The other day I was hosting a webinar about how to prepare bodies for babies & I got a great question:

Do wi-fi, electronics, & cell phones have any effect on fertility or babies?

This is a topic I care deeply about, but rarely ever discuss. Why? Because it's tricky.

  1. Some people honestly believe it's "not a thing". I've said this before & I'll say it again: we are energetic beings living on an energetic planet. It's science. Quantum Physics, to be exact. The fact that we can't see energy fields {& their impending danger to our natural energy balance} makes it really easy to brush off as myth. Fortunately, long time claims are finally becoming amply supported by case studies & evidence based research. Negative effects from low frequency radiation IS a reality whether you like it or not. Want more proof? Check out the warning label on your next new cell phone.
  2. People like to ignore it. Even those that understand the danger tend to pretend it doesn't affect them. To loosely quote a friend of mine {Jason Prall of Calyx Performance} most people are willingly blind to the damage that can be caused by EMF radiation. We like our wireless devices & electronic conveniences more than we like avoiding the gradual decline of health.
  3. It can drive you nutty. We live in a society where we are literally surrounded by electromagnetic field {EMF} radiation & it's only getting worse {wifi in our cars now?! Please no.} I mean, I am typing this article on a laptop hooked up to wireless internet, after all. It's unavoidable & trying to completely avoid it is stressful to say the least.

Nevertheless, I need to talk about it because it matters.

So you know that little list provided by the International Agency for Research on Cancer? The one filled with all of the substances found to be possibly carcinogenic to humans? You know the list! It presents items like lead, artificial food dyes, certain molds, chloroform, & radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.

That's right, radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are right there, out in the open, publicly stated as a class 2B possible carcinogen---yet become more abundantly available & less avoidable by the minute.

Beyond that, plenty science is coming out to support the ill effects of EMF exposure---especially during pregnancy & childhood.

Studies show that being exposed to cell phone radiation increases the creation of stress proteins {usually triggered by extracellular toxic catalysts like heavy metals & extremely high temperatures}. When studying the rate of stress protein creation in young cells at the time of conception, scientists found that cells are far more sensitive to low frequency radiation than they are to the usual stressors, like high temperatures. The scientists that conducted this particular stress study were so moved by the results that they recommended guidelines be put in place to limit exposure & output1.

While we are all effected to some degree, children are at a greater risk. As with any possible or proven carcinogen, EMF's have a more profound effect on children's smaller bodies, weaker structures, & rapidly developing systems.

Those at the greatest risk are fetuses. The microwave radiation produced by digital devices may breakdown & limit the crucial myelin sheath which is responsible for protecting the neurons in the brain2. A recent study at Yale university also found that the offspring of mice exposed to "normal amounts" of cell phone radiation were more hyperactive & had poorer memories than those not exposed3.

It comes as no surprise to me that the tiniest humans are at the highest risk here. But we can't forget that adults {& the adolescents & teens in-between} are also largely effected.

One recent study observed a few young women {between 21-39} with multifocul breast cancer. These women had no genetic predisposition or any other breast cancer risks, but all developed tumors directly under the location of their phones {held in their bras}4

As for men, studies find a decrees in sperm count, mobility, morphology, & viability for men that used cell phones. The more frequent the cell phone use, the lower the quality of the sperm5'6.

So where do we stand on safety? No true guidelines for exposure limitation have been set in the U.S. {although other countries have begun putting them into place}. In 1996 the FCC put radiation requirements in place for all cell phones to pass before they hit the market. However these guidelines were only "safety tested" on full grown males...19 years ago. Not to mention they are extremely lenient on whether or not the companies actually meet those requirements. In fact, many cell phones only meet the requirements when the phone is held a certain distance away from the body. But don't worry---they tell you that in the small print.

The evidence is clear. Whatever you call them---nonionizing radiation, low frequency emissions, electromagnetic fields, radiofrequency, or microwave radiation---these invisible rays are harmful to all stages of health.*

Of course, I can't help but stress the importance of protection during preconception, conception, & those early developmental days in the womb.

* Cell phones are the most studied & traceable form of EMF radiation, but many devices give them off in varying amounts. This includes all electronics, wireless devices, power lines, etc.

