2 Minute Taster Above – Full Interview Below
Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.
This was actually a tough episode for me as I’m so reliant on technology. I’m quickly learning the very real concerns and problems that surround us daily which are completely invisible; electromagnetic fields/radiation. Like anything though I find the ostrich head burying approach doesn’t work so well in the long term as someone will come along and kick you up the butt! Investigation and preventative measures are needed.
If you want to jump straight to where we talk about mobile phone radiation and if it’s safe, skip to [010:40]
Ever wondered if using a mobile phone is doing the grey matter between our ears any favours? What about that fancy bluetooth headset you own or the baby monitor that’s in the cot?
These are just some of the topics we cover in this eye-opening interview with EMR Australia expert Lyn Mclean, and more importantly, the steps we can take to counteract the very real problems with electromagnetic fields and radiation (EMR & EMF). After running this interview, I don’t think I’ll ever look at a mobile phone the same way again! Guy…
If you would like to learn more about EMR Australia, click here.
- What is EMF & EMR (electromagnetic field/radiation)
- Is mobile phone radiation dangerous? [010:40]
- What are the effects of using mobile phones in the car?
- Laptops, iPads & wi-fi safety
- Everything from microwave ovens to baby monitors
- The preventive steps we can take to EMF/EMR exposure
- and much more…
You can view all Health Session episodes here.
EMR Australia Transcript
McLean: So, the readings at your place were quite good, Guy, Stuart said.
Guy Lawrence: My readings were fantastic. I did all my sleeping area, the work area, and it was like 1. There was nothing higher than 1 in my house, was there?
Stuart Cooke: No. There was nothing higher than 1.9.
Guy Lawrence: There you go. Hence why I sleep so well at night.
Lyn McLean: Excellent.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, right. Very good.
Right, so I’ve got the book and. . .
Stuart Cooke: Let’s roll with it.
Guy Lawrence: I’ll do it, as always. This is Guy Lawrence and today I’m joined with no other than Mr. Stuart Cooke again. Stu, how are you doing? Good to see you. I wore gray today, by the way, so we’re not matching, which is. . .
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, very well, Guy. Probably your blue one is in the wash, no doubt.
Guy Lawrence: My only one. And we’re joined with Lyn McLean from EMR Australia. Lyn, welcome. Thanks for joining us.
Lyn McLean: Thank you. My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Guy Lawrence: No worries. Basically, me and Stu ended up having the same colour T-shirt on for the last three recordings, so I’ve gone gray today and it’s worked, which is good.
Just to start, Lyn, for anyone that’s listening to this, can you just tell us a little bit about what you do, who you are and what EMR Australia is as well?
Lyn McLean: Yes, look, I’ve been involved in EMR now for 17 years. I originally ran the EMR Association of Australia, so that’s how I got involved and was involved, I suppose, or caught up in this issue because I am fascinated by it, but also because there are so many people out there that are having problems with EMR. And it was a very satisfying experience to be able to help them. So, nine years ago, I set up EMR Australia in order that I could continue to do this sort of work in a supported way.
I’ve written three books on electromagnetic radiation and I am a community representative. I have been a community representative on a number of committees; one that developed a code for mobile phone towers and another one to a Department of Health and Australia’s Radiation Authority.
So, I try to represent the community and to keep tabs, I suppose, on what’s going on in the community and to be able to convey that information and hopefully lobby on behalf of people who need help.
Guy Lawrence: OK. All right.
It’s a very real thing. I mean, me and Stu have been quickly learning over the last few weeks, especially when you came and tested our units as well. A lot of people out there are not even aware of what this is. Could you just maybe just explain a little bit about that as well; what we’re actually talking about and dealing with here?
Lyn McLean: Yes, certainly. I think you’re quite right. People don’t know that this is a problem because they can’t see it. But, in fact, we’re surrounded by electromagnetic radiation at home and work.
And there are different kinds of fields. One is the fields from anything electrical, so those are the low-frequency electromagnetic field so they come from things like high-voltage power lines, ordinary power lines, wiring, transformers, conductive pipes. But also any electrical equipment. So, if you’re at work, any equipment that you work on will have an electromagnetic field or any household appliances will have electromagnetic fields.
Now, in some cases, they’re not a worry because the fields are too low to cause people problems. But in some cases, they can be quite high and then we get people who are actually getting sick, and sometimes by reducing those fields, people get better. And often we’re reducing those fields and people get better or feel better.
So, those are the electromagnetic fields. On top of that, we have wireless radiation, which has really just proliferated in the last few years. So, now I’m talking about things like mobile phone towers, TV transmitters, of course, and radio transmitters. But, more commonly, things like mobile phones, cordless phones, wireless modems, even baby monitors and microwave ovens have got this wireless radiation.
So, it’s all around us, and, again, people are getting sick from too much exposure and then when that exposure is reduced they feel better. So, what we try to do is help people, first of all, understand what their exposure is and they need to do what’s necessary and what’s easy, in fact, to reduce it.
Stuart Cooke: Very interesting.
Guy Lawrence: When you say people are getting sick from it, what would some of the symptoms be, because, I mean, we were just discussing it the other week because, you know, I just assumed EMF and EMR were the same things. Also, you know, Stu spoke about his sleep and just by shifting the bed he could sleep. So, that was a symptom and then it’s helped him greatly, I know.
So, when you say, “sickness,” what can some of the symptoms be from that?
Lyn McLean: Yeah, well, the serious problems are things like brain tumors and that’s where a lot of the research has been and there’s a whole science about brain tumors that we can go into. So, that’s one problem.
