Radiation is a relatively new, ever increasing risk that all mothers should be aware of; yet it is only recently being talked about. Radiation is emitted from a multitude of household electronics that most of us use every day, but still, most users are unaware of the serious dangers these common objects pose to their health. Perhaps even more concerning is the detrimental effects these everyday items can have on children and babies. In this piece, Carolyn Luckie outlines some of the specific ways in which EMF radiation is damaging to mothers and their children, and provides a few key steps that women can take to protect themselves and their families from the harmful rays.
Life might seem to be easier if you didn’t have to worry about so many things while trying to keep your family healthy – what you eat, what you drink, or what you use to clean your home. Do you really need one more thing to worry about, especially if you’re pregnant?
That’s how I felt when I first learned about the effects of EMF (electromagnetic fields) radiation, the kind of radiation that comes out of cell phones and many household appliances. “Really?” I thought. “I eat right, I don’t smoke, and I use organic cleansers… and now this?”
But the truth is that it all matters. Everything around us can have an effect on our health, and the health of our children. And what the scientist call “non-ionizing radiation” is something that’s getting more and more common in our lives.
We now have microwave ovens, cell phones, cordless phones and wireless baby monitors. These all create levels of radiation that aren’t found in our natural environment. So, is it harmful?
Ever since there has been electricity, there has been concern about its health effects. All the way back in the 1800s, doctors recognized a new illness that affected telegraph operators, and later, telephone operators. Modern studies questioning the safety of EMF radiation have been done since the 1970s.
Today, there’s a growing awareness about the effects of EMF, but there seems to be a lot of controversy about its dangers. Some scientists say it’s harmless, and they’d like everyone to think that they shouldn’t worry about it. However, most of these studies (in the United States) are financed by the phone companies themselves. A scientist friend of mine told me to look at studies done in other countries, and that’s where I found some very scary information.
Here are just a few of the facts discovered by scientific studies:
- Studies at Yale and UCLA showed that fetal exposure to radiation could cause lifetime hyperactivity and other neurological and emotional effects.
- According to a Danish study, children exposed to mobile phones while in the womb are 30 percent more likely to have ADHD by age 7 than children who were not exposed to mobile phones while in the womb.
- Women who used handsets two or three times per day while pregnant were 54 percent more likely to give birth to children who developed behavioral problems by the time they reached school age than women who did not use them. The risk of behavioral problems increased along with the mother’s mobile phone use during pregnancy.
And it’s not just women and children…
- Men who carried a phone in a hip pocket or on the belt had 11 percent fewer mobile sperm than men who kept a phone elsewhere on the body (Kilgallon 2005).
- Men who carried a cell phone on the belt and used it intensively during a five-day test period had a 19 percent drop in highly motile sperm from their previous levels (Davoudi 2002).”
These studies clearly show that EMF radiation is a health risk to humans, especially babies, born and unborn. Are these studies taken seriously? Well, Belgium just outlawed the sale and advertising of cell phones to children under the age of 7. Many schools in Canada, France, Austria, and Germany have banned Wi-Fi. And, the World Health Organization recently classified EMF radiation as “possibly carcinogenic”.
What exactly does this radiation do to children and unborn babies? Well, there are concerns about cancer and autism (which may have a variety of causes), but the danger I’m most familiar with is neurological damage. Fetal and childhood exposure to the kind of radiation seems to drastically increase hyperactivity and ADHD. The radiation seems to affect the brain’s development.
Please don’t think that these disorders aren’t a big deal. Hyperactivity and ADHD doesn’t just mean your child talks fast and scampers around more. Children affected by these neuro-developmental disorders don’t focus well, don’t do well in school, and they don’t do well in their relations with others.
As a parent, would you want to spend a lot of time meeting with teachers? Would you like to have to hire tutors? Would you like your child to get good grades, to make it to college, to have a successful marriage? All of this is at risk if you allow your child to be exposed to too much EMF.
So, what can we do about it, to protect ourselves, and our children, but especially our unborn babies?
It would be very hard, especially in a large city, to stop all exposure to EMF radiation, but it’s actually very easy to drastically reduce your child’s exposure to this threat.
Here are some easy things you can do:
- Don’t use Wi-Fi in your house. (Is it really that much trouble to plug in a computer?)
- Don’t use wireless baby monitors. (That’s a constant radiation source right next to your baby)
- Don’t let young children use cell phones, and limit your older children’s use.
- Keep kids away from iPads until they’re older.
If you’re pregnant:
DO NOT leave your cell phone on, in your purse or pocket. Your cell phone is constantly broadcasting, even when you’re not making a call. Did you know that your cell phone emits a burst of radiation every time it receives a text message? If you feel you need to keep your phone on all the time, please keep it away from your belly. Turn the ringer on loud, and leave it as far away as you can. If you’ve got to have the phone with you all the time, consider keeping it in an outside pocket of your purse, and look for some kind of shielding product that might reduce the radiation. (Check out Silver Lining purses, too!)
Avoid cooking with microwave ovens.
Never use a lap top computer in your lap, and try not to stay too close to any piece of electronics that might emit a lot of radiation. (Cordless phones!)
The truth is that it’s easy to reduce our children’s exposure to EMF. You just have to decide if convenience is more important than your child’s health. If you’re reading this, I think you’ve already made the right decision.
Carolyn Luckie is a full blood Muscogee Creek and Chickasaw American Indian who learned about EMF radiation when her boyfriend invented a shielded purse to protect unborn babies from their mother’s cell / smart phones. Now, Carolyn is starting a native-owned business to manufacture and sell these purses, so mothers can continue their day-to-day routine using their cell / smart phones without the worry. It’s not just about making money. Carolyn wants to help her community, which is why the Silver Lining Purse Company will only make purses locally, or have them made in indigenous communities that need to be financially empowered. You can learn more by visiting her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/silver.lining.purse.company.