top of page

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.

Figure 1: The Electromagnetic Spectrum

The Science

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:"

For even more studies you can check out these websites: