EMFs: The Highs & Lows
By Ken Hare
Chicago Defender Staff Writer
A largest-of-its-kind study on the effects of electromagnetic fields has set off a wave of debate that can no longer be denied.
The $25 million study, published May 27 and conducted by the National Toxicology Program, found that male rats exposed to “frequencies and modulations currently used in cellular communications” for 10-minute on, 10-minute off increments, totaling just over 9 hours a day from before birth through 2 years of age, developed low incidences of tumors of the brain and heart. The study was commissioned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
For health enthusiasts, this is not news as the effects of EMFs, cellphone radiation in particular, has been widely discussed for decades in scientific circles. In fact, scientific studies on cellphone radiation date as far back as the early 1970s. Although they weren’t readily available to the general public, cellphones were being used by U.S. and European diplomats, politicians and certain government agencies.
All Around Us
Examples of low-frequency EMFs are the electrical system in our home and household appliances. High frequencies are produced by all wireless devices. In an interview with Dr. Joseph Mercola – a Chicago-based osteopathic physician who practices a “whole person” approach, treating the entire person rather than just symptoms – Vicki Warren, former executive director of the Building-Biology Group, says there are five primary sources of dangerous EMFs that surround you on a daily basis: electric fields, magnetic fields, power lines, metal plumbing and wireless communications.
Electric fields are anything that emits voltage like lamps, appliances, extension cords and electrical outlets. Magnetic fields are emitted by the electric meter coming into the house; it is rated a Class 3 carcinogen by the EPA. Power lines above and below the ground. Metal plumbing which carries a current. And cellphones, cordless phones, cell towers and wireless routers are examples of wireless EMFs.
According to Warren, wireless devices expose you to both electric and magnetic frequencies, and cordless phone bases emit radiation whether you are using the phone or not, and she advises not to sleep next to one. “It’s best to use the speaker phone or a headset when using a cordless phone because the thermal impact of the antenna can cause problems, particularly if you’re frequently on the phone or talk for long periods of time.”
The impact affects the electrical communication in the body, such as the brainwaves or the ability of the neurons to fire and to communicate, or even in the inter-cell communication, cell to cell, she said. Typical problems that can manifest can be neurological, behavioral or can impact things like cell growth, cell mutations, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and cancer. All of these can be impacted by EMFs, she says.
Smart Meters, A Dumb Move
Major energy providers have already begun installing a so-called ‘smart grid,’ where utility meters wirelessly transmit data about your usage back to the utility company. Eventually, they want to incorporate this technology into every household appliance and link it to a central grid in each neighborhood. According to Warren, they’ve already seen a direct correlation between increasing health complaints in neighborhoods where smart meters have been installed. “Usually, the first issue that people start talking about is an inability to sleep, or mood swings, along with headaches.
The Chicago Defender met entrepreneur Emil DeToffol, at AutismOne’s national conference two weeks ago, where we learned about how EMFs affect those diagnosed with autism. That’s another story. However, DeToffol, was a practicing dentist in upstate New York, when he started selling EMF protective gear 20 years ago.
“There was not much information, nor products available in 1996, so I decided to make it available,” he shared with us. With an initial investment of $50, DeToffol started in his basement and has grown the business into what it is today. When asked about human exposure to EMFs, he said “Science has clearly established that adverse biological effects are occurring, long before we “feel” them.”
“Because of the work we do, we hear from people all over the world who call us to get help with their symptoms and/or illness related to EMF exposure. Everything from sleeplessness, ringing in the ears, and headaches, to rapid heartbeat, infertility, and unfortunately cancer.”
DeToffol recommends that every household should have a meter to measure the radiation hot spots in their environment. His company carries countless products to protect yourself from the radiation, including smart meter shields that project from EMF exposure and cellphone cases that reduce radiation. Visit his website at http://www.lessemf.com/.
Also, the NTP report is available at http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2016/05/26/055699. The full study will be done by the end of 2017.