Many families today look a lot like the picture where everyone, including the children, rely on new technology.
Wireless communication, electric infrastructure and devices are hallmarks of modern life. Tools such as laptops, tablets, cellphones or computers for personal enjoyment, communication, school and work activities. The proliferation of these electronic devices in recent years has profoundly increased our exposure to EMF (electromagnetic fields) or EMR (electromagnetic radiation). However, most people don’t seem to understand that these electronic devices emit Electromagnetic Frequencies which research shows pose potential negative effects on human health.
EMR (electromagnetic radiation) is a form of energy with both magnetic and electric fields that travel in waves. EMR from man-made sources, both wireless and wired electric, is in the non-ionizing range of the EM (electromagnetic) spectrum and this means that it doesn’t break chemical bonds. There are two types of EMFs: high frequency EMFs (RF-EMFs) and extremely low frequency EMFs (ELF-EMFs).
Extremely low frequency EMFs (ELF-EMFs)
ELF-EMFs are non-ionizing and have lower frequencies than visible light. The frequency range of extremely low-frequency EMFs ranges from 1Hz to 300Hz. Some of the prime artificial sources of low frequency EMFs include power lines and various electronic appliances such as hair dryers, electric can openers, vacuum cleaners, shavers and microwave ovens among the most powerful. The intensity of low frequency EMFs emitted by these appliances range from 17.44 μT to 164.75 μT.
High frequency EMFs (Radio Frequency or RF)
Radio frequencies (RF-EMFs) are emitted by wireless devices and they have significantly higher frequencies than visible light and examples include X-rays, Gamma Rays, and UV (ultraviolet) light. RF-EMFs have considerably higher frequencies than extremely low EMFs ranging between 100 kHz and 300 GHz. Radio frequencies are mainly used in broadcasting information. This means that RF-EMFs are constantly around us in the modern data-driven world. They are emitted by electronic devices such as cordless phones, wireless networks, radar, baby monitors, remote control toys, mobile phone base stations and utility smart meters. Most dangerous may be over 10,000 satellites now orbiting the earth, triangulating our positions and snatching our phone calls, among other purposes.
What happens when the human body is exposed to EMFs?
Although exposure to EMFs is not a new phenomenon, environmental exposure to artificial EMFs has been steadily increasing in the 20th century due to ever-advancing technologies, growing electricity demands and drastic changes in social behavior. Therefore, we are exposed to a very complex mix of magnetic and electric fields, both at work and at home.
Chemical reactions in the human body create electrical currents even in the absence or external or artificial electric fields. For instance, nerves must transmit electric impulses in order to relay information to many different parts of the nervous system. Biological reactions from brain activities to digestion rely on the movement of charged particles which constitute electric currents. There’s strong evidence to support the association between the athermal effects of RF- and ELF-EMFs and various health problems.
Effects of EMFs on human health: Recent dramatic increase in EMF-related health complications.
In the last 10 to 15 years with the introduction and widespread use of wireless electronic devices, there has been a huge increase in RF (radio frequency) exposure especially from wireless devices. This has led to widespread reports of diseases and hypersensitivity related to exposure to electromagnetic field. Several studies correlate electromagnetic exposure with numerous diseases including cancer, reproductive disorders, electromagnetic hypersensitivity and immune system disorders.
In fact, both radio frequency EMR and extremely low frequency EMR are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as possible human carcinogens. Health problems associated with EMF exposure include:
1. Childhood leukemia
According to the Bioinitiative report, the risk of childhood leukemia doubles when infants and young children are exposed to extremely low frequency-EMF (ELF-EMF) levels of 1.4 milligaus (mG). The report also indicates that ELF-EMFs interfere with recovery from leukemia: if a child suffering from leukemia is exposed ELF-EMF levels of more than 2 mG during the recovery period, risk of death from childhood leukemia increases by 300 %, while at levels of more than 4 mG risk of death increases to 450 %.
