How often do you hold a cellphone to your ear, use a Bluetooth headset, or sit at a computer? How often do you do none of those things and instead just go about simple activities — but do so in a home or office or coffeehouse equipped with wireless? And are EFT effects on your mind?
The questions are rhetorical. Of course most of us do those things, a lot. And as we do, we are participating in an ongoing experiment about EMF (electromagnetic field) effects on human health and functioning. The data is far from all in, and what is in is far from encouraging. But we don’t really want to hear it. I mean, we can’t see electromagnetic radiation, so we kind of like to avoid this inconvenient truth: We as a techno-culture have enthusiastically embraced all this gadgetry without really knowing what it is doing to us. But understanding the “invisible menace” of electromagnetic radiation and protecting yourself from EFT effects needs to become part of living a healthy life. Especially for parents devoted to their children’s optimal wellbeing!
My grown son and daughter have become accustomed to me cautioning them to not hold their cell phones up to their ears, but to instead use the speaker, a special headset, or simply send a text message. They know I believe that fifty years from now we’ll look back on our naïve, unquestioning uptake of the use of cell phones — together with WiFi, Bluetooth and myriad other wireless technologies — and recognize the first generations of users as the unwitting lab rats they were. That we all are!
Remember the Madmen decades of insouciant, “glamorous” smoking, with no hint of the cancers that would follow? I believe looking backward a few decades from now, 21st century EMF effects will make the 20th century cigarette scourge look like a Sunday picnic by comparison. I’m not alone in that bleak yet minority prediction. (The fact that this is still such an “alternative” issue, twenty-five years after such eye-opening books on this subject as Robert Becker’s The Body Electric, makes its own sobering point.) Researchers report an alarming increase in serious health problems, particularly in children. They worry, for example, about an epidemic of dementia and Alzheimer’s in the current group of teenagers worldwide when they reach middle age.
In an earlier post regarding disturbing Yale research findings regarding the developmental effects on offspring of cell phone use during pregnancy, I delve into how electromagnetic radiation affects cellular communication and creates EMF effects. I also explore why we have allowed ourselves to become a nation of guinea pigs regarding EMF effects.
What ARE the Effects of EMFs?
Studies since the 1970s have consistently shown a correspondence between homes near powerlines and transformer / power stations and the incidence of childhood leukemia and cancers. More recently, research is finding a correlation between certain cancers (brain, parotid) and cell phone use. Brain cancer tumor risk has been steadily increasing over the last 10 years- particularly among the 20 -29 year olds.
Liala Epstein describes EMF effects in the body:
“changes in blood chemistry; induces free radicals; disrupts the cells ability to control PH levels, enzyme activity, cell reproduction, synthesis, functioning and energy transfer.
“A healthy and permeable cell membrane wall is needed for effective communication and coordination of activity between cells, tissues, organs and nerves. When exposed to EMFS, the protein in the cell membrane wall is weakened and the cells react as though threatened by an invader and elicits a state of emergency (fight or flight response) in the body. In this state of emergency, non-vital processes are delayed, and blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels increase. The cell enters into a state of emergency. Besides impaired communication and coordination, the reduced membrane permeability also makes it difficult for nutrients to enter and for toxins to exit. As a consequence, the body does not benefit from nutrients and healing therapies as it should. When the cell is in a state of emergency, instead of producing water and carbon dioxide, the cell produces hydrogen peroxide and carbon monoxide. In short, the cell begins to ferment. The state of emergency behaviour is passed on to each subsequent generation of cells.”
My Own EMF Experience
Nothing brings an issue into bold relief like coming face to face with it personally. Last month I suddenly noticed I was having to massage my weirdly aching hands and arms while at the computer. (It didn’t dawn on me till later that I didn’t feel this ache elsewhere in the house.) I can only describe it as a “sour ache” in my bones and tissue, and I found myself thinking, “Am I getting arthritis??!” (Perish the thought.)
My brilliant chiropractor was able to suss out that it was an electromagnetic issue, and so I dug out my meter that measures both magnetic, electric and microwave radiation. I looked like a modern-day dowser meandering through my home watching the needle barely move (except when passing the running refrigerator, which indeed emits a potent field).
