EMF – What is It and How to Protect Yourself From It
EMF’s or Electric & Magnetic Fields are invisible areas of energy that are sometimes referred to as radiation. While atomic radiation is certainly one type of EMF, most EMFs are completely harmless.
They are categorized by their frequency and are generally grouped into one of two types.
- Non-ionizing or extremely low-frequency EMFs are considered harmless to humans due to their lack of potency. These include devices such as cell phones, microwaves, and even light bulbs. Almost all electronic devices emit some type of EMF.
- Ionizing or high-frequency EMFs, however, release high degrees of radiation and are considered extremely harmful to humans. These include ultraviolet (UV) rays, X-rays and gamma rays. Prolonged exposure to these types of EMFs can lead to cell damage and even potential DNA damage.
Are Low-Frequency EMFs Dangerous?
The EMFs range on a spectrum from low to mid to high frequency. At the lowest end are power lines, radio and TV waves and cell phones. In the mid-range are microwaves, infrared devices, and visible light.
The farther away from the source you are, the more the strength of a wave disperses. So, if you were to climb up to within a few feet of a power line, the wave frequency will be significantly stronger than if you are standing on the ground. Every foot you move away from the power line, the weaker the signal.
There are two factors that determine how detrimental EMF’s are, distance and exposure time.
For instance, if you walk out in the sunshine for 5 minutes you are unlikely to experience any damage from the sun’s rays, but you might if you spent 30 minutes or more outdoors.
In addition, if you live at a high altitude you are actually closer to the sun than in an area that is at sea level or below, so the sun’s rays will naturally be stronger.
If you spend several hours a day every day with your phone directly next to your head, then you are placing yourself at greater risk of adverse effects than if you simply text several times a day.
While microwave ovens emit mid-frequency EMF’s, the oven itself is shielded and the chances are good you are not running your microwave several hours a day. Even then, unless you are standing right in front of it, staring into it, there is little likelihood it will have any negative impact on your health.
Cell phones are potentially one of the most concerning devices, simply because of the amount of time we spend on them and their constant proximity to our head and body.
Along those lines, however, there is also increasing concern around the safety of Bluetooth headsets.
As with almost all electronic devices, the concern is not so much about occasional use, but about jobs and situations where individuals may be wearing them up to 8 hours a day or longer. Bluetooth headphones are often used by many to listen to music or podcasts, talk on the phone or as a part of some jobs like telephone customer service agents.
Symptoms Of EMF Exposure
While it is unlikely that you will experience negative effects from low-frequency EMF exposure, time and proximity will always be factors.
Scientists have only found the very weakest links between low-level EMF exposure and serious health problems like cancer, but there are also other health concerns to be aware of.
Other potential symptoms include:
- Insomnia or an inability to sleep
- Depression or depressive symptoms
- Dysesthesia (a painful, often itchy sensation)
- Changes in memory
- Inability to concentrate
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
- Restlessness or anxiety
- Skin burning or tingling
As you can tell, some of these seem to be simply symptoms of living in a stressful, overbooked modern life.
It may be, however, that what we think is just the way things are in the 21st century are actually low-grade symptoms of too much exposure to technology and electronics.
What To Do About It
By now, most people are familiar with the idea of a digital detox. While feelings may be mixed as to the actual efficacy of such a thing, there can be no doubt that taking even just a short break from electronics can be beneficial.
You may not even realize just how much you depend on your AI-powered assistant until you shut it off for a bit.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with using tech, but it is important to be aware of just how dependent you are becoming on it.
For a full detox, you might consider going camping, getting back to nature for a bit, or just getting away from electronics for a while.