How To Protect Yourself From EMF
If you’ve heard anything about EMFs (electromagnetic fields), the information probably falls into one of two camps:
- EMFs are harmful and will give you cancer; or
- EMFs are totally harmless and those hippies are just trying to scare you
Like most issues having to do with your health, the truth is a little more nuanced than that. Also like most preventative health topics and relatively new technologies, there’s still a lot we don’t know. Read on to find out what EMFs actually do to your body and how to minimize your exposure.
What are EMFs?
Your body is designed to handle a fair amount of EMFs. Even if you lived a completely unplugged existence in the middle of the jungle, the planet you’re standing on exposes you to EMFs. We humans emit electromagnetic energy, and there’s no escaping ourselves.
An EMF refers to the invisible cloud of electricity that surrounds electrically charged particles. When charged particles are moving (and they always are), they produce magnetic fields. Every living and nonliving thing you come in contact with has its own electromagnetic field.
So… EMFs are safe, right?
Only to a point. The world has far more EMFs coursing through the atmosphere than it did even 10 years ago. Once cell phones were adopted by the masses, the world started going wireless with everything.
The shift happened in a relatively short amount of time, which means you have to deal with a steep influx of EMFs. That makes us all the study population; the guinea pigs and there’s evidence that this flood of EMFs is causing some pretty massive damage to your cells, and human health.
EMFs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so instead of waiting around to see what the long-term repercussions are, I’ve come up with some proactive ways to avoid overexposure.
Some sources of EMFs
In an increasingly wireless world, EMFs are everywhere. The big influx of EMFs come from humans and technology, and of course you still receive low-level EMFs that have always been around.
Some sources of EMFs include:
• Cell phones
• Your wireless router
• Your computer and tablets
• Your neighbor’s wifi
• Wireless conveniences: smart thermostat, wireless security systems, wireless speakers, wireless printers, smart televisions, Google Home and Amazon Echo or Alexa, AppleTV, baby monitors, security cameras
• BlueTooth devices (smart phones, tablets, computers, wireless mouse and keyboard, wireless headphones, smart watches, newer TV remotes)
• Microwave oven
• Dimmer switches
• Power strips
• Household LED & CFL light bulbs
• Radiant electrical heating
Why EMF is harmful
EMFs modify DNA and genes
EMFs can tamper with your DNA and genes,which are the instruction manuals your cells use to carry out processes. Bad things happen when your cells don’t know what to do. Best case scenario (but still bad), your cells are under stress and you’re tired all the time. Worst case scenario, your cells’ DNA get damaged and things go haywire. We’re talking genetic mutations and cancer.
EMFs cause problems in the brain and nerves
EMFs’ action on the nervous system matters most because our phones spend a lot of time close to our heads.
Researchers observed measurable changes in brain cells after EMF exposure. Worse yet, researchers are getting consistent results in rat studies showing that EMFs damage the protective layer of the brain, the blood-brain barrier. Exposure can also cause headaches, which might be related.
Children are especially vulnerable to EMFs because their brains are developing, young brain tissue is more conductive than fully matured brain tissue, and they have many years of exposure ahead of them.
EMFs disturb your body processes from head to toe and everywhere in between
The brain and nervous system get a lot of attention, but EMFs can alter your body in more ways than that. EMFs:
• Disrupt the immune system
• Cause sleep problems (insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, disrupted sleep cycles including night waking)
• Fatigue, muscle or physical weakness
• Leg cramps, or neuropathy
• Cause behavioral problems
• Headaches, sharp pain or pressure in the head
• Concentration, memory or learning problems
• Disorientation, dizziness, balance problems
• Eye problems, including eye pain, pressure in the eyes
• Stress, agitation, anxiety, irritability
• Damage cells
• Ringing in the ears, ear pain, high pitched ringing
• Arthritis or body pain
• Sinus problems, nose bleeds
• Change blood pressure and heart rate
• Reduce sperm quality and motility
• Endocrine disorders, thyroid problems, diabetes
• Changes in menstrual cycle
How to lower EMF exposure
Keep phones and laptops off of your body
Do not put your phone in your pocket or bra. If you must, switch to airplane mode while it’s there.
Text instead of calling whenever possible. The farther your phone is from your body, the better.
When talking on your cell phone, your safest bet is speakerphone mode with your phone at least a hand’s length away. Not quite as good (because it still emits some radiation), but better than holding the phone to your head, is a wired headset. A wireless Bluetooth headset is your third choice. It will deliver lower levels of microwave radiation than your cell phone, but more than the wired headset. Turn your headset off when the phone is not in use.
