Users beware: Health threats of smartphone radiation and wireless devices

Recent data from mobile industry think tank GSMA Intelligence says there are around 5.20 billion unique cell phone users in the world today — with the number of users currently growing at a rate of two percent per year. Aside from cell phones, usage for wireless computers, WiFi and other “smart” home devices are also at an all-time high.

Experts say this is bad news, considering the number of dangerous health effects attributed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that emanate from cell phones and other wireless devices. Here are some of the most common — and dangerous — effects of EMF radiation from cell phones and other devices:

Exposure to EMF radiation can amplify oxidative stress in the body

EMF radiation can worsen the effects of oxidative stress caused by free radicals on the body. This effectively sets the stage for cancer, largely due to the changes that free radicals can cause at the genetic level.

Exposure to EMF radiation can cause infertility in men

According to a paper published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, constant exposure to EMF radiation may lead to infertility in men, which looked at data from in vitro and in vivo studies. According to the study, EMF exposure negatively affects sperm quality largely due to its ability to heighten the effects of free radicals on the human body.

Exposure to EMF radiation can cause behavioral and cognitive problems

EMF radiation can affect brain neural activity and even cause apoptosis or death in the brain’s cells. A study published in the journal Biomolecules and Therapeutics noted that EMF radiation could result in several issues such as hyperactivity, decreased memory, altered brain development and even behavioral problems.

Exposure to EMF radiation may be linked to several cancers

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, radiation from cell phones is considered a possible carcinogen, citing studies linking it to a form of brain cancer called a glioma. This finding was backed up by a recent study published in the British Occupational and Environmental Medicine journal, which revealed that using cell phones upwards of 15 hours a month can actually triple one’s risk of gliomas and meningiomas.

Exposure to EMF radiation can interfere with restorative sleep

Constant exposure to EMFs, according to a study published in the Radiation Protection Dosimetry journal, can result in the loss of melatonin, a hormone produced by the body to trigger not just restful slumber but also a stable mood. Not only that, but research has also shown that cell phones, when placed near beds, can cause people to experience poor REM sleep, which, in turn, can cause problems related to memory and learning.

Exposure to EMF radiation can cause disruptions in the endocrine system

Many studies point to EMF radiation as an endocrine disruptor. This means that exposure to this kind of radiation can instantly impair the endocrine system which regulates the secretion of hormones that affect important bodily processes such as growth and development, as well as mood and metabolism. This makes it especially dangerous to children and young adolescents, as their bodies are still in the development phase. (Related: Studies link cell phone radiation to health issues in children and unborn babies.)

According to experts, as EMFs are already built-in in many modern devices, some of which have become essential for both work and day-to-day living, the only step one can take is to actively limit one’s exposure to them. This means using your devices only when absolutely necessary, installing radiation-blocking cases on your phones and tablets as well as refraining from using your devices in bed or putting them in your jean pockets/on your person.

You can also unplug and take tech breaks every once in a while. Not only will doing so help minimize your exposure to harmful radiation, but it can also help clear your mind.

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