Are Your Kids EMF Safe?

By Rachel Sarnoff

Since my teenagers both became cell phone enabled a few years back, I’ve been nagging them about the four steps they need to take to keep safe. I’ve worried about brain tumor ever risk since the World Health Organization determined that cell phone radiation is a “possible human carcinogen” and studies showed that children receive double the cell phone radiation as adults because of their thinner skulls. But what about the electromagnetic fields—better known as EMF—generated by wireless technologies such as cell phones, tablets and WiFi? Recent action taken by the French government has me worried about that, too.

A bill adopted by the French National Assembly in January banned WiFi in childcare facilities. It also restricted cell phone advertising to children under 14 and mandated that manufacturers recommend the use of hand-free kits to consumers.

According to the French National Agency for Food, Environment and Occupational Safety, people are exposed to EMF frequencies through wireless enabled computers and tablets, electrical power lines and transformers, and cell phone towers.

But the French agency cited cell phones as kids’ biggest source of EMF exposure. The largest source of EMF exposure is cell phones, currently owned by more than half of American children between eight and 12. Learn the steps they must take to stay safe. Currently, more than half of American children between eight and 12 have their own phones. I’m guessing the other 50% are borrowing them.

Our government doesn’t seem to see any problem with cell phone use. From the FCC website: “the weight of scientific evidence has not effectively linked exposure to radio frequency energy from mobile devices with any known health problems.”

Right. For about 50 years, we didn’t have any problem with cigarettes, either.

The French government’s action comes on the heels of an International Agency for Research on Cancer report that cited factors such as more conducive brain tissue, thinner skulls and longer-term exposure (from earlier introduction) in their suggestion that EMFs can be harmful to children.

So yes, we can take steps to protect our families from EMFs. These steps can be as simple as avoiding wireless baby monitors or as intensive as hard-wiring homes. But unless you go off the grid there’s no getting away from this wired world. And if phones are the main source of exposure, I think that’s a good place to start.

Here’s a link to the four steps your kids need to take to stay safe. Keep nagging, my friends.


Rachel SarnoffAbout The Author

Better known as “Mommy Greenest,” Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff is a journalist, consultant, sustainability advocate and former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World who was Editor in Chief of Children magazine—before she had three of her own. Rachel was featured in Los Angeles and Lucky magazines and appeared on “The Today Show” and “CNN Headline News,” among others, to share advice about healthier living with less judgement. The author of The Big List of Things That Suck and partner at Give + Take swap shop in Los Angeles, Rachel also publishes, where “you shouldn’t have to be a scientist to raise healthy kids.” Follow her and at



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