Radiation is something that many people have concerns about. The term itself brings up images of bombs, nasty physical symptoms and much more. However, not all radiation affects us on the same level. Consequently, it’s worth gaining more of an understanding of the radiation types out there.
One type that is common in our daily lives is related to EMF and refers to radiation from wireless devices. Some of us may be more sensitive to this kind of radiation than others, which is known as EMF sensitivity. Let’s take a look at what this sensitivity entails.
What is EMF Radiation?
EMF is a shorter term for electromagnetic field. It refers to the radiation that can occur with wireless services like internet, cellphone service, and television signals.
Things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more use signals. Naturally, these signals have to travel through the air in order to be sent and received. Some can find the energy used for these signals to be troubling, and it makes sense that we might be concerned about radiation we’re harnessing for our own efforts.
Types of EMF Radiation
When you’re thinking about radiation, it’s important to have information on the kinds of radiation that are out there. Some are more directly damaging than others. Largely, these radiation types are made up of ionizing and non-ionizing varieties, used for different purposes.
Ionizing is the type of radiation that needs to be used very carefully, as it can cause changes to the DNA of living things and result in illnesses. This is a known fact, which is why things like X-rays and UV rays require protection, as well as recommended limits on time spent subjected to them.
Unlike ionizing radiation, non-ionizing isn’t typically thought to be dangerous. This is because it cannot change DNA or cells in the same way that ionizing radiation can. Non-ionizing radiation tends to include things like radio frequencies, cellphone service, and TV signals.
Prevalence Of EMF Sensitivity
At this time, the estimates in relation to how prevalent EMF sensitivity is varies from one area of the country to another.
Several surveys have been undertaken in order to determine just how prevalent this condition is in the world we live in today. In one survey carried out at several occupational medical centers it was estimated that only a few individuals per 1 million in the population suffered from this condition.
However, when the same survey was performed with self-help groups the results differed somewhat. They felt that the number of individuals per 1 million in the population was around 10% more.
The issue some studies may be having in determining if someone suffers from EMF sensitivity is that the symptoms attributed to it can vary in intensity from one person to the next.
Of all the cases of EMF sensitivity that have been reported in recent years, around 10% of all these were considered to be severe.
Studies carried out have also shown that there is a geographical variability in the prevalence of EMF sensitivity and its associated symptoms. Countries where the highest number of cases being reported have included Germany, Sweden and Denmark. These are then closely followed by Austria, France and the UK.
Did You Know?
In 2011 the WHO (World Health Organization) classified electromagnetic fields as a Group 2B possible carcinogen.
Also our children are at greater risk from them than us. This is because various studies carried out have proved that children will absorb double the amount of radiation that an adult does.
In recent years thousands of studies have been carried out to determine the effect of EMFs on our health. All of which indicate that we can suffer certain harmful effects from EMF radiation.
Research is still being undertaken and results published showing just how detrimental to our health being in contact with EMF radiation is. But these studies haven’t only looked at the effect on us humans, but also the effect EMF radiation has on animals and insects.
How is Exposure to EMF Monitored?
The amount EMF we are exposed to is monitored not just on a local but also a national and global level. However, the way in which levels where you live are monitored can vary somewhat as various different organizations are involved who will give you a number of different methods to carry out such monitoring.
On an international level the primary guidelines for monitoring EMF levels have been produced by the ICNIRP (International Commission On Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection). Its guidelines are based on peer-reviewed screntific literature that it has reviewed relating to the health effects of being exposed to EMF and RF.
The ICNIRP is a non-governmental organization that is recognized by the WHO (World Health Organization) as being a trusted source in relation to such health matters.
In fact, the WHO updated its international ICNIRP Guidelines in relation to limiting exposure to large RF electromagnetic fields. These days exposure to such is limited from 100 Kilohertz (KHz) to 300 Gigahertz (GH).
What is EMF Sensitivity?
You can think of EMF sensitivity as being much like sensitivity to certain chemicals or foods. When someone is sensitive to lactose, it means they may be more likely to have negative symptoms after consuming it, whereas most people wouldn’t notice a problem at all.
On a day-to-day basis, we don’t tend to notice the EMF floating about, but those who have an EMF sensitivity may be more likely to notice increases. They may experience specific symptoms that point to the radiation, so it’s something that you should be looking out for.
Signs of EMF Sensitivity
There are a few things to know about EMF sensitivity and the signs of exposure. To begin with, EMF sensitivity is quite rare. Often, only a handful of people among millions may experience it. Additionally, those with EMF sensitivity are often women.
The following are potential symptoms of radiation exposure:
- Inability to focus
- Appetite loss
- Sleep problems
- Depressive symptoms
- Itching or pain
- Memory changes
- Skin tingling
If you experience these symptoms and are concerned about them, make sure to speak with a medical professional. They can help to make sure that the symptoms aren’t due to something else that may be going on and to get some relief. It’s generally not a good idea to try to treat more serious symptoms on your own. If you need to, you can also create a plan for avoiding EMF radiation.
How to Protect Yourself from EMF
Measure EMF Levels
If you’re sensitive to EMF levels, then it can help to know what the levels are in areas you tend to be. These are spaces like your home, school or work, local parks and other areas you spend time. Once you know the EMF levels, you can start figuring out how to stay away from areas with levels that are too high.
Be Careful With Cellphones
Try limiting your time spent on the cellphone, and using things like speakerphone or a headset when you need to make a call using it. Additionally, avoid storing it in a pocket or bra, and keep it turned off or on airplane mode when you aren’t actively using it.
Stick to Wired Devices
At home, many of the devices you may use with Wi-Fi can use wired connections instead. Using this when it’s possible can help to cut down on the radiation in your home. It might be a little less convenient, but it’s an easy way to get some peace of mind.
Keep Devices Out of Your Bedroom
It’s nice to have space where you won’t need to worry as much about EMF, especially when you’re sleeping. On top of that, it’s often recommended to keep screens out of the bedroom anyway in order to get a good night’s sleep. Consequently, make sure to keep cellphones, laptops, tablets and other devices in a separate room, ideally away from the main living areas.
When you protect yourself well from EMF exposure, you’ll be able to limit symptoms and side effects of EMF sensitivity and avoid potential future problems. Whether you’re highly concerned about the radiation or just want to work on the side of caution, you have options.
It also never hurts to research more options and EMF radiation in general to get a better idea of what it is, where it comes from and the level of danger associated with it. The more you know, the easier it will be to make healthy choices for yourself and those around you.