- Is there published research scientifically showing how government safety limits do not protect children ?
Yes. Many scientists have published research explaining how current government limits for exposure to wireless are not protective for children.
- The Environmental Working Group published a study analyzing the findings of tumor and heart damage in the National Toxicology Program’s large scale animal studies and concluded that U.S. FCC limits for wireless radiation should be strengthened by 200 to 400 times to protect children according to current risk assessment guidelines.
- The paper “Exposure Limits: The underestimation of absorbed cell phone radiation, especially in children” co-authored by Professor Om Gandhi (an engineer who led standard setting groups) details how government regulations were developed decades ago based on a large adult male weighing 220 lb with a height of over 6 feet.
- The review paper Risks to health and well-being from radio-frequency radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices concludes that “current knowledge provides justification for governments, public health authorities, and physicians/allied health professionals to warn the population that having a cell phone next to the body is harmful, and to support measures to reduce all exposures to RFR.”
- The review “Health effects of electromagnetic fields on children” published in the Clinical and Experimental Pediatrics concludes that “the nervous systems of children are more vulnerable to the effects of electromagnetic waves than adults” and children’s exposure ‘should be minimized.”
- A review of international policy found over a dozen countries had policies to reduce exposure to children including stronger cell tower emission limits, including public health advice to minimize exposure, bans on advertising and the sale of cellphones to children, and adding radiation exposure information to cell phone packaging.
- A paper on 5G and children’s health published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health calls for a halt to 5G because “after reviewing the evidence cited above, the writer, an experienced physician-epidemiologist, is convinced that RF-EMFs may well have serious human health effects.”
- The American Academy of Pediatrics has repeatedly written letters to the U.S. FCC calling for stronger safety limits that protect children.
Studies that show that children have higher exposures compared to adults include:
- A study published in Physics in Medicine & Biology found that children’s cell phone radiation exposure can be significantly higher in children’s eyes, the bone marrow of their skull and brain regions critical to memory and learning such as the cortex, hippocampus, and hypothalamus.
- Research published in the IEEE that looks at different tissues within the brain confirms that cell phone radiation exposure levels in a child’s brain is higher than in an adult’s brain.
- The first research study to investigate exposures from cell phones in virtual reality positions found measurements roughly three-fold higher in the eyes and frontal lobe of the six-year-old model when compared to an adult model.
- A study investigating cell phone radiation exposures into very young children found levels in brain tissues of 3 month old children higher by 61% and 78% when compared to adults.
- Research considering pregnant women found excessively high wireless exposures when the device is near the abdomen. Similarly, a study on laptops and pregnant women found very high magnetic field electromagnetic radiation exposures, and the authors conclude that the word “laptop” should be renamed to not induce customers towards an “improper use”.
- A study that investigated the absorption of RF from Wi-Max tablets and laptops found the highest impact was to the male child’s reproductive organs. The researchers concluded that higher exposure “hotspots” were located in more sensitive organs such as the eye, genitals, and breasts.
These are just a small selection of the studies on children. Please see our scientific research compendium for more studies.
Numerous research papers have concluded with recommendations to strengthen regulations to protect children. See a list of credible studies here.
- What studies have found impacts to the brain?
Studies find the brain is sensitive to wireless exposure. Scientists consider the nervous system to be one of the primary systems impacted by wireless and other types of artificial electromagnetic radiation.
- A National Institutes of Health study made headlines in 2011 when it found cell phone radiation altered brain activity specifically in the brain regions closest to the cell phone antenna.
- Yale Medicine researchers found prenatally exposed mice had poorer memory, hyperactivity, and altered brains.
- A review published in Frontiers in Public Health found effects to several neurotransmitters in the brain, stating, “these studies indicate that EMR can lead to metabolic disorders of monoamine neurotransmitters in the brain, depending on the intensity of radiation exposure, and might in theory result in abnormal emotional behavior.”
- A systematic review of the most recent two decades of scientific evidence published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences found “significant correlation between EMFs [electromagnetic fields] and multiple changes in the electrophysiological properties of diverse neuronal tissues.”
- Research on pregnant women has linked prenatal cell phone radiation exposure to emotional/behavioral problems and hyperactivity in their children.
There are numerous experimental studies indicating that wireless exposure can have serious neurological impacts.
- A study on the brains of rats exposed to WiFi signals (a type of RFR emissions) found impacts to the miRNA in brain tissue. The researchers concluded, “Long-term exposure of 2.4 GHz RF may lead to adverse effects such as neurodegenerative diseases originated from the alteration of some miRNA expression and more studies should be devoted to the effects of RF radiation on miRNA expression levels.”
