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EMF Introduction

General public interest has piqued on the topic of man-made radiation or non-native radiation, also termed as Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) radiation. Specifically, with the global shutdown and reported 5G roll-out, much speculation is brandied about. But what are the basics of EMFs?

EMF Basics

EMFs are organized on a spectrum and classified according to their wavelength and frequency. As the figure below indicates (from left to right) there are long waves with short frequencies (like the EMFs created by a standard electrical outlet at 50 Hertz (Hz) and on the opposite end, there are very short waves with a very high frequency (e.g. X-rays, gamma rays etc.) which contain enough energy to destroy DNA and do instant damage to the cells/body.

EMF Electro Magnetic Frequency Spectrum
EMF Electro Magnetic Frequency Spectrum

Many modern wireless devices use a digital system of communicating. This includes Mobile Phones (GSM & 3G/UMTS), Wi-Fi, Cordless phones (DECT), Digital TV & Digital (DAB) Radio. Many modern digital systems (such as GSM, DECT and WiFi) turn the signal on and off at high speeds to represent data, often with long gaps between data bursts. This produces a non-continuous signal, which is known as “pulsing”. It is these amplitude changes that most meters with audio, will produce and which can be heard by the human ear. An analogue signal is a system of communication that is not digital. The old TV system, most radios, walkie-talkies and hearing aids are examples of analogue signals. They use a continuous carrier, and instead of turning “on and off” to represent data, will vary the frequency (FM) or strength (AM). Analogue TV & VHF FM Radio stations are being phased out over time.

With an analogue system, the peak and average levels should be similar, as the signal is continuously on while it is being used. However, because most digital systems spend a large proportion of their time not transmitting, the average level does not represent the actual waveform even though it is technically accurate as shown in the diagrams below, but the peak is key to understand.

Analog and Digital Signals

Why does this matter?

Since wireless communications were first developed on a large scale, the scientific community held the opinion that “if it does not heat you it will not hurt you”, as 50 years ago, these were the only effects that were acknowledged. The average heating effect was what mattered.

Nowadays, the units typically used for measuring the time- averaged power of microwave frequency EMFs is microwatts of power arriving per square meter (µW/m2), and most EMF meters use this measurement unit, or a variant thereof.

Radiation Type Definition Forms of Radiation Source Examples
Non-Ionising Low to mid-frequency radiation which is generally perceived as harmless due to its lack of potency.
  • Extremely Low Frequency (ELF)
  • Radio Frequency (RF)
  • Microwaves
  • Visual Light
  • Microwave Ovens
  • Computers
  • House Energy Smart Meters
  • Wireless (Wi-Fi) Networks
  • Cell Phones
  • Bluetooth Devices
  • Power lines
  • MRIs
Ionising Mid to high-frequency radiation which can, under certain circumstances, lead to cellular and or DNA damage with prolonged exposure.
  • Ultraviolet (UV)
  • X-Rays
  • Gamma
  • Sunlight
  • X-Rays
  • Some Gamma Rays
Table: Ionising and non-ionising radiation sources

There have now been hundreds of studies finding non-thermal effects from modern wireless communication signals as harmful to the environment and to humans at exposure levels way below the standards, as these were set almost 25 years ago.

This requires a change in what is measured to suit much lower signal levels with different characteristics. At Made To Thrive we believe that on-body measurement is the most effective way of measuring exposure to EMFs, and that peak signal strength is the next most appropriate way to measure complex digitally modulated, often non-continuous, signals in a meaningful manner. RF on-body is measured in uV (microvolt), EF on-body by V/m. Signal strength is measured in volts per meter (V/m). Many electrosensitive individuals report most adverse health effects in areas that have quite high peak levels but have average field strengths below even precautionary guidelines regarding average power levels.

In a nutshell, EMFs affect humans because the conflicting signals received from exposure can adversely interact with the body’s own internal electric responses (i.e. the body’s own transfer of electrical charge in the nervous system, brain function, heart function, digestion etc.)

Over time when the flow of our own biofield is constantly interrupted, we can experience imbalances. Ultimately, this can contribute to more severe imbalances or disease. For people with strong immune systems, Emfs may cause little or minor symptoms, like brain fog, insomnia or headaches.

If, however, the immune system is already challenged, the effects are exacerbated, and the presence of EMFs can make it harder to recover from whatever the health challenge the body is facing.

Types of EMFs

Non-native radiation can be categorised into 4 specific types of EMFs that have been linked to adverse health effects:

  1. Radio Frequency (RF)
  2. Magnetic Fields (MF)
  3. Electric Fields (EF)
  4. Dirty Electricity (DE) (not looked at in this assessment)

Each of these 4 types of EMFs have been linked to specific health effects that are emitted by specific sources and can be reduced or avoided using specific strategies.

If you’d like to learn more about the 5G story and recommendations for the reduction of emissions in the home, herewith links to related blogs:

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