These days, almost everywhere you go, you can tap into a Wi-Fi — the “wireless” service that allows you to connect to the internet from your laptop or other device — anywhere you want to without so much as a cable or a cord.
Wi-Fi “hotspots” are available around every corner, from coffee shops, restaurants, the Underground, airports and libraries.
Being able to join a Wi-Fi network is wonderful… a convenience that allows you to stay connected on social media — reading your emails, listen to music and surf the web — 24/7.
However, according to a recent study, all that convenience could come at a hefty cost to your health. That’s because the radio waves Wi-Fi routers emit could be exposing you to dangerous levels of radiation.
Back in 2012, the Bioinitiative Working Group (BWG) — an international group of scientists that studies the effects of radiation exposure — determined that being exposed to anything above 6 microwatts per cubic meter of radiation can damage your cells.
For this latest Swedish study, a group of teachers at multiple schools wore “exposimeters” for several days to measure how much radiofrequency (RF) radiation they were exposed to from Wi-Fi use in their classrooms.
By the end of the study, on average, the teachers were exposed to up to 66 microwatts of radiation from Wi-Fi — that’s over 10 times the amount of radiation considered safe by the BWG!
Proximity to a Wi-Fi router was key — because teachers who had routers positioned right inside their classrooms showed more exposure than those with routers located elsewhere in the school.
What’s more, radiation levels increased even further when students were allowed to use their mobile phones in class by connecting to cellular towers outside the school.
In one case, mobile phone use in the classroom spiked radiation levels up to nearly 83,000 microwatts!
Previous studies have already found that, over time, all that radiation can disrupt your immune system… interfere with normal body processes… and even increase your risk of cancer.
Even though it’s tough to completely escape the Wi-Fi world we live in today, there are some easy changes you can make to limit your exposure.
- At home, place your Wi-Fi router as far away from your living spaces as possible. Try sticking it in a spare room or even out in the garage if the signal is strong enough.
- When you’re out and about, turn off the Wi-Fi mode on your devices unless you absolutely need to be connected.
- If you’re doing something that involves a big download of data — like watching a movie or YouTube videos — plug your device into a “wired” connection rather than using Wi-Fi, since heavy data usage spikes the amount of radiation emitted.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
You Asked: Should I Worry About Wi-Fi Radiation?, published online, time.com/4508432/what-is-wifi-radiation-cancer/
Mol Clin Oncol. 2017 Apr; 6(4): 462–476