The Health Effects of Electrical Pollution and What to Do About It
I first became aware that EMF (electro-magnetic fields) could affect health back in 2009. We had been dealing with a multitude of health problems and I finally decided the house must have something to do with it. A home inspector came to the house to check everything out, and she carried an EMF detector throughout the house. She showed us the high levels of output from things like our digital alarm clocks, cordless phones, bathroom fans, laptops, and even outlets that were "spitting" excess energy out of the plugs. Since then we have been highly conscious of our exposure to EMF and taken steps to mitigate it.
But then in January 2016 we put solar panels on our house. I asked about the EMF output before installing them and was told it was totally safe. But then a whole bunch of random health issues popped up--moody, cranky kids, insomnia, thyroid imbalance, and even a flair of cytomegalovirus (from the family of viruses that causes mononucleosis). I saw a study come out that said that certain megawatt frequencies can cause Epstein Barr Virus to flair and that got me thinking. Then I came upon a blog post talking about how the solar power inverter that changes DC energy to AC energy for the house causes high levels of "dirty energy" (think back to those spitting outlets). Well, I went on a mission and what you see in this blog post is what I learned. The science can get complicated, and this blog post is meant to be a guide for your own further research. There are many critics that say there is no definitive scientific evidence that electrical pollution in the rates humans are exposed to are affecting health. And there are lots of others that claim it is having profound effects on health. Personally, I have found it affects our family and that personal experience is prompting this blog post. I've included links to the products we use in our own home to mitigate our exposure to the low-frequency wavelengths that can interfere with health, and lots of links to other products and further information so you can come to your own conclusions.
How do EMF's interfere with health?
There are lots of terms that get thrown around on this subject. EMR (Electro-Magnetic Radiation), EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference--also known as "dirty energy"), and EMF's (Electro-Magnetic Fields that are caused by the previous two.) I'm going to throw it all together for the purposes of this post and call it "Electrical Pollution."
In a nutshell, the human body, the planet, basically every living thing has an electrical field. It is the electrical potential in our cells that make nerve conduction, DNA replication, and cellular energy possible. If you harken back to high school physics (I'm sorry!) you may remember learning about wavelengths. Everything from light to radio waves to microwaves, etc, are measured by their wavelength. When two wavelengths come into contact with each other they can amplify each other, cancel each other out, act coherently (support the system) or incoherently (cause interference.) The positive health effects of EMF (think radiation from the sun helping us to make Vitamin D), are in coherence with our body's electrical field. The negative health effects of EMF's are due to frequency wavelengths that interfere with the electrical potential of our own body. There is no controversy in scientific circles that ionizing radiation like x-rays and radioactive emissions can cause severe health effects. The controversy is over low-frequency emissions from things like radio waves, cell phones, microwaves, etc. (See Figure below for a visual representation.) The relatively new science of epigenetics suggests that certain individuals are more sensitive than others to EMF interference--that is known as electro-hypersensitivity.
Critics point out that there is little to no evidence that devices like cell phones, Wi-Fi routers, energy output from large appliances, etc. have any effect on health. But I find it telling that Dr. Martin L Pall, PhD said at the recent Autism One Conference that the United States and Great Britain (normally the countries that lead scientific research), are funding zero research on this issue--and they haven't in decades. Dr. Pall is a Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University. He has received 10 different international honors for his research in environmental medicine (8 for chemical effects and two for electromagnetic field effects.) He's done the research and written 33 papers on this subject, and these are his thoughts: “Microwave (and other low frequency EMF’s) act via voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) activation to produce excessive intracellular calcium. Most if not all of the medical effects of EMF exposure can be produced via what are called downstream effects of calcium (Ca2+) elevation. Seven classes of chemicals act along different pathways to produce excessive NMDA (glutamate receptor) activity, also producing excessive CA2+. EMF’s and chemicals can cause autism, largely through excessive Ca2+ disruption of 5 mechanisms involved in the development of or function of synapses in the brain because each of these 5 mechanisms are regulated by Ca2+. EMF’s can also act to cause the various types of de novo mutations that sometimes occur in autism by producing changes in cellular DNA. It is my opinion that both EMF’s and chemicals have roles in causing the autism epidemic but that EMF exposures are the probable major drivers of the epidemic.” According to Dr. Pall, studies show that when the sleeping environment of the pregnant mother was studied, children who were later diagnosed with autism were exposed to much higher levels of EMF in the in-utero environment than those that were not.
And then you have the BioIniative Report of 2012. This report written by 29 independent scientists and health experts from around the world is about possible risks from wireless technologies and electromagnetic fields. The report's conclusion is this: "Bioeffects are clearly established and occur at very low levels of exposure to electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation. Bioeffects can occur in the first few minutes at levels associated with cell and cordless phone use. Bioeffects can also occur from just minutes of exposure to mobile phone masts (cell towers), WI-FI, and wireless utility ‘smart’ meters that produce whole-body exposure. Chronic base station level exposures can result in illness.” Summarizing further, electrical pollution causes breakdown of the blood brain barrier, increased heart rate, affects DNA expression and its ability to repair itself, causes reproductive harm through damaging of sperm, and is associated with autism risk, cancer, sleep disturbances due to melatonin disruption, Alzheimer’s disease, increased stress, brain fog and memory challenges, ADHD, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), asthma, auto-immune disorders, and it increases toxicity of other toxins like heavy metals and pesticides. Because children are developing, the effects are more dangerous to them. For the full report results click here: http://www.bioinitiative.org/conclusions/."
For even more studies you can check out these websites:
So what do we do?
There are different strategies for mitigating EMF depending on the source of the electrical pollution. The picture below show options for mitigating EMR caused by wireless devices:
In the case of wireless mitigation, you can also get cell phone cases lined with metals that shield you, faraday cages to put around the wireless router, baby monitor, etc., shielding fabric (clothes, sheets, drapes, even belly bands for pregnant women, etc.), shielding paints, and shields to put on the wall behind your smart meter and electrical panel. You can find all of these products at www.lessemf.com.
You can also buy products that "harmonize" the low-frequency waves bombarding us with our own electrical field. There are lots of products out there, from products you attach to your Wi-Fi Router to bracelets, pendants, cell phone stickers, grounding mats, and more. These products work in one of two ways. They can filter the wavelengths, breaking them up so they are no longer harmful (think of white light going through a prism and coming out the other side as a rainbow.) They can also put out competing wavelengths that cancel out the low-frequency waves (similar to how Bose noise-cancelling headphones work.) Some crystals/mineral compounds can absorb and neutralize EMF. And there is a homeopathic by a company call Pekana called Radinex that rids your body of the negative effects of EMR--it also zeroes out EMF readings when placed on whatever object is emitting the radiation.
In our family we use a combination of all the devices I just mentioned. A shield on the smart meter and behind the electrical panel and solar panel inverter, shungite bracelets and pendants and pyramids placed around the house (google Shungite for more on the fullerenes that create the protection from this mineral), a bracelet made by Power Fx that harmonizes the human electrical field, PROTXS Wi-Fi stickers for all our wireless devices, and little glass vials of Radinex sitting on top of our router, alarm clocks, etc. I can get you the Power FX bracelet, the PROTXS shields, and the Radinex--see my page on EMF Protection and Energy Savings for more on why I chose those products and how to get them. See the comparison picture below that explains why I chose PROTXS shields over other Wi-Fi stickers.
Mitigating EMI--"Dirty Energy"
Imagine the inner workings of your home. There are conductive copper wires throughout your walls. This turns your home into a giant antennae, picking up signals from cell phone towers, radio waves, satellite TV signals--you get the idea. While the products I mentioned above offer personal protection, living within a bubble of EMF caused by this gigantic antennae certainly isn't ideal no matter how many bracelets, stickers, and faraday cages you put around the house.
The issue of "dirty energy" became very clear to me when I started the aforementioned research about mitigating the effects on the home of the solar panel inverter. EMI in the walls should ideally be below 50 millivolts (mV), but even below 100 mV is doing pretty good. The average house will run around 600 to 800mV. When I received my EMI meter (we got the one made by Greenwave) our measurements during the evening after the sun went down were between 200 and 400mV. But during the day? Our values were upwards of 1700mV!!!!!! Clearly I needed to do something.
Enter the manufacturer Satic. Satic makes 2 devices that take care of the "dirty energy" in our walls. They have an EMF Protector that plugs directly into the outlets of the home--ideally one on the A circuit of the home and one on the B circuit of the home. They also make something called the "Power Perfect Box" that wires directly into the electrical panel of the home. Both devices are what you would call a "line/power conditioner." According to Wikipedia, "Conditioners specifically work to smooth the sinusoidal A.C. wave form and maintain a constant voltage over varying loads." In doing so they regulate the power coming into our home or through our walls, protecting from power surges, spikes, and line-overload. This in turn protects sensitive equipment from over-heating, prolonging the life of electrical appliances and saving us money on our electric bill. Originally built with that purpose in mind, testing showed that the devices also had a great health benefit--they drastically lower the EMF's coming from the outlets and walls in our home! In our case we had to get the wire-in conditioner (The Power Perfect Box HD) to regulate the energy coming into the home from our solar array.
When I called Satic to ask them a million questions I found out that the manufacturer doesn't sell their products directly and I would have to find a distributor. Well, being that I am in the process of becoming co-owner of Elevation Health Wholistic Wellness Center here in Denver, I asked if I could simply become a distributor. I am happy to report that I can now get Satic Products for you and your family. You can learn more on my Satic page. I am prohibited by the manufacturer from posting prices, so please contact me for pricing information.
Does Nutrition Play a Role?
The electrical potential in our body that creates our own electro-magnetic field is caused by the movement of ions across our cell membranes and down our nerves. Those ions are created by nutrients that we ingest. The key minerals that create our electro-magnetic field are Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, and Magnesium. But there are also vitamins and minerals that support our endocrine system, like iodine (known for protecting from radiation) for the thyroid and b-vitamins (which help in producing cellular energy) for the adrenal glands, and those that support our immune system like Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Zinc. It is important that all of those nutrients be in proper balance in the body, thereby creating homeostasis. Homeostasis defines health--imbalances, like those in the calcium channels mentioned in the science portion of this blog post, lead to imbalances in health.
95% of Vitamin Supplements on the market are synthetic, and synthetics are not well utilized by the body. The body is designed to get its nutrients from food, because food has the nutrients the body needs in accessible and balanced forms. It's unfortunate that our food system is less than ideal. Chemical herbicides like Glyphosate (Round Up) not only interfere with our body's absorption of nutrients, it also depletes the soil of vital nutrients. Man-made, food-like products further exacerbate our ability to find homeostasis.
But there is hope. Buy certified organic products, buy from local farms where you can ask questions and be assured of what you are getting, and find companies who are walking-their-talk and bringing high-quality, nutrient dense foods to the marketplace. Good sources of the nutrients I mentioned above are green leafy vegetables, berries and citrus, nuts, seaweeds, and spirulina. It's also important to buy animal products from pasture-raised animals.
Electrical Pollution caused by appliances, Wi-Fi devices, cell and cordless phones, satellite TV, radio waves, microwaves, smart meters, cell phone towers, digital alarm clocks, and every other electrical convenience we use in our lives has the potential for adverse health effects. Taking steps to mitigate those effects is a smart move in a climate of ever-increasing technology, particularly in sensitive populations. If you are experiencing any type of chronic health condition start by turning off wireless devices whenever possible and cleaning up your diet.
In our family we know ourselves to be particularly sensitive so we have taken measures to the Nth degree (those that know me know that I can't seem to do things any other way!) Mitigating our EMF Exposure has been one tool along our personal Higher Living Journey. I hope this blog post has been enlightening and made your journey easier.