What is EMF Radiation

What is EMF radiation? In this blog post, you will learn how EMF radiation works, the history of EMFs, and how to avoid EMF radiation. 

Today, everything is convenient. We have solutions for everything. Need food but don’t want to have to head to the shop or go to a restaurant and order take out? Then you can use an app. Need a ride somewhere but don’t have a car and don’t want to pay the exuberant fees of a taxi? Then you can use an app. Everything we can think of can be solved with a few clicks. But does this have any negative consequences? Does being connected all the time have negative effects on us? The answer is simple: yes. 

In this blog post, we won’t be talking about the negative effects of technology on our minds, as many have asserted (like social media’s negative impact); but instead, we’ll be focusing on the electrical and magnetic fields that are generated from your technology. We’ll be talking about EMFs and radiation. 

What is EMF radiation? Keep reading to learn more. 

EMFs and You

Since the sun has been around it has been generating electrical magnetic fields (or EMFs, for short). These EMFs are a form of electromagnetic radiation. But the sun is not the only thing that generates EMFs. Our technology (yes, the phone you use to download all those apps) generates EMFs. 

At the start of the 1900s, power lines were ushering in a new age of electricity. After the spread of electricity to all parts of the world with these lines, researchers realized that these power lines were generating EMFs. Like with many advances in technology—2 steps forward comes with 1 step back. 

The World Bank estimates that about 90 percent of the population has access to electrical appliances; this means that there are a lot of potential EMFs that 90 percent of the population is receiving every single day. However, most doctors do not believe that EMFs are that dangerous. Though, many believe there has not been enough research to verify that claim. 

How EMFs Work 

As we defined above, EMFs stands for electromagnetic fields. EMFs are not visible to the human eye. EMFs are produced by electricity. Electricity is the movement of electrons. When it comes to our modern day interpretation of electricity, this is a “current” of electrons in a wire. An electrical field is created by voltage; voltage is the pressure used to push electrons through the wire). The higher the voltages, the higher the electrical field. 

A magnetic field is generated by the current of electrons running through this wire. The magnetic field increases with the increase in current. The closer to the source of the current, the higher the field. 

Interestingly, electrical fields are produced regardless of whether or not the device is on; magnetic fields only occur when the device is on. Whereas electrical fields can be shielded; magnetic fields cannot. 

Electric fields and magnetic fields are what puts the EMFs in EMFs. Together, electric fields and magnetic fields are called electromagnetic fields. The forces in EMFs are generated by electromagnetic radiation, of which there are 2 types. 

Types of EMFs

There are 2 types of EMFs. There’s low-level radiation (sometimes known as non-ionizing radiation) and high-level radiation (sometimes known as ionizing radiation). 

Low-level radiation is just as it sounds. It can be harmless since it is such a low-level of radiation. This kind of radiation can be found in your phone, Wi-Fi router, and other appliances you likely use everyday. 

High-level radiation is sent out as a form of UV light and X-rays. This can commonly be found in X-ray machines and UV light from the sun. This form can be bad for you in high concentration. That’s why it’s always important to wear sunblock when you are out in the sun.  

Common Sources of EMFs

Radio and person laying down by it

There are many different sources of EMFs. Some are natural, such as forms of radiation from the sun; other sources are unnatural, such as forms of radiation from radios and televisions (and your best friend, the cellphone). 

For this blog post, we will focus on non-ionizing or low-level radiation, since these EMFs are produced by common household appliances and technology that we interact with every day. Ionizing radiation is less-common and can be found in X-ray machines and the sun (though common, this is not man-made. We want to focus on man-made EMFs). 

  • Radio and TV waves: AM/FM radios and older televisions generate EMFs. Most EMFs that are generated from these devices are negligible. The waves used for AM/FM radios are produced by towers. These towers are usually off-limits to the general public, which means the likelihood of exposure to high levels of radiation is slim. Even people who work on these towers are below guideline limits for over exposure to EMFs. 
  • Microwaves: Microwave ovens are made with shielding that essentially reduces leakage of radiation. So despite years of hype, there’s nothing to worry about with your microwave. 
  • Cell Towers: Cell towers emit various kinds of radiofrequency energy. Since most people do not live close to these stations (and since exposure varies based on distance) it’s not believed that cell towers have consequential impacts on people.
  • TV Screens: Screens, including a screen for your computer, produce EMFs. Newer devices release less EMFs than older units. 
  • Wi-Fi: A common source of radiofrequency radiation, Wi-Fi units use similar frequencies as cell phones. However, this type of radiation is considerably lower than what you receive from a cell phone. 
  • Cell Phones: Cell phones do release EMFs. The levels are negligible, but if you are concerned about it, you can always keep it away from your body more. At home and at work, don’t keep it in the pocket. 

Now that you know a little more about what appliances generate EMFs (pretty much all of them), it’s time to learn about the potential dangers of EMFs. 

The Dangers of EMF

Doctor or dentist at a clinic

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has guidelines for EMF exposure. Based on years of research, these guidelines state the levels at which EMFs have no known negative effects. 

EMFs can be checked with a simple meter you can purchase to check all your appliances. According to the ICNIRP, most people’s exposure to EMF is very low; however, it’s important to review possible symptoms of EMFs exposure. 

Symptoms of EMF Exposure 

Researchers believe that EMFs have the potential to negatively affect your body, and could even damage your cells. Some research suggests that high-levels of exposure to EMFs could lead to tumors and even cancer. 

Scientists have seen no mechanism by which low-level radiation from EMFs could cause cancer. Unlike high-level radiation, which has been shown to affect DNA (think skin cancer from sunlight); low-level, non-ionizing, radiation does not damage cells or DNA. However, some scientists believe that there could be a mechanism by which low-level radiation from EMFs could have some negative effects by suppressing the production of melatonin. 

Research on animals has posited a potential indication that exposure to EMFs is loosely associated with cancer. But rest easy in knowing that there’s no chance your Wi-Fi could be the culprit. This actually produces negligible EMFs. 

The European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks found that low frequency fields may present an increased risk of the development of leukemia in children. 

However, it’s important to note that there is currently no scientific support that explains these findings. Other research suggests radiofrequency exposure does not show an increased risk of cancers or brain tumors. But the possibility is there and more research is needed to assess. 

Some of the following are symptoms of EMF exposure: 

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Lack of concentration
  • Depression symptoms
  • Restlessness and/or anxiety

Because of how EMFs can contribute to a number of factors, diagnoses can be limited. 

Protect Yourself from EMFs

There are many ways you can protect yourself from EMFs. Though low-level radiation is nothing to be too concerned about, it still can be important to make sure you protect yourself. Especially since research is still pending. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

  • Delay Getting a Phone for Your Kid: Hold off on getting a phone for your kid. Since research is still pending on the study mentioned above, limit the exposure your kids have to devices that release EMFs. 
  • Switch Wi-Fi Off at Night: This could save data and electricity too. There’s no need to have it on if you’re not using it. 
  • Don’t Use Your Laptop on Your Lap: Remember, the closer you are to your device, the more radiation you are exposed to. 
  • Use PEMF devices: Use a PEMF device, such as a PEMF mat, to help recharge your body. PEMF uses pulsed electromagnetic frequencies to help reset your body, recharge your cells and can help negate the negative effects of EMFs. 

Now that you know the answer to your question: “What is EMF radiation?” you can protect yourself and your family.