EMFs: How Dangerous Are They?

We live in a digital era where the more high-tech gadgets we have, the more comfortable and convenient our lives are. The reality is we’ve become so reliant on these technological innovations that we ignore the fact that it poses a danger to our health. Prolonged exposure to Electromagnetic Fields or EMFs can cause several health issues. Learn more about EMF, its health risks, and how you can protect yourself below.

The Different Types of EMFs

Electromagnetic fields are produced when electrons move. These fields operate on different wavelengths and frequencies. EMFs are measured using an EMF meter, and the unit is volts per meter or V/m. The higher the reading, the stronger the field is.

There are six types of EMFs.(1) These are:

  1. AC Electric fields – low EMFs; wiring and appliances that are plugged in but not turned on
  2. AC Magnetic fields – low EMFs; appliances that are plugged in and turned on; high voltage transmission lines, solar inverters, power lines
  3. DC Electric fields – low EMFs; static energy transmitted to a grounded object
  4. DC magnetic fields – low EMFs; construction materials and furnishing made from magnetized steel
  5. Radiofrequency fields (RF) – high EMFs; smartphones, tablets, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  6. Dirty Electricity – low EMFs; induction cooker, computers, photocopiers, plasma TVs, printers, LED lights

Radiation Levels from EMF Exposure

There are two types of EMF exposure: non-ionizing radiation and ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation is low-level radiation, which is believed to be harmless to the human body. Sources of non-ionizing radiation include microwave ovens, Wi-Fi routers, computers, power lines, Bluetooth devices, power meters, smartphones, and MRI machines.

On the other hand, ionizing radiation is high-level radiation that is harmful to people. The two sources are the sun (for its UV rays) and X-ray machines.

However, it is important to note that scientists and researchers are still debating how harmful EMFs are or if they’re harmful at all. The studies are lacking since EMFs are considered recent health hazards. 

But what many people started getting concerned about was when the WHO’s International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC) found a link between EMFs and cancer, which means that EMFs are possible carcinogens to humans.

One study backed this up. The study compared 5,000 people who used and didn’t use cellphones back in the year 2000. They found that there was a loose link between glioma (tumor in the brain and spinal cord) and high exposure to EMFs from cellphones. The most interesting is that tumor growth was on the side where cellphones are mostly used.

Additionally, there were also studies showing a connection between EMF and leukemia in adults and children. High levels of exposure to EMF for a prolonged time showed a higher risk of having leukemia. However, both studies were deemed not enough to prove the discovered connections.

EMFs Health Effects to Watch Out For

Exposure to EMF generates free radicals that damage the DNA in a number of ways. DNA strands can break down, and DNA repair in stem cells can slow down, too. EMF also affects the body’s antioxidant repair mechanisms, which, in turn, can lead to making the blood-brain barrier permeable, cellular damage that’s irreversible, cell death, protein damage, gene and membrane damage, melatonin suppression, oxidative stress, and systemic inflammation — all of which can cause cancer.

On an everyday basis, people may experience headaches, poor memory, lack of concentration, and daytime fatigue. Long-term exposure to EMF may develop diseases like glioma, leukemia, breast cancer, macular degeneration, autism and ADHD in children, neurodegenerative disorders, and electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

How to Reduce EMF Exposure

  • Limit exposure to EMF as much as possible.
  • Put smartphones and tablets on airplane mode when sleeping at night. It’s best to place them away from the bedroom.
  • Turn off the Wi-Fi router at night when sleeping.
  • If the router is in the bedroom, transfer it to another space where the family doesn’t spend much time in.
  • Instead of taking calls directly on your smartphone and having it directly beside the head, use earbuds instead to limit exposure. When using Bluetooth earpieces, only use them when taking a call and take them off immediately afterward.
  • Choose wired Ethernet connection over Wi-Fi + Bluetooth connections.
  • Turn off all smart wireless devices when not in need.
  • When going out or traveling, put smart devices in a bag instead of putting them in the pocket.
  • Limit phone usage when in the car as the radiation bounces around in the car
  • Try to keep babies and children away from devices like baby monitors, smartwatches, heart monitors, etc. Learn more about protecting babies and children from EMF here.

It may feel like a big adjustment at first as we’re already accustomed to our smart devices, and we like to be around them all the time. However, knowing the health risks, it’s wise to take precautions, especially when there are kids around. Convenience comes at a price, and it’s not worth putting our health on the line.



  1. Reduce Your EMS Exposure