But other things are things like fertility, because there’s now quite a lot of evidence that shows that mobile phone radiation is affecting the behavior of sperm. And it’s affecting the behavior in ways that’s consistent with infertility. So, it’s quite likely that it’s contributing to infertility in males, particular.
Now, as well as that, there are a whole lot of things that a lot of people wouldn’t call “health problems,” but they’re things that you just feel terrible. If you’ve actually got things like headaches. And I’m talking about not just a little bit of headache but unusual headaches; really intense pressure or people will describe them as weird sort of headaches. Things like depression. Things like sleep problems that we mentioned.
Skin problems is a big one. A lot of computer users have had skin problems. Pain, in some cases. Nausea or gastrointestinal problems. Fatigue is another one. And heart palpitations. They’re actually quite a lot of symptoms and they seem to be symptoms of the nervous system. So, those. . .
Guy Lawrence: What should we do if we’re worried about how much EMR we’re being exposed to at home or perhaps, you know, we have these symptoms, and, you know, we’re slowly joining the dots and thinking, well, you know, perhaps I should do something about this?
Lyn McLean: Yeah. The very first thing I suggest to people is to actually measure, because we’ve found is a lot of people ring up and say: I think I’ve got EMR from, let’s say, it’s the power line out front or it’s the transformer. And then often when you go and measure you see, yes, there is a little bit from that, but the biggest problems is something completely different that they didn’t see or didn’t think about.
So, the very first thing is to measure. And what that does is it actually shows up exactly what you’re exposed to. And I think that’s absolutely critical, because otherwise it’s a bit like going to the doctor and saying, “Look, doctor, I feel sick,” and expecting him to give you a pill that’s going to fix everything. Well, he’s not going to do that because he’s going to want to know what’s causing your sickness so he can give you the right pill. So, in the same way, we want to know what’s causing the fields or the exposure and therefore what’s the appropriate thing to put in place to deal with that.
So, we go out and measure or we hire meters to people and that’s one of them. I don’t know; can you see that one there?
Guy Lawrence: Yep, I can see that.
Lyn McLean: And I know that you had that at both your places. And what that will do; it will measure the fields for anything electrical. So, you can see exactly what you’ve go and that’s gonna help you make a decision about whether it’s too much or it’s OK.
But also you can see where it’s coming from. So, is it coming from the power lines out in the front, in which case, you know, there are some decisions you might make, or is it coming from the water pipe, in which case you’d do something completely different. Or is it coming from some appliance, in which case you could just move it further away from you. It’s trying to reduce your exposure.
So, what you put in place will depend on what you’re actually exposed to.
Guy Lawrence: Got it. Absolutely.
Stuart Cooke: So, when thinking about moving from, kind of, EMF now to more RF and radiation, your thoughts on mobile phones? You know, everyone now is; most people have a mobile phone and they’re certainly not going away. What are your thoughts? Are they safe?
Lyn McLean: Yeah. . .
Guy Lawrence: I was still; my head’s still thinking about the mobile phone comment you made five minutes ago and I’m just sort of like sitting here. But, sorry, carry on.
Lyn McLean: Are the safe? Well, no one can say that mobile phones are safe. Not our government, not our mobile phone manufacturers. Nobody can say they’re safe. And the reason for that is that there’s actually quite a lot of evidence that they’re not.
Now, I talked about the sperm studies a little while ago and I mentioned the brain tumor studies. But there are number of big research projects around the world that have actually found increased risks. So, I mentioned a name. There was one called the Interphone Study, and that had 13 countries from around the world take part in it and Australia was one of those countries.
And what it found was that for the people who used mobile phones the most, there was an increased risk of glioma brain tumors. Now, if you juggle the results around a little bit; juggle the statistics as the researchers did, they found that there was, for people who were the long-term mobile phone users, there was actually double the risk of gliomas. So, that is a bit of a concern.
And there’s another whole group of studies from Sweden, and what they’re finding is a similar sort of thing: that for long-term users, so I’m really now talking about people who use a mobile phone or a cordless phone for 10 years or more, that they have double the risk of gliomas and acoustic neuromas.
So, that’s a little bit scary, isn’t it? Because keep in mind that a lot of this research was done years ago when people didn’t use mobile phones as much as they do now.
Stuart Cooke: Sure.
Guy Lawrence: Everyone’s got one. I mean, I’m instantly thinking about my phone in my front pocket, like a couple of inches away from my crown jewels, basically. And that’s not; that can’t be a good thing, I’m guessing, then, because. . .
Lyn McLean: Yeah. Well, that’s right. And if you carry your phone on your body, then that radiation is going into your body as you’re carrying it, if it’s turned on.
Guy Lawrence: Because a lot of females will carry it, obviously, in a handbag and things like that and it’s keeping them slightly away from the body. But us guys, I mean. . .
Lyn McLean: Yeah, well, that’s right. But what we have is; and I’ll come back to that in a sec, Guy. But what we have is a lot of women carrying their mobile phones in their bras now, or in a breast pocket, and that’s a real concern because there’s a study in America that’s actually looked at a number of women who carried their mobile phones in their bras and they developed breast tumors. But these tumors are located in the exact position of the areas of their phones. And I’m talking about women in their early ’20s who have had mastectomies. And they didn’t have a genetic background that would predispose them to this. So, you have to ask: Is it the mobile phone?
