What’s That Phone Doing To Your Brain?

Most of us spend inordinate amounts of time on our mobiles; shopping, working, Facebooking and texting. Sometimes, we’ll even make a call! But how does our usage affect our health? To get to the bottom of it, we asked Magda Havas (BSc, PhD), an associate professor of Environmental & Resource Studies at Trent University.

SDTC: What effects do wireless technology have on our brains? What about the rest of our bodies?

MH: Wireless technology and especially mobile phones have been associated with increased risk of developing various types of tumours including: gliomas, acoustic neuromas, and salivary gland tumours.

A growing population is developing symptoms that collectively have been called “electro-hyper-sensitivity” or EHS. The symptoms range from poor sleep, to chronic fatigue, chronic pain, mood disorder, cognitive disorders, skin problems, nausea, dizziness, ringing in the ears, etc. Many of these symptoms are believed to be a product of increased physiological stress (as shown by stress proteins) generated by the electromagnetic pollution.

People with diabetes have higher blood sugar, some people have heart irregularities, others experience neurological disorders and people who live near cell towers for 6 years or more have lower hormones than those who live more than 500 m away. Symptoms resemble rapid aging.

Can the use of wireless tech affect our sleep? 

Radio frequency and microwave radiation from wireless technology has been shown to adversely affect sleep. It is believed that the response is due to reduced melatonin levels and to increased sympathetic response of the autonomic nervous system putting a person into a “fight or flight” response.

Can wireless tech affect fertility? 

There is evidence that microwave radiation from computer Wi-Fi or cell phones can adversely affect sperm, causing them to move more slowly, to be deformed, and to die more rapidly.

What are some ways to mitigate the negative effects of wireless tech?

The way you use wireless technology can significantly reduce your exposure. For example, texting rather than speaking on your cell phone or cordless phone will significantly reduce your exposure; using speaker phone rather than holding phone to your head will also reduce exposure. It is important to not keep a cell phone in a pocket or in your bra and to not have it close to your pillow while you are sleeping. Keeping phone in airplane mode reduces your exposure considerably.

Similar things can be applied to internet access via Wi-Fi in your home. Turn your Wi-Fi off when not in use or, better yet, use an ethernet cable anther than a Wi-Fi router to contact to the internet.

What has your latest research uncovered that has been particularly surprising or disturbing to you?

Microwave radiation causes blood to become very viscous (thick and sticky) in some people. Our blood should have the consistency of red wine rather than tomato sauce. A growing number of studies from around the world are documenting adverse biological and health effects at levels MUCH lower than our federal safety guidelines, which means the guidelines are non-protective.

What are some simple ways we can “detox” from wireless radiation?

Trying to avoid using a screen (TV, computer, cell phone, iPod, iPad, etc.) for just 8 hours is very difficult for many people due to their addiction to this technology. It seems that we want to be connected 24/7.

Reducing your exposure, improving your immune systems, getting rid of chemical toxins in your body, getting plenty of sleep and some moderate exercise can go a long way to helping people recover. Those who have severe EHS are unable to eat at restaurants, go shopping, or go on trips since airports, trains, and buses have Wi-Fi access. Many of them have become refugees in their own homes. Once you are affected, your world becomes very small and it takes time to recover.

Are there wireless products on the market that have less of a negative effect on us – if so, do you recommend any?

Manufacturers are making low emission technology but what we need is NO emission technology when we are not using products. In Europe they have voice-activated cordless phones and baby monitors. We are unable to buy such products in North America and the European distributors are unable to send them to North America. This doesn’t make sense and it needs to be investigated.

Magda Havas, BSc, PhD is associate professor of Environmental & Resource Studies at Trent University where she teaches and does research on the harmful and beneficial effects of electromagnetic frequencies. She will speak on Reducing Harmful Ground Currents at The Total Health Show (8-10th April, Metro Convention Centre,) North America’s premier natural health show. 

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