EMFs & RF – Should We Be Concerned?
It may seem as if the invisible forces of radio frequencies (RF) and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are just that – invisible, unnoticed, and harmless. However, in today’s society, we’re immersed in these wireless forces on a regular basis through cell phones, wifi routers, baby monitors, TVs, appliances, and more. These external forces contribute to overall radiation exposure and cell phones, which are often in close proximity to the body, are among the top culprits.
The human body operates by its own set of electrical signaling, connecting the brain to the rest of the body and governing all cellular functions. In a 2016 article, Jerry Phillips, Ph.D., a biochemist, and director of the Excel Science Center at the University of Colorado, explains how living cells react to RF radiation:
Dr. Mercola also states: “another important point to remember is that EMF will affect you regardless of whether you actually feel it or not. Those who are electrosensitive are physically aware of their exposure, but regardless of sensitivity, the disease rates are the same. On average, a person will experience biological effects from a cellphone at a distance of 12 feet.” 
Because the brain and the heart are intricately connected and function with the highest density of voltage-gated calcium channels (you can think of these as electrical control centers for intracellular processes) compared to the rest of the body, these organs are the most susceptible to the damaging effects of low-intensity EMFs. When the intracellular signaling becomes disrupted, biological functioning becomes disrupted, including hormonal effects, impaired fertility, oxidative stress, emotional dysregulation, DNA damage, disrupted melatonin, and the breakdown of the blood-brain-barrier, among others. Additionally, when these channels are activated in the brain, the release of neuroendocrine hormones and neurotransmitters are elevated in certain parts of the brain, and this has been shown to elicit significant neuropsychiatric effects .
In her book, “Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation,” Devra Davis, Ph.D., an epidemiologist, states that “children have never before been exposed to this level of pulsed radiation, and it’s still too early to determine the exact extent of the harm.” Today, children are exposed to electromagnetic fields and radiation even prior to birth, and research is continually identifying links between EMF exposure and increased risk for childhood illness [4, 5, 6].
Furthermore, humans aren’t the only ones affected by the increase EMF exposure, but bacteria, mold, and viruses can become increasingly active in the presence of Wifi as well. It’s thought that mold biotoxins, which can significantly suppress the immune system, can increase more than 600x in the presence of Wifi too .
“Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell-phones,” -Karen Smith, CDPH director and State Public Health Officer.
Recently, California health officials have released a set of guidelines to reduce exposure, and Dr. Joel Moskowitz from UC Berkeley, who played a key role in the development of these recommendations, previously stated, “people are being injured and harmed by the delay in having this information accessible to them.”
The new guidelines provide several recommendations to reduce exposure including “increasing the distance between you and your phone by using a headset, the speakerphone function and text messaging.” Health officials also recommend not sleeping near your phone and not to carry it in your pocket or directly on your body, unless it is off.
Additional suggestions from these guidelines include:
- When you talk on your cell phone, avoid holding it to your head—use the speakerphone or a headset instead. Wireless (Bluetooth) and wired headsets emit much less RF energy than cell phones.
- Send text messages instead of talking on the phone.
- If you are streaming, or if you are downloading or sending large files, try to keep the phone away from your head and body.
- Carry your cell phone in a backpack, briefcase, or purse; NOT in a pocket, bra or belt holster. Since your phone’s antenna tries to stay connected with a cell tower whenever it’s on, it emits some RF energy even when you are not using it. It does not emit RF energy when it’s in airplane mode. (Airplane mode turns off cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.)
Additionally, while in the car or train, your phone will put out higher RF energy to prevent dropped calls or maintain connection while changing connection to different cell-phone towers, so it’s recommended to avoid using your cell phone while in transit. This is also true if your signal is less than two bars, in which case, your cell phone also puts out more RF to connect to the nearest tower. When streaming or downloading large files, it’s recommended to download them first while you’re away from your phone and then switch your phone to airplane mode while you watch or listen .
While there are several benefits to having mobile phones and internet access, we should be considering the frequency and duration of our use, in addition to implementing precaution to limit EMF and RF exposure.
FOR MORE INFORMATION…
1. The Importance of Electromagnetic Field Remediation in the Treatment of Chronic Disease
3. The Emerging Link between Wireless and Autism
4. Early pregnancy loss and exposure to 50-Hz magnetic fields
5. A case‐control study of childhood leukemia in Southern Ontario, Canada, and exposure to magnetic fields in residences
6. The Sensitivity of Children to Electromagnetic Fields
7. EMFs and Mold: A Deadly Combination
8. Cellphone Radiation Exposure Fact Sheet Draft Released By California Health Officials
9. How to Reduce Exposure to Radiofrequency Energy from Cell Phones