You can’t see them, you can’t hear them, you can’t taste them, but they are out there: electromagnetic fields (EMFs). And, they are affecting your health even if you do not realize it. We are all bombarded with electrical and magnetic frequencies as well as wireless radiation, dirty electricity and artificial light on a daily basis, at levels much higher previous generations.
Natural EMFs have been around since the beginning of time and are necessary for our health and well-being – EMFs are created by our bodies through our atoms, electrons and nerves, by the universe in the form of gravity and the sun, and by the earth in the form of magnetic fields (as used by a compass) and lightning.
Man-made EMFs, on the other hand, are relatively new and, in most cases, not beneficial to us. Some of the first man-made EMFs were created by radio signals, transmitted by radio towers.
Since the first radio appeared in the late 1800s, there has been a big jump in the amount of man-made EMFs that surround us. Today, there thousands of towers and satellites transmitting signals for radio, television, cell phones, GPS systems, etc. Frequencies created by power lines, electrical wiring in your home, microwave ovens, cordless phones, Wi-Fi routers, and other wireless and electrical devices are also creating EMFs.
You may think you are immune to all these frequencies, but they affect us. If your ear gets hot when you use a cell phone up close to your ear, you are reacting to the EMFs. If you wake up more tired than when you went to sleep the night before, you may be exposing yourself to too many EMFs while you sleep. If you go into work or school and start feeling weak or nauseous around the fluorescent lights and/or Wi-Fi system, you are reacting to EMFs. If you are doing all the right things to be healthy and you are still not feeling well or have unexplainable symptoms, you need to consider EMF toxicity.
We are all exposed to EMFs on a daily basis. They are all around us in our house, in the stores we visit, in our schools and offices, and just driving down the road. The key is to know how to protect yourself and reduce the EMFs that you have control over. Find out how below and learn how to make your house a safe haven.
Types of EMFs
First let’s explore the variety of frequencies found in the man-made electromagnetic spectrum and some of their sources. Starting with the lowest frequencies, they can be divided into the following categories:
- Extremely Low Frequencies (ELFs) – includes power lines and electric blankets as well as video display terminals such as televisions and computer monitors.
- Radio Waves – includes AM/FM signals, short waves radios, and VHF and UHF television frequencies.
- Microwave radiation – in addition to microwaves ovens, these include cell phone antennas/towers, radar, wireless router/networks, cordless phones, wireless speakers, baby monitors, wireless mics/keyboards, smart meters, etc. (These waves are typically subclassified as electromagnetic radiation or EMRs.)
- Infrared – used by devices with remote controls, including garage door openers.
- Visible light – includes things like light bulbs and other lights that emit from electronics.
- Ultraviolet – naturally emitted by the sun, tanning beds are a man-made version.
- X-rays – these include x-rays as well as radiation caused by medical CAT (or CT) scans and whole-body scanners at the airport.
- Gamma Rays – what is used by some medical imaging devices and to irradiate our foods.
Of the above, ionizing radiation (x-rays and gamma rays) can be the most detrimental because these frequencies accumulate in the body long-term. However, the other frequencies can be just as harmful if there is consistent exposure. Some of us react more strongly depending on other factors in our life, like the strength of our immune system, the amount of exposure, how many fillings we have in our mouth, etc.
What the Studies Show
There are plenty of studies showing the detrimental affects of exposure to EMFs and cell phones. Thousands of studies. In fact, one of the most comprehensive studies first commissioned by the telecommunication industry was suppressed due to the many health risks that resulted after several years of testing. After leaving the study, the main researcher and epidemiologist, George Carlos, wrote an eye-opening book on his many findings.
Today, the results of many cell phone and other EMF studies are often conflicting, however, this may be a result of the funding sources. It is good to look at a variety of sources as well as studies done in other countries. Articles like this one indicate the widespread concern throughout the world.
Health Affects of EMFs
Both ancient oriental medicine and modern quantum physics hold the belief that our bodies are made up of specific energies and/or frequencies. Oriental medicine uses terms like chakras and meridians. In quantum physics, these frequencies are expressed as cells, organs, and tissues, which are constantly interacting with each other and the external environment.
