Being WiFi Aware
You can’t see it, you can’t touch it and you can’t smell it, but chances are you are surrounded by it right now. Electromagnetic radiation or EMR for short. Low frequency EMR from household appliances, electrical circuits and lighting; and high frequency EMR from WiFi routers, smart phones, cell towers, Bluetooth devices and smart meters are now a firm fixture in our modern lives and this proliferation of wireless technologies means we are exposed to far higher levels of EMR than previous generations. How dangerous this is to human health is under ongoing investigation but studies have linked EMR exposure to a wide range of health problems including chronic fatigue, headaches, autism, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. There is enough research out there to suggest we should approach EMR with caution and adopt the precautionary principle when using ‘smart’ technology.
World Health Organisation and EMR
In 2011, the World Health Organisation classified this type of non-ionising radiation as ‘possibly carcinogenic.’ Many countries are already adopting the precautionary principle when it comes to EMR from WiFi. Germany advises its citizens to use ethernet cables instead of Wi-Fi in homes, Haifa in Israel is replacing all WiFi in schools with a safer, wired connection and in 2015 France banned WiFi in nurseries and stipulated that it should be minimised in schools for children up to 11 years old.
In Australia, the governing body ARPANSA sets the radiation safety levels for Australian citizens and they have this to say about radiofrequency electromagnetic energy from mobile phones and wireless devices: ‘… it’s impossible to be completely sure there isn’t some risk. This is particularly true for children where there is little research evidence.’
Exposure to electromagnetic radiation can affect people in different ways, with symptoms including headaches, fatigue, poor concentration, nausea and skin rashes. A growing, number of people worldwide experience a severe intolerance to EMR, known as electrohypersensitivity (EHS). Watch this BBC video to hear first-hand from people living with EHS.
Reducing Your Exposure
Reducing your exposure to EMR is easier than you think:
- Distance is your friend so keep wireless devices away from your head and body.
- Text rather than talk on your mobile phone or use the speaker function when making a call.
- Switch your wireless devices to airplane mode when internet connectivity is not required, especially if it’s being used by a child.
- Opt for wired connections over wireless connections on devices like computers, home landlines, laptops, speakers and printers.
- Safeguard your sleep by turning off your WiFi router at night and keep bedrooms a technology-free zone. If you use your mobile phone as your alarm, ensure it is switched to airplane mode while you sleep.
A few small habit changes can make all the difference. Check out our radiation protection range for other ways to reduce your exposure to EMR today.