Building Biology | Electromagnetic Fields
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Electromagnetic Fields

Electromagnetic Fields

Electromagnetic fields emitted from cell phones and wireless devices were classified as a possible human carcinogen by the World Health Organisation in May 2011.

Electromagnetic Fields Part 1

Electromagnetic Fields Part 2

I love my technology and rely on my cell phone to run my business, however I am also conscious of the fact that there are hundreds of schools across Europe removing Wi-Fi, and countries like Germany actively encouraging its citizens to use hard wired connections instead.  So can we live in a modern society without suffering from the adverse health effects of the radiation?YES, I believe we can, once we are aware of how electromagnetic fields work.

Health concerns

Occasional exposure to high electromagnetic fields is not likely to pose a health risk to most people; however exposure to high electric and/or magnetic fields over a long period of time (such as when sleeping) are when problems are likely to arise. Diseases associated with electromagnetic field exposure that consistently appear in the scientific literature include childhood leukaemia, brain tumours, some forms of breast cancer, macular degeneration, infertility and miscarriages, neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Motor Neuron disease and electromagnetic hypersensitivity. I have discussed this in detail in my book Healthy Home Healthy Family.

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS)

EHS is characterised by a range of non-specific symptoms which vary widely amongst sufferers. In 2012, the Austrian Medical Association, and 2016, the European Academy for Environmental Medicine published guidelines for doctors and health practitioners on how to diagnose and treat EHS. Pressure is mounting on the World Health Organisation to recognise EHS as a medical condition. 

Sufferers are likely to experience several of the following symptoms:

  • general: insomnia, fatigue, nausea and headaches (often described as vice like or gripping)
  • skin: burning, prickling and biting sensation on the skin like ‘electric shocks’. This intensifies the closer they get to an appliance or the walls (building wiring)
  • nerve: restlessness, irritability, poor short term memory, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, dyslexia, forgetfulness and learning difficulties
  • heart: palpitations, chest pain, increased heart rate and blood pressure changes
  • musculoskeletal: body aches and joint pains, jaw and teeth pain, numbness or tingling sensations, muscle tremors
  • hearing: ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss, impaired balance
  • immune: impending flu like symptoms that dont eventuate
  • eye: impaired vision

Sources of EMFs in your Home

The EMFs of greatest concern are those used in wireless technologies and telecommunications (cordless phone, cell phone), because these radiofrequencies were classified by the World Health Organisation on the 31st May 2011 as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’.

Testing Your Home

Electromagnetic field testing is a complicated procedure that requires a good understanding of electrical principles, the ability to identify and quantify using technical equipment the various fields that impact the built environment, an understanding of how the building materials in a home may affect exposure to radiofrequencies, as well as a good understanding of shielding solutions.  Avoid consultants with no formal nationally accredited qualification, and those who sell shielding materials. For an accredited Building Biologist, click here.

Simple Tips to Reduce Your Exposure

This will depend on the source of the exposure.

  1. DISTANCE is your friend– its called the inverse square law and it essentially means as you double the distance away from the EMF source, you will reduce your exposure to it by 75%. Its the cheapest, simplest and most effective advice I can give. Keep at least a metre away from EMFs especially in areas where you spend time such as the bed, favourite couch, desk and so on.
  2. Shielding is a last resort if you are unable to eliminate the source of the field. Shielding is used to reduce ones exposure to electric fields and to radiofrequencies, however it is not effective against AC magnetic fields.
  3. Earthing mats maybe useful to reduce your body voltage (AC electric field) but will do nothing to address the AC magnetic fields emitted from appliances, or radiofrequency fields emitted from wireless devices
  4. Demand switches and contactors placed in the fuse box may reduce exposure to AC electric and AC magnetic fields
  5. Put the cell phone and ipad in flight mode when using a digital device
  6. Don’t use digital devices two hours before bed as the blue light is a powerful inhibitor of melatonin which is important to induce sleep

Want to learn more?