Why EMF Protection?
It is important to understand why protecting yourself from electromagnetic radiation is necessary. The health consequences of the ubiquitous electronic pollution in our environment affect everyone living in our modern world. Below is a short summary of what you should know, followed by references for further reading if you are interested.
You Are an Electromagnetic Being
Your body uses electrical signals to accomplish every function vital to your health, from your heartbeat and brainwaves to cell growth and sensory perception. Electrical waves flow throughout your entire body. This electric current subsequently generates biologically relevant magnetic fields. Thus, you are an electromagnetic being, and the electromagnetic frequencies measurable in your body confirm this. Modern medicine, in fact, relies on these measurements for many diagnostic tools, from the electrocardiogram (EKG) to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). “The Body Electric”, by Dr. Robert Becker, was the seminal work introducing the concept of electromagnetism in biology. (See reference below.)
As an electromagnetic being, it is not hard to understand that exposure to powerful and unnatural electromagnetic radiation can affect your biological function, and therefore your health. The effect of EMF’s on your body depend both on their frequency and power. The unnatural nature of many electromagnetic fields (EMF’s) in modern society contrast with natural EMF’s found in nature, which are essential to many aspects of how your body functions, from your sleep cycle to your circadian rhythm. How EMF’s affect your body depend both on their frequency and their power. EMF's found in nature are subtle, with low frequency and low power. The problem arises from the much higher frequency and more powerful sources of electromagnetic radiation in our modern environment.
Your Health and EMF’s
Some of the effects on your health from exposure to electromagnetic radiation include:
- Oxidative stress through an increase in free radicals that in turn causes damage to DNA
- Decreases in white and red blood cell counts and associated declines in immune response
- Compromise of the blood-brain barrier, exposing the central nervous system to unhealthy toxins
- Changes in hormone levels, including melatonin, a critical hormone that regulates the biocycle and impacts the quality of sleep
- Increases in susceptibility to certain types of cancer and adverse health effects on the neurological and reproductive systems that can affect mental health and fertility, among other issues
- And lastly, beyond the effects on your health, EMF exposure also negatively impacts the health of animals – from your pets at home to birds and bees in the wild
These statements are based on scientific studies assessing the health effects of EMF exposure that have been proliferating for the last 20 years. You may find large collections of these studies online at Environmental Health Trust, Powerwatch, and The Bioinitiative Report, among many other places (see list below). There are also many respected institutions and groups of scientists who have spoken out about the dangers of EMF radiation, including an agency of the United Nations, the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer, which classified EMF's as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
You may also, of course, find some studies that do not demonstrate negative health effects from EMF exposure. The important thing to remember, as pointed out in the Bioinitiative Report, is that if EMF exposure truly caused no harm, then it would not be possible for so many studies to conclusively demonstrate that it does. And of course, the fact that EMF’s are used diagnostically and therapeutically in conventional medicine in many ways – from MRI’s to trans-cranial magnetic stimulation to pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy – indisputably shows that EMF's can and do affect your health.
Perhaps most disturbing of all is the fact that the health of your cells is now recognized to be critically important to your overall health. Narrow micro-currents (with approx. 60-70 microamps) flow through your body along organized paths and ensure your well-being. Any injury or illness – as well as EMF radiation – disturb or interrupt this energy flow. “Non-health" is thus often caused by disturbances at the cellular level resulting in changed cellular electrical current. You do not “feel” or “see” these cellular disturbances, so it is normal to not recognize the consequences of EMF exposure. However, as described above, you are an electromagnetic being, and constant exposure to unnatural electromagnetic radiation does change cellular behavior, and therefore impacts your health.
Why Government Regulation Falls Short
You may wonder why the government does not create regulations to protect you against the adverse health consequences of electromagnetic radiation. There are two primary reasons – one is that regulators tend to focus on very narrow aspects of EMF’s and health, and the other is that there are very powerful and well-funded businesses with strong lobbying groups who would be negatively impacted by any regulation.
Most guidelines for EMF safety are based on the assumption that non-ionizing radiation (such as that used by the electricity in your home, your cell phone, your wi-fi router, etc.) does not cause enough heat to damage your cells, and is therefore safe. Here are a few of the problems with that approach:
- It ignores the non-thermal effects of electromagnetic radiation, and there are countless scientific studies that conclusively demonstrate there are numerous non-thermal detrimental health consequences from EMF exposure.
