Pollution News, February 1, 2020
Modern society has grown to become very reliant on the conveniences of technology. However, very few are aware of the negative effects that electronic devices present. Cell phones, Wi-Fi routers, microwaves, computers and other electronic appliances emit a stream of invisible energy called electromagnetic field (EMF) that can bring harm to human health.
What are EMFs?
EMFs are waves of invisible energy composed of both electric and magnetic fields perpendicular to each other. Since the beginning of time, the world has been bombarded with natural EMFs emitted by the sun. However, it was only until the dawn of technology that humans have been exposed to an unprecedented amount of man-made EMFs emitted by the things many people use in their everyday lives, like mobile phones.
There are currently two types of EMF exposure: low-level radiation and high-level radiation. Also known as non-ionizing radiation, low-level radiation is often thought to be harmless to humans. Various appliances like Bluetooth devices, computers and power lines all send out low levels of radiation. On the other hand, high-level radiation, also called ionizing radiation, includes the ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun and the X-rays from medical imaging machines. (Related: Harmful EMF radiation could be found right in your own neighborhood.)
There is much debate about whether or not EMFs are actually harmful to humans. According to a report published by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, EMFs are “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The agency believes that there are studies that show a potential link between EMFs and cancer in people. A study published in the journal Environmental Research found that long-term exposure to high levels of EMFs can increase the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia in adults.
Protect yourself from EMFs
While it is not realistic to avoid all possible man-made EMFs, you can still take some steps to reduce your overall exposure to these harmful waves.
- Replace wireless devices with wired versions. Gadgets like cordless “DECT” phones emit harmful microwave radiation even when not in use. The best way to counteract this is to simply replace them with corded phone models. You can also consider using Ethernet cables to connect to the internet instead of relying on Wi-Fi routers, which are also known to emit low levels of radiation.
- Make smart use of your smartphones. If you don’t want to quit using wireless phones altogether, you should at least be smart about using your EMF-emitting gadgets. Set your smartphone to airplane mode when not in use and refrain from putting it near your head. For calls, you can either use speakerphone or corded, anti-radiation headsets.
- Create a “sleep sanctuary.” One of the best ways to passively reduce your exposure to EMFs is by minimizing it when you’re asleep. Unplug all potential EMF-emitting gadgets before you go to bed and keep all your electronics outside your bedroom. If you need an alarm clock, you can use an old-fashioned battery-powered one instead of a digital clock. You should also consider sleeping under a bed canopy that blocks out the radiation emitted by local cell towers and wireless smart meters. You can also consult an EMF professional to help you set up your very own sleep sanctuary.
- Explain and educate. The EMF pollution you detect in your home may not even come from inside your house at all. By helping your neighbors and peers realize the dangers of these invisible waves, you can significantly reduce the EMF pollution in your general area, therefore protecting everyone from its harmful effects.
Learn more about the harmful effects of EMF and how to reduce your exposure at EMF.news.