Health Risks From Exposure to Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF)
Non-ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) can present many health risks. An Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) is classified as either ionizing or non-ionizing radiation based on the radiation’s capacity to ionize atoms and interfere with chemical bonds. Very high-frequency radiation like X-rays and gamma rays pose these hazards.
Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) radiation, and higher frequency Radio Frequency (RF) radiation from laptops, for example, are non-ionizing radiations that present their own health dangers to the human body. The following summarizes just some of the effects of non-ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR).
Non-ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) Health Risks
There are complex biological effects from Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) of Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) and Radio Frequency (RF) Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR). Our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms between these fields and our bodies is not fully understood.
- Heat – Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) can cause dielectric heating. This heating is created by an oscillating frequency passing over body cells, a similar action/reaction when using a microwave oven to cook. The heating influence varies with the power and frequency of the electromagnetic energy and is measured as Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) in watts per kilogram (W/kg). There are national and international standard safety limits for exposure to various frequencies of electromagnetic energy based on SAR guarding against thermal damage.
- DNA Fragmentation – the University of Basel in Switzerland released a study in 2009 that found an intermittent 50 Hz Electromagnetic Field (EMF) at a flux density of one Telsa (or 10 Gauss) exposure to a human cell induced a slight but significant increase of DNA fragmentation. One Telsa is a higher level density than what is considered to be a safe exposure limit.
- Leukemia – The Canadian Federal-Provincial-Territorial Radiation Protection Committee reported in 2005, “The outcome of a recently conducted pooled analysis of several epidemiological studies shows a two-fold increase in the risk of leukemia in children living in homes where the average Electromagnetic Field (EMF) levels are greater than 0.4 microteslas (4 milligauss). In 2001, there was a review conducted by Ahlbom et al. on the interrelationship between EMFs and health. The concluded that there was a doubling in childhood leukemia for Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) of over 0.4 µT. However, they added, “This is difficult to interpret in the absence of a known mechanism or reproducible experimental support”. In October 2001, the World Health Organization released a fact sheet about the relationship between Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) EMR and cancer. It said, based on early findings that ELF was a “possibly carcinogenic” source for childhood leukemia.
- US Military Caution – The US government standard, Federal Standard 1037C defines EMF caution as Electromagnetic Radiation Hazards (RADHAZ or EMR hazards). These are hazards caused by a transmitter/antenna installation that generate Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR). They go on to say these hazards will exist when an Electromagnetic Field (EMF) of sufficient intensity generated to (a) induce or otherwise couple currents and/or voltages of magnitudes large enough to initiate electro-explosive devices or other sensitive explosive components of weapon systems, ordnance, or explosive devices; (b) cause harmful or injurious effects to humans and wildlife; (c) create sparks having sufficient magnitude to ignite flammable mixtures of materials that must be handled in the affected area.
- World Health Organization Caution – Drawing from scientific and medical communities, the World Health Organization states that health effects like headaches or promotion of cancer are unlikely to be caused by cellular phones or their base stations. Concerns have been raised though, especially after the enormous increase in the use of wireless mobile phones and other devices. Electronic devices emit RF radiation and there is growing concern that these transmitted signals may be harmful to human health.
Consider some of the precautionary measures:
1. Do not use mobile phones more than 10 minutes continuously. During a conversation, the mobile phone will release bursts of energy to keep a link with the strongest base station.
2. Try to use the mobile phone maximum one hour per day. If you want to use it more than this, use Bluetooth or Headphones.
3. Keep mobile phone away from bed while sleeping. It may affect your sleep physiology.
4. Don’t give a mobile phone to children. Radiation hazard is more in children than adults.
5. Make sure you place a Radiation Blocker on the back of your phone as it stops more than 97% of the radiation.