There are a lot of questions about what is EMF radiation and how it affects our bodies. From wifi dangers, to microwave radiation, there is EMF radiation all around us. So what exactly is it, what are the potential dangers, and what can we do?
What You Will Learn
- What is EMF Radiation?
- How do we Measure the Impact of EMF Radiation?
- What Causes EMFs?
- Are EMFs Dangerous?
- What is EMF Exposure and Are There Risks?
- Can EMFs Be Avoided?
- How Can I Limit EMF Exposure?
- Aren’t Microwave Radiation Dangers a Myth?
- How Can I Mitigate EMF Damage?
- What Will You Do About EMFs?
What is EMF Radiation?
Electromagnetic fields (EMF) occur when electric current flows in one direction, and magnetic waves flow at a right angle to the current—the EMF is perpendicular to both. Think of the corner of a cube; each edge represents one of these energy directions. The wider energy field created where these forces collide is where EMFs occur.
EMFs are known to have a powerful influence in many ways. All wireless signals are EMFs of some kind. This is the technology that brings us remote controls, radio, walkie talkies, cell phone reception, and even Wi-Fi access. EMFs are not an exclusive result of cutting edge technology—household electric wiring, high voltage wires, X-rays, and even visible light all have EMFs as well.
According to Maxwell’s Law, EMFs can even occur near an electric current, not just in direct contact with the current. To further complicate matters, additional EMFs can be created or an existing EMF can be magnified when in contact with other forms of energy, such as heat or light. (1)
How do we Measure the Impact of EMF Radiation?
The full impact of EMFs on human health is largely a question mark; however, many studies conclusively verify harm to humans including an increased risk of several forms of cancer. Numerous other studies have attempted to demonstrate any kind of positive impact from low level man-made EMF exposure via various methods with uncertain results.
EMFs are considered to be low level if their frequency does not exceed that of visible light and if their radiation is non-ionizing; some examples of low level radiation include visible light, cell phones, Bluetooth devices, microwave ovens, computers, laptops, tablets, and power lines. Microwaves are among the highest frequency EMFs that can still be considered low level.
EMF DANGERSBecause the reported symptoms of EMF overexposure vary so much, it can be a difficult field of study. Further, no reliable threshold has been established regarding how much exposure at what strength is too much.
The safety limit now in place was established in 1953—long before the explosion of modern EMF-emitters—by Herman Schwan. (2) This limit was based on the amount of heat the EMF emits, and we now know that heat is the least of our worries; Schwan later went on record to say he had learned more and changed his mind and that this limit was inadequate due to the non-heat effects of EMFs.
Further, no test of the EMFs in the atmosphere has been conducted by the US since 1979! A distinction has been made between ionizing and non-ionizing EMFs as well, but this field is still wide open to study.
Understanding EMFs is vitally important because of the unprecedented level of exposure in our technologically advancing world. Since we and our vulnerable, developing children are so constantly barraged with EMFs, and because there is a valid risk of long-term damage, we must continue to investigate the influence and health repercussions of EMFs to ensure basic safety.
What Causes EMFs?
Man-made electromagnetic fields are caused by electronic devices, particularly those that emit certain types of communication waves with an electric current perpendicular to a magnetic field. Microwave ovens emit EMFs as do radio towers, Wi-Fi towers and routers, cell phones, and more common devices like laptops, tablets, and cell phones.
Naturally occurring EMFs exist in the created universe with no human interference. The sun, the earth, the moon and other bodies have their own EMF frequency. The frequency of the Earth is known as Schumann’s number or Schumann’s resonance and is believed to have a healing and grounding effect on people exposed to manmade EMFs. (See Handbook of Atmospheric Electrodynamics)
Even the human body runs on electrical and magnetic energy as evidenced by the effectiveness of defibrillators that can shock the heart back into its normal rhythm.
Are EMFs Dangerous?
The symptoms of low level microwave EMF overexposure involve a cluster of symptoms including: (3)
- Fatigue & Tiredness
- Dysesthesia – Impairment of the Senses
- Dizziness & Inability-to-Balance
- Difficulty Concentrating & Lack-of-Focus
- Depression & Depressive Symptoms
- Concentration & Attention Dysfunction
- Loss of Appetite & Body Weight
- Memory Changes
- Restlessness & Anxiety
- Skin Burning & Tingling
- EEG Changes (Heart)
Low frequency electromagnetic fields are believed to be less dangerous than high frequency EMFs; however, people chronically exposed to lower frequencies may still experience symptoms or even long-term damage.
High frequency EMFs are thought to be more damaging, but the truth is, the damage may simply be more immediately apparent. If you expose your skin to bright sunlight for too long, you will notice a sunburn fairly soon from the sun’s energy. Marie Curie unfortunately discovered the dangers of radiation poisoning soon after experimenting on herself with newly discovered X-ray waves.
These are examples of EMF harm, but they are not the only ones. The cumulative effects of nearly constant low-level EMF exposure are largely unknown.
