There’s no denying that there’s a lot of buzz around EMFs. Amidst the uncertainty of a global pandemic, it’s no wonder people are taking greater caution and care than before about what goes in, on, and near their bodies. So should you be worried about EMFs?
Perhaps a friend or family member has mentioned EMFs, or you’ve come across the term online. Perhaps you’re already well-read on the phenomenon – if that’s the case we hope you will still pick up some new and useful information in this blog. This month, we’ve decided to unpack and explore what EMFs are, where they come from, what they do, and if it’s a cause for concern.
So what are EMFs?
Let’s get down to basics. EMF (also known more simply as radiation) stands for Electric and Magnetic Fields. EMFs have been around since the dawn of time, but since the 20th century, the number of sources of EMFs has grown exponentially. Common sources of electromagnetic fields include the sun, technology (like phones, TVs, Wi-Fi routers, Smart Meters, cameras etc). Xrays and radioactive waste are also sources of EMFs. Some forms of radiation are (as far as we know) potentially harmless, some should be limited (like sun exposure), and some (like radioactive waste) should be avoided entirely.
EMFs and ionisation
EMFs can be understood as high frequency (ionising) and low frequency (non-ionising). Ionisation is high-energy radiation that has enough energy that it can remove an electron (negative particle) from an atom or molecule. Ionisation can cause chemical changes in cells and damage DNA. That means that non-ionising EMFs don’t carry the energy potential to cause ionisation (and thus DNA damage).
Examples of high-frequency, ionising EMFs are UV radiation (that’s why you’ve gotta slip, slop, slap, seek, and slide) and X-Rays (that’s why your doctor leaves the room and asks if you may be pregnant before conducting one). If you watched the Netflix show on the Chernobyl disaster, you would have witnessed a depiction of the rapid ionisation caused by runaway nuclear radiation.
Examples of low-frequency, non-ionising EMFs are phones, radios, TVs, powerlines, and microwaves.
What effects do some people feel?
There is no debate that frequent exposure to high-frequency EMFs is bad for human health. However, it is believed by some members of the public, that even low-frequency EMFs can cause adverse reactions such as nausea, confusion, low libido, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and depression, as well as changes to the DNA, to mention a few. While this is not backed by science as of 2022, we can’t ignore the fact that people experience these adverse reactions.
What does science say?
It is important to separate high and low-frequency EMFs, as they have very different effects on our bodies (and nature as a whole). The majority of the scientific community agrees that low frequency, non-ionising EMFs from technology is not shown to have an adverse effect on the human body and health. As of 2022, the overwhelming scientific consensus is as follows: “Despite extensive research, to date there is no evidence to conclude that exposure to low level electromagnetic fields is harmful to human health.” (source: https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/radiation-electromagnetic-fields)
However, organisations such as The Cancer Council are still requesting further studies into the potential cancer-causing dangers of EMFs ought to be conducted, and non-ionising frequencies are classed as ‘a potential carcinogen’ by IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) which means there could be some risk.
Are there ways to prevent EMF exposure?
There are a few ways to reduce EMF exposure, but preventing it entirely is not possible. That is unless you live out the rest of your life in a cave at the end of the world. The truth is, you will come into contact with electric and magnetic fields every day. Will you really say goodbye to your phone, TV, electricity, sunshine, and life-saving X-Rays? It’s not realistic. But if you are concerned about the exposure you and your family are experiencing, there are ways you can reduce the frequency and intensity of EMF exposure. Examples of this are to reduce sun time, opting for Bluetooth instead of putting our phones directly to our ear, and overall reducing our exposure to technology. There is also a range of products aimed to help you reduce exposure to EMFs. You can browse some of these products here, or get in touch with us to learn more about how these products can help you! Just be cautious that a number of products put out to reduce the exposure to EMFs have been proven to not only be harmful but, in some cases, increase your exposure to EMFs.
Our philosophy is: ‘better safe than sorry’ – don’t forget it took many years to discover that thalidomide (used as a treatment for nausea in pregnant women) caused stillbirths and birth defects. It also took decades to ban the use of asbestos – in 1918 the USA discovered abnormally high deaths linked to asbestos workers (https://www.mesotheliomahelp.org/asbestos/history/) however asbestos, as a building material, wasn’t banned for use in Australia until December 2003.
So do your research, take everything with a grain of salt, and source your products from a reputable source.
Do you have thoughts on EMFs? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!