IPads have become so sought after, that a boy in China once got in trouble for selling his kidney on the black market just so he could get his hands on one. It sounds like a horrible, joke but it’s true. Although this is a really extreme case, it gives an indication of how far someone is willing to risk their health to use one. Not everyone intentionally means to threaten their own health though.
Most people are completely oblivious of any dangers iPads may pose. But, as a part of its fundamental design, iPad’s emit Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF). IPad radiation is an ever present health risk that people don’t know enough of, but should learn more about. In short, iPad radiation is a cause for concern.
Too Popular for Concern?
The first iPad was released on April 3, 2010. Subsequent models soon followed and have proliferated into: the iPad Air, the iPad mini, the iPad with WiFi, and coming soon, the iPad Pro. Each unit possesses a simple user interface, built around a touch screen, which includes a virtual keyboard. The device can be used to do everything from pay taxes to play games. Since inception, Apple has sold millions of iPads and sales continue to grow.
As with any popular device, we run the risk of equating popularity with safety. We give iPads to our young and have started incorporating them into our schools. We have iPads in our homes. We use them at work. Yet, we are still learning about the long-term health effects. A growing body of scientific studies shows that Electromagnetic Radiation, and thus iPad radiation exposure, especially for children, causes measurable biological change.
Figure 3. Dr. Davis: Take precaution when your baby uses an iPad – Dr. Devra Davis, epidemiologist.
iPad Radiation Examined
Similar to all tablets on the market, iPads use Radio Frequency (RF) signals, such as WiFi to enable them to connect to the internet. When you turn on your tablet, your device is constantly transmitting and receiving RF electromagnetic frequencies.
Models that have 3G or 4G network capabilities emit even more, as they connect via a high-speed cellular network. In addition, as electronic devices, iPads emit extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation as a function of their electronic circuitry operation.
iPad radiation is emitted at a low, but persistent level. Every power up, search, or game conducted in the presence of the iPad is Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) exposure. Such emissions have been documented to cause a multitude of medical conditions from unsightly erythema ab igne (or “toasted skin syndrome“) to inducing liver disease to causing cancer. Over time, iPad radiation energy exposure fundamentally affects the basic components of your body and well-being, your cells.
Many manufacturers recommend specific limits for how far away from the body electronic devices must be kept at all times. As a result, many technologically advanced countries such as Belgium, France, etc. have started passing laws or issued warnings about limiting use of wireless devices, especially for the young.
The biological effects of RF radiation exposure is controversial. Recent studies show cell phone network use for even 50 minutes duration can cause brain tissues to increase in glucose metabolism. The long term health outcomes are still being studied internationally. Correlations have been found between increased rates of exposure and cancer but causation studies are still being researched.
The biological effects of ELF radiation is more controversial, yet it is the other reason that iPad radiation is a worry. ELF radiation has been associated with potential carcinogenic, reproductive, cardiovascular, behavioral, immune system, and neurological side effects.
Protecting Yourself from iPad Radiation
As electronic devices, iPads are capable of causing harm to the human body and living tissue. In particular, the iPad has several sources of radiation including both wireless and cellular technology, as well as its computing parts. In fact, he popular tablet emits more radiation than is recommended from international guidance perspectives. It is important to avoid too much unnecessary exposure by keeping you iPad away from your body, or turning off your wireless signals by using your iPad in airplane mode. This will reduce the RF radiation exposure, but you will still be exposed to ELF radiation. For more peace of mind, an iPad radiation shield case may also be used to protect yourself from direct iPad radiation exposure to your body.
The iPad is a brilliant device and one of the most useful tools of our era. We can use an iPad to do everything from watching a movie or playing a game, to searching the internet and talking face-to-face with a loved one half way across the world. Yet excessive iPad radiation exposure is a concern as it comes with health risks. We should embrace and enjoy the technology, but use it wisely.