Our Cell Phone Addiction Is Destroying Wildlife

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Last Updated on May 2, 2019 by Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani

Our Cellphone Addiction Is Turning Wireless Tech Into an Invisible Weapon

This is an evident fact that our addiction to cell phones could be impacting brain functionality and be the cause of stress, anxiety, insomnia and a lack of attention and focus. Recently, another report has discovered that we’re not by any means the only living things to be influenced by our expanding reliance on wireless technology.



Effects of Electromagnetic Radiations on Flora and Fauna

Effect on Magnetoreception

Birds, mammals, insects and even plants are likely being hurt by the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) exuding from Wi-Fi, cellphone towers, communicate transmitters, electrical cables, and power lines according to a new analysis of 97 peer-reviewed studies conducted by EKLIPSE, a biodiversity, and ecosystem project funded by the European Union.

Magnetoreception - Forestrypedia
Image: The Scientist Magazine

As per the research “evidence is accumulating that mammals (e.g., bats and mice) have a magnetic sense” that is affected by radio-frequency-modulated electromagnetic fields (RF-EMR). Birds, in particular, may be highly susceptible.

The researchers found that even weak magnetic fields in the radio frequency range can disrupt birds’ magnetoreception, their ability to use the Earth’s magnetic fields to orient themselves and find their way home.

Pigeons are well-known for their magnetoreception, but this sense has also been detected in other animals, like red foxes, and there is evidence that even large mammals like deer use the planet’s magnetic fields to sense direction. Various invertebrates, including worms, mollusks, and fruit flies also utilize this ability.

cellphones and effects on wildlife - magnetic north - Forestrypedia
Image: pigeonpatrol.ca

Effect on Metabolism of Plants

The report also concluded that EMR can also alter the metabolism of plants, causing “significant changes … demonstrated at cellular and molecular levels.” The authors noted that even a low-level exposure to EMR “caused a rapid increase in stress-related transcript accumulation in tomato [plants].” Transcription is the first phase in the expression of a gene, in which a specific segment of DNA is copied into RNA.

Transcription - Forestrypedia
Image: Khan Academy

The researchers said that their findings indicate “an urgent need to strengthen the scientific basis of the knowledge on EMR and their potential impacts on wildlife,” specifically calling out the “need to base future research on sound, high-quality, replicable experiments so that credible, transparent and easily accessible evidence can inform society and policy-makers to make decisions and frame their policies.”

Effects of 5th-Generation Wireless Systems on Wildlife

The UK charity Buglife (which proposed the analysis) warned that there wasn’t enough research to determine limits to EMR pollution. The group said that “serious impacts on the environment could not be ruled out” and urged that 5G transmitters should not be placed near street lights, which attract nocturnal insects like moths, nor in areas near wildlife.

Buglife CEO Matt Shardlow, who served on the experts steering group of the report, warned that “there is a credible risk that 5G could impact significantly on wildlife.”

He added: “We apply limits to all types of pollution to protect the habitability of our environment, but as yet, even in Europe, the safe limits of electromagnetic radiation have not been determined, let alone applied. This is a classic case of out of sight out of mind, just because humans cannot see electromagnetic radiation this does not mean that animals cannot ‘see’ the pollution or be significantly impacted at a neural or cellular level. A proper research program and clear policy measures are long overdue.”

Shardlow specifically warned of the current rollout of 5G networks and called on telecommunications firms to research the impacts of their wireless technology on wild flora and fauna and make their findings public.

In May, Qatar becomes the first nation in the world to have a 5G network. The worldwide commercial launch of 5G is expected in 2020.

SEE ALSO: 5 Plants That Naturally Repel Mosquitoes



Effects on Temperature in Living Tissues

The report creators additionally said that stong EMR fields increment the temperature in living tissue, however, the force expected to incite such warming is “not experienced by wildlife (up until now).” It’s notable that they cleared out the entryway open to this other potential rising risk, as cell phone adoption rates are consistently rising worldwide.

More Cell Phones; More EMR

The number of smartphone users worldwide is forecast to grow from 2.1 billion in 2016 to around 2.5 billion in 2019, according to Statista, a market research firm. That means more cell towers—and more EMR being emitted into the environment.

“When you start to observe and realize that swallows and house martins no longer nest in towns and villages, when you realize that the sparrows have all disappeared, that in the evenings there are no bats flying in the dusk and that you no longer hear owls hooting, then you will begin to know what effect microwaves from cell towers and antennas are having on the environment,” said one commenter to a One World News article about the report.

The report comes on the heels of a recent appeal to the United Nations, signed by more than 200 scientists from 41 countries, urging the international body to address the risks posed electromagnetic fields (EMF), physical fields produced by objects charged by electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation. Specifically, the scientists want the UN to “recognize that EMF exposure is an emerging health and environmental crisis that requires a high priority response.”

For Dr. Blank and his colleagues raising the warning flag to the United Nations, the evidence is clear. “Cellphones, tablets, Wi-Fi, etc. Putting it bluntly, they are damaging the living cells in our bodies and killing many of us prematurely,” he said in his video address. “Rising exposure to electromagnetic radiation is a global problem. The World Health Organization and international standard-setting bodies are not acting to protect the public’s health and well-being. International exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields must be strengthened.”

He added that “We have created something that is harming us, and it is getting out of control. Before Edison’s lightbulb, there was very little electromagnetic radiation in our environment. The levels today are very many times higher than natural background levels and are growing rapidly because of all the new devices that emit this radiation. An example that a lot of us have right now in our pockets is the cellphone.”

This article was produced by Earth | Food | Life, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

 

(Video) 📶 Our Cell Phone Addiction is Destroying Wildlife (Animals & Plants) | Forestrypedia

Via EcoWatch

Featured Image: EMR Aware

READ NEXT: How Earth Has Evolved Over 750 Million Years? (In Pictures and Video)




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Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani

NJMH is working as Deputy Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu (techurdu.net) Forestrypedia (forestrypedia.com), Majestic Pakistan (majesticpakistan.pk), All Pak Notifications (allpaknotifications.com), Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.

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