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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

The BabySafe Project: Tips for Reducing Exposure to Wireless Radiation: From Doug Wood of Grassroots Environmental Education.

Nov 30, 2014 12:55PM ● By Doug Wood

For several years now, scientists around the world have been looking at the issue of wireless radiation from cell phones and other devices and its potential impact on human health. There have been numerous studies showing increased risks of cancer, reproductive issues and other health impacts on adults, but despite increasing evidence of potential harm, few public awareness campaigns have made much progress convincing people to change their habits. 

Of course, change is hard, and people have become very attracted to their electronic gadgets. These days our phones, tablets and laptops can do things that were unimaginable even a decade ago. As a result, it’s almost impossible to convince average people to change their behavior just because a study says it might pose a risk to their health.

But pregnant women are not average people.

The instinct to protect a child from harm is powerful, and it begins in the first few weeks of pregnancy. That’s when most women begin to feel that awesome sense of responsibility that comes with caring for a new life. Suddenly they’re hyperaware of what they eat and drink and breathe. They want to make sure their little ones arrive in this world healthy.

So when we saw the terms hyperactive, aggressive and poor memory used to describe the offspring of mice that had been exposed to the radiation from an ordinary cell phone, we knew for certain that pregnant women would want to know about it. And so the BabySafe Project was born.

The nonprofit Grassroots Environmental Education, in collaboration with another nonprofit, Environmental Health Trust, has developed a new public awareness campaign designed to help pregnant women understand the developing science that strongly suggests a link between exposure to wireless radiation and behavioral problems in children, including symptoms of ADHD. 

The project is based largely on the work of Dr. Hugh Taylor and his associates at Yale University, but it also builds on an impressive history of independent science showing biological effects from exposure to wireless radiation—the kind of radiation that comes from smart phones, wireless routers, smart meters and even wireless baby monitors. (That’s why every wireless device comes with a warning from the manufacturer to avoid direct contact with the body.)

The good news is that there are simple, common-sense steps pregnant women can take to reduce their level of exposure to wireless radiation.

  • Avoid carrying your cell phone on your body (e.g., don’t carry it in a pocket or bra).
  • Avoid placing your cell phone, wireless laptop or tablet on your abdomen. Don’t talk or text while holding a phone against your body.
  • Talk on speaker setting or with an “air tube” headset.
  • Avoid using your cell phone in cars, trains and elevators.
  • Avoid using cordless phones (which also expose you to wireless radiation), especially where you sleep. Corded phones do not emit wireless radiation.
  • Streaming videos and playing games results in higher levels of wireless radiation exposure, so download them and then view or play them with the device in airplane mode. Download your e-mail and then disconnect from WiFi, allowing you to read and respond without being exposed.
  • Whenever possible, use cables to hard wire to a router or modem and turn off the WiFi feature on the router, modem and your personal devices.
  • Unplug your home WiFi router when not in use (e.g., at bedtime).
  • Avoid prolonged or direct exposure to WiFi routers at home, school or work. If your job requires you to use a computer, position yourself so that you are not sitting close to the router and not between the router and your computer.
  •  If your home or apartment or close neighbor has a wireless utility meter (i.e., a “smart” meter), sleep in a room as far away from it as possible. 
  •  If you’re pregnant, or if you’re thinking about getting pregnant, take a minute to visit BabySafeProject.org, where you’ll find videos, science articles and links to more information.

The risk of wireless radiation is something every pregnant woman should learn about.  Because every mom knows that the old rule still holds true: better safe than sorry.

Doug Wood is associate director of Grassroots Environmental Education. For more info, visit BabySafeProject.org.

 

 

 

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