Nearly everybody loves the ability to have information readily available at their fingertips. Cell phones allow people to navigate unfamiliar city streets, transfer money instantly between different accounts, access news, update social media profiles and even complete work on the go. In the past two decades, cell phones have evolved from flip toys enjoyed primarily by the elite into tools nearly anyone, including children, use in our day-to-day lives.
But how many of us have questioned what continuous exposure to Wi-Fi networks has on our health? Recent scientific evidence suggests a link between exposure to microwave radiation from Wi-Fi networks and an increased risk of certain cancers and chronic pain conditions. Additionally, human desire for faster internet harms both animals and the environment.
5G and Human Health
According to the World Health Organization, exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) such as that utilized by 5G Wi-Fi may increase the risk of developing certain brain cancers. RFR possesses the power to alter the structure of our DNA, causing cancer when cells begin to multiply out of control.
Furthermore, exposure to RFR disrupts cell and glucose metabolism, increases permeability of the blood-brain barrier, changes oxidation levels leading to premature cell aging and creates stress proteins which may lead to the development of many chronic pain conditions . When cellular metabolism changes, energy levels plummet, leaving people feeling tired, irritable and unable to concentrate.
Excessive cell phone use leads to visual impairment due to constantly straining the eyes to read tiny print on cell phone pages. Furthermore, behaviors such as taking cell phones into public restrooms ensure that your new Samsung Galaxy will be covered in more germs than the average toilet seat. These germs transfer to the hands of anyone using the phone, spreading infectious diseases.
Those often holding their phones between their shoulder and ear often develop disorders in their cervical vertebrae from this unnatural positioning. Some research indicates that radiation from cell phones may cause or exacerbate headaches, so those suffering from migraine disease do well to avoid constant cell phone use. Other research implicates excessive RFR exposure as a potential cause of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure and even male infertility .
Finally, ceaseless exposure to RFR due to smart phone and wireless internet use interrupts immune system function, making people more susceptible to contagious diseases. Constant exposure to RFR by expectant mothers may lead to birth defects, so pregnant women do their baby-to-be a service by unplugging as much as possible.
Cell Phones and Mental Health
In addition to harming our physical health, excessive exposure to RFR harms one’s mental health as well. Those suffering from cell phone addiction often develop acute anxiety should they forget or lose their phone. Cell phone addicts often neglect in-person interactions, which can shatter seemingly rock-solid relationships. Others even find their career prospects stymied due to their inability to leave their phones in their desks while on the clock.
Those who fail to power down their phones or at least set them on “Do Not Disturb” during sleeping hours risk developing insomnia. Sixty-one percent of people now sleep with their phones turned on and by their bed . This means we could easily be looking at future populations that are much more sleep deprived than ever before. Indeed, millennials — the first generation to be exposed to cell phone technology during young and formative ages — have some of the worst sleep habits of any generation yet .
Even when cell phone alerts do not wake people entirely, they nevertheless cause interruptions of normal sleep cycles. Those who experience difficulty sleeping often turn to their phone to alleviate the tedium of tossing and turning, creating a vicious cycle of insomnia and exhaustion.
Continual exposure to cell phone alerts creates an enormous amount of stress for many. Those who utilize their cell phones for work purposes may feel as if they’re constantly on the clock. Others suffering from a fear of missing out actually do themselves a disservice by constantly checking alerts as time spent virtually on the phone could better be used to make real-life memories.
The Impact of 5G on Animals and the Environment
While much research revolves around how exposure to RFR affects human beings, animals and the environment also suffer due to our need for connection speed. Cell phone towers already dot the landscape, obscuring nature’s beauty with harsh metallic lines. The push for constantly faster internet and cell phone processing speeds means erecting many more towers to the point where they become as ubiquitous as street lights and stop signs .
Constructing cell phone towers also increases exposure to RFR even when individuals religiously turn off routers and cell phones when not in use. Those seeking to truly unwind and unplug may soon find it impossible to go off the grid even temporarily as the demand for cell phones means towers spreading into formerly untouched wilderness.
Sadly, cell phone towers threaten bird species. Many birds choose to nest in the towers, exposing bird eggs and embryos to an incredible level of radiation. Entire avian species risk extinction due to human beings’ insistence on constant connection .
Research into how exposure to radiation impacts humans causes scientists to perform inhumane testing on animals . Countless lab animals experience death or permanent disfigurement due to radiation testing.
Exposure to cell phone radiation causes mutations in the cells of animals and plants alike. Little remains known about how the consumption of plants that have been genetically modified by radiation exposure impacts human health. However, as the 5G roll out continues to expand, even organically grown crops may suffer the impact of radiation.
Minimizing the Damage
Barring a massive human health disaster, progress will likely continue with more cell phone towers built and ever-increasing exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi hot spots. What precautions can individuals take to minimize their risk of suffering adverse health outcomes due to RFR exposure?
First and foremost, unplug whenever possible. Turn off cell phones, modems and routers during sleeping hours. If remembering to shut everything down a night grows cumbersome, install timers on those outlets powering modems and routers and set up automatic Do-Not-Disturb hours in cell phone settings.
When attending routine doctor’s visits, inform physicians about levels of radiation exposure and inquire about their potential impact on health. Make sure to make and keep annual eye exams as well to counteract visual challenges due to screen time overload.
Designate one day per week as an electronics-free day. Devote this day to participating in recreational activities with friends and family face to face instead of over Wi-Fi.
Finally, those who find it impossible to ever unplug should seek the help of a therapist trained in breaking technology addiction. Both inpatient and outpatient counseling programs can make powering down less intimidating.
While technological progress may make it impossible to eliminate exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi fully, utilizing technology wisely and in moderation helps prevent negative physical and mental health outcomes. Practicing intelligent technological exposure minimizes the chances of constant virtual Wi-Fi usage ruining real life health.