Despite widespread public enthusiasm for the use of cell phones, laptop computers, and other portable digital technology, the fact remains that the long-term health risks of repeated exposure to these devices remains unstudied. Cell phone use has tripled worldwide in the last 10 years, totaling 6 billion users. As dedicated home phone lines have declined, the average length of time spent on cell phones has increased dramatically.
As a result, many cell phone users are concerned about the possible long-term effects that sustained cell phone and laptop use could have upon their health and upon the health of their children. The frequency that cell phones use to operate — as well as cell phone towers, which are increasingly prevalent in communities where children go to school — is considered a non-ionizing form of electromagnetic radiation, in the same category as radio waves, microwaves, and visible light.
However, what many parents are concerned about is the disruptive effect that higher levels of radiation may have on human tissue. The question is: can non-ionizing frequencies heat human tissue over years or even decades, raising the risk of brain tumors, various forms of cancer, and even migraine headaches? Public health experts are divided on the topic, but many parents are taking steps to mitigate potential risk to their children.
In an effort to block children from potentially harmful electromagnetic fields, many parents deploy EMF shielding fabric, aimed at combating ambient radiation, in their homes. On average, about 20 fabric shields are deployed throughout the home: behind curtains, over and around beds, and near electronic devices whose long-term health risks remain uncertain. Other electromagnetic radiation protection products may be obtained to block off electronic wires and cables, but EMF shielding fabrics are making their way into homes across the United States.
The current focus on EMF protection for children comes at a time when people are making extensive use of new digital technology without understanding what the prognosis will be for their children’s health in 20 or 30 years. With increasing emphasis on living the “connected” life, many parents are choosing to push back against the use of devices whose health impact remains largely undefined.