Health Risks from EMF ExposuresJun 15, 2017
Reducing your EMF exposures can improve your health both immediately and longer-term. In addition to reducing your risks to the more serious conditions listed below, you may find that you simply feel better.
I used to interpret chronic symptoms as my "normal," guessing that they were the result of not enough sleep.
After reducing my EMF exposures, I now enjoy improved sleep and energy, less brain fog, improved brain functioning including memory, and fewer strange sensations (like tingling in my fingertips and teeth, and a yucky feeling in my chest). When I am exposed to more EMFs, those symptoms reappear. Keep reading and then decide whether you too should try to reduce EMF exposure in your lifestyle.
Effects of EMF Exposure
Reducing your EMF exposures may protect against the key issues highlighted below. A growing body of evidence shows that cell phone and wireless radiation—at even very low levels—could harm our health in a number of different ways. Reducing your EMF exposures may help mitigate the key areas discussed below.
Please note that the key areas below are not meant to be a comprehensive analysis of how EMF exposures may affect your health.
Brain Development and Brain Health
Keep in mind that the brain does not complete development until the early- to mid- twenties. This means children have an increased risk of the effects of EMF exposure and deserve an additional level of precaution. Small influences on the developing brain can result in large impacts later in life.
- Blood-brain barrier. Being mindful of your EMF exposures, like cell phone radiation, may protect your blood-brain barrier (BBB): a semi-permeable membrane that protects your brain from compounds in your blood. While the issue of whether cell phone radiation weakens the BBB remains publicly-debated, research from as early as the 1960s (from before cell phones were in our lives) found that it can weaken the BBB. Dr. Devra Davis discusses this further in her book Disconnect. However, her informed opinion is that "Cellphone radiation weakens membranes everywhere. It weakens the blood-brain barrier." With a weakened BBB, toxic material in your blood will be more likely to get more deeply absorbed into your brain and into the cells of your body, according to Dr. Davis.
- Brain's metabolism of glucose. A U.S. National Institutes of Health research study found that 50 minutes of exposure to cell phone radiation increased the metabolism of glucose in the brain areas closest to the antenna. According to Dr. Nora D. Volkow, the brain imaging scientist who heads the National Institute on Drug Abuse and led this groundbreaking research stated: “Even though the radio frequencies that are emitted from current cell phone technologies are very weak, they are able to activate the human brain to have an effect.”
- Thermal versus non-thermal effects. Historically, studies of EMF risks focused on thermal effects. However, research on 3G and 4G has shown that non-thermal (non-heating) levels of this radiation can alter the brain’s electrical activity. Further study on the non-thermal effects from average EMF exposures (like from cell phones) has been an important development in understanding our health risks from our average EMF exposures.
- Hyperactivity and other adverse effects to the brain. Dr. Hugh Taylor, Chief of OB-GYN at Yale University, has shown that pregnant mice exposed to cell phone radiation have offspring with increased hyperactivity, decreased memory and altered brain development.
- Digital dimentia. Scientists in Korea have reported increasing prevalence of digital dementia in children. They reported that children who are heavy technology users have brains that are underdeveloped on the right side. This has been characterized by memory loss, attention disorders, lack of eye contact, lack of empathy, and difficulty feeling or showing emotions. As a result, the Korean government is instituting programs to reduce uses and exposures, especially to young children.
Studies in Europe show that people who used cell phones heavily for over ten years have a doubled risk of brain cancer, and those who begin using cell phones as teenagers have between four to five times more brain tumors by their late twenties.
- In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization, classified microwave radiation from communication devices as a “possible carcinogen.” This is in the same category as lead, engine exhaust, DDT, and jet fuel.
- Evidence has increased since 2011, indicating that cell phone and wireless radiation should be classified as a “probable carcinogen” because of increased brain cancer (Davis et al., 2015). "Those exposed at younger ages show up to eight times more brain cancer risk," according to the Environmental Health Trust.
The soft fatty tissue of the breast readily absorbs some types of EMFs, including cell phone radiation. Case studies show young women who stored their cell phones in their bra for years developed unusual tumors right below the location of the antennas where they kept their phone. These women had no history of breast cancer or genetic predisposition to the disease so the assumption is that these tumors could be effects of EMF exposure.
Decreasing EMF exposures may help increase a child’s functioning, especially children with autism, ADHD or other neurological issues. Please remember that children's skulls are softer and thinner than an adult’s skull, and they also have more fluid content than an adult. So radiation can be absorbed more deeply into children’s brains, according to the Environmental Health Trust. Therefore, they are at a higher risk to the effects of EMF exposures.
Similar to how we can support our children with healthy food, sleep, and play, we can also improve our children's environmental factors, including trying to reduce EMF exposure.
Scientists at the Cleveland Clinic and major research centers around the world have repeatedly found that sperm from healthy men that are exposed to cell phone radiation die three times more quickly and develop three times more damage to mitochondrial DNA than sperm from the same men that are not exposed.
In summary, evidence—from experimental research, epidemiological studies, and laboratory (in vitro (cells)) and animal (in vivo) studies—shows that radiation exposure from wireless devices is associated with the following risks to men’s reproductive health:
- Reduced sperm quality. Studies have shown that microwave radiation can damage sperm.
- Reduced sperm motility, viability, and concentration. "Numerous studies indicate that wireless exposures decrease sperm quantity and quality (including altered DNA) and damage testes and ovaries."
- DNA fragmentation. One study found that non-thermal radiation-induced DNA fragmentation in tested sperm.
- Increased erectile dysfunction (ED). A 2013 study published in the Central European Journal of Urology found that men with ED carried switched-on cell phones for longer periods of time (average of 4.4 hours daily) than men without ED (average 1.8 hours daily).
"Non-specific" Effects of EMF Exposure
Those who are sensitive to EMFs (and may not know it) may experience relief from reduced exposure. In my 21-Day Digital Detox I help you to reduce EMF exposure in your everyday life.
Relief may be experienced in the following symptoms: dermatological symptoms (redness, tingling, and burning sensations), fatigue, tiredness, concentration difficulties, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitation, and digestive disturbances. EHS resembles multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), another disorder associated with low-level environmental exposures to chemicals. (World Health Organization, 2005)
Cell phone and wireless radiation have demonstrated the ability to cause cellular damage in various ways, including increased oxidative stress. Oxidative stress disrupts the normal state of cells, undermining the body's ability to counteract damaging effects from things like free radicals. This can damage cells and their DNA. Oxidative stress also contributes to the development of cancer, among other adverse health conditions.
Studies have shown that EMF exposures can undermine sleep quality, including falling asleep, duration of sleep, and sleep quality.
Learn More: EMF Danger Levels of Home Appliances
Reducing Your EMF Exposure
Harm from EMF exposure is real and something we should all be aware of. Currently, it's not a concern for the majority of people, but in the years to come the risks will be as common knowledge as those from smoking cigarettes or drug taking.
This 21-day EMF detox offers precautionary measures that you can take to reduce your effects of EMF exposure. They are presented as a menu of options so that you can pick and choose what works for you right now. The program is a great opening experiment to see whether you experience any benefits such as better sleep and generally feeling healthier. Regardless, the tips to reduce EMF exposure should not pose risks to you, just potential benefits.
Have EMFs affected your health?
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