We even have guys who are developing breast cancer where they carry their mobile phone in their breast pocket. So, yeah, I think it is a big problem. And one of the messages from this is: Keep your mobile phone away from your body. Now, if you have to carry it next to your body, we have a little sock; a radiation sock you can put your phone into and that will stop the signal going through into your body.
Guy Lawrence: So, do you use a mobile phone yourself, Lyn?
Lyn McLean: No. I don’t have one.
Guy Lawrence: Because, you know, it’s a part of my daily life; Stu’s. I’m mean, we run an Internet business and I’m on the phone all the time. I mean, what precautions can we take? You mentioned the sock. Would, like, wearing these headphones and then talking through a mobile phone help?
Lyn McLean: Well, the key thing is to keep the mobile phone away from you when it’s turned on. So, if you’re using it, don’t hold it right up against your head because that’s when radiation is being absorbed into your head. So, even if you hold it out a little bit, or you put one of those socks that I was mentioning. . .
Guy Lawrence: So, I could put it on Speaker and then maybe hold it hear and listen? That’s a lot better?
Lyn McLean: Yeah. Absolutely. Talk on; or, put your mobile phone down on the table and speak so you’re not holding it in your hand. Just anything that you can do to minimize your exposure. So, for example, using a corded landline phone if you can. You know, if you’re making those calls from home, then use that. Spending less time on your mobile phone, ringing people on their home phone or their work phone as opposed to their mobile phone. There are lots of things you can do to reduce that exposure.
Stuart Cooke: What about using a mobile phone in a car. Now, most new cars are equipped with hands-free Bluetooth devices. And, of course, most people yabber away when they’re driving. And it passed the time, for one. What are your thoughts on that?
Lyn McLean: Well, a couple of things are problem with that. One is that there is research now that people who talk on a mobile phone when they’re driving drive just as well as somebody who’s been drink-driving. And that’s not from holding the phone against their head; it’s just from talking on the phone. So, in other words, having the mobile phone and even using speaker function, can still affect people’s driving performance. And, obviously, it makes them worse drivers and increases the risk of accidents. So, that’s one thing.
But in terms of what you’re actually exposing yourself to, people are being exposed to radiation when the phone is operating in the car for a number of reasons. If you’ve got Bluetooth, then Bluetooth is a form of wireless radiation. So, you’re actually exposed to the radiation from that system. And we certainly get people who report that they can’t tolerate to be in cars that have got Bluetooth in them and have to get those systems disabled.
The other thing is, even if you didn’t have Bluetooth in the car and you just have your mobile phone turned on in the car, what the car is; you think of as a metal shell. That’s going to be reflecting that signal, amplifying that signal, passing it all around the car. And that means everybody there is getting exposed.
Now, again, we have people who, if somebody has a mobile phone even turned on in the car. . . So, I’m not talking about making a phone call, now, but just the phone is turned on. They get sick. And I talked to a woman a week or so ago who said her children got into the car and forgot to turn their mobile phones off and she said that was just the end of her. She spent a week in bed as a result of just that one exposure.
Stuart Cooke: Wow.
Guy Lawrence: I mean, is it; are there any preventative measures we can do whilst in the car to be able to use the phone in the car?
Stuart Cooke: Turn your phone off, by the sounds of it.
Guy Lawrence: But, again, it’s something that I certainly do and a lot of people do. Would opening the windows help or anything like that, or is it just something: avoid; don’t do.
Lyn McLean: Yeah, there’s a lot of advice about not using mobile phones in metal shells and things like lifts and cars. So, really, anything you can do to reduce that exposure is a good thing.
Stuart Cooke: What about external aerials, Lyn, for your car? I mean, it’s almost taking us back a few years when mobiles were just; were the next big thing. Lots of cars had external aerials and you used to plug your phone into that. Would that make a difference?
Lyn McLean: Yeah, that’s a good thing to use. But you want to make sure your aerial is not in the position where your children sit or your baby sits.
Stuart Cooke: Right. OK.
Guy Lawrence: You mentioned Bluetooth. Bluetooth headsets. And, I’m assuming, that can’t be good.
Lyn McLean: Well, that’s right. That’s just replacing one form of wireless radiation with another form of wireless radiation, so it’s a; why use that system? There are better systems that you can use. For example, there are headsets, airtube headsets, that don’t have that wireless radiation.
Guy Lawrence: That’s staggering. I’m glad I ride a motorbike a lot. So I don’t have to deal with any of that. But I still keep my phone in my pocket when I’m riding.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, just slip your mobile in your helmet when you ride and I think you’ll be fine.
Guy Lawrence: Some of the helmets, now, well they have Bluetooth in there so you connect your phone and chat away while you’re riding a motorbike.
Stuart Cooke: Well, we know what to get you for Christmas.
Lyn McLean: If he comes to work with a headache, you’ll know why, Stuart.
Stuart Cooke: Well, when he comes to work, I get the headache!
Guy Lawrence: All right. Well, what we said about mobile phones, then, the first thing I think: What about kids? Every kid has mobile phone now. Smartphones, playing games, iPads. What are your thoughts on it? I mean, if it’s that?
Lyn McLean: Well, this is a real concern and there are lots of authorities around the world now who are saying: Reduce kids’ exposure to this radiation. And the advice was, from most of the authorities a few years back, was don’t let children under 16 use a mobile phone. Well, you know, I think that would be really hard to implement now, especially since schools are using them. But that was the advice based on the fact that there a risk for kids.
