In our modern environment we are constantly being exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from microwave transmitters, most notably from cellphones and wifi devices. Most people do not consider the possible health effects of this technology because the waves they produce are invisible. There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that the EMFs from our cellphones and wifi devices may have a detrimental impact on our health.
This article is not meant to prove that EMFs causes health problems. There is way too much evidence to consider, and this is a complicated issue. I am not an expert in this field and am simply presenting here what I have found from my own research. At the bottom of the page there are links to lectures you can watch given by people who are experts, and who provide very convincing evidence about this topic.
It is my opinion that long term EMF exposure is worse for the body than consistently eating a diet coming from processed foods high in sugar, preservatives and other toxins. (If you explore other articles on my blog you will understand how strong of a statement this is.) The intention of this post is to raise awareness about this issue and to encourage anyone reading this to do more research on the topic.
How Might EMFs Harm us?
We are electrical beings. Our brains emit electrical signals which travel along our nervous system, carrying messages throughout our bodies. Most people can probably picture a person with a bunch of electrodes strapped to their head and these are the devices–called EEGs– which are used to measure electrical signals coming from our bodies.
The brain is emitting strong signals, but it turns out that the heart is emitting an even stronger electromagnetic field than the brain. Non-native–meaning manmade–EMFs from cell towers and wifi devices can interfere with the natural electromagnetic fields produced by our bodies. EMFs can interfere with a whole host of biological functions including disrupting our hormonal system and damaging our DNA.
Think about our world like a giant swimming pool. Every single thing is this world is creating a ripple in the pool because everything–our body, chairs, rocks and iPhones–are all emitting unique frequencies. Everything is vibrating at the atomic level, meaning everything is generating waves, or ripples, in the swimming pool.
In the past 20 years we have introduced a very different set of frequencies, or waves, to our natural world called microwaves. Most people hear the word microwave and think about microwave ovens. Microwaves are a specific band of frequencies and their application is not limited to cooking old pizza. Cell phones and wifi devices use microwave frequencies to transmit their signals. The difference between microwave ovens and cellphones is in terms of power. The wattage on a microwave oven is hundreds of times higher than a cellphone and is this is why microwaves produced by cellphones cannot generate heat.
Just because these devices do not generate heat does not mean that they do not affect human beings. Essentially we all live inside a giant microwave oven set to a really low power setting. A few years of exposure might not have an effect on us, but what about five, ten or even 20 years of exposure?
A Few Examples of the Evidence
All the way back in 1997 an article published in the journal of Environmental Health Perspectives concluded the following about microwave radio frequencies:
“Four types of effects were originally reported in multiple studies: increased spontaneous abortion, shifts in red and white blood cell counts, increased somatic mutation rates in lymphocytes, and increased childhood, testicular, and other cancers. In addition, there is evidence of generalized increased disability rates from a variety of causes in one study and symptoms of sensitivity reactions and lenticular opacity in at least one other. These findings suggest that RF exposures are potentially carcinogenic and have other health effects.” [source]
A 2015 paper published in the international Journal of Oncology asserted the following:
“We conclude that radiofrequency fields should be classified as a group 2A ̔probable̓ human carcinogen under the criteria used by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.” [source]
Carcinogens are substances which are known to cause cancer and other group 2A carcinogens include the toxic herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) and lead.
In a letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District,Martha R Herbert, PhD, MD at Harvard Medical School wrote the following:
“EMF/RFR from wifi and cell towers can exert a disorganizing effect on the ability to learn and remember, and can also be destabilizing to immune and metabolic function. This will make it harder for some children to learn, particularly those who are already having problems in the first place. Powerful industrial entities have a vested interest in leading the public to believe that EMF/RFR, which we cannot see, taste or touch, is harmless, but this is not true. Please do the right and precautionary thing for our children.” [source]
The effects of microwave frequencies on children seem to be much greater than on adults. Anyone with children needs to research this point further.
Obviously these are a few cherry picked sources that support the notion of EMFs being harmful. There are plenty of other studies which say that EMFs are completely harmless. It is my opinion that such studies, which claim that microwaves in their current application are safe, tend to be poorly conducted and inconclusive.
Many people hear about EMFs and cannot believe that they could possibly be harmful. If they were really so bad for us, then how could cell towers and wifi devices be so prevalent in our world? It’s very easy to actively ignore the possibility that this is a real problem, because considering such a possibility is admittedly terrifying considering the scope of this technology today.
According to the Cellphone Industry Your Devices Should Never Touch Your Body
Cellphone companies have to legally tell us to keep our smartphones away from our body. Apple says that according to their testing the iPhone should be a minimum of 5mm (about a quarter inch) from the body to avoid harmful radio frequency exposure. This means that a phone kept in a person's pocket would be too close, and more importantly that if a person makes a call with their phone next to their ear, they would be getting a harmful dose of radio frequencies. Think about how ridiculous this is. We are literally being told never to touch our touchscreen phones.
You can look this up for yourself by going into the setting on your phone.
Iphone Instructions: Settings > General Setting > About > Legal > RF Exposure (Takes 1 minute to read)
This is also possible on Android devices although I’m not sure of exactly how to find the information.
Why Isn't There any Conclusive Proof?
