Electromagnetic Radiation is something that we’re all exposed to every day of our lives- and you can’t escape it. Radio, tv, microwave, cell phones, cell towers, power lines, WiFi… these are all things we’re around on a daily basis. Really, anything with a plug in or battery in it can be added to the list. Cell phones in particular are a huge source of EMR, and have become a mainstay in just about everyone’s lives these days. There are 6 billion of them in use today- that’s the vast majority of our global population!
So what’s the big deal? Well, there are a handful of things that have been associated with excessive exposure to EM radiation. Glioma and acoustic neuroma have been linked specifically with cell phones; there’s been a documented doubling in childhood leukemia for magnetic fields of over 0.4 µT & a 70% increase in childhood leukemia for those living within 200 metres (656 ft) of an overhead transmission line. Electrohypersensitivity is a physiological condition characterized by neurological and immunological symptoms resulting from electromagnetic radiation. It could show in the form of eczema, fatigue, poor sleep & memory lapses amongst other symptoms. As you can see, these are vague enough that they could easily be brushed off as something else or nothing at all. This in addition to it being an underecognized disability has likely led to common misdiagnosis.
Okay, so if it’s just a fact of life that we have to deal with, what’s there to do about it?
- Minimizing exposure: unplug appliances when they’re not in use: toaster, coffee maker, tv/dvd player etc. You’ll save a few bucks on your energy bills doing this too!
- Limit the length of phone calls: texting or using hands-free devices result in much less EMR.
- Don’t keep your cell phone with you when you sleep: many people use theirs as an alarm clock. If you must, turn the volume up and place it outside the bedroom. Be aware that radiation waves know no (drywall) boundaries! If the tv is on the other side of the wall from the head of your bed, you may as well be sleeping cuddled up to it.
- Encourage those under 18 to limit their cellphone usage: easier said than done when babies can be seen playing with iphones any day of the week. (Apparently one of the “must-have” toys of the Christmas season this year is a stuffed animal with a window in its belly for the phone to be displayed in so that kids can play with them without as much risk of damage to the phone.)
- Don’t use laptops on your lap: using a desk will make a huge difference. A plugged in computer is an even better alternative to a device gaining the internet via WiFi.
- When buying a home, take a look around to see if there are any transmission lines or cell towers in the area.
- Ditch your microwave: I know it sounds scary, but a toaster oven can do the same job with less damaging effects.