By Lindsay Christensen
Nutritionist @ The Pratt Clinics
Our bodies interact with electromagnetic fields, physical fields produced by electrically-charged objects, continuously every day. While electronic technology has brought tremendous benefits, including enhanced communication and convenience, a growing body of research indicates that it also comes with some serious drawbacks – namely, adverse effects on our health. Read on to learn how electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produced by cell towers, smart meters, smartphones, and household wiring, just to name a few sources, detrimentally impacts our biology and what you can do to reduce your EMF exposure and protect your health.
What are electromagnetic fields?
We humans may be unable to see electromagnetic fields, but if we could, I suspect we’d be astounded! While electromagnetic fields occur in nature, the meteoric rise of electronic technologies over the past 150 years has exponentially increased our exposure to non-native EMFs, aka those with which humans did not evolve and thus represent a novel environmental pressure.
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are invisible fields of force that consist of electric and magnetic components and are produced by electrically-charged objects. (1) EMFs are organized on a spectrum based on their wavelength and frequency. Wavelength (measured in meters) refers to the distance between successive crests of an electromagnetic wave and frequency (measured in hertz) refers to the number of occurrences of an electromagnetic wave over a period of time. These two characteristics of EMFs can be viewed using a technique called spectroscopy. EMFs are organized on a spectrum based on their wavelength and frequency. There are many types of EMFs, ranging from those with a long wavelength and short frequency, such as EMF emitted from electrical outlets to those with a short wavelength and high frequency, such as X-rays and gamma-rays.
As I mentioned above, EMFs do occur naturally on the Earth. In fact, the human body itself generates a weak electromagnetic field. However, emerging evidence indicates that man-made EMFs, such as those emitted by cell towers, smart meters, household wiring and appliances, and our beloved smartphones and iPads, interact adversely with our bodies, exerting unintended harmful effects on our health.
The four types of EMFs that adversely affect our health
The kinds of EMFs that interact with our biology include radio frequency, magnetic fields, electric fields, and dirty electricity. While there are therapeutic applications of some of these EMFs – for example, certain types of magnetic and electric fields demonstrate promise in the treatment of cancer – an overwhelming body of evidence indicates that these EMFs also have the potential to cause serious physical harm. (2)
Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are produced by sources such as WiFi, cell phones, tablets, Bluetooth devices, smart meters, 5G technology, and microwave ovens.
Magnetic fields are produced by chargers for electronic devices, high-voltage power lines, electrical panels, homes with faulty wiring, and by electric currents running on gas or water pipes.
Electric fields are produced by household wiring, ungrounded electronics, power strips, cords and chargers, lamps and lighting.
“Dirty electricity” is a term used to describe the problems that occur when electrical power lines and wiring contain frequencies other than the standard 60 Hz electrical current that is standard in American buildings. These additional frequencies, which typically occur in the 300 Hz to 10 MHz range, radiate into your environment, where they interact with your body and cause adverse health effects. The typical causes of dirty electricity are CFL and LED light bulbs, solar panel inverters, dimmer switches, smart televisions, and chargers for electronics.
Stay tuned for Part 2, in which I’ll discuss the problems with our current EMF safety standards! You may be surprised to hear that our smartphones, laptops, and other EMF-emitting devices have never been tested for long-term safety… This is one blog you won’t want to miss! Any questions? Contact us at The Pratt Clinics.