Relatives and friends visiting our home is a welcome relief in a world that’s dominated by nuclear families and day-care centers. Ironically, the pleasure of such get-togethers is not long-lasting these days unlike earlier times when such gatherings were governed by yummy home-cooked meals, playing dumb charades, laughing our heart out discussing childhood memories or even enjoying a simple game of cards. Meetups these days mostly revolve around discussing the latest series that’s worth watching in Amazon Prime or Netflix, ordering take-aways or online delivery of foods, boasting about our kid’s achievements, bragging about the latest materialistic addition or worse, each of us ruined by the 6 inch smartphone that grabs every attention of ours detaching us from the present situation engrossed in the virtual world that would take us nowhere! The first question that pops out of someone visiting our homes are a request to access our Wi-Fi password, be it a child or an adult alike. Each of us are aware of the words Wi-fi, mobile data and Internet all of which have intruded our lives as much as possible but beyond what we see there are numerous impacts of using these technologies related to our health which we remain unaware of!
Wi-fi is a wireless networking technology that allows computers, laptops and other equipment to interface with the Internet. There is an Internet connection established through a wireless router and when you are connected to Wi-Fi you are connecting to a wireless router that allows your Wi-Fi-connected devices to interface with the Internet. There are towers erupted in certain individual houses or in open spaces near our apartments that enable connectivity to the surrounding areas. While many individuals have given approvals for raising such towers in their flats there are also concerns raised from neighboring people regarding the dangers linked with such towers due to the radiations emitted from them. Though telecommunication people and groups are absolutely sure that Wi-Fi creates no impact on our health the incremental usage of these networks have raised concerns on Wi-Fi usage on our health. Hence, given below is an assessment of Wi-Fi using 23 controlled, scientific studies that discuss its effects on animals and humans.
Scientific Studies Showing the Effects of Wi-Fi on Human Health
Studies show that exposure to Wi-Fi have bad impact on the testis cumulating towards male infertility, oxidative stress, apostasis, cellular DNA damage and neuropsychiatric changes including EEG and hormonal changes. The effects discussed here are mostly results from multiple studies focusing on Wi-Fi and previously confirmed by non-thermal exposures to other microwave frequency EMFs. The U.S. office of Naval Medical Research study reported decreased testosterone leading to lowered testis size, histological changes in testicular epithelial structure, gross testicular histological changes and decreased spermatogenesis. A review published by Tolgskaya and Gordon on rodents showed that the heart, testis and the nervous system were the three most sensitive organs in the body to non-thermal microwave EMFs. 7 effects of Wi-fi have been repeatedly reported by a number of studies throughout: oxidative stress contributes much towards chronic human disease; cellular DNA damage can cause cancer contributing partially towards EMF as a cause for cancer as DNA damage occurs in sperm cells producing a mutation that can affect future generations; calcium overload is said to be the cause for the following effects: apostasis plays a primary role in neurodegenerative diseases; neuropsychiatric effects are caused by the impact of EMFs on brain structures.
Meta-analysis shows decline in sperm count and quality by almost 50% in all advanced technology countries which worries researchers highly as it can lead to human extinction as we now know the impact of EMF exposures on sperm count and quality in human and animal studies and, surely the results on male fertility are depressing.
There are three types of EMF patterns each of which has its own importance but has been conveniently ignored by the telecommunication industry. The foremost of them is that pulsed EMFs are biologically more active than non-pulsed (continuous wave) EMFs of identical frequency and intensity. Wi-Fi and other similar wireless devices communicate via pulsation which makes them more dangerous. Pulsation and EMFs are directly related to each other with higher pulsation meaning greater damaging effects of EMF. Another point is that artificial EMFs are polarized which makes them extremely dangerous on the living cells.
Impact of low-intensity EMFs on animal brains were reviewed and results showed that initial 1-2 months exposure produced modest changes in brain structure and neurons but when exposure stopped these changes disappeared showing that such changes are largely reversible. But prolonged exposure to these EMFs brought about severe impact on the brain and neuron structure which are irreversible. Magras and Xenos put pairs of young mice in cages on the ground at two different locations both having a different exposure to an antenna park. The exposure levels were well within the recommended safety guidelines which makes it clear that there should be no biological relevance. Mice go through a gestation period of 30 days. At higher levels of exposure, the pairs produced one litter of lower than normal size and a second litter with lowered number of pregnancies after which all the mice became sterile or had very low fertility rates. On the other exposure site, the mice produced four litters followed by a decrease in the number finally resulting in complete sterility. Both the groups were given another chance to mate under no EMF exposure but still the fertility effects were not reversed. Such absence of reversal of EMF effects on the brain could happen in humans too. Studies show that the brain damage to animal brains, neuropsychiatric effects in human brains, reproductive dysfunction in mice and mutational effects are cumulative and might be completely irreversible. Hence, short-term studies of Wi-Fi might greatly underestimate the damage Wi-Fi might do over a longer period. The cumulative effect of Wi-Fi placed in restaurants, at our homes, schools, hospitals, colleges and everywhere else might lead to debilitating effects on humans.
