10 Steps to Safe Technology at Home
Take One Step at a Time. It is simpler than it may seem.
Please take the time to become wise about safer use of wireless transmitting devices (WTDs) such as smart phones, home cordless phones, tablets, laptops, gaming devices, and desktop computers. Be informed on these Ten Steps To Safe Technology so you can make wiser choices in technology use.
1. Distance is Your Friend
- Become aware of the various emitting sources in your surroundings so you can maximize distance from as many of them as possible.
2. Airplane Mode ON, and Wi-Fi OFF, and Bluetooth OFF
- On every computer, laptop, tablet, or WTD, there is a function key that turns OFF the Wi-Fi transmitter. There is also a function key that turns OFF the Bluetooth transmissions.
- Whenever you hand a child a technology device such as cell phone, tablet, or laptop, please set the Airplane mode to ON, and Wi-Fi to OFF, and Bluetooth to OFF.
3. Prefer Non-Wireless Connections
For home phones (landline), internet, printer, speakers, and entertainment gear, connect by cord or cable with all wireless features off.
- Wi-Fi Internet Connections at Home: As an easy first step, power off the Wi-Fi router at bedtime. Then ask your internet provider how to connect with plug-in cords and turn off the antennae feature of the modem or router. Many companies allow you to manage the wireless settings online and you can simply turn it off via the internet. Sometimes a swap to a non-wireless modem is necessary.
- Trade in your home cordless phones for corded phones. Most cordless phone base stations constantly emit high levels of microwave radiation regardless whether or not any connected handset is in use. The cordless phone handsets also emit microwave radiation. Corded landlines have no wireless radiation emissions and therefore this simple step can substantially reduce your daily microwave radiation exposures.
- Wire Up Game Stations and Controllers: Choose gaming devices that have the option to connect the hand controllers with a cord.
- Hardwire Accessories (Printer, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, etc.): Wi-Fi printers are a hidden source of constant Wi-Fi emissions, just like a Wi-Fi router or cordless phone base. The safest choice is a hardwired non-wireless printer. Some wireless printers allow the wireless antennae to be turned off via an internal network setting, so contact the manufacturer for directions. For some machines, the “OFF” setting is retained in memory, but for some machines you must reset to “OFF” each time you power on. Also, whether or not the “OFF” setting is retained, during each powering on start-up procedure some machines do self-diagnostics that include checking the ability to emit a very strong Wi-Fi signal, so it is wise to distance yourself from the device during its start-up procedures. A mouse with a cord has no wireless radiation emissions (there is no setting to change).
- Remember: If a user or tracking device is wireless, it has wireless radiation emissions.
4. Turn It Off When Not in Use
- Wireless enabled devices are always transmitting radiation even when you are not surfing the internet or using the device to talk or message. The only way to stop these emissions is to set the wireless antennas to OFF.
- Why? Wi-Fi devices continuously check in with their main network (cell tower or Wi-Fi router) to be sure a connection exists. This radiation activity is called a digital handshake. For example, a Wi-Fi router emits a beacon signal at regular intervals to signal the available network (whether or not any person or machine is using the network). Similarly, a Wi-Fi enabled tablet or other personal use device will also signal at regular intervals hunting for a network (whether or not a person is using that connection). Those signals are all radiation emissions.
- You can easily decrease your family’s firsthand and secondhand radiation exposure by turning off wireless networks and devices whenever you are not actively using them.
- Turning off wireless devices (and their related gear)—for example, gaming, entertainment, and computer systems—when not in use also saves significant energy and makes all around good sense.
5. Power Off Wireless Devices When Driving
Power off wireless connectivity in vehicles. Mobile devices distract drivers even if hands-free. Cell phones and streaming tablets and laptops also emit higher power radiation during travel because the metal surroundings create radiation hotspots inside the driver and passenger areas of your vehicle. Plan ahead so that you do not need to use any cell phones or wirelessly enabled devices in the car. Going on a road trip and your children want to watch movies? Before you leave, download the movies onto the device so that during the trip wireless access is not necessary.
6. Practice Safer Phone Use
For adults who must use a mobile phone: use speaker phone or a plug-in earpiece, and when you are not using the phone be sure to power off or set the phone on Airplane/Flight mode and the Wi-Fi to OFF and the Bluetooth to OFF.
Children should not use mobile phones except in emergency. Click here to read EHT’s 10 Ways You Can Reduce Cell Phone Radiation to get all the steps. The safest way to use a cell phone is to turn it off and use a corded landline.
Rethink how you use cell phones when you are near children. For example, do not use a cell phone while an infant is on your lap, and do not carry your cell phone in your baby carrier.
7. Safeguard Your Sleep
Pew Research reported that 75% of children sleep every night with their cell phone beneath their pillow. Be aware that wireless radiation and light seriously impact our sleep so be sure to power off all screens and electronics well before bedtime.
- Many newer TVs, gaming systems, and computers plugged into electricity or on battery power will have radiation emissions even if in power off mode, so it is best to remove them from the bedroom or completely disconnect them from their power source.
- Need an alarm on your phone? You can set the phone to Airplane/Flight Mode ON and the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to OFF and still use the alarm feature.
- Be sure to charge cell phones and tech devices outside the bedroom, because charger gear generates other types of electromagnetic fields that are also linked to health issues.
- Locate screens in family areas—not in bedrooms.
8. Decrease the Power of the Signal
If necessary to have Wi-Fi on, you can significantly reduce your exposure to that radiation by decreasing the signal strength.
- Home Wi-Fi routers are often set to cover all areas within 100 meters with the radiation. This distance is usually not necessary in a home. At a minimum, contact your internet provider to turn down the signal strength on your router, and ask your neighbors to do the same. (The safest step is to get a wired modem.)
- The fewer the bars on your cell phone or wireless enabled device, the higher the radiation it is outputting. So minimize your use when the signal is weak. Also, hold the phone far from your body when a call is being received because the phone often emits maximum radiation at that time.
- Minimize exposure to Wi-Fi router radiation by turning the router off during sleeping hours. Locate the Wi-Fi router at a location as far away from where people spend time in the house.
9. Decrease Time and Length of Wireless Device Use
The longer you connect wirelessly, the more radiation you absorb. So keep your wireless phone calls and Wi-Fi use short—whenever possible. We all need internet access and good long phone calls, so be sure you have a landline corded phone and wired home computer to use most of the time. No wireless radiation is emitted from ethernet cables. Minimize your time spent in Wi-Fi hotspots.
10. Read the Fine Print
- Keeping these devices closer than the manufacturer’s designated distance can result in a violation of the federal government’s official radiation exposure limit. Exceeding these levels can result in your body absorbing thermal levels of microwave radiation. Such levels can heat your body and lead to sterility, burns, and brain damage. Learn more about fine print instructions for cell phones and tech devices at Show The Fine Print.Org.
- Before a phone, tablet, MP3 player, etc. is placed into a pocket or bra or tucked into clothing, set Airplane mode to ON and Wi-Fi to OFF and Bluetooth to OFF. Always also use those settings before devices are near a pregnant abdomen.
Help Your Friends, Schools, and Community learn what you now know.
Share this information with your friends, family, and your community so that they can benefit from also making these simple changes. Local business owners will be interested in this issue. We find people are thankful to learn how to create healthier workplaces. By raising this issue in your community, there will be more healthy spaces where you and your children learn and play.
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