Man-made electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are pollution created by the wired and wireless technologies of the modern world. They’re not visible and cannot be smelt or tasted, but are considered to be one of the most widespread and potent environmental pollutants.
Electrical Hypersensitivity (EHS)
Human beings are bio-electrical systems, with the heart and brain reliant on bio-electrical signals to function. EMFs can interact with these central processes in the body and for some people, animals, plants and micro-organisms can cause disruption in biological processes and disease. For humans, the term most frequently used for EMF-related symptoms is Electrical Hypersensitivity (EHS).
Common EHS symptoms include: headaches, concentration difficulties, sleep problems, depression, a lack of energy, fatigue and flu like symptoms.
In the beginning many of these symptoms occur only occasionally but increase in frequency and intensity over time. However by sufficiently minimizing exposures to detrimental EMFs, the body has a chance to recover and improve resilience to the adverse effects of EMFs.
Common EMF Sources and Types
Scanning the electrical and electromagnetic spectrum from electrical supply frequencies up to the top of radio frequencies – two peaks of intensity are detected – one at 50-60Hz the mains and another at microwave frequencies.
- Radio-frequency radiation (RF) – Emitted from radio and TV broadcast antennas, Wi-Fi access points, routers, Bluetooth devices, mobile and cordless phones.
- Extremely low frequency electric (ELF EF) and magnetic fields (ELF MF) – Emitted from electrical wiring, lamps and appliances.
- Very low frequency electric (VLF EF) and magnetic fields (VLF MF) – Emitted due to harmonic voltage and current distortion, from electrical wiring, lamps and electronic devices.
Electromagnetic Spectrum – Natural and Manmade Sources
Types of EMF Exposure
Generally speaking, there are two broad categories of electromagnetic frequencies on the spectrum: “Non-Ionizing Radiation” and “Ionizing Radiation.” Non-ionizing radiation is mild and thought to be harmless to people, such as getting an MRI or using your phone. On the other hand, ionizing radiation, or high-level radiation, is a form of ultraviolet rays from the sun. See examples below for further clarification.
According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), EMFs are “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The IARC believes that some studies show a possible link between EMFs and cancer in people. Remember that while there’s a link, there’s not enough evidence to say it causes the cancer. They’re particularly concerned about phone usage and how many people are using them and keeping them close to their body. It’s the item people use most that give off EMFs. All would agree better research and more monitoring is needed.
Besides cancer, other studies go on to suggest that EMFs may cause various neurological and psychiatric problems in people, which impact sleep and mood. An overwhelming number of studies have been conducted on EMF radiation that shows there can be many risks to our health.