Is wireless technology harmful to our health?

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Do you ever wonder if the exponential rate at which wireless technology is infiltrating every aspect of our lives, is having an impact on our bodies?

The answer, based on my own experiences, experts I have spoken to, extensive research I have undertaken, and what I’m seeing in Australian households, is without doubt, yes. 

We are electrical beings in an increasingly electrical world.  Our bodies are quite literally wired to respond to the electromagnetic forces all around us.  We are being exposed to more man-made frequencies than ever before and these frequencies throw our bodies out of balance, they reduce the frequency at which our body operates and make us more susceptible to illness.

I’m seeing a disturbing trend in my healthy home audits that I suspect is typical of most Australian households, and that is the proximity of wi-fi routers and other wireless technologies (like Sonos and baby monitors) to occupants of these households, and the health impacts that daily exposure in close proximity to these technologies is having – migraines and insomnia are the most obvious and immediate ones.

Apart from being classified as a Group 2b Carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (in 2011), peer-reviewed scientific studies have also found that radiation (from wireless technology) can damage DNA and sperm, cause cellular distress, reduce immunity, changes to hormones and brainwave patterns.

I have experienced some pretty concerning symptoms from wireless technology. I suspect the hefty 30 doses of daily radiation I had after going through breast cancer in 2013 has a lot to do with why I have become so sensitive to it.

Three years ago, when I was recovering from two surgeries, I felt an intense burning sensation at the back of my head when I was sitting at my laptop in my mother’s living room, about 10 metres from the wireless router.  The burning lessened in intensity as soon as the router was turned off, but lingered for some time.

I would get heart palpitations in the living area of my own home. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) testing showed the levels in my living area were 183 micro watts per metre – which is considered well within the safe limits here in Australia (where 4,500,000 to 9,000,000  micro watts per metres is considered safe) but 18 times higher than what is considered to be safe in Austria, and by Australian building biologists, who are far more conservative and like the levels to be less then 10 in living areas and less than 5 in bedrooms.

The source was my neighbour’s wifi router, which was on the other side of the wall. Medical specialists (including a neurologist) thought I was mad – I had MRIs on my brain and lumbar spine and was told that everything was fine (at the time I was also experiencing numbness in my arms and legs, tingling, tinnitus and a number of other symptoms associated with  EMF/RF sensitivity, and mould illness (chronic inflammatory response syndrome) – it’s important to note that EMF/RF and mould symptoms are interchangeable and can be difficult to pinpoint. .

Although I don’t get symptoms quite as severe as that now – I do still get milder symptoms on an almost daily basis – if I hold my phone near my head or wear wired earphones I get a headache, and if I stand near enough to a wifi router I can sometimes quite literally feel the frequencies pulsating through my body. I often have a metallic taste in my mouth, brain fog, fatigue and headaches if I spend too long at my laptop with the wifi on.

I was too afraid to talk about this openly for some time for fear of being cast in the loony bin, but I know enough about this now to know that I wasn’t going mad.

Enough about my own experience and anecdotes though, here are the facts:

  • In July 2017 expert cancer researcher and World Health Organisation advisor Anthony B Miller M.D. stated that the evidence indicating wireless is carcinogenic is increasing and can no longer be ignored and that evidence published since 2011 fulfils requirements to re-classify RF as a “Group 1 carcinogenic to humans” agent.
  • Wireless radiation can penetrate the blood brain barrier. Dr Leif Salford, a neurosurgeon in Sweden, and his colleagues have been studying the effects of wireless radiation for thirty years and found that radiation, including that from mobile phones and wifi, can cause the blood brain barrier to leak. This is the brain’s first line of defence against infections and toxic chemicals.
  • There are limitations to international guidelines for radiation frequencies
    The Australian radiofrequency Standard was published in 2002, in line with International guidelines prepared by the International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and endorsed by the World Health Organisation. These guidelines were prepared in 1998 and are the basis upon which a number of countries set their own guidelines.  The use of radiofrequencies has increased and changed a lot in the past 20 years, hasn’t it? These standards have serious limitations in that they take into consideration thermal effects only (the degree to which body tissue heats up), while biological effects are not considered. They are also based on the average male and don’t take children into account.

