Exposure from electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation do have its consequences. While the human body is capable of handling EMF exposure, it could suffer from too much radiation exposure.
However, escaping from EMF is an impossible task nowadays. With the proliferation of electrical and magnetic signals everywhere, from those coming into television sets to the mobile devices you are using, you do get your own daily dose of this radiation.
Experts are continuously conducting studies to correlate the radiation exposure and the development of various diseases like cancer. The best way to deal with our daily exposure to electromagnetic field radiation is to know what is EMF, the common types of EMF radiation and its sources that is typically found in homes, whether it is a health hazard, and the common symptoms experienced by people who have too much EMF exposure.
What is EMF?
A combination of invisible electricity and magnetic force, electromagnetic field (EMF) is a naturally-occurring phenomenon caused by the core of the planet Earth. The magnetic field coming from Earth equates to about 500 mG. It comes from electric currents happening in the planet’s core. It can also be caused by air turbulence and other atmospheric phenomena. Radiation naturally produced by the planet comes in static form.
Aside from EMF being a natural phenomenon, the advancement of technology also made it more widespread. The advent of electricity was the first major technological advancement that made EMF enter houses.
Electric fields are present in power lines due to the combination of the power produced by voltage and the increased in strength created as the voltage increases.
In recent years, the rapid development in telecommunications and broadcasting further pushed EMF to reach every corner of the globe. Radiation coming from a mobile phone was found to emit non-ionizing radiation at a range of 900-1900 megahertz.
Common EMF Radiation
Electromagnetic field radiation is present all throughout homes and every place. In homes, devices that commonly transmits EMF radiation can be divided into two categories, those that are prominent and those that are hidden.
Those devices that commonly thought as emitting this type of radiation include cellphones, television sets, and your Internet connection’s wireless Internet router. EMF radiation coming from unseen sources includes electrical wiring, radiant electrical heating, and even radiation coming from your neighbor.
EMF can be classified into two radioactive categories, including non-ionizing and ionizing.
The non-ionizing radiation type is defined as having low-mid frequency radiation and is known not to be of threat to anything, including human health, as it lacks potency.
The common examples of things that emit non-ionizing radiation includes computers, mobile phones, wireless networks, microwave ovens, and power lines.
Ionizing radiation refers to radiation that possess mid-high frequency. It is this type of exposure that harms your health. It commonly comes in the form of ultraviolet rays, x-rays, and gamma rays.
Does It Harm My Health?
The human body also have its own tiny electrical currents. Impulses sent by your sensory nerve to the brain is one primary example of electrical current happening in your body. But it is those man-made EMF that causes alterations in the human body that could impact your overall health.
There are several studies on the impact of EMF radiation on the human body. Studies offered mixed conclusions on how it does and does not interfere with the normal composition of cells.
However, more recent observations into the impact of electromagnetic field exposure showed its impact on biological indicators of the body.
It was discovered that prolonged exposure to EMF radiation caused heart rate variability, disruption of brain electrical activity during night sleep, and levels of melatonin.
Pregnant woman who continues to be subjected to EMF exposure are risking not only their health, but also of their unborn child. It was found that women who work in the electronics industry and are continuously exposed to EMF can lead to premature birth and low birth weight.
Research into the contribution of EMF exposure to cancer prognosis are also widely studied.
A research found that with previous studies disclosing the relationship between mobile phone use and the development of brain cancer, there is a need to conduct more research into its role in the development of cancer cells.
They emphasized its importance with the early exposure of children to mobile devices and other forms of electromagnetic field radiation.
Experts also found those who are most affected by EMF exposure are suffering from a condition called Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS).
This condition is defined as “idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF).” The World Health Organization said that people suffering from EHS shares several similarities with those with multiple chemical sensitivities.
These conditions both display symptoms that are not associated with a particular disease nor is caused by a single toxicological or physiological factor.
In medical circles, the more formal name of this condition is Ideopathic Environmental Intolerance, a term coined in 1996 by the International Program on Chemical Safety.
Symptoms of EMF Exposure
Every human being experiences different reactions to EMF exposure. Common knowledge holds that those who cannot tolerate too much exposure from electromagnetic field experiences headache, fatigue, anxiety, depression, nausea, and loss of libido.
Struggling to get a proper sleep is also a well-known side-effect of too much EMF exposure.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), those who are experiencing side-effects from EMF exposure manifests symptoms that includes “dermatological symptoms including redness, tingling, and burning sensations, as well as neurasthenic and vegetative symptoms that includes fatigue, tiredness, concentration difficulties, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitation, and digestive disturbances.”
A 2004 study by Roosli and colleagues on people who reported discomfort after exposure to EMF found listed several common symptoms expressed by respondents.
The researchers found that these people experienced difficulty in concentrating, sleep disorders, nervousness, headaches, and fatigue. The study further disclosed that most of these symptoms appeared after prolonged use of mobile phones, cordless phones, mobile phone bases, and power lines.
For those who are experiencing EHS, common symptoms associated with the condition include heart arrhythmia, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, body pain, headaches, lethargy, and tinnitus.
A study conducted by McCarty and colleagues in 2010 on a female diagnosed with the condition confirmed the set of symptoms associated with EHS. They enumerated muscle twitching, headache, skipped heartbeat, and temporal pain as those experienced by the subject.
Too much of something can be bad for your health.
This saying rings true for EMF exposure. While there are naturally-occurring EMF like those produced by the Earth’s core and those impulses and other electrical signals happening in the human body, there are also man-made ones that could impact health.
Researchers and the medical community made various efforts to identify and point out the role played by electromagnetic field exposure to the several diseases. They were successful in identifying its impact on biological indicators like heart rate variability, and disruptions on the level of melatonin and electrical brain activity.
However, there is still no concrete evidence on its overall impact on health. Several studies concluded there are still work to be done to prove the impact of mobile devices, power lines and other electric and magnetic field to the body. In the absence of a concrete evidence on how electromagnetic field exposure impacts health, extreme caution must be practiced.
Electromagnetic fields. http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/index1.html
Electromagnetic fields. http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/opinions_layman/en/electromagnetic-fields/l-2/1-electromagnetic-fields.htm
Electric & Magnetic Fields. https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/emf/index.cfm
Electric and Magnetic Fields Associated with the Use of Electric Power. https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/materials/electric_and_magnetic_fields_associated_with_the_use_of_electric_power_questions_and_answers_english_508.pdf
10 Sources of EMF Radiation in Your Home & How to Protect Yourself Now. https://www.shieldyourbody.com/2017/08/10-sources-of-emf-radiation-in-your-home-how-to-protect-yourself-now/
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Evidence for a Novel Neurological Syndrome. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/00207454.2011.608139
Electromagnetic fields and cancer: the cost of doing nothing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20429163
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity. https://www.arpansa.gov.au/understanding-radiation/radiation-sources/more-radiation-sources/electromagnetic-hypersensitivity