EMF Knowledge

Are EMFs Really Harmful?

So we know what EMFs are and where they come from, but are they really harmful?

This is where all the debate regarding EMFs and the coming 5G safety concerns begin. The answer is, it depends who you ask...

The picture pretty much tells the story. There are 2 types of scientist debating this issue. The first are industry associated scientists responsible for setting the official safe levels. If you had asked them 10 years ago if the EMFs we’re exposed to daily were really harmful they would have said “What? Harmful? Of course not! Where did you hear this conspiracy nonsense?”. However if you ask them today they will reluctantly say... “possibly”.

The second type of scientist are the rest i.e. those not associated with policy making or the industry. 10 years ago they would have said “absolutely”, and today they would say “absolutely, but way more than we ever thought”. It is difficult to explain the discrepancies in the findings between these 2 groups without consideration of funding bias or some other form of corrupted science.

We therefore must examine the science for ourselves and ultimately decide for ourselves who to believe. Could it be the scientists who are funded by the companies who stand to profit enormously from the technology, or those who aren't?

This section is an attempt to make the science a little bit more accessible listing some of the main detrimental effects EMF exposure has on the human body. Those effects range from poor sleep and headaches all the way to leukaemia and cancer. However if you want to really get deep into the science the Bioinitiative Report is the place to go. It is an overview study of over 4000 studies relating to EMFs and health effects and is the gold standard of EMF health effects science. They have summary tables which are pages upon pages of summaries like this which allow you to scan through and find the particular studies you're interested in.

There are many sites that have a large list of EMF health effects but don't have any sources for the claims. The list below is definitely not a comprehensive list of all EMF health effects, there are more, but it is meant as an introduction to the science on specific effects. The intent as time permits is to continually add more relevant studies in order to help people do their own research.

I’ve read a fair chunk of the studies in the Bioinitiative Report, sat through numerous lectures and seminars and have many hours research behind me on this subject so rather than just start listing studies demonstrating detrimental health effects let me first try to give an overview of what to expect. What we’ve been told is that low frequency, low strength EMF radiation from mobile phones and cell towers passes harmlessly through our bodies, not interfering with anything. However, to say it passes harmlessly through not interfering with anything couldn't be more incorrect.

Here's my attempt to summarize why…

Our bodies are complex bio-electric systems made up of many moving molecular parts. In the human brain alone there are about 150 known proteins which are then combined with numerous neurotransmitter chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine which produce about 200 known signals/messages to the brain. How many of each of these are present and in what quantity determines how you’re feeling at any particular moment in time.

Now, let’s replace our complexed brain with a trusty kitchen knife. Run a magnet along the knife a few times in one direction. The knife appears unharmed. But, although the physical structure of the knife is unchanged something has actually happened. Even though the magnet did not damage the knife its presence created change within the knife. Molecules in the knife were attracted/repelled by the magnet's charge as it passed by resulting in a ‘lining up’ of molecules by charge and actually magnetizing the knife.

Every molecule in our bodies has a tiny amount of electric charge and the scientific studies in the Bioinitiative Report describe a similar thing to the magnet and knife a thousand different ways with our bodies as the knife, and EMFs as the magnet. Where the knife magnetizes the EMFs affect production and grouping of different molecules within the body in different ways.

For example EMF radiation has been shown to increase production or occurrence of molecules known as ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) which then freely roam attacking healthy tissue much like oxygen rusts iron. Further studies exist which show certain EMFs cause these ROS molecules to group together making them even more damaging to healthy tissue. Other studies demonstrate these types of effects with different molecules resulting in different effects, elevated levels of the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which can directly lead to hypothyroidism for example, or blood cell clumping causing headaches.

The effects can be less direct also, such as certain EMFs shown to expand the blood-brain barrier, which in turn allows toxins into the brain area, the list of detrimental health effects is very long. Each study you read will be either describing a newly discovered effect, or confirming a previously discovered effect. It's also worth noting the findings aren't always intentional or expected so some of the studies can be on something completely unrelated with the bit we're interested in as a small part. So don't feel you need to read every part of every paper, there's just too much for any one person.

Please feel free to help grow this section by sending any links to studies you feel should be included.

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