And there are reasons why kids are more vulnerable, and one is that their skulls are actually thinner. So that means that the radiation is being absorbed into their skull further. So, more of their brain is being affected than adults’ brains. So, remember the studies that have been done that I talked about earlier that were done on adults, and they found increased rates of brain tumors. Now we’re talking about kids who don’t have the protection in their skulls, who are absorbing more radiation, and using them at a younger age. So, what is going to happen to them in 10 years’ time? We don’t know, but in 10 years’ time we’re going to find out. And if; I think all of the people aren’t going to like the answers.
Kids have got a potential lifetime of exposure to us, so, unless us, who were probably mature when we started to use mobile phones, these kids might be using them for not 20, 30, or 40 but maybe 50, 60, 70 years. Now, if there’s a long-term effect of exposure, which the studies are indicating, then what’s going to happen to them in that amount of time?
In fact, people who have been using their phones for 20, 30 years would now be 70 or 80 at that time and it maybe doesn’t matter. But it does if you’re going to only be 40 in 30 years’ time.
Stuart Cooke: Crikey. So, I’m guessing, you know, for all the parents out there that pass on the iPhone for their kids to play the games, Flight Mode, I guess, if you’ve got a smartphone. That would be a precaution. How safe is the phone in Flight Mode? Are we good to go and can happily play with it?
Lyn McLean: In some cases, that’s enough, but in some cases you actually have to turn the wireless because there still can be a signal in Flight Mode. So, yeah, use Flight Mode but turn the wireless off.
But the thing that I’m concerned about is the whole idea of giving kids mobile phones as toys. You’re setting up the expectation in kids that this is something that’s OK to play with.
What I’m saying is that mobile phones; children shouldn’t be using mobile phones, or exposed to mobile phone radiation, unnecessarily. So, if you’re going to see this device as something it’s OK to play with, and Mummy and Daddy says it’s OK for me to play with it, then that’s going to set up that expectation that they can spend a lot of time on it, playing games, as they get older.
Now, that means that, of course, they’re being exposed to more radiation as they do. But it’s also setting up patterns of addiction and you don’t have to look very hard on the Internet to see that there are real problems with young people being addicted to this sort of technology. And there are clinics overseas that are treating people as young as 4 with Internet addiction.
Stuart Cooke: It’s interesting. And, I guess, not to mention, as well, the use of mobile phones affects the way that we communicate and are able to kind of integrate ourselves into communities and conversations, because we’re using to doing it all on the little device.
Guy Lawrence: This just seems such a serious matter, and yet, you know, the media doesn’t seem to cover it much. You hear random studies, but it’s almost made out as if it’s just pulling things out of the sky as if it’s not real, it’s not happening, it’s not there. And it gets swept under the carpet very quickly, really.
Lyn McLean: Well, that’s right. And one of the reasons for that is that the mobile phone industry advertises in the media so much, so for the media to take up this story might threaten a lucrative source of income.
So, in the end, I think it does get back to money. Because look who’s profiting from this. You’ve got the mobile phone companies. The government’s making a fortune from the sale of mobile phones. The media is making a lot of money from promoting this sort of technology. So, there’s a lot of information going out about, “Use me, use me, use me, use me.” And people aren’t necessarily having the balance of information about, well, yes, there is actually a risk. And, as I said, a lot of authorities are warning to be really careful with this technology, especially if they’re kids.
Stuart Cooke: Absolutely. And I guess, even with the manuals that you receive when you buy the mobile phone now, if you actually read the fine print, you will be told to hold the phone away from your ear so that they’re covering themselves, but who does that? We certainly don’t do that.
Lyn McLean: That’s right. That’s right. And because the mobile phones are getting smaller and thinner, the aerials are getting closer to people’s brains, too. So, it’s alarming for me.
Just going back to the question of kids, one of my concerns is that kids don’t have the information to make informed choices. So, I can monitor the Internet or we can find out information about the safety of this technology, but what 3- or 4-year-old or 10- or 12-year-old is going to do that and make a decision about should they be using it and how should they be using it.
For example, I have one Year 11 girl that I know who carries her phone in her bra, as we talked about before, and who didn’t know anything about the risks of that.
Stuart Cooke: No, it’s interesting. Thinking along those lines, you know, the parents the children, well, safety in the kitchen: “Don’t touch the oven; it’s hot. Don’t touch the knifes; they’re sharp.” But, of course, we have these external factors that are potentially much more damaging but we haven’t got any kind of guidelines there as to how to use them safely.
Lyn McLean: Well, that’s right. And that’s where it comes back again, to measuring. Because this is another of the measures that we have. You can see that there.
Stuart Cooke: That’s better; yeah.
A wall is made. So, you can actually hold that near a phone and it will pick up the signal and it will show you how strong the signal is and how far it extends. And I measured the phone that a young boy, he was in Year 7 so he’d be about 12, his phone, the other day, and, boy, it was really; you know, it was unbelievable.
Stuart Cooke: Off the scale.
Lyn McLean: Yeah. That’s right. And you have to be concerned about kids’ holding that. . .
Guy Lawrence: I think the problem is, well, this information is overwhelming. I mean, just sitting here talking to you and listening to the problems with it. You start to think and then you start to think, like you mentioned baby monitors, you mentioned kids; people using the mobile phone. I mean, we have a hard enough time dealing with the food industry and the way that’s going and actually trying to say our piece about it. And, you know, it’s another thing to think about.
Stuart Cooke: What about cordless home phones, then? What are your thoughts on that? I know they’re a convenient product where we can wander around and gasbag any room in the house.
