Health News Digest

Smart meter

August 27, 2018

A Look At EMFs

By Michael D. Shaw

“EMF” is an abbreviation for electromagnetic field. An “electromagnetic field,” is a property of space caused by the motion of an electric charge. A stationary charge will produce only an electric field in the surrounding space. If the charge is moving, a magnetic field is also produced. An electric field can be produced also by a changing magnetic field. The mutual interaction of electric and magnetic fields produces an electromagnetic field.

EMFs are often referred to as “radiation”, traditionally divided into non-ionizing and ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation (at frequencies of visible light and below) has always been thought of as harmless to humans. Ionizing radiation (ultraviolet and above), at certain levels of exposure, is known to cause cellular and DNA damage.

Common sources of non-ionizing EMF exposure include:

  • Bluetooth devices
  • Cell phones
  • Computers
  • Electrical wiring
  • House energy smart meters
  • MRIs
  • Microwave ovens
  • Power lines
  • Remote control devices
  • Wireless (Wi-Fi) networks

Another term you will hear is “radio frequency” or RF. This is the range of electromagnetic radiation from 100 kHz to 300 GHz. In this category are mobile phones, cordless phones, local wireless networks, and radio transmission towers, as well as medical scanners, radar systems, and microwave ovens.

Conventional wisdom has long held that unless there were a heating effect—as in microwave radiation—exposure to this sort of EMF is essentially harmless. And, according to the World Health Organization…

“Scientists are also investigating the possibility that effects below the threshold level for body heating occur as a result of long-term exposure. To date, no adverse health effects from low level, long-term exposure to radiofrequency or power frequency fields have been confirmed, but scientists are actively continuing to research this area.”

According to the US EPA…

“At very high levels, RF energy is dangerous. It can heat the body’s tissues rapidly. However, such high levels are found only near certain equipment, such as powerful long-distance transmitters. Cell phones and wireless networks produce RF, but not at levels that cause significant heating. In addition, RF energy decreases quickly over distance. At ground level, exposure to RF from sources like cell phone towers is usually very low.”

Findings have been released from a ten-year $25 million rodent study, produced under the National Toxicology Program, on Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation (RFR)…

In this effort, specially-designed chambers exposed rats and mice to different levels of RFR. The exposure began while the rodents were still in the womb, and continued for about two years, which is all or most of their life. The rodents were exposed for about nine hours a day, and received levels of radiation that ranged from about the upper limit of what is allowed by law for cell phones, to about four times higher than what is allowed.

Among the findings…

1.Male rats exposed to heavy RFR to their whole body for long periods of time were more likely than a control group of rats to develop certain types of brain tumors (gliomas), as well as a rare type of heart tumor (malignant schwannoma). These tumors had been implicated in earlier human studies. Females showed no such effect, possibly owing to their smaller body mass.

2.However, mice showed little indication of an increased risk of tumors or any other health problems. Oddly, the male rats exposed to RFR in the study lived, on average, significantly longer than the male rats who were not exposed.

The FDA’s response to these findings: “Based on this current information, we believe the current safety limits for cell phones are acceptable for protecting the public health.”

Still, many are concerned about EMF exposures—especially with regard to smart meters, which have been attacked on multiple grounds. The folks at Healthy Living with EMF are on a mission to educate people about the dangers of EMF exposure, and ways you can protect yourself and your family. Check out their comprehensive website.

Listen to Kat McCool, the organization’s Director of Outreach…

“Electromagnetic fields pose potential health hazards. By explaining this issue in an intelligible way, and by highlighting intelligence from a wealth of credible sources, we seek to educate the public about this possible threat. In so doing, those most sensitive to EMF can have the means—and the lifestyle accessories—to live healthier while living with EMF.”