When I first saw this article about WiFi dangers, I must admit I thought it was just another one of those “everything is bad for us” warnings.
Of course I read it on a laptop, with a WiFi router to my left, a tablet to my right and a cell phone within arm’s reach.
And as anyone over a certain age will admit, we’ve become so completely “connected” over recent years that we’re not quite sure exactly how, or when, it all happened.
But could all that connectivity be affecting us, and our kids, in ways never imagined when we unplugged from the wall and started being so amazingly, efficiently portable in the way we work and play?
Time to plug in?
It’s all about radio frequency radiation (RFR) exposure. And the first article I read, “Parents: Should you nix the WiFi?” from Fearless Parent, discussed all the ways we’re being “radiated,” ranging from microwaves to cordless phones, baby monitors to cell phones, as well as…WiFi routers and devices.
And that’s what really caught my eye.
Because I can certainly put that cell phone on speaker function, toss the cordless phone, and I don’t even own a microwave. But WiFi! How could I possibly do anything online without it?
And what about that iPad, huh? It can’t even plug in if it begged me to.
In fact, the author of that article, Louise Kuo Habakus, feels so strongly about the dangers of WiFi that she penned a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
She told him that Apple should be devoting itself to producing “safer” devices, adding warning labels to its products, displaying the SAR (specific absorption rate) for its devices and offering adapters that would allow its products to be used while plugged in…AKA, not just on WiFi.
She also talked about the “thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies” showing the link between the kind of radiation these devices (not just Apple ones) and routers emit and “serious health problems” including cancer, immune dysfunction, DNA damage and numerous cognitive disorders.
Even scarier, a just-published analysis of the research already out there says that children absorb a greater amount of this radiation than adults do, current exposure limits are “inadequate” and need revision, and that it’s extremely important that pregnant women avoid exposure.
Children, and especially the unborn, the authors said, are much more vulnerable as their bodies are smaller, skulls thinner and brain tissue more “absorbent.”
In an editorial about that study in a tech journal, author Mark Gibbs says, “Will we look back (sadly) in fifty or a hundred years and marvel at how Wi-Fi and cellphones were responsible for the biggest health crisis in human history?”
So if you’re now among the worried, or even the “getting concerned” crowd, here are some things you can do to reduce WiFi RFR exposure.
- Turn off the WiFi and plug that computer or laptop back in the wall for Internet.
- As for iPads, Kindles and other WiFi-only devices, aside from learning how to hack one to be wired, it appears that the best answer is to limit usage, particularly for kids.
- At the very least, turn off your WiFi router at night, especially if it’s in your bedroom.
- And anyone (especially a pregnant woman) who uses these wireless devises should do so on a table, not by plopping them on their stomach.
In fact, it seems reasonable that any woman who’s expecting stop using laptops while on wireless, and iPads and e-readers entirely until after the baby is born.
For everyone else, perhaps the question is: how much do we want to risk being “cooked” for the sake of convenience?