What can you do about it? Quite a bit:

For anyone, any time:

  • Keep your internet wired. If possible, ditch the wireless router & hook right into the modem---old school style.
  • Turn off your wireless when it's not in use. If you aren't able to wire your house for internet {like me because, apartment living.} you can unplug the modem/router whenever you aren't using it. This is especially important at night when your body is trying to rest & recoup.
  • Stay away from electronics while in use. Although wireless devices have the strongest signals, all electronics give off EMF waves. Remember when mom told you not to sit too close to the TV? She was right. The more energy something gives off, the more radiation. Vacuums, blow dryers, high speed blenders, & microwaves are some of the top offenders. Keep blow drying to a minimum, vacuum mindfully {make someone else do it if you're pregnant} & step away from the other devices while in use! OH! & keep laptops off of your lap!
  • If possible, opt for manual electricity meter reading. Remember that guy that would pop over to the side of your house once a month to read your meter? Have you noticed he doesn't come around much anymore? That's because SMARTMETERS have taken over. It's an overly confident name for a pretty stupid idea. Sorry---I'm a little bitter. Not only does the addition of smartmeters result in lost jobs, but it also means that we've got a wireless beacon hanging out on the side of our homes.
  • Sleep on a magnet. Not any magnet, of course! But there is a lot of science behind the power of negative ions. Our bodies/the earth electromagnetic fields have been wiped out, for lack of better term, & magnetized restorative sleep can help.
  • Surround yourself with negative ions. Magnetico sleep pads aren't the only way to introduce some positive negativity into your life! The best {& most cost effective} source of negative ions is...outside. Strong wind, sand between your toes, rolling in fresh grass, & breathing in the salt from crashing ocean waves all produce negative ions. You can also purchase Himalayan salt lamps & organic potted plants.
  • Wash it off. I don't know the science behind this, but it's been recommended to me to take a shower after sitting in front of the TV or computer for long periods of time.
  • Follow EWG's safer cell phone guide. I'd like to add "keep your cell phone as far away from you as possible at night". I keep mine in the living room, my husband has his on airplane mode in the bathroom for his alarm.

For pregnant & new mamas:

  • Wear a Belly Armor wrap. These little gems are game-changers. They are fabric wraps made with a highly conductive silver textile that protects similar to a 1/4 inch thick sheet of aluminum. Wanna know it works? You can wrap your cell phone in it for a minute & it will lose service!!! I totally tried it. It is so nice to know that nothing gets through there! They also have blankets, breastfeeding covers, boxer briefs {to protect the spermies!}, & they even just came out with a baby monitor system that gives off 97% LESS radiation than traditional wireless monitors. UH-MAZING.
  • Think twice about your baby monitor. So I kind of covered this in the section above, but baby monitors are no bueno when it comes to radiation. Without mentioning names I'd like to point out that there are a few that encourage the baby to sleep directly on top of a wireless device. OY that hurts my heart. If you co-sleep the problem is solved on it's own. If not, you should check out the Belly Armor Monitor.
  • Don't buy digital toys for babies or children. Have you seen those baby bouncers that have a spot to insert your iPad? Or the baby tablets that only work when hooked up to wi-fi? Sometimes it's not even that obvious. There are a few really fancy "baby bounces" out there that use a lot of electricity to sway & shuffle baby to peacefulness. We used the Baby Bjorn Organic Bouncer & La Sietsa Hammock instead!
  • Check out babysafeproject.org. This is a pretty cool recent find! An organization dedicated to the safety of babies from electromagnetic exposure in the womb! They have one quote on their site that I love:
Most pregnant women understand that they should stay away from cigarette smoke, avoid alcohol and be careful about eating potentially contaminated foods of any kind. The weight of evidence clearly supports the need to protect pregnant women from wireless radiation exposures as well.”
- Dr. Devra Davis, University of California at Berkeley

Last but not least:

  • Take a deep breath & understand that you've done what you can. We can only control the "controllables". I know that, with this topic in specific, it's really easy to get overwhelmed or carried away. It's important to remember that you can only do your best, & let the rest be. Extra worry may be more harmful than the EMF's themselves.

to protecting ourselves from the invisible,

sign

 

  1. Weisbrot, D., H. Lin, L. Ye, M. Blank, and R. Goodman. "Result Filters." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2003. Web. 05 Oct. 2015
  2. Morgan, L. Lloyd, Santosh Kesari, and Devra Lee Davis. "Why Children Absorb More Microwave Radiation than Adults: The Consequences." Why Children Absorb More Microwave Radiation than Adults: The Consequences. Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure, Dec. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2015.
  3. Aldad, Tamir S., Geliang Gan, Xiao-Bing Gao, and Hugh S. Taylor. "Fetal Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure From 800-1900 Mhz-Rated Cellular Telephones Affects Neurodevelopment and Behavior in Mice." Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, 15 Mar. 2012. Web. 05 Oct. 2015.
  4. West, JG, NS Kapoor, SY Liao, JW Chen, L. Bailey, and RA Nagourney. "Result Filters." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Sept. 2013. Web. 05 Oct. 2015.
  5. Agarwal, A., F. Deepinder, RK Sharma, G. Ranga, and J. Li. "Result Filters." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 4 May 2007. Web. 05 Oct. 2015.
  6. Adams, Jessica A., Tamara S. Galloway, Debapriya Mondal, Sandro C. Esteves, and Fiona Mathews. "Effect of Mobile Telephones on Sperm Quality: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis." Effect of Mobile Telephones on Sperm Quality: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Natural Environment Research Council, Sept. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2015.

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