THE GREAT EXPERIMENTAs a society, we are allowing and even embracing this technology in our lives and in our children’s spaces without stopping to question the health impact. It is almost as if we’ve collectively signed on for a massive experiment with no safety parameters nor informed consent because the technology has not existed long enough to have been adequately studied.
It is important to remember that the effects of EMFs are cumulative, meaning that they build up over time, and never decrease without being specifically treated and significantly decreasing new exposure. Many scientists are concerned with EMF exposure risks and with good reason. (4)
What is EMF Exposure and Are There Risks?
Some of known risks of EMF overexposure are identified in the following studies:
- Heart Damage. EMFs alter your ECG readings—that is, they affect the functioning of your heart. (5)
- Brain Cancer from Microwaves. There is a 28% higher incidence of brain tumors with exposure to extremely low or low frequency EMFs, specifically microwave EMFs. (6)
- Depression & Mental Illness from Microwaves. EMFs including microwaves can cause psychiatric harm including depression. (7)
- Malignant Brain Tumors. The World Health Organization has identified EMF radiation as a probable human carcinogen capable of causing glioma (malignant brain tumors), and this National Institute of Health study goes one step further, stating EMFs should be regarded as such. (8, 9)
- Childhood Leukemia/ Blood Cancer. Your child’s proximity to electric wiring in the house, high voltage lines outside, or even radio towers can double his or her risk of leukemia and increase the risk of childhood cancer in general. (10, 11)
- Breast Cancer. Household and occupational levels of EMFs are associated with increased occurrence of breast cancer in women. (12)
- Brain Cancer from Cell Phones. It is now definitive. “Heavy” use of cell phones (defined as 30 minutes daily for at least 10 years) results in higher incidence of brain cancer, especially on the preferred side (left or right), especially for people who first used a cell phone before age 20, and the higher the use, the greater the risk. (13, 14)
Can EMFs Be Avoided?
No, you cannot avoid all EMFs. Not only do naturally occurring bodies produce EMFs, but it’s no longer feasible to avoid even the man-made EMFs. Even locales as remote as the polar ice caps use EMF-emitting technology to communicate. Most of us are essentially surrounded.
Although, you cannot entirely eliminate EMF exposure, there is a lot that can be done to avoid the most harmful sources and to limit the total cumulative exposure from even low-level sources.
How Can I Limit EMF Exposure?
Strategies to limit EMF exposure while using the internet, computers, and other devices:
- When Using a Laptop or Computer – Place it on a table or EMF shield, further away from you, instead of on your lap or close to your body.
- Playing Movies on a Tablet for Kids – Instead of having it in their laps or directly behind your head on the seat, try mounting the tablet between the seatbacks.
- Connecting to the Internet – Use a LAN hard-wired connection when possible, and unplug the router when not in use.
- Talking on Your Cell Phone – Use wired headphones or speaker phone over a bluetooth earpiece or holding the phone against your head.
- Allowing Kids on Tablets and Computers – Install or display games on a TV screen when possible, and limit time spent on electronic devices.
- Sending Files Between In-Home Devices – Use a hard-wired connection or LAN connection when possible vs bluetooth connection.
- Using a Microwave – Leave the room when the microwave is in use, or substitute what you use the microwave for in your home.
Aren’t Microwave Radiation Dangers a Myth?
Maybe you remember the microwave oven scares from when microwave technology was fairly young, and people mistrusted something so different and new. Our minds have been relatively easy since the dangers of microwaving in plastic containers were proven and addressed.
Many people believe the only microwave danger was shown to be a plastic-related problem—that’s why we now have BPA-free plastics, right? What we know about the potential risks of microwaving food, apart from toxic chemicals leaching from plastic into food, centers around electromagnetic fields. Electromagnetic fields, or EMFs are emitted by many devices including microwaves, and can be harmful.
WHAT WE DO NOT KNOWBecause the microwaves (not the microwave ovens, but the actual waves) themselves are a form of radiant energy (radiation), the inherent risks must be carefully investigated and considered. We know heating food in plastic is harmful, but what is the risk of EMFs from microwaves? What we don’t know about EMFs can harm us.
Consider the fact that when microwave ovens were first available to consumers, they frequently came with a bonus set of BPA-laden, “microwave-safe” dishes! To date, there is no smoking gun showing that microwaving food has directly caused a disease.
We do not fully understand all the effects of microwave radiation on human health. We do not know the full extent of the harm that EMFs can cause, either. However, after examining the evidence, you, too may wish to limit your family’s exposure to EMFs.
Why is it even important to consider a limit on EMF exposure or microwave use?
One might say, the dearth of solid knowledge in combination with many health implications is precisely the reason for further investigation. We can only make good decisions if we have good information. A technology that touches so many lives at such a basic-needs level—our food preparation—warrants close scrutiny if there is any chance it may cause harm.