- It is based on short-term studies conducted in the lab on only one type of electromagnetic radiation at a time. It ignores the accumulated effects of exposure to many sources of electromagnetic radiation over an extended period, which is of course the world we live in today. And again, there are many studies that show that prolonged exposure to high levels of EMF’s like those commonly found in our modern environment do indeed affect our health.
- It is based on unrealistic assumptions about the use of EMF emitting devices. The most notable of these is the testing performed by the FCC to determine cell phone safety, which is based on the heat emitted from a cell phone held 5 mm from the head of a dummy for 6 minutes. Most of us, of course, use a cell phone for more than 6 minutes, and often hold it against our head or in our pocket. If you look in the fine print of the warning that came with your cell phone, it likely recommends keeping the device 5 to 15 mm from your head when in use – not something most people know or do.
- It is usually based on the size and weight of an adult male. Females have smaller bodies that would be impacted to a greater extent, and children, whose bodies are still developing, are of course even more sensitive to cellular disruption and other consequences of electromagnetic radiation exposure.
There are actually some countries that have recognized the dangers of EMF exposure and have enacted regulations to lower them. In the European Union, guidelines for electric field exposure is half what it is in the U.S., and for magnetic fields is almost 90% lower. In Chile and New Zealand there are limits on placing cell phone towers near schools. In France it is possible for individuals and communities to fight the placement of cell phone towers near their homes or schools, while in the United States it is illegal to fight the placement of such towers (thanks to the lobbying efforts of the powerful businesses mentioned above). In fact, in the U.S. it is possible to find cell phone towers placed on the roof or exterior walls of a school!
To make matters worse, we are now seeing the introduction of 5G cell phone technology in the United States. While there were plenty of documented health consequences from the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the few towers spread around town broadcasting the older 3G and 4G technologies, 5G relies on much higher frequency electromagnetic radiation emitted by many small antennas spread at short intervals along every street. A good overview of 5G health concerns can be found here.
The situation is summed up very well by Dr. Robert Becker, the pioneering scientist who spent his career studying the electromagnetic basis of the human body, and author of the book “The Body Electric”. He wrote this summary in the chapter warning of the dangers of EMF radiation at the end of his book, after reviewing his life’s research leading to the conclusion that we are in fact electromagnetic beings. And bear in mind that this was written in 1985, even before the advent of cell phones and WiFi. This is a clear indication that the dangers of electromagnetic radiation extend even to more conventional electromagnetic frequencies:
“Subliminal activation of the stress response is one of the most important effects that EMF’s and non-ionizing radiation have upon life, but it’s far from the only one. These unfamiliar energies produce changes in nearly every bodily function so far studied. Many of these alterations are associated with stress, but whether they’re a result of, or an additional trigger for, the adrenocortical reaction is an irrelevant chicken-or-egg question at this state of our knowledge. The most disturbing data come from work on the systems that integrate other bodily functions – the central nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine, and growth control systems...
The major problems come from extremely low frequencies, but higher frequencies have the same effects if pulsed or modulated in the ELF range. This is very often the case, for, to transmit information, microwaves or radio waves must be shaped. This is done by interrupting the beam to form pulses or by modulating the frequency or amplitude (size) of the waves. Furthermore, today’s environment is a latticework of crisscrossing signals in which there’s always the possibility of synergistic effects or the ‘construction’ of new ELF signals from the patterns of interference between two higher frequencies. Therefore, experiments in which cells or organisms are exposed to a single unmodulated frequency, though sometimes useful, are irrelevant outside the lab. They’re most often done by researchers whose only goal is to be able to say, ‘See, there’s no cause for alarm.’”
If you need more convincing, we encourage you to review some of the many studies documenting the adverse health effects of electromagnetic radiation. It should become obvious that the sheer number of studies from such diverse countries and respected research institutions showing such varying detrimental health consequences, makes the question of the dangers of EMF exposure indisputable. Below are some resources for learning more about these dangers:
- The Bioinitiative Report
- Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
- Environmental Health Trust
- Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D. Annotated Bibliography of Scientific Papers
- EMF Portal
- International EMF Alliance
- The Prove-It Initiative
- National Toxicology Program Cell Phone Study
- CBS Marketplace Cell Phone Report (video)
- Dr. Mercola on the Health Consequences of EMF Exposure