How much should we worry about EMFs?

EMFs: electromagnetic fields.

It would seem to make sense, that if someone is munching down hamburgers, french fries and soda all day long, eating sugary sweets, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, that the amount of EMFs being emitted by the electronic keychain in their pocket is probably NOT what they should be worried about at that point, in terms of safeguarding their health.

In the great scheme of things, EMFs (electromagnetic fields) may not be the very first thing most people need to make changes about, when it comes to their lifestyles. But once you have a basic understanding of the most fundamental principles of health, is it important to know how safe/unsafe EMFs are to our health? Absolutely.

Can EMFs (electromagnetic fields) from power lines, home wiring, transformers, military and airport radar, substations, computers, waterbed heaters and microwave ovens cause brain tumors, leukemia, miscarriages, birth defects, headaches, chronic fatigue, cataracts, stress, heart problems, cancer, nausea, forgetfulness and other health problems? We are surrounded with:

  • Power Lines
  • Waterbed heaters
  • Electric Blankets
  • Home Wiring
  • Transformers
  • Microwave Ovens
  • Electric Clocks
  • yes, even computers!

Electricity is an indispensible part of modern day life. That means that EMFs will continue to be all around us, everywhere. But aside from making our lives easier, is electricity also making our lives shorter?

Most experts agree that limited, non-chronic exposure to EMFs is not dangerous. BUT, it's not advisable for someone to sleep under an electric blanket, for example, or live near a powerline, or sleep in a room where the power enters the home. Such a person is under an extreme case of chronic exposure. This condition - unfortunately - applies to millions of Americans.

There is much controversy as to what EMF (electromagnetic field) level can be considered safe. Since the experts have not arrived at any consensus, you will have to decide for yourself. Many utility and government documents report the usual ambient level of 60-Hz magnetic field to be 0.5 mG. ("mG" stands for milliGauss. See below for an explanation of what that is.)

Therefore, any reading higher than 0.5 mG is above the 'usual' ambient exposure. Many public officials and experts, as well as the few governments that have made an effort to offer public protection, have adopted the 3 mG cut-off point. The EPA has proposed a safety standard of 1 mG. Sweden has set a maximum safety limit of 1 mG.


How are EMFs measured?

A "Gauss" is a common unit of measurement of magnetic field strength. A Gauss meter is an instrument which measures the strength of magnetic fields. Inside a Gauss meter, there is a coil of thin wire, typically with hundreds of turns in it. As a magnetic field radiates through the coil, it induces an electrical current, which is amplified by the circuitry inside the Gauss meter.

Gauss meters may vary in the strength of the magnetic fields which they are capable of measuring. A meter used for measuring EMFs from power lines, transformers, substations and appliances around the home, for example, should be able to measure as low as .1 mG.

Avoid electromagnetic fields when possible.

Avoid low-frequency (60 Hz) pulsating electromagnetic fields such as those found in electric blankets and waterbed heaters. Also, avoid close exposure to any AC/DC transformer for appliances you plug into a wall. Making a reasonable effort to avoid gross exposure to EMFs, would seem to be the right approach, here, since we all live in modern society -anyone reading this page, anyway!

2 books which I recommend, if you are interested in learning more about the possible health implications of EMFs, are:

"Cross Currents The Perils of Electropollution. The Promise of Electromedicine" by Robert 0. Becker, and "Currents of Death The Attempt to Cover Up the Threat to Your Health" by Paul Brodeur.



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2002 Healing Daily