In this week’s video, David and Carla are broadcasting from their bedroom. That’s because where we sleep is one of the most important ‘hot spots’ for EMFs, and how to reduce EMFs in your home is this week’s topic in our Full Year of Resolutions series.
What is an EMF?
EMF stands for electromagnetic fields. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, EMFs are “invisible areas of energy, often referred to as radiation, that are associated with the use of electrical power.”
In the ultra-connected, high-tech world we live in, we are inundated with EMFs. We are regularly exposed to EMFs – and not only when we’re out in public, but also inside our homes. We have lots of these invisible areas inside our homes from a wide variety of sources including electrical appliances and manmade lighting. Most of the radiation comes from our cell phones, cell towers, computers, and Wi-Fi. But it also comes from electronics like baby monitors, Bluetooth devices, and smart thermostats.
Two categories of EMFs
EMFs are categorized into ionizing and nonionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is known to be potentially hazardous. It is the reason your dental hygienist puts a lead apron over your organs and leaves the room when taking X-rays at your checkup. The sun’s UV rays are another form of ionizing radiation, and the reason for a sunburn if you’re overexposed.
We’re pretty familiar with these forms of potentially dangerous EMFs. They’re dangerous because the damage they cause is due to oxidative stress that results in excessive free radicals. But there are now many theories as to how non-ionizing radiation causes biological damage as well. Your cell phone, Wi-Fi router, Bluetooth device, and baby monitor consistently emit microwave radiation at levels that can damage your mitochondria. That means that even non-ionizing radiation can potentially cause damage at the cellular level.
How bad are EMFs, really?
This topic can be a bit controversial, and not all scientists and health professionals agree. However, there are over 8000 published studies confirming that EMFs are causing health problems. Even the usually conservative World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified cellphones as a class 2B carcinogen clear back in 2011.
More recent research in 2018 from the National Toxicology Program (NTP) funded by the National Institutes of Health showed very clearly that our cellphones are actually a class I carcinogen, just like X-rays. (If you are interested in the science behind this, and how non-ionizing radiation, or EMFs, damage cells, you can read Ben Greenfield’s comprehensive article here.)
But let’s break this down to what it really means for us. Many of us are completely unaware of these electromagnetic fields all around us. We feel little or no repercussions, at least yet. For some it causes minimal damage. But for somewhere between 3-10% of the population, it’s making them sick.
I’m not a Conspiracy Theorist, but…
This topic gets confusing and is controversial because when you research the dangers posed by EMFs, you’ll find a lot of differing information. But if you look a little closer, you realize that the findings differ immensely depending on who has funded the study. In other words, the science is heavily influenced by industry influence. 70% of non-industry-funded studies show that EMF has negative effects, while only 30% of industry-funded studies show the same findings. (This type of biased science should not surprise us – just look at the history of the tobacco industry) There is big money and heavy lobbying from the wireless and tech industries to keep this information about our health under wraps.
But the truth is, we are carrying and using more devices every day, all day, than we could have even imagined just 10 years ago. Our exposure to EMFs is over a billion billion times higher today than it was a mere hundred years ago, and it’s only going to get worse. That’s not a typo, it really is a billion billion. That’s a number with 10-15 zeroes after it. And experts say we’ll soon need to add an additional 2 zeroes to this already unimaginably high number.
As I dug into the research available about EMFs, I came upon terms like “electromagnetic pollution,” “electrosmog,” and “dirty electricity.” Even though it is invisible to the naked eye, man-made electromagnetic pollution is one of the most potent and fastest growing sources of air pollution in our world. Once I filtered out the biased studies that were funded by groups with a conflict of interest, the science seemed pretty clear: EMFs are proven to cause mutation of cells and cancer. The top health threats include cardiovascular disease, cancer, and infections. But consider the astonishing rates of increase for the following disorders since 1990:
|Disease or Disorder||Increase Since 1990|
|Bipolar disease in youth||10,833%|
|Chronic fatigue syndrome||11,027%|
These numbers are both sobering and significant. Some of these diseases were not even public knowledge prior to 1980.
Body tissues that are most susceptible to damage from EMFs include the brain, testes (for men), nervous system, retina, and pacemaker of your heart. Did you know we all have a natural pacemaker? If you know someone with an artificial pacemaker, you probably know they’ve been told not to keep their cellphone in their shirt pocket, as it’s very dangerous for it to be that close to the pacemaker. But it’s problematic for those of us with natural pacemakers as well. The heart is bioelectrical. In fact, our whole body is a combination of biology and electricity, and EMFs alter how the biology functions.
Sometimes the repercussions of EMFs are called microwave sickness or electricity sensitivity. Jeremy Johnson, a highly successful civil engineer and manager at a large Silicon Valley firm, had been around all the high-tech stuff that causes these conditions for over 10 years before feeling any ill effects. He started getting headaches that eventually became migraines and other illnesses from the smart meter the electric company installed just outside of his window.
After learning about EMFs the hard way, Johnson has invested well over 10,000 hours researching the issue and has a TED talk that’s been watched over 1.5 million times. He talks about the prevalence of depression, anxiety, fatigue, nausea, heart palpitations, and insomnia that afflict so many in the world today, but so few recognize the connection to EMF pollution.
Protect yourself from EMF pollution
If you’re like me, you may feel a little overwhelmed at this point. As I read through the unbiased evidence, as well as a lot of anecdotal evidence from those who have struggled with illness due to EMF exposure, I felt some doom and gloom. How could I possibly escape the inevitable? We live in a world filled with smartwatches and Wi-Fi routers and Bluetooth headphones. But there are many things we can control inside the walls of our home. As Dr. Tom O’Bryan said, “EMF reduction is preventative medicine that you can learn now and apply for the rest of your life.”
