Electromagnetic-Frequency (EMF) noise is around us everywhere. Electric and magnetic fields are invisible areas of energy, often referred to as radiation and are associated with the use of electrical power, various forms of natural and man-made lighting and wireless communication. EMFs are typically characterized by wavelength or frequency into one of two radioactive categories:
- Non-ionizing: low-level radiation which is generally perceived as harmless to humans
- Ionizing: high-level radiation which has the potential for cellular and DNA damage
The ionizing part of EMF we already discussed in the previous chapters, when we spoke about mid- to high-frequency radiation which can lead to cellular and or DNA damage at a certain exposure time. Ionizing radiation are Ultra Violet light, X-rays and gamma rays.
Here we want to have a look on the low-level radiation and see if it is really as harmless as perceived.
Let’s have first a look on the top 3 sources of non-ionizing EMF pollution:
Anything using electricity and is not properly shielded emanates electric fields. Basically any house hold device like your radio, your TV, lamps and kitchen devices and even the electric wiring in your house emanates electric fields. The higher the energy, the higher the electric field and if you have a look on high-power transmission lines we are talking about really strong electric fields, strong enough you can feel their presence. Even older metal plumbing can carry a current and emanate electric fields.
Long time exposure to such electric fields can affect the electrical communication in your body, such as your brainwaves, or the ability of your neurons to fire and communicate. It can also impede inter-cell communication anywhere in your body.
- neurological- and behavioral changes
- altered cell growth
- cell mutations
- muscle pain (fibromyalgia)
- chronic fatigue.
These fields can occur when there is an imbalance in the electrical wiring, and around electrical motors such as the motor in your refrigerator, but also the main power meter can cause a strong magnetic field. According to the WHO: Electricity is transmitted over long distances via high voltage power lines. Transformers reduce these high voltages for local distribution to homes and businesses. Electricity transmission and distribution facilities and residential wiring and appliances account for the background level of power frequency electric and magnetic fields in the home. In homes not located near power lines this background field may be up to about 0.2 µT. Directly beneath power lines the fields are much stronger. Magnetic flux densities at ground level can range up to several µT. Electric field levels underneath power lines can be as high as 10 kV/m.
- There are very controversial discussions going on for decades if and how strong is the impact of magnetic fields on us human and how high are the cancer risks at a certain strength of the magnetic field.
Wireless communication is based on transmitting information using a high frequency band. Items such as cell phones, cell phone towers, wireless routers, wireless headsets, cordless phones are a major source of EMF Fields. Be aware cell phones emanate constantly a EMF if in use or not. Imagine what happens when we now start deploying thousands or millions, or even billions more tiny Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, each equipped with a transmitter or a way to connect to the Internet. RF pollution will undoubtedly increase.
There is no clear proof EMF is harmful – you can find hundreds of pages on the internet claiming EMF is a highly dangerous pollutant, but a clear proof is not there. Maybe the time was too short, maybe the long-term effects of EMF needs to be studied in more detail. Only time will tell, but we can make a few small adjustments in our environment just to be sure.
- As EMF fields drop off with distance to the source use wired headsets when you make a long call
- Don’t sleep direct beside your WiFi router – keep it in the next room
- Don’t sleep in the same room where you have appliances with an electromotor
After all: safe is safe!