How much radiation do we receive from our home devices and how can we protect ourselves
By ANTZIS SALTABASI, KOSTA DELIGIANNI
Illustration: NIKOS KOURTIS
Kathimerini Newspaper (14.11.2009) – www.kathimerini.gr
How can our cell phone, cordless phone or router be damaged? Another type of pollution is constantly increasing in recent years: electromagnetic. The new radiation meters for the house were the reason for OIKO to open the file. How much radiation does each device emit, what are the safety limits and how can we protect ourselves?
We do not use plastic bottles, we choose organic food, we avoid chemicals. At the same time, however, we have cell phones and cordless phones, wireless Internet access, microwave ovens, wireless game consoles, intercom systems, without following safety rules. emit non-ionizing radiation… Scientific research on the effect of non-ionizing radiation is one of the most controversial. Financial interests are high and funding for health impact research often comes from the companies that make the devices. However, hundreds of biologists, physicists, cytologists and engineers around the world associate this radiation with headaches, fatigue, allergies, carcinogenesis, and even DNA breakage. It seems that we are part of a huge experiment, with unpredictable consequences. But there is good news: we can protect ourselves from radiation without disregarding technology by following some basic safety rules.
We counted these to find out…
“I got a home radiation meter. Should I also measure your house? ” suggested a friend and immediately panicked in the company. “What, how, where, I want too!” I started looking for devices and certificates of reliability, calling science centers and reading medical research, until I got my own device. An easy-to-use device, which unfortunately is not accompanied by sufficient instructions and bibliography. When, for example, the counter showed red in the corner of the kitchen and I wanted to eliminate the harmless refrigerator, I had to turn to the researcher of “Demokritos”, Mr. Dimitris Kosmopoulos, who referred me… to the next apartment and to base of the cordless phone, which the neighbor had placed in the partition! “ It can not be compared to the devices used by large research centers “, explained the researcher who is also active in the introduction of radiation measuring devices. “These are home appliances, with all that entails. They are useful in terms of prevention and understanding of risks, a tool to reduce radiation in the area, following some practical tips.
THE RADIATION RANGE WE RECEIVE EVERY DAY
Naturally, using a cell phone is not as dangerous as having three x-rays a week. This is because the way radiation affects our body depends on its frequency – a characteristic magnitude that concerns waves of all kinds and, in the case of sound, is what gives each note its unique hue. In terms of radiation (ie electromagnetic waves), depending on their frequency are divided into ionizing and non-ionizing. The first category includes X-rays and c-rays. Because of this, scientists know that they can break chemical bonds in DNA molecules, causing mutations – which explains why a reasonable amount of time must elapse between two X-rays.
The second group includes the electromagnetic waves emitted by mobile phones, cordless routers, cordless phones – the radiation of all the devices included here. For non-ionizing radiation, scientists know that they do not cause ligament rupture, so they are safer than X-rays. However, because they increase tissue temperature and interfere with cell chemistry, several studies have blamed them for a number of symptoms. Worse still, experiments have shown that non-ionizing radiation can, under certain conditions, cause genetic alterations;
A 24 hour with the meter in hand! We measured the devices we typically use in a day
The measurement was carried out in the presence of the researcher of “Demokritos”, Mr. Dimitris Kosmopoulos in the house of a family of four. The safety limit set by most researchers and meter manufacturers is 5.8 milliwatt / sq.m. as long as our exposure to radiation is constant. Our volunteers, a young couple with two children aged 3 and 5, watched the experiment with curiosity and anxiety and before we left, the cordless phones had disappeared, the wireless internet transmitter had entered the warehouse and the hostess would urgently buy hands free! So here is the “x-ray” of an ordinary day.
365 times over the limit!
Usually our day starts with a phone call. According to international safety limits, radiation should not exceed 5 to 6 milliwatts / square meter. The home meter showed 1,827 (!) Millivatts -365 times above the limit – at the time the phone was calling, as well as during the conversation! Note that in our measurement the meter-mobile distance was about 10 cm, while when we talk without hands free, the mobile touches the head and the distance ίζεται is zero.
When the mobile phone is charging, the measurement is within normal limits, however, experts advise not to charge the mobile phone next to our head. In closed, small spaces, such as the elevator, the car or the tunnels of the highways, the radiation increases, as the mobile tries harder to receive better signal.
