The WIFI is now everywhere – in the office, on the street, in the kitchen and even in the bedroom. While seamless internet connectivity seems to be one of the marvels of the modern age, have you ever thought whether WIFI is safe for health, especially of those who are young and therefore vulnerable?
The burning question: is WIFI hurting your children?
Today’s children are eager to try out new gadgets. They crave uninterrupted internet to play games, watch videos and chat with friends. Thus, a WIFI connection has become an inseparable part of the household. This means that the youngest members of your family are under constant exposure to the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the router. Can this have a bad effect on their health?
While WIFI seems to be gaining wide spread popularity among the mass, speculations are high on the health impacts associated with its usage. The social media is teeming with controversies over the issue whether WIFI usage is safe for children. The French seem to be a step ahead as they have banned the use of WIFI in nurseries.
The controversy sparked when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the United Nation’s World Health Organization (WHO), classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF/EMF) as Class 2B Carcinogen. Sources of RF/EMF are radios, televisions, microwave ovens, cell phones and WIFI.
A controversial article entitled “Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences.” was published in the Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure. According to the article, children, foetuses and adolescents are at considerable risk from devices that radiate microwaves. This is because their bodies are relatively smaller, their skulls thinner and their brain tissue absorbs more radiation.
A study conducted in 2011, linked mobile phone usage with that of brain cancer especially at a young age. This study stands in complete contradiction to a 2008 meta-analysis, combining several studies to form a larger investigation and found no significant link between phone radiation and cancer. The bioengineering department at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a research in the year 2013 and derived that WIFI signals use very low intensity radio waves. The intensity being 100,000 times weaker than that of domestic microwave oven.
The UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) is of the opinion that though the radio signals emitted by WIFI get absorbed by the body, the amount is same as making a 20 minute mobile phone call. A 2015 report by The Telegraph, UK clearly specifies that the energy produced by a WIFI router is far too low to disrupt DNA and hence the mechanism cannot be carcinogenic.
Better safe than sorry
Though there is a lack of clear evidence, some people seem to be electrosensitive. They suffer from headaches, nausea, fatigue and blurred vision which has often been attributed to waves given off by electronics. The International Agency for Research on Cancer rated low frequency magnetic fields as a possible cause of childhood leukaemia. Though it is still not clear, as to how magnetic fields could cause leukaemia. Laboratory studies have failed to establish a link and individual study results are variable. Hence, making this a difficult area to resolve.
It is always better to be cautious. Though avoiding radio wave when living in a modern society might be difficult, turning off the wireless network when not in use is better way to ensure minimising exposure to radiation.
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