In early September I attended the first conference of its kind for health care practitioners in the United States about Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF). Humans cannot see, touch, taste, or smell EMF, which understandably contributes to our capacity to deny the risks of exposure. Its effects accrue over time and are proportional to the duration and intensity of exposure.
“Scientists, doctors, and researchers have long accepted that ionizing radiation, such as the ultraviolet rays that accompany sunlight, or the X-rays that you are exposed to in your doctor’s or dentist’s office-can harm and destroy DNA. It has been assumed, however, that non-ionizing radiation from power-lines, television broadcasting, and cell phones did not harm DNA," writes Dr. Martin Blank in "Overpowered."This is not the case. Non-ionizing radiation can react with and harm DNA which can cause mutations and even cell death and lead directly to serious medical illness.
There is incontrovertible scientific evidence supporting the seriousness and enormity of the deleterious impact of electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) upon both human health and the biosphere. The BioIntiative Report updated from 2014-2019 included 6000 studies concluded that bioeffects are clearly established to occur with very low exposure levels (non-thermal levels) to electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation exposures. Electromagnetic frequencies cause damage to our intricate and delicate DNA and are related to the development of cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, neurodegenerative diseases, infertility, depression, and anxiety.
Just as the tobacco industry suppressed the scientific evidence regarding the hazards of cigarette smoking, a similar strategy has been undertaken by lobbyists for the telecommunications industry to manufacture doubt about the negative health effects of wireless technology. There has been a repeated assertion that there is no “proven link”, that the data is inconclusive. “It appears that the response of governments and industry groups to this lack of specific cause and effect relationships between non-thermal exposure to EMF and negative health effects has been to formulate regulations and safety standards that ignore them completely. While there is plenty of science indicating the presence of significant health risks at non-thermal levels, as far as safety standards and regulatory frameworks are concerned, EMF is harmful to humans only at levels powerful enough to result in increased temperature (the so-called thermal effect). No recognition at all is given to any potential health effects at lower, non-thermal levels of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation even though non-thermal biological effects have been scientifically demonstrated for over a century.” (Overpowered p 161)
Given our ever-growing dependence on technology, exposure to EMFs is a reality that increasingly affects all of us, but pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable. Children absorb more microwave radiation than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner and their relative size is smaller. Of particular concern is children’s exposure to EMF in the classroom. Unless we learn to choose safe technology practices, today’s wireless technology continually pulses toxic microwave radiation "electrosmog" at us. This includes our wi-fi routers, cell towers, cell phones, tablets, wearables, Bluetooth, baby monitors, gaming devices, microwaves, smart meters and more.
Early symptoms of EMF exposure may include headaches, nausea, inability to concentrate (also known as brain fog), chronic fatigue and muscle fatigue without exercise, nose and/or ear bleeds, agitation, m and more.
Symptoms resulting from EMF exposure can be indistinguishable from Mast Cell Activation Disorder, Mold Toxicity, Chronic Lyme Disease, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. This is because the physiology underlying all of these conditions is the same: cellular inflammation. In addition, it appears that these same conditions make a person more vulnerable to electro hypersensitivity. There seems to be a particular synergistic effect between exposures to chemical toxins and electrohypersensitivity.
Building biologists certified through the Building Biology Institute in Santa Fe can be consulted who will assess your home and make recommendations about how to improve its EMF health and safety. One of the most important areas of the home is the bedroom. EMF suppresses melatonin production and lower sleep quality. Deep restorative sleep is essential to healing and supporting the health of the immune system.
There were individuals at the conference who were electro hypersensitive and would become very ill from exposure. Thus in the conference auditorium, there was no wifi allowed and also none in the sleeping areas. Since attending the conference, and being more mindful to practice EMF safety, I have noticed that I feel cognitively sharper and am having less trouble with my memory and word finding. In addition, my mood is improved and I feel less anxious. This was noticeable only after one week of reduced exposure.
I encourage all of my patients to make use of technology in a safer way to mitigate EMF exposure.
Below is a partial list of some of the steps that you can take to reduce your exposure. All of these suggestions are followed by fully elaborated explanations in Dr. Martin Blank's book. These recommendations can feel like an unwelcome hassle. But it’s important. Making even small changes can make a difference cumulatively to protect your health and the health of your loved ones.
There are two key principles:
Minimize your use of EMF generating technology.
Maximize the distance between you and those EMF sources when they are in use.
Do not live near high voltage power lines.
Stay away from transformers.
Live as far from cell phone antennas as possible.
Don’t use electric blankets or waterbeds.
Run extension cords away from furniture and keep cords organized.
Switch from electric to battery alarm clocks.
Energy-efficient appliances generate less pollution than older less efficient models
Don’t use fluorescent lights.
Don’t use dimmers of three-way switches.
Don’t use microwaves, but if you do, get out of the kitchen when the microwave is on.
Put your cell phone on airplane mode when not in use.
Don’t put your cell phone in your pocket.
Laptops are not for laps.
Minimize the use of hairdryers and electric razors.
Consider using an ethernet cable rather than wifi in your home.
Turn the wifi router off at night.
Switch to plastic eyeglass frames and foam mattresses that do not function as antennas.
Two important resources are Wireless Education, a non-profit which educates about safer use of technology and the Americans for Responsible Technology. an advocacy group for the safe, reliable and responsible use of technology.
1. “Overpowered” Martin Blank Seven Stories Press New York, New York 2014 pp 249-267 for multiple references
2. Zorach R. Glaser, Ph.D. Bibliography of Reported Biological Phenomena ('Effects') and Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and Radio Frequency Radiation Naval Medical Research Institute 1971
3. Baliatsas, C., Van Kamp, I., Lebret, E., Rubin, G.J. (2012). Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF): a systematic review of identifying criteria. BMC Public Health, 12, 643-666.