Electromagnetic Fields: Is Exposure Harmful?

The exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from the transmission of electricity, telecommunications, and broadcasting, as well as from domestic and other industrial appliances, such as WiFi routers, tablets, smartphones, laptops and telecom antennas, may be hazardous to health.

Constant exposure to EMFs may play a part in health conditions including headaches, migraines, inner agitation, chronic exhaustion, sleeplessness, and susceptibility to infection. The health danger that EMFs may cause humans, animals and ecosystems is fast increasing as technology multiplies and its impact intensifies, such as the progression in telecommunications from 3G, 4G to 5G.

Electromagnetic fields from smartphones

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), of the World Health Organisation, issued a press release on the 31 May 2011 wherein it classifies EMF (non-ionising) radiation as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

A March 2021 report issued by the Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association (ORSAA) has identified 2065 studies that investigate the effects of electromagnetic radiation exposure that does not exceed the industry heat-based standard limits. 69% of these studies show that there is a biological effect on humans.

The biological cells that make up our body systems and organs as well as the cells making up the bacteria, fungi and other microbes in every person’s microbiome, use a low electric current to function.

When the naturally existing electric charges in our body come into contact with outside electric charges present in EMFs, these charges may well change how our body systems and organs function which can lead to an alteration in the way our cells perform. This could impact a number of health issues and potentially cause cancer, hence the IARC warning.

All the biological interactions inside our bodies are critical for our survival. The interference of man-made devices with the functions of our biological body would result in a doubly negative impact. Firstly, essential healthy processes would be inhibited and secondly harmful processes would take over.

People are exposed to the many wireless devices that are everywhere, at home and at work, in care homes, classrooms and coffee shops, in recreational areas and means of transport. It is reported that one of the most common symptoms that indicates exposure to EMFs is lack of quality sleep caused by the daily, constant exposure to WiFi routers and to the mobile phones that we also place next to our bed when we sleep. Sleep disturbance leads to chronic fatigue. The harmful effect of EMF radiation might manifest itself as redness, rashes, or even tingling of the skin.

Exposure to EMFs may also cause concentration difficulties, otherwise known as brain fog. A decline in memory and the ability to recall the names of people, places or events may follow. Dizziness is another reported symptom of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. Severe exposure may cause Tinnitus that is the hearing of a consistent sound, such as ringing or other sound, when no such external sound is present.

The telecoms and digital industries are fundamentally amoral.

Electromagnetic fields from telecoms antenna

As early as in 1932, a German doctor named Erwin Schliephake published scientific data describing symptoms many of his patients were experiencing who lived or operated near local radio towers. Although he called it “microwave sickness”, many today know it as electromagnetic hypersensitivity or EHS. Some of the EMF exposure symptoms he described in his study were severe headaches, inability to sleep, or exhausted upon waking, fatigue, frequent infection and illness and dizziness.

The sympathetic nervous system functions to produce coping mechanisms, such as reflex adjustments of the cardiovascular system. When under stress, the entire sympathetic nervous system is activated, producing an immediate widespread response characterized by the release of large quantities of adrenaline hormones, an increase in heart rate and pumping of blood, increase in blood supply to the muscles and a decrease in the blood supply to the skin and digestive systems, pupillary dilation and bronchial dilation. These responses are designed to ready the body to withstand danger.

An overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system caused by persistent exposure to EMFs from electronic gadgets may evoke sustained electro-hypersensitivity induced stress causing a sympathetic nervous response to danger where none exists.  Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is not a naturally occurring illness, it is an adverse reaction to a technology and a warning to us all.

This article was published in the Senior Times of the Times of Malta on the 22 October 2022

If you are interested in the harms of electromagnetic radiation please read these other articles

Electromagnetic fields