Is your home a hotbed of radiation?
The New Year's sales have begun -- which means that it's prime time to stock up on some shiny new electronics (if Santa didn't bring you the ones you wanted already).
But according to a new study, whether you snatch up a high-tech flat-screen TV or a low-tech toaster, you should think twice before you fill up all those power strips -- because the radiation they emit may be hazardous to your health.
And that's especially true for any woman who's "expecting."
Now, I've told you before about the dangers of X-rays and CT scans, which zap you with what's called "ionizing" radiation.
But everyday electric devices also generate radiation -- known as "non-ionizing" radiation, which comes from the magnetic fields produced by the flow of electricity through the sockets in your walls.
In a study published in Scientific Reports, over 900 pregnant women wore small devices that monitored their exposure to non-ionizing radiation for 24 hours, AND they kept a diary of their activities during that period.
By the end of the study, about 10 percent of the women with the lowest levels of radiation exposure had a miscarriage -- about the same rate you'd expect in pretty much any group of women.
But among the women who had the highest levels of radiation exposure, the rate of miscarriage was almost 25 percent!
That's nearly THREE TIMES higher than those with lower exposure.
And that was AFTER the researchers controlled for other factors that contribute to miscarriage risk, such as alcohol use, caffeine intake, and nausea.
Now, the study didn't determine how the radiation might have contributed to the miscarriages -- but previous studies have shown that unborn babies are even more vulnerable to the effects of radiation than we are.
We also know from previous studies that even low levels of radiation can heat up your cells and cause tissue damage.
And since we're more "plugged in" than ever -- with everything from our toothbrushes to our coffee grinders powered by electricity rather than elbow grease -- your home may be sizzling with radiation hotspots.
Add in wireless devices and networks, which also emit non-ionizing radiation, and you could be practically glowing with the stuff!
Look, I don't expect you to totally give up modern conveniences... but you can reduce your exposure by making some easy changes.
Many electrical appliances still use electricity even when they're not turned on. So, if you're not using something, unplug it!
Try to place your couch, desk, bed, and other furniture you spend a lot of time near away from plugs and power strips.
And turn off the "wireless" mode on your phone or computer when you don't need it.
That's just good sense for any of us -- but it's absolutely essential for any mom-to-be in your life.