Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in a Mother's life. It can also be very overwhelming- you want to do everything right and give your baby the best possible start in life. You might be reading a lot, or looking online for all kinds of tips and ideas about pregnant life. One thing you might not encounter is how your EMF exposure might be affecting your baby.
It has been well established that the health of our smallest family members are more affected by electromagnetic fields than adults (mostly due to a still-developing nervous system and thinner skulls and bone structure).
According to researcher Ann Louise Gittleman in her book Zapped,
When it comes to EMFs, studies have shown that [children’s] thinner skulls and bones allow them to absorb twice the amount of radiation as a grown-up. EMFs can more deeply penetrate their brain tissue, which is more conductive than an adult’s because it contains a higher concentration of fluid and ions. One study found that a cell pone call lasting only two minutes causes brain hyperactivity that persists or an hour in children.
- Cell phones emit radio frequency radiation (RF). RF has been shown to damage cellular DNA, which may lead to cancerous mutations. Even low-level RF exposure causes the body to create heat stress proteins, a temporarily protective measure that is harmful if this stress response is chronic.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified cell phone radiation as a Class 2B Carcinogen – the same class as the pesticide DDT and lead!
- According to the Environmental Working Group, childrens’ brains absorb twice the amount of cell phone radiation as adults’ brains (source)
- Studies on the health effects of cell phone radiation have mixed results. But does funding bias contribute to the controversial results? This study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal found that industry-funded research was vastly more likely to show no health effects (72% – no effect, 28% – effect) versus independently-funded research (67% – effect, 33% – no effect).
- As recorded in the book Zapped, Dr. Ronald Herberman, M.D., a director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, said, “Although the evidence is controversial, I am convinced that there are sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use.” He counseled his staff to limit the amount of time they spend on their cell phones and to avoid making calls in public places “where you can passively expose others to your phone’s electromagnetic fields.”
- The BioInitiative Report has compiled up-to-date research on the effects of EMFs and RFs. According to the document, which can be viewed here (PDF), “The great strength of the BioInitiative Report (www.bioinitiative.org) is that it has been done independent of governments, existing bodies and industry professional societies that have clung to old standards. Precisely because of this, the BioInitiative Report presents a solid scientific and public health policy assessment that is evidence-based.”
- According to the BioInitiative report, “Roughly, 1800 new studies have been published [between 2007 and 2012] reporting effects at [radiation/EMF] exposure levels ten to hundreds or thousands of times lower than allowed under safety limits in most countries of the world.”
During pregnancy you have a unique opportunity to protect your baby from these insults and to help them to have the safest start in life that they possibly can. You might be thinking, 'But wifi and cell phones are everywhere! I can't avoid them all.' And you would be correct, however, Given the research, it only makes sense to incorporate cell phone safety measures into your life.
Here are 3 ways to reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation:
1. When it comes to cell phone radiation, the vital factor is the proximity of the phone to your vital organs – particularly your brain. Distance yourself from the phone and/or wireless laptop.
2. Did you know that you are most vulnerable to environmental toxins and radiation when you are sleeping? Turn it off at night.
3. Even when you aren’t making a call, the phone is emitting constant radiation to connect to the nearest antenna. Avoid “wearing” your phone, so keep it out of your pockets and don’t clip it onto your belt.
It is not paranoia to exercise caution with your children and cell phone radiation – it is wisdom!
In 2013, a panel consisting of five leading experts on EMFs and children’s health gathered to give their safety recommendations (you can listen to the recording of the panel here). They urged that children should not use cell phones except in emergencies and should not play with radiating phones – even if the phone is on airplane mode, the battery is still emitting magnetic fields. Pregnant women and couples wishing to conceive should also exercise more extreme caution and should strictly follow the previous tips in this post.
Here is an index of nearly 40 scientific studies looking at the health risks of pregnancy and EMF's. If you're pregnant, or know someone who is, please take a moment to consider the seriousness of this issue.
Some mother's choose to invest in clothes that will shield the baby from this radiation exposure. Belly Armor is a company that makes blankets, women's clothing, men's clothing, baby gear, and other items that you can wear or use in your home to block EMF's from the environment. There are many other companies offering similar solutions.
It is well worth your time to do a little research on these products and change habits. The health of your child is worth it!
Learn more about cell phone radiation and ways to reduce exposure contact Cathy Cooke of wholehomeandbodyhealth.com
Cathy participated in the Natural Health Symposium in Boise July 21, 2018. She has been working as an Integrative Health Coach since 2014 and is a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist with the National Association of Nutritional Professionals. Recognizing that many of her clients were 'doing everything right' yet still suffering from health issues, she realized that many home and work environments were contributing to illness.
Seeing dramatic improvements in her own health after limiting radio frequency exposure from wifi and cell phones, she received training from the International Institute of Building Biology and Ecology, affording her the expertise to evaluate all areas in a persons life that may be contributing to illness. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Cathy now lives in Boise, Idaho.
1. Fetal Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure from 800-1900 mhz-rated Cellular Telephones Affects Neurodevelopment and Behavior in Mice. Aldad, et al. Science Reports 2:312 (2012).
2. Autism-relevant social abnormalities in mice exposed perinatally to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields. Alsaeed, et al. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience 37:58-6 (2014).
3. Influence of pregnancy stage and fetus position on the whole-body and local exposure of the fetus to RF-EMF. Varsier, et al. Physics in Medicine and Biology 59(17):4913-26 (2014).
4. Dosimetric study of fetal exposure to uniform magnetic fields at 50 Hz. Liorni et al. Bioelectromagnetics 35(8):580-97 (2014).
5. State of the reproductive system in male rats of 1st generation obtained from irradiated parents and exposed to electromagnetic radiation (897 MHz) during embryogenesis and postnatal development. Radiats Biol Radioecol 54(2):186-92 (2014).
6. Oxidative mechanisms of biological activity of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation. Yakymenko, et al. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 34(3):1-16 (2015).
7. The effect of exposure of rats during prenatal period to radiation spreading from mobile phones on renal development. Bedir, et al. Renal Failure 37(2):305-9 (2015).
There are a number of things you can do to help minimize your EMF exposure while you're pregnant (and all the time). The 'Safe Baby Project' (https://www.babysafeproject.org/) has some good information for a basic place to start. See their '5 Easy Ways to Reduce Exposure' list.