EMFs Affects the Young the Most

Exposure to EMFs is getting ever younger....

As the information (taken from an official UK Report) in the diagram on the right indicates, children of very young ages are being allowed to be over-exposed to EMFs.  This steadily increases as they get older.  Yet as we will understand further in this article, growing people are still very much more vulnerable than adults at all ages, because it isn't just about size.

Recent official recommendations of 2 hours for tots under 2 years old is frequently exceeded.  There are no recommendations as to how long is safe for older children and adolescents to use EMF-emitting technology.  A World Health Organisation report from 2004 recognises that further research is required, yet considering that it is the youngest in our society who are most at risk there has been precious little attempt to quantify the issue in order to provide adequate guidelines for parents and teachers.  In the same 15 years since this report the amount of EMFs has risen exponentially and continues to rise and with an increasing range of untested frequencies.

In 2011, two leading researchers, Elisabeth Cardis and Segal Sadetzki published their assessment of the science to date. They found indications of an increased risk of gliomas, a particularly dangerous form of brain tumour, in high and long-term users which is of concern. “Even a small risk at the individual level could eventually result in a considerable number of tumours and become an important public-health issue.”  The earlier exposure starts and the greater the exposure at the highest time of risk, the greater the likelihood of the most serious consequences.

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The Precautionary Principle

There is an EU Precautionary Principle that states "citizens should be protected where there is reasonable evidence to suggest it is necessary even if not conclusive".  There is more than sufficient evidence to prove that EM radiation adversely affects people and especially foetuses, babies, children and adolescents. Despite this, the SAR scale of assessing the dangers of EM radiation has not been changed to reflect the fact that EM radiation does not have to cause a thermal effect in order to have a biological effect.


However, two countries, France and Russia, have current laws to minimise Wi-Fi exposure to children in schools. These two countries have the world’s longest research history on health effect of microwaves, both over 100 years. National policies such as these aren't lightly made or enforced without sound reason backed up by trusted Scientists.  Much of the research has focused on the effects of mobile phones, but there is also significant research on chronic exposure to the microwave frequencies used for Wi-Fi, Smart meters and others. The problem which has not been adequately researched is the cumulative effect of 24/7 exposure to multiple pulsed microwave radiation from many different sources together. We wouldn't consider for a second the idea of continual exposure to car exhaust fumes yet they and EMF radiation are both classed as a Class 2b "possible carcinogen".

The Danger of EMFs...

As the picture showing relative absorption in different ages indicates, the younger skulls allow considerably more radiation deeper into the brain. This is due to a combination of factors involving children having a thinner skull, being smaller and potentially more hydrated too.  The more rapidly dividing cells also replicate DNA damage faster.


Whilst this picture concentrates on the brain, other organs and areas of the body equally receive a higher level of radiation further into the body.  Mobile phones receive most focus of attention because they are primarily placed close to the head for calls, but when used for gaming and/or tablets are considered too they are most frequently rested on the lap or belly during play. Precautions can and must be taken to minimise exposure from WiFi links etc during use but EMFs are still being produced by whichever device itself simply due to the fact that they are powered and electronic.


Although such devices are used for games for the majority of the time by children, they should not be considered as toys with unlimited access.  Games/films should be downloaded away from the children who can then play/watch in airplane mode. Whilst this reduces WiFi exposure it is not zero EMF exposure.

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EMFs and Cancer

David Carpenter,  Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany, New York, concluded in his 2010 paper: “That for RF EMFs, standards are set at levels designed to avoid tissue heating, in spite of convincing evidence of adverse biological effects at intensities too low to cause significant heating. The cost of doing nothing will result in an increasing number of people, many of them young, developing cancer.”  He is not alone in his warning.  Kevin O'Neill, a Consultant Neurosurgeon at Charing Cross Hospital, London, reports that he is seeing more patients than ever and at ever younger ages.


An evaluation of the scientific evidence on the brain tumour risk was made in May 2011 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at the World Health Organization (WHO). IARC is independently financed and has its own governing and scientific councils. The working group reached the conclusion that RF radiation from devices that emit non-ionizing RF radiation in the frequency range 30 kHz-300 GHz, is a Group 2B, i.e. a 'possible', human carcinogen.


It is very concerning that even low level use of a mobile phone are linked to increased risk, and is worse for those who use  mobile phones before the age of 20. There has been a 40% increase in brain tumours in Australia in the last 20 years. It has taken over from leukaemia as the biggest child cancer killer. A statistically significant association has been found between of all benign brain tumours with cordless phone use, showing double the risk after more than 10 years use, even at a very low usage time per day. A greater risk is associated with having used mobile phones for more than 15 years, a finding consistent with other studies showing that observed risks significantly increase after six and ten years of use.


It's not just mobile phones...

Much of the research has focused on the effects of mobile phones, but there is also significant research on chronic exposure to the microwave frequencies used for Wi-Fi, Smart meters and others. The problem which has not been adequately researched is the cumulative effect of 24/7 exposure to multiple pulsed microwave radiation from many different sources together. We wouldn't consider for a second the idea of continual exposure to car exhaust fumes yet they and EMF radiation are both classed as a Class 2b "possible carcinogen".


Later studies have corroborated these findings and have thus strengthened the evidence. Several laboratory studies including those by Professor Martin Pall of Washington State University have indicated mechanisms of action for RF radiation carcinogenesis such as on DNA repair, oxidative stress, down regulation of mRNA and DNA damage with single strand breaks. The IARC cancer classification includes all sources of RF radiation. The exposure from mobile phone base stations, Wi-Fi access points, smart phones, laptops and tablets can be long-term, sometimes around the clock, both at home and at school. For children this risk may be accentuated because of a cumulative effect during a long lifetime use. Stem cells are more sensitive to exposure to RF radiation than differentiated adult cells. Growing individuals of all ages having significantly greater numbers of circulating stem cells than adults. This is of greater significance than body size when assessing the dangers of EMFs on the young.

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Learning, memory and behaviour changes

There is a natural tendency to focus on the dangers of Cancer, however other effects are likely to be more common and whilst not life-threatening, nevertheless are life-changing, and in some cases permanently.  Alterations to brain development during the early years cannot necessarily be reversed. 


The behavioural addictive nature that has been identified with using technology only increases the likelihood of exposure to the damging EMFs.  Faced with a child demanding access, many parents give in and allow further use and exposure to keep the peace. 

Using a CATEEN scanner in 2001, Dr Michael Klieeisen from the Spanish Neuro Diagnostic Research Institute in Marbella,  produced the first images showing how radiowaves from mobile phones penetrate deep into the brain, not just around the ear; and that a mobile phone call lasting just two minutes can alter the natural electrical activity of a child’s brain for up to fifty minutes.   Previously it was thought that any interference of brain chemistry and brain waves stopped when the call stopped.

Dr Klieeisen was concerned that regular exposure to mobile phone radiation might damage children’s immune systems, and could cause psychiatric problems, aggressive behaviour, lack of concentration and memory loss, all of which reduce the ability to learn. He also feared that using mobiles during break times might disrupt behaviour and learning in the classes which follow.

Dr. Gerald Hyland, a UK Government adviser on mobiles, found the results “extremely disturbing”. “It makes one wonder whether children, whose brains are still developing, should be using mobile phones.”  It should be no surprise that France who often leads the way regarding EMFs have banned the use of mobile phones at school for children up to the age of 15 years old.

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References:

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