The studies we have on this topic show correlations which suggest these signals are dangerous to humans, but do not prove causality. There are mountains of data which show cancer clusters in people living near cell towers for example. It’s not really possible to do a conclusive study to prove, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that microwave radiation from cell phones harm humans. There are two major reasons for this, the first being that it wouldn’t be ethical. Researchers couldn’t say to a group of people, “Hey, we want you to live next to this cell tower for the next 20 years so we can find out if you get cancer or not!”
To truly prove causality considering such a hypothesis as, “EMFs are human carcinogens”, there would need to be a control group of people matched up according to age and genetic make-up–just to name a few factors–in order to make accurate conclusions. In other words, it’s really hard to isolate one specific variable in any study. All other factors like stress levels and diet for example (both are other known factors in cancer risk), would have to remain constant for a long time (10-20 years) to really get accurate data, and of course this is simply not possible in the real world.
There are plenty of epidemiological studies which do show correlations between microwave radiation exposure and increasing risks for disease including cancer, but that does not prove causality. This is the problem with science as I see it. We can have a ton of data on something like this–with some really strong indicators–but until we have absolute, indisputable proof, companies and governments alike will not take any action.
The same thing has happened many times before with human health concerns. It took over 30 years for X-ray technology to be banned on pregnant women despite a ton of evidence that this type of radiation was harming the unborn babies. Similarly, there was a time when smoking was allowed on airplanes and in hospitals, and was even recommended by some doctors as having a health benefit!
It’s also important to consider the implications for the communication industry if cellphones and wifi really do pose a threat to human health. These companies would have serious lawsuits on their hands if such devices really were dangerous. Understanding this, it would make sense that even if evidence did exist to support claims that EMFs are harmful, there would certainly be an effort by communication companies to hide such evidence–or at least to convince the public of another story–in the very same way that the tobacco industry resisted claims that smoking causes cancer.
Something else to consider are the legal disclaimers that everyone agrees to when using a cellphone. When we agree to the terms of service for our phones we are agreeing not to sue the company for any negative health effects caused by the devices, or to take part in any class action lawsuits. Why would such a legal disclaimer be necessary if these devices were safe?
Suggestions to Reduce Your Exposure Without Spending any Money
There are some really simple ways that we can reduce our exposure to EMF. All of the following suggestions are completely free. Some people are more sensitive to EMFs than others, and depending on where you live you might be exposed to higher doses, especially if you live in a city. If you live in The United States you can visit AntennaSeach.com and find out how many cell towers and radio frequency transmitters you have near your house. You might be surprised.
Turn off your phone at night. Unless you are a doctor on call or something similar, there is absolutely no need for your phone to be on at night. If you use it as an alarm you have the option to buy a $10 battery powered alarm clock. At a bare minimum your phone should be on airplane mode and disconnected from wifi when you’re sleeping.
Turn off wifi at night. There is no reason for wifi to be on at night. These signals interfere with sleep patterns. Disconnect the modem or router.
Use hard wired internet when possible. This one might be hard for most people who use their wireless devices a lot, but it can really limit EMF exposure at home. Anyone who has children needs to research the effects of wifi on children. I cannot stress this point enough. This is really important.
Use a headset or speakerphone to make calls. The most dangerous application of a cellphone is when it’s pressed directly up against your head. Never use your phone this way. There are many documented case studies of people who made regular calls in this manner for a number of years and developed brain tumors in the same place where they were holding their phones. Keep your phone as far away from you as possible when making calls.
Never carry your phone on your body. Most men carry their phone in their pocket directly adjacent to one of their most important body parts. There is evidence to suggest that doing this reduces sperm count and possibly libido with long term exposure. Some women carry their phone in their bra and there is also evidence to suggest that women who do this consistently may increase their risk of developing breast cancer. Put the device in a purse or backpack and get a protective case which blocks EMF.
Never place your laptop on your lap. This is delivering a high dose of EMF radiation directly into your reproductive organs!
Do not use bluetooth devices. Bluetooth headphones are emitting microwave signals right next to your head. Many new cars have bluetooth devices which are constantly searching for a device to connect to and it is possible to turn this completely off in the car.
Depending on how much EMF exposure there is in your environment, or how sensitive you may be to these frequencies, you may want to take additional steps to protect yourself. There are special phone cases you can get which block EMF radiation. There are literally hundreds of products out there made to solve this problem. You can even buy a net–something like a mosquito net for EMF–which goes around your bed and blocks out all signals. Some people paint their walls with special EMF blocking paint and cover their windows in wire mesh designed to block these frequencies.
Some of these solutions may sound extreme, but there are countless reports of people reversing cancers, autoimmune conditions, and even losing weight, just by severely limiting their exposure to EMF. There are also meters that you can buy to test EMF levels in your home and many people are surprised at how high their exposure actually is.
A Few Possible Symptoms of EMF Sensitivity:
Ringing in the ears
This post is not meant to scare people. The reality of our world is that we are exposed to these frequencies pretty much anywhere we go, but we can take action to reduce our exposure. I highly suggest exploring some of the resources listed below, especially this presentation by Dr. Devra Davis, which is very well done and documents a number of scientific studies on the subject.