Reduce Your Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)
Radiation is the emission of energy from any source. It comes in many forms, ranging in frequency on the electromagnetic spectrum. The frequency of the radiation effects how the radiation acts on the environment, including the human body. Like x-rays and nuclear radiation, electromagnetic fields (EMF) are a form of radiation. Electromagnetic fields (emf) come from a wide variety of sources that we are all exposed to every day. These sources include, but are not limited to, electrical wires, computer and television screens, cell phones, wireless signals, and even remote control toys. Although there is an ongoing debate among the scientific community about the risk associated with electromagnetic fields (emf), there is much evidence that suggests reasons to be concerned. (1)
Types of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)
There are two types of electromagnetic fields (emf), extremely low-frequency (ELF) and radio frequency (RF). ELF-EMFs range in frequency from 1-300Hz, while RF-EMF’s range from 100 kHz to 300 GHz. Sources of ELF-EMFs include power lines and electronic appliances. Essentially anything that uses electricity emits them. Some of the items we use every day, such as the vacuum and hair dryer, emit quite high ELF-EMFs. RF-EMFs come from sources such as mobile phone base stations, cordless phones, remote control toys, wireless networks, radar and baby monitors. The sources of RF-EMFs can be summed up as any communication technology. (2)
Are Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Dangerous?
There are differing opinions as to whether or not there are health risks associated with electromagnetic fields (emf). Many studies have been done on both ELF-EMF’s and RF-EMF’s with mixed results. Despite the mixed results, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), has classified both ELF-EMFs and RF-EMFs as possibly carcinogenic to humans (1)(3). Cancer, with childhood leukemia at the top of the list, is only one of the possible side effects of EMF’s on humans. Other concerns include neurodegenerative disorders, epilepsy, reproductive disorders, suicide and depression, sleep disorders, and hypersensitivity. (4) Studying the effects of EMF’s on humans is difficult. One major issue is that everyone is exposed to EMFs on a daily basis and exposure levels vary greatly as a person goes about their day. On top of this, a person does not know what their exposure is, so researchers cannot easily track true exposure levels or know past exposure. This makes finding a control group especially difficult (1).
Recommended Exposure Limits
The possible harmful effects of EMF’s are not being ignored. Many countries have set limits on EMF exposure. In the United States, for example, there are six states that have formal laws in place to EMF limits (5). In Europe, the EU created a recommendation on public exposure to EMFs. Although not legally binding, this document has been followed by several countries including the UK (6).
How to Reduce your EMF Exposure
Even with EMFs being all around us, there are many ways you can reduce your exposure. Some simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference. These include:
- Cut down on WiFi & use a corded network instead.
- Use a hands-free device when using your cell phone.
- Do not keep electronic devices in the bedroom.
- Do not use cordless phones or baby monitors.
- Use a flat screen TV instead of an older box style one.
- Do not use an electric blanket.
- Whenever possible, stand back from all electric devices when they are in use.
- Do not use a laptop on your lap.
- Do not use a microwave.
You can test the EMF levels in your home with EMF meters. This way you know where the EMF exposure is worst in your home and you can take specific measures to reduce them. (7)(8)
How Diet Can Reduce The Impact of EMFs
EMF’s reduce many sources of antioxidants in our bodies such as melatonin, vitamin C, vitamin E, probiotics, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione. This in turn increases our susceptibility to free-radical damage. Because of this, a diet high in antioxidant rich foods, found in a well balanced raw food diet, can help replenish antioxidants and reduce EMF damage. Some great raw antioxidant foods are:
- soaked walnuts and pecans
- blueberries and cranberries
- parsley and cilantro
Adding foods high in probiotics is also important for maximizing the immune system and replacing the probiotics damaged from EMFs. Any raw fermented food or beverage, or high quality probiotic supplement may help combat EMF damage. (9)
- American Cancer Society: Power Lines, Electrical Devices and Extremely Low Frequency Radiation
- Global Research: Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs), Extremely Low-Frequency (ELF) and Radio frequency (RF): What are the Health Impacts?
- American Cancer Society: Microwaves, Radio Waves, and Other Types of Radio frequency Radiation
- info: Other health effects
- info: Limits in the USA
- info: Limits in the EU
- Holistic Squid: 8 Easy Ways to Reduce EMF Exposure
- EMF Safe Home: Recommendations for an EMF Safe Home
- Hella Delicious: Superfoods That Protect Against EMFs
by Matthew Monarch, June, 2016
See the Electromagnetic Fields Fact Sheet from Cancer.gov: