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What Are Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMFs) and How Do I Protect Myself?

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

What Are Electromagnetic Frequencies and How Do I Protect Myself?

July 4, 2023 (Updated): The amount of electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) we are exposed to has skyrocketed in the last couple of decades. With 5G technology now fuelling the internet of devices, our near-constant use of smartphones, and ubiquitous hotspots, we must consider the ramifications that these long-term exposures bring.

Unfortunately, experts have told us for years that EMFs are not harmful to our health, but a growing body of research indicates EMFs affect the human body in several detrimental ways.

What Exactly Are Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)?

There are many different types of EMFs. Each type has its own frequency, or the number of waves that pass through a fixed point per second. Frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz).

EMFs come from both natural and man-made sources. The Earth’s magnetic field and sunlight are examples of EMFs that are natural. WiFi, electrical wiring, and cell phones are a few sources of man-made EMF. All EMF frequencies fall on a spectrum from extremely low frequency to extremely high frequency.

The spectrum of EMFs goes from extremely low frequencies, like radio waves, to high frequencies, like the gamma rays that hit Earth from outer space.

Here are some examples from lower frequencies to higher:

  • AC power (50 to 60Hz)

  • TV and radio waves

  • Cell phone signals

  • WiFi

  • Microwaves

  • Some cell phone networks and WiFi

  • Infrared rays

  • Visible light

  • Ultraviolet (UV) light

  • X-rays

  • Gamma rays

  • Cosmic rays

Types of EMFs

On the spectrum listed above, those sources of EMFs are classified into two groups according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences:

  1. Low-level, non-ionizing EMF radiation: These EMFs have a frequency lower than visible light. These are often thought of as harmless because they do not involve electron detachment from atoms. Examples of these include WiFi, power lines, or Bluetooth.

  2. High-level, ionizing EMF radiation: This type of EMF has enough energy to disrupt the structure of an atom by ionizing the atom or detaching an electron from the atom. These EMFs have a frequency higher than visible light. Some examples of this radiation include things like X-rays, gamma rays, and ultraviolet light.

There is no real controversy over findings that exposure to high-level ionizing EMF radiation is harmful to human health. As a result, there are extensive safety precautions taken to avoid damage to health. In some cases, these precautions may even go overboard, like asking people to always wear sunscreen whenever they go outside to avoid the effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

The potential harms of low-level non-ionizing radiation are more controversial despite a growing abundance of evidence to suggest it has its own detriments to health.

In our modern society, we depend upon many pieces of technology in our everyday lives. Virtually all technologies generate electromagnetic fields, even lamps, but it is the most recent surge in wireless devices, including cell towers, cell phones, WiFi devices and so on that have really saturated our bodies with unprecedented levels of EMF radiation.

How Do EMFs Cause Damage to the Body?

Research shows that low-frequency radiation disrupts voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) which are transmembrane proteins that are found in many cells within the body. In healthy cells, there is a very specific amount of calcium within the cell to maintain homeostasis, too much can contribute to problems. VGCCs are found in various cells including muscle cells, glial cells, and neurons and are important regulators of the brain, heart, and muscles. VGCCs act as gatekeepers for the cell and allow calcium ions into the cell to carry out various processes such as genetic expression, endocrine balance, and neurotransmitter function.

There are many studies that show how VGCCs are disrupted by EMFs. These studies demonstrate that low-level radiation causes a huge influx of calcium ions into the cells. This calcium influx can lead to oxidative stress, cellular DNA damage, apoptosis (cell death), enzyme activity disruption, and excitotoxicity—effects also directly linked to EMFs. These damaging effects on the body therefore can lead to various disease states.

Additionally, we cannot forget the fact that humans are electrical beings. In fact, all of our cells have a measurable voltage. All organs, including the brain and heart, function based on intricate electrochemical signals. These signals are intimately involved with virtually every process in the body, from digestion to muscle movement, to brain function, and sleep. As you might guess, EMFs can directly impact the “electricity” within our bodies and disrupt normal physiology.

