The advancement in technology has surely come with its benefits; a world of information and entertainment conveniently located at our fingertips. The development of the modern-day smartphone has revolutionized the way we function on a day to day basis with the usage of mobile applications that have consolidated all of our needs into one small device. However, this may come at a cost. For years the debate of EMF and cellphone radiation exposure has been a hot topic amongst health professionals as the common belief that these devices are safe was being challenged to claim that prolonged exposure to electromagnetic fields such that we see from cell phone radiation could potentially lead to the development of cancerous cells.

Some sources of electromagnetic fields include:

  • Wifi
  • Bluetooth
  • Cell phone
  • Electrical towers
  • Wireless devices
  • Wearable devices
  • Smart Meters
  • Antennas

Constant exposure to these can wreak havoc on the body and its proper functioning. To begin, we see its effects on kids through hyperactivity, sleep disturbance, memory and attention deficits, stress and can even affect learning. Adults may also experience similar effects, yet can see more extensive side effects when their cellular devices are carried near certain areas of the body. For  men who keep their cellphones in their pockets, some research has shown a correlation between radiation and sperm count – which may lead to fertility issues. For women, research has shown potential risk in ovarian problems, or even increased chance of breast cancer when phones and portable devices are kept near the chest.

Although many would still prefer to be in denial, a recent multi-year study funded by the federal government entitled “Report of Partial Findings from the National Toxicology Program Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Hsd: Sprague Dawley SD rats (Whole Body Exposures)” has found that yes indeed, cellphone radiation is a contributing factor to various types of cancer.

Scientific American reports: “The findings, which chronicle an unprecedented number of rodents subjected to a lifetime of electromagnetic radiation, present some of the strongest evidence to date that such exposure is associated with the formation of rare cancers in at least two cell types in the brains and hearts of rats…”

They also stated:

The researchers found that as the thousands of rats in the new study were exposed to greater intensities of RF radiation, more of them developed rare forms of brain and heart cancer that could not be easily explained away, exhibiting a direct dose-response relationship. Some of the rats had glioma — a tumor of the glial cells in the brain — or schwannoma of the heart. Furthering concern about the findings: In prior epidemiological studies of humans and cellphone exposure, both types of tumors have also cropped up as associations. In contrast, none of the control rats — those not exposed to the radiation — developed such tumors.

It is evident that the cell phone industry is not too keen on spending money on research that may reduce their profit, however they can no longer claim it’s “bad science.” The research is showing the clear, dose-related causative link between exposure to cell phone radiation and the development of brain and heart tumors. It is important to note however, that different forms of radiation can bring on different symptoms, and individuals themselves can each be affected differently.Symptoms of EMF exposure can be mild to severe,  ranging from general fatigue or poor concentration to memory loss and headaches.

It is clear that living in today’s world, it is difficult to reduce constant exposure to radiation as we are encapsulated by towers, wireless devices, and public wifi, however there are numerous ways to minimize personal exposure as much as possible to aid in the prevention of the effects of over-exposure:

  1. Limit your Wifi exposure. Although inconvenient, turn off your home’s wifi before heading to bed at night to eliminate overnight exposure during sleep.
  2. Favor a landline over your cell phone. Use a landline at home or at work whenever possible in place of your cell phone, especially if you are going to be on the phone for a good length of time.
  3. Don’t ‘wear’ your cell phone. Be mindful of where you keep your mobile devices (pockets, bras, etc.). Try to not have it on your person as much as possible.
  4. Use headphones or speaker phone. Whenever possible use headphones or place your phone on speaker to avoid direct contact between your mobile device and your head.
  5. Attempt to avoid all electronic devices in the bedroom. Try to avoid having electronics in your bedroom or have them on airplane mode. If you are using your phone as your alarm make sure it is far away from your bed. Radiation may also interfere with the quality of your sleep.  Be aware of ‘sleeping Apps’ that are used to track your sleep as they will be right by your head, emitting radiation!
  6. Do an inventory of what else you have around you that is wireless. Beware of how many wireless devices you use (wireless keyboards, speakers, baby monitors, etc).
  7. Monitor your children’s usage of electronics. Limit your child’s usage of ipads, cellphones, or any device that connects to wifi or data services. Yes, it does keep them entertained but that young and fragile developing brain may be negatively affected.
  8. Find time to disconnect in nature.  Really take some time to disconnect from the virtual world and engage in outdoor activity without the use of electronics. Countless studies show the benefits of being in nature and its effect on our stress management and overall wellbeing. Remember that old TV commercial catch phrase sentence: “can you hear me now, can you hear me now?” We did not used to be so connected and somehow we managed!

Yes, technology is here to stay but how can you  minimize the negative impact on your health? Awareness is key!

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