Reducing EMF Exposure
Updated: Aug 7, 2021
Before I dive in here I want to be clear about something: I am not a scientist and I am not an expert on this topic. I am simply a parent concerned about the health and wellness of myself and my family.
I have to credit my sister for first bringing this topic to my attention. Her autoimmune illness prompted a deeper dive into aspects of her own health, including her environment, which lead her to begin researching EMF radiation exposure.
Interestingly there is much scientific disagreement over EMF safety because there’s not a lot of research proving that EMFs are harmful to human health. Since EMFs are naturally occurring, it's difficult to know whether the increase in exposure from the technological conveniences in our modern world is having an impact on our health. However, some studies are suggesting that it does. In 2019, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said that cell phones may cause cancer, listing them in the same category as lead, engine exhaust, and chloroform.
Also, according to a Science Daily research study done by Prof. James E. Trosko at Michigan State University, “electromagnetic fields, similar to those found in overhead power lines, can have a biological effect on human cells, an effect that could contribute to the complex cellular process that leads to cancer.”
Knowing this, you may want to make a few changes to reduce radiation exposure, just to be safe. This is what I wanted to do as I began planning for my first pregnancy. And here are some things I learned:
Did you know that video baby monitors emit more radiation than microwaves?
I didn't. And I was raving about mine because I loved that it felt safer than the old school intercom variety and I loved that I could watch my kids sleeping from any room in the house and even outside.
Did you know that portable phones and cell phones are some of the highest radiation emitters and that the fine print you receive when buying these devices actually warns against having them within an inch of your body?
That's right, AN INCH. (Read this article for more info)
The reality is we all live on our smart phones and tablets and other devices every day. And we let our children do the same. Radiation exposure is on the rise. And most of us don't even give it a thought from day to day because it's... well...invisible... but the long term effects could be costly. Insomnia, migraines, DNA damage, infertility and certain cancers are all possible long term effects.
I don't think we should all throw our cell phones away and get rid of the obvious conveniences that these technologies provide, but it does help to be aware and use them with caution. Learning what I have learned has certainly inspired me to change a few habits and daily practices.
Here are a few suggestions to reduce radiation exposure:
Put home wireless on a timer & shut off at night
Keep phones & other devices on airplane mode at night
Unplug electronics near beds at night
Keep phones away from your body whenever possible (use speaker phone and FaceTime instead of holding phone to your ear).
Keep salt lamps and plants in your home & workspace, especially near router
Spend lots of time in nature
Keep baby monitors a safe distance away from cribs (8+ feet is ideal)
Don’t put laptops on laps unless using a shield
Invest in EMF shields for devices and/or home
Reduce blow dryer use
Avoid microwave use
Avoid “smart” devices when possible (thermostats, etc.)
Eat a high antioxidant diet
Use a wired home phone vs. cordless
Keep wireless devices away from sleeping children
Ditch the AirPods
And here are a few additional tips if you want to go even further...
Make sure your kids watch TV a safe distance away (Smart TVs are some of the worst EMF offenders) and limit screen time.
Avoid talking on the phone in your car when it is moving as your phone has to work harder to maintain a signal and therefore emits more EMFs.
Go beyond limiting wireless and return to Ethernet connection or fiberoptics.
Ditch the convenience of video baby monitors for the old school variety.
Reduce your stress and meditate regularly. Stay active with yoga/exercise.
Request the pat-down instead of walking through the X-ray machine at airports. It takes longer but it's worth it, especially for kids and pregnant women and frequent flyers.
Purchase a meter to test the radio frequencies (RF) and electromagnetic fields (EMF) at your home or office, especially if you live near visible power lines or other known sources of significant EMFs.
Purchase a cell phone with a low SAR (Specific Absorption Rate)
Watch this video: