By B.N. Frank
Research has determined that children’s use of smartphones and other screens as well as their exposure to blue light, cell phones and Wi-Fi radiation and other Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) is harmful to their health. American Academy of Pediatrics and other health experts have been warning about this for years. In fact, American tech insiders (aka “Silicon Valley Parents”) have taken considerable measures to limit their own kids’ use and exposure to screens. This has included sending them to private low-tech or no-tech schools, requiring nannies to sign “No Screens” contracts, and spying on nannies to make sure they don’t break them (see 1, 2).
In August 2021, a federal court ruled in favor of petitioners (including Environmental Health Trust) who sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for not protecting Americans from harmful wireless radiation exposure. More recently, petitioners submitted a new filing asking again that the FCC review scientific evidence and establish protective radiation exposure limits.
Thanks to Environmental Health Trust for providing resources – including this new weblink and artwork – to help raise awareness.
The Technology We’re Dying For: Research on Kids, Smartphones, and Screens
The following is a partial list of research conducted to study the effects on kids from wireless radiation exposure emitted by smartphones, screens, and other electronic devices. They are categorized by impact.
U.S. teens average nine hours a day on screens for entertainment — excluding schoolwork.
- “US teens use screens more than seven hours a day on average – and that’s not including school work” by Kristen Rogers, CNN
- “Landmark Report: U.S. Teens Use an Average of Nine Hours of Media Per Day” Common Sense Media
Depression and Suicide
Screen overuse is linked to skyrocketing rates of depression and suicide attempts.
More hours of social media use equals decreased self esteem and poor body image
Children who spend more hours on “smart” phones, devices, and computers have worse eyesight and increased risk for myopia than those who spend less time on these electronics.
Higher reading on screens is linked to poor eyesight. Blue light from screens can damage cells in the retina and children’s eyes have less protections. Myopia rates are increasing. Outdoor time has been shown to delay myopia onset yet kids’ time spent outdoors is decreasing — in an inverse relationship to the increase in screen use.
Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders
Children with two+ hours of screen-time per day had a 7-fold increased risk of ADHD
Higher screens at bedtime = poor sleep quality, shorter sleep time, and later bedtime.
Access to a screen-media device in the bedroom at night is associated with shorter sleep duration, later bedtime, and poorer sleep quality
Cancer and Brain Damage
Cell phone radiation can increase risk of brain cancer, damages memory and brain development. Pregnant rats exposed to cell phone radiation produced offspring with fewer brain cells, specifically in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for impulse control, memory, balance, and other essential functions.
Other animal experiments report DNA damage, brain damage, memory problems, hyperactivity, cellular impacts, and oxidative stress in the brain. Women who used cell phones regularly when pregnant had significantly increased risks of premature birth, and increased emotional and behavior problems, hyperactivity, and headaches in their children.