Archbishop Makarios Hospital III Launches Initiative to Minimize Wireless Radiation Exposures to Children

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The Archbishop Makarios III Hospital in Cyprus  has launched a project to minimize cell phone and wireless radiation exposure to pediatric patients. 

  • Wi-Fi is disabled and replaced with ethernet connections in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Neonatal unit. 
  • Parents are educated to keep cell phones away from children and out of the pediatric units.

The Campaign is a cooperation between the Archbishop Makarios III Hospital (NAM III) and the Cyprus Committee on the Environment and Children’s Health (CyCECH) with the active support of the Executive Director of the Archbishop Makarios III Hospital, Dr. A. Neophytou, the Director of the Pediatrics Department, Dr. A. Elia. It is a collaboration of Dr. Andreas Sergis and Dr Antonis Kleanthous and the nursing staff of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). 

Donation of wired computers. Photo: Dr. Andreas Neofytou, Executive Director of the Makarios Hospital Dr. Stella Canna Michaelidou, President of the Cyprus Committee; Dr. Theodora Metsis, Dr. Andreas Sergis of the Intensive Care Unit of the Makarios Hospital; not present is Dr Antonis Kleanthous.

The initiative was detailed in a June 24, 2019 Press conference where authorities also shared the new wireless public awareness campaign. In his address Dr. Andreas Neophytou said, “We are reducing direct and passive exposure of children to non-ionizing radiation. We protect the children.” 

He pointed out that the pilot project indicated that the use of Wi-Fi at the Pediatric Intensive Therapy Unit (PITU) creates levels of continuous and uninterrupted passive as well as significant active exposure at levels much higher than biologically-based safety criteria.

 

 

The hospital initiative recommendations can be summarized (per Dr. Stella Canna Michaelidou’s presentation) as the following:  

  1. Babies can be exposed when parents or personnel hold their mobiles powered on, close to the babies, even if they are not making a call. 
  2. The radiation is increasing while calling. 
  3. If in addition, when mobile data is activated radiation is increased. 
  4. The radiation is further increased when downloading data or Viber and social media are used. It is like placing an antenna next to their body. 
  5. Mobile phones if carried in the pediatric chambers should be  deactivated (powered OFF or in flight mode. 
  6. Remember: while in flight mode you can still  take photos, video and play pre- downloaded music.
  7. You can pre download videos prior visiting your child. 

RESOURCES

The Cyprus National Committee on Environment and Children’s Health  website is http://paidi.com.cy/

EHT  Notes: Electromagnetic fields within neonatal incubators have been shown to have adverse effects on newborns. Research has found that equipment in the NICU creates low-frequency electromagnetic fields “that can have subtle yet measurable effects on the autonomic nervous system” and preterm infants are especially vulnerable to these effects. A study that looked at 26 preterm infants from the NICU at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center measured the environmental electromagnetic levels in and around incubators. Then, the researchers electrically grounded the babies to reduce the exposures. They found that the babies autonomic nervous system “is able to sense the electrical environment” and the babies were more relaxed when they were grounded. 

In 2017 Bellieni and colleagues carried out a review of the current research on electromagnetic fields in neonatal incubators, and concluded, “…future incubators should be conceived following better criteria about EMF emissions, redesigning the incubator components” (Bellieni et al., 2017). Earlier publications by Bellieni and colleagues report similar findings including changes in melatonin production and altered heart rate variability.  Due to the vulnerability of newborn babies, preventative and prudent measured should be taken against exposure to electromagnetic fields. 

Based on the current human and animal research on radiofrequency, several scientists have published studies concluding that radiofrequency  is a human carcinogen (Hardell and Carlberg 2017, Peleg et al., 2018, Miller et al 2018). When combined with lead or a known carcinogen, RFR has been shown to promote tumor development and enhance toxic effects.  For example, a 2015 Jacobs University replication study found more than doubled the numbers of liver and lung tumors in carcinogen-exposed mice when combined with RFR at levels well below FCC limits (Lerchl 2015). A 2017  literature review (Kostoff and Lau. 2017) published in Microwave Effects on DNA and Proteins found  there is “substantial credible scientific evidence” supporting not only tumor  promotion but also enhanced cellular or genetic mutations, and teratogenicity from nonionizing radiation. 

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