Study Links Asthma To Magnetic-Field Exposure Of Pregnant Moms

Magnetic-Field Exposure, Magnetic-Field Exposure Protection

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January 15, 2012

Can magnetic fields from power lines, computers and even common household appliances lead to health problems down the road?
A new study suggests that pregnant women with the highest levels of exposure to magnetic fields are more likely to have a child who develops asthma, compared to pregnant women with low exposure levels.

The study was conducted by the same researcher who made waves in 2002 with a study that suggested magnetic fields could boost a woman’s chances of miscarriage.
But many experts aren’t convinced the risks are real and the medical field remains sharply divided over the presence of a link between health problems and exposure to electromagnetic fields.

Magnetic and electric fields are areas of energy around electrical devices and, in combination, are referred to as electromagnetic fields. Previous research has suggested EMFs may be linked to some types of cancer and other health problems, such asmiscarriages, poor semen quality and immune disorders.

EMFs emitted by power lines and home appliances, such asmicrowave ovens, hairdryers and vacuum cleaners, are referred to as “extremely low frequency” and should not be confused with devices such as cellphones, which emit higher-frequency EMFs called radiofrequency.

The potential health effects of radiofrequency fields are typically a source of greater concern among medical experts, particularly for cellphones and brain cancer.
But De-Kun Li, lead author of the new study published Monday by the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine journal, and a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., says he believes magnetic fields are being overlooked as a potentially serious risk to health.
In his new study, Dr. Li and colleagues tracked pregnant women and their offspring for up to 13 years to assess the possible effects of magnetic fields on health.
Women involved in the study wore a small meter during pregnancy to measure their daily exposure to magnetic fields, which are emitted by microwaves, vacuum cleaners, fluorescent lights and power lines. The meters were equipped to measure only magnetic-field exposure, not electric-field exposure.

Researchers tracked, for a maximum of 13 years, 626 children who were subsequently born to the women wearing the meters. Of those children, 130, or about 20 per cent, were clinically diagnosed with asthma.
They found women exposed to the highest levels of exposure to magnetic fields had a 3.5-fold increased risk of having a child who would later be diagnosed with asthma, compared to women with lower exposure levels.

The researchers also found women who had asthma or who were pregnant with their first child, two known risk factors for asthma in offspring, were more likely to have a child with asthma if they also had high levels of magnetic-field exposure. Dr. Li says this confirms the idea that magnetic fields can potentially lead to asthma in offspring.
“The message is EMF is bad,” Dr. Li said. “You should avoid EMF as much as you can, especially during pregnancy.”

Many health officials and medical experts, however, say people don’t have much to worry about when it comes to magnetic fields, which use extremely low frequencies.
Health Canada says: “There is no conclusive evidence of any harm caused by exposures at levels found in Canadian homes and schools, including those located just outside the boundaries of power-line corridors.”

In 2002, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified extremely low-frequency magnetic fields as “possibly carcinogenic,” a category shared by other possible risks, such as gasoline exhaust and occupational exposure to dry cleaning. The IARC said there is limited evidence that low levels of exposure to magnetic fields have a detrimental impact on health.
Another possibility is that high magnetic-field exposure may not be to blame in the asthma study, and other factors could be at play.

Warren Foster, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McMaster University in Hamilton, said a person who believes magnetic fields are a concern may be more likely to see them as the cause of certain health problems.
“Perception is really important. It really influences how you look at things,” he said.
Dr. Foster added that women likely don’t need to be alarmed about health risks from EMFs in their homes.

“I would have to say that this is something that is very low on the radar.”
Yet, because EMFs remain a relatively new reality in homes around the world, scientists haven’t closed the book on the matter. The medical community is divided over the issue of whether cellphones, which use high-frequency radio waves, may cause cancer.
Dr. Li said it’s all too easy for scientists to brush off concerns over low-frequency magnetic fields, but that his research demonstrates they could pose a real risk.
“There’s a lot of people with dismissive attitudes,” he said. “EMF is something you can’t touch, can’t see. …This really needs to [be paid] attention to.”

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Cell Phone Radiation, Cell Phone Radiation Protection

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January 18, 2012

You may be searching the Net for answers to this question: “Is mobile phone radiation damaging my health?”

Well, the answer depends on how you use your mobile, and how much you use it. But if you are one of those people who clock up 11000 hours of mobile phone radiation every year, straight to the side of your head, brace yourself for bad news.

Cell phone brain cancer, leukemia, other cancers…

You don’t have to rely on common sense alone. Scientific evidence is also mounting. Frequent cell phone users are more likely to get sick than other people, and doctors, scientists and health researchers are trying to tell us about it. Almost every month, new research studies are published on cell phone radiation dangers. Recently published reports indicate that cell phone radiation is responsible in some degree for health challenges such as

brain cancer
skin damage
brain damage
increased blood pressure
DNA damage
sperm abnormalities
reduced fertility
salivary gland cancer
psychological problems
sleep interference
and many other health effects. Have a good look at this list. These are not minor health problems. Most of them are health-destroying or life-ending disasters. Could they take 10 years off your life? Even more. Knowledgeable researchers, scientists and doctors who see these patients frequently, are becoming convinced that cell phone radiation is heavily implicated in these health challenges.