Lyn McLean: That’s right. Well, the bad news is, cordless phones might be even worse than mobile phones. So much of the research that we’ve talked about so far has been done on mobile phones, but the same thing applies, then, more to cordless phones for these reasons. The cordless phone has actually got two elements. There’s the handset and there’s the base. Now, that base, in many cases, is transmitting 24-7. So, people don’t even know that as it’s sitting there beside their bed or on their desk or wherever it might be, it’s still sending out quite a high signal.
So, that’s just the base. In addition to that, they’ve got the handset. So, when you hold the handset of the cordless phone against your head, your brain is absorbing radiation in just the same way that it would be from a mobile phone, but maybe even more because a lot of cordless phones don’t have adaptive power control. So, they don’t power down the signal. In other words, it’s fairly high-power.
Now, we know that a cordless phone is going to be reasonably high-power because it’s going to transmit a signal from over here to right over there, where the base is, on the other side of the house. So, in fact, you’re getting this exposure from both sections and people, in addition, tend to use their home phone more than they do their mobile phone. So, a lot of people have gotten the message that mobiles are a bit dangerous and they’re dealing with that by going home and using their home phone, not realizing that it’s actually radiating just like their mobile phone is. And that they’re being exposed if they do that.
And, in addition to that, if that’s your home phone, then what about when your kids start making phone calls? They’re using a radiating device as a past.
Guy Lawrence: So, can we use corded phones; phones with a cord? Yeah, a corded phone has none of that problem, so it’s a much safer option.
Stuart Cooke: OK, so that was the alternative then. Because, obviously, everyone uses a phone.
Lyn McLean: That’s right. That’s the best thing. And with cordless phones you can be aware of the fact that this thing is giving out radiation, probably 24-7, and where you locate it, because I had a situation once where I went into a home and I measured the radiation coming from a cordless phone, and it was really high. And it was going right through the wall onto the bed, into the bedroom of a young girl; the daughter of the house. So, the mum hadn’t realized that it was actually radiating here as she slept, because it seemed that it was in a different room. But that happens.
Stuart Cooke: I can’t even imagine the strength of these, because we’re corded now. And prior to that, we had a cordless phone. And I remember walking down the street with it trying to test the range, and, you know, I got halfway down the road and still had a strong signal on this phone pressed to my head and thought it was the best thing in the world.
Lyn McLean: Yes. That’s right.
Stuart Cooke: But of course, perhaps, it wasn’t so grateful, but we’ve since learned otherwise and now gone to a corded and feel much happier about that as well.
Lyn McLean: Good on you. Well, I think people have to remember that the word “coverage” and the word “signal strength” really actually meant radiation. So, if the manufacturer is promoting “great coverage” or its fantastic signal strength or whatever it is, then you can interpret that as, oh, well, I’m going to get quite exposed from this technology.
Stuart Cooke: Exactly.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, yeah.
Stuart Cooke: Just going slightly off topic, Lyn, you mentioned the bedroom. I guess the best bet is just to turn everything off, I’m guessing.
Lyn McLean: Yeah. Yeah. And to keep things away from your bed, because if you’ve got this technology on your bedside table at nighttime as lots of people have, then you’re being exposed to it as sleep, and that’s the very time that you want to be least exposed, because it’s as you sleep that you’re bodies. . .
Stuart Cooke: Because I know a lot of mates that will use mobile phone for their alarm clock as well.
Lyn McLean: Yes, yes.
Stuart Cooke: I mean, I still do that but I put it on Airplane Mode, so I’m assuming it’s not searching; not that it’s next to my head or anything. But still. I’m assuming that would be another preventative measure you could take?
Lyn McLean: Yeah. That’s a much better option, and for kids, the advice is to keep the mobile phone out of the bedroom, because we get a lot of situations where children are sleeping with their mobile phone under their pillow, even, so that they can hear the call as it comes in at nighttime or feel the call, and they can respond to it.
So, apart from the fact that they’re irradiating themselves, they’re actually losing sleep and that’s affecting their school performance, and there’s quite a bit now about that side of the problem, too, that it’s affecting kids’ schoolwork.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Lots to learn, I think.
So, moving from mobile phones and over onto wifi, now, what are your thoughts on wifi; home wifi networks, which, of course, make it easy and convenient for us to access the Internet with our iPads and laptops everywhere over, you know, in the house. How does that compare to, perhaps, the signals coming into a mobile phone and what should we do about wifi?
Lyn McLean: Yeah. A wifi modem has actually got quite a strong signal. So, if you have your modem next to, say it’s on your desk as you work at your computer, you’re being exposed to a very high signal as you sit there and work. If you’ve got your wifi modem near a bed, maybe on the other side of the wall from them bed, the same thing applies. So, that’s one way that you’re being exposed from the modem.
But then you’re being exposed from the technology that you use as well. So, whether it’s your laptop computer or your iPad that you mentioned, or some other device, that’s actually sending out a microwave signal as well. So, you’re getting a double whammy.
Now, you can measure quite high exposures in a house from this technology. And, in fact, people have got so much technology that you’d be surprised how high the signals can actually be. So, that’s inevitable when you use those systems.
Now, if you want to prevent that, there are a number of things that you can do, and you can go to various extremes depending on how precautionary you want to be. First of all, you can use corded connections. And if you use cords and wires, you’ve got none of that wireless; providing you turn the wireless off, of course. You’re still getting the benefits of the technology. You can still download stuff. You can still play games. But you’re doing it in a much safer way.
