Heart Irregularities Linked to Cordless Phones
- Wednesday, 14 July 2010
For the first time the health effects from exposure to microwave radiation has been documented scientifically in a well-conducted, double blind study. The research, carried out by Magda Havas, professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University in Canada, confirms conclusively that some individuals are sensitive to the Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) emitted by wireless devices such as cordless phones.
Havas is a world-renowned expert in electromagnetic fields. Her current research is concerned with the biological effects of electromagnetic pollution including radio frequency radiation, electromagnetic fields, dirty electricity, and ground current. Her new study will add to the growing interest in the health effects of cell phones, broadening the focus beyond cell phones' association with brain tumors to their effect on other systems, including the heart.
Havas's 25-person study, which took place in Boulder and Golden, Colorado, in October 2009, is part of a 100-person study examining the heart's reactivity to microwave radiation emitted by common DECT cordless phones. "DECT" is short for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication, a European standard for wireless communication. DECT technology is used in most of the new cordless phones available today.
Havas co-authored this latest study with heart specialist Dr. Jeff Marrongelle of Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania. The study was blinded, which means that the volunteers did not know when the cordless phone was on or off. Most of the volunteers did not respond to the exposure, but those who did respond experienced arrhythmia (irregular beats of the heart) and/or tachycardia (rapid heart rate). These symptoms were often accompanied by feelings of anxiety. The study showed that 40 percent of the subjects exposed to the EMF from the DECT phone experienced heart rate irregularities and 20 percent experienced a significant increase in heart rate.
The levels of radiation to which the subjects were exposed during this test was only 3 percent of the level of exposure deemed safe under the US Federal Communication Commission's and Health Canada's Safety Code 6 guidelines.
Radiation emitted from DECT cordless portable phones is the same type of microwave radiation emitted by cell phones, microwave ovens, wi-fi routers and some baby monitors.
The major concern around DECT phones is that it doesn't matter if you are actually using the phone or not—the phone's base-station emits radiation full-time. The radio frequency EMF created by the phone's base station travels hundreds of feet penetrating walls and people. In my EMF Home inspections I now find DECT phones in more than 95 percent of the homes I survey. DECT technology is also being used in many of the new baby monitors currently on the market.
Electrohypersensitivity (EHS), a condition recognized by the World Health Organization and is best explained as an allergic-like reaction to exposure to EMF, when you remove, replace or fix the offending EMF source symptoms disappear or are lessened. Although the health authorities in North America do not recognize EHS, Havas and other experts say 3 percent to 8 percent of the population is severely affected.
Symptoms of electrical sensitivities include headaches, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, chronic pain, heart irregularities, and much more. Additional symptoms include headaches, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, difficulty sleeping, skin problems, tinnitus, nausea, and dizziness. Many of these symptoms are subjective and difficult to measure.
Do You Have a DECT Cordless Phone?
- Many new DECT phones will say DECT 6.0 right on the base station.
- If your phone has multiple handsets it is a DECT phone.
- DECT phones operate in the frequency ranges of 2.4 GHz and at 5.8 GHz; if it says 900 MHz on the base station it's NOT a DECT phone.
Suggestions for Reducing EMF Exposure:
- Unplug your cordless phone and use a landline.
- Buy a phone that does not use DECT technology.
- Distance yourself from the phones base station and keep these phones out of your bedroom.
- Buy an electrosmog detector ($114) and check to see if your phone or baby monitor emits radiation.