We all love the convenience of microwave cooking. If you’re in love with your time saving, but EMF-emitting microwave, this section is just for you. As a concerned parent, or health-conscious consumer, you may be considering getting rid of the microwave altogether after looking at the research.
Here are specific strategies to ditch your microwave for non-EMF generating food preparation:
- Pop Your Popcorn with Air – Instead of using the microwave for popcorn, which includes a host of other chemicals beyond the microwave use, try using an air-pop machine or whirly bird stove top popper.
- Heating Water or Coffee – Instead of reheating coffee in the microwave, try single-serve coffee makers or coaster-size hot plates to keep your cup of Joe warm. Use an electric kettle for instant hot water.
- Cooking Personal Size Meals – Use a toaster oven instead of a microwave for quick meals made in smaller portions without the EMF exposure of a microwave.
- Reheating Leftovers – Mama Z has a tried and true method of reheating leftovers without the need for a microwave; Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 8-15 minutes. BONUS – the texture is better too!
- Thawing Meat – There are several ways to thaw meat that doesn't require a microwave. If you forget to defrost it in the fridge overnight, try placing the meat in a sealed, waterproof baggie in a sink of warm water.
Replacing your microwave isn't the only step you can take to create a more healthy environment in your home.
How Can I Mitigate EMF Damage?
By this point, you may feel like a walking science fair experiment. No worries—there are ways to correct and heal after EMF exposure, and this will happen more quickly if you also limit exposure as much as possible. If you feel you already have concerning symptoms of EMF overexposure or you know you have been exposed to high levels of EMFs, it’s best to consult with a trusted, knowledgeable health care provider.
If you are simply concerned, but do not yet display unusual symptoms, you can try these measures at home.
Healing Frequencies In Your Home
We use Wholetones in our home to play healing frequency music throughout our home, morning to night. Wholetones music selections come in seven healing frequencies – 396 Hz, 417 Hz, 444 Hz, 528 Hz, 639 Hz, 741 Hz, and 852 Hz. We love that Wholetones comes with both the Wholetones healing music, and the Wholetones 2 Sleep to encourage healthful, restorative sleep. Listen to the free samples on the Wholetones website, and then add it to your home today.
Himalayan Pink Salt
Himalayan pink salt can help normalize the ion balance in your body, not only by eating it, but also just by physical contact. A salt soak is very beneficial, even if you only soak your feet. Pink salt slabs are sold to rest your feet on, so you can reap the benefits of salt without soaking—try one under your desk at work. Himalayan salt lamps help balance the ionic levels in your home continuously.
No, you don’t need to send your children to their rooms. Grounding is a method of returning your EMF frequency to the frequency of the natural environment by standing barefoot on the good, clean earth for as little as 20 minutes per day.
Bathing in moving water can also encourage your EMF to return to normal, and it does not require a swim. Spending time walking or resting near a natural body of water (i.e. not a dam or swimming pool) with natural movement (rivers, creeks, ocean rather than a pond) has an effect similar to grounding.
Mineral-rich or salt-water not only shows promising medical results for many difficult ailments, but it can also combine the benefits of natural salt therapy with those of moving water. What a great reason to visit your local natural hot springs and reset your electromagnetic field!
Unplug Your Home and Mind
It seems obvious but is often overlooked. Dedicating a week or more to occasionally escape all electronic devices is very good medicine, especially if you choose an escape like camping where you may find: opportunities to get away from most high-level EMFs, plenty of time to go barefoot, and even a creek nearby. This includes simply unplugging your wi-fi router overnight while you’re asleep to prevent passive exposure during the nighttime hours.
What Will You Do About EMFs?
Learning about EMFs is not enough if it only causes worry or anxiety. Now is the time to formulate a plan to limit or avoid the EMFs in your environment and to heal the overload.
Some strategies can be applied right away—today:
- Salt soak – Try adding these detox essential oils to your bath for added benefits.
- Keeping devices off laps and on tables.
- Download and listen to healing frequency wholetones music.
Some take planning, but are achievable this week:
- Buy wired headphones.
- Find an EMF shield for your most-used device.
- Introduce new time limits for children’s electronics if needed.
- Switch to microwave-free cooking strategies.
- Consider adding a pink salt lamp or slab to your home.
It may take more advanced planning and a month or two to implement some changes:
- Plan some unplugged time in nature into your next vacation.
- Research your local natural hot springs.
- Develop a habit of spending time near natural bodies of water.
- Limit your own electronics time as much as possible.
Long term goals take time, but are worth the effort:
- Learn where high-EMF towers are (or are planned when considering a home purchase.)
- Be proactive about EMF safety at your child’s school and in your work environment.
- Establish regular habits to heal the EMF damage and prevent new exposure.
EMF radiation caused by microwaves, wifi signals, and other devices in your home can impact your health. But a few simple changes can help make your home healthier. Where will you start in detoxing your home today? If you need more ideas, let us help with our Toxic-Free Healthy Home Makeover tour.