You become the scientist
There are some easy (and maybe even fun!) ways to figure out where you can potentially reduce EMFs in your home. When Carla Meine first heard about EMFs a few years ago, she bought a cheap meter on Amazon, then used it to run a bunch of science experiments in her home. She turned on her microwave and then watched the meter to see how far away she needed to be. Then she went around the house and measured electronics when they were plugged in, when they weren’t plugged in, and made some minor changes. (Since then, she has purchased a different meter, available here. If you’re local, she’ll even lend you hers for the day!)
You can also buy a simple AM/FM radio and use it to gauge the EMFs in and around your home. Tune the dial to 530 AM. If there is electrical interference, whether microwave or electric, you’ll get a static sound. Start by going about 50 feet outside of your home. The goal is to start with no static sound on the radio, meaning no EMFs, but this will vary depending on power lines, density of your housing, EMFs from neighbors, etc. As you walk toward your home, note when the static sound begins, and when it becomes loudest. The static noise will help you identify EMF hot spots.
Specific Ways to Reduce EMFs in Your Home
You might be thinking, I’m not feeling any of these things, this EMF thing must not be that big of a deal. But it’s not just a few unfortunate people who are being affected. Science says we’re all being affected by EMF exposure at some level, whether we can feel it or not. Children are especially susceptible, as they’ve been exposed their entire lives.
It’s worth making an effort to reduce EMFs in our homes. Most homes have 10-20 sources of EMF that can be eliminated. Here are 5 things we can do to help mitigate EMFs in the home:
1. Focus on your bedroom
In the More Than Healthy Model, sleep is one of the foundations of health. Insomnia is one of the side effects of EMF pollution. Creating a safe place to sleep in our bedrooms, where we spend so many hours, is especially important. Many people find that doing so helps to dramatically increase their amount of deep sleep and REM sleep, which is what we need to get restorative sleep.
Your wireless router is a definite contributor of EMFs. If you must have it in your bedroom, get a timer switch, like what many people use for their Christmas lights, and set it to switch your router off from 10 pm to 6 am, or whatever your sleep window is. Not only will this reduce the EMFs, it will also help force you to get off your device and go to bed!
It is also helpful to keep your cell phones outside of your room while sleeping and to put them on airplane mode whenever possible.
2. Use cell phones wisely
Wireless technology and smartphones have come with many benefits and convenience. But it also comes with a cost. Did you know there is fine print in the owner’s manual of your smartphone warning to keep your phone at a certain distance (depending on the make and model) from your body? How often is your phone in your pocket? Or pressed against your ear, and in your hand?
Whenever possible, use speaker phone or an air tube headset. When you are carrying it on your body, put it on airplane mode.
3. Revert to wired tech
The convenience of Wi-Fi in our homes is nice, but it really isn’t necessary. Reduce EMFs in your home by going back to plugged-in technology. Hard-wire your printer and other wireless devices. Move to ethernet or fiber optics. Opt out of smart meters and smart home technologies, as they can make your family sick.
4. Replace your LED light bulbs
Those LED lights so many of us invested in, thinking they were better for the environment and would last longer, are problematic when it comes to EMF. Newer bulbs, especially those that are LED or CFL, do use less electricity than the standard 40 or 50 Hz homes are wired for.
However, the same amount of electricity is still pulsing through the wires of our homes, but now the bulb can’t make use of it all. That extra, unused energy is sent back into your home’s wiring. Experts refer to this as “dirty energy,” which is dangerous because it emits a high level of Extra Low Frequency (ELF) EMF radiation. Dirty energy also comes from dimmer switches, solar tech, and compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
5. Wear an EMF protection pendant
I know, my first thought was this sounded a little bit like voodoo, but it’s backed by science! Plus, it’s a pretty easy way to reduce EMFs in your life, so it’s worth a try! Carla and David wear the Harmoni EMF pendant, and they really do think it is making a difference.
These pendants work by using the science of quantum physics. They are able to neutralize EMF fields and take disharmonious frequencies and turn them into beneficial frequencies. It can also tune in to your own energy field, helping with pain management, better sleep, improved mental and physical health, and reduced stress. EMFAdvice.com explains how these pendants work:
“The pendants work through a process called attenuation. This is essentially the gradual loss of force as energy passes through a material. For example, the muffling effect that happens when you hear sound through a wall. This is attenuation of sound energy, and the same logic can be applied to things like radiation and x-rays.”
There is energy within us
Our bodies are made from and run on energy – literal energy, not just the kind we get from eating carbs. Think about it – what happens when you get static electricity? When you have extra electricity in your body and you reach out and shock someone? The human body is neutrally charged. You feel static charge because the hairs on your skin get positively or negatively charged when rubbed. We can even generate electricity. Scientists agree that at rest, the human body can produce around 100 watts of power – enough to power up a light bulb.
Just like electrical signals are integral to the communications networks of the world, bioelectricity is how our cells communicate with each other. Without that bioelectricity you couldn’t be reading this article right now, because your brain requires electricity to work.
Everything we are able to do is controlled and enabled by electrical signals running through our bodies. Doesn’t it make sense that our bodies would be affected by EMFs, the invisible areas of energy we’re surrounded by and inundated with, day in and day out?
Start small and reduce EMFs in your home today
Even if you’re not aware of any negative effects from EMFs, it’s worth doing what you can to mitigate possible future effects, especially within your home. At More Than Healthy, we believe that small efforts bring great rewards. It’s our quest to live longer with optimal health, and we think this is an important way to help achieve that goal.
What do you think? Do you know someone who has struggled with side effects from EMF pollution? We always love hearing from you. Leave comments and questions on any of our social media sites. We are always here for you and would love to help YOU achieve optimal health.
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