Now, if people don’t want to do that, they don’t want to go that far, anything you can do to minimize wireless exposure is really important. So, for example, turning the wifi off when you’re not using it. Maybe downloading, for people who like to watch movies or play games or something like that on the technology, downloading it first and then turning the wireless off as you’re actually using the game or watching the movie.
So, a lot of it comes back to common sense. Just realize that if you’re sitting in front of this thing, and it’s a wifi device that’s using the wifi modem, then you’re being exposed and so are the other people.
Guy Lawrence: So, I’m just thinking, because, I’m in my unit, right? And now I’ve moved my wifi after talking to you a few weeks ago, because that was about a foot from my leg when I was working in the day, and I’ve moved it to the other side of the unit, out of the way. But obviously the wifi is still on during the day. I turn it off at night, or when I go out, I just turn the wifi off; it’s not there. But am I actually moving around in a microwave oven because the wifi is on, or is it not so; does it affect is that much? Even though the router is 10 meters from me?
Because I’ll turn my mobile phone on when I’m in Coogee or in the street and it picks up 20 networks of wifi that are buzzing around. So, obviously, if the phone’s picking up I’m being exposed to it.
Stuart Cooke: You have to create a hat, Guy, out of tinfoil, like a Viking’s hat but tinfoil. And I’ve read that they’re quite effective.
Guy Lawrence: That could work, yeah.
Lyn McLean: Yeah, seriously, I do have people contacting me who have had to go to those extremes like shielding themselves or their homes to stop those signals coming in because they’re so badly affected by it. So, it is a concern.
In terms of the router, the further away from you it is, the less you’re exposed to it. But the fact is that you’re still getting some. And the problem is, well, how much is OK? And that’s the difficulty because we don’t really. . .
Guy Lawrence: We can’t really measure that, can we?
Lyn McLean: We can measure it, yes.
Guy Lawrence: But how much, the limit; how much is OK? How much is not?
Lyn McLean: That’s right. Well, you know, you’d like to think, well, it complies with the standard. That should be OK. But the standard’s actually not protecting people from this sort of use. It’s only protecting against short-term acute heating effects. So, it’s not protecting against long-term, continuous, non-heating effects, which is what we’re talking about. So, for people who are using this technology hours a day, every day, all their lifetime, essentially, it’s not protecting against that.
And there’s a survey done recent that’s showing that people are spending up to 16 hours a day now using this technology. So, that’s a lot of exposure. So, it might be lower-power, but you multiple that by time, if that makes sense. So, it’s a cumulative exposure.
Guy Lawrence: You mention shielding, Lyn. What; can you elaborate on that, please?
Lyn McLean: Yeah. For the high-frequency, the wireless technology that we’re talking about now, if people want to block that signal, what they can do is they can put a shielding paint in place. So, we have a shielding paint. You pat it on the wall and it will block the signal that’s coming through from outside. So, you can actually create a little safe haven if you want to do that.
And, often, people do that only when they’re experiencing symptoms like we have on a lot of people from Victoria who had SmartMeters installed and have experienced all sorts of very unpleasant symptoms. And they very often block the signal. They put it on the side of the house where their meter box is and that stops the signal coming through from the SmartMeter.
Guy Lawrence: From your experience, Lyn, just all these questions keep popping in; sorry.
Lyn McLean: Oh, it’s great.
Guy Lawrence: If a person is healthier, can they withstand the exposure more, as if to somebody that might be already ill; say they’re fighting a disease of some kind. They might be chronically sick. And then they’re exposed to this. Do you think they would be more sensitive to the exposure?
Lyn McLean: I am talking about my experience now and talking about the conversations that I’ve had with people who are dealing with the condition of electromagnetic sensitivity; the researchers around the world who have dealt with that. And, yes, that does seem to be the case. And when you look at the research that is being conducted, the mainstream research, it’s showing that there’s a very big difference in how different organisms respond to EMR. And it would depending on the way that the signal is; whether it goes this way or it goes that way. The genetic background of the animals or the cells that are being exposed. The health or condition of those animals.
So, there are a lot of factors that will affect the way that people respond, and that’s why in a family of, say, four or five people, you might get one person who’s affected badly by this technology and nobody else. It’s a very individual response.
Guy Lawrence: So, what about the wifi in schools? Because I know that gets installed now. I mean, it’s another problem outside of mobile phones. I guess the question has already been answered.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, schools are very proud, aren’t they, to present this. “You know, we’ve installed wifi all over now and all of our children are happily using wireless tablets now to do their sums.” Surely that would be a concern.
Lyn McLean: This is a concern for a number of reasons. Now, you remember I said that there’s a high field that comes from the router. So, let’s think about where this router might be. You know, maybe it’s by the teacher’s desk or maybe it’s by a particular student’s desk. Maybe it’s working at very high power.
I had one teacher who rang up and said that he couldn’t work with this wifi. He couldn’t have it. He couldn’t be in the classroom where it was. And in this school, it was very high-power because it had to get from one classroom through to another classroom through this cement and concrete floor. So, it had to really have a lot of power to be able to do that. In other words, the signal was strong and the amount of radiation that people were being exposed to was high.
So, you have that. But in addition to that, you have all these kids using this technology, where they are exposed to their technology and the person beside them’s technology and around her.
Now, they are really, basically, just sitting in a little microwave oven. It’s a concern, because we’re experimenting on children. And I don’t know, really, that any ethics committee would allow that, you know? An experiment.
But we’ve got young kids now that are in infant school that are being exposed to this technology when we haven’t even demonstrated that it’s safe for adults. Why would we do this to our kids? Why would we take that risk?
