WiFi passwords are the new complimentary glass of water, and cell phones have become a veritable extension of our own brains. There’s no going back — we’re living in tandem with technology, and it’s only going to become more ubiquitous and powerful. As technology becomes more ingrained into the fabric of everyday life, however, exposure to electromagnetic fields (known as EMF) is only increasing. The trouble is, this invisible side effect of the tech we love can cause a gamut of health problems that may be seriously impacting our lives. Sounds scary, I know, but knowledge is power so read on for some EMF 101 and VeesHoney approved solutions.
EMF is the output given off by electrical devices, such as a battery or generator, as they convert other forms of energy into electrical energy. Common sources include cell phones, televisions, microwaves, computers and WiFi devices, though the full list of items is far more extensive. As you can see, there’s no avoiding exposure — in fact, if you’re reading this blog post, you’re most likely in the EMF splash zone.
Exposure to EMF is pretty much unavoidable in modern society, so don’t freak out, but do take note. Not all exposure is the same — for example, the EMF from fluorescent lighting is on the lower end of the spectrum, while exposure from Electronic Article Surveillance systems, aka the monitors that beep if you accidentally walk out of a store with an item before paying, carry some of the strongest known exposures in daily life. You can view a complete guide here.
One major red flag we want to throw is electric cars. While we love any technology that combats carbon emissions, it’s important to be aware of the health effects it can have on your brain and bod. The battery, vehicle relay switches, vehicle computer systems, electric engines, alternator, key-less entry and start systems, on-board wifi and alarm systems all give off low levels of EMF individually. However, when combined, their damaging effects are cumulative. Plus, these symptoms are amplified by the metal casing around your vehicle.
It’s been commonly thought that exposure to low-level radiation (i.e. EMF from cell phones, microwaves, WiFi routers and powerlines) are mild and harmless to people. However, some researchers are increasingly suspicious that chronic, prolonged exposure to low-level EMF may in fact lead to adverse health effects. We say, better safe than sorry, and luckily there are some everyday hacks you can do to limit your exposure (read on).
Where the research is clear is that EMF exposure is most dangerous for children, pregnant women, and men and women attempting to become pregnant.
The Presidential Cancer Panel (2010) found that children “are at special risk due to their smaller body mass and rapid physical development, both of which magnify their vulnerability to known carcinogens, including radiation.” Because of kids’ lower bone density and brain fluid levels in comparison to adults, the American Academy of Pediatrics warns they likely also absorb higher levels of RF frequency deeper into their brains.
Women who are currently pregnant or are attempting to become pregnant are also at higher risk. Women's eggs are said to be ten times more susceptible to DNA damage than adult DNA and that damage is not easily repaired.
Men are also a major piece of the pregnancy puzzle, and EMFs play a big role in male sperm quality, motility and viability. Studies of human sperm show genetic (DNA) damage from cell phones on standby mode and wireless laptop use. This DNA damage cannot be repaired.
First of all, DO NOT PANIC. The International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) sets worldwide standards for safe EMF exposure limits. Most reputable brands test their products to ensure they’re under the ICNIRP’s safe limits. You can view a complete list of the commission's safe exposure limits here.
Overall, despite all the EMF sources that surround us, the ICNIRP believes most people’s daily maximum exposure levels are within the low/safe range. If you’re curious about EMF levels in your home or office, you can call your local power company to schedule an on-site reading of your home. There are plenty of measurement devices available for purchase, although efficacy and accuracy varies.
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