Man-made EMFs interfere with this balance. They are especially deceptive because we can’t see, hear, or taste them. Most people cannot feel them either. In fact, the effects on our bodies can be so subtle that we don’t realize we are being affected. However, long-term they are causing havoc in our bodies all the way to the cellular level. First and foremost, EMFs affect our sympathetic nervous system: they stimulate the flight-or-fight response which in turn raises our cortisol level (your stress hormone), causing it to fluctuate unnaturally which can result in many health disorders. In children, this can create an underdeveloped nervous system.
In addition, certain electromagnetic frequencies alter DNA, disrupt cell membrane function, and cause leaks in the blood-brain barrier. Man-made EMFs can also alter the nutrients in our body. For example, exposure to EMFs increases free radicals in the body (requiring more antioxidants), depresses the production of melatonin, and reduces calcium metabolism at the cellular level.
Some common symptoms of overexposure to EMFs include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision, feelings of warmth, numbness, blistering skin, nose bleeds, sleep disorders, and decreased brain function. Long term, man-made EMFs are known to create neurological problems, cardiac issues, respiratory and digestive problems, thyroid issues, and even cancer. Premature aging, learning impairments, and a suppressed immune system can also occur.
The term “digital dementia” has been applied to high EMF exposure as well, especially in children. Not only are they exposed to non-ionizing radiation through the many electronic devices they use (i.e.: iPads, cell phones, video games, etc.), but because of their over exposure to this technology, they lack basic social skills in addition to being more physiologically sensitive.
Reducing Your Exposure to EMFs and EMRs
Prevention is the best way to reduce your exposure to both EMFs and EMRs. Reduce the amount of time you use electrical and wireless devices and keep them at a distance whenever possible. In many cases, EMFs are strongest when closest to the source; as you move away from the source the strength of the field fades quickly. You also need to consider constant bombardment from Wi-Fi signals, which can travel through walls and from room to room. Overall, EMF and EMR exposure needs to be reduced as much as possible so that your body has time to rest, rejuvenate, and regenerate at the cellular level.
ELECTRICAL DEVICES (EMFs)
Go through your home and evaluate some of the biggest culprits. The electrical devices with some of the highest EMFs include digital clocks, refrigerators, microwaves, televisions, hair dryers and electrical shavers, coffee makers, food processors, and garbage disposals. Computers and televisions are also high in EMFs, including the in-line transformer (power supply) that is integral to the electrical cord.
Here are some tips to reduce exposure:
- Move your digit clock at least 3 to 6 feet from your bed, putting it on a dresser across the room instead. Better yet, change to a non-electrical or battery operated clock.
- Rearrange the room(s) that sit behind or adjacent to your refrigerator and television so that a bed and/or sofa is not directly behind or beside it. (EMFs travel through walls.) You want to be at least 6 to 8 feet away. The old saying of “don’t sit too close to your TV” applies even more so today. The older TVs had a strong EMF plume up to 3 feet away from the TV. Today’s HD TV’s emit strong EMFs up to 9 feet away.
- Use hair dryers and electrical shavers as little as possible. Even better, switch to a manual razor.
- When using an electric oven or other small electrical appliances in the kitchen, put a little distance between you and the appliance when in use. Microwaves have some of the stronger EMFs in the kitchen so stand at least 3 to 6 feet away from it when using. (Or, stop using your microwave all together since it depletes your foods of nutrients.)
- Keep TVs, computers, and other electrical devices out of the bedroom unless absolutely necessary.
- When using a desk top computer, keep the tower as far from where you sit as possible. Also keep any power strip or battery backup at least 3 feet away from where you sit.
- When using a lap top computer, it is best to use it when it is not plugged in because the battery emits much less EMFs than the power cord. And, move the transformer part of the electrical cord as far as the cord will allow. (You can also replace the 2-prong cord with a 3-prong grounded electrical cord.)
- Move printers and scanners away from you too. Not only do they emit more EMFs when in use, but the toner cartridge emits toxins that are best not to breathe in while printing.
- Do not use electric blankets.
If you really want to reduce your EMF exposure from electrical devices, unplug any device that is not in use. If you are really sensitive, you can turn off the breaker at your electrical panel that controls the bedroom areas at night when you sleep.
WIRELESS DEVICES (EMRs or wireless radiation)
Remove as many wireless devices from your home as possible. Cordless phones are one of the worst offenders because the home base station acts like a mini cell tower in your home. There are so many systems that are now available wireless, such as security systems, automated window blinds, and surround sound systems – these are emitting wireless radiation through your house. They may be more convenient, but are they worth your health long-term?
