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EMF [Electromagnetic Field] Electro Pollution

Scientific disciplines on environmental toxins

Environmental epidemiology is the scientific discipline which investigates the detrimental effect that environmental toxins have on human health. It is well known that chemical toxins, irritants and allergens trigger a variety of human diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and neuro-degenerative diseases . A common example is that aluminum is believed to be one of the possible causative factors involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In many cases, the underlying biochemical mechanisms are understood.

In contrast, relatively little is known about electro pollution. Electro pollution refers to man-made electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the environment. Bioelectromagnetics is the field of study which investigates  the biological effects of EMF. From a historical point of view the first studies in this field were focused on the beneficial effects of certain types of EMF. This area of research was abolished when the American Medical Association(AMA) was first formed and medical research focused on “wonder drugs” like penicillin, and abandoned research into other possible areas of treatment.

Bioelectromagnetics research re-emerged in the 1960’s when it was discovered that certain types of EMF could promote healing of bone fractures. Concomitantly, while some specific EMF frequencies were linked to healing, different frequencies were suspected of causing cancer, especially in people living near power lines. This inspired government funding to confirm this finding and to study how such effects might come about. The link between power lines and cancer was indeed confirmed and it was discovered that particular frequencies and field strengths were probably responsible.  EMF emissions with the frequency of power lines, 60Hz (cycles/second), at field strengths experienced in homes relatively near overhead power lines have the combined parameters that may initiate cancer. EMF can be considered co-carcinogens acting in conjunction with chemicals and other factors known to cause cancer . On the other hand some types of EMF can have beneficial effects on the body.

Other types of man-made EMF

Further research in this area has shown that not only power lines, but several other types of man-made EMF also have a detrimental effect on the body. Offending electronic devices include:
emf microwave oven

  • Microwave ovens
  • TV’s
  • Computer
  • Electric water beds
  • Cell phones
  • Portable home phones

Depending on the frequency of the device, and the length of exposure, a wide variety of diseases can be triggered including cardiovascular diseases and neuro-degenerative diseases. These effects have been demonstrated by several different laboratories at major universities in several countries in both humans and animal models.

Studies of harmful effects of EMF

Effects have been measured at the molecular- eg. DNA, cellular (eg. human immune cells) and clinical levels. In general, experiments have measured harmful effects on the nervous system, the immune system, the cardiovascular system and carcinogenesis (induction of cancer). Several neurological effects have also been observed including detrimental effects on the cognitive functions of the brain (alertness, task performance, memory), direct damage of nerve cells, altered sleep patterns, headaches and depression. In some cases the biochemical mechanisms underlying these physiological effects have been elucidated.

Most disturbing are studies demonstrating a link between EMF pollution and cancer. Molecular and cellular experiments have indicated the sensitivity of DNA to radiation from electronic devices which has been shown to be genotoxic – causing direct damage to the structure of DNA similar to that seen by ionizing radiation (X-rays). Clinical studies have confirmed these cellular studies and have clearly shown a correlation with high levels of EM fields in homes and the incidence of several types of cancer (3,5). Studies with childhood leukemia are the most definitive and disturbing .

EMF and cell phones

Scientists studying Bioelectromagnetics have researched the detrimental effects of cell phones, because of the universal use of these devices throughout most of the world. Experiments with cell phones are particularly difficult, since unlike power lines which are comprised of only one frequency, 60Hz, cell phones emit in three different regions of the electromagnetic spectrumELF (extremely low frequency), RF (radio frequencies) and MW (microwaves). There is scientific evidence that each of these regions produce different types of biological effects at the biochemical level. Each of these effects, of course, will contribute to the complex response observed in the human body.

 5G technology is currently being implemented and may be even more of a concern than 4G.  The emissions from both are of great concern. The 4G networks  use frequencies at and below 6 GHz.  5G will utilize extremely high frequencies in the 30 GHz to 90 GHz range. Long-term exposure to these higher frequencies has never been tested, although exposure to the lower frequencies of 3G and 4G have been associated with cancer, immune dysfunction, infertility, altered brain development, sleep and memory disturbances, and many other adverse health effects.

Initial studies indicate that a certain type of brain tumor was triggered by chronic (long-term) use of cell phones. In general, the same detrimental effects that were observed for power lines were also observed for cell phones. These results have now been confirmed by independent University labs in several countries.

Industries Response

The cell phone and power industries of course were not pleased with these results and embarked upon their own studies to disprove the University results. Industry experiments took advantage of the well known fact that biological effects of EMF are highly dependent on the frequency and strength of the fields.

Biological effects are also dependent on other experimental conditions. For example, whether the body is exposed continuously or intermittent, the orientation of the biological system relative to the fields, and the strength of the geomagnetic field in the local environment. Industry scientists chose experimental conditions which they knew were least likely to produce harmful biological effects.

They simply chose conditions outside the known effective “windows”, as they are called to ensure no effects were observed. This is relatively easy since all of the effective experimental conditions are not yet known.

Most studies use acute exposure conditions, but the situation is worse after long-term exposures.  Even if the required conditions are not met on a given day, they are likely to be met at another time that the electronic device is used. Some experiments have revealed only a few minutes of exposure to EMF under the right conditions are enough to trigger a complex cascade of biochemical processes resulting in a disease state.

Experimental Designs

When assessing the experimental design used to evaluate the safety or hazards of electromagnetic fields, there are many factors to consider. If the experiment uses electromagnetic fields (EMF) limited to individual frequencies known to be emitted by electronic devices, the results are skewed. The body responds very differently to individual frequencies, in contrast to the complex mixture of frequencies emitted from an actual electronic device. Results from these experiments do not reflect real-life situations.

Another example of poor experimental design is the use of ultra-low strength EMF’s which can be significantly different from the radiation actually emitted from an electronic device. Such experiments would not be expected to produce detrimental effects on biological systems.

This phenomenon was clearly demonstrated in a  study at Pisa University in Italy where it was shown that human immune cells exposed to cell phone radiation showed DNA damage which was highly dependent on the intensity (and duration) of the radiation . The same study also demonstrated a large variability from one individual to another.

Human Sensitivity to EMF

In general we do not know why some people are so sensitive to the EM fields, but the phenomenon of EM hypersensitivity is by now well established. We do however know that young children and older individuals are more sensitive to radiation from power lines. Since these individuals are also known to show increased sensitivity to chemical carcinogens, they clearly constitute a high-risk sub-population.

Finally, we must consider the issue of interpretation of data. Studies examining different experimental conditions will often conclude that radiation from electronic devices has no detrimental effects, even if one of the conditions does, in fact, show such an effect. This bias in the design and interpretation of scientific data is assumed due to the fact that the cell phone industry has funded much of this research.

Neutralizing Technologies

Indeed there are now several technologies available to the consumer to help protect them from harmful effects of cell phones. Sadly, the research behind these technologies is often lacking. Partly because this technology is new and partly because the government is not acknowledging or funding cell phone related health issues.

Most companies have demonstrated their technology reverse cell phone induced imbalances in the acupuncture meridian system which is measurable using EAV-type electronic monitoring devices. Unfortunately, most biomedical researchers do not recognize these measurements. Other companies have measured more established biological endpoints. Although these neutralizing technologies are in its infancy, it seems prudent to have some form of protection on our cell phones, and to limit the use of these devices as much as possible.

For a Comprehensive List of Studies about health effects of wireless technology, visit:
https://www.grassrootsinfo.org/emergingscience.php

To Investigate Protective Devices, visit: EMF Meters and Shielding

Image Credit:
By Mk2010 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

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