi® and Health
- Re: Error or Omission in Health Canada's Safety Code 6
- Threats Permeate Wi-Fi Hotspots
- No Health Threat From Smart Meters
- Electrical Sensitivity
- Effects of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Signal Exposure on Brain Glucose Metabolism
- Thermographix EMF Education
- How Safe is Your Child's School?
- Radio Frequency Exposure: Specific Absorption Rate Testing Method
- Physician's Group (American Academy of Environmental Medicine)
adopts Resolution against wireless smart meters
- Exposure of rats to extremely low-frequency
electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) alters cytokines production
- Preliminary Injunction Motion
- Memorandum in Support of Preliminary Injunction Motion
- Declaration of Curtis Bennett
- Declaration of Dr. David O. Carpenter, M.D.
- Declaration of Lloyd Morgan
- Declaration of Barrie Trower
Amended Declarations & Addendums For US Court Case on Wi-Fi Injunction in Portland Schools
Plaintiff's Response to First Set
- Declaration of Dr. Magda Havas, B.Sc., Ph.D
- Addendum ‘A,’ Declaration of Dr. Magda Havas, B.Sc., Ph.D.
- Addendum B, Declaration of Dr. Magda Havas, B.Sc., Ph.D.
- Addendum C, Declaration of Dr. Magda Havas, B.Sc., Ph.
- Addendum D, Declaration of Dr. Magda Havas, B.Sc., Ph.D.
- Amended Declaration of L. Lloyd Morgan
- Addendum E, Declaration of L. Lloyd Morgan
- Addendum F, Declaration of L. Lloyd Morgan
- Addendum G, Declaration of L. Lloyd Morgan
- Addendum H, Declaration of L. Lloyd Morgan
- Addendum I, Declaration of L. Lloyd Morgan
Dr. David Carpenter
Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy