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EMF and Your Immune System: How Radiation Exposure Harms Your Health

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Science has demonstrated a wide range of numerous negative health effects resulting from exposure to EMF radiation, ranging from sleep disruption to cancer. Among those negative health effects are several ways that exposure to EMF radiation can harm your immune system. And that, in turn, makes your body more vulnerable to ill health, disease and allergies.

EMF and Your Immune System

The role of your immune system is to patrol your body, actively seeking foreign microbes (such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi). If your body’s immune system finds something unrecognizable, the immune system will immediately launch an attack in an attempt to neutralize the foreign objects.

Scientists have found that prolonged exposure to EMF from every day technology like your cell phone and your microwave oven disturbs your immunity pattern. This can make it respond in different ways than it should.

See, a properly functioning immune system is tuned to respond appropriately– not overreacting reacting to threats to your health, or under-reacting and ignoring threats to your health.

EMF exposure can throw your body’s immune system out of tune. The immune system loses its ability to judge between the safe cells and microbes that are harmful. This means it can over-react to some threats, and under-react to others. 

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If your immune system under-reacts to a threat, we say that is a suppressed immune system. And it will not respond with the appropriate force to threats it should detect and fight. This can lead to, for example, more frequent and severe colds and illnesses, as well as an increased time to recovery.  

However, sometimes the body reacts to EMF exposure by over-reacting– responding with more force than is necessary to a threat, and sometimes even responding to something as a threat, when no threat to your health is present. This can make the immune system attack your healthy cells because everything is a threat in its impaired judgment. This leads to increased allergies (reacting to external objects that aren’t actually a threat) and autoimmune problems (when your body attacks itself!).

EMF and Immunosuppression

Immunosuppression is the suppression of your immune system. When it happens, your immune system isn’t as strong as it should be, and your body’s systems do not respond to threats to your health with sufficient vigor or strength.

Now, sometimes we want immunosuppression. For instance, it is part of how we treat cancer. A healthy immune system doesn’t allow certain medicines to work on cancer patients. So doctors give these patients immunosuppressive drugs. Doctors give patients these drugs to weaken their immune systems, so they do not fight the medicine.

Doctors give these patients immunosuppressive drugs to intentionally weaken their immune systems.

Now, that’s a very specific example. And in general, we don’t want our immune system to be suppressed. But I bring up the cancer example, because researchers have found that EMF radiation shows similar traits as these immunosuppressive drugs.

In a healthy person, immunosuppression exposes the body to threats from various diseases. These are diseases that, when your body is working properly, would be able to fight and fend off and heal from. When your body’s immune system is impaired, your body may not have the ability to defeat the disease, or it may take longer to recover.

A simple example of immunosuppression is catching a common cold and not being able to recover for a long time. Similarly, if your immune system is weak, even a small cut on the skin can develop to a state where it requires critical medical attention.

EMF and Autoimmune Function

So that’s what can happen when your immune system is weakened. Another way in which your immune system can malfunction from EMF exposure is when it reacts to stimuli that it should not; a condition we call autoimmunity.

Autoimmunity is a medical condition that makes your body attack its own cells and tissues. And there are several studies in which researchers found a correlation between exposure to EMF radiation and autoimmune diseases.

Obviously, we do not want our immune system fighting your own body. That situation is very self-destructive. 

Under normal circumstances, a well-functioning immune system can tell the difference between foreign cells and your body’s own cells (that work for your body and are not harmful). And it knows only to attack foreign entities, and not your own body.

However, the exposure to EMF impairs the immune system’s decision-making ability to a point where it may even begin attacking your skin and joints.

Whenever the immune system detects a foreign element, it launches a protein called antibodies. These antibodies are there to destroy the foreign element, and as there is no foreign element to destroy, it ends up attacking your own body.

There are many common autoimmune diseases.

Here is the list of some common autoimmune diseases include:

  • Type 1 diabetes: High blood sugar level
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): Redness, warmth, stiffness, and soreness in joints.
  • Psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis: Causes multiplication of skin cells, which builds up and form inflamed red patches on the skin.
  • Multiple sclerosis: Damage in the protective coating that surrounds the nerve cells in the central nervous system.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): The immune system attacks the tissues.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: Causes inflammation in the intestinal wall.
  • Addison’s disease: Affects the way the body uses carbohydrates and sugar (Glucose).
  • Graves’ disease: Attacks the thyroid gland in the neck, causing it to produce too much of its own hormones.
  • Sjögren’s syndrome: Attacks the gland that provides lubricant to the eyes and mouth.
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: Thyroid hormone production slows to a deficiency.
  • Myasthenia gravis: Affects nerve impulses that help the brain control the muscles.
  • Autoimmune vasculitis: The immune system attacks the blood vessels.
  • Pernicious anemia: Causes deficiency of protein.
  • Celiac disease: Causes digestive disorder with an abnormal immune reaction to gluten.

All of these are examples of conditions that can result from autoimmunity. And autoimmunity can result from EMF exposure (and, in fact, science has demonstrated that protecting yourself from EMF can reduce autoimmunity).

EMF and Allergies

The condition of autoimmunity happens when your immune system reacts to your own body as a threat. In other words, your immune system interprets something that is not a threat as a threat. We call that hypersentivitity.

Autoimmunity is not the only way in which hypersensitivity occurs. Your body’s immune system can also react to non-threatening foreign entities as a threat. And when that happens, your body has what we call an allergic reaction. The manifestation of allergies is another way in our immune system can malfunction.

Now, many of us have allergies. Whether we’re talking about hay fever, cat allergies or peanut allergies, these are all examples of our body’s immune system reacting negatively to objects that are not, under regular circumstances, harmful to our health.

And when this happens, our the reaction of our body’s own immune system becomes the threat to our health.

EMF Causes Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS)

As I just mentioned, allergies are a type of hypersensitivity of our immune system. And there is a specific type of hypersensitivity whose incidence is increasing globally. That is electromagnetic hypersensitivity. And in fact, this condition is sometimes referred to as ‘wifi allergies.’

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a medical condition in which a person is so sensitive to electromagnetic fields that their body starts showing alarming symptoms.

The symptoms of EHS are similar to an allergic reaction, like redness, tingling, and burning sensations. It also causes issues like tiredness, fatigue, difficulties in concentration, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitation, and digestive disturbances.

In most of the cases, the EHS is mild, and it can be easily prevented by avoiding EMF exposure. However, in some cases, the effects of EHS are so severe that a person needs to change his/her entire lifestyle. And in the most extreme cases, people find they must upend their lives and move to EMF free zones.

EMF Can Supercharge Disease

As we’ve just seen, exposure to EMF can have many negative impacts on your body’s immune system, negatively impacting your health. In other words, EMF exposure can make you more vulnerable to disease by making your body weaker.

Another way in which EMF can make you more vulnerable to disease is by boosting the power of the disease itself. Microbes multiples faster, and grows more virulent and stronger when they’re exposed to EMF.

And one example of that is with lyme disease. 

A spirochete is a spiral-shaped group of bacteria that is a pathogen for a human.

The leading cause of Lyme Disease, as identified by professionals, is a spirochete. A spirochete is a spiral-shaped group of bacteria that is a pathogen for a human. 

Early signs of Lyme disease, according to CDC, are fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph. If the disease is untreated and it has been more than 30 days after the bite, the symptoms may grow to:

  • Neck stiffness and headaches
  • (Erythema multiforme) EM rashes on other areas of the body
  • Loss of muscle tone on one or both sides of the face
  • Severe Joint pain and swelling on the knees and other large joints.
  • Intermittent pain in Joints, muscles, tendons, and bones
  • Irregular heartbeat (Added beat or skipped beat)
  • Shortness of breath or Episode of dizziness
  • Inflammation of the spinal cord and the brain 
  • Nerve pain

According to Dr. Dietrich Klinghard, one of the main contributors to the rise of Lyme disease is electromagnetic pollution. 

He said, 

“I personally suspect that the exposure to electromagnetic fields in the home and the microwaves from cell phone radiation are driving the virulence of many of the microbes that are naturally in us and makes them aggressive and illness producing.”

Dr. Dietrich Klinghard

Correlation Between Mold and EMF

Lyme disease is curable, but it takes a long time, as several issues prevent the patient from completely recovering. One of the things that can delay the recovery from Lyme disease is toxic mold.

Molds are microscopic organisms that are found in homes, which survives by consuming organic materials and humidity.

According to Dr. Raj Patel (Medical Options for Wellness in Foster City, CA), half of the Lyme Disease cases that are unresolved are because of mold Illness. Lyme disease and mold illness have similar symptoms, so sometimes it is hard to distinguish between these two types of conditions.

Scientists have observed that EMF increases mold growth. A mold can produce 600 times more biotoxins (the substance which is toxic and has a biological origin, like snake venom) in the presence of EMF. If a Lyme disease patient has this amount of Mold growing in their home, it interferes in the treatment process, and it may take longer for the patient to recover.

