EMF Exposure from Wireless Phones and Devices: Is It Dangerous?

With the increased use of wireless phones and devices, are you concerned about your EMF exposure? Or perhaps, you’re still wondering what EMF even means? This may be a term that you’ve heard thrown around but just dismiss because you don’t even know what it stands for. Maybe you’ve heard that your cell phone will cause cancer, or that the impending 5G roll-out will be the worst catastrophe our world has ever known. But then you googled it and were reassured that the whole ‘cancer and cell phone’ thing has been debunked once again.  And then you see that the whole "5G thing" is just straight up crazy-people fear-mongering shenanigans. 

It’s time to set things straight.  What’s really going on with EMF’s and what does the actual science say?

First of all, let’s define what EMF really are. 

EMF stands for Electromagnetic Fields or Electromagnetic Frequencies.  Any time you have electricity, you have these fields.  Any time there is a force, or energy of an electrical nature, we have EMF’s. The human body is electric and has its own field. Even the earth has an electromagnetic field; it’s called the Schumann Resonance. These are examples of native EMF’s.  

Most the EMF’s we encounter today, however, are non-native EMF’s (nnEMF) or man-made EMF’s.  These consist of things like x-rays, microwaves, cell towers, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, electric fields from house wiring, variable speed motors, electric appliances etc. In our modern world, we are pretty much surrounded by them.  And you see that they include much more than just our wireless communication devices which is what most of us think when we hear EMF.

And because they are ubiquitous, you grew up not knowing any different, and our governments think they’re perfectly safe, why should we worry?   In reality, we’ve only had electricity for about 100 years, and as thus is a new invention for the human race.  

Do we need to be reminded what has happened to the health of those living in the Western World over the last 100 years? Yes, there are many variables involved with our explosion of chronic health conditions, but don’t rule out EMF exposure.  The science is clear: EMF exposure creates a biological impact.

It is important to note here that there is a difference between what industry-funded studies have concluded vs. independent research. 

The industry has done a great job in assuring you that their products are completely safe.  One reason they can claim this is that most of their studies use something call the SAR rating or Specific Absorption Rate.  SAR looks at how much a certain amount of tissue is heated up upon exposure to a certain item: in other words, it’s looking at thermal effects.  Therefore, as your Wi-Fi router and your cell phone probably don’t cause your skin to get hot, they claim the device is completely safe.  However, scientists have demonstrated time and time again that there is a significant biological impact beyond any thermal reactions.  And because the industry is not out to protect you, and neither is the FCC, it has become our responsibility to wade through the science.  So let’s take a closer look.

While we’re still trying to iron all the specifics about how EMF’s affect us on a cellular level, there are few areas where most scientists agree. 

First, EMF exposure has been found to influence the Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels of certain cells in the body.  When this happens, calcium floods the cell and causes reactive oxygen species. Reactive oxygen species leads to oxidative stress which leads to DNA damage, changes in blood flow, changes in brain metabolism, and endless downstream effects. Medical experts suggest that oxidative damage is one of the key mechanisms for almost all of our modern chronic health conditions.  So you can see how any number of health conditions or symptoms can be associated with EMF exposure.

We also know that EMF exposure effects the microbiome (the balance of bacteria in our digestive tract).  If you’ve paid attention to health research at all in the last decade, you know that the health of our gut effects every part of our body.  So we know that when we disrupt the bacterial balance, any number of health issues can develop.

In the case of EMF’s then, we’re negatively impacting two of the most critical processes in the body that influence our overall health.  If you need more proof, we can see that Non-native EMF exposure has been linked to:

  • Cardiovascular Disease

  • Cognitive Decline

  • Behavioral Issues

  • Neurological Damage

  • Asthma

  • Male Infertility

  • Female infertility

  • ….and a whole lot more.

If you’d like to dig deeper into the science, please see the Bioinitiative Report for more information.

So now that we know that EMF’s can cause us health problems or symptoms, but what can we do about it? 

With the ubiquity of nnEMFs, people often throw their hands up in defeat claiming, ‘"here’s nothing I can do about it. They’re everywhere!"  And while it’s true that there are more devices out there than ever before, we need to be aware of something called the "Inverse Square Law."  This law of physics basically says that the further we get from a source of power, the more the magnitude of that energy diminishes.  So, the further your cell phone is from, the better.  If you understand this basic concept, you can see that the most impactful thing you can do to minimize your exposure, is to take care of your own environment.

This means, reduce the amount of wireless-enabled devices you have, and conserve your usage of electrical devices. 

Four Basic Principles to Minimize Your EMF Exposure

1. Don’t Use Wireless Devices

  • Get a corded landline instead of using your cell phone.
  • Plug in your Internet box via Ethernet and disable Wi-Fi. 
  • Don’t use fitness tracking devices or Bluetooth speakers.
  • Limit your use of electronics in general and unplug anything not being used.
  • Turn off circuit breakers at night, especially to the bedroom.

2. Minimize Time

  • Limit the amount of time you spend using certain devices.  When you’re not using your phone, keep it in airplane mode and turn it off.
  • If you must use Wi-Fi, unplug it when it’s not being used, especially at night.
  • Unplug any electronic device that after you’re done using it: TV, radio, lamps, etc.

3.   Create Distance

  • If you cannot unplug your Wi-Fi router, keep it as far away from living spaces as possible, especially the bedroom.
  • If you cannot turn off your cell phone, keep it in another room.
  • Don’t sit right next to devices plugged in, like lamps, TV’s, computers, etc.
  • Move your bed a few feet from the wall.

4.   Shield if Needed

  • Put your phone in a protective case like a Safe Sleeve.  *Note this will reduce your exposure, but you will still have frequency while using the phone.

  • Buy protective cloths or other devices to wrap your Wi-Fi router in, or other devices that you can’t turn off.  See more information here: https://wholehomeandbodyhealth.com/shop/.

  • In extreme cases, you can purchase a bed canopy or paint your walls with carbon-based paints designed to reduce your EMF exposure. Contact a certified Building Biologist to help you with this. It’s imperative to have guidance in this process otherwise you can make the situation worse.  

These are a few basic tips to get you started.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or you’re concerned about what’s going on in your home, then having a full assessment done by a Building Biologist will help you identify exactly what’s taking place in your home along with practical tips on how to mitigate the issues. 

Meanwhile, send a note to your Members of Congress encouraging them to oppose the roll-out of 5G (the next generation of cellular and data communication that will put antennas on street lamps right outside your house).  Just enter your name here

We know it can be challenging to change personal habits or think about giving up certain conveniences, but as with all things health-related, stepping out of our comfort zone is where we create the most impact.  And we know that your health (and that of your family) is worth it!

See these websites for information regarding EMF’s and health:

About the author: Cathy Cooke BCHN, BBEC, is the owner of Whole Home and Body Health where she helps people to realize their potential through health interventions related to diet, lifestyle, and environmental concerns including air quality and EMF mitigation. You can find out more about her services at wholehomeandbodyhealth.com.

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