- EMFs are a serious threat to public health that has not been well addressed by public policy
- Research shows the adverse effects of EMFs which include oxidative stress, DNA damage, brain cancer, infertility, and lower immunity
- In foetuses and children, the effects are worse due to their susceptibility to radiation and their developing nervous system
- You can take multiple actions to limit your EMF exposure today including safe usage of mobile phones, transition to cable-based connections, and using anti-EMF clothes (code: 360UPGRADE for 15% off Lambs)
As the world becomes increasingly connected, we’re surrounded by invisible forces known as non-native Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs), powering our wireless communications such as bluetooth, 5G, and Wifi. The majority of these technologies have developed in the 21st century, but the shocking truth is that most countries still rely on outdated EMF guidelines from the 1990s, a time when exposure was much lower and EMF safety was determined by the absence of acute heating.
Decades later, new research is revealing the negative impacts of EMFs on our health and wellbeing, yet public policy and EMF guidelines seem to ignore the accumulating new evidence.
Are EMFs as safe as we are made to believe? And what can you do about them? Read on to uncover the real facts.
Figure 1: Growth in exposure to radiofrequency over time
What are EMFs
Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) are a type of energy that travels through space, and that is emitted by almost all objects. This includes the heat from your body, the light from the sun, and cosmic rays from celestial bodies in space.
An EMF is characterised by its wavelength which defines how much energy it transports. The higher the energy, the lower the wavelength. Gamma cosmic rays and x-rays are high energy and are ionizing, meaning they can strip an atom from its electron (oxidation). UV from sunlight is also ionizing but to a lesser degree, while visible light and radio frequencies have less energy and a higher wavelength. The Earth also emits EMFs called the Schumann resonance, and are in the Extremely Low Frequency portion of the EMF spectrum.
The majority of our wireless communication technologies (wifi, bluetooth, 3g, 4g, 5g) leverage the radio frequency portion of the EMF spectrum to transmit information.
Figure 2: The electromagnetic spectrum
Health impact of EMFs
For a long time, EMFs have been considered safe as long as they didn’t lead to acute heating of body parts. Most of today’s EMF safety guidelines relies on this paradigm.
In addition, the old research used to define these guidelines was made at a time when wireless technology was nascent and limited. In many studies, “high mobile use” was considered to be 1 hour per week over 6 months – which is actually low usage by today’s standards!
Thanks to newer research, we know that long exposure to EMFs (which, if you’re in a city, is likely the case) is associated with multiple health risks:
DNA damage: Exposure to EMFs has been found to increase oxidative stress in our cells which in turn leads to chronic disease and DNA damage [R].
Infertility: When infertility rates started climbing, researchers observed that exposure to cell phones decreased sperm count. In-vitro studies then revealed that when sperm is exposed to EMFs, sperm count, motility, and vitality all decrease significantly [R]
Figure 3: RF-EMR exposure decreases motility and vitality of human sperm while also inducing intracellular oxidative stress
Fig 4: Effects of RF-EMW on cellular and sub-cellular structures
Immune System: Long term exposure to radiofrequency radiation leads to a decrease in adaptive immune response – this is the ability of your body to mount an immune response specific to a particular virus or pathogen, and is crucial in many disease healing processes [R].
Cancer: The most serious impact of EMFs on health remains its association with cancer. In fact, recent studies on mice have linked EMFs to brain tumors [R]. In humans, multiple studies have found that people with brain tumors are more likely to be heavy mobile users [R, R2]. And in more than 38 case reports, young women with no genetic predisposition, but who use their phones between their breasts, developed breast cancer right around the region of contact between their phones and breasts – indicating that EMFs were again linked to higher cancer occurence [R].
A lot more research is needed, especially around the more subtle manifestations of EMFs such as insomnia, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue [R], but at this point, there is enough evidence to agree that EMFs are certainly not safe, and certainly not at current guideline levels.
EMFs and Children
In children, the effects of EMFs are even more pronounced for a number of reasons [R]
- Children have higher conductance compared to adults
- A larger share of their head is exposed to EMFs due to the smaller size of their head
- They are exposed over a longer period of time as they are born into the wireless world
- Their central nervous system is still developing and thus more prone to long-term effects
Figure 5: Children exposure is higher
Now we have all seen how children adore ipads, tablets, and phones – so there is a clear and increasing risk for the future generation – this makes it even more important to take measures against EMFs for the young.
A recent study has compared the performance of students in schools near a cell tower and those in schools without a cell tower in its vicinity. The results were clear, the high exposure to EMF produced by cell towers was associated with delayed motor skills, spatial working memory, and attention [R].
Prenatal exposure of foetuses has even longer-lasting effects. Mice that have been exposed to EMFs before they were born have demonstrated lower memory and higher hyperactivity compared to the control [R].
Figure 6: Behavioral testing in exposed and control mice.
Science vs Establishment
The weight of the mounting scientific evidence clearly refutes the prominent claim that the deployment of wireless technologies poses no health risks at the currently permitted exposure levels.
This has urged a community of renowned scientists to join forces under the International EMF Scientist Appeal made up of 244 scientists from 41 countries. The appeal clearly states the group’s consensus that EMFs present serious risk on human health, and urges the WHO and the UN for immediate measures to reduce public exposure to artificial electromagnetic fields and radiation.
And while the WHO has recognized EMFs as a class 2B Possible Human Carcinogenic in 2011, EMF guidelines and public policy are still unchanged in most countries.
There are clear parallels to be drawn with climate change, where the scientific community is already making noise and drawing attention to the problem early on, but where mass media and the public might only pay attention when too much harm is done!
What can you do?
The good news is, there are a number of actions that everyone can take to limit their exposure to EMFs,
1# Turn off bluetooth, especially on electronic products you keep close to your body at all time
2# Use wired headphones, not airpods and other wireless earphones as they have extremely high EMF radiation
3# Put your mobile in Airplane mode when not used, especially at night to limit exposure
4# Avoid at all cost mobile use in metallic cages like your car, train, or elevator, this is to avoid the Faraday effect where radiation can be trapped and amplified in a metallic cage
5# Transition as much as possible to Ethernet cables to avoid using Wifi, and if you can’t then turnoff Wifi when not in use at night
6# Wear Anti-EMF clothes from head to toe in order to protect yourself from EMF radiation that is out of your control – my favorite brand is Lambs, they have great looking apparel and accessories, and you can get 15% off using “360UPGRADE” code
7# Learn about cell tower plans around you, and your children’s schools, get involved, and make your voice heard!
8# Opt out of smart meters in your house unless they transmit only 1x or 2x daily (but most transmit all the time..)
In spite of the mainstream discourse, EMFs have research-based, scientifically-proven impacts on health including cancer and infertility. And while public policy, governments, and media attention is proving to be harder to get in order to take urgent action, there is a lot that you can do in the way you use wireless technology, and protect yourself from EMFs through clothing, in order to limit the harm.