EMFs: The Health Danger Hiding in Plain Sight Part 2
By Lindsay Christensen
Nutritionist @ The Pratt Clinics
In Part 1 of this blog series, I explained what electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are and the four types of EMFs that can adversely affect your health. In this blog, I’ll discuss the major problems with our current EMF safety standards.
Are EMFs safe?
Whether or not man-made EMFs are safe has been the subject of much debate and controversy over the years. While most physicists, engineers, policy makers, and politicians don’t believe that man-made EMFs cause harm to the body, many outspoken scientists and physicians, as well as a rapidly-growing body of scientific research, suggest otherwise.
People who are doubtful of the harmful effects of man-made EMFs cite studies showing no evidence of harm from EMFs, while conveniently ignoring those that do. Interestingly, most of the studies showing no evidence of harm have been funded by the telecommunications industry, the very industry that wants to increase your use of EMF-emitting devices, not scare you away from them! Conversely, a quick perusal of the non-industry funded literature yields a very different result – man-made EMFs do indeed interact with the human body and can potentially cause some serious health problems.
Safety standards for EMFs are hopelessly outdated
You may be wondering, aren’t there safety standards for EMF-emitting devices? While the answer is “yes,” these safety standards are extremely outdated – they were last updated in 1996 and thus do not reflect (or protect us from) the level of EMFs to which we are exposed today. The claim that an electronic device “meets government standards” or that radiation levels emitted from a device are “FCC compliant” essentially means nothing and gives a false impression of safety.
This may come as a surprise, but long-term safety testing of EMF-emitting devices has never been carried out. By just living in our current EMF-inundated environment, we are participating every day in a massive experiment assessing the long-term safety effects of EMFs. Unfortunately, the results of this “study” are not looking very positive.
Shockingly, regulatory agencies aren’t held accountable for any harm caused by EMFs. According to the 1996 Telecommunications Act (the same one that continues to provide us with outdated safety information) telecommunications companies are not responsible for any harm caused by cell phone antennas, towers, cell phones, or other electronic devices, even if irrefutable evidence indicates that these structures and devices cause harm! This act was made possible by a whopping $50 billion in lobbying from the telecommunications industry; does this seem like a massive conflict of interest to you? It sure does to me!
While multiple government agencies have called for reassessments of these outdated safety standards, their concerns have primarily remained ignored. (1, 2, 3) However, people must continue to speak out – if enough voices are heard, perhaps the telecommunications industry will change its ways a put effort into producing safer technological devices.
The secret in the fine print of your cell phone
If you navigate to “Settings” on your smartphone, you should be able to find a legal disclaimer reminding you to never hold the phone against your head or any part of your body. Clearly, we all follow this advice, right? Unfortunately, cell phone safety instructions remain conveniently hidden by manufacturers and unnoticed by most cell phone users. Yet, even these recommendations, referred to as SAR (specific absorption rate) guidelines, are outdated!
The method used to assess the “safety” of cell phones involves applying cell phone radiation to the head of a dummy. The dummy’s head contains a mixture of water, salt, and sugar designed to reflect the absorptive capacity of the human brain. Importantly, the dummy used in these tests is the size of a 6’2”, 220 lb man; the testing scenario for cell phones, therefore, does not reflect the relative safety of cell phone radiation for smaller individuals, who absorb exponentially more radiation.
Furthermore, in this testing scenario, the dummy’s “brain” is exposed to cell phone radiation for a mere 6 minutes. Most people carry their cell phones on their bodies all day, meaning most of us are likely greatly exceeding SAR guidelines.
Finally, the current testing protocol for cell phones looks solely at how much the radiation from the phone heats up the brain; it does not assess the biological effects of non-ionizing radiation. EMF safety standards for cell phones are, therefore, not reflective of the actual risk these devices pose to our health. This is a problem that should greatly concern us all.
I hope this post has helped you better understand the safety concerns associated with man-made EMFs! Stay tuned for Part 3, in which I’ll discuss the many adverse health effects of man-made EMF exposure. Any questions? Conatct us at The Pratt Clinics.