In our rapidly advancing technological age, the presence of electromagnetic fields (EMF) has become an integral part of daily life. While EMF radiation is a topic of concern for people of all ages, children may be particularly vulnerable to its potential effects. This research has shown that a developing child’s brain is very vulnerable to electromagnetic radiation.
What are the Sources of EMF Radiation?
First, let us briefly have a look into what causes EMF radiation. Electromagnetic radiation is generated from both natural environment and manmade sources. EMFs are invisible waves of energy. EMF exposure is divided into 2 categories: low frequencies (ELFs; 3-3,000 Hz) and radiofrequency (RDs; 30 kHz to 300 GHz). Low frequencies are transmitted by high-voltage transmission lines and in-house wiring; and radiofrequency involves mobile phones, smart devices, base stations, WiFi, and 5G technologies.
In this artcile, we will explore EMF exposure on children and why children are more sensitive to the impacts of EMF radiation.
The impacts of EMF exposure on children are becoming a bigger concern because children have started using more and more computers, iPads and smart devices for school, entertainment, social activities and more. Even infants can be exposed to EMFs when caregivers give them phones or iPads for entertainment purposes.
Why are Children More Susceptible to the Impacts of EMF Radiation?
This case study has shown that children have smaller, developing bodies, thinner skulls, and more fluid-filled tissues than adults. These physical characteristics can result in higher EMF absorption rates, as their bodies offer less resistance to the radiation. Cell phones and wireless radiation can go deeper into their brains because children have a shorter distance from their skulls to their brain center.
According to the UK Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones, the conductivity of children is higher due to higher moisture and ionic content than adults. It is known that electricity travels more quickly through water. So, wireless energy travels more intensely through their tissues. Children’s heads absorb a lot of RF energy more than adults. Research shows that children can absorb up to ten times the radiation in the bone marrow of their skulls than adults.
During childhood and adolescence, the body undergoes rapid cellular growth and development. This heightened cellular activity may make children more sensitive to disruptions caused by EMF exposure. (For a deeper diver into EFM radiation, explore our post “What is EMF Radiation and How Can We Protect Ourselves?”)
EMF exposure can cause damage over a larger area because cells are splitting and growing as children develop over time.
Cellphone manufacturers have warnings that describe the minimum distance at which phones must be kept away from users not to exceed the legal limits for exposure to MWR.
Environmental Health Trust has done research on these warnings with alarming conclusions:
- Cell phones violate safety limits in body contact positions
- Government rules do not make sure phones are RF-EFM tested in body contact positions
- The distances stated in the manuals of the cellphone manufacturers are not safe. US FCC government safety limits for human exposure are over 25 years old and do not protect against the adverse effects scientific research has found links to.
A case study has shown when cell phones are placed in teenage girls’ bras or teenage boys’ pants, lead to primary cancers develop beneath where the phones are placed.
The central nervous system of children is still in the process of maturing. The children’s brain tissue is more conductive, RF penetration is greater. EMF radiation has the potential to interfere with neurological processes and may impact cognitive development.
Children today are exposed to EMF radiation from an early age due to the prevalent use of electronic devices, Wi-Fi networks, and wireless technologies. This prolonged exposure throughout their lifespan may increase the cumulative effects of EMF radiation.
Let’s look at this Swedish study that reported that the use of cellphones as a teenager increases the risk of urban cancer. A Korean study found the ADHD risks for seven and eight-year-old children associated with the use of mobile phones but limited to the children with high lead levels in blood.
Children may be more vulnerable to oxidative stress induced by EMF radiation. This study shows that EMF waves influence production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that may lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress implies a disturbance in the balance between the production of ROS (free radicals) and antioxidant defenses.
Oxidative stress can potentially lead to cellular damage and it is a concern in the context of EMF exposure on children. There has been ongoing research on EMFs’ role in producing ROS and causing oxidative stress in cells and tissues.
Children often have limited control over their EMF exposure. They may not fully understand the potential risks or be able to make informed decisions about the use of mobile phones and smart devices. It is important for a parent to stay informed about the latest research and guidelines regarding EMF exposure and its potential effects on children. One of the precautionary measures is limiting the screen time.
Children have developing immune systems that may not provide the same level of protection against the effects of EMF radiation as those of adults. Children are constantly exposed to EMFs at school and home that take a toll on their immunity system. Anxiety, headaches, and mood swings can be one of the side effects of EMF exposure.
Children’s vulnerability to EMF radiation is a topic that requires careful consideration. While the long-term effects of EMF exposure are still being studied, it is important for parents and caregivers to take proactive steps to reduce children’s exposure to EMF radiation. This may include limiting screen time, creating EMF-safe sleeping environments, and promoting responsible technology usage - find out more in our post “Three Ways to Reduce EMF Exposure with Children”.
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