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Is Wi-Fi Unhealthy?

Scientific Evidence Suggests Negative Health Consequences with Repetitive Exposure

Wi-Fi allows computers, mobile devices, and other technologies to connect to the Internet. These communication opportunities also let items send data to each other when they’re within a specific area.

In January 2021, over 4.6 billion active Internet users were accessing online information. [1] Many of these people used Wi-Fi connections to work, search, or play on their computers and devices.

What Is Wi-Fi?

The typical Wi-Fi network starts with a single antenna connected to the Internet. Wireless communication devices in the home use the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band to access information. Although telecommunications professionals and groups claim there are zero or minimal health impacts to these networks, almost two dozen scientific studies show that these exposures could have adverse health effects on people and animals. [2]

What Does Wi-Fi Exposure Do to the Body?

Repetitive Wi-Fi studies show that several harmful effects occur to the human body. Although exposure levels are variable to the individual to create unique outcomes, the risk factors for oxidative stress, testicular damage, infertility, EEG changes, cellular DNA damage, calcium overload, and endocrine changes are all possibilities. [3]

Critics of the idea that Wi-Fi creates harmful conditions often point out that routers use radio frequency (RF) energy. It’s a form of electromagnetic radiation that brings wireless Internet connections to televisions, computers, and other devices.

Bluetooth speakers and headphones rely on RF signals for playing music, while smartwatches use the same to connect to your phone.

These signals are nonionizing forms of radiation. Although they don’t carry the energy to alter or break your DNA, like ionizing radiation from the sun or some medical testing equipment, they can still have a measurable effect on humans and living organisms.

When you consider the potential effects of RF waves in your surrounding environment, distance is your friend. The signal strength drops dramatically as the distance between the source and your body increases. [4]

That means you’d want to use your speakerphone feature on your smart device. It also suggests that limiting exposure to Wi-Fi networks could reduce the risk factors for experiencing the unwanted signs and symptoms that occur with EMF radiation.

How Much Wi-Fi Is Safe for Children and Adults?

Children have thinner skulls than adults do, which allows the nonionizing radiation to penetrate deeper into the brain. The difference is massive. A child holding a standard cell phone against the ear absorbs up to ten times more RF than adults doing the same thing. [5]

That means kids pick up more of the unwanted energy from the Wi-Fi network, creating more opportunities to experience its unwanted side effects.

Children also use Wi-Fi for screen-based entertainment more often than adults. That means they receive more blue light exposure, which can create additional potential health problems.

Can Wi-Fi Impact Your Sleep?

In a 2020 study that featured 34 healthy participants, the subjects were asked to spend five nights in a sleep laboratory. They were placed next to a router to determine the impact of Wi-Fi on their rest.

An analysis of their sleep microstructures showed less global EEG power in the alpha frequency band during NREM sleep under acute Wi-Fi exposure. [6]

That means some people can sleep in this environment without a problem while others can experience disturbing effects.

Can Blue Light Impact Your Sleep?

The combination of blue light and Wi-Fi can lead to serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine production changes. Whether it is a teen screen addiction or a toddler who loves watching streaming movies, these issues can impact sleep.

Kids who get more screen time have a delayed onset of sleep, which typically results in less overall rest. [7]

Although a blue light filter is helpful, it does not provide the same benefit as reducing or eliminating screen and Wi-Fi exposure.

How Can We Reduce Risk Factors for Wi-Fi Exposure?

The best thing that adults and children can do for their health is to have a wired Internet connection instead of Wi-Fi at home to use.

When comparing smart technology vs. wired technology, a small sacrifice of convenience could dramatically reduce nonionizing radiation exposure rates.

There could also be changes to EMF radiation exposure.

Why was Wi-Fi limited in France schools and preschools? The World Health Organization ruled that RF electromagnetic fields could be Group 2B carcinogenic to humans. French government officials quickly passed laws that ban wireless devices and Wi-Fi in daycare centers and nurseries. [8]

Its use is also severely restricted for children up to 11 years old.

So, is Wi-Fi unhealthy?

Although some research indicates that low-level use might not cause harm, constant exposure could be potentially dangerous. There is overwhelming evidence that supports the need to mitigate the exposure to wireless technology in order to avoid negative health consequences. That’s why re-examining how you’re accessing the Internet this year could be the best action you take.

 

[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/

[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935118300355

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29573716/

[4] https://www.consumerreports.org/radiation/do-i-need-to-worry-about-radiation-from-wifi-and-bluetooth-devices/

[5] https://www.parents.com/health/healthy-happy-kids/how-wireless-devices-can-be-dangerous-for-your-family/

[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32408065/

[7] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/teens-and-sleep/screen-time-and-insomnia-for-teens

[8] https://ehtrust.org/france-new-national-law-bans-wifi-nursery-school/

 

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