- Scientists from Afe Babalola University, Nigeria, exposed rats to a WiFi device and found the exposure increased the rats’ anxiety level and affected their locomotor function. The scientists also found changes in the brains of the exposed rat groups. The researchers concluded that, “these data showed that long term exposure to WiFi may lead to adverse effects such as neurodegenerative diseases as observed by a significant alteration on AChE gene expression and some neurobehavioral parameters associated with brain damage.”
- Studies have found that RFR exposure can increase permeability of the blood-brain barrier, thus allowing more toxic agents to reach brain tissue.
- Researchers who investigated the combined effects of the toxic metal lead and cell phone radiation have found combining these exposures associated with increased Attention Deficit Hyperactivity symptoms.
- Could cell phone radiation impact memory?
Studies in both humans and animals have linked cell phone radiation and wireless exposure to memory damage.
- In a Swedish study of teenagers where scientists measured the cell phone radiation dose to the brain, just one year of cell phone use was linked to memory damage, replicated from an earlier study.
- A study investigating the impact of Wi-Fi on working memory in human subjects found changes to neural activity after Wi-Fi exposure.
- Numerous studies on animals have also found damaged memory corroborating the studies on humans (Chaturvedi et al., 2011; Wang et al., 2013; Qiao et al., 2014, Shahin et al., 2018; Tang et al., 2021).
- Numerous animal experiments have also found wireless exposure damaged brain cells specifically in the brain regions critical to thinking and learning (Sonmez, et al; Odaci, Bas and Kaplan 2008; Odaci et al., 2016; Odaci et al., 2015; Colakoglu et al., 2009; Saikhedkar et al., 2014; Kaplan et al., 2010; Kaplan et al., 2009; Sager and Okus 2021; Meenachi et al., 2016). As just one example, a 2022 study, which found cell phone radiation damaged the hippocampus of mice, concluded “our findings suggest that 2400-MHz RF-EMR cell phone radiation affects the structural integrity of the hippocampus, which would lead to behavioral changes such as anxiety… it alerts us to the possible long-term detrimental effects of exposure to RF-EMR.” (Hasan et al., 2021).
- Is cell phone use linked to headaches or migraines?
In 2012, NIH funded research on over 50,000 children found that children with higher prenatal and postnatal exposure to cell phones had more migraines and headache-related symptoms. Since then, more evidence has accumulated linking cellphone use to headaches and migraines.
- A 2022 review of cell phone radiation and risk of headaches published in the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health found increasing call duration and mobile phone use in older individuals increased the risk of headache.
- A study on high school students found correlations between smartphone use and migraine headaches. The researchers concluded that “Finally, the findings from the present study point out that smartphone electromagnetic radiation is likely to be the trigger of migraine type headaches.”
- Could wireless impact reproduction and fertility?
Numerous studies in both humans and animals have found a broad range of impacts to fertility.
- When scientists review the research on sperm damage, they repeatedly conclude that the research links exposure to sperm damage ( Kim et al., 2021, Yu et al., 2021, Houston et al., 2016; Jaffar et al., 2019, Negi and Singh 2021, Okechukwu 2020, Kesari et al., 2018, Adams et al 2014).
- As one example, a study found Wi-Fi radiation from a laptop damaged sperm and the authors conclude that “keeping a laptop connected wirelessly to the internet on the lap near the testes may result in decreased male fertility.”
- A 2021 review on reproductive hormones found wireless radiation linked to decreased testosterone (Maluin et al., 2021)
- A 2022 review “The Role of Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation on Female Fertility: A Review” concludes:
“To date, several in vitro and in vivo studies unveiled that exposure to non-ionizing radiations brings about harmful effects on oocytes, ovarian follicles, endometrial tissue, estrous cycle, reproductive endocrine hormones, developing embryo, and fetal development in animal models. Non-ionizing radiation also upsurges the free radical load in the uterus and ovary, which leads to inhibition of cell growth and DNA disruptions. In conclusion, non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation can cause alterations in both germ cells as well as in their nourishing environment, and also affect other female reproductive parameters that might lead to infertility.”
- Have studies found exposure during pregnancy to be associated with headful effects?
As with other environmental toxins, the developing fetus is particularly sensitive to cell phone and wireless exposure.
Research on pregnant women has linked prenatal cell phone radiation exposure to various effects including: DNA damage in cord blood, increased risk for miscarriage, hearing loss, fetal growth impacts, preterm birth, motor development as well as emotional/behavioral problems and hyperactivity. While more research needs to be done regarding several of these issues, the science is substantial enough that over two hundred prominent physicians and educators have signed onto an EPA recognized educational campaign called the BabySafe Project to raise awareness about why and how to reduce wireless exposure during pregnancy.