The needle jumped as I neared the back wall of my office. I discovered a pulsed electromagnetic signal was coming from the so-called “smart meter” mounted on that same wall on the outside of my house. I moved my laptop into the dining room for the time being, and began referring to my office as “Little Chernobyl.” I have not felt the weird ache since.
In researching smart meters, I was shocked to see tinnitus listed near the top of symptoms of the effects of the micropulsed radiation from smart meters. Tinnitus is ringing (or buzzing or humming, etc.) in the ears — something I rather suddenly developed around the end of February. When I called Southern California Edison to opt out of the smart meter, I asked what the date of installation had been. “End of January,” was the answer.
7 Ways to Protect Your Family from EFT Effects
The following list of suggestions represents a tiny fraction of the things you can do to reduce EMF effects within your home and your life.
1. Keep all sleeping spaces clear of EM radiation – This is the first thing to tend to, since children are like plants: they grow at night! And sleep is the time when much of the body’s regenerative work is performed in adults. Make sure beds are three to six feet away from any electrical outlets or appliances. (Keep in mind what’s on the other side of walls: you don’t want your child’s bed on a wall that backs up to the wall where your TV is hanging directly on the other side!) Don’t use electric blankets or heating pads, or waterbeds with an electric heating element. Before going to sleep, turn off everything electrical and/or wireless (ideally in your entire house, but at least in your sleeping areas), including WiFi, cell and cordless phones. You can also get inexpensive inline switches so that any appliances located next to beds (such as a lamp), can be turned off directly at the outlet.
2. Opt out of a Smart Meter — If you don’t have one already, try to avoid having one of these devices installed on your house by the electric company. Depending on where you live, you may have a say in the matter. Opt-out programs vary. My smart meter was replaced in less than a week with an old-fashioned analog meter. (Of course this doesn’t come cheap: $75 initial cost, plus $10 per month. Hey, who said wellbeing was free?!) If opting out is not an option for you, there are things you can do to shield yourselves from the EM effects, which seem to be particularly problematic because of their pulsed nature.
3. Use corded rather than cordless – It’s old-fashioned, I know, but corded and wired devices are far more bio-friendly to our bodies than cordless and wireless. If you don’t need to roam around your house with your laptop, consider using a <gasp> ethernet cord and turn off the wireless when possible.
4. Be smart about cell phones – To be without a cell phone is like living in cultural exile, but it is possible to reduce the EMF effects without moving to Siberia. Consider choosing a phone with a lower level of absorbed radiation, and getting a “Blue Tube ” (as opposed to blue-tooth) wired headset. Keep your cell phone away from you body when possible, and certainly don’t carry it in your pocket! And drastically limit children’s use of cell phones, since EMF effects upon their growing brains are potentially more serious.
5. Don’t use laptops on your actual lap – If you must do so, try to use them in battery mode, recharging when you’re not using them, or at least when they’re off your body. For Mac users, plugging them into an outlet using the full 3-prong (grounded) plug with the long cord is safer than using the 2-prong (ungrounded) adapter to plug the transformer (square white box) directly into a socket. (Your body becomes the grounding element otherwise!)
6. Keep cords and outlets as far away from you as possible – One of the biggest offenders is the log-jam of power strips, back-up batteries, surge protectors and extension cords that we typically stash right under the computer desk — where they are very close to our feet while we work! Move them 2-3 feet away from your feet, your head, your everything.
7. Avoid using CFLs – While supposedly better for the environment, compact fluorescent lamps contain an electronic ballast that emits high frequencies into occupied rooms along the entire length of the branch circuit that they are screwed into. They also emit a magnetic field because, like all fluorescent and halogen lamps, they run on low voltage DC current that needs to be stepped down from 120 volt AC current by a transformer, and that is what creates the magnetic field.
Tips for Healthy Homes — Comprehensive information and practical guidance from Oram Miller, a leader in the field of “building biology.”
About Marcy Axness
I'm the author of “Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers," and also the adoption expert on Mothering's expert panel. I write and speak around the world on prenatal, child and parent development, and I have a private practice coaching parents-in-progress. I raised two humans, earned a doctorate, and lived to report back. On the wings of my new book I'm delighted to be speaking at many wonderful conferences all over the world in the coming months, and I'm happy to be sharing dispatches and inside glimpses with you here on Mothering.com! As a special gift to Mothering readers I'm offering "A Unique 7-Step Parenting Tool."