High-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)
The semantic dividing line between low- and high-frequency electromagnetic radiation, from a human perspective, is hard to pin down precisely. In theory it would be some point at which:
- wavelengths correspond more to common dimensions found on the human body
- penetration of energy into the body becomes more shallow
- wave reflections from metal objects become more frequent and intense
Once again it's the flavor (AC), frequency (50 Hz+), proximity, intensity, duration, and sensitivity that matter. Alternating electric and/or magnetic fields at a non-biocompatible frequency that are too close, too intense, for too long, near a highly EMF-sensitive individual will cause symptoms of several hard-to-diagnose illnesses. Cell phones, microwave ovens, cordless phones, "smart meters", and wireless networks all operate in the microwave range of 300,000,000 Hz (300 MegaHertz, or MHz) to 5.8 GigaHertz (or GHz; that's 5,800,000,000 Hz). Frequencies this high are very powerful, though not deeply penetrating, and are hard to shield since they readily reflect off many objects (OK, electrical engineers, these electric fields don't really reflect, they take the outermost, "free" electrons in metallic objects up to a higher energy state, then when the electrons fall back to a lower state the electric field is re-transmitted in all directions, creating multi-path distortion).
The Effects on Children: Gambling With Your DNA
Did you know that:
- your national government sets the allowable dosage for high-frequency radiation?
- these standards have been, and continue to be, set at levels that mainly protect the military and industries from prosecution resulting from excessive EM radiation?
- the FCC's (astronomically high) limit for cellphone radiation dosage is based on an average power level over the course of 30 minutes (even though the power burst levels are much higher)?
- this so-called SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) only applies to adults?
- metal structures, such as a car's interior, reflect much of a cellphone's energy back at you?
- you were notified in your cellular contract that the excessive level emitted by your cellphone is allowable by law since it was your "personal choice" to use it?
- these "safe levels" were set based only on tissue heating (microwave cooking) and obvious changes in animal behavior?
- the average SAR for a small bit (1 gram) of tissue is allowed to be 20 times higher than the whole-body dose, just to allow for localized overexposure of your brain, eyes, etc.? (That's an average SAR of 0.08 Watts/kilogram for whole-body exposure, or 1.6 W/kg for 1 gram of tissue).
- the periodic "burst" signal sent out from your phone when it is looking for a tower can be 10 times or more the strength of the operating signal, and this added intensity is just averaged into the SAR specification.
A little bit of background
In 1996, Dr. O. Ghandi at the University of Utah did a comparative study of SAR dose response in adults and children. In general brain tissue, at the same power output, the dosage in a 10-year old is over 2.5 times the level for an adult. The level for a 5-year old was over 4 times as high.
Using 3 types of eye tissue (whole eye, lens, and connective tissue), the dose for a 10-year old was over 5 times the adult level. For a 5-year old the level was over 11 times as high. The study was done using cellphone frequencies, but others (such as 2.4 GHz networks) resonate with smaller bodily structures, and at a higher dose since their force is directly related to their frequency.
Based on size-resonance with other kid-sized organs not listed in this study, many other health effects may be found "down the line". So citizens groups in many countries are now using the "Precautionary Principle" to battle with telecommunications companies and school districts that are pushing for more wireless networks. The U.S., the U.K. and Australia have the highest allowable radiation levels. Other countries have set "safe" levels much lower! For more of the latest information about what's going on around the world in terms of research, laws, etc., check out Microwave News.
The bottom line for automotive cellphone users:
Next time you're shuttling your kids around in the automobile and answer a call, you can endanger the future of your DNA both in the short-term (from increased risk of accident) and the long-term (from increased cancer risk and genetic damage carried to future generations)!
To see some early research on SAR levels and how they are calculated and measured, along with some great illustrations, just Click Here for a free PDF download. This study just deals with the most obvious tissue heating effects, but you'll get an idea of how it affects adults, and can figure out for yourself what the multipliers for children (discussed above) would look like.
And if you'd like to see how your cellphone compares with other models in terms of SAR values (again, figured for adults), SARValues.com has the most recent updates and shows how non-human models are used to test for this.
Science Says: "No Mechanism = No Effect", (I Say: "Not So Fast!")
Saline is the salt water flowing throughout your body. And what happens to free mono-molecular oxygen (O instead of O2) in the body? It can kill cells directly (like a hydrogen peroxide disinfectant) or it can form "free radicals" which work in the same way. With all of the frequencies urban humans are exposed to, you'd better be stocking up on anti-oxidants and eating your fruits and veggies!
And this is just one of the many possible routes for over-exposure.
Another intriguing problem is the number of weak chemical bonds in cells that keep proteins, such as DNA, folded into the proper configuration. While it takes ionizing radiation (higher frequencies than visible light) to break covalent bonds, these Van der Waals bonds are easily broken by heat, chemicals, and non-ionizing radiation. Couple this with the research published in Science magazine about the HSP90 protein (Nicolas Rohner, Harvard Medical School & Susan Lindquist, MIT). HSP90 is a protein that keeps other proteins properly folded. When the organism is stressed HSP90 no longer does this task and protein variations are much more likely. This is how a stressful environment opens up the possibilities for greater species variation, mutation, and natural selection, but the same applies for EMF or geopathic stress and the possibilities for protein malformation.