Wireless Internet (router)
Don’t forget to switch it off
The freedom that wireless technology offers us is very important, while the fact that we avoid annoying cables makes it even more popular. The necessary router is usually placed in the office or anywhere else there is a telephone jack, often next to the couch, where we spend half the day, or even worse in the bedroom. In the house where the measurement was made, the router is placed in a cupboard next to the bed. The measurement showed 15.20 milliwatts, three times the limit, at a distance of 10 cm, while next to the antenna the radiation reached 578 milliwatts (100 times higher than the limit)! Expect this amount to be transmitted continuously as long as the router stays on – even when you are not using the Internet. So, the radiation may be less than the mobile, for example, but you receive it constantly.
Wireless back server
Better keep away from it while its in operation
It is a hard drive that connects wirelessly to our computer and backs up our valuable files. His place is usually on our desk, but in the house where the measurement was made the hosts had placed him under their bed.
Both of these positions are unsuitable, as the measurement showed 15.20 milliwatts, three times above the limit. The device emits radiation naturally during operation, receiving and saving your files wirelessly. When this happens, it is a good idea to stay away from the device. Once closed, you can place it anywhere you want.
Don’t stay close to it while operating
Lunch arrived, time for dinner. One of the most popular home appliances in modern kitchens is the microwave, which offers convenience and time. In fact, we often use it not only to heat our food for a while, but for much longer, in order to defrost food, cook or heat water. Especially in recent years, in new kitchens, its position is approximately at head height and usually as long as it works we stand in front of it a short distance. Our measurement showed 11.53 milliwatts, twice the limit, at a distance of 20-30 cm. In short: let him work alone, as long as he works it is good to move away, and you and especially young children. Increased in relation to the permissible limits is the radiation emitted by the conventional oven when it is operating, so it is good in this case to do the same.
Baby Phone Intercom
Low radiation, but it harmful to children
This very useful device is used by parents on a daily basis, especially at night, when the baby or child is asleep. Many, in order to be sure that they will hear the slightest noise that the child will make, even place him in his crib or crib. The measurement next to the antenna showed 3.20 milliwatts, below the limit, while at a distance of 20 cm the radiation fell below zero.
However, children and especially infants are very sensitive even to low levels of radiation. It is therefore advisable to place it at a distance greater than one meter. After all, these devices are extremely sensitive and can pick up sounds from a greater distance.
An insidious radiation
In most homes the location of the cordless phone is on the bedside table next to the bed, on the sofa table or in the office, ie in places where we spend many hours of the day and night. But even when we are not talking on the cordless phone, its base constantly emits radiation, and that is the insidious thing in this case. The measurement showed 31.40 milliwatts, five times the limit, next to the telephone base. When we placed the meter on the pillow, at the point where our head is for at least eight hours each night, it showed 10.76 milliwatts, number twice above the allowable limits. Think that it may not touch the price of the mobile during the conversation, but it transmits without any interruption!
17 USEFUL TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION
• We use hands free or bluetooth. Bluetooth is a communication transceiver with the mobile phone and emits a small but constant intensity of radiation. It is best not to use simple bluetooth, which is placed directly in the ear.
• We do not allow young children to use it. When we talk, we do not hold them or we do not have them in our purse. When the baby is in the stroller, we do not place the mobile phone in the stroller cases.
• It is not certain that it emits dangerous radiation when it is simply open. However, scientists advise not to come into contact with the body and not to put it in our pockets.
• When we charge it, there is an increase in radiation, which does not exceed the permissible limits. However, we avoid charging it next to us when we sleep.
• Indoors the signal is reduced, as the receiver and transmitter have difficulty communicating with the nearest base station. Thus, the mobile uses all its power. In the car or in the elevator, then, we avoid conversations. If it is necessary to speak, we place it away from our body and open the windows.
• Modern mobile phones have an advanced system for regulating the power they transmit, depending on the signal quality (weak signal – high transmitted power) and the function (when we talk, the transmitted power is higher). Thus, regardless of the SAR value available from the manufacturer, the power of the radiation will vary according to the above parameters, without knowing at any time what the value of this intensity is. So it does fully help to choose a mobile phone with a small SAR value.