Some tips to reduce your exposure include:
- Keep your cell phone away from your body as much as possible. It is best not to carry it directly on your body – especially in your pocket or bra. If you do carry it near you, like in a holder or purse, make sure the back of the phone is pointing away from you because it is emitting the higher frequencies. Better yet, keep it in a leather pouch and/or use an EMF shield (see more below).
- When using your cell phone, text whenever you can. If you talk on the phone, keep it away from your body by either using the speaker phone feature or getting a special “air tube” headset. (A typical headset or ear buds brings the phone’s EMFs directly to your scull – it transmits thought the wire. An air tube uses air instead of wire which breaks the EMF connection before it reaches your brain.) Do not use blue-tooth head sets that hook directly onto the ear; that is equivalent to having a cell phone against your brain non-stop.
- Do not keep your cell phone in your bedroom. (Putting it under your pillow or near your bed when you sleep is especially harmful.) When you charge it at night, find a location as far as possible from your bedroom(s) and turn off the cell phone at night (or at least put it in airplane mode).
- Get rid of the cordless phone in your house. If you still have a land line, be sure to use a corded phone. And, make sure it is not a “DECT” (digitally enhanced communication technology) phone; they are corded but are just as bad as cordless phones. You can even transfer calls from your cell phone to your land line.
- If you use a Wi-Fi system in your home, consider converting back to a wired system. In our new home, we have a crawl space so we made a point to run wires for TV, phones, and computers, hooking them up to a wired network. If you absolutely need Wi-Fi, consider turning it off when you are not using it and definitely at night when sleeping.
- Baby monitors are another wireless system new parents do not consider. These are especially bad since they are used so close to young children. Like the cordless phone, the home base acts like a mini cell tower.
- When using wireless devices like cell phones, iPads and tablets, keep them away from your body as much as possible. The closer they are to you, the stronger the EMRs. Better yet, use an EMF shield to protect your body. (More on shields below.) Do not use these devices when they are charging because this creates a stronger EMR field.
- GPS systems, whether on your phone or a separate system used in the car, emit even more EMRs because they are constantly searching for the closest satellite. Turn them off when not in use. Personally, I keep my cell phone’s “location” setting to OFF unless I need the GPS function for short-term use.
- The newest devices may be some of the most dangerous. Monitoring devices like Fitbits and Apple Watches, that purposely attached to the body for long periods of time, create a constant EMR exposure directly on your body.
- Another newer device is the “smart meter.” Many utility companies are using them to replace the existing analog meters on your house and can include electrical meters, water meters, and gas meters. These smart meters adds yet another Wi-Fi system to your home and it operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can be more detrimental than your in-house Wi-Fi because of the strength of the signal and the varying pulse of the signal. To learn more about smart meters and what your options are, click here.
Other Things to Consider
House Wiring – If you live in an older home with old wiring, you should get your wiring checked. (A sign of old wiring is 2-prong outlets instead of 3-prong with a ground and old fashioned breakers at the electrical panel.) Older types of wires and electrical outlets give off much stronger EMFs than the newer sheathed wires and devices. You may find you need to rearrange some of your furniture, especially in the bedrooms, to limit your exposure. Other homes may have faulty wiring and/or “dirty electricity” where something was not wired or grounded correctly, causing electrical hot spots. You can purchase your own gauss meter (such as those explained here) and check your house yourself. Dimmer switches should also be avoided because they emit higher EMFs.
Lighting – Fluorescent lights have stronger EMFs than incandescent ones. When selecting light fixtures it is best to select non-fluorescent options. When selecting light bulbs it is better to use a LED or halogen bulb to replace the traditional incandescent bulb, rather than a compact fluorescent light bulb. (Compact fluorescent bulbs also contain mercury so I recommend not using them for that reason alone, especially if you have children in the house where there is a greater chance for them to break.)
Children – Man-made EMFs are especially detrimental to children. Not only are their bodies still growing so more damage can be done at the cellular level, but their smaller size allows a higher concentration. Their skulls are also thinner so EMFs and EMRs can penetrate deeper into the brain, a brain that is still developing. In fact, our skulls do not fully develop and thicken until our early 20s. For this reason, many countries outside the United States have set limits for cell phone use by children. Pregnant women should also limit their EMF exposure, since the effects can pass to the unborn child through the nervous system. For more information on protecting your children, check out Wired Child and this video.)
