Wifi, Bluetooth, smart homes, ipads and kindles instead of books, our world has advanced so much because of technology. But, have you ever wondered about the potential health implications from it all?
In 2011, radio frequency electromagnetic fields used in cell phones and wireless technologies were classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.*
In a previous blog, I shared the 4 things you wont find in my home one of them being a microwave, the 5th thing you will now not find in my home is Wifi. Say whaaaaat? I can hear you already asking yourself, how on earth could I live without Wifi…..I’m here to tell you, you can and to share some of the reasons why we made the switch and got wired for health.
You can also listen to a podcast I did on this same topic here.
So, I think for a while now the whole idea of having a mobile phone close to my head hasn’t felt right. Not only could I physically feel it heating up my ear, but my intuition also was telling me its just not great. My sister in law passed away from a brain tumour 8 years ago and she wore an ear piece on the same side of her head where the tumour developed, which was also a major warning sign for me.
When I was researching for my book Raising Healthy Families In Unhealthy Times, I also learnt about the effects of ‘dirty electricity’ which is the exposure you receive from things like electric blankets, baby monitors, appliances, sleeping with a electricity box close to your bedroom, fluro lighting, plasma tv’s, pool pumps, light dimmers and computers.
We moved house 6 years ago, and our modem was set up in our office, which was right at my feet. And for 6 years, running an online business from home, I have sat with that modem pulsing out frequencies day in and day out. And, one of the kids bedrooms is in the room next door.
I knew not to have my mobile phone in my room and to turn the modem off at night, but then one day we looked at where our modem was and what had to happen for it to send signals downstairs, through our living room and kitchen to reach the tv. It just didn’t feel good.
We connected with an amazing lady Nicole Bijlsma who is the guru when it comes to making sure your home is healthy and she explained to us that our home is like our third skin (which makes total sense) yet we often don’t look at how our home environment can be effecting our health, wellbeing and energy. Nicole is the author of the book ‘Healthy Home, Healthy Family’ and coined the term ‘Building Biologist’
So we decided to have a building biologist come out to our home to assess our entire home and see what could potentially be causing us harm without us even being aware of it.
In a nutshell, she confirmed what I had suspected. The readings at my computer and in the kids bedrooms were not okay. Not only that, we learnt that mobile phones are not designed to be held or carried on our body!! (read the fine print in the safety recommendations on your phone) the same goes for kids and their ipads. The other things that tested high was our range hood and electric stove top – soooooo no more cooking for me!! Just kidding. Because these devices are used on occasion and you aren’t standing over it all the time, they are fine. And the rest of our house, the power meter, external emissions from our neighbours checked out all good.
One of the biggest shocks we did get, was to see the readings on the blue tooth devices that we had in our home. I have always used headphones with cords, but lets just say, any bluetooth headphones (and especially pods) are an absolute no go! The kids have bluetooth game consoles for their PS4 and the readings of these were off the chart! We don’t like them being on it for long anyway, but when we plugged in the controllers via usb the readings more than halved.
So what did we do? First thing was I called our internet provider and learned how to turn the Wifi off on our modem. We booked in electricians and as you will see from the photos below, we had our entire house wired – you know, the good old ethernet cords. They contain the signal through the cords, instead of it travelling through your body. The black box in picture 1 below is our modem that had been sitting at my feet for 6 years. Pic 2 shows the work in progress to get wired and relocate our modem to the furthest place it could be from where we spend most of our time. And Pic 3 shows the ethernet cables that we used to connect our computers, apple tv, ipads and laptops to the internet. And the bonus….its way faster than wifi and better for us!!
We also purchased usb to ethernet adaptors (which were around $10 each) so that our laptops could connect to ethernet via usb. And we purchased ipad to ethernet cords, so that the kids could be online, or we could be on our phones, but also connected via hardwire instead of wirelessly. We also have gone back to keyboards and a mouse that are wired. Of course wireless looks better, but it doesn’t do better for our health!
At night, we also turn off our modem using an automatic timer set up at the powerpoint and we also turn off our lights next to our bed at the wall to avoid any dirty electricity while we are sleeping. And if I am on a phone call I have it either on loud speaker, on a table away from me, or I use wired headphones. When I listen to podcasts when I’m out for a walk, I download them ahead of time and then turn my phone onto aeroplane mode so that my phone isn’t transmitting while I have it on my body.
It’s been a journey, and we still have a long way to go, but knowing and having peace of mind that our bodies and our growing children aren’t being overexposed on a daily basis to EMF, wifi, bluetooth and dirty electricity is a good feeling.