A study published in Scientific Reports found RFR exposures can impact embryonic stem cells which play a critical role in brain development, and the researchers concluded that “More attention should be given to the potential adverse effects of RF-EMF exposure on brain development.”
Animal studies have also linked prenatal wireless exposure to DNA damage, memory problems and hyperactivity.
An Oregon State University study on zebrafish embryos exposed to 5G frequency RFR found potential long term behavioral effects and the researchers conclude that “Our data here point to impacts on adult social and anxiety-related behavior from RFR exposures. A striking feature of our findings was that behavioral interference in adults, albeit subtle, may have resulted from short-term developmental RFR exposure 3 months prior. The impacts on zebrafish anxiety-related behavior are consistent with previous studies in rodent models that showed ongoing GHz or sub-GHz RFRs could alter behavior and sleep patterns.”
- Have studies linked cell phone radiation with cancer?
In 2011 the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO/IARC) designated wireless radiation as a class 2B “possible carcinogen” in 2011, largely based on human studies that found long term cellphone users had increased risk for two types of tumors—-glioblastomas and acoustic neuromas.
Since 2011, the scientific evidence linking wireless to cancer has significantly increased, and today several reviews include that the current body of evidence indicates cell phone radiation is proven Group 1 “human carcinogen”.
Although not all studies have found associations to cancer, many credible studies have. Here are examples:
- A 2020 meta-analysis found that cell phone users with over 1000 hours of phone use had statistically significantly increased tumor risk.
- A French government study found people with a wireless phone usage of about half an hour a day for 5 years was associated with a statistically significant increase of risk of tumors.
- Case reports and case control studies have found women who carry cellphones in the bra have elevated breast cancer risk.
- A Yale study funded by the American Cancer Society found elevated thyroid cancer risk in heavy cell phone users with specific genetic susceptibilities.
- Two large scale long term animal studies of the U.S., the National Toxicology Program and Ramazzini institute of Italy, found increased tumors from RFR exposures, and the tumor types found in these animal studies are the same types as those found increased in human epidemiological studies.
- What about sleep?
Sleep is important to health for many reasons. Healthy sleep promotes a child’s attention, memory and learning. Cell phones, cell towers, and wireless radiation are associated with negatively impacting sleep and increased fatigue.
Research has consistently found that wireless signals alter brain waves during sleep. For example, an experimental study published in the Journal of Sleep Research found exposure to pulsed wireless signals affected sleep EEG and a double blind study found cell phone radiation impacted sleep EEG as well as time spent in slow wave sleep.The impact of even seemingly small exposures during sleep can be critical for our children, especially in the long term. This is why we recommend removing cell phones and wireless devices from the bedroom.
In 2013, The National Institute of Health research found that sleep is a time when the body clears toxins out of the brain. “A good night’s rest may literally clear the mind. Using mice, researchers showed for the first time that the space between brain cells may increase during sleep, allowing the brain to flush out toxins that build up during waking hours. These results suggest a new role for sleep in health and disease.”
- Don’t the majority of the studies show no effect on health ?
No. The majority of published studies on this subject have found adverse health effects, supporting the argument to reduce wireless exposure.
The respected journal Lancet Planetary Health published “Planetary Electromagnetic Pollution: it is Time to Assess its Impact” (2018) referenced over 2,000 published studies on wireless radiation. 89% of experimental studies (216 of 242) which investigated oxidative stress endpoints showed significant negative impacts on health. The authors found that “This weight of scientific evidence refutes the prominent claim that the deployment of wireless technologies poses no health risks at the currently permitted non-thermal radiofrequency exposure levels.”
The Switzerland Institute of the Environment published review found increased oxidative stress in the majority of animal studies and cell studies with exposures within regulatory limits (Schuermann et al., 2021). An earlier review on oxidative stress research (Yakymenko et. al., 2016) concluded 93 of 100 studies found oxidative effects.
A 2022 study on genotoxic effects published in the Journal Environmental Research Genotoxic effects of electromagnetic field radiations from mobile phones found that “investigations reporting that EMF-RF-ELF exposures are are genotoxic outnumber the reports that the EMF-RF-ELF exposure are not harmful to the human population” and concludes “the repeated EMF-RF-ELF exposures exert a negative effect on human health and cause mutagenesis and cancer in humans. It will be prudent to follow ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle to minimize the adverse effect on humans.
