Health risks

In 2011, The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) as a possible Group 2B carcinogen (along with lead and DDT).

In the US, there are no federal health standards for electromagnetic radiation (EMR) exposure. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets standards for communications devices that generate EMR, such as cell phones, cordless telephones and cell phone and radio towers. Due to the fact that the FCC is not a health and safety agency, it relies on other agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for recommendations of safe levels of EMR exposure.

The current exposure standards that are in use are based on potential thermal effects that short term exposure has on the body, much like a microwave heats up food by warming up water molecules. For example, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided that cell phones are safe since the body temperature of a six-foot, 200 pound man using a cell phone for six minutes does not change significantly. The FDA has not conducted studies about how mobile phones, WiFi, antennas and wireless utility meters (alone or in combination) affect babies, children, pregnant women, the elderly, the infirm, or people with medical implants. Furthermore, the standards do not address any potential biological effects of low-level EMR that have been found in hundreds of studies in recent years. As a result, the EMR exposure guidelines used by the FCC and FDA are very high compared with recommended exposure guidelines that take biological effects and long-term exposure into account.

The human body is an electrical machine. Tiny electrical currents exist in the body due to the chemical reactions that occur as part of the normal bodily functions, even in the absence of external electric fields. For example, nerves relay signals by transmitting electric impulses. Most biochemical reactions from digestion to brain activities go along with the rearrangement of charged particles. Even the heart is electrically active – an activity that your doctor can trace with the help of an electrocardiogram.

Low-frequency electric fields influence the human body just as they influence any other material made up of charged particles. When electric fields act on conductive materials, they influence the distribution of electric charges at their surface. They cause current to flow through the body to the ground. Low-frequency magnetic fields induce circulating currents within the human body. The strength of these currents depends on the intensity of the outside magnetic field. If sufficiently large, these currents could cause stimulation of nerves and muscles or affect other biological processes.

The long-term effects of low levels of EMR has been a controversial topic for many years.  Many studies have been done on this topic, with mixed results. Although no specific biological mechanism has been found that causes health effects from low-level radiation, hundreds of studies have found an association between low-level EMR and various health conditions.

Some of these conditions include:

  • headaches,
  • sleep problems,
  • heart problems,
  • depression,
  • some types of cancer,
  • anxiety and
  • electrohypersensitivity

to name a few. A number of studies have shown slightly elevated rates of leukemia among children who live near high voltage power lines. A number of studies have also linked childhood disease such as autism, ADHD and asthma to levels of EMR experienced by the mother during pregnancy, as well as elevated risk of miscarriage.

More and more studies are showing that holding a cell phone to your head increases the risk of certain types of cancer in the brain, eyes and throat. Never hold a cell phone to your head or allow your child to do so! Instead, get a headset that allows you to keep the phone a safe distance from your body when in use.

There have been many anecdotal examples of people with chronic health problems who were negatively impacted by EMR and who got better after sources of EMR were removed. These sources range from dirty electricity to smart meters, which emit pulses of high frequency EMR every few seconds.

Health considerations are the primary reason to get a home inspection, and also why we focus on identifying sources of EMR in the entire house, and particularly in the sleeping area.

Contact us today to get a comprehensive EMF home audit now!