Ever wonder what all of those fancy new gadgets are doing to your health?
Recently looked at the potential health hazards of WiFi and cordless phones. Here, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, author of Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn’t Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution, explains why the latest technological wonders might do you more harm than good.
Q: What is electronic pollution?
A: It’s all of the frequencies and wavelengths emanating from our cell phones, power lines and WiFi that our body responds to as it would any environmental toxin. We’ve learned that the DNA in our cells respond to very low levels of electromagnetic fields (EMF) – something like 1,000 times smaller than the current acceptable guidelines.
They create a kind of biochemical response, producing a type of protein that can lead to DNA breakdowns, as well as leaks in the brain/blood barriers and changes in brain function, as well as the inability in some individuals to lose weight because of elevated cortisol levels.
Q: What kinds of symptoms can that produce?
A: There’s evidence that even the non-ionizing EMFs that are emanating from all wireless devices and cordless phones are demonstrating effects like headaches, ringing in the ears, dizziness, nausea, skin problems, insomnia, light sensitivity, and an elevated stress response. And, of course, there are a wide range of symptoms, including cancer, that have been found within a quarter mile of cell phone towers.
We’ve found that heavy-duty, long-term use of cell phones will increase the risk of malignant brain tumours in people who use them for more than 10 years.
Q: How close do these devices have to be to your body to have an effect on you?
A: It depends on which device we’re talking about. We certainly want to keep cell phones at least eight inches away from our bodies because it seems that the plume of radiation can emanate at least that far from the antennae.
In terms of other electrical devices, which also emanate EMFs that are a little different from those coming from your cell or cordless phone, you’re going to want to keep three to six feet from those kinds of appliances. And in reference to any of those cell phone towers and WiFi networks that are being installed in schools all over the place, we would like a setback of at least 1,000 to 1,500 feet.
Q: Are children more susceptible than adults to these technological devices?
A: Children are definitely the most vulnerable, and that is because children’s brains absorb twice as much radiation from these phones as adult brains. They’ve got thinner skulls, they’ve got smaller heads, they’ve got greater fluids and ions. One study found that a call on a cell phone that lasts for only two minutes can cause brain hyperactivity that last for up to an hour in children. Some Swedish studies showed that young people are five times more likely to get a brain tumour if they use a cell phone before the age of 20.
Many countries are prohibiting the use of cell phones before the age of 18. Some even believe that the rising incidence of autism may be linked to some form of electromagnetic radiation. And there was another study that suggested that pregnant women who used their cell phones 2-3 times a day were more likely to have children who were hyperactive and had difficulty controlling their emotions.
The health effects are legion, but we don’t want to be inconvenienced by giving up our objects.
Q: How do we adopt healthier habits when it comes to our use of technology?
A: Practice electronic feng shui. Go through your house, start moving around furniture that might be emanating large fields. Instead of using your cordless phone, go retro and get an old fashioned landline. Get wired as much as possible, as opposed to wireless options. If you do have a wireless router, move it as far away as possible from where people sleep and children play.
Text rather than call, and get a headset that protects you against radiation. Turn off and unplug as many devices as possible before you go to sleep. Keep electronics, including all kinds of phones, away from the bedroom — your body is supposed to focus on healing while you sleep.
As much as possible, go outside and get fresh air. Put your feet in the bare earth, which is a source of natural antioxidants, which can help with some of the free radical damage that comes from radiation.