As I said, I’ve got; I mentioned that one teacher. There are actually quite a few teachers who’ve contacted me. Some of them had to give up work because they can’t work in a school with wifi in it. We have a principal who’s resigned because she can’t be in the school because of the wifi.
There are schools overseas pulling out their wifi systems because kids become sick.
It’s a very big risk, I think, and my question is: What happens if this exposure affects kids and they become sick down the track? Will we see litigation against the education departments? And I think that’s a real possibility.
Stuart Cooke: Where standards are concerned, Lyn, how does Australia fare to the likes of Europe, say, for instance?
Lyn McLean: Well, there are international standards that the World Health Organization; our body as connected to the World Health Organization has put in place. And a lot of countries around the world use those standards, and Australia’s standards are pretty much in line with those standards, too. So, they’re very consistent with the majority standards.
In Europe, because there’s been so much concern about the risks of this technology, a lot of countries have put in additional layers of precaution. So, they’ve put in either standards or guidelines or something like that that say, well, we don’t really want people to be exposed to it so much.
And I think that that’s a way of helping to address these concerns.
What I think is really important is that people start to apply these precautions in their own homes and in workplaces. That’s a starting point. You can actually do; if we wait for governments to change status we’ll be very long, I think.
Stuart Cooke: We’ll be around forever.
Guy Lawrence: When you talk about precautions, as well, another question I wanted to cover was the mention of there’s a lot of products out there now that are claiming they can harmonize or neutralize the wifi; the mobile phone. I mean. . . What’s your thought on that?
Lyn McLean: This is a concern, because a lot of people will say: Look, I’ve stuck this on my phone or I’ve that on my phone or I’ve stuck it on my wifi so I’m safe. And, in fact, that’s not necessarily the case at all, because if you measure; if you get a device that measures the radiation, and you measure with one of those stickers or whatever it might be, stuck onto the mobile phone, you take it off and you measure again, the amount of radiation is identical. So, these devices are not making any difference whatsoever to the amount of radiation that we are exposed to.
They don’t even claim to do that. They claim to harmonize. Now, what does that actually mean? We don’t know what that means. It doesn’t; there’s no scientific way that can explain what these devices might be doing. If they’re doing anything, it’s in a way that we can neither understand, nor measure. And that means to me that we’re taking a risk by using them.
It’s much better, in my opinion, to use conventional precautions that can be demonstrated to work; that can be measured to work. Because then you know that you actually are protected and you’re not taking that risk.
Guy Lawrence: Because the problem is, as well, obviously, the education’s not here. I mean, from chatting to you we learn it first and we’re starting to be proactive about it. But the reality is, a lot of people are going to take it: “Oh, I’ll buy a new mobile case for it and that reflects the signal or I’ll stick something on the back or wear something around the neck” and just assuming they’re doing the right thing.
Lyn McLean: Exactly. But if they do that and then continue to use the technology and think, “I’m safe. I’m safe, so I can talk on it for a long amount of time,” then they could be at more risk than if they. . . took no precautions.
Lyn McLean: Excuse me. I forgot to turn that off.
Stuart Cooke: It’s good to hear the call of a landline. The proof was in the pudding.
I’ve got a question, Lyn, and you touched on it a little earlier: baby monitors. Now, should we be wary of these products? After everything that you’ve told us I think, crikey, that would be the last thing that I want to use now. But how about all our friends out there that are actively using them and feeling safe by doing do?
Lyn McLean: Well, “feeling safe”; isn’t that an irony, because these devices are actually giving out high levels of magnetic fields or wireless radiation are measured; in fact, there are several baby monitors in the cot where the baby slept and the fields were so high that when the mother actually saw it, they picked up the device and took it out and threw it in the bin.
Guy Lawrence: Wow.
Lyn McLean: So, we’re putting these things next to babies whose brains are just newly hatched where they haven’t had a chance to develop, where their skulls are thin, where they’re very, very vulnerable. And we’re exposing them to really high fields.
Now, I’ve to go ask whether that’s really protecting them at all. And, again, we’re talking about long-term cumulative effects.
Now, if I could step back a bit from the baby monitors, there are a couple of studies now that have looked at pregnant women using mobile phones and the scientists have found that if you monitor the behavior and the performance of those kids when they’re 7; that is 7 years after that exposure, these kids have got more behavioral problems or performing worse in schools than kids whose mothers didn’t use a mobile phone.
In other words, it can take a long time for effects to show up. So, if we’re exposing these babies, we might have to wait seven years, eight years, but it could be affecting their academic performance down the track.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Interesting thought.
Lyn McLean: And, again, we don’t know but it’s question of precaution. How much risk do you want to. . .
Stuart Cooke: I think that’s just it. We just don’t know, do we? A little bit like the cigarette industry in the early days. We didn’t know, you know. Cigarettes were even claimed to have health benefits.
Lyn McLean: Absolutely. That’s right. Yeah. And there’s a story that Sir Richard Doll, who’s the guy who made the connection between smoking and lung cancer, and the Health Department actually told him not to let his results out to the general public because that might cause alarm. That was back in the ’50s.
Stuart Cooke: Wow. I can just picture the packaging, then, in 20 years’ time, on my new mobile phone that I buy. Crikey. With these horrible pictures on the side.
Lyn McLean: Well, yep, we don’t know, do we?
Guy Lawrence: No, we don’t.