Dental Work, Braces, and Other Metal in the Body – I could write a whole article on this alone. When you have amalgam fillings or metal implants, your mouth acts as an antenna and picks up frequencies. Metal braces do the same thing, pick up frequencies around your body. The effect to your body is even worse when you have more than one type of metal in your mouth (such as a silver filling and a gold crown) or other metals in your body such as a metal pin (to fuse a bone) or a titanium hip. When you have metal in your body, you need to be especially conscious of limiting electronics and wireless devices near your body. There are ways to help the body cope with this; one method is to use a body shield (see below).
Furniture – In the same way that metal in your body acts as an antenna, metal furniture in your house does the same thing. It tends to attract electromagnetic frequencies. For this reason it is best not to sleep in a bed with a metal frame (and even better not to have a metal springs in your mattress and/or box spring). For other furniture, such as tables and chairs, select wood options rather than metal.
Automobiles – Cars and other vehicles not only produce their own EMFs, but they also amplify the devices you use in the car thereby making the EMFs even more harmful. Think about it: you are driving in a vehicle that has a metal frame that does not allow the EMFs to escape. Instead, these frequencies continue to bounce around and through you as you are driving – EMFs from cell phones, GPS, OnStar, etc. The metal may even amplify the signals. When you talk on the phone while driving, your phone is working harder to search for cell towers to maintain your connection, making the EMFs stronger. A GPS system is also putting off higher EMRs as it works to communicate with satellites as you drive. (Airplanes are even worse because there are multiple users.)
Schools and Office Buildings – In your own home, most people have control over the EMFs that surround them. (The one exception is the Wi-Fi signals emitted from close neighbors.) However, many schools and office buildings have now gone wireless too. Until you can convince your school or office to institute a wireless-free policy, the best you can do is protect yourself with various shielding methods, especially helpful is a body shield (see below).
EMF Shields and Protection
Purposely reducing your exposure to man-made EMFs, using the steps above, is important and a good first step. However, there are shielding devices and materials that can also help. Below are several options.
Protective Shields – There are some products that can be used around an electronic device that enclose or shield you from the EMFs they give off. An example is a shielded leather case to carry your smart phone. There are also shielded covers for your iPad or tablet. In most cases, it is the back of the device that emits the strongest frequency so using a shielded pad between yourself and your laptop computer or tablet will be very helpful. (See more here.) A smart meter shield is also important.
EMF Shields and Pendants – Other shields are available that claim to to counteract the detrimental frequencies emitted by electronics and wireless devices. These are shields or pendants you can wear, secure to your devices, and even plug in to an outlet in your home or office. However, you need be discerning when purchasing these. Not all are created equal so be sure there is third party testing and results that are measurable before investing in a product. The problems is that (1) what works for one person may not necessary benefit another and (2) having a shield on a device makes people feel like they are protected and they stop taking additional precautions. You still need to limit their use as described above.
Building Materials – If there are EMFs in your house that you are not able to control and you know it is affecting your health, you may need to look into using certain building materials to create a safe area in your home. There are special building products, fabrics, films, and even paints that can be used. You can also create a sleep sanctuary around your bed by using a EMF-protecting bed canopy. (Check out this website for more information.)
Nutrients, Homeopathics and Essential Oils – Another way to protect yourself long-term is to use products to build your body’s natural defenses. Nutrients such as certain minerals and vitamins can be taken to counteract the damage caused by electromagnetic frequencies. Antioxidants are especially helpful with free-radicals created in the body not only from EMFs but also other toxins in our environment. In addition, there are specific homeopathic remedies and essential oils that can be used to help protect yourself.
Creating Safe Zones
There are frequencies that heal the body and frequencies that harm the body. When you are continually bombarding your body with man-made frequencies that the body does not recognize, health problems will arise. It is just a matter of time. In this day and age it is virtually impossible to eliminate all detrimental EMFs. The key is to give your body a break. Create safe spaces in your home, starting with the bedrooms, that are free from electronics and Wi-Fi by using the suggestions above so that your body has a place to heal and regenerate.
To learn more about ways to protect yourself from man-made frequencies and how specific nutrients and homeopathics can help, contact Life Design for Health for a personal consultation.