EMF stands for Electromagnetic Field and is the radiation emitted by communications devices, including mobile phones and radio, TV, and WiFi transmitters. It is a perhaps the most dangerous and damaging form of pollution facing people every day and yet it is invisible, soundless, and cannot be touched or felt. Perhaps this is why the subject of EMF pollution and its health effects are topics that fly under the radar and are not acknowledged by the mainstream. It could also be because there are huge political and economic stakes at risk…
Either way it appears that man-made EMFs are here to stay in at least the short to medium term with our modern conveniences and “linked-in” lifestyles embedded into the fabric of our society.
Some countries are taking action to protect their citizens, particularly children and pregnant women. France, Germany, and England have dismantled wireless networks in schools and public libraries, and other countries are looking to follow suit. Israel has banned the placement of cellular antennae on residences, and Russian officials have advised against mobile phone use for children under 18. The government of Sweden lists electromagnetic fields (EMF) as Class 2 Carcinogens, right along with tobacco after it funded a massive study of the effects of electric fields from overhead power lines on 500,000 people over a period of 25 years and found overwhelming evidence that electric fields generated cancer in children at 4 times the normal rates.
Other governments, such as ours in Australia, unfortunately continue to rely upon outdated research from the 1990s before the age of mobile phones and wireless routers, which claims non-ionizing radiation is safe for humans. This is disheartening especially considering there is a myriad of current, peer reviewed research in existence today. A great source of research has been collated by Jerome Johnson, a master’s graduate in engineering who had enjoyed a successful career in Silicon Valley before he diagnosed himself with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (also known as Microwave Sickness, Radio Wave Syndrome, EMF Intolerance Syndrome and Rapid Aging Syndrome), a disabling condition acknowledged since 1932 that experts estimate affects approximately 3% of the population with another third affected to a lesser degree.
In 2007, the Bioinitiative Working Group, an international collaboration of prestigious scientists and public health policy experts from the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, and China, released a 650-page report citing more than 2,000 studies (many very recent) that detail the toxic effects of EMFs from all sources. The scientists concluded, that chronic exposure to even low-level, non-ionizing radiation (like that from mobile phones), can cause a variety of cancers, impair immunity, and contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, heart disease, and many other ailments.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
Thankfully, there are some things you can implement to safeguard your health against EMF exposure. Here are our top tips to minimise your EMF exposure and reduce your risk:
- Reduce your exposure wherever possible. Turn off your phone, wi-fi router and other smart devices like your laptop or TV when not in use.
- Try to create an EMF free sleeping environment. Put timers on your electronic and wireless devices so they turn off automatically before you go to bed. Don’t use your mobile phone as an alarm clock (even on airport mode), instead opt for an old fashioned battery alarm clock. Grab a hot water bottle or wheat bag and ditch those electric blankets. If you need to charge your iPad or mobile phone overnight, put them in airport mode and charge them in the furthest room from your bedroom. Ensure your bedroom is not located near your meter box, especially if you have a smart meter installed.
- If you have a Smartmeter, shield it with a faraday cage such as the ones made by Smartblock.
- If you live in close proximity to a mobile phone tower, you should also look into installing a bed canopy made from EMF shielding fabric.
- Turn your phone off while travelling in a vehicle or travelling.
- Hardwire your networks where possible and try to eliminate the need for wi-fi.
- Opt for wired land line phones where possible over wireless landline handsets.
- If you must talk on your mobile phone or a cordless homephone, try to use the speaker or get yourself an air-tube headset.
- When your phone is located in close proximity to your body, use a EMF shielding case or pouch.
- When using laptops or tablets, protect your body with a desk shield or EMF protection blanket.
- Finally, look into EMF protection devices such as those produced by Blueshield, which can help reduce the negative impact of the exposure you can’t avoid.