A toxicity that you cannot hear, see, touch, smell, or taste – this is the dilemma with electromagnetic pollution. Another key problem is the widespread adoption of electromagnetic field generating devices with little to no understanding of the long-term effect. It took decades of cigarette smoking before a public health epidemic came to light and I suspect that history might tell a similar tale with respect to electromagnetic pollution.
The story begins with the discovery of the Schumann resonance. Scientist Winfried Schumann discovered in 1952 that the Earth itself has a native frequency of 7.8Hz, a pulse as it were, created by lightening in the airspace between the surface of the Earth and the ionosphere. Curiously enough, the human brain operates predominately in this same frequency (known as an alpha wave pattern) as measured with an electroencephalogram. I don’t feel this a coincidence. Chinese medicine posits that we are energetically connected to the planet. It is as if our nervous system is entraining to the heartbeat of mother Earth.
The game has changed however; manmade frequencies now blanket the airwaves, muddying our communication link to the planet. There are few places in the industrialized world not proliferated with electromagnetic waves. Of all the fields that have a biological effect, microwave radiation is one that we interact with daily via cellular and cordless (DECT) phones, and wireless (WiFi) networks.
The standard line from the industry is that microwave radiation can heat biological tissue but that limitations in the intensity of the frequency and the density of the human skull should negate most if not all of the harmful effects. The calculation of this is what assigns cell phones with a SAR rating. Despite this, it did not stop the World Health Organization from issuing a press release classifying “electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.”
The mechanism behind this cancer risk is slowly coming to light in the medical literature. It is unclear whether microwave radiation is actually causing glioma; rather, it may be inhibiting our body’s ability to counter its formation. Cancer cells are ubiquitous in the bodies of civilized men and women. As we age, free radical damage increases the likelihood of cell mutation which then translates into an increased risk of malignancy. In some cases, we may die with cancer cells in our body but not from cancer itself. In recent years, this trend has changed with cancer rates clearly on the rise.
Our immune system mops up cancer cells wherever it sees them, and one of its greatest tools is the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is a potent antidote to free-radicals that underly cell damage. The problem is, microwave radiation appears to be a major cause of melatonin suppression as seen in the medical literature. An analysis of such data is summarized in this paper from the Scientific Commitee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks.
Taking the evidence at hand, it would be exceedingly prudent to limit exposure to microwave radiation, especially at night. This means shutting off your cell phone or, if you must keep it on, by placing it several feet away from your body. Cordless phones must also be positioned far away and should never be kept on your bedside stand. Wireless networks are convenient, but if they are not being used at night, they too should be powered down. Adding a plug-in timer to a wireless router so that it is not broadcasting while you sleep is the best solution. If you live close to a cell phone tower, there is little you can do though some people who have noticed changes in the quality of their sleep have taken steps to shield their bedroom (similar to science behind a Faraday cage) from radiation.
These steps reinforce a good night’s sleep, but using a DECT or cellular phone during the day still assumes a risk, and potentially a substantial risk for children who have far less dense skull bones. Trying to get someone to stop using their cell phone is akin to trying to get them to change their religion, so suffice it to say, if the evidence is persuasive enough to you, taking precaution to minimize phone usage is the bare minimum. Outside of tossing your phone, using the speakerphone and holding the phone away from your head is the next best option. When this is not practical, a blue tube (NOT blue tooth) headset, which channels sound through a hollow plastic tube (much like a stethoscope), is the best option currently available on the market.