The pineal gland produces melatonin when it detects low light levels directly or indirectly. Studies show that EMFs suppress the production of melatonin in the human body because the brain confuses EMFs with light waves. Melatonin is a very important hormone because it acts as an antioxidant that aids in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s, mood disorders, insomnia, tinnitus, mood disorders and various cancers.
3. Auditory nerve and brain cancers
Radiofrequency-EMFs have been given 2B classification (possibly carcinogenic) by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). Studies have shown that RF-EMFs are possible causes of vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuromas) and a group of brain tumors known as gliomas. Moreover, using cordless phones habitually on one side of the head increases the risk of brain tumors and cancers by up to 470% after less than 10 years of use. Cell phones can also increase the risk of brain tumors by up to 200% when used habitually on one side of the head for less than 10 years. Both cordless phones and mobile phones trigger reactions in electro hypersensitive people.
4. Alzheimer’s disease
Exposure to extremely low frequency-EMF increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by increasing the production of amyloid beta, one of the leading risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Electro sensitivity
Some people experience intense adverse effects when exposed to electromagnetic frequencies. For electromagnetically sensitive people, the presence of computers, cell phones, cell phone towers, unshielded wiring and transformers, fluorescent lighting, portable telephones, scanning and security equipment, microwave ovens, battery rechargers and many other electrical devices can make a building inaccessible or extremely uncomfortable.
6. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a condition that causes unexplained profound persistent fatigue lasting at least 6 months. Other symptoms of CFS include subsequently occurring headaches, sleeping disorders, lung and skin problems and general weakness. The causes of chronic fatigue syndrome can be genetic, chemical, or viral. However, the correlation between chronic fatigue syndrome and EMFs is often missed. In fact, studies have shown that CFS patients are at risk of developing electro sensitivity largely because the nervous system is impacted by both electromagnetic fields and chemicals. Therefore, people whose nervous systems have been damaged by toxic exposures are more susceptible to electro sensitivity too.
With CFS, various environmental factors including EMFs can create biological changes and hormonal disruption at a cellular level which affects the patient’s immune system. Therefore, if the sources of electromagnetic fields are not properly addressed, CFS treatment is only palliative.
7. Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) is a condition where the body becomes generally weak under stress. There are many forms of stress including emotional stress (finances, relationships, anger, anxiety), inherited stress (prenatal, genetic), physical (excessive exercise, pain, exertion) and environmental (allergens, weather, toxins, EMFs).
Individual reactions to EMFs vary with the level of exposure depending on the person’s toxic load. Therefore, EMF sensitivity might be a sign that the body is under a toxic load. In fact some AFS sufferers cannot function normally when near electrical equipment, cell phones or household appliances. One of the best ways to start healing your body is by simply reducing your exposure to electromagnetic fields and other triggers that might be causing the debilitating state of AFS.
Research has provided overwhelming evidence to prove that EMR (electromagnetic radiation) emitted from various high-tech devices such as cellphones and laptop computers can be very harmful. Numerous studies have linked the use of devices that emit electromagnetic radiation with various illnesses including Alzheimer’s disease and tumors.
Reducing Your Exposure To Man Made EMFs.
The simplest thing to do is turn off any electronic devices when not in use. Using wired connections whenever possible as opposed to using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. If you are using bluetooth try and limit your time spent, especially with devices like wireless headphones.
Avoid keeping your phones or tablets near you while sleeping. Do your best to keep your bedroom as electronics free as possible. If you sleep with your cellphone on your nightstand try leaving it in the kitchen and you will probably find you get a much better nights sleep.
There are also EMF protection devices that can be used as well to reduce the potentially harmful and disruptive effects of electronic overwhelm. As with most things eating healthy and exercising will help your body deal with the stress of EMF as well.
- Electric Power Research Institute. (Internet). (2011). Radio-Frequency Exposure Levels from Smart Meters: A Case Study of One Model. Available from: https://www.nvenergy.com/
- California Council on Science and Technology. (Internet). (2011). Health Impacts of Radiofrequency Exposure from Smart Meters. Available from: http://www.ccst.us/