• Place the cordless phone stand away from the bedroom and any place where we spend many hours. Its radiation is very penetrating and passes through the walls of the apartments, so we must be careful not to be close to a partition with a bedroom, sofa or office chair. If we live in an apartment building, we can talk to the tenants of the adjacent apartments, so that they do not burden each other.
• The nightstand is one of the worst places to place the base. We replace it with a fixed device or we have next to us only the handset and not its base.
• We do not talk to young children, who prefer to use a fixed device.
• At night it is good to unplug the wireless.
WIRELESS INTERNET (Wi-Fi)
• The transmitter (router) emits a lot of radiation, so we must place it in a place where we do not sit for many hours. It is best to use wired, at least for desktop computers. If we want to avoid the loss of cables, we can use a home plug kit.
• The computer itself, which is wirelessly connected to the Internet, did not appear to emit increased radiation. Scientists, however, recommend that we do not place it on our feet or leave it open next to us when we are not using it.
• Because the wireless network includes both a transmitter and a receiver, the transmitter turns on automatically and works continuously when we “upload” files. It also emits occasionally when we “download” to confirm the download packages.
• When it is in operation, we take care not to be in front of it. We keep a safe distance of at least 50 cm.
• We inform the children about the danger and we urge them to keep a safe distance.
• Keep a safe distance of 30 cm when cooking.
• Avoid sitting in the kitchen, as long as it is not necessary, when the hob or oven is in operation.
WIRELESS GAME CONSOLES
• Their base emits radiation which, according to the household meter, is not dangerous. However, because children are particularly vulnerable, it is best to sit two to three meters away when playing. When we do not use it, we close it.
• Place it at least one meter away from the baby’s crib or park.
• Old-fashioned televisions are considered dangerous. We keep a safe distance of at least two meters from them.
HOOD / DRYER
• The hood is usually placed above our head, so the radiation does not affect us. If we want to be careful, we close it when we are in front of it.
• We use the hair dryer at a distance from our head – we do not stick it to the hair. Young children should avoid using it.
USE OF MOBILE CASE AGAINST MOBILE RADIATION
For about four years in the university laboratory, Mr. Margaritis and his team have been experimenting with various materials that could block the radiation of mobile phones. They found that anti-radiation is feasible and applied for patents with the Industrial Property Office to design the “special protection case”. The case is a semi-cage Faraday, which allows the radiation to come out from the front (unprotected) side and not from the protected one that is always placed towards the body and protects us in percentages that reach 97.5% . The laboratory controls the entire production by sampling, while part of the proceeds from the sale of the cases returns to the laboratory and funds further research.
“Wireless technology only when needed”
Loukas Ch. Margaritis – Director of Cell Biology & amp; Biophysics at the Department of Biology, University of Athens
He performs daily measurements and experiments on mice and insects to determine the possible effects of non-ionizing radiation on organisms. Professor Loukas Ch. Margaritis, director of the Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics at the Department of Biology of the University of Athens , speaks at OIKO.
What can happen to a person who receives non-ionizing radiation every day?
Headaches, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, behavior change, aggression, immune system activation, allergies, DNA breakdown, oligospermia, memory and learning disorders, ossification disorders (embryos), increased risk of developing cancer. Insect studies have shown a reduction in reproductive capacity.
What determines the severity of the symptoms?
From the sensitivity of each individual, from the type of radiation, from the duration of the exposure and from the age. Children are especially vulnerable . I urge parents to offer them the good of wireless technology only when absolutely necessary. Cordless phone or cordless games are not necessary .
Does exposure to electromagnetic radiation affect the human body cumulatively?
Epidemiological studies have shown that the longer the years of mobile phone use next to the brain, the greater the chances of developing a tumor. So radiation, in addition to the immediate, also has long-term health effects.
Do you think it is necessary to limit the use of wireless devices that emit dangerous radiation?
Of course. Protection means reduced to zero exposure to the infectious agent of radiation. We can use wireless devices as long as we follow the rules.
Modern humans are also “bombarded” by radiation from external sources (eg mobile phone antennas or high voltage networks). Is reducing exposure to domestic sources enough?
It is important, because we can not control external sources (NB: apart from protecting our home or office by applying SHIELDING technics and materials). However, for high frequencies, protection practices with special paints on the walls, grids, grounding, etc have been started and applied that provide 99% efficient blocking to radiations.
ΠΗΓΗ: KATHIMERINI Newspaper – https://www.kathimerini.gr