13 Dec The Harmful Effects of Cellphones and Computers
There’s increasing concern over the potential biological effects of long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation, often referred to as electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and the blue light emitted from cell phones and other devices. Should you be concerned?
If you're reading this, there's a good chance you own a cell phone and are connected to wifi. In fact, you might even be reading this article on your smartphone. If not, it's likely your phone is in your pocket, or at least within easy reach.
The rapidly expanding electricity demand, ever-advancing telecommunication technologies, and changes in social behavior have led to steadily increasing exposure to man-made EMFs and blue light.
Why Are EMFs Harmful?
Everyone is exposed to a mix of weak EMFs, both at home and at work — from the transmission of electricity, appliances and industrial equipment, to telecommunications and broadcasting — all mobile electronic devices — including tablets and cell phones — emit this invisible form of energy.
Common sources(1) of low to mid-frequency include:
- Microwave ovens
- House energy smart meters
- Wireless (wifi) networks
- Cell phones
- Bluetooth devices
- Power lines
Electrical currents exist in the human body as a part of normal bodily functions that are due to chemical reactions, even in the absence of EMFs. For example, your nerves relay signals by transmitting electric impulses. The rearrangement of charged particles creates biochemical reactions from digestion to brain activities. Even the heart is electrically active.
Low-frequency electric fields(2) affect the human body just as they influence other material made up of charged particles. Heating is the main biological effect of the EMFs; however, non-thermal effects of EMFs also occur in the body. Furthermore, many studies have shown that your intracellular calcium increases when you're exposed to EMF radiation because it activates the voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC)(3). This may also lead to an increase in oxidative stress(4) in cells, which can lead to DNA damage.
Exposure to EMF radiation may become harmful with constant use of mobile devices close to the body over long periods of time. The WHO(5) has classified the radiation from cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
This is primarily based on observational research that found correlations between cell phone use and brain cancer(6). Certain parts of the body, such as the head and torso, including the chest and reproductive area, are more vulnerable to EMFs than the arms and legs. This is especially relevant to children because their soft tissue is still developing.
Studies have uncovered connections between EMF exposure to everything from minor health concerns such as headaches and skin rashes, to serious health concerns, such as fertility problems, cell damage, DNA fragmentation, and cancerous tumors.
Why Is Blue Light Harmful?
In addition to EMF radiation, electronic device screens emit blue light, which has its own potential health effects that range from eye strain that can result in headaches, fatigue, dry eyes, problems focusing to hormone imbalances and sleep issues.
Just as with EMFs children are more vulnerable to the effects of blue light than other age groups for two reasons: their eyes haven’t had enough time to develop proper protection, and they have greater sleep needs than adults do.
Let's look at the hormone imbalance side of things. Light from digital screens, in particular, the blue-light wavelength(7), disrupts the melatonin-cortisol relationship causing the body to produce cortisol instead of melatonin. When cortisol levels increase as a result of blue light, the body may have less interest in going to sleep.
What does this mean? Using digital screens, on a bright setting without a blue-light filter, up to two hours of going to sleep may harm your sleep patterns. Besides lack of sleep, low melatonin levels have an association with a variety of health issues that you'd rather not have.
- Less efficient immune system(8)
- Increased risk of certain cancers
- Higher chance of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease(9)
How to Detoxify From the Electronic Environment
There's plenty of concerning preliminary evidence to justify caution. Even cell phone companies provide guidelines to prevent radiation exposure. Unwittingly we've all become a part of an uncontrolled experiment of cell phone safety. Taking precautions only makes sense. We aren’t for certain that chronic low-level EMF exposure is harmful, but it makes sense to take reasonable measures to reduce exposure just in case it is.
Here are tips to help you detoxify from the harmful effects of EMFs and blue light.
- Monitor screen time and avoid screens approximately 2 hours before bed.
- Download software that adjusts your screens display's color temperature according to location and time of day.
- Consider a blue-light blocking screen protector.
- Try out blue-light blocking glasses.
- Use hands-free options, such as built-in speakerphones or earbuds.
- Chose a phone case without metal parts as this may change your phone's exposure guidelines.
- Consider an anti-radiation case for your device(s).
- Create a low-EMF sanctuary by disabling the wifi in your home when it's not in use.
- Turn your phone on airplane mode while it's in your pocket if you're not expecting a call.
- If you can, choose the ethernet over a wireless connection.
- Get grounded by putting your bare feet on the ground to gain negatively-charged electrons.
- Spend time in nature.
- Look into non-wifi baby monitors that have a plug and ethernet.
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