EMF (electromagnetic fields) are a type of non-ionizing radiation, produced by all existing technologies in varying amounts. These range from televisions and wireless phones to microwave ovens and medical equipment such as NMRI. But the big question is whether this form of radiation is a carcinogen?
EMF is classified as a type of radiation and is indeed a potential carcinogen according to many global experts. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified EMF radiation as a 2B carcinogen, meaning that it is possibly carcinogenic for humans.
While the scientific world is divided on this matter, there are several evidence showing that we should be careful with our exposure to EMF radiation. To find out more about health implications by EMF, keep on reading!
How Does EMF Cause Cancer?
EMF is a form of non-ionizing radiation and hence cannot damage DNA or cells directly. Therefore, many conclude that EMF is not carcinogenic.
EMF, however, can cause hormonal imbalance and neurological issues, having direct implications on the nervous system. The hormonal imbalance has the potential of causing large-scale cellular damage.
The cellular damage may be in the form of the chemical restructuring of cells and tissues. One such hormone is the HGH (Human growth hormone), which when produced in excess significantly increases the risks of cancer.
It should be noted that the cause of cancer results from overexposure to EMF for long periods of time.
The Effects On Children
In this technologically advanced era, where EMF-producing devices are present all around us, the effects of EMF have larger implications. With this technological advancement, children are exposed to EMF from a young age.
Unlike adults, children are much more vulnerable to EMF radiation as their bodies are still in the stage of development. ELF- EMF (Extremely low-frequency EMF) is a type of EMF that, despite having a low frequency, can influence children.
Epidemiologic studies from the American Academy of Paediatrics have shown that continuous ELF exposure is associated with childhood leukemia, a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Leukaemia is currently the most common type of cancer amongst cancer patients aged 0-14. RF-EMF (Radiofrequency EMF) is another type of EMF which is produced by devices being reliant on radio waves, for instance, mobile phones.
In adults, the effect of RF-EMF is quite minimal, however, the situation is different in children. The nervous system in children is still developing, hence they have higher moisture and ionic content; especially in key areas such as brain tissues.
In addition to this greater moisture content, children have smaller head sizes, thus the EMF can penetrate to a larger extent into the head and it is also absorbed in larger amounts by tissues.
The most common symptoms are:
- Sleep disturbance
- Fatigue and lack of concentration
From a neurological point of view, the radiation causes the release of neurotransmitters (required for impulses to pass through the synaptic gaps between neurons) even when they are not needed.
This has an impact on the neuronal cell cycles that may lead to complications in the nervous system. It may then cause cognitive impairment and brain cancer.
What Does Science Say?
Whether EMF does have direct health implications is still open to debate. Despite the many health implications faced by both adults and children which have been discussed by many experts, there is no definite conclusion.
The direct correlation between EMF and possible health issues is quite weak, leading to many rejecting the idea. However, the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) has classified EMF as possibly carcinogenic.
Therefore, despite the lack of evidence, what has been gathered so far cannot be ignored. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has also advised in taking precautions and limiting exposure to EMF, especially for children.
What Are The Main Sources Of EMF?
Nearly all electronic devices around us produce EMF meaning that we are constantly in the presence of EMF. The amount of EMF produced varies and depends on the source.
The most common sources being:
- Radio and television signals– The sources of these signals are placed at high altitudes and away from the general public. This is mainly because the closer you are to the source, the greater the exposure, and the EMF radiation is much more intense.
- Microwave ovens– They use microwaves of high frequency to heat food. Because of this high frequency, microwaves are shielded to reduce leakage of such radiation. Yet, with wear and tear, some EMF waves may get out of the oven.
- Cell phones– Their main use is to allow for communication wherever possible. As a result, they produce strong signals. These signals have been associated with brain tumors and many such patients have in fact developed tumors on the side of the head where the cell phone is mostly used.
- Wi-Fi equipment – They produce radio waves and hence EMF. The EMF produced is relatively weak. However, Wi-Fi is now present all around us and continuous exposure could cause potential health issues.
Manufacturers must follow the EMF Guidelines by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.
According to the guidelines, the EMF produced must be of minimal levels to reduce its impact on both human life and the environment.
Ways To Protect Yourself from EMF Radiation Carcinogen
Protecting oneself from the dangers of EMF has become of critical importance in this modernized world, as this is just the beginning and with ongoing development, the EMF sources will only increase.
1. Moving Away From Wireless And Towards Wired
All wireless devices, such as printers, mouses, and keyboards, use wireless signals and hence produce EMF radiation. By transitioning to wired versions of these devices, you are less exposed to EMF waves.
Opting for an ethernet cable and keeping devices in airplane mode also reduces EMF exposure.
2. Place EMF Sources As Distant As Possible
EMF sources such as Wi-Fi routers must be kept as far as possible. The best place would be an isolated room where. you don’t spend too much time.
By keeping the source away, we are reducing the intensity of the EMF that you will interact with, hence increasing your safety. Cell phones should also be kept as far away as possible when not in use, as they still produce radiation.
3. Safeguard Sleeping Areas
The average human spends 7-9 hours sleeping on a daily basis. This is an important time to rest and hence we must properly protect ourselves as the impact of EMF for 7-9 hours is critical.
Disabling unnecessary wireless devices, turning off wifi routers and put cell phones, tablets and laptops on airplane mode, or turning them off completely can go a long way to reducing EMF exposure.
3. EMF Blockers
Having to spend most of our daily lives with phones and laptops, which are significant EMF producers, it is imperative that we protect ours.
DefenderShield products as shown here allow us to keep on using our devices while absorbing and dissipating 99.9% of the EMF radiation.