More and more studies are pointing to the dangers of EMFs for people of all ages and backgrounds, but a recent Italian study has confirmed that this is particularly true for pregnant women.
(EMF means electromagnetic field.)
Electric fields are created by differences in voltage and magnetic fields are created wherever current flows. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these fields affect humans because of our various systems, digestive system, nervous system and heart & brain etc function by virtue of our own biochemical & electrical responses. When you are exposed to man-made EMFs they interfere with your body’s communication processes and can affect its function in various adverse ways. Brain tumors, cancers, autism in children and reduced fertility in women have all been linked to EMF exposure.
Most people give little or no thought to the electromagnetic radiation or electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in their environment. But EMFs have worked their way into just about everybody’s daily life.
Twenty years ago, most people did not own a cell phone, they had never heard/seen a cordless phone and they would not have had a clue what WiFi even meant.
All this technology is great. It has simplified our lives significantly. But did you know that it also uses electromagnetic fields to make it work and that more and more people are beginning to ask questions about the possible adverse health consequences of these EMFs. Much of the debate centers around cell phone use.
Only a few days ago, the World Health Organization, proclaimed that cell phones were possibly carcinogenic. They have publicly stated that as little as 30 minutes per day on a cell phone could have adverse health consequences.
But what about electromagnetic fields and fertility? Could there be a link?
You might be surprised to learn that there is a growing body of research pointing to the adverse effects of electromagnetic radiation on human fertility. Only last month researchers in Austria and Canada found that cell phone use may lead to lower sperm quality and a decrease in fertility.
Tim Ferriss, bestselling author of the Four Hour Work week ran tests on his own sperm count and found it to be low. He started to do some research on the subject and realized that electromagnetic radiation could be the cause. He stopped carrying his cell phone in his pocket for 3 months and his sperm count doubled in three months.
Where Do EMFs Originate?
They come from electricity, plain and simple.
Sources of EMF in the home – Vacuums, hairdryers, DECT cordless phones, irons, microwaves, (TVs, and flat panels are lower emitting than old-style ones), lighting & main ring circuits, electric blankets, dimmers, electric toothbrushes and razors, wireless game consoles, and so on.
Sources of EMF in the Office – Computer radiation is usually the biggest issue. Other sources are halogen or fluorescent lighting, air-conditioning, cell phones, photocopiers, faxes, cell phones, scanners & WiFi.
Sources of EMFs Outside – Transformers, power lines (overhead or buried), cell phone towers, electrical substations, Wimax provided by cities, and EMF from your neighbors’ electronic equipment.
Nearly all of our electrical conveniences these days emit EMFs to varying degrees. So, to reduce your exposure do you have to go off grid?
No, you don’t. There are lots of things you can do to limit your exposure.
How To Reduce Your EMF Exposure at Home
Cell Phone Towers: If you can see one facing your bedroom window and it’s less than 300 meters (about 1000 feet) away, then I would advise looking into ways to shield. If the cell towers are that close, but obstructed, then its less of an issue. Anything in the way of EMFs will absorb them to some extent.
Electrical Substations – These are where electricity is distributed, generated, and where the voltage is changed from high to low, or vice versa. They can be outside in a cabinet or enclosure, and they are usually up on poles or surrounded by a barbed wire or chain link fence.
If you live next door to one, there’s not much you can do to decrease EMFs. If they’re at least five or six meters (about 20 feet) away, they’ll produce background levels only.
Power Lines Overhead – Again there is no guaranteed safe distance but if you’re at least 500 feet away, then the EMFs will generally drop to safe levels.
Cordless Phones (DECT) – These units are constantly emitting radiation, 24/7, even if not in use. Use a regular landline instead. If you crave for cordless, there are a few solutions. You can get an eco or low-emf phone, as these only emit EMFs when in use.
WiFi – In your home this and DECT phones are the biggest culprits for emitting EMFs. In your home, they have power densities way above any cell phone tower that’s close by. WiFi in your office or home or school can be replaced with a router that’s hard-wired.
Video game consoles – the Nintendo Wii, for instance, is reliant on electromagnetic emitting handheld controllers. The PlayStation 3 does exist in a wired version but most people buy the wireless version which emits electromagnetic radiation. You are best advised to limit the time you spend using these devices.
Baby Alarms (digital) – Nearly all baby monitors are now digital. They use the same technology that DECT phones cordless do meaning microwave energy is being pulsed throughout your infant’s room, and even beyond. Try and hunt down an old analog version instead which is much safer.
Electrical Transformers – This is the unit that converts your high voltage to low. A digital alarm clock on your nightstand uses 6 volts but is plugged into the wall and uses your 120-volt electricity (240 in the UK). Any “extra” volts are given off into the air as heat and energy.
Transformers in these clocks are usually inside of them, under the casing. Some are black rectangles attached to a thin cord and these get hot to the touch because electricity is, quite frankly, being transformed and it heats up in there. Always place these and internal clock ones at least a couple of feet from your body.
Electrical Wiring – When you sleep is when you are most vulnerable. Unfortunately, many houses have wiring which creates high levels of EMFs. You can get this checked with an EM meter, or just pulling your bed away from the wall can reduce your exposure significantly.
Are Radio Frequency EMFs The Worst Offenders?
Wireless devices like cell phones, WiFi, digital baby monitors and cordless phones emit and receive EMFs in the radio frequency part of the spectrum and nearly all these devices use pulsed signals which studies have shown to be particularly virulent. But whether these EMFs are more or less dangerous than EMFs lower down the spectrum is difficult to say.
What we can say is that these EMFs are potentially creating more of a problem because they are adding another layer of EMF pollution into our daily life, one which is for all intents and purposes totally invisible.
Added to which, these exposures are cumulative. If at home you have WiFi, cordless phones and baby monitors, the latter being of particular concern because they are used around babies and young children, which have been shown to be more vulnerable you need to act.
Follow the above tips to safeguard you and your family’s health.
Lloyd Burrell became electrically sensitive in 2002. He has spent the last 10 years researching the effects of electromagnetic fields on our health. He shares his knowledge on his EMF protection website Electricsense.com and by writing on other peoples blogs on the Internet. You can also follow him on Twitter.