Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

15 March 2016

What Is the Danger of Electrosmog?

(Choice of image by Editor of "Towards Better Health")
Excellent article, quoting Dr. Peter Källin, president of (Swiss) Doctors for the Protection of the Environment.

What is the danger of electrosmog?
by Manuela Specker, CSS Magazine, 1 / 2016
(magazine published by CSS Insurance: 1.77 million insurance subscribers)
Translated from French by Meris Michaels

Dr. Peter Källin is a specialist in family medicine and president of the association, "Doctors for the Protection of the Environment". This organization investigates the repercussions of environmental influences on our health, including non-ionizing radiation, known as electrosmog or electromagnetic pollution. "More and more evidence suggests that electromagnetic pollution, even below the limit values, is harmful to health," explains Peter Källin.

He is referring to studies where waves emitted by mobile phones modify critical cellular processes. Heavy users are at higher risk for developing a brain tumor. These conclusions, however, do not take into account the long-term consequences. As is often the case, there are also studies which achieve other results. This is still not a reason for lowering one's guard. "It is precisely because we have evidence, that prevention is the only correct response to these uncertainties", adds Dr. Källin.

"Possibly carcinogenic" according to WHO

In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified waves emitted by mobile phones in the category "possible carcinogens". "Prevent what we can prevent", is the slogan of "Doctors for the Protection of the Environment". In this regard, the association wishes particularly to raise awareness of the public to the increasing daily impact of electrosmog.

For good reason: if before, people spoke out because of fear from growing health concerns regarding mobile phone antennas, today it has become evident that they leave their Wi-Fi switched on at home 24 hours a day and sleep beside their cell phone. In Switzerland, there are more mobile phones than inhabitants. Peter Källin criticizes the fact that the population is often insufficiently informed about the way to use these new means of communication and exchange of information by reducing electromagnetic pollution. "We must discuss the issue of reasonable use of these types of devices within our enlightened society", advises Peter Källin.

"Many people leave their smartphone on the nightstand without knowing that, during their sleep, the device continues to process arriving messages and to emit information", affirms Peter Källin. "Over the last few years, we have been observing with great concern a substantially increasing impact of electrosmog on children and adolescents." They are particularly sensitive to environmental influences because they are still growing. In addition, as the population group with greater longevity, they will be more affected by the eventual consequences over the long term.

According to a recent study by the University of Basel published in 2015, 93% of 12- to 17-year-olds have a mobile phone. Only 17% switch off their smartphone at night. The issue concerns not only exposure to waves, but also sleep. The study found that the more young people are awakened during their sleep by the arrival of messages, the more tired they are during the day, exhausting themselves rapidly to the point of feeling sick or suffering headaches and memory problems.

Reconsider one's own attitude

Reaction to electrosmog is of course a very personal affair. "Persons who believe that electrosmog accentuates or causes their suffering should reduce as much as possible their exposure to waves", says Peter Källin. Since 2008, the association has set up a hotline for people who connect their health problems to environmental influences. Because of capacity, the hotline is only active one day a week for two hours. Most of the time, the persons who call complain of being unable to tolerate Wi-Fi. The symptoms comprise for example concentration problems, fatigue, and headaches - symptoms which could be of different origin. However, because of the uncertainty regarding long-term consequences, it is wise to reconsider one's own attitude towards electronic devices. In fact, it is relatively easy to reduce one's exposure to waves (see below).

More information available on "Doctors for the protection of the environment" - www.aefu.ch

Reducing electrosmog

There are many possibilities to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields in one's home. When it involves devices, Peter Källin applies three rules: disconnect, switch off, distance oneself.

Here is some concrete advice:

- Connect to the Internet with a cable rather than Wi-Fi
- Switch off the device connected to Wi-Fi when not in use
- Have a wired phone rather than wireless
- At home, divert one's cell phone to a fixed network
- Always wear headsets for long conversations on a cell phone and place the phone on a table or use the phone's loudspeaker.

Original article in French: see page 23

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