Why do we need to reduce our exposure to EMF (electromagnetic frequencies)?
There is enough research on the health effects of EMF to lead us to the conclusion that we must adopt the precautionary principle to our electrosmog-filled world. In Australia, the 'safe' limits of exposure to EMF, as set by ARPANSA, are already up to a million times higher than those of other countries. In 2011, the World Health Organisation classified EMFs as 'possibly carcinogenic' and since then our exposure to EMF has done nothing but increase. This increase in exposure has led to a growing number of people developing a sensitivity to EMF, sometimes so debilitating that they can't be around EMF-emitting devices - such as WiFi - at all.
What does 'precautionary approach' mean?
In 2015 the International EMF Scientist Appeal was launched, urgently calling upon the United Nations and its sub-organizations, the WHO and UNEP, and all U.N. Member States, for greater health protection on EMF exposure. To date, the appeal has the support and signatures of 247 EMF Scientists from 42 nations. However, until the safety limits are reviewed and while the science debates continue to create uncertainty, experts are advising we adopt the 'precautionary principle' to electromagnetic radiation in our environment. That means we have to take action to reduce our risk. It is therefore important to be educated and informed about the health dangers posed by electromagnetic radiation so you can continue using technology safely.
What are some easy ways to reduce exposure for me and my family?
Reducing your exposure doesn't mean you have to throw out your phone and stop using a computer but it might mean some small changes to your daily habits which will make a big difference to your exposure levels. Here are some easy tips which you can implement right away:
1. Keep your distance
Distance is your friend. Your exposure is reduced the further away you are from the source of the EMR. Keep your mobile phone away from your head and body when at all possible. Move your WiFi router out of your living and work spaces.
2. Text instead of talk
Reduce exposure to your head from your mobile phone by texting instead of talking. When you do need to talk, use the speaker function and when that's not possible, ensure you use an AirTube headset which carries the sound to your ear via a hollow tube rather than a wire. For extra protection for your mobile phone consider an anti-radiation case.
3. Learn how to use the Airplane Mode setting
When you switch a device onto Airplane Mode it stops sending a signal to the nearest WiFi router or cell tower thus reducing the amount of EMR emitted from the device to almost nothing. Switch your phone and other devices to Airplane Mode when you're not using them.
4. Make your bedroom a tech-free zone
Remove all devices from your bedroom. Aside from being woken up by notifications on your phone which will lead to a disturbed sleep, you are exposed to EMR right throughout the night. Studies have shown EMR to affect melatonin production and quality of sleep. If removing your devices from your room isn't an option, or if you use your phone as your alarm clock, then ensure it is switched to Airplane Mode throughout the night.
5. Download, don't stream
If you enjoy watching videos or playing games, download them onto your devices away from you and then play or watch when they are completely downloaded. That way you can turn your device onto Airplane Mode and enjoy safely.
6. Turn WiFi off at night
One of the easiest ways to reduce exposure to EMR for the whole family is to switch your WiFi router off during the night. Simply use a timer to switch off the power source when you're ready to retire for the evening and to come back on again in the morning. This safeguards your precious sleep time when the body needs to rest, recover and rejuvenate for the next day.
7. Replace wireless with wired
Where possible use a wired instead of a wireless connection. Your home computer is a good place to start. Connect your computer via an ethernet cable and ensure your mouse and printer are wired. It is possible to connect your iPad with an ethernet cable also.
8. Teach kids safe tech habits
Children are much more susceptible to the effects of electromagentic radiation than adults so reducing their exposure is vital. Teaching them safe tech habits like those mentioned above from an early age is really important. Limiting time on devices and explaining why is the ideal situation but when that is not possible, teach them how and when to use the Airplane function. Ensure they have distance between them and a wirelessly connected device. Investing in an anti-radiation case for their phone, tablet or laptop is an extra safeguard.
9. Look out for unexpected sources of EMR
When we think of electromagnetic radiation we tend to think of the newer smart technology like smartphones, tablets and WiFi routers but there are many household appliances that emit undesirable levels of EMR. Cordless phones, baby monitors, smart fridges and even LED lightbulbs.
10. Review your living space
Try and remove sources of EMR from areas of the house you spend most time in and don't forget to check what's on the other side of the wall. For example, avoid sleeping with your head directly next to your home's electricity or smart meter. Move your WiFi router to an area of the house away from where you spend the most time. You can measure the EMR levels in your home with an RF meter or if you are very concerned about your environment you may wish to consult with a building biologist.