  • There are inconsistencies in international guidelines for radiation frequencies.
    Countries in Europe are being very proactive and taking a precautionary approach to ‘safe limits’. Here in Australia, the Australian Radiation and Nuclear Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) regulates standards for radiofrequencies (RF). ARPANSA’s ‘Radiation Protection Standard RPS3, Maximum Exposure Levels to Radiofrequency Fields’ acknowledges there is concern about RF exposure, which is not fully alleviated by existing scientific data, and that data regarding biological effects at levels below the limits specified are incomplete and inconsistent, and that the health implications are not known. It’s hardly reassuring, is it?
  • ARPANSA published a review of radiofrequency health effects research in March 2014, in which it concluded that the science behind it’s RF standard remains sound and that exposure limits continue to provide a high degree of protection against the known effects of RF exposure. When I contacted ARPANSA in January this year, they informed me they are currently in the process of revising the RF standard to account for progress in science.  It acknowledges the differing views in relation to RF protection measures however maintains that its advice follows international best practice with the advice of the World Health Organisation.
  • There appears to be reluctance to act upon existing studies to implement precautionary measures. The problem is that some industry studies are funded by telcos, those who stand to lose profits if the standards are changed, and therefore tend to be biased.
  • In the opinion of more than 230 independent scientists from more than 40 countries, the ICNIRP guidelines do not cover long-term exposure and low-intensity effects, and are insufficient to protect public health and do not take into account risks for all other biological organisms.In light of growing evidence, the Advisors to the International EMF Scientist Appeal have urged the United Nations and all its member states to encourage the World Health Organisation to introduce more protective EMF guidelines, encouraging precautionary measures and educating the public about health risks, particularly to children and foetal development. They have serious concerns regarding the risks for humankind and nature from increasing exposure to EMF and RF sources generated by electric and wireless devices from electrical power sources and the global wireless telecommunications infrastructure.
  • The Irish Doctors Environmental Association advises that non-thermal effects need to be taken into consideration when setting safe levels, acknowledging that the symptoms can be very distressing and should be considered when setting safe levels exposure to non-ionising radiation and when planning the siting of masts and transmitters.
  • China has established far stricter guidelines than ICNIRP, based on research indicating adverse biological effects, other than just tissue heating, and their insistence on lower mobile phone standards has forced overseas manufacturers to customise their phones to Chinese regulations.
  • Cyprus and Vienna are leading international efforts to educate the public about health impacts of EMF and RF.The Cyprus National Committee on Environment and Children’s Health and the Vienna Austrian Medical Chamber signed the Nicosia Declaration on Electromagnetic Frequency and Radiation in November 2017, a position paper that acknowledges that EMF/RF a potential carcinogen 2b and that prevention is the only choice:“We must apply the precautionary principle, the legal limits need to be urgently revised, professionals, decision makers and the public need to be adequately informed about potential health impact and new technologies must be adequately controlled for their potential health impact. Finally, he stressed that is urgent to minimise the exposure. Among the issues highlighted are the potential health impact of nonionizing radiation from EMF/RF include carcinogenicity, developmental neurotoxicity, effects on DNA, on fertility and hypersensitivity.”They’re calling for wireless to be prohibited in schools, preschools and kindergartens, and replaced with wired connections, in line with the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle and the council or Europe Resolution 1815 to take all reasonable measures to reduce exposure to RFR.
  • Dr Devra Davies from the Environmental Health Trust shows in this video the degree to which wireless radiation penetrates a young child’s head and shares an incident in which a woman who carried her mobile phone in her bra for several hours a day developed breast cancer in the exact same part of her breast as where her mobile phone antenna was resting against it.
  • Schools and kindergartens in France and other parts of the world are taking out wi-fi and going back to wired internet.

According to Nicole Bijslma, Founder of the Australian College of Environmental Studies, building biologists have found EMR / EME levels above 10 microwatts per metre squared (pulsed) can increase the risk of various health effects including headaches, insomnia, lack of short term memory, fatigue and tinnitus, heart palpitations, motor neuron disease, shortness of breath, anxiety and depression, and that the health effects have the potential to become more serious with prolonged exposure.

In his thesis, ‘The Procrustean Approach: setting exposure standards for telecommunications frequency electromagnetic radiation’, Don Maisch PhD  contends that, rather than taking a precautionary approach, Western standard setting organisations have cut off from considerations scientific data that does not conform to their bed of knowledge, and that this is detrimental to public health protection.

Pharmaceutical drugs are required to undergo many years of testing before they are made available for us. But there is no onus on telcos or product manufacturers  to prove that wireless technologies are safe.  I bet I’m not alone in feeling a little squeamish when I receive text message warnings from my telco warning me to keep my devices as far away from my body as possible, am I?

In their book ‘The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life’, Robert O. Becker and Gary Selden offer some intriguing food for thought, which is that if philosopher Teilhard de Chardin’s ‘noosphere‘ (the sphere of human thought) exists, our artificial fields must mask it many times over, literally disconnecting us from life’s collective wisdom, and perhaps this is why our leaders consistently make decisions that are against our best interests. They go so far as to suggest that our electromagnetic environment is a greater threat to our survival than nuclear weapons, because of it’s imperceptible subtlety and the way that it strikes at the core of life itself. Their fear is that it could set in irreversible changes.

