Get the straight talk about a health threat that’s as serious as cigarettes or tanning beds.
With Zapped garnering all sorts of media attention, ranging from Huff Post and other blogs to interviews on AOL, NPR, and an upcoming appearance November 9th on Coast to Coast, today’s blog will share some of the highlights from Dr. Ann Louise’s recent interviews and media appearances.
Q: What’s your take on radiation from these electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that everyone’s talking about?
Dr. Ann Louise: I say err on the side of caution. Remember when you learned about electrons and neurons in school and how our cells “talk” to each other? Well, we’re electrical beings—our brain controls the body by electrical signals. We’re still learning exactly how man-made energy waves affect our natural wiring system, and the extent of the risks. But many scientists have known for a long time that many kinds of electromagnetic energy fields are biologically active.
Q: What are the greatest health concerns from EMFs?
Dr. Ann Louise: Past studies have shown a connection between EMFs and the risk of brain tumors and certain kinds of cancer, especially in children. Some studies haven’t proven a clear link to health issues, but when it comes to brain tumors, there is a statistically significant risk, especially when the studies funded by industry are eliminated.
At the very least, when we’re bombarded everyday with EMFs from our laptops, WiFi, cordless and mobile phones, the fax and copier machines in our offices, communication between our cells gets scrambled. This ongoing interference can set off the body’s stress response, which boosts levels of cortisol, putting us at risk for a whole host of seemingly unrelated health problems, ranging from anxiety and brain fog to headaches and fatigue, heart rate changes, insomnia, joint pain, and reproductive issues.
Q: Can our cell phones give us brain cancer?
Dr. Ann Louise: Cell phones, like other wireless devices, give off radiation, but unlike say a GPS, they are placed right next to your head. The longer you talk, the longer you’re exposing your brain to EMFs. Recently, San Francisco passed the first bill in the country that requires cell phone manufactures to post in stores how much radiation their phones give off and to educate consumers on the health risks at the point of sale. That’s good information to know.
Stay informed but don’t make yourself crazy: our government hasn’t banned cell phones, although France has banned cell phones in schools since children may be more susceptible to EMFs and in Russia they strongly advise cell phones not be used under the age of 18.
Q: Zapped talks about “Electronic Feng Shui.” What’s that?
Dr. Ann Louise: It’s the idea of moving furniture and appliances in the rooms where you spend the most amount of time to reduce your exposure to EMFs. So, if there’s a wireless router in the room under your bedroom directly beneath your bed, move your bed or the router to the opposite wall or better yet, move the router to the other end of the house or apartment where it is not radiating anywhere near the sleeping quarters. Most important of all, turn off WiFi at night!
Depending on the type of electromagnetic radiation, the exposure can drop off after a few feet or not for up to a quarter mile (in the case of cell phone antennas). With home appliances, keep them three to five feet away from the body.
Q: Are there some easy ways we can reduce our risk?
Dr. Ann Louise: Text more! If you have to talk on your cell phone, cut down on your talking time and switch ears repeatedly. Or better yet: buy a wire-free plastic tube earpiece—you can get them online. If you have a cordless phone, use the speakerphone option as much as possible. And when there is a chance, hard-wire an appliance, such as a computer or printer or router. Hard wiring will greatly reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields.
Q: Looking at your book’s full title, Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn’t Be Your Alarm Clock . . ., I have to ask why you say not to use our cell phones as alarm clocks?
Dr. Ann Louise: EMFs suppress the production of melatonin, an important antioxidant hormone that helps regenerate the body during sleep. You need a chance to recharge during the night. It’s the one time when you should “unplug” from technology completely. Use an old-school wind up alarm clock instead of your mobile phone.
It is very important that children not keep cell phones under their pillow or near the bed. This a bad habit many kids have gotten into so they can text during the night.
Q: Why are children so vulnerable to electropollution?
Dr. Ann Louise: Their smaller size and thinner skulls put the young at greater risk. Radiation from cell or cordless phones exposes far more of a child’s brain than an adult’s. Plus the younger someone is, the longer that person is likely to use mobile phones—only increasing their lifetime risk. One expert believes that as many as 30% of childhood cancers are linked to EMFs.
It’s important to limit cell phone use in pregnancy too. A 2008 study shows that children born to mothers who used mobile phones while pregnant were more likely to be hyperactive and have emotional problems. Other research shows that students are more likely to have behavioral and learning problems in schools with WiFi.
Dr. Ann Louise: Dozens of studies show that humans—like cable TV and all electrical systems—need to be grounded. Much like a ground wire makes a direct electrical connection to the Earth to stabilize and ensure the safety of the electricity coming into our homes, Earthing appears to insulate us from too much electropollution.
People with chronic pain and insomnia found sleeping earthed not only relieved their symptoms, but scientific measurements of their cortisol (stress hormone) levels were also lower with Earthing. It relieves inflammation, the unidentified link in diseases as varied as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, chronic fatigue, and heart disease.
Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn’t Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution