The Dangers of EMFs - Are There Any?
When it comes to modern-day health hazards, I don’t think there’s one quite as common or far-reaching as EMFs.
EMF stands for electromagnetic field.
EMFs come from any number of electronic sources and are generated by the electric and magnetic forces created when electric current flows.
They are all around us, but their potential health effects have sparked concern and debate. Especially as we begin to surround ourselves with an ever-increasing number of electronic devices.
While we still don’t fully understand the potential harm from EMFs, there’s some evidence to show they’re potentially harmful, and so that’s why I’m going to show you how they could be problematic as well as identifying five common sources of EMFs, and then give you four practical steps you can take to minimize their impact on your health.
What are the Potential Dangers of EMFs?
So here’s the thing about EMFs, there are so many of them, and the strength of some is higher than others, so actually knowing what is causing what is an inexact science.
However, there is concern EMF could have a negative potential impact on human health.
For instance, the American Cancer Society has reference studies that suggest there may be a link between long-term exposure to high levels of EMF to an increased risk of cancer. Some of the most damning evidence indicates that EMFs could be behind some of the numbers of childhood leukemia. More broadly, though, EMFs can do other things to affect your health.
We do know that EMFs can disrupt sleep patterns.
I’ve written extensively on sleep (you can search the blog) and why it’s important to focus on improving sleep patterns. As it turns out, electronic devices like cell phones, laptops, and Wi-Fi routers emit EMFs, and exposure to these devices before bedtime can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.
That’s far from ideal.
Even if you’re doing all the other things correctly, like I recommended in my sleep series, simple electronics can produce excessive difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep, and even experiencing restorative sleep.
I’d be willing to wager this is probably the most disruptive aspect of EMFs in our modern lives.
And there’s one more thing EMFs may do.
They may produce something known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).
Some individuals claim to suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), a condition characterized by a range of non-specific symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and skin rashes, which they attribute to exposure to EMFs.
Now, I’m not sold on this being a true condition, as there is limited scientific evidence to support the existence of EHS, but I’m also not naive enough to dismiss people’s claims about EHS.
Especially given the fact that the advent of things like 5G and strong electromagnetic signals are shown in laboratories to produce negative effects on cells and that devices are getting more powerful all the time.
What Even Causes EMFs?
While it’s one thing to know about the potential damage of EMFs, it’s also quite important to know what may be emitting EMFs.
Easily, the most common EMF producers are electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops, tablets, televisions, and other “smart devices.”
That should go without saying, as they are electronic in nature and both emit and receive signals from external devices.
Problematically, for many of us, these are the exact devices we rely on for work and entertainment, which means that we are often exposed to their EMFs for a prolonged period of time.
One of the more disruptive producers of EMFs is Wi-Fi networks.
Wi-Fi routers and access points emit EMFs to provide wireless internet connectivity. These devices are often present in homes, offices, and public spaces, exposing people to continuous low-level EMF radiation.
Their electromagnetic field is specifically designed to push a signal to a device, and they’re not a result of happenstance (like smaller electronic devices), and these can be potentially problematic.
Power lines can also be a source of EMFs.
These high-voltage power lines, electrical substations, and transformers are actually one of the most significant sources of EMFs in America which is why people living or working near such infrastructure may experience elevated EMF exposure (and why they complain about them frequently).
One of the hidden ones is smart meters.
Not many of us have smart meters on our homes, but more and more utility companies add these smart meters to remotely monitor energy consumption.
The issue with them is the meters transmit data using wireless communication, resulting in low-level EMF exposure for those living in homes equipped with them. They’re not a significant source of EMFs, but another in a long list.
I think you get the idea, here. EMFs are everywhere, and many of the electronics in our world are the source of the emission (and the potential problem).
Now, How to Prevent EMFs from Affecting You:
I’ll be honest, some of the tips I’m going to offer aren’t all that practical, but they’re at least proven to work.
So, I’ll write on them for the sake of being thorough, and then I’ll mention some ways of blocking EMF exposure that could use some more research but may be solid options, all things considered.
1 - Maintain Distance:
To reduce your exposure to EMFs, maintain a safe distance from electronic devices, Wi-Fi routers, and other sources whenever possible. This simple step can significantly decrease your exposure levels.
I know, for most of us, this is virtually impossible.
However, what this could mean is dedicated time away from the home and even the city to spend in nature. Not only will this lessen the EMF load, but it could also help you in other ways that I’ve written about.
2 - Use Wired Connections:
Whenever possible, opt for wired connections instead of wireless ones. Use Ethernet cables to connect your devices to the internet, as this eliminates the need for Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi is convenient, but it’s also inefficient and a source of EMFs. Going with ethernet is faster as well as safer from an EMF emission standpoint.
3 - Reduce Device Usage Before Bed and turn on Airplane Mode:
To improve sleep quality, avoid using electronic devices before bedtime.
In fact, what you really should do if you sleep with electronic devices in your room is either turn them off… or place them in airplane mode to reduce EMF emissions while you sleep. This will prevent the devices from emitting signals, though it won’t prevent signals from other devices from being sent to the device.
Some people go as far as turning off Wi-Fi in their house.
4 - Shielding and EMF Mitigation:
Lastly, and this is the one thing I’d like to see more research being done on, is using EMF shielding products.
For instance, there are specialized curtains, paints, or fabrics, which companies are making specifically designed to block or reduce the penetration of EMFs.
And, there are companies that make small wearables, in the form of necklaces and badges, that are said to neutralize the harmful effects of EMFs. While their products may be expensive, there are hundreds of positive reviews for products such as these, as well as some limited scientific evidence for their usefulness.
If you’re really concerned you could consult with a professional to assess and mitigate EMF exposure in your home.
EMFs Aren’t Going Anywhere… So…
The fact of the matter is EMFs are part of modern life, and that’s probably only going to change if there’s a major catastrophe and all electronics are knocked out for a few decades.
And while concerns about their potential health effects persist, the scientific consensus remains inconclusive, I think it’s worth at least taking simple steps to shield yourself from EMFs.
Staying informed and following evolving research on this topic is crucial for making informed decisions about EMF exposure, and I’ll be sure to write more on the subject as new research becomes available.