Healthy Baby Monitors and Surveillance Cameras
This page last updated July 27, 2016.
Parents of infants and small children want to keep tabs on them while they sleep and play to be sure they are alright. Many people want surveillance cameras around their home and property, as well. Both needs are easily satisfied with a wide variety of wireless cameras and microphones available on the market today.
The problem is, these cameras emit strong radio frequency EMFs that can cause ill health for sleeping children, as well as adults in the case of surveillance cameras. Even if the camera and its transmitter are several feet away, the RF level can easily exceed internationally accepted safe exposure levels for nighttime exposure as set by the EMF Safety Community and the building biology profession.
Oram was interviewed about the potential dangers of exposure to radio frequency EMFs from baby monitors by Brooke Beare, news anchor on KESQ's CBSLocal2 News in Palm Springs, California. It aired on November 10, 2014. To view the six minute piece, click here.
To provide a safe sleeping environment for everyone, we recommend hardwired devices with microphone and camera be used as baby monitors and all surveillance cameras. These would be connected to the monitor in another room with an Ethernet, telephone or coaxial cable. This also helps avoid radio frequency EMFs where mom has her monitor to watch her baby, which is often by her bed.
One option is to use a D-Link Wireless HD Day/Night Network Surveillance Camera (the wireless shuts off when you plug in an Ethernet cable--see below). This is available for $91 from Amazon by clicking here or on the image below.
You would plug in an Ethernet cable that you would bring into the bedroom from the room where the router is located. If you don't want to run Ethernet cable down your hall or in your attic or crawl space/basement, you can use a network adapter or multi-media over cable alliance (MOCA) device. These use electric circuits or TV coaxial cables, respectively, in your walls to carry Internet from your camera(s) in one room to your router in another room in your house so that you can avoid Wi-Fi without having to install Ethernet cables. This is discussed on the Safer Use of Computers page in the section entitled, Network Adapters Using Electric Circuits.
This D-Link camera and microphone has an Ethernet jack on the back. I have verified that when you plug in an Ethernet cable, the Wi-Fi shuts off and is disabled. The camera and microphone work by sending the data over the Ethernet cable. You then go online on your computer using a password to D-Link’s secure website to see the images and hear the sounds of your sleeping baby.
You can also download an app on a mobile device to watch and listen that way, although that would expose Mom to radio frequency EMFs from the mobile device being used as a monitor. (You can connect your iPhone and iPad to the web in a hardwired way while it is set in Airplane Mode. Click here. You can use a laptop as your baby monitor, connected to the router with an Ethernet cable if it is in the same room, or with a network adapter—see above.
If you must use a wireless baby monitor, the SmartNOVA wireless baby monitor made by Norwegian manufacturer NOVA and RadioShield Technologies is the least harmful I have found. I have measured these units and they do emit radio frequencies, but at a much lower level than other baby monitors. At six feet from the SmartNOVA, I measured radio frequency (RF) EMF levels of only 10-20 microWatts/meter squared (µW/m2), which is at the level that we say is the beginning of the “slight anomaly” range for sleeping areas.
I would not put this unit any closer than six feet to your baby’s crib or to where mother sleeps, stands or sits in the daytime. Therefore, always put it across the bedroom from the crib and keep the monitor that Mom watches six feet away from her, as well. Keep in mind how far people sit or sleep on the other side of the wall from where you place the camera and monitor, because RF signals do pass through walls. Make sure people are not sleeping or sitting within six feet of the camera and monitor whether walls are present or not.
The SmartNOVA Baby Monitor sells for $149. You can order it from Bellyarmor by clicking here.
We strongly suggest, however, that you go with hardwired connections because there are non-thermal, biological effects even at these low RF levels that are now being demonstrated through research. Thus, even 10-20 microWatts/meter squared is not necessarily a safe level for an infant, or for anyone else, for that matter.
Remember, in general it is always best to be safe with hardwired connections whenever possible for all your networking needs.
Bear in mind, this does not mean we recommend that you should use a cell phone for calling, texting or web surfing if you are pregnant. Research suggests that when a fetus is exposed to wireless frequencies when the mother uses a cell phone at close range, that child has a statistically higher chance of developing behavioral, cognitive and learning impairment when they become teenagers. This is reported by obstetrician Hugh Taylor, MD at Yale University and pediatrician Martha Herbert, MD, at Harvard. Drs. Taylor and Herbert spoke at a press conference hosted by Devra Davis. This was prior to their joint presentation to pediatricians, research scientists, health care provides and policy makers at the 2016 Pediatric Societies Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland on May 3, 2016. To see a video of that press conference, click here.
We only make the recommendation for a pregnant woman to use belly armor clothing to protect her unborn child from radio frequencies used by those around her when she is out in public (or at home, if other members of the family still use wireless devices, which we strongly recommend against when in her presence). Belly Armor will not protect against any other type of EMF.
If you are pregnant, use hardwired connections exclusively for every communication need you have. Use corded telephones on your land line plugged into telephone jacks throughout your house. Use your laptop or desktop computer for all your Internet needs (email, web surfing) with hardwired Ethernet connections and the Wi-Fi disabled on your computer. Use a corded mouse and keyboard and disable the Bluetooth on your computer.
All of these recommendations are covered in detail on my Safer Use of Computers page, accessed by clicking here.
You can use these same choices as surveillance cameras. The D-Link camera does need a power supply, so you may be better off with a camera that is powered by the Ethernet cable plugged into it. Be sure the model you choose does not transmit Wi-Fi. You can verify this by purchasing a radio frequency detector from our EMF Meters and Instruments page, accessed by clicking here.
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