Greater Effect on Smaller Children
Young kids have smaller skulls and lesser skull thickness comparatively and the microwave frequency EMFs might be much more damaging to these kids. There are proofs showing that EMFs show maximum effect on embryonic stem cells. Children have higher densities of stem cells with fetuses having the highest which shows that EMF effects are also the greatest in young kids. Such EMF exposure that can cause irreversible DNA damage makes young kids increasingly susceptible to cancer risk and disrupts brain development, yet another risk factor for autism. Placement of Wi-Fi in schools and colleges disrupt the health of small kids and young adults placing even more danger to a pregnant teacher whose fetus might be maximum affected due to its radiations.
EMF Effect on Non-thermal Health
24 different studies showed the effects of low-intensity EMFs could be blocked by calcium channel blockers, drugs that are specific for blocking voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) and also showed that such VGCC activation in human and animal cells could produce non-thermal effects. In plant cells too, the EMFs activate similar calcium channels and have a similar kind of effect on oxidative stress, cellular DNA damage and calcium signaling. A study published by Pilla found that pulsed EMFs produced an “instantaneous” increase in calcium/calmodulin-dependent nitric oxide synthesis in cells in culture. [Ca2+]i produces many important regulatory effects and over activation of these effects can have large pathophysiological consequences and such sustained elevation of [Ca2+]i produces major cell damage.
EMFs have the capability to react with one or both radicals changing their spin state and lowering the ability to react back with each other generating increased free radicals and oxidative stress. Several studies show that there is a magnetoreception mechanism found in animals that can detect and respond to the very low intensity geomagnetic field. Most of them are on bees and birds that use this mechanism for navigation purpose have tiny magnetite particles that might be tethered through a microtubule to a mechanosensitive channel such that tiny magnetic forces could open the mechanosensitive channel allowing cation flow into the cells. The magnetic particles linked in honeybees to an undefined calcium channel produces increase in [Ca2+]i. Many birds fail to get the precise direction owing to the presence of these radiations and frequencies that disrupt their natural flow of direction.
Risks Due to Exposure to Radio Frequency
Mankind’s exposure to radio-frequency radiation (RFR) is prominent owing to the frequent use of cell phones and other wireless devices. Apart from disrupting human health RFR also causes physiological effect on bees, plants and trees.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) categorized RFR from cell phones and other WTDs as possibly carcinogenic to humans. A large number of case-controlled studies on cell phone exposure and glioma and acoustic neuroma showed increased risk that showed further increase with increasing latency, cumulative duration of use and earlier exposure age. Research by the Hardell group found that being exposed to cell phone radiations before the age of 20 maximized the risk of glioma and acoustic neuroma. The Central Brain Tumor Registry of the U.S. showed a significant increase in incidence of radiographically diagnosed tumors of the pituitary, increase in meningitis rates across age groups (15-85+ years), nerve sheath tumor and vestibular Schwannoma rates.
A meta-analysis by Roosli et al. showed that epidemiological evidence does not show increased brain or salivary gland tumor risk with mobile phone (MP) use but there are doubts when the use prolongs for more than 15 years and MP usage as kids. A Swedish study found reduced survival rates in those patients (suffering from glioblastoma) with long term use of smartphones. The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) showed increased prevalence of glioma and malignant Schwannoma in animal carcinogenicity studies which were exposed to RFR. Organs such as brain and heart also showed evidence of DNA damage.
A study focusing on the exposure of kids aged between 3 and 14 years to RFR showed that having a cell phone against the head of a child exposed deeper brain structures to almost twice the radiation doses of that in adults and the marrow in the thin skull of kids absorbs almost 10-fold higher local dose than that found in the skull of an adult male. RFR also affected neurodevelopment in foetuses when pregnant women used more of these cell phones during the pregnancy period. Rago et al. found altered sperm DNA fragmentation in subjects who use mobile phones for more than 4 hrs/day especially in those who place their cell phones in their trouser pockets. 5G technologies pose risk to mankind in terms of oxidative stress, altered gene expression, effects on skin and systemic effects on immune function.
This modern world doesn’t allow us to live devoid of smartphones and technology. Avoiding radio wave exposure is impossible in present scenario where the exposure rates are only increasing. All that we can do is to keep wireless devices away from us as much as possible and turning them off when not in use which minimizes exposure rates.
Risks to Health & Well-being from Radio-frequency Radiation Emitted by Cell Phones & Other Wireless Devices: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6701402/
Wi-Fi is an Important Threat to Human Health: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935118300355
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