Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Dangers of Electromagnetic Radiation Part 2

I was so convinced about the dangers of electromagnetic radiation from cell phones, routers and DECT* phones, that I turned off my router, plugged my computer into the modem and took both kids to Staples today to buy two AT&T phones that had cords. I also purchased a 25 foot handset coil cord and a 100 foot cord so my wired phone could function very much like a cordless phone and be dragged around the house wherever I need to be. It is very retro and back to the future at my house. And, like going gluten free, it is kind of fun if you can spring for a new phone and a bunch of cords--and just go with it.

If I seem off my rocker and a little too enthusiastic about abandoning my WiFi and cellular technology as much as possible, I am in good company. According to an article from GQ magazine titled "Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health."

"The concern about Wi-Fi is being taken seriously in Europe. In April 2008, the national library of France, citing possible "genotoxic effects," announced it would shut down its Wi-Fi system, and the staff of the storied Library of Sainte-Geneviève in Paris followed up with a petition demanding the disconnection of Wi-Fi antennas and their replacement by wired connections. Several European governments are already moving to prohibit Wi-Fi in government buildings and on campuses, and the Austrian Medical Association is lobbying for a ban of all Wi-Fi systems in schools, citing the danger to children's thinner skulls and developing nervous systems."

Read the article in GQ magazine for more information. The thing is, even if your kids don't use a cell phone, they are exposed to this electromagnetic radiation through Wi-Fi/routers and cell phone towers. Of course, not everyone is in danger. Some people are more sensitive than others. But until there is more science on the risks we need to ere on the side of caution--especially when it comes to our kids. I also worry about the many NYC schools which have installed Wi-Fi in their haste to keep up with other schools.

My neighbor has a machine that measures the amount of electromagnetic radiation in a room. According to the machine she has, a safe environment is under 1,900 units. With my router and DECT phone and two computers which had airports on, my office was registering 9,000 units. But as soon as I unplugged the router and DECT phone and turned off the airports on my computers, it went down to 300.

Thanks H.R. for my new wired existence. I don't expect everyone to abandon their cellular connections, but Huffington Post has a great article called "The Unplug and Recharge Challenge: Breaking Our Always-Connected Addiction" that might inspire some to unplug for 30 minutes a day.

* DECT (digitally enhanced cordless phone)

Related posts:
The Dangers of Cell Phone Usage and Towers
Highest and Lowest Cell Phone Radiation from CNET
Reducing Cell Phone Radiation