The advent of Wi-Fi connected high technology devices in executing day-to-day activities is fast evolving especially in developing countries of the world and hence the need to assess its safety among others. The present study was conducted to investigate the injurious effect of radiofrequency emissions from installed Wi-Fi devices in brains of young male rats. Animals were divided into four equal groups; group 1 served as control while groups 2, 3, and 4 were exposed to 2.5 Ghz at intervals of 30, 45, and 60 consecutive days with free access to food and water ad libitum. Alterations in harvested brain tissues were confirmed by histopathological analyses which showed vascular congestion and DNA damage in the brain was assayed using agarose gel electrophoresis. Histomorphometry analyses of their brain tissues showed perivascular congestion and tissue damage as well.
Foster was Moulder’s coauthor on that 2013 review of Wi-Fi’s health effects. He says that, based on our current understanding of radio wave strengths and risks, world health authorities have set safety standards for all devices and appliances that emit electromagnetic radiation—from phones and microwaves to your car’s keyless entry fob. “The exposure you get from your Wi-Fi router is orders and orders of magnitude below those safety limits,” he explains.
No, it isn’t. It is true that International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organisation) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, including radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from wireless phones as ‘2b’ in its monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. But that’s by no means proof of danger. You see 2b is ‘possibly carcinogenic’ and as well as Wi-Fi, the category includes coffee, carpentry and pickled vegetables. Some evidence has to be present (except when insufficient evidence is accepted) but the case does not have to be proven.
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The very next day, a livid Tom Wheeler began publicly trashing Carlo to the media. In a letter he shared with the CEOs, Wheeler told Carlo that the CTIA was “certain that you have never provided CTIA with the studies you mention”—an apparent effort to shield the industry from liability in the lawsuits that had led to Carlo’s hiring in the first place. Wheeler charged further that the studies had not been published in peer-reviewed journals, casting doubt on their validity.10
The RF signals from cell phones, as well as Bluetooth and WiFi, are considered nonionizing forms of radiation. That means unlike ionizing radiation—from, say, ultraviolet light from the sun, medical tests such as CT scans or X-rays, or nuclear explosions—they don’t carry enough energy to directly break or alter your DNA, which is one way cancer can occur.
The aim of this study was to investigate electromagnetic radiation (EMR) transmitted by wireless devices (2.45 GHz, 3h/day for 30 days), which may cause physiopathological or ultrastructural changes, in the testes of rats and address if the supplemental gallic acid (GA) may reduce these adverse effects. EMR only group was shown to have higher oxidative stress, decreased testosterone and VEGF levels, increased prostaglandin E2 and CGRP, as well as decreased numbers of spermatozoa. Long term EMR exposure resulted in testicular physiopathology via oxidative damage and inflammation. GA may have ameliorative effects on the prepubertal rat testes physiopathology.
Changing technology and methods of use. Older studies evaluated radiofrequency radiation exposure from analog cell phones. Today, cell phones use digital technology, which operates at a different frequency and a lower power level than analog phones. Digital cell phones have been in use for more than two decades in the United States, and cellular technology continues to change (3). Texting and other applications, for example, are common uses of cell phones that do not require bringing the phone close to the head. Furthermore, the use of hands-free technology, such as wired and wireless headsets, is increasing and may reduce exposure by distancing the phone from the body (36, 37).
Funding friendly research has perhaps been the most important component of this strategy, because it conveys the impression that the scientific community truly is divided. Thus, when studies have linked wireless radiation to cancer or genetic damage—as Carlo’s WTR did in 1999; as the WHO’s Interphone study did in 2010; and as the US National Toxicology Program did in 2016—industry spokespeople can point out, accurately, that other studies disagree. “[T]he overall balance of the evidence” gives no cause for alarm, asserted Jack Rowley, research and sustainability director for the Groupe Special Mobile Association (GSMA), Europe’s wireless trade association, speaking to reporters about the WHO’s findings.22
Say someone found a potential association between carrying coins in your pocket and the risk of a particular type of tumor. It would set off a frenzy of activity among a group of people who were convinced that this association was real. They would lobby for a law requiring that warning signs be placed on change machines. The effect would snowball until some people would demand that the government stop minting coins.
I used to have an iPhone (see Why I Got Rid of My Smartphone) and discovered that no case kept the radiation from emitting. I tried the Pong Case, the Otterbox, and an RF Safe Pouch. The pouch by far was the most effective. The Pong Case was better than the Otterbox, but still showed higher levels than I would like to see. You’ll see the various levels in the video below.
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Electromagnetic fields have been shown to disrupt melatonin production. In turn, sleep and overall health are disrupted. Charge your phone in another room. If you must be available to loved ones during the night, keep a corded phone next to your bed, or keep the cell phone on the other side of the room. (See more about safe sleeping in the post Sleep, Melatonin and Electronic Devices.)