An analysis of studies since 2019 by the Bioinitiative Working Group found genetic, neurological and oxidative effects on living tissue from exposure to wireless radiation in the majority of studies:
- Genetic effects: Effect= 67% (259 studies); No Effect= 33% (129 studies)
- Neurological effects: Effect= 74% (271 studies); No Effect= 26% (97 studies)
- Oxidative effects: Effect= 92% (258 studies); No Effect= 8% (23 studies)
Most importantly, review studies on various health issues have been published that document adverse effects from exposure to wireless and non-ionizing electromagnetic fields. While some reviews conclude “more research” needs to be done, many scientists and public health experts caution that the weight of scientific evidence has accumulated to the point where the public should reduce exposure starting today.
- A systematic review and meta-analysis of case-control studies found evidence that linked cellular phone use to increased tumor risk.
- A systematic review on the effects of wireless to male reproductive hormones found that wireless can decrease testosterone.
- Reviews around the world from India, Korea and China to the United States found cell phone radiation can harm sperm.
- A review on the genetic effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields found DNA strand breaks, micronucleus formation, and chromosomal structural changes.
- A systematic review published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences found that neuronal ion channels are particularly affected by non-ionizing radiation.
- A review on impacts to the thyroid found RFR may be associated with alterations in thyroid hormone levels.
- A review in the International Journal of Oncology describes how exposure can lead to dysfunction of ion channels, which lead to reactive oxygen species and free radical overproduction, providing “ a complete picture” of how exposure may indeed lead to DNA damage and related pathologies, including cancer.”
- A review on non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation and female fertility concludes, “To date, several in vitro and in vivo studies unveiled that exposure to non-ionizing radiations brings about harmful effects on oocytes, ovarian follicles, endometrial tissue, estrous cycle, reproductive endocrine hormones, developing embryo, and fetal development in animal models…In conclusion, non-ionizing electromagnetic radiations can cause alterations in both germ cells as well as in their nourishing environment and also affect other female reproductive parameters that might lead to infertility.”
- A systematic review of cell phone radiation and risk of headaches published in the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health linked increased cell phone use to headaches.
- What about cell tower radiation ?
Cell towers emit radiofrequency radiation (RFR) just like cell phones and other wireless devices. While cellphones create intense RFR exposures to the area of the body near the phone, cell towers create much lower exposures but to the entire body. You can turn off your cell phone but not a cell tower, especially if the antennas are near your home or child’s school. Scientists often refer to cell tower radiation as “chronic low level exposure.”
Several studies have looked at the exposure to people from cell towers and cell tower base station antennas:
- A 2018 study “Radiofrequency Radiation From Nearby Base Stations Gives High Levels in an Apartment in Stockholm, Sweden: A Case Report” found high RFR levels in apartments close to rooftop antennas, and researchers summarized research studies that showed the longer the exposure, the higher the impacts. The authors state that high RFR exposures “in the bedrooms of growing children may have deleterious effects on their physical and mental health, based on data already obtained from humans and animals.”
- A review paper entitled “Limiting Liability with Positioning to Minimize Negative Health Effects of Cellular Phone Towers” reviewed the “large and growing body of evidence that human exposure to RFR from cellular phone base stations causes negative health effects”, and recommends restricting antennas within 500 meters of schools and hospitals to protect companies from future liability.
- A study published in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine found changes in blood considered biomarkers predictive of cancer in people living closer to cell antenna arrays.
- A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found higher exposure to cell arrays linked to higher mortality from all cancer, and specifically lung and breast cancer.
- A ten year Brazilian government study published in Science of the Total Environment found a clearly elevated relative risk of cancer mortality at residential distances of 500 meters or less from cell phone towers.
- Surveys of people living near cell tower antennas in France, Spain, Iraq, India, Germany, Egypt, and Poland have found significantly higher reports of health issues, including sleep issues, fatigue and headaches.
- A study published in American Journal of Men’s Health linked higher cell tower RFR exposures to delayed fine and gross motor skills, spatial working memory, and attention in adolescents.
- A review of mobile phone base stations and effects on wellbeing and health published in Pathophysiology linked exposure to headaches, concentration, sleeping problems and fatigue.
- A study published in Environmental Research and Public Health found higher exposures to RFR linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
- A case report on a study following people for 6 years linked increased cell phone exposure and cell phone tower antenna exposure to altered levels of hormones, including cortisol, thyroid, prolactin and testosterone.
- An analysis of 100 studies published in Environmental Reviews found approximately 80% of studies on cell tower/base station antenna arrays showed biological effects.
- A review published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health found people living less than 500 meters from base station antennas had increased adverse neuro-behavioral symptoms and cancer in eight of the ten epidemiological studies.
