WHAT ARE EMFs?
EMFs are electromagnetic fields or frequencies. While it seems to be the consensus that these are not harmful and companies who make these products would like for us to believe that there are no health consequences, the science is saying otherwise. EMFs are capable of being a constant stressor to the body, endocrine disruptors, DNA breakers and cell mutators (2).
TYPES OF EMFs
There are two types of this radiation – ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation can mutate and change DNA very quickly by knocking an electron out of orbit, breaking chemical bonds. A few types of ionizing radiation are UV radiation, x-rays and gamma rays. Non-ionizing radiation, while it doesn’t not carry enough energy to ionize atoms or molecules, it excites cells and has the potential over time to impact the cell in the same ways as ionizing radiation. This is a more gradual destruction process. Types of non-ionizing radiation are electric fields, laptops, phones, WiFi, magnetic fields, radio waves, and microwaves. Voltage gated calcium channels are stimulated by this type of radiation, and cause oxidative stress and damage to cells.
DANGERS OF EMFS
EMFs are able to penetrate the blood brain barrier and the placental barrier. These barriers keep toxins out of the blood and organs, so this is scary stuff. As mentioned above, EMFs can cause DNA mutations and changes, and even cause cell death. The SAR or specific absorption rate guidelines are based on 6-minutes of usage, using a mannequin head full of water, with a phone held 5mm from the head, according to author Nicolas Pineault, of the book, “The non-tinfoil guide to EMFs.” A study showed that when men kept a laptop on their lap, their sperm motility declined (1), and 2% of women developed tumors.
Additionally, being surrounded by this radiation all of the time affects sleep (5), and sleep is when the body cleans house and rids itself of toxins. The exposure to radiation raises cortisol levels – the stress hormone, and decreases melatonin production. When we are sleeping, we want more melatonin production to both keep us asleep, and to help us to fall asleep initially. Having potential sleep disturbances due to EMFs is of huge concern.
Children have a much thinner skull than adults, so you can imagine the damage to the brains of children is even worse than that of adults. It is thought to be 2x as much. These exposures have been linked to a greater risk of cancer, cognitive impairment and hormonal issues (3). As you may know, holding a cell phone to ones head causes tissue damage and is linked with brain cancer. It is highly recommended to majorly reduce exposures of EMFs for children. Perhaps the most scary issue is not knowing the future health problems that our children may face.
Consistent epidemiologic evidence of an association between childhood leukemia and exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields has led to their classification by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a “possible human carcinogen.” (4)
REDUCING YOUR EXPOSURE
Since we are constantly surrounded by these electromagnetic fields whether at work, at home, while traveling and while outside the home, there are several things we can do within our homes to lessen the EMF load.
1) Consider using a timer on your router to turn WiFi off while you are sleeping
2) Keep cell phones and electronic devices out of the bedroom, and use airplane mode at night.
3) Do not make skin contact with any electronic device.
4) Use speaker when talking on the phone.
5) Highly reduce childrens’ use of electronic devices and screen time.
6) Delay children having their own cell phone.
7) Turn off printers, Apple TV and other electronic devices when not in use.
8) If you have a smart meter, consider getting rid of it!
9) Go back to wires instead of cordless devices.
Do you try to reduce your exposure to EMFs? How?