Our dependence on electronics is higher than ever before and not likely to decrease any time soon. Could you even imagine going a few days without indoor electricity, television, your favorite household electronic (I heart you, blender), your cell phone, computer, or tablet? I couldn’t – even as I write this now, I’m typing on my laptop, my cell phone is next to my laptop, behind me sits our modem and wireless router, and as I look out the balcony I see power lines just a few feet away. I admit it, I love technology (most of us do). However, the problem is that all electrical devices emit an electromagnetic field that is potentially dangerous to our health – now that’s enough to make me think twice about my electronic use.
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are invisible areas of energy, often called radiation, that surround any electric device. This includes cell phones, mobile towers, broadcast towers, computers, power lines, industrial equipment, electrical wiring, radiation machines, and household appliances, just to name a few. The actual electric component of an EMF typically doesn’t harm humans as it is the voltage used to power the device and is shielded by walls, cases, and other objects (however, direct contact can cause serious burns). On the other hand, the magnetic area of an EMF is where medical concerns arise since there are no barriers (besides distance) between magnetic fields and the human body.
At any given time, the human body creates a variety of tiny electrical currents to function normally. For example, nerves use electrical impulses to communicate with the body, while proper digestion, brain activity, and heartbeat regulation all rely on electronic currents. Exposure to a high EMF or constant exposure to low EMFs can over simulate our nerves, muscles, and other biological reactions and potential create health problems.
A variety of studies show links between EMFs and increased risk of cancer (especially brain cancer, breast cancer, and childhood leukemia), pregnancy complications (including miscarriage), reproductive problems, sleep disturbances, headaches, autism, respiratory problems, fatigue, and a host of other serious health issues. However, there is still a continuing debate about whether these links are causal and consistent. Regardless, even if the jury is still out, if you’re like me, I would rather take preventative measures now than risk so many possible negative health effects. Below are some tips to decrease the amount of EMFs that enter your body (while still enjoying the modern day benefits of electrical devices).
Remember the strength of the magnetic field weakens as it travels away from its source. The farther you can be from your electronics, the better. Here are 8 ways to decrease your exposure to EMFs:
- Don’t sleep with your phone, computer, or any electronic device right next to you (I’m often guilty of this)
- Alternate which ear you use when talking on your cell phone
- Keep your laptop on a table or desk instead of your lap (whoever named it “laptop” clearly wasn’t thinking about EMF risks)
- Turn off electrical devices like TVs and computers when you aren’t using them (perk: you’ll be saving money too)
- Unplug electronics from walls when traveling or when you won’t use them for awhile (even just having an electronic plugged in but turned off still emits a low EMF)
- Consider investing in an EMF shielding device for home or office use (you can even find these in some hotel rooms)
- Repair faulty wiring in your home or business
- Take time each day to be technology free - go for a walk, meditate, practice yoga, hand-write in a journal, read a book (no reading devices), or spend time in nature
As researchers continue to study the relationship between EMF exposure and our health, you have the ability to protect yourself and your family now by being aware of this danger and using the tips above as often as you can.
Have you had any health problems associated with EMF exposure? Share your story in the comments below.
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