What are Electromagnetic Fields & their Harmful Effects
What are electromagnetic fields?
Higher-frequency EMFs include x-rays, C.T., MRI, and gamma rays. These EMFs are in the ionizing radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum. They damage DNA or cells. These EMFs are usually measured in exahertz (EHz) equal to 10 to the 18th power.
Low- to mid-frequency EMFs range from electric power lines and appliances. It also affects radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, and visible light. These electromagnetic fields are in the non-ionizing radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum. They are not known to damage DNA or cells.
There are both natural and human-made sources of non-ionizing EMFs. The earth’s magnetic field, which causes the needle on a compass to point North, is one example of an occurring EMF.
Studies linking EMF to damage?
The link between power line exposure and childhood leukemia
A pooled analysis of nine studies shows an increase in the risk of childhood leukemia. This report was among children with exposures of 0.4 μT or higher. Less than 1 percent of the children in the studies experienced this level of exposure (2).
A meta-analysis of 15 studies observed a 1.7-fold increase in childhood leukemia. This was among children with 0.3 μT or higher exposure. A little more than 3 percent of children in the studies experienced this level of exposure (3).
Random facts from the internet potentially link EMFs to diseases.
EMFs are reported to suppress melatonin production by the pineal gland. Reduced melatonin concentrations can result in increased prolactin release. The pituitary and estrogen release these and testosterone is released by the gonads. Based on these findings, magnetic fields increase the risk of certain hormone-dependent cancers. The most common examples of these are breast and prostatic carcinomas.
- The movement of electrons in DNA might be induced, which may, in turn, produce guanine radicals, which, upon reaction with water, cause oxidative DNA damage.
- Exposure of human primary fibroblasts to a 50 Hz EMF at 1.0 mT caused a slight but significant increase in DNA fragmentation.
- In 2017, Lai and Singh observed the genotoxic effects of these fields, finding that exposure of rats for two h to a 60 Hz magnetic field (0.1, 0.25, and 0.5 mT) increased DNA strand breaks in brain cells in a dose-dependent fashion, indicating a clastogenic effect. (4)
- Clastrogen is a substance that causes breaks in chromosomes that result in the gain, loss, or rearrangements of chromosomal segments.
In total, there was an increase in cancer incidence of almost 30% between 1973 and 2015. According to this research, colorectal, thyroid, testicular, melanoma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are likely responsible for this increase in cancers among adolescents and young adults. Researchers suggest it’s likely due to a combination of environmental and lifestyle factors. The changes in screening and diagnosis also play a part.
In August 2009, a paper by Columbia University described how EMFs activate a cellular stress response. EMFs can penetrate a cell’s nucleus and interact with its DNA, bypassing a cell’s defense mechanisms. (5)
How EMFs Cause Oxidative Damage in a Cell:
- First, EMFs enter cells.
- Next, reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) generates.
- Anti-oxidative mechanisms try to regulate ROS and protect the cell membrane.
- Too much ROS generated impairs anti-oxidative mechanisms. This can lead to other diseases.
- The membrane becomes compromised, and EMFs can now enter the cell nucleus.
- EMFs break DNA strands, which damages cells (and can lead to cancerous tumors).
- The stress response increases Heat Shock stress proteins.
EMFs and voltage-gated Calcium channels (VGCCs)
What are the current guidelines for EMFs?
The Recommended Maximum Exposure
The Building Biology Institute recommends 1 mG (0.1 μT) maximum exposure to A.C. magnetic fields for sleeping areas. Also, a scientific panel in Norway recommended a 1mG exposure limit based on the risk for leukemia, brain tumors, Alzheimer’s, ALS, sperm damage, and DNA strand breaks [1mG = 0.1uT].
These recommendations are for continued long-term exposure for many hours and days, not brief exposures like driving under power lines.
The USA has no federal legal limits for 60 Hz magnetic field exposure. Two U.S. states limit public exposure near overhead power lines to 150 mG (Florida) or 200 mG (N.Y.)
Standards from The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Program ICNIRP allow 830 mG exposure to the public.
How can you protect yourself?
You can use wired headphones or speakers for mobile phone conversations so the phone is not next to your head. Place the Wi-Fi router away from where you spend a lot of time. Moreover, you can also use the R.F. meter to measure R.F. exposure in areas you spend a lot of time.
If it is below 5V/m most of the time, and you don’t live near any T.V. or radio towers, then you should have low EMF exposure. Some other researchers recommend 10-20 V/m max in homes and offices and 5 V/m max for sleeping areas.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on EMF radiation exposure
Why Are The FCC Standards Inadequate?
- The FCC only took into consideration measurements of thermal effects from EMFs.
- The measurement standards did not consider regular direct contact with the body. They usually test sources two or more inches away from the body.
- They don’t consider all types of people, for example, a 200-pound man vs. a small child.
Learn more about electromagnetic fields and their effects by watching the full Episode 69 here 👇
0:00 Cup of Nurses Introduction
1:56 Episode Introduction
2:43 What are electric and magnetic fields?
4:28 Electric Field
4:55 Magnetic Field
10:58 Ionizing Radiation
15:25 Studies linking EMF to damage
20:28 Random facts from the internet potentially linking EMFs to disease