How Wireless Tech Is Harming Our Youth And What Parents Can Do Right Now
by Alison Main, Paleo Magazine, February/March 2017 issue. paleomagonline.com
—American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013
Don’t run with scissors. Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t play with matches. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t do drugs.
Parents are eternally concerned about their children’s safety. From infancy to adolescence, children are developing humans—physically, behaviorally and intellectually. To emerge as healthy, well-adjusted adults, kids need their parents’ protection. And when it comes to children and wireless-tech safety, there’s a lot parents need to know.
What is Wi-Fi, Really?
We can’t see Wi-Fi with the naked eye—but we’re surrounded by it, 24/7. Wireless technology encompasses our cell phones, tablets, cell towers, smart meters, wireless-enabled laptops, baby monitors, gaming consoles, e-readers, virtual-reality toys and the emerging Internet of Everything. The term “Wi-Fi” sounds harmless enough, right? Its utterance like a baby’s coo or cartoon slang. It alliteratively conjures “Sci-Fi” flying cars and time travel. But let’s call wireless tech what it really is— radiofrequency radiation, also called microwave radiation.
Technically speaking, “Wi-Fi deploys pulsemodulated microwave radiation (within the larger radiofrequency spectrum) with a carrier frequency that is similar to that used by a microwave oven (about 2.45 gigahertz).”5 In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified radiofrequency radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” This is the same category as lead, DDT, and other pesticides.
Who’s at Risk?
Science shows that wireless radiation can cause a gamut of biological effects, from cancer and neurodegenerative diseases to birth defects and infertility. And yet, outdated world-wide safety regulations only consider short-term heating (i.e., thermal) and shock effects. They don’t consider the chronic, non-thermal exposures of our wireless tech world.2
As a human population, we are all at risk from environmental exposures and toxins. But, the most vulnerable are children, the developing fetus and pregnant women. A child’s brain, nervous system and immune system are in development at these critical periods. Despite this, “there is a growing, unchecked and unregulated availability of a range of transmitting equipment specifically aimed at parents of babies and young people.”2
Yes, this includes that wireless baby monitor (2 inches from your baby’s head), that working cell phone in your toddler’s mouth, or that tablet broadcasting under your teen’s pillow—all these seemingly innocuous devices can be hazardous to your child’s health.
“Around the world we are paying the price now for having delayed actions on tobacco and asbestos after insisting on human harm before taking action. We cannot afford to wait for definitive proof of human risks from radiation emitted by wireless transmitting devices before taking steps to reduce exposures. The absence of evidence of hazard is not proof of safety”—says Dr. Devra Davis, president of the Environmental Health Trust and visiting professor at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School and Ondokuz Mayis University, Turkey.