When I met my partner I got a message from his best friend Steve saying “nice to meet you virtually, you probably are aware of the subject already but just in case, and he shared a link to a site called wired child.”
I opened the link and was met by the title “Protecting Our Child From Wireless Technology.”What I read that day about EMF’s has defined my daughter’s relationship with technology. On the very rare occasion, she does use a handheld device it is always in flight mode to reduce EMF’s but I often wonder if that is enough. The phone is always moved away from her vicinity when she plays and at our phones are on flight mode all through the night. She does not have access to a tablet. I feel this is a subject that many parents are unaware of so I am turning to expert Daniel T. DeBaun to help educate us all.
Daniel is an internationally recognized and influential expert in shielding electronic emissions and Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF) protection, with a particular focus on the effect of exposure from mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and cell phones. Daniel’s concern regarding the health impact of electronic radiation emissions grew from over 30 years of engineering experience in the telecommunications industry, where he held a variety of leadership and executive positions at SAIC, Telcordia, AT&T and Bell Labs.
Hi Daniel, I am a great believer that no mum (or dad) should have to do everything herself, we can’t possibly know it all, and we need all the support we can get, there is a wealth of information out there to help us upgrade our parenting experience, to make our lives easier and this website is a hub for just that! We love that you are educating parents on the dangers of EMF’s and providing solutions to protect our children.
Can you tell us a bit about EMF Radiation and what devices emit them?
EMF radiation, or Electromagnetic Field radiation, is a low form of energy that emits from all electronic devices… from your cell phone, laptop, and tablet, to your baby monitor, your alarm clock, your hair dryer, and your refrigerator. Everything that operates with electricity, AKA has a plug or a battery, emits EMF radiation, a frequency on the electromagnetic spectrum. It is non-ionizing radiation, which means it is at the lower end of the spectrum. Ionizing radiation includes gamma rays, x-rays, and some UV rays, which can instantly damage the body and ionize cells.
Non-ionizing radiation is present in technology as Extremely Low Frequency Radiation (coming from the internal circuitry that powers the device) and Radio Frequency Radiation (coming from the transmitters that connect your device to a cell tower, Bluetooth, or WiFi. This non-ionizing radiation was not initially thought to be harmful, but over time research has shown that these low level frequencies can actually biologically damage cells and change processes in the body. Of course, since it is such a low level, any significant changes would likely take a while to accumulate, which is why it is hard to study and pinpoint.
These changes are most pronounced when this technology is emitting EMF radiation very close to your body over a long period of time. This means our cell phones, laptops, tablets, and bluetooth headphones, while small, can affect our body the most, due to their proximity and the amount of time we spend using them. And since mobile technology that we carry on our bodies everyday has only been around for 20 or so years, the effects on humans are only starting to be felt. Just like with smoking, saturated fats, and pesticides, this toxin might take another 5-10 years to be fully recognized by the public.
What are the health risks these EMF’s can cause to small children, those wanting to start a family and what else have you discovered about EMF’s that we should know about?
I founded DefenderShield because I wanted to have grandchildren! My sons were visiting over the holidays one year and had their laptops directly on their laps, working away. My wife said, take those off your laps, I want grandchildren one day! As a telecom engineer, at first I was convinced it was safe, since it was low level non-ionizing radiation. However, a gut feeling told me to look into the research, and much of the scientific community had established that there was harm in chronic exposure to these EMF-emitting devices! The scientific research shows that EMF radiation, or EMR, can interfere with cells’ electrical communication, can cause oxidative stress and DNA damage in a cell, which can cause a cell breakdown. This can eventually lead to cancerous tumors as these mutated cells multiply.
Oxidative stress has also been linked to MANY neurological and psychosomatic conditions and illnesses. It can also have impacts on the blood-brain barrier, causing toxins to leak into the brain easier, and it can cause increased levels of calcium in the cell through VGCC activation. Increased intracellular calcium has been linked to Autism. It has been found to directly decrease different hormones and neurotransmitters, which have an affect on our mood, sleep, and mental health.
All that being said, extra harm exists in children. Children are small! The radiation can go further into their small bodies, and their growing tissues are more watery and conductive, meaning radiation will travel even farther, with 10 times as much EMF radiation being absorbed into bones and twice as much into tissues. On top of that, it can create more damage in their fast-growing and duplicating cells and tissues, leading to magnified changes that might not show up until their adolescent and young-adult years.
Are there safety standards in place. I am pretty sure if you asked parents if they knew these risks they would say no. Where can we read more to educate ourselves?
