Health Hack #24 - EMFs: How They Affect Our Health
Electromagnetic Fields, aka EMFs
Whether you’re familiar with the term EMF or not, you’re inevitably surrounded by these Electromagnetic Fields, and you likely interact with devices that transmit them virtually all of the time, even while you’re asleep.
It doesn’t take a scientist to have a baseline understanding of EMFs, nor should one have an expressed interest in science in order to seek out this baseline understanding. For those readers most interested in learning about food and health, EMFs are actually quite relevant.
Simply put, an EMF is an area of moving electrical charges. Within the umbrella of EMFs are two types: Ionizing and Non-ionizing. Ionizing EMFs are more powerful, operating with higher frequencies and at shorter distances. X-Rays are a prime example. It’s well established and fairly common knowledge by now that incessant X-Raying of our bodies poses some fairly serious health consequences, and we’re advised to limit our exposure the best we can. The key scientific difference between the two types is that Ionizing EMFs have the ability to break chemical bonds.
Non-ionizing EMFs function at lower frequencies and for longer distances. For the sake of this article, we’ll be focusing on this type only. These are the kinds we interact with most frequently, and they’re also the ones that we have the most control over, as far as monitoring our exposure. For the sake of brevity, we’ll begin using the blanket term “EMF” from here on out, noting that it’s actually only pertaining to the Non-ionizing type.
The most common EMF’s that we interact with daily are:
• Wifi Routers
• Cell phones
• Bluetooth Devices
• Baby Monitors
• TV Remotes
We’re obviously surrounded by most of the above EMFs all the time, and they’re embedded in our lifestyles for good reason. Our ability to interact with one another and to access information so readily and so efficiently is largely what’s driving the progress of our species. What would we do without Wifi? Without our functioning cell phones? They’re all vital to our livelihood. The danger simply lies in how we interact with them, both in terms of frequency and proximity.
Dangers of Excess Exposure
The FDA sets safety thresholds for exposure volumes, so it’s not as though devices that surpass these set parameters would be able to legally hit our markets. In other words, Apple would never be able to release a product that would be known to fry our brain. To reiterate, the devil with EMFs lies not in the actual device or service, but in the details of how we interact with them. That said, the following should not serve as a warning to dispose of your cell phone immediately for the betterment of your health. Instead, we’ll later shift gears and visit some simple ways to mitigate any potential harm.
Excess exposure to EMFs is known to be quite dangerous. While the FDA regulates transmission quantities, they don’t place much focus on duration quantities. Nor are they seeing ahead of the curve. Recommendations founded in 1996 (which remain intact and unchanged to this day) probably didn’t foresee the cell phone era that laid ahead, where everyone's on their phone all of the time. Nor did they anticipate the ramifications of speed upgrades, where it’s suddenly difficult to traverse a city block without encountering a newly built 5G tower, which puts us in closer contact with EMFs while at higher volumes.
Some of the deleterious effects known to stem from EMF overload are as follows, ranging from mild to incredibly serious:
• Sleep Disturbance
• Anxiety and Depression
• Altered Brain Metabolism
• Reduced Sperm Count and Interrupted Sperm Motility (Men)
• Reduced Fertility Rates (Women)
• Cancer (forms ranging from Testicular to Breast to Brain)
If you’re frightened by the list above, you should be. As we know from prior articles (Sleep pt. 1, Sleep pt. 2), a side effect as seemingly innocuous as Sleep Disturbance can quickly cascade into a complete and utter breakdown of good health. Fortunately, there are a number of hacks that can be employed to best avoid the risk of overexposure.
Tips for Reducing Your EMF Exposure
1. Keep your cell phone away from your head.
Your Wifi signals are transmitted directly to your phone. To reduce the proximity of your exposure to the EMFs to your brain, refrain from holding your phone against your head. Use speaker phone when socially appropriate or revert to old school wired headphones.
2. Reconsider your fancy AirPods.
For real? Yes, unfortunately. As noted above - wired headphones that plug into your cell phones are far and away the safer bet. AirPods themselves contain the Bluetooth capabilities, whereas traditional headphones don’t - only your phone does. It’s one thing to press your cell phone against the side of your head. It’s probably worse to take those same EMFs and literally place them inside your ear canals, no?
3. Switch your phone to Airplane mode whenever possible - certainly when asleep.
Many of us use our phones as alarm clocks, but these still function just fine while in Airplane mode. And if you’re worried about potentially missing some overnight emergency calls and Airplane Mode isn’t an option, then consider just keeping some distance from the phone. Ten feet or more is recommended.
4. Keep your Wifi Router away from your most used areas of the house.
Simply as a way of reducing your proximity to the device, try and house it where you’re liable to spend the least amount of time. Obviously avoid the bedroom, the kitchen, and the living room. When with no choice but to be near it - such as an office setting where you can’t control your whereabouts - definitely use the ten feet or more rule spelled out above.
5. TO MEN: Do not carry your phone in your front pant pockets.
Go to great lengths to avoid radiation down below. Consider a coat pocket during colder months and revert to your back pocket when all else fails.
6. TO WOMEN: Keep your phone away from all lady parts.
Like men, avoid holding your device down below. But additionally, be mindful of keeping it away from your breast region. Numerous studies have linked excess EMF exposure to breast cancer occurrence.
7. Limit your Microwave use.
Convection ovens or stoves are the way to go. Not only will you eliminate radiation, you’ll also improve food quality and food taste. Micronutrients within foods are alleged to be rendered less stable when zapped within an EMF box. The science is still undecided here, but there’s no doubt that taste is drastically improved when shifting to an oven or stove.
8. Eat nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich REAL FOODs.
A bi-product of EMF exposure is the production of pro-inflammatory free radicals, which can often damage healthy cells. One of the best known combatants for fighting such are the antioxidants which are found most abundantly in real, unprocessed foods.