Despite all the extensive research, association does not always mean causation, especially in studies on humans using self report assessments. Therefore, researchers also looked at experimental studies using animals – in order to understand harmful effects from environmental exposures. While there are many experimental studies, we highlight the large scale animal study designed by the Ramazzini Institute because it was designed to mimick low level cell tower base station antenna Rf exposures. It is the largest animal study on cell tower radiation ever done.This study found increased tumors, the very same tumors found in the National Toxicology Program animal studies which was designed to study cell phone close to the body exposures.
These animal studies (the NTP and Ramazzini) in combination with the studies on humans have led scientists like Dr. Lennart Hardell and Michael Carlberg to conclude that “that there is clear evidence that RF radiation is a human carcinogen, causing glioma and vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma). There is some evidence of an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer, and clear evidence that RF radiation is a multi‑site carcinogen. Based on the Preamble to the IARC Monographs, RF radiation should be classified as carcinogenic to humans, Group 1.”
- How do I find out where cell phone towers and antennas are located?
The FCC has a broadband map where you can search with an address to see coverage https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home
Several companies also have maps where they post the strength of the signal. Verizon has a network coverage map here. T mobile has a network coverage map here. Comcast Xfinity has a network coveragemap here.
Go to Antenna Search at https://www.antennasearch.com, enter your address to see registered cell phone base station antennas. However “small cells” are generally NOT listed here so you also need to check with your municipality for this.
In Canada Canadian Cellular Towers Map
The small cell tower company Crown Castle has a webpage that has a feature where you can type in your address to see the location of the companies towers.
- What does science say about electromagnetic fields from power lines and appliances ?
Powerlines and electrical devices create magnetic fields of extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic field (EMF) exposures. These fields are non-ionizing like radiofrequency but at much lower frequencies. Scientific studies link exposure linked to leukemia, brain cancer, neurological effects, oxidative stress and numerous adverse biological effects.
Many terms are used to describe this type of exposure, including magnetic fields, extremely low frequency fields (ELF), or simply EMFs (the term we will use in this section.)
Basically, wherever electricity runs, there are levels of EMF near the wires. We are exposed to EMFs every day in the modern world. Thankfully, EMF levels decrease very rapidly the further you are away from the source and so it is easy to reduce your exposure in your home. Sometimes even inches away can make a huge difference in exposure.
Experts are far more concerned about hours and hours of daily exposure rather than short term exposures. We can’t avoid electricity, but we do not need to stick our head up to a microwave oven while food is cooking.
Children are exposed to this type of EMF in several ways:
- The use of electronics close to the body, such as laptops on laps, cell phones carried in a pocket or bra— create two kinds of intense EMF exposures to the body part closest to the device— wireless RFR exposure from the Wi-Fi, plus magnetic field EMF from the electricity.
- Cell phone EMFs are further elevated when the phone is plugged in and charging. Then the EMFs are emitted from both the charging cord and the device. This is why you should not hold a charging cell phone up to your head or body. Even when it is not charging, and when the cell phone is on airplane mode, a cell phone, tablet or laptop will emit EMF, which is a good reason to avoid cell phones or devices resting on your body.
- Alarm clocks that plug into an outlet, heating blankets and lamps with wires running under or near the bed create EMF exposures during sleep.
- Microwave ovens and appliances also emit EMFs.
- Errors in the electrical wiring in your house or building can also create high magnetic fields, which are easily fixed by an electrician.
- Sitting in an electrically powered car nearest the electrical system can exposure your child to high magnetic fields.
- Homes near high voltage power lines and electric substations may have elevated EMF throughout the home.
School EMF Exposures
Research investigating EMF levels in schools has found that electrical appliances, electronic wiring, and distribution boxes can create higher exposures to students in the classroom.
Scientists studying the issue of EMF in schools conclude that “it is important to design safe and appropriate environments for digital learning in schools, such as proper seating arrangements, to avoid ELF-EMF exposure to students as much as possible.”
The Collaborative for High Performing Schools (CHPS) has developed criteria for schools and builders to reduce magnetic field EMFs in the classroom. The criteria includes:
- Ensuring compliance with the electrical codes
- Fixing common wiring errors
- Designing play areas away from transformers
- Measuring EMF levels to ensure levels are below those associated with childhood leukemia
How can I reduce exposure to magnetic field EMFs?
Thankfully, EMFs from electronics and appliances fall off rapidly with distance.
In the bedroom:
- Remove electronics from the bedroom—especially around your bed and the crib.
- Avoid sleeping with electric blankets and heating pads; if you use an electric blanket to preheat your bed, unplug it before sleeping. If you only turn it off, the EMFs will still be present.
- Do not sleep near a charging cellphone or a charging laptop or digital device.
- Charge devices away from sleeping/living spaces, preferably during the daytime.