Unfortunately, there are no SAFE safety standards in place by governmental bodies. The FCC has a limit on the amount of radiation that can emit from cell phones, but this limit was based on the amount of radiation it took to heat up the cells in a 200 pound man. Unfortunately, it only accounts for the thermal heating effects of the radiation, which don’t even have to be present for many biological effects to take place. Plus, they did not test their limit, called a SAR (specific absorption rate) limit on children, who are much smaller and more vulnerable than a grown man. It was set in 1996 and has not been updated since, and it is what all cell phone companies have to abide by. In different parts of the world, there are different standards, but overall none adequately serve to protect us, or our children in particular. We have many blogs on our website that are centered around EMF radiation effects on fertility, pregnancy, and children, as well as an entire learn section on EMF radiation!
It seems EMF’s are not something we want in our daily lives. Alarmingly market research by Childwise in 2015, showed that kids aged five-16 average 6.5 hours screen time a day, with teenage boys spending the most time on screens – an average of 8 hours a day. Meaning a typical teen can expect to spend upwards of 90 days – or 3 months – a year staring at a screen. That’s a 116% increase in screen time consumption since 1995. What do you advise to parents who are worried about EMF’s?
In this day and age, technology is hard to go without, and is an easy solution for distracting and subduing children while you are busy. It is also being increasingly used in schools as an educational tool. But at DefenderShield, we believe it is all about moderation. Many kids sleep with a phone by their pillow all night, then wake up, check their phone, go to school where they are bombarded with WiFi and computer screens, then come home, do homework on computers and laptops, play video games or check social media on their phones, then ultimately go to sleep with their phones, again, right next to them!
While parents should be worried, since EMFs can have a greater impact on children, and many children are dependent on technology for most of their day, there are many easy ways to cut down on EMF radiation and screen time throughout the day, without limiting the benefits technology can provide!
What can we do to protect ourselves and our children?
There are many simple things you can do to protect yourself and especially children. First, keep your WiFi router in a far-away room in your house (10 feet away from daily activities) and invest in a timer that can turn your WiFi router off at night (or other times you do not need it). This way you aren’t getting hit with unnecessary radiation throughout the night! Also at night, keep technology out of the bedroom, and refrain from using it an hour before bed. This way your sleep will improve, and you will be avoiding EMF for 8 or so hours at a time, which can be just the detox your body needs as it rebuilds. Avoiding blue light (coming from digital screens) before bedtime will also improve your sleep quality. Designating other tech-free areas around the house can also mitigate exposure to EMFs. Keeping electronics at least 1 foot away from you can decrease exposure by 80%, and 4 feet will decrease exposure by 98%! Don’t put your phone on your pillow, in your bra, in a pocket, or directly against your head for an extended amount of time. On Apple devices, you can set time limits on certain apps so you don’t fall into the YouTube or Instagram vortex. Keep your laptop and tablet as far away as possible when you are using them. Using radiation shields on your devices can also block radiation that is directly contacting your skin. Turning off WiFi or Bluetooth signals, or by turning your device on Airplane mode, can eliminate the radio frequency signals. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:
For children <18 months, only use screens to video chat. Prioritize unplugged time for infants and toddlers.
For children 2-5 years old, limit screens to 1 hour a day of high-quality programming. Think Sesame Street or PBS programming.
For children >6, set consistent time limits on screen usage, 2 hours or less at a time.
The AAP also created a media planning tool so that families can use technology appropriately.
Your company www.defendershield.com produce many products that help protect children from EMF’s can you give us your top recommendations that can be easily introduced into the family home?
All of our products are built to stand the test of time and to be easily incorporated into your everyday tech-filled lifestyle. My first recommendation for everyone in the family is our EMF Radiation Protection Blanket. This blanket is comfy and can be put underneath any device to block the radio frequency radiation from touching your body. As a small blanket, it is perfect for placing over a child, over a pregnant belly, or over the lap of an adult using a laptop or tablet! It is a great universal (and comfy!) option.
I also recommend our Universal Radiation Protection Laptop Case, which can fit all tablets and block EMF radiation from touching your body. As tablets are very popular with children, making sure your tablet has an EMF radiation shield can easily protect the tablet from damage, as well as you and your children from EMF exposure! My other recommendation is our Blue Light Blocking Glasses. We make these for adults in many different styles, including magnified readers, to block either 50% or 99% of blue light from digital screens. We also have 99% blocking blue light glasses specifically for kids, in 5 fun-colored frames! This can help eliminate eye fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and sleep problems that come from taking in too much of the high-energy blue light.
↓ Need some inspiration take a look at our suggestions for Upgrading Your Kids Wifi ↓