You can’t see it, you can’t feel it, but it does exist. In fact, it is everywhere and there’s no way to escape from it. Relax, we are not talking about anything supernatural here. Let’s talk about the electromagnetic field (EMFs). They exist naturally in the environment and our own bodies. Whereas the sources of man-made EMFs include everything from satellites and transformers to your mobile phones and microwave ovens. The topic of how EMFs affect human health is indeed controversial. It all depends on the frequency, wavelength, and exposure duration.
The ongoing debate
The debate is not about the biological responses under the long exposure to high-level ionizing EMFs. We all know that these EMFs are harmful, despite their beneficial applications in medical imaging and diagnosis. That’s why we have national and international guidelines to limit exposures to these ionizing EMFs. But how about those low-level and non-ionizing EMFs around us? Will long-term exposure to these ubiquitous EMFs affect our health by triggering any biological responses? This is the current debate.
As the name suggests, dirty electricity is contaminated electricity. It comprises spikes and surges of energy (voltage transients) in the electrical wiring. This happens due to the disrupted flow of standard 50/60 Hz AC electricity. It will then travel and spread throughout the entire building/buildings. Consequently, it leads to the production of low-level EMF radiations into our surroundings. This is the so-called electrical pollution. Most of us do not really live close enough to any power line or telecommunication tower. And you think it is supposedly safe enough? Not quite. Think about all the electrical and electronic appliances in your comfy home. EMFs are closer to you than you can imagine.
Biohazards of EMFs
Past studies, association reports, and public views have been linking cumulative exposure to low-level EMFs with various health issues. One of the examples is the impacts on general health. Headaches, emotional depressions and anxiety, nausea, lethargy, and lack of libido are among the reported symptoms. The exposure to low-level EMFs might also link to the risk of prematurity or small for gestational age (SGA). Another health implication is electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Certain people seem to be allergic to the surrounding electromagnetic field. The mild symptoms are deteriorating general health as mentioned above like aches and depressions. And some even suffer from convulsions and epileptic seizures. Moving on to cancer, there are many studies suggesting that EMF radiations may have effects on cancer. Childhood leukemia is the most suspected disease links to EMFs.
Nevertheless, the World Health Organization (WHO) states otherwise. The adverse health impacts from exposure to low-level EMFs are yet to be proven, at least for now. At the same time, the WHO acknowledges the existence of uncertainties and knowledge gaps that require further research.
Latest EMF potential application in the medical field
Meanwhile, there was a recent study unveiling the possibilities of EMFs to control blood sugar non-invasively. Exposure to EMFs for short periods had shown to normalize blood sugar and insulin resistance. The study suggested that EMFs might play a role in the redox signalling process. As they alter the signalling of superoxide molecules, this changes the balance of oxidants and antioxidants in the liver. Subsequently, this increases the body’s response to insulin following the rebalanced redox set point. Currently, this study is using genetically modified mice with insulin resistance. With the researchers aiming for human studies in the future, this opens possibilities for a new EMF therapy. It seems to be a potential boon for those with type 2 diabetes.
Puzzles to solve
With today’s technology advancement, staying away from EMFs is rather unrealistic. They are going to seep even further into our daily lives with the arrival of 5G. The interaction between EMFs and our body is subtle and complicated. Whatever it is, the journey to scratch below the surface of this topic is about to be challenging yet exciting.
More information about:
- Electromagnetic fields (EMF) – World Health Organization
- University of Iowa Health Care. (2020, October 6). Remote control of blood sugar: Electromagnetic fields treat diabetes in animal models: Study suggests EMFs alter redox signalling to improve insulin sensitivity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 13, 2020