Thanks to the many advances made in the field of neurosciences in recent decades, we know that just like developing bodies are more vulnerable to illness and injury, developing brains are, too.
The sheer size and complexity of the human brain necessitates an extended period of growth not seen in any other animals’ species; if our brains reached even half their adult size within the womb, our heads would become so large that we could not be born through natural means. Incredibly, according to a study by Dominic Holland et al. at the University of California’s San Diego School of Medicine, infants’ brains increase in size by 64 percent in the first 90 days of their lives.
Human brain development continues thereafter into early adulthood, exposing even adolescents to a heightened risk of brain damage—a link which has recently been extensively explored in order to determine why substances like alcohol and marijuana can have such severe lasting effects on the brain if consumed during the teen years (as compared to after the age of about 25). Thanks to research such as this, today we know there’s a great need for caution when it comes to exposing our children to medications and environmental toxins, as both of these things may impact their growing brains negatively, causing irreversible damage which affects adult cognition and mental health.
One area which has often been neglected, however, is the study of how EMF radiation—which is now omnipresent in schools throughout the developed world—impacts the brains of young people. Schools are hotbeds of EMF radiation for a number of reasons: Not only do hundreds of students cluster together with their mobile phones in tow, but cell phone towers are also often placed hazardously close to schools, and—worse still—the Wi-Fi networks installed in many schools produce 3 times more radiation than the average cell phone tower. When one adds of all these factors together, it becomes evident that the intensity of EMF radiation that schoolchildren are being exposed to each day is truly excessive, superseding the kind of exposure they are likely to receive anywhere else.
The implications of this sky-high exposure are as diverse as they are worrying. According to Dr. Martha Herbert, a pediatric neurologist and neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School, “EMF/RFR from Wi-Fi and cell towers can exert a disorganizing effect on the ability to learn and remember and can also be destabilizing to immune and metabolic function. This will make it harder for some children to learn, particularly those who are already having problems in the first place.”
Adding to the issues caused by having a brain that is still developing, children also absorb more radiation than adults as their bodies have a higher water content and are thus more conductive. Their skulls are also thinner, which allows radiation to more effectively penetrate into the brain cavity (an image revealing the severity of this effect can be seen here), and their immune systems (one of the human body’s primary defenses against cancer cells) are weaker—all while their cells are dividing far more rapidly than an adult’s. While research on childhood exposure to EMF radiation has been shockingly scarce, preliminary studies conducted on cell phone use in young people found that those under the age of 20 have over a 500% increased risk of developing cancer after only one year of using a cell phone.
In addition to the obvious risks of bodily illness inherent in this lethal combination (aside from cancer, metabolic disorders and Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome are major concerns), the watchdog website Wifi in Schools reveals that “autism, ADHD, and other behavioral problems are also associated with wireless radiation exposure.”
These mental and physical issues are far from inevitable, however; while we cannot “ban” computer usage in schools, of course, there’s a lot that parents and educators can do to ensure that risks to their children are minimized:
- Remove wireless devices in schools and replace them with wired alternatives;
- If Wi-Fi is present, ensure that teachers have the ability to shut it down whenever its use is not absolutely necessary;
- Ban the placement of cell towers near schools;
- Limit computer usage in the classroom;
- Ban cell phone use while in class (cell phones are also a major source of distraction for students, so the benefits of this are two-fold);
- Make sure that students use desktop computers, not laptops;
- Make students aware of the dangers of EMF radiation in schools;
- Educate teachers on the symptoms of adverse reactions to EMF radiation.
As Cindy Lee Russell, M.D., Vice President of the Santa Clara County Medical Association, so eloquently put it, “We will not get rid of the Internet or computers. We should not ignore, however, the enlarging body of science that points to real threats to public health and, especially, our children’s safety and well-being. The best approach is precautionary. Reduce the risk by reducing the microwave emissions. It is our obligation as physicians and parents to protect our children. They are the future and our legacy.”
About EMF Radiation: Understanding the Dangers click here
About Harmful Cell Phone Radiation click here