Lyn McLean: And I think it all boils down to how much risk do you want to take? Now, this is a question of society and we’re grappling with it every day as parents make choices about what sort of food to feed their children or whether to put a fence around their pool or, you know, to strap their child in a car seat or use seatbelts. All the time, we’re making decisions about precaution and safety, and this is just something else that we need to address. But people have to be aware that it’s critical.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, absolutely.
Stuart Cooke: Well, I think they do. And I think you can; you don’t have to scared by this. I mean, after speaking to you, as a family, we have made certain changes, and they’re by no means radical. I mean, we tested our apartment. We moved our positioning of beds. We went to corded phone. I use a plug-in, wired Internet now. So, our wifi is gone. And I use my speakers at all times on my mobile phone. And, while carrying it, I bought a little shield. So, if I have to slide it in my pocket, I’ve got this going now. And I feel like I’m doing, you know, to the best of my abilities to try and stay on top of this.
So it’s, you know, by no means kind of radical stuff, but just small changes.
Lyn McLean: Well, that’s quite right and sometimes it’s just a question of moving something from here to there. And I mentioned a story to you before where we had a woman who had depression and sleep apnea and she was on medication for those, and her husband had problems with depression, too. And she heard me speaking about the meter box having high electromagnetic fields, and she decided that she’d do a little experiment. She moved the bed from right beside the meter box up the wall a little bit; just a little bit further away. And she found that her depression cleared up, her sleep apnea cleared up, her husband’s depression cleared up, and they didn’t need medication anymore.
So, it didn’t cost her anything to do that and rang me up after about three weeks because she wanted to make sure that the changes lasted, and they did.
Stuart Cooke: It’s small things, isn’t it?
Lyn McLean: Exactly.
Stuart Cooke: I guess it’s just being aware. I found a high magnetic field on the floor where I previously slept from a light fitting to the foyer of a block of units downstairs. And that was, you know, very high. But a meter to the left or right of that, those levels dropped significantly, and I sleep better now.
Lyn McLean: So, you moved your bed in order to. . .
Stuart Cooke: I just moved my bed. Yep. Moved it to the other side of the wall, and that’s all I did. And it’s made a world of difference. But it’s just knowing.
Guy Lawrence: I’ve got one last question for you, Lyn, before we wrap up. Microwave ovens. Somebody mentioned them on Facebook the other day as well. I haven’t used one since I immigrated, like, seven years ago. But what are your thoughts on them?
Lyn McLean: Well, microwaves are really interesting because they’ve got a number of problems that, first of all, they change the chemical composition of food. But leaving that aside, because that’s not to do with radiation, they have several fields. They have a high magnetic field that’s just because they’re an electrical appliance. So, if you have your microwave oven sitting on the bench and not doing anything, not cooking any food, the chances are it’s giving out a high magnetic field and you can measure that.
But when you put the food in it and you turn it on, it starts to cook, the magnetic field generally goes very. So, in fact, you would want to keep quite a distance away from it when it’s cooking, just to be out of that magnetic field.
In addition to that, it’s also got the microwaves that cook the food. Now, microwave ovens are allowed to legally leak a little bit of microwave radiation, and in some it’s a little bit more than others, depending on how secure the door seals are. So, you can measure the microwave radiation from these as well. Sometimes, as it’s starting to escape, it can be quite high in even the room adjacent to the microwave.
Guy Lawrence: See, you wouldn’t want to be leaning over, staring through the glass to see if your milk’s gonna boil.
Lyn McLean: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, you definitely want to keep a distance from them, but I would say check them, too. Measure to see whether you’ve got any microwave leakage or too much microwave leakage.
Stuart Cooke: Crikey.
Guy Lawrence: There you go. I’ve never liked those things anyway. I’m all for that one.
Stuart Cooke: It sounds like you’re living in a microwave oven with a wifi network. I’ll surely not be visiting anytime soon.
Guy Lawrence: It’s just to keep you out, mate.
Stuart Cooke: Well, it’s working.
Guy Lawrence: Lyn, thanks very much for joining us today. It’s been awesome. My God, I’m going to have to take stock of all this information myself.
If anyone wants to learn more, EMR Australia, the website, would be the best place to contact for you?
Lyn McLean: Yep. Certainly.
Guy Lawrence: And then, obviously, you can provide all the necessary information if they’ve got more questions and things like that.
Stuart Cooke: And also, Guy, not to forget the book as well; Lyn’s fantastic book called The Force, which I’ve read and I think I’m gonna read it again. It just really does kind of just enforce all these little pockets of knowledge that I think are so empowering. So, if people wanted to purchase the book, Lyn, whereabouts could they do that?
Lyn McLean: They could do that through our website. Can I just share, also, excuse me as I lean over, that what we do with the kids, because having talking about the risks of this radiation for kids: Wireless-wise Kids, which is actually, and if you can see it there; I think we’re getting a bit of reflection from the blinds, but it’s got beautiful illustrations by an Australian artist, Janet Selby, and it’s quite easy to understand. So, kids can understand, but also the parents get a lot.
Stuart Cooke: I’ve purchased a copy of that as well and we went over that as a family, so we’ll put that information on the website for the viewers, too.
Guy Lawrence: Absolutely. Fantastic.
Thank you for your time, Lyn. That was mind-blowing.
Lyn McLean: Thank you very much. I appreciate you talking to me about this issue. I think it’s a really important one and I’m glad you’ve given us the chance to speak.
Guy Lawrence: We do, too. Thank you again.
Lyn McLean: Thank you. It’s my pleasure. Have a lovely day.
Guy Lawrence: Cheers. Thank you.
Stuart Cooke: Goodbye.