- Replace your alarm clock with a battery powered alarm clock. Corded alarm clocks and radios can generate intense EMFs but battery powered clocks do not.
- Check that your sleeping area is not near a wall with an electric panel, electric meter or appliance on the other side. If so, move the bed to another wall.
Around the house:
- Do not rest laptops or electronics on your lap. Always use devices on a table.
- Do not use a cell phone while it is charging.
- Unplug laptops once charged.
- Power off appliances and electronics when not in use. A powerstrip allows you to easily switch them all off.
- Replace dimmer switches with regular on/off switches.
- Do not use fluorescent lights.
- Do not stand near a microwave oven when it is on. Using a toaster oven is a better option.
- Get a magnetic field EMF meter to take measurements in your home. If you have high levels in your home, it could be faulty wiring, which an electrician can fix.
- Take measurements in your home especially if you live near power lines, because levels can be elevated. Always know your exposure.
- What research studies have been done on power line and magnetic field EMF?
- In 2001 the World Health organization International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that exposure to power-line frequency ELF-EMF is a “possible” human carcinogen- a decision based largely on evidence of an increased risk for childhood leukemias with residential exposure above 3 to 4 milligauss. Since 2011, the science continues to confirm this association.
- A 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis published in Reviews on Environmental Health concluded that prolonged exposure to magnetic field EMF is linked to a type of childhood leukemia. The researchers found magnetic fields of extremely low frequency field levels higher than 0.4 microtesla (4 milligauss) “can increase the risk of developing leukemia in children, probably acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Prolonged exposure to electric appliances that generate magnetic fields higher than 0.4 µT like electric blankets is associated with a greater risk of childhood leukemia.”
- A 2021 meta-analysis which identified 33 studies concluded “significant associations were observed between exposure to ELF-MFs and childhood leukemia. Furthermore, a possible dose-response effect was also observed.”
- The journal Environmental Research published a 2020 study that found an increased risk of brain tumors associated with living near power lines.
- A study that investigated people living in apartments near transformers found increased risk for melanoma among those who lived in the apartments when they were less than 15 years old.
Research on EMF exposure during pregnancy has found:
- Kaiser Permanente researchers have published several studies linking pregnant women’s exposure to magnetic field electromagnetic fields to increased miscarriage as well as increased ADHD, obesity and asthma in their children. A 2020 case control study of over 2000 pregnant women found that higher exposure to common electrical appliances such as computers, induction cookers and microwave ovens during their early pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of birth to infants with congenital heart disease.
- A 2020 systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that exposure was associated with increased risk of miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy. The authors concluded “It may be prudent to advise women against this potentially important environmental hazard. Indeed, pregnant women should receive tailored counseling.”
The urgent need for protective policy in the USA when it comes to extremely low frequency fields.
The United States has no federal limit on legal levels of milligauss electromagnetic radiation at all. Decades ago, the USEPA and other experts researched the issue, and draft reports leaked to the press reportedly would have set strong limits. However, the recommendations were never finalized, and the EPA was defunded.
Although the California Department of Education enacted a regulation to require minimum distances between new schools and high voltage power lines, there are few other protections when it comes to EMFs.
In contrast to the US, over a dozen countries already have some level of protective policy or official recommendations in place in order to reduce levels near “sensitive areas” to below 3 or 4 milligauss, the level of milligauss EMF associated with childhood leukemia. “Sensitive areas” are generally defined as areas where children live and play, such as schools, kindergartens or recreation areas. Sometimes the definition includes hospitals and residential areas.
These countries include Croatia, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Belgium (Wallonia, Flanders) Denmark, Liechtenstein, Russia, China, Luxemburg, Lithuania and Poland.
Note: ICNIRP,The private industry tied organization that many countries look to for expertise on these issues, recommends a residential magnetic field exposure limit of 2,000 milligauss (mG) and an occupational exposure limit of 10,000 mG. These levels are referred to when safety issues are raised, but the levels are not considered protective, because the level of exposure associated with leukemia is 3 to 4 mG.
- How can I measure the levels of wireless radiation and electromagnetic fields in my home ?
You can buy a special meter to measure EMF in your home yourself, or you can hire an EMF professional such as a building biologist.
We recommend investing in good consumer grade meters if possible. It is very important to know your exposure and to verify you have reduced EMF through measurements. There are consumer grade meters that can measure wireless radiofrequency radiation as well as magnetic field EMF.
The Environmental Health Trust has a list of recommended meters here.
There are several types of professionals who you can hire to do a full whole house EMF assessment. Building biologists are trained in EMF measurements. In addition, there also are electricians that specialize in EMFs. These experts can come to your home or consult by phone.
Go to Find An Expert – Building Biology Institute
- How do United States regulations compare to other countries in ensuring children are protected ?