When using your phone or tablet, consider keeping it away from your head and body. That is particularly true in areas where the cellular signal from towers is weak—when your phone has only one bar, for example—because phones may increase their power then to compensate. To do that, you could try texting or video-calling when possible, using the speaker phone on your device or a wired or Bluetooth headset, carrying your phone in a bag instead of stowing it in your pocket, and not resting your tablet on your body for a long period of time. When you go to bed, consider storing your phone away from where you sleep, switch it to airplane mode, or turn it off entirely.
Everyone should be sleeping at bed time, and WiFi signal may interferes with the brain during sleep, so it is a good idea to turn it off before going to bed. This allows the body to rest more deeply. By turning it off at night, you are effectively cutting down exposure by 33%. (Aside from the WiFi reduction, many security experts also recommend turning off your internet when not using it).
Even so, the industry’s neutralizing of the safety issue has opened the door to the biggest, most hazardous prize of all: the proposed revolutionary transformation of society dubbed the “Internet of Things.” Lauded as a gigantic engine of economic growth, the Internet of Things will not only connect people through their smartphones and computers but will connect those devices to a customer’s vehicles and home appliances, even their baby’s diapers—all at speeds faster than can currently be achieved.25
Because of this physical law, even if holding a Wi-Fi router directly against your forehead was very dangerous (and, we assure you, it is not) working in your home office 45 feet away from the Wi-Fi router would not be dangerous simply because the microwave radiation of the already minuscule 1 watt Wi-Fi router would have radically decreased in intensity. When you factor in that the Wi-Fi radiation is already harmless, you see that there is no situation in which the Wi-Fi signal from your router, your laptop, your media center, or any other Wi-Fi device in your home could possibly hurt you.
3. A lab setting is the only legitimate way to show the effectiveness of our technology for a few main reasons: one, a controlled source is the only way to conduct a scientific study. Note that the controlled source that we used was specifically designed to simulate emissions from wireless electronics (RF and ELF emissions of various frequencies). Two, ambient levels in a non-controlled environment will affect readings, rendering the results inaccurate. Three, at-home equipment such as the meter used in the video is not suitable for the types of emissions by a wireless device, nor are they reliable.
Lack of definitive proof that a technology is harmful does not mean the technology is safe, yet the wireless industry has succeeded in selling this logical fallacy to the world. In truth, the safety of wireless technology has been an unsettled question since the industry’s earliest days. The upshot is that, over the past 30 years, billions of people around the world have been subjected to a massive public-health experiment: Use a cell phone today, find out later if it causes cancer or genetic damage. Meanwhile, the wireless industry has obstructed a full and fair understanding of the current science, aided by government agencies that have prioritized commercial interests over human health and news organizations that have failed to inform the public about what the scientific community really thinks. In other words, this public-health experiment has been conducted without the informed consent of its subjects, even as the industry keeps its thumb on the scale.27
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There was a negative correlation between the cell phone usage duration and the total sperm count (r = −0.064, p = 0.04). Similarly, there was also a negative correlation between the wireless internet usage duration and the total sperm count (r = −0.089, p = 0.019). Otherwise there were no significant correlations among the other four main question branches (cell phone usage time, cell phone carriage habits, wireless internet usage time. and internet connection type) and sperm parameters.
This study investigated the effects of mobile phone (900 and 1800 MHz)- and Wi-Fi (2450 MHz)-induced electromagnetic radiation (EMR) exposure (60 min/day during pregnancy and growth periods) on uterine oxidative stress and plasma hormone levels in pregnant rats and their offspring. Although EMR exposure decreased the prolactin, estrogen, and progesterone levels in the plasma of maternal rats and their offspring, EMR-induced oxidative stress in the uteri of maternal rats increased during the development of offspring. Mobile phone- and Wi-Fi-induced EMR may be one cause of increased oxidative uterine injury in growing rats and decreased hormone levels in maternal rats.
However, wireless routers are typically located significantly farther away from users' heads than a mobile phone the user is handling, resulting in far less exposure overall. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) says that if a person spends one year in a location with a Wi-Fi hotspot, they will receive the same dose of radio waves as if they had made a 20-minute call on a mobile phone.
I've spent years tackling subjects from urban health to medical marijuana to behavioral science—both as a city reporter for my hometown public radio station in Tulsa, Okla., and as a freelance writer. Now I cover health and food at Consumer Reports. My hobbies include tinkering with computer code and watching trashy TV. Follow me on Twitter: @catharob.
The NTP study was to be peer-reviewed at a meeting on March 26–28, amid signs that the program’s leadership is pivoting to downplay its findings. The NTP had issued a public-health warning when the study’s early results were released in 2016. But when the NTP released essentially the same data in February 2018, John Bucher, the senior scientist who directed the study, announced in a telephone press conference that “I don’t think this is a high-risk situation at all,” partly because the study had exposed the rats and mice to higher levels of radiation than a typical cell-phone user experienced.50
4. Erase your data with a swipe. “Apps like Find My iPhone and Lost will…allow you to remotely wipe the phone, erasing your personal data and restoring it to its original settings should it become stolen. This will help keep your passwords, logins, and online accounts safe.” – Amanda Perez, Cell Phone Safety Tips For Stolen Devices, ABC30; Twitter: @ABC30