Should we worry about gadgets in our homes?

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As wireless technology continues to seep into our lives and homes, should we at least be questioning the health implications of all this electromagnetic radiation?

An electromagnetic field is a physical field – invisible to the eye – that is created by electrically charged objects and affects the behaviour of other charged objects in the vicinity.

This includes mobile phone masts, cordless phone base stations and handsets, wireless routers, Wii devices, laptop computers, printers, alarm sensors, iPads, Blackberries, baby alarms, smart meters for utilities, wireless central heating controls, in-car Bluetooth devices – the list goes on and on.

We have probably all experienced that high-pitched sound when our mobile phone goes off next to a speaker.

It is a sound that goes right through and makes me wonder, if this is the kind of hideous noise created by interference between two electric objects, what could all this electromagnetic radiation, or EMR, be doing to us without us even knowing?

It is still not fully understood what effect all this EMR could be having on our children, with their much thinner skulls and still-developing brains.

Yet it seems there are already proven biological effects of EMR. Some of these include childhood leukaemia, changes in sperm production, pregnancy success, embryo development and hormonal disruption.

Many other diseases such as depression, motor neurone and Parkinson’s diseases, several cancers, behavioural problems, cataracts, ophthalmic effects and others have an association with EM fields.

Alarm bells should definitely be ringing. These days we have informed opinions on many things that have, in the past, been considered ‘safe’ – cigarette smoking, asbestos, lead in paint and petrol.

Yet here we are ignoring something that could be doing more damage than anything else, slowly and invisibly. And the worst thing is, we are not only allowing it into our homes, but choosing it, welcoming it even.

So while the scientists continue their debates, what can we do to take possible precautions for our families?

If you can’t do without your wireless router and cordless phone base, you can switch them off whenever possible, especially at night (wherever they are in the house – remember the signal is designed to go throughout the house).

Switch iPads and others on to airplane mode and never put your mobile close to your baby’s head or let them use it as a toy. Think twice about whether your cordless baby monitor is necessary or place it as far as possible from baby.  The NHS advises children and teenagers to text or make short, essential calls only. The further away from the body/ears the better.

We’re not scientists (well I’m certainly not) so we rely on information being provided to us. But can we trust all the information we are given?