Gloom and doom has hit the world of technology with a recent acknowledgement of the potential hazards from electromagnetic fields that surround us, according to an article on msnbc.com. Electromagnetic fields, called EMFs, are the radiation that surrounds all electrical appliances and devices, power lines and home wiring. The radiation is emitted by communications devices, including cell phones, radio, TV, and Wi-Fi transmitters. Some scientists believe this “electrosmog” that envelopes us may be responsible for many of the major diseases that now plague humanity.
Msnbc.com reports that the leading expert on the dangers of EMFs is Dr. Sam Milham, a widely traveled epidemiologist who has investigated hundreds of environmental and occupational illnesses and published dozens of peer-reviewed papers on his findings. Dr. Milham has focused much of his research on a new kind of EMFs that emit a carcinogen known as “dirty electricity” or transients.
Apparently, transients are the byproduct of energy-efficient gadgets galore. When computers, refrigerators, plasma TVs, compact fluorescent light bulbs and dimmer switches (to name a few) tap down their electrical output, it creates a wildly fluctuating and potentially dangerous electromagnetic field that radiates into the immediate environment, as well as backing up home or office wiring all the way to the utility. Alarmingly, this affects every customer in between.
Some say the discovery of transient dangers could be one of the greatest practical discoveries of the modern era. Others — namely, electric utilities, cell phone manufacturers, and Wi-Fi providers — say the evidence is unproven and unsound.
Nonetheless, the evidence against EMFs proves to be overwhelming. The Bioinitiative Working Group, an international collaboration of scientists and public health policy experts from all over the world, in 2007 released a 650-page report citing more than 2,000 studies on the toxicity of EMFs. Scientists way dirty electricity can cause a variety of cancers, impair immunity, and contribute to Alzheimer's disease and dementia, heart disease, and more. Lesser symptoms include fatigue, facial irritation, tinnitus, dizziness and digestive disturbances.
Since the dawn of the electrical age, people have been subject to certain side effects. And while we naturally contain a defense against the cosmic rays of our world — with skin pigmentation — we don’t have the necessary biological tools to keep up with technology. During the Cold War, Russians famously bombed the American embassy with microwave radiation, sickening the residents. Now, radio wave sickness is a commonly accepted diagnosis.
Doctors and researchers have long taken note of cancer clusters around the globe. In the 1970s, childhood leukemia was noted among kids who lived near power lines. In 1998, scientists noted the same for children whose mothers used electric blankets. Massachusetts has high cancer clusters on Cape Cod, which is home to a huge U.S. Air Force radar array called PAVE PAWS, and Nantucket, home to a powerful Loran-C antenna.
Some point out that many of these studies are small and that the true health consequences of EMFs will take years to understand. Even so, Europe is revising its exposure standards. Recently, France, Germany and England have dismantled wireless networks in schools and public libraries. Russia has advised against the use of cell phones by children under 18. Other countries are expected to follow suit.
In the meantime, what can you do now? Avoid wireless when at all possible. Turn off your Wi-Fi router it's not in use, and keep the device far away from your children’s rooms. Replace CFLs with LEDs and do not install dimmer switches. Avoid Bluetooth headsets and don’t wear your cell phone like a beeper. And keep your laptop off your lap.
For further reading: Is 'electrosmog' harming our health?