EMFs as Environmental Toxins


EMFs as Environmental Toxins

Submitted by AdminSite on Wed, 03/20/2024 - 16:50

EMFs as Environmental ToxinsWhat are EMFs?

Electric and magnetic fields are invisible areas of energy that are produced by electricity, which come from the movement of electrons. This is most typically exhibited when electrons move through a wire. Electric fields exist with or without current flow, but magnetic fields only exist when there is an active flow of electrons. If a device is turned on, both electric and magnetic fields are present. Only magnetic fields can penetrate objects, buildings, or the human body.


Types of EMFs

The frequency of the field is typically what distinguishes EMF types. They are generally separated into two groups: ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation.




Figure 1 - Electromagnetic spectrum


Ionizing radiation has a higher frequency and is known to alter cells, potentially damaging DNA. This is why we wear protective equipment when interacting with it. Examples include ultraviolet light, X-rays, and gamma rays. Ionizing EMFs can alter the atomic structure of matter, leading to potential health risks such as cancer. The energy from ionizing EMFs can remove tightly bound electrons from atoms, creating ions. This process can damage DNA and can lead to cancer if the damage is not properly repaired.

Non-ionizing radiation has a is a low frequency electromagnetic field. It comes from sources like microwave ovens, computers, Wi-Fi, cell phones, and power lines. Although it is widely perceived to be harmless to humans, emerging research suggests that it can potentially change or damage bodily tissues. More research is needed to fully elucidate any mechanism by which non-ionizing radiation affects the body. The types of fields that may be damaging to our bodily tissues can be divided into two categories, extremely low frequency (ELF) and radio frequency (RF). Static fields seem to be relatively innocuous.

  • Static Fields have no frequency and are created by fixed charges in space. These static (unchanging) fields can be created by magnets, DC currents (batteries), or even friction.
  • Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) have a very low frequency and are typically created by AC current. AC current is the type of electricity that we have in our homes where the current direction alternates 50-60 times per second.
    • AC Electric Fields are produced by voltage, which is the difference in charge from one point to another that allows electricity to flow. This type of field is present even when current is not actively flowing, like a wall outlet or an extension cord that was left plugged into the wall but unplugged at the other end.
    • AC Magnetic Fields are produced by flowing current. When electricity is moving through a wire, it produces a magnetic field.
    • Sources of ELF-EMFs include power lines, electrical wiring, and electrical appliances such as shavers, hair dryers, and electric blankets.
    • High Frequency Voltage Transients (HFVT) also termed “Dirty Electricity” is a type of radiation produced when there are surges of energy traveling through a normal AC wire, above the standard 60 Hz flow.
  • Radio Frequency (RF) radiation is produced when information is transmitted wirelessly from one place to another. This is produced by things like:
    • Radio and television signals
    • Microwave ovens
    • Cordless telephones
    • Cell phone base stations
    • Televisions and computer screens
    • Wireless local area networks
    • Digital electric and gas meters, also known as “smart meters.”


The Effects of EMFs on the Body

In our everyday lives, we're constantly surrounded by electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from gadgets like smartphones, Wi-Fi routers, and electrical lines. These invisible energy fields interact with our bodies in complex ways, sparking a range of responses at the cellular level. One key reaction to EMF exposure is oxidative stress, where our cells are overwhelmed by reactive molecules (free radicals), potentially leading to cell damage and even cell death. Oxidative stress is a state where the production of free radicals overwhelms the cell's antioxidant defenses. It is a key player in the cellular stress response triggered by EMF exposure.

In summary, non-ionizing EMFs elicit a wide array of biological effects mediated primarily through the induction of oxidative stress, with implications ranging from cellular stress responses to potential genotoxicity and impacts on reproductive health. These interactions are poorly understood, and research that evaluates the effects of EMFs on the human body in the long term is needed to fully grasp the health implications of our increasingly EMF-saturated environment.


Genomic Damage

The implications of EMF-induced oxidative stress extend to the genetic level, where DNA damage and changes in genomic structure have been observed. These genotoxic effects, noted in both cellular and animal models, raise concerns about the potential carcinogenic and genetic risks associated with prolonged EMF exposure. The exact mechanisms underlying these effects are unclear, but the involvement of free radicals, produced as a result of oxidative stress, is a probable contributing factor.


Protein Production and Structure

Interestingly, EMFs have a say in the proteins our cells produce, subtly shifting the balance of our internal biological environment. However, these shifts are minor, at least over short periods. Proteomic analysis has revealed that short-term EMF exposure induces subtle changes in protein abundance in less than 1% of the quantitated human or mouse proteome, without significant disruption to cellular processes or pathways. This suggests that, in the short term, non-ionizing EMFs do not have a large biological impact on cells in culture. However, the long-term implications and the effects of chronic exposure remain to be explored.


Reproductive Health

Oxidative stress can also induce reproductive health effects attributed to EMF exposure. Studies have linked EMFs to adverse outcomes in both male and female reproductive health, including impacts on sperm quality and female fertility, potentially mediated by the increased oxidative stress within reproductive tissues. This aligns with the broader understanding that oxidative stress can disrupt the delicate balance of cellular functions critical for reproductive health.


Nervous System

EMFs don't just affect our bodies in general—they can also have specific effects on our brains and nerves. When we're exposed to these fields, it can change how the tiny electrical signals in our nerve cells work. This can mess with important elements inside these cells, like calcium, which is important for how our nerve cells communicate and function.

Because of these changes, scientists are looking into how this might influence our brain health. There's a possibility that being exposed to EMFs frequently or over time could affect how we think and remember things, how our nerves heal after injury, our mental health, and might even play a role in serious brain diseases as we get older. Understanding how EMFs interact with our brains and nerves is important to get the full picture of how they might be affecting our health.

It's important to note that while some studies suggest a possible association between long-term mobile phone use and increased risk of certain brain tumors, others do not find such a link. The inconsistencies among study findings may be due to differences in study design, populations studied, exposure assessment, and the latency period considered. Further research, particularly studies that can assess long-term use and account for the rapid evolution of mobile phone technology, including 5G, is needed to clarify these associations.


Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

There are some individuals that have higher sensitivity to electromagnetic fields, deemed Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), which is also colloquially known as “Microwave Syndrome.” The symptoms are widespread and vary from person to person but are primarily attributed to problems related to the central nervous system and cell signaling. People who experience this problem have a dysfunction in their body’s detoxification system, causing a buildup of oxidative stress that can damage components in your body.


How to Measure EMFs

The first step toward understanding the level of exposure to EMFs in your home is to search for a proper measuring tool.

For personal use, an EMF meter can help you identify the type, severity, and source of your EMF exposure so you can choose the appropriate EMF protection. A standard EMF meter is a scientific device for measuring or detecting frequencies and electric/magnetic fields for research or personal home use.

Most EMF meters read alternating current (AC) electricity. Some EMF meters also measure specific fields and frequencies (the unit of measurement for wavelengths). The frequency range, measured in Hertz, is a significant factor when considering which EMF meter to buy.  

  • Combined meter: Measures AC electric fields, AC magnetic fields, and RF/microwave radiation (i.e., wireless radiation).
  • Low Frequency Meter: Measures low-frequency EMFs like those from lights or appliances.
  • High-frequency/Radio-Frequency Meter: This meter measures a wide spectrum of radio-frequency and microwave radiation from smart meters and wireless devices/technology.
  • Dirty Electricity Meter: Measures the dirty electricity flowing along electrical wiring in homes and other buildings.

How to Combat EMF Exposure

Grounding, also known as earthing, is a simple wellness practice that involves making direct contact with the earth's surface, like walking barefoot on grass or sand. This connection is believed to transfer the earth's negatively charged electrons to the body, which can neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.

In the context of EMFs, which can contribute to oxidative damage, grounding may offer a natural countermeasure. By re-establishing our connection with the earth's inherent electrical field, grounding practices could potentially help mitigate some of the oxidative stress and damage caused by exposure to EMFs, promoting overall well-being.


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This article “EMFs as Environmental Toxins” was originally created and published by LoveandCompassion.com under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Mika Ichihara, M.S., L.Ac., LL.M., B.Phar., Founder, Owner and Grand Master in Eastern Medicine and Energy Soul Medicine. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution and author bio. For more information about Mika and her practice, please visit www.loveandcompassion.com.


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