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Is Wi-Fi Safe?

By Joanne Pizzino, MD, MPH
Medical Editor of Health&Healing

Dr. Pizzino

Although we don’t tend to think of ourselves as electromagnetic, we are. We know this because we can easily measure these aspects of the body through testing such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The electromagnetic signals of the body actually function similarly to the operating system of a computer, directing all activity in the background. This includes the more familiar chemical reactions, such as control of blood sugar and blood pressure, formation of molecules such as hormones and neurotransmitters, and even removal of toxins. A growing body of evidence suggests that humans, animals, and plants are all affected by unseen, unheard, not-felt radiation that emits from all devices that carry or utilize electricity. Termed electromagnetic fields (EMF), they bathe our bodies and interact with this operating system on the level of quantum physics.

There are many sources of EMFs on our planet. Some of them are not only safe, but are the very environmental conditions in which we evolved to flourish. The two main ones are the geomagnetic force generated by movement of the molten core of the Earth, and the Schumann resonance, which is produced when lightning bounces between the surface of the Earth and the different layers of the atmosphere.

Schumann resonance is so fundamental to life, that its frequency (7.83 Hz) is essentially identical to the relaxed, alert state created by alpha waves in the brain. As our lives have become more wired and wireless, curiosity and concern have led researchers to learn more about how electromagnetic fields are affecting our bodies. The research is not complete, and controversy still exists about the effects on many levels. This article will examine some of the issues of concern, and options for more informed choices. (For more details, read The Invisible Rainbow by Arthur Firstenberg—a book about the history of electricity and life that reads like a mystery thriller.)

What Symptoms Have Been Linked to EMF?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes that some people are more sensitive to the effects of EMF than others. This sensitivity to EMF has been given the general name “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity” or EHS. It includes nervous system symptoms like dizziness, insomnia, headache, fatigue, eye pain and vision problems, as well as ringing in the ears. Skin symptoms like prickling, burning sensations and rashes, and muscle ache occur.  Cardiac symptoms may include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, arrhythmias, and high blood pressure.

WHO acknowledges that, whatever its cause, EHS is real and sometimes a disabling problem for the affected persons. Research has also pointed to an increased likelihood of long-term effects—including cancer, genetic effects such as male sterility, miscarriage and birth defects, as well as asthma, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, and bleeding disorders. The rising exposure to EMFs in our modern world has even been linked to the obesity epidemic. It is also known that microwave radiation penetrates the body of a younger person more than an adult, so the possible long-term effects on developing children are of particular concern.               

What Are Common Sources of EMF at Home and Work?

A partial list includes: Appliances (magnetic induction stovetop, microwave oven, computers, washer/dryer, TV, radio) • Plasma TVs apparently have some adverse bioeffects on some people. NOTE: LCD screen TVs have low or no EMF emissions • Lighting (compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), other fluorescent lighting) • Where electricity enters the home (electrical main panel, subpanels in the home, electrical wiring in the walls—if improperly wired) • Hybrid cars (their EMF levels vary widely, so check before buying) • Computers and separate hard drives. • Printers, Copiers, Faxes • Being near an electrical main panel or subpanel or switchgear room • Working near large electrical systems (large electric motors, generators, electric cables). • Working with power saws, drills, welding, any induction (variable speed) motor, such as a sewing machine.

How Can I Protect Myself and My Family?

Of the previous list, three devices stand out as having most concern because of the particularly high levels of radiation. These include fluorescent lights, especially CFLs, baby monitors, and cordless phones. DECT (digitally enhanced cordless telecommunications) and DECT-style baby monitors devices emit pulsing microwave radiation from their base station (even when the monitor or phone is not being used.) Avoid having these devices in your home whenever possible.

Due to the increasing concerns over the possible hazards from the use of wireless networks and similar wireless technologies, the best way to reduce your exposure to unnecessary microwave radiation is to use cables wherever possible. The other advantages of cable networks are speed (Wi-Fi is slower than wired networks), security (Wi-Fi is insecure, even with WEP or WPA encryption) and reliability (Wi-Fi is often known to drop connections).

If it is not possible to remove your wireless connections, it is advised that you take other precautions: Do not sit in close proximity to a wireless router. Turn off any wireless devices at night. This includes your cell phone, which should be at least six feet away from your bed, and preferably turned off while being charged in another room. Put your cell phone on airplane mode if necessary to wear it on your body or hold it close by in your purse. Avoid using a wireless laptop directly on your lap for extended periods. Try to place it at least 2 inches above your skin.

For more information on EMF sources and making wiser choices, visit our website at for the downloadable sources of details contained in this article. Whole Health Solutions works with people to reduce the effects of EMF exposures, which may be particularly common in people with hidden infections, such as Lyme disease, hepatitis C virus (HCV), and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). You can empower yourself to take charge of your health and well-being.