Technological advancements have made life a lot easier. Modernization created a convenience that came with the invention of gadgets, devices, and applications that kept us on top of things. We are living a reality that continues to evolve every chance it has. There’s no telling what technology has in store for us a year or two from now, but it’s nothing short of spectacular. Is there anything else we could ask?
Yet with these advancements and progressive tools pose a question of health and safety. Too much of a good thing can turn out bad. In terms of these new technologies, how much of our health are we risking for the sake of practicality and a comfortable lifestyle?
To put it into perspective, we are “living” in an EMF. EMF stands for electric and magnetic fields, or more commonly heard as electromagnetic fields. That sounds a bit alarming because, to be honest, we almost only hear that term in science fiction films. Yet, the truth is, EMFs surround us.
What are EMFs, exactly?
Electromagnetic fields are, simply put, radiations. The sun is known as the number one natural source of radiation, supplying the energy for our biological and physiological needs. Therefore, we’ve been exposed to natural radiation since the beginning of time. At the turn of the century, however, due to the ever-increasing demands for electricity, electromagnetic fields have been utilized through human-made means, creating an abundance of artificial sources. These human-made means, in the form of power lines, have become another source of radiation exposure.
In short, our access to electricity also highlighted our exposure to electromagnetic fields.
Inside our very homes, we are openly receiving radiations from various devices and gadgets like mobile phones, laptops, Wi-Fi routers, and microwave ovens. The type of radiation sent out by these devices is called non-ionizing or low-level radiation. As the name implies, non-ionizing radiation is generally mild and classified as harmless to people. Ionizing or high-level radiation, on the other hand, comes in the form of the sun’s ultraviolet rays and x-rays emitted by medical machines.
What is alarming about EMF exposure?
We are still learning about the real dangers brought about by intense exposure to EMF. There are a couple of studies to its effects on the human body associating it to pressing health matters that are not to be taken lightly. EMF exposure is linked to specific health concerns like abnormal cell growth and white blood cell problems in the bone marrow. Some scientists and health organizations argue the possibility of increased EMF exposure as a cause for these serious health effects.
Furthermore, since the mobile phone is the single most used item by most people daily, its use has been the subject of certain studies aiming to solidify the link between EMF exposure and pressing health risks. Test results started to show some connection between the two.
Research shows that EMFs can have certain impacts on the body’s nervous system functions.
Some perceived signs of increased exposure to EMF include sleeping issues, persistent headaches, tiredness and susceptibility to fatigue, depression, lack of focus, and difficulty in concentrating, as well as memory problems.
However, it is also worth noting that it can be quite challenging to get diagnosed with high EMF exposure through these symptoms due to the lack of information. More research is still needed, and leading organizations and concerned parties are working hard to be better informed in this serious health matter that concerns everyone.
What can you do if you’re worried about EMF exposure?
The best course of action is to be aware of and spread awareness. Try to manage your exposure to EMF. Reduce it if you can, especially inside your home. There are a lot of seemingly small things that you can do to reduce your radiation exposure, which could help you in the long run. Something as simple as putting down your phone when you’re not using it dramatically minimizes your exposure to radiation.
Moreover, keep it as far away from you as possible whenever you are sleeping. Use earbuds whenever you have to answer a phone call. Try to also refrain from carrying your phone in your pocket. Put it in the bag if you must. These are just some of the small ways you are doing yourself a favor to be free from radiation. And while you won’t be ultimately rid of EMF exposure, these acts do count.
Also, don’t forget to stay informed.
Tune into news and subscribe to health publications for recent developments in the field of study concerned with EMF exposure. Being keen to learn and get informed is the first step towards self-awareness and consciousness regarding societal and humanitarian situations.
What should EMF learning teach us?
There’s no smoke if there’s no fire, so everyone should keep an open mind and a perception of responsibility to one’s self about the dangers of electromagnetic field exposures and its association to the very devices that we use single-handedly every day. We are still learning about EMF exposure health risks. Therefore, it’s only wise to exercise a sense of caution and understanding and start adopting preventive measures.
Kıvrak, Elfide Gizem et al. “Effects of electromagnetic fields exposure on the antioxidant defense system.” Journal of microscopy and ultrastructure vol. 5,4 (2017): 167-176. doi:10.1016/j.jmau.2017.07.003
Asghari, Ali et al. “A review on Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and the reproductive system.” Electronic physician vol. 8,7 2655-62. 25 Jul. 2016, doi:10.19082/2655
Bortkiewicz, Alicja. “Health effects of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields (RF EMF).” Industrial health vol. 57,4 (2019): 403-405. doi:10.2486/indhealth.57_400
The power of technology is way beyond every one of us. Yes, it has been of great help and offers in as much convenience to the way we live these days. But maybe it’s about time we start thinking about the price we have to pay for these conveniences and reassess the lifestyle change that we need to lead a less tech-dependent living.