There’s no doubt that we together with our children live in a hyper-connected world. It’s increasingly harder to find spaces where there is absolutely no cell phone service or Wi-Fi network. Is that a good thing? It’s a bit ironic to write this on the Internet, but as this technology is so new, we don’t yet know the long-term effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on human health. The radiation generated by modern technology could have similar effects to the sun’s UV radiation, which, when unfiltered, can be quite harmful.
So, can we find a “sunscreen” for our constant exposure to Wi-Fi and 5G?
What is the Electromagnetic Field?
An electromagnetic field is an area of radiation generated when electrons move through a conductive element. The voltage of the current (essentially the pressure, or the number of electrons in a given space) creates an electrical charge. As the current flows, it also produces a magnetic field. (Therefore, a device ceases producing it when turned off.)
The Earth naturally has an envelope of electromagnetic energy, generated by its inner core of spinning molten iron. This magnetic field actually deflects the solar wind that would otherwise destroy the ozone layer — allowing the Sun’s UV rays to scorch the planet. This type of electromagnetic field is beneficial.
Others — not so much. A field of X-rays or gamma rays comprises high-frequency radiation that can damage DNA, leading to cancer.
EMFs can be classified as high-frequency, mid-frequency, low-frequency, or extremely-low-frequency (ELF). These categories refer to the number of cycles per second that the currents run, measured in hertz (Hz). Your favorite FM radio station, a mid-range EMF, runs between 87.5 and 108 megahertz, while your computer is an ELF at just 60-100 Hz.
But nowadays, our families are all bathed in an overlapping sea of EMFs. The fields generated by most communication devices fall into the low-frequency EMF or ELF categories, particularly the radiofrequency spectrum.
However, lower frequency may not mean safer — especially when the current is constantly on, as is often the case in modern society.
Possible Health Risks of EMFs
Some studies have found an increased risk of cancer among those who worked closely with radiofrequency equipment. Other research has found possible links between proximity to power lines (a type of extremely low-frequency field, or ELF) and cancer.
While findings have been mixed or limited at times, several studies have indicated that children may be more susceptible to these EMFs. It’s unclear why, although it stands to reason that any developing body would be more vulnerable to environmental toxins. In 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) did state that EMFs may have carcinogenic effects.
It’s also worth noting that electromagnetic exposure can suppress melatonin, an important protective hormone. Low melatonin levels have been linked to poor sleep, increased inflammation, and a higher risk of tumors.
Although the jury is out on cancer risks, there are some alarming studies about Wi-Fi’s effects in particular. A Wi-Fi area is a mid-frequency EMF, closer to what a microwave oven would generate. But while your microwave is contained (and only used for a few minutes at a time), Wi-Fi is always on. We are immersed in it. And that could be a problem. Animal studies have shown that chronic Wi-Fi exposure contributes to:
- Impaired cognition
- Neurodegenerative disease
- Male infertility (both animal and human studies have been done)
- Heart arrhythmia and high blood pressure
Not enough research has been done on humans to truly understand the risks. But I believe that being safe is better than being sorry. Thankfully, there are ways to limit our exposure to EMFs.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Children from Electromagnetic Radiation
At a certain point, you and your children will be exposed to naturally occurring EMFs such as the Earth’s magnetic field. This won’t harm you. However, the artificial EMFs constantly buzzing could present some risks.
Worse, they’re a mix of different frequencies, partly because the extreme demand on the grid causes surges of high-frequency currents, generating yet more EMFs. Many devices also “pulse” off and on, disrupting the natural frequency wave with energy spikes. These bursts of energy, called “high-frequency voltage transients,” bleed into other areas. Both these effects lead to “dirty electricity,” which essentially pollutes the environment, exposing us to constant waves of radiation.
The good news is that EMFs fade quickly as you move away from the source. Your local radio tower is likely far enough away that you aren’t exposed to most of the radiation. And as mentioned, the magnetic field vanishes when the device is turned off.
The problem is that our homes are now filled with devices generating EMFs of their own. As a rule of thumb, if it’s wireless, it’s communicating via radiofrequency radiation. And the closer you are to the source, the greater its effect.
So, some experts suggest that you decrease cell phone use, or at least use speakerphone mode or even Bluetooth headphones. As Bluetooth signals are weaker than typical cellphone signals, they likely have less effect on your cells.
Also, your computer generates a meager 60-100 Hz, even if it’s connected to Wi-Fi. Therefore, maintaining a safe distance from your router can greatly limit your exposure.
Simple Steps to a Cleaner-Electricity Home
When not using devices, turn them off. (This saves on your energy bill as well!) Unplugging your router at night could be a good idea.
Choose wired over wireless. If you don’t need to be mobile, consider using wired Ethernet for your computer rather than a Wi-Fi connection.
Minimize your use of devices that tend to switch between AC and DC currents as these can produce voltage transients. Examples include “smart” devices, fluorescent bulbs, hairdryers, blenders, and anything with variable speeds or dimmer switches.
If you want more blanket protection — a “sunscreen” against EMFs — you’re in luck. Companies concerned about dirty electricity and EMF exposure are creating shields that filter out those harmful voltage transients and modulate the frequency of radiation entering your home. There are surge protectors that reduce spikes of energy, prevent overcycling, and block excess RF radiation.
I have found the products by Satic Shield to be truly helpful. They make a general EMF shield that can be installed in the breaker panel, a surge protector that modulates voltage, and clean-electric lighting.
Once I started using these products, I noticed that my mood, sleep, and metabolism all seemed to improve. You can definitely feel the difference when you’re not being doused with so much radiation. It’s like that irritable buzzing finally got a bit quieter. It’s no substitute for a night in the great outdoors away from civilization, but it definitely makes my home feel cleaner and safer.
Wrapping Up: Do You Need Protection from EMFs?
Electronic devices, powerlines, and Wi-FI are going to be part of our and our children’s lives for the foreseeable future. Until we know more about the effects of this constant radiation and dirty electricity, it’s better to play it safe. Minimizing our exposure to artificial EMFs may help us avoid neurological distress, tumors, and reproductive issues. Surely that’s worth some time away from the Internet!