Conflicting evidence about radiation makes it difficult to determine what we should be concerned about in terms of its impact on our health. We don’t know for sure what the health risks are yet, but many scientists, politicians, and media are paying more attention to this topic. This leaves many expecting parents feeling confused.
More states are now mandating that cellphone labels display radiation levels and health risks. Some phones even come with warnings that tell users to keep the devices away from their bodies. Globally, countries such as Australia, Finland, Israel, France, and others have taken steps to ban or reduce usage by young children. This is due to the growing body of evidence that suggests a potential link between cellphone radiation and various health problems, such as cancer.
With the ubiquity of cell phones, laptops, and wireless networks, there is a greater concern for the long-term health consequences of electromagnetic radiation exposure. This is in response to new studies and assessments of long-term cell phone use by the World Health Organization and European Commission. The concern stems from how rapidly we have moved towards wireless technology. In just a decade, cell phones, laptops and wireless networks have become ubiquitous. This dramatic increase in exposure to electromagnetic radiation may have long-term health consequences that we are only just beginning to understand.
Potential Health Risks
There is a great deal of evidence both for and against the health risks of low-level radiation. Research has conflicting results about potential health risks related to fertility, cancer, childhood leukemia, and genetic and developmental issues. It is important to consider all the available evidence when making decisions about exposure to radiation.
The internet, microwaves, and cell phones are all common, everyday electronic devices that emit low-level radiation. This type of radiation has much less energy than the x-rays you receive at the dentist’s office. The known negative impacts from x-rays (that are strong enough to detach electrons from atoms) do not apply to the low-level radiation from everyday devices. Everyday radiation can have subtle impacts on DNA replication and the functioning of cells.
Radiation from computers and power lines has been linked to higher rates of miscarriages and childhood leukemia, but there is no proven cause-and-effect relationship. The World Health Organization thinks that these environmental risks can cause cancer, but there is not enough evidence to say for sure.
There is no compelling evidence that health risks exist when devices are used properly, but the precautionary principle is still recommended because of the uncertainty. The WHO, FDA, and FCC maintain this stance, but other institutions such as the Environmental Protection Agency have found evidence of health risks.
Minimizing Your Baby’s Exposure
While there is no doubt that modern technology has its benefits, using electronic devices during pregnancy may do more harm than good. Although they can be helpful tools in some respects, the potential risks associated with electromagnetic radiation and other toxins warrant greater caution. Therefore, it may be best to limit exposure to electronic devices during pregnancy.
If you’re concerned about conception or have a history of miscarrying, take extra care to protect yourself from possible hazards. Find a balance between convenience and caution in your daily life. You may want to take special precautions if you have trouble conceiving, have had previous miscarriages, or have a history of cancer in your family.
– Use headsets or speakerphones while on your cell phone. When you have the option, use a landline and limit the time on your cell phone.
– Be aware of the time spent using electronics and, when possible, increase the distance between you and the device.
It is crucial to put the risks from low-level radiation in perspective with other risks that are more commonly known. The dangers from poor nutrition or alcohol consumption are probably more severe than those from radiation exposure. Even though it is easy to take measures to reduce exposure to radiation, we should still take care to avoid any unnecessary risks.