The best solutions I've seen, from testing various phones
- First, don't assume that your land-line phone is safe; the handset sometimes is surrounded by a large, low-frequency electric field. Get a meter and test for this!
- Use a land-line speakerphone if you want the lowest radiation output, staying a couple of feet away from it
If you must use a cordless/cellphone, use a "holster" along with an "air tube" earpiece (LessEMF is one source)
- Make sure your cellular reception (number of "bars") is as high as possible. This reduces your phone's output power and saves battery life while reducing your EMF exposure as well as those around you
- Turn the cordless/cellphone off when you don't absolutely need to take a call. If you don't the phone periodically checks in with the network, blasting out powerful EMF bursts as it does so. The same applies to home wireless networks for computers, and these check for a network about twice per second. Put the wireless router on a switched receptacle or switched plug-in strip and USE that switch!
- Switch hands occasionally to spread exposure to both brain hemispheres ("lesser of 2 evils", but it helps). If cellphones don't cause brain cancer why is it usually found on the side that the user placed against their ear?
- Stay out of or away from signal-reflecting metal walls, like automobile interiors, metal-clad buildings, etc.
- Don't let kids or pregnant women use them or near them if you care about their health (or fetal health)
- Try a remediation device such as the Q-Link, which supposedly "jams" the cellular frequencies harmful effects
- If you have to use a cellphone do texts instead of calling, holding the unit away from your body, and others, when you send the message. The unit still checks in with the network periodically if it's on, but only blasts out a message when you send it.
- If you are in a spot with poor connection to the network your "sleeping" phone will put out more powerful bursts trying to connect to the network, greatly increasing the energy radiated into the spot on your body nearest the phone. This can quickly negate any benefit from only doing texts!
- If you live in a large city you may be literally soaked in many frequencies and types of wave-forms. Doing EMF remediation in these environments requires lots of money and patience, both for the practitioner and the homeowner (expensive frequency analyzers, expensive conductive shielding paints, and cobalt/nickel magnetic plates/films).
If this is your situation find a "Baubiologie" expert in your area and hang on for a long costly ride. But once you leave your home you are back in the EMF soup so don't expect miracles.
- You may be asking, "So what do YOU folks do for phone and data connections"? We use standard land-line telephones connected to a Verizon-supplied "fixed wireless terminal". It connects to the cellular phone network via a high-gain, directional "yagi" antenna on the roof using some thick, low-loss, RG-8/U, 13 AWG coaxial cable.
- We also use a 12 Mbps (usually 20 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds) satellite internet service called "Exede" from Wild Blue Communications. It too resides outside, sending and receiving signals from 22,000 miles away, and connects via coaxial cable to an indoor modem.
"Smart Meters": another intense source of high-frequency EMF
Yes, the DSP (digital signal processing) chip in an electrical "smart meter" can indeed tell a refrigerator motor from an electric shaver and a computer from a dimmer switch, so do you really want the utility company to know THAT much about you?
The power factor (magnetic-electric phase angle) and harmonics that the chip adds to the watts of power usage to determine what you are using can be disguised. The Stetzer filters mentioned on the EMF remediation page will alter the power factor and greatly dampen the harmonics, making it much harder for the DSP to decode your appliances.
If the meter is already installed you are probably stuck with it. The utility's lawyers got onto this issue WAY before your lawyer will, and they are covered under your "implied consent" to substitute a meter that "essentially duplicates the function" of your previous non-wireless meter.
What to do? Individual sensitivities to high-frequency electric fields vary, but they drop by the square of your distance from them. In other words, double your distance and your exposure is one-fourth of what it was. This is a big factor in neighborhoods where all of your neighbors can have as many as three of these transmitters firing every 15 to 120 seconds. Some of the most sensitive individuals either have to move away or coat their interior/exterior walls with an electric field shielding paint, made form copper or silver (found, among other places, at LessEMF). Another option to simply reduce exposure to the meters on your own home is to shield yourself from just those meters using common aluminum window screening. You can mount a 4-by-4 foot piece of screen either behind the meter(s) on the home's exterior or centered on the same spot on the home's interior. This will simply reflect the signal outward and it increases the level outdoors on the meter-side of your home, possibly overexposing your neighbors. It is best to ground the screen using a simple "alligator clip" on the screen attached to a wire that leads to the nearest ground rod (exterior) or the center screw on the cover-plate of the nearest electrical outlet (interior - but make sure that it is really connected to the home's ground system). The ground rod uses a "ground clamp" while the cover-plate screw needs a "ring terminal" for best electrical contact. This procedure uses the earth itself to absorb and dissipate the signal heading in toward your home.
"Active" Devices as an EMF Solution
There are numerous devices in the marketplace that claim to eliminate EMF problems by actively sensing and jamming the problem signals with a reverse polarity at the same frequency. While this sounds great in theory, in practice it can only work in the tiny zone where the intensity of the problem signal exactly matches that of the generating device's signal. Stray outside of this border zone and you get increasingly larger exposures to either the source signal or the so-called solution. It's far better to shield or eliminate the problem at its source rather than adding yet another ingredient to the local EMF soup.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated any of the information contained herein (nor is it likely to!), and said information is not intended to replace the advice of a physician, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.