What’s the solution?
I’m not saying we need to do away with technology, there are many wonderful things it enables us to do – without it, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to build my business, and be able to share this information with you. I’m also not saying you need to be a recluse and go and live off the grid (although I admit I have contemplated it). But we do need to be aware of the impact it’s having  and at least give our bodies a break to rest and repair when we are at home.

I also think it is worth questioning our need to be connected all the time – do we really need wi-fi in camping grounds, at beaches, in parks, on aeroplanes?

The precautionary principle or “prudent avoidance” has been adopted by some countires. It makes sense to avoid unnecessary exposure, where there is uncertainty, doesn’t it?

Wouldn’t you rather err on the side of caution and take preventative steps, than be part of one big human experiment and wait 20 years, by which point it could be too late?

 

 How to reduce your daily exposure to radio frequencies:

  • Disable your wifi on your phone (use cellular data instead).
  • Turn off your wifi when you’re not using it (cable internet is best) – always have it off at night.
  • Put your phone on aeroplane mode at night if it is in your bedroom.
  • Power down your wi-fi signal – call your internet provider and ask for IP address and login details for you to be able to control the strength of your wi-fi signal yourself and disable the 5GHZ unless you really need it. I’ve powered mine down to 10% of what it was.
  • Don’t have wi-fi in the same room as where children spend lots of their time, or next to their bedrooms – I found high RF levels in a toddler’s room due to the wifi in the living room, which is next to his bedroom.
  • Never hold your phone next to your head, and use an airtube headset not a wired headset – the wire magnifies the radiation to your brain, and use an anti-radiation phone cover – I get my airtube headset and SafeSleeve from Earthing Oz (please note: this is an affiliate link, I receive a small commission when you purchase via this link).
  • Educate your neighbours – if you have shared walls and you know them, ask them to power down their signals and turn their wifi off at night too.
  • Put your devices on aeroplane mode before giving them to your children.

Don’t use a baby monitor unless you have a child with a medical condition – the highest level radiofrequencies I saw in my healthy home audits were next to a baby monitor (and a microwave). The mother in this household has ditched the baby monitor (and started diffusing essential oils to help with sleep) and wrote to me today saying:

“The girls have slept really well the past few nights (and slept till almost 8am today!!) so I can’t help but think that the oils plus no monitor is having a great effect! So thank you!”

 

 

  • Reconsider the need for a wireless controlled home – i.e. sound, heating. I found high readings in a home when the wifi was turned off because the heating had been activated wirelessly, these systems (and things like Sonos and Bose) are constantly pulsating high level frequencies in your home.
  • Netflix before bed may not be the best idea if you suffer from insomnia or migraines – in each home I’ve been to where the wifi router is next to the TV, at least one parent has  been suffering insomnia or migraines.
  • Make sure pets beds are not near wifi routers, Sonos, Bose etc – very sadly, a building biologist I work with regularly visits homes whose pets have gone to pet heaven too soon, and the beds of these pets have been right near a wireless system. The worst cases are in homes where there is mould as well, because the radio frequencies can penetrate the blood brain barrier and make you (and your pets) more susceptible to mould.

  • If you work from home and you do need to use wifi, put the router as far away from your desk as possible – one of the highest levels I’ve seen was at the desk of a mother whose wifi router was next to her laptop, she was experiencing insomnia and migraines.

It is really important to understand any internal and external sources of radiofrequencies (and electromagnetic fields) in your home.  For instance, in two children’s rooms there were high levels at the perimeter of the room near the window – knowing this, these parents now have peace of mind that the best place for their child’s cot is on the other side of the room where there is no reading.

If you’d like to get. your home assessed  feel free to email me at zara@ohmygoodness.net for a quote.

I hope this information has been useful, please feel free to share it with family, friends and work colleagues you feel may benefit from reading it.

 

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Zara is a healthy home consultant, author and keynote speaker on a mission to empower 1 million people to takes steps towards a healthier home. Zara learned about the link between our homes and our health after going through two different types of cancer. Zara is passionate about shining the spotlight on what she believes to be the least understood health challenges of our time, and sharing the things she wishes she had known, that could have prevented the illnesses she has been through. Recognised as one of Australia’s leading health influencers, Zara was a finalist in the 2014 Bupa Health Influencer of the Year Awards. She has appeared on TEN News, Today Show and The Project, been featured in the Herald Sun, I Quit Sugar, and contributed Medibank’s Be. Magazine and Fairfax health online publications. Zara contributed to the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s first comprehensive report on breast cancer in young women in Australia.

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