Wireless technology is a fundamental part of our modern world, but it may be causing more harm than we realize.
As of Jan. 1, 2019, an appeal letter sent to the United Nations signed by more than 250 scientists from a group called International EMF Scientist wrote that the radiation emitting from our phones and other wireless devices is “proven to be harmful to humans and the environment.” They pointed to effects such as cancer risk, a rise in harmful free radicals, genetic damage, structural and functional changes to the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and a negative impact on our general well-being.
In 2018, the U.S. government released a report from its 16-year, $25 million study examining the health impacts of wireless radiation. The study was designed to give a conclusive answer as to whether the radiation emitted from cellphones can cause cancer. Researchers concluded that there is “clear evidence” that the frequencies such as what’s used for 2G and 3G mobile phones caused cancerous tumors in male rats.
In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans. In light of research that has emerged since then, the WHO announced in 2019 that it will reevaluate its assessment.
In a world with more cellphones than people, where Wi-Fi routers are found in so many of our homes, schools, and workplaces, and with all the antennae and satellites needed to create the highly anticipated 5G network, wireless radiation seems impossible to avoid. But experts say the most effective way to reduce the harm associated with this technology is to reduce our exposure to it. Here are five tips you can use to minimize your daily dose of microwave radiation.
- Get a wired internet connection. The frequencies that make our wireless world run are called microwaves. Cellphone towers and Wi-Fi routers broadcast these microwaves to provide the medium to which our smartphones and laptops connect. Studies from as far back as the 1970s show that the microwave radiation that causes the most harm is a modulated signal, and Wi-Fi has the most problematic modulation. It’s great for broadcasting data, but not for our biology. For those not ready to give up your Wi-Fi, consider turning off your router at night so you’re not constantly bathing in this field.
- Keep your distance. Despite our habits, the manual for your cellphone actually says not to have the device against your head when it’s on. To get some distance from the signal, use it on speakerphone. Likewise, don’t use your laptop on your lap.
- Turn off functions you don’t need. Most of the radiation flowing from your cellphone is due to applications that constantly transmit to the nearest cell tower so that you can receive updates every few seconds. On your phone, go to settings, and turn off “cellular data.” You can still send and receive texts and calls, but not updates to things like Twitter and Facebook. When you want to check your updates, simply switch on cellular data, and switch it off when you’re done. Do the same with your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi settings.
- Don’t use wireless headphones. These emit radiation that’s delivered directly into your brain.
- Ditch the ‘smart’ devices. An increasing number of devices in our homes are built with an antenna that connects wirelessly. These can include smart wiring, smart appliances, smart meters, RF emanating lightbulbs, your Wi-Fi router, streaming sticks (Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, Wii), anything Bluetooth, wireless security camera systems, and more. The more smart devices in your vicinity, the more radiation you’re being exposed to.