Also try to limit use of your phone to those location that offer the maximum number of bars, indicating the best reception. When signal quality is poor, your phone emits more radiation. Try not to use your cell phone in elevators, cars, trains, or planes. Cell phones draw more power, and emit more radiation, in enclosed metal spaces.
Use your laptop, but put it on a tabletop instead of on your lap. You can get an inexpensive EMF blocking mat to set your laptop on for an extra layer of protection.
Use the old school cables when possible
If your home is wired you’re in luck. If not you should strongly considering wiring your home or purchasing an Adapter to run Ethernet Over Coax (standard cable line).
Depending on what type of computer you have, you’ll have an ethernet port or you can get a cheap adapter to make one work. Wired baby monitors, smart TVs, plug-in sound systems… virtually anything you used to connect using a cable is still available in a wired version.
Even if you’re spoiled by your smart thermostat, most including the popular Nest Learning Thermostat allow you to turn off the WiFi function. If your smart thermostat does not you can switch it out with a programmable version that won’t affect your quality of life in the least, you simply won’t be able to adjust the unit remotely.
Turn off WiFi features, and/or remove EMF producing devices
Turn off WiFi features on devices you are able to wire, and/or WiFi features you don’t use. For example if you have a smart television that is connected to an AppleTV, wire the AppleTV (which automatically turns off the devices WiFi) and deactivated the TV’s WiFi function. Remove EMF producing devices like dimmer switches, power strips, LED and CFL bulbs. Opt-out of your power company’s radio-frequency-based smart meter and request an unconnected digital meter that needs to be manually read. These smart meters have come under suspicion as a significant source of electromagnetic radiation, but are also being used to control power consumption and to track your power and device use, information the utility companies then sell to third parties. For more information, please see www.smartmeterdangers.org.
If you have a wireless router in your house or apartment, keep it in a little-used room and out of the bedroom (or turn it off altogether at night). Strive to keep your bedroom as free of electronic radiation as possible. In addition to routers, banish cell phones, wireless phones, and computers. Purists will want to unplug electric devices near the bed. If you are worried about “dirty electricity,” use a battery-powered alarm clock and make sure that extension cords or power strips do not sit under or around the bed. Avoid electric blankets and wired mattress warmers.
Turn off your wifi when you’re not using it
If your home isn’t wired, which actually provides a faster, and far more reliable connection… at a minimum, turn off your wireless router while you’re sleeping. Better still, turn it on when you’re using it and off when you’re not.
Install EMF blockers in your house
These range from $20 contraptions that plug in like a night-light (including Stezer Filters and Greenwave Dirty Electricity Filters), to $400 standalone setups that work long-range. Models vary in price, size, and effectiveness, so compare models to find out what’s best for your living space. You may also considering hiring a building biologist to inspect your home and make recommendations to address EMF related issues.
Use a Faraday canopy on your bed
A Faraday canopy is like a mosquito net, but instead of keeping bugs from biting you while you sleep, it blocks EMF. These attractive and functional canopies can be used over beds or other similar sized areas to reduce radiofrequency radiation. Made from very light weight Swiss Shield Daylight fabric (92% polyester net-knit, with 8% silver-plated copper fiber content) which stops over 80% (16dB) of microwave radiation energy penetration (over at least 200-3000 MHz). These canopies have a nice veil-like appearance (plenty of air and light penetration), and the conductive components are twisted into the threads, with no metal coating to flake and no need for grounding.
If you live in a single-family home and your wireless router and devices are off while you sleep, you can save yourself the thousand bucks.
If you live in a shared space like an apartment or high-rise condo, or if you spend a lot of time in hotels, you’re contending with your neighbors many wireless devices, too. Especially if you’re experiencing noticeable sleep disturbances, Faraday netting is worth the one-time investment.
Limit EMFs, but don’t
You’re not going to eliminate EMFs from your life entirely, and some EMFs are actually beneficial including the earth’s electromagnetic field (which protects us from solar radiation), as well as Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMF) from devices like the Bemer Pro Set.
Instead, start with the easiest, highest impact EMF reducers – unplug your wi-fi router and switch your phone and other devices into airplane mode at night. Scrap your microwave. Microwaved food is gross anyway. These alone will drastically reduce your exposure and bonus! You’ll notice that you sleep better.
After that, look into EMF shields for devices close to your body, and assess your environment for other ways to reduce your EMF exposure.
In a wireless world, electromagnetic noise bounces around us every minute of every day. Actively reducing EMF exposure by eliminating it where possible, and blocking some other sources is far better for your health and overall wellness than passively sitting there and taking it.
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