Harmful Radiation Caused By Wireless Devices

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As an incessant user of my cordless phone and a mother of a child growing up in the age of wireless technology, the potential harm from radiation of these devices has me fret­ting. I am not alone in my concern. Newsstands, talk shows and online journals are abuzz with the connection between cancer, cordless phones and cell phones.

Although cautious in their approach, public officials are issuing warnings about the possibility of harmful effects from radiation emissions transmitted from cell phones. In July, Toronto Public Health recommended parents limit their children’s cellphone use and US cancer special­ist Dr. Robert B. Herberman advised his staff to limit time on cellphones. Precautionary policies already have been introduced in France, Russia, Britain and Germany, among other countries.

The Science

Since 1999 eight popula­tion-based studies have indi­cated that heavy users of cell phones were twice as likely to develop certain types of brain tumors as infrequent users. Children are thought to be particularly suscepti­ble to the negative effects of radiation emissions because they have thinner skulls, smaller heads, rapidly repro­ducing brain cells, and their nervous systems are still developing.

The Bioinitiative Working Group, an international coalition of scientists and public-health experts, recently published a hefty report detailing the link between the non-ionizing radiation caused by a cell phone’s electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and cancer, DNA damage, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases. [See Watershed Sentinel, Sept/Oct 2007]

And it’s not just cell phones. All modern (DECT) digit­al cordless phones emit the same type of pulsed microwave radiation (about 1.8 GHz) as ordinary mobile phones. Emis­sions can be about 6 V/m within a metre of the base unit, for as long as it is plugged in. These base stations emit their radiation even when the phone is not in use.

The Corporation

The wireless industry adamantly denies the association between can­cer and wireless phones. Accounts from a handful of well-respected scientists, including Henry Lai and N.P. Singh, who were pres­sured by Motorola not to publish damaging study results in the 1990’s (they did anyway and lost their jobs), suggest that wireless companies have been doing their best to bury worrying findings, discredit research­ers who publish them and design experiments that al­most guarantee the desired results.

Mystery abounds with results from Interphone, a 13 country study to inves­tigate possible tumor risks from cell phone use. While results from some of the in­dividual countries have been published, the pooled results scheduled for release in 2006 – have not.

Questions about who in­fluences Ottawa on cellphone safety were raised this sum­mer when it was discovered that two senior government officials involved in deter­mining safety standards for cellphone use sit on the health committee of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, which lobbies the federal government on be­half of the telecommunications industry.

What’s A Chatty Cathy To Do?

* Check your phone’s SAR (specific absorption rate- refers to the rate of radiation exposure from radio frequency) by going to the US Federal Communi­cations Commission website fcc.gov/cgb/sar. You’ll need the FCC ID number from your phone – some­times you’ll have to remove the battery to find it. The database is good for phones built in the past two years. At press time, the phone with the low­est radiation was the LG KG800, at 0.135 w/kg. The highest: Motorola V195s, at 1.6 w/kg
* Keep your cellphone conversations short – radiation exposure increases with the length of your conver­sation. Use text messaging instead
* Use the speaker phone mode
* Invest in a hands-free headset
* Don’t have a cordless phone base near your bed
* Use a landline and a cord phone
* Don’t encourage your children to use cell phones except for emergencies

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In this article from earlier this year Dr. Mercola explains some of the health risks that are incurred when using a laptop actually on your lap and even on a desktop. All computers emit some electromagnetic radiation and each brand may have different levels. Here’s some insights into an invisible form of health risk.

March 05 2012
By Dr. Mercola

Using your laptop computer on your lap is, paradoxically, not a safe way to use it.
Just as research is emerging showing that cell phones should not actually be held right next to your head (for instance, the iPhone manual states the phone must be at least 5/8 inch away from your body or ear for “”safe operation””), research is showing that spending long hours with a laptop on your lap — the use for which it is intended — is likely harmful.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Researchers Warn Laptop Computers Should be Renamed to Protect Users’ Health

New research published in the Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health evaluated five commonly used laptops of different brands.

After measuring the EMF exposure produced, researchers found EMF values were within the guidelines put forth by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), but “”considerably higher than the values recommended by 2 recent guidelines for computer monitors magnetic field emissions, MPR II (Swedish Board for Technical Accreditation) and TCO (Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees), and those considered risky for tumor development.””

Further they noted that the EMF values became alarmingly high when the laptop was used close to the body:

“”When close to the body, the laptop induces currents that are within 34.2% to 49.8% ICNIRP recommendations, but not negligible, to the adult’s body and to the fetus (in pregnant women).
On the contrary, the power supply induces strong intracorporal electric current densities in the fetus and in the adult subject, which are respectively 182-263% and 71-483% higher than ICNIRP 98 basic restriction recommended to prevent adverse health effects.””

This led them to conclude:
“”Laptop is paradoxically an improper site for the use of a LTC, which consequently should be renamed to not induce customers towards an improper use.””

Even Typing on a Laptop May Expose You to Unsafe Levels of EMFs

If you use your laptop on a desk, as opposed to your lap, does this mean you’re safe? If you want to be sure your health is not at risk, not only should your laptop not be put on your lap, but you should not type on it either. As I explain below, I have used a gauss meter on many notebook computers, and found EMF levels higher than 100 milligauss on most of them; safe ranges are less than 0.3.

You can find out about EMF radiation by using a meter to measure the existing levels of power that are present in your home and office. It’s surprising where electromagnetic radiation can come from and you probably have more than one source that is close to you and loved ones. Laptops are in widespread use as are ipads and other pad computers. All put out some radiation. Try to minimize the use of these devices close to your body as we still don’t know about the cumulative effect of all of these emitters. Be safe!

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