Many countries have stronger laws regarding cell phones, Wi-Fi and electromagnetic radiation as compared to the United States.
Countries with official government advice to minimize cell phone radiation to the brain:
- Belgium, Switzerland, French Polynesia, Finland, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Turkey, Singapore, France, United Kingdom, Russia, Denmark, India, Australia, Austria, Cyprus, Canada, Italy, Korea, Sri Lanka, and Croatia
Many countries have cell phone and wireless awareness campaigns:
- France: A 2019 French Ministerial order ensures consumers are informed that when they use a cell phone it should be away from the head hands-free or with speakerphone, and that parents should limit children’s use and keep the phone “away from the belly of pregnant women,” and “away from the lower abdomen of adolescents.”
- Belgium:The government has banned the sale of phones designed for young children because of the radiation. So has France and French Polynesia.
- Cyprus: The government launched a multimedia campaign on how to reduce exposure with full scale bus ads, brochures and videos for teens, pregnant women and parents.
- French Polynesia: The government launched a multimedia campaign to reduce exposure, including videos, posters and brochures promoted on television, radio, and social networking platforms translated into Tahitian and French.
- Republic of Korea: Informational government websites state that “Children are advised to avoid using cell phones whenever possible” and videos showcase ways to reduce exposure.
In 2011, the European Parliament passed Resolution 1815, “The Potential Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields and Their Effect on the Environment”, which calls on European governments to “take all reasonable measures” to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields, “particularly the exposure to children and young people who seem to be most at risk from head tumours.” The Resolution calls for member states to implement “information campaigns about the risk of biological effects on the environment and human health, especially targeting children and young people of reproductive age” to reduce exposure, and “for children in general, and particularly in schools and classrooms, give preference to wired Internet connections, and strictly regulate the use of mobile phones by school children on school premises.”
Countries that publicly post the cell phone radiation SAR level at point of sale or on government websites:
- France, Israel, Korea, Germany
Wi-Fi is banned in kindergarten and nursery schools and restricted in elementary schools:
- France, Israel, Ghent Belgium, French Polynesia, Cyprus
Countries that have stronger limits than the US for cell tower radiation limits:
- China, Russia, Italy, Switzerland, India, Canada, Israel, Turkey, Bulgaria, Brussels Belgium, Chile, Belarus, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, Liechtenstein, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Kuwait, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Bosnia Herzegovina, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Republic of Moldova, Iraq
Countries that have stronger limits in “sensitive areas” for magnetic field EMF, at levels far lower than government limits:
- Croatia, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Belgium (Wallonia, Flanders) Denmark, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Lithuania, Poland
- Where can I learn more about science of EMFs ?
These websites have science based information.
- Electromagnetic Radiation Safety Dr. Joel Moskowitz of the University of California Berkeley
- Physicians for Safe Technology Physicians and professionals supporting safe technology.
- Environment and Cancer is Dr. Lennart Hardell’s scientific blog on the latest research.
- BabySafe Project on Wireless Radiation and Pregnancy
- The Bioinitiative Report has extensive reports and research abstracts by international experts.
- Environmental Health Trust A scientific think tank focused on prevention. Sign up for EHT’s newsletter here.
Interested in the history of research on EMFs? Microwave News is the go-to news source for EMFs since January 1981 and is highly recommended for researchers and scientists. If you want to deep dive into the long history and science of EMF, this is the website to check out.
Want to search for research studies?
The Oceania Radiofrequency Science Advisory Association database is a searchable database on peer-reviewed scientific studies and articles on bioeffect research of electromagnetic fields. The database is designed to enable detailed independent searches invaluable to researchers and scientists. It posts training resources so you can use the database most effectively.
The EMF Portal is another data base you can search for studies in on the issue.
In addition, you can go to PubMed and search for studies in the NIH database.
- What news reports and resources can I use in my community to raise awareness ?
To start, we have factsheets and flyers here.
We also have compiled a list of news articles, reports and TV articles below for your use:
- PBS Series: Burt Wolf’s “Short Guide to Cell Phone Safety” and “The Dangers of Radiofrequency Radiation”
- Something in the Air Documentary
- Generation Zapped Documentary
- Report says wireless radiation may harm wildlife, by Scott Wyland, Santa Fe, New Mexican
- Today Show: Pediatricians’ New Warning: Limit Children’s Exposure to Cellphones
- Baltimore CBS News New Research Links Cell Phones To Health Issues In Children
- Berkeley News Moskowitz: Cellphone radiation is harmful, but few want to believe it
- There’s a clear cell phone-cancer link, but FDA is downplaying it. The Hill, Ronald Melnick, Ph.D.