Health Risks for EMF Exposure

You may be surprised to know that there is a growing body of evidence that points to the relationship between prolonged EMF exposure and various health concerns and disease states. We believe there are likely greater health implications to EMF exposure than those listed here, but research is starting to show the following disease states and health consequences:

  • Cancer

  • Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Heart disease

  • Autoimmunity

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder and other neurological disorders

  • Thyroid issues

  • Infertility and reproductive problems

  • Chronic pain

  • Skin conditions

  • Increased severity of other conditions such as Lyme disease and mold illness

  • Sleep disruption

  • Increased risk of miscarriage

  • Decreased sperm motility

  • Abnormal diurnal rhythms of blood pressure and heart rate

Symptoms of EMF Exposure and Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome

EMF exposure can manifest itself in many symptoms. In fact, it is estimated that at least 6 percent of the population is more sensitive to EMFs than others and fall under the term electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome (EHS). Symptoms associated with EMFs include

  • Fatigue

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Headaches

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness

  • Heart palpitations

  • Digestive issues

  • Red skin

  • Tingling

  • Burning sensation

  • Sleep disruption or Insomnia

  • Muscle aches and pains

  • Depression

  • Infertility

  • Tinnitus

  • Cardiac arrhythmia

How Do EMFs Impact Children?

Children are more susceptible to EMFs because of the rate of development in both their osseous structure and nervous system. Additionally, children’s brain tissue is more conductive, making it especially vulnerable. The brain’s protective barrier, the blood-brain barrier, is also more permeable in children; some say it is not fully sealed until age 7.

Because this barrier is not yet fully intact in many young children, their brains are even more vulnerable to the toxins and free radicals present in the bloodstream. The “specific absorption rate” produced by cell phones differs between children and adults. EMF penetrates greater relative to one’s head size.

A 2011 study published in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine helps to illustrate EMFs’ great absorption into the brain. The authors say this: “When electrical properties are considered, a child’s head’s absorption can be over two times greater, and absorption of the skull’s bone marrow can be ten times greater than adults.”

With this understanding in mind, adults should be vigilant in protecting youth from EMF exposure. Screen time should be non-existent or incredibly limited in our pediatric population. We must protect the future generation!

How to Protect Yourself and Loved Ones

Thankfully, despite the onslaught of EMFs in our environment, there are various ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from EMF exposures. Three key aspects of protecting yourself include: decrease the use of EMF emitting devices, increase the distance between yourself and EMFs, and choose hardwired options over wireless.

  • Consider turning off WiFi for a large portion of the day, especially while you sleep. Install a switch to easily turn it off.

  • Take your Apple Watch, Fitbit, or other wearables off. Consider not wearing them at all!

  • Ditch your microwave oven.

  • Keep your phone on airplane mode when you are not using it.

  • Do not use Bluetooth in your car. Turn it off to avoid EMFs.

  • Avoid smart appliances, home devices, thermostats and 5 G-enabled cell phones.

  • Use the speaker function on your phone and hold it further away from your body

  • Do not carry your phone on your body.

  • Use a faraday case while carrying your phone.

  • Do not use your phone when the signal is weak as the phone will boost its output to reach a signal.

  • Use an EMF protection device on your cell phone, iPad, laptop, and desktop computer.

  • When using a laptop, use a shield to protect yourself from harmful radiation. This is particularly important in keeping reproductive organs safe.

  • Consider placing EMF shielding paint in sleeping areas.

  • Remove all fluorescent bulbs and fixtures from your home.

  • If you cannot turn off your WiFi at night or are still exposed to your neighbor’s WiFi, a faraday canopy can be helpful for protecting the sleep environment.

  • Install a smart meter cover and try to place beds as far away from the household smart meter as possible.

  • Use a hardwired mouse, keyboard, telephone, and ethernet.

While EMF exposure is an ever-increasing reality of our world today, be empowered with tools to protect yourself and your loved ones from the detrimental effects of EMFs. With intentional steps forward, you can drastically reduce EMF exposure and promote optimal health.

Sources and Additional Reading


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