So, what exactly is an EMF?
EMF stands for Electromagnetic Field. All EMFs have an electric field component and a magnetic field component. The study of electromagnetism encompasses how electrically charged particles interact with each other and with magnetic fields. For the purposes of home EMF safety, we will predominantly be talking about man-made EMFs.
EMR stands for Electromagnetic Radiation.. This covers the overall EM spectrum and includes radio waves, microwaves, X-rays and gamma rays.
The four types of man-made EMFs are:
1. AC Electric Fields created by voltage within 60 Hz (50 Hz in Europe) unshielded electrical wiring, plastic AC electrical cords, and electrical devices. The higher the voltage, the higher the electrical field.
2. AC Magnetic Fields are present when there is electrical current running through a wire, metal, an appliance or the ground. Common sources include power lines, home appliances, home wiring, wiring errors (i.e. Neutral to Neutral, Neutral to Ground), and electrical current running on metal water pipes or the home’s grounding system.
3. Radiofrequency radiation (RF) is technically pulse-modulated microwave radiation. RF radiation is emitted from Wi-Fi routers, wireless enabled devices, gaming consoles, cell towers, Bluetooth devices, smart gadgets, smart meters, and more.
4. Microsurge Electric Pollution (MEP) also commonly referred to as “dirty electricity”: These are frequencies other than the standard 50 Hz/60 Hz cycle generated by things like solar inverters, dimmer switches, florescent lighting, variable speed motors, new electronic systems with switch mode power supplies (SMPS), and other sources. These higher-frequency electrical fields conduct along the home’s wiring system and radiate into the living environment, causing a great deal of electromagnetic interference (EMI) in the home.
What are the Health Concerns?
The latest data on electromagnetic fields (EMF) associated with power lines and wireless devices view EMFs as the new smoking. We may be exposed to harmful electric fields, magnetic fields, RF or dirty electricity (MEP)
The Bioinitiative Report 2012 concludes:
Increased Stress Levels - Very low-level ELF and RF exposures can cause cells to produce stress proteins, meaning that the cell recognizes ELF and RF exposures as harmful.
Immune Function Response & Inflammation - There is substantial evidence that ELF and RF can cause inflammatory reactions, allergy reactions and change normal immune function at levels allowed by current public safety standards.
Effects on Neurology and Behavior -
There is little doubt that electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones and cell phone use affect electrical activity of the brain The consequences of prolonged exposures to children, whose nervous systems continue to develop until late adolescence, is unknown at this time. This could have serious implications to adult health and functioning in society if years of exposure of the young to both ELF and RF result in diminished capacity for thinking, judgement, memory, learning, and control over behavior.
Blood Brain Barrier Effects - The BBB is a protective barrier that prevents the flow of toxins into the sensitive brain tissue. Increased permeability of the BBB caused by cell phone RFR may result in neuronal damage. . . BBB effects occur at about 1000 times lower RFR exposure levels than the US and ICNIRP limits allow.
Evidence for Brain Tumors - People who have used a cell phone for ten years or more have higher rates of malignant brain tumors and acoustic neuromas. It is worse if the cell phone has been used primarily on one side of the head.
Childhood Cancers (Leukemia) - There is little doubt that exposure to ELF causes childhood leukemia.
DNA Damage & Genotoxic Effects - Both ELF and RF exposures can be considered genotoxic (will damage DNA) under conditions of exposure, including exposure levels that are lower than existing safety limits.