Remember the days when our parents would constantly tell us to stand back from the TV or microwave? They were rightfully concerned about radiation and the potential health effects on our bodies. Flash forward to today and the sources of electromagnetic radiation parents need to be concerned about have grown exponentially, particularly with the large scale adoption of wireless technologies like smartphones, i-pads and Wi-Fi.
“Studies show the average smartphone, or other popular wireless devices create low levels of radiation, but in close proximity for long periods of time – say a child playing games on an I-pad, or a Wi-Fi enabled home – they can impact the health of your child,” said Frank Clegg, President of Citizens for Safe Technology (C4ST) and former CEO of Microsoft Canada.
C4ST is a newly launched organization committed to teaching Canadians how to use their wireless technology more safely, and to engage the federal government in a dialogue about safe levels of electromagnetic radiation in Canada.
Just ask Veronica Ciandre of Toronto, Ontario. Veronica and her then 14 year old daughter lived in a Toronto apartment building without any health issues, until one day both started feeling nauseous and dizzy, with headaches that just wouldn’t go away. After researching their symptoms online, Veronica noted that a new cell phone tower had been installed on top of her building, directly over the top floor unit where she and her daughter resided. It wasn’t until she and her daughter took a trip up north to visit a friend that the symptoms subsided. It was then she felt certain that they had developed sensitivity to the electromagnetic waves caused by the cellular towers on top of her building. Unfortunately for the pair, their landlord was unwilling to remove the cell phone tower from the roof and they were left with little recourse other than to find a new home.
“It really turned our lives upside down,” said Veronica. “My daughter would come into my room during the night crying and unable to sleep.”
Veronica, like many others with electromagnetic sensitivity, now pays close attention to her environment, particularly cellular towers in close proximity to their home, and any other wireless devices that may impact their quality of life. Among the many and constantly growing sources of electromagnetic radiation are cordless phones, cellular towers, baby monitors, all cellular and smart phones, tablets that connect to the Internet wirelessly and more.
Clegg adds, “As the former head of a technology company, I know the vast benefits wireless technologies can provide in terms of safety, convenience and entertainment. We aren’t asking people to stop using wireless technology, but to be smart about how they incorporate it into their lives, particularly people with kids.”
Symptoms of electromagnetic sensitivity in your child may include:
Memory, or concentration problems
Headache, or pressure in the head
Tinnitus (buzzing/ringing in the ears)
Difficulty sleeping, low quality of sleep
Tingling sensations, or tremors
Adrenal fatigue, thyroid problems
Usually some relief from these symptoms is reported after reducing or eliminating EMR exposures for a few weeks. And there are ways you can reduce your family’s exposure:
Use wired connectivity (hard line Internet connections) and devices
Keep Wi-Fi enabled devices like smartphones and I-pads away from your child unless you disable the wireless connection
Remove cordless phones from your home, or keep them away from high traffic areas. You can also put them on a timer or turn them off every night
Never place a wireless baby monitor by your child’s bed. Always use a wired monitor
Note the location of cellular towers in your neighbourhood, and ask your school administrators if they allow cellular towers or Wi-Fi on school property
As wireless technologies continue to encompass every aspect of our lives, it’s important to take simple steps to protect your family from exposure radiation. After all, there is so much that is still unknown about the long-term health effects on our kids.