- We Have No Reason to Believe 5G is Safe. Scientific American, by Joel Moskowitz PhD
- The US And Europe Need Safer Technology For Children. International Business Times
- 5G and electromagnetic fields – Professional Pilot Magazine
- Rapid Fire – What Brain and Sperm Share and Why Care | Dr. Devra Davis
- Wireless Wake up Call I Jeromy Johnson
- Cell Phone Radiation and How it Affects Kids | Patrick Trzeciak | TEDx Talk Pasco County Schools Cell Phone Radiation
Articles about Children
- New Jersey Education Association: Minimize health risks from electronic devices, PDF
- Web MD: Children Face Higher Health Risk From Cell Phones by Roxanne Nelson
Boston Parents Paper: Is Wi-Fi In Schools Safe? By Brian Spero
- Is your cell phone dangerous? 7 Steps to Reducing Wireless Radiation Exposure in Your Home Environmental Health Trust, Mytowne Silicon Valley, June 2022 PDF
- Parents Magazine: How Wireless Devices Can Be Dangerous for Your Family
- The Kids Are Not All Right. How Wireless Tech Is Harming Our Youth And What Parents Can Do Right Now by Alison Main
- Study: Wireless radiation exposure for children should be hundreds of times lower than current federal limits | Environmental Working Group
- Mommybites: Sneaky Toxins to Avoid During Pregnancy
Articles about Environment and Bees
- “Is Wireless Technology an Environmental Health Risk?” Society of Environmental Journalists Journal
- Part 1: Bees, Wireless and Electromagnetic Radiation Bee Culture Magazine by Ross Conrad
Part 2: Bees, Wireless and Electromagnetic Radiation Bee Culture Magazine by Ross Conrad
- Have any investigative journalists covered this topic?
- ProPublica: How the FCC Shields Cellphone Companies From Safety Concerns by Peter Elkind
- How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation: The Disinformation Campaign—And Massive Radiation Increase—Behind The 5G Rollout by Mark Hertsgaard And Mark Dowie in The Nation,
- Democracy Now Interview (video) with Mark Hertsgaard about their investigation
- Wireless Hazards, by Barbara Koepell in the Washington Spectator
- CNN Reports: “Is Your Cell Phone Safe?” – CNN News Report by Dr. Sanjay Gupta
- “Protecting yourself from cell phones” – CNN’s Ali Velshi on steps consumers can take to protect themselves from cell phone radiation
CBC Investigative Reports: Award winning investigative CBC reporter Wendy Mesley
- What about resources for schools?
- New Jersey Educational Association “Minimize health risks from electronic devices” PDF of Recommendations for Schools
- Boston Parents Paper: Is Wi-Fi In Schools Safe? by Brian Spero
- Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition has educational modules for high school, middle school, and elementary. Go to MBCC Let’s Talk Prevention Classroom Modules and download the free Module 3 on Cell Phone Radiation.
- Tech Safe Schools, FAQs, Print Materials for Schools, Creating a Wired, High-Performance School
- Environmental Health Trust Resources on Wi-Fi in Schools.
- Resources for medical and health professionals to learn more?
Resources for Medical Professionals
- Integrative Environmental Medicine, Edited by Aly Cohen and Frederick S. vom Saal, Chapter 10: “Microwave/Radiofrequency Radiation and Human Health: Clinical Management in the Digital Age” by Devra Davis, Margaret E. Sears, Anthony B. Miller and Riina Bray.
- Environmental Health in Nursing Textbook, 2nd Edition, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. Unit III: A New Form of Environmental Pollution: Wireless and Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Fields by Catherine Dodd PhD, RN, FAAN and Theodora Scarato, MSW. Open Access Free Download
- EMF Medical Conference, Continuing Education for Medical Professionals
- What books are there to help me reduce my EMF exposure?
- A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Our Toxic Exposures, by Sophia Ruan Gushee
- Home Detox Workbook: Checklists To Eliminate Toxic Chemicals (Detox Deep Dive), by Sophia Ruan Gushée
- EMF Detox Workbook: Checklists To Recover From Electromagnetic Exposure, by Sophia Ruan Gushée
- Non-Toxic: Guide to Living Healthy in a Chemical World by Aly Cohen, MD & Frederick S. vom Saal, PhD
- What books are there about screen time?
- Wireless-Wise Families: What Every Parent Needs to Know about Wireless Technologies, Lyn McClean
- Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic ScreenTime, Victoria L. Dunckley MD
- Screen Children: How Digital Screens Are Impacting Our Kids and How To Help Them Meltem Küskü
- Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids -and How to Break the Trance Nicholas Kardaras