Who is affected by mobile phone radiation?

Mobile phone radiation has the greatest effect on people who make frequent or extended use of cell phones. Less frequent use may also be dangerous to susceptible persons, especially children and people suffering from degenerative disease. See Who is at Risk? No-one knows how many of us are going to get sick, or how many will die because of cell phone radiation. Conservative researchers have estimated that hundreds of thousands may die. (Less restrained estimates suggest millions.)

Cell phone radiation – let’s take precautions

Responsible scientists, academics, doctors and researchers everywhere are urging us to act on the precautionary principle. This means that we should reduce unnecessary cell phone radiation exposure right now, without waiting for absolute proof of cell phone radiation health dangers. For various reasons, including heavyweight commercial interests, this proof may be very slow to arrive. What we have to do is not too difficult or burdensome. It’s really just a matter of acquiring new habits and keeping our exposure to cell phone radiation down to levels which don’t affect our health.

Reducing mobile phone radiation health risks

There is already strong evidence about the health dangers of frequent or prolonged exposure to mobile phone radiation during conversations. Less certain at present is the health danger of carrying a mobile phone on your person, or leaving it close to your body at night. Although the radiation strength is much higher while talking on a mobile phone, the duration of exposure is much greater when carrying the phone. Some of the health risks relating to mobile phone radiation, such as sperm damage and infertility, suggest that just carrying a cell phone may have consequences for your health.

We recommend that you reduce both types of exposure. There’s no rocket science needed.

Basic habits to avoid cell phone radiation

Keep cell phone conversations short.
When you have a choice, use a regular corded phone (landline).

When phoning others from a landline to their cell phone, keep your conversation short
Send a text message in preference to making a cell phone call.
If you can contact someone on a landline, avoid calling them on their cell phone.
Protection from cell phone radiation

For the best cell phone radiation protection, get yourself an air tube headset. (An air tube headset has only acoustic connections to the earpiece, not electronic ones). The mobile phone still emits radiation but you can hold it quite far away from your body while you use it.
Earbuds, bluetooth headsets and other electronic headsets are not ideal, but are better than placing the phone directly next to your head.

If no headset is available, use the speaker-phone facility, if you have one. Then you can hold the phone several inches away from your ear. This can reduce the cell phone radiation strength at your ear by 20 to 60 times!

If you can’t avoid having a long conversation with a mobile phone next to your ear, switch ears every two or three minutes.
Cell phone radiation and children’s health

Children under 10 should never use a cell phone except in an emergency, when there is no alternative. Their smaller heads, thinner skulls and undeveloped brains make children much more vulnerable than adults.

For the same reason, discourage small children from placing their ear next to your cell phone while you are using it.

Older children or teenagers should avoid chatting on cell phones. Teach them about cell phone radiation. Suggest they use cell phones for urgent communication only. Messaging, in reasonable amounts (minutes, not hours), is preferable to conversing.
If children cannot restrict their use of cell phones, buy them an air tube headset and insist that they use it. (Or get them to read this page. Yeah right!)
Carrying your cell phone

When you are carrying a cell phone, keep it as far away from you as possible. Handbags and briefcases are better than pockets, but don’t rest them on your lap.

When you arrive at your desk or any place where you will spend a lot of time, take your phone out of your pocket (or off your belt) and place it on the desk (not too close).
It is not yet known whether the abnormal sperm and lower sperm counts observed in cell phone users relate to carrying the phone in a trouser pocket. This practice is not recommended for either sex.

Don’t sleep with your mobile phone! Keep it away from the bed, or switched off.
Minimise cell phone radiation while driving
When you drive a car, remove your cell phone from your pocket or belt. Keep it in a secure place, out of sight.
Don’t use your mobile while driving. The risks are a lot more immediate than from cell phone radiation!

Using a cell phone in an enclosed space such as a car (or deep within a building) causes the phone to beef up its signal strength to maintain contact with the tower. That extra EMF strength goes into you too.

Cell phone radiation bounces around inside a vehicle, increasing your exposure and that of any other passengers. The same applies to busses and trains.
If your circumstances permit, switch off your cell phone whenever you enter a vehicle..
Cell phone radiation depends on signal strength

When you are a long way from a cell phone mast (your signal strength is low) your cell phone has to work harder. Cell phone radiation levels will be high. If possible, avoid making calls when the signal strength (as shown on your phone) is low.

The easiest way to reduce cell phone radiation?

When buying a cell phone, consider the amount of radiation it will emit. Find out the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) of your intended phone. They vary widely. There is a legal limit (1.6 watts per kg in the USA and 2.0 watts per kg in Europe). This is the maximum radiation level you can be subjected to when using your phone. Many cell phones are rated quite close to this limit, but some are rated below 1.0 W/kg.

Beware of vendors who offer weird discs, jewellery or gadgets to reduce your absorption of cell phone radiation. If they can’t demonstrate an effect – it’s probably because there isn’t one!
If you are determined to reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation, now is a good time to read about the health risks from cell phone towers. Remember that mobile phone radiation is just part of our total (and growing) exposure to electromagnetic radiation from many different sources.

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