Reducing EMF Can Boost Your Immune System and Improve Your Health

Your body’s immune system determines whether and how quickly you can recover from a disease. Having a well functioning immune system is crucial to our survival. And when your immune system is impaired, weakened and/or malfunctioning, you are much more vulnerable to diseases and conditions that, under normal circumstances, would have fewer and weaker symptoms, or from which you would recover much more rapidly. 

To be clear, there are many ways to improve your body’s immune system. Maintaining a proper diet and exercise regimen are two of the most important.

But reducing your exposure to EMF radiation is an often overlooked means of boosting the power and function of your body’s immune system. Exposure to electromagnetic radiation impacts your body’s immune system in ways we are only just beginning to realize. 

And with the ever-expanding rollout of EMF-emitted technology around the world, even ambient levels of EMF (the type we see in our normal, every day environments, even when there is not a “large” source of EMF nearby) are high enough to cause this type of damage.

So, to improve your health, and your body’s natural defenses against disease, start reducing your exposure to EMF radiation. And, as I always say, the best EMF protection is free, and you can start right now.

Published Laboratory Science on Immune System Effects from EMF Exposure

This post, like many of my posts that you will find on this website, attempts to express critical aspects of EMF science in a way that most people can understand. My content is not intended as a comprehensive review of established science.

However, in this case, and because of the importance of this topic, I am including a list of published science on the question of how non-ionizing EMF exposure– like from a cell phone– can impact your immune system.

Because I think it’s useful for people– even people who do not spend time reviewing published research papers– to have a sense of the sheer scope of the body of scientific knowledge that demonstrates these harmful effects on our bodies. This isn’t just one or two studies– this is over 30 published experiments. And these negative health effects are shown at very low levels of power (well within legal limits) of cell phone, cordless phone and WiFi radiation.

This work was compiled by Cindy Sage of Sage Associates and Stephanie Kerst, Certified Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist on March 27, 2020.

Immune System Effects from EMF Based on Power Density Exposures

Almost each of these studies measured negative health outcomes at exposures to EMF with power density notably lower than what is considered to be a safe level of radiation.

Power DensityFindingReference
0.0006 - 0.001 uW/cm2Chronic exposure to base station RF (whole-body) in humans showed increased stress hormones; levels substantially decreased; higher levels of adrenaline and nor-adrenaline; dose-response seen;
chronic physiological stress in cells even after 1.5 years
Buchner K, Eger H., 2011.
1.0 uW/cm2RFR caused significant effect on immune function In miceFesenko, 1999
1.0 uW/cm2RFR at 8.15 - 18 GHz significantly increased immune function of T-cells and macrophage cellsNovoselova, 1999
1.0 uW/cm2RFR at 8.15 to 18 GHz caused significant increase In tumor necrosis factor in macrophage cells interfering with process of cell immunity statusNovoselova, 1998
1.0 uW/cm2130% to 150% increase in cytotoxic activity of NK cells from 8.15 - 18 GHz persisting 24 hours after cessation of RFR exposure indicating hyperactive immune function.Fesenko, 1999
2 - 4 uW/cm2Acetycholine-induced ion channel disruption and altered cell membranesD'Inzeo, 1988
5 uW/cm2RFR exposure caused decreased immune function in NK lymphocytesBoscol, 2001
5.25 uW/cm220 minutes of RFR at cell tower frequencies induced cell stress, changes in cell membraneKwee, 2001
13.5 uW/cm2RFR affected human lymphocytes (immune cells) and induced stress response in cellsSarimov, 2004
37.5 uW/cm2Weakening of immune function with 9.4 GHz pulsed RFR over 5 daysVeyret, 1991
60 uW/cm2900 MHz pulsed RFR intensified immune function in white blood cells indicating hyperactive immune responseStankiewicz, 2006
92.5 uW/cm2915 MHz RFR caused genetic changes in human lymphocytes (white blood cells)Belyaev, 2005
100 uW/cm2Increase In immune function due to RFR exposure (activation response)Elekes, 1996
150 uW/cm242 GHz (millimeter wave) exposure of leukocytes and blood neutrophils 20-min/day caused profound effect (50% suppression) of peripheral blood neutrophil activity and persisted for 24-hr after cessation of exposure. Lymphocytes increased by 44%, remained abnormal for 5 days after cessation of exposure Kolomytseva, 2002
150 uW/cm242 GHz repeated exposures prior to immunization decreased immunity response by -14.5% in spleen cells and by -17.5% in thymus cellsLushnikov, 2001
10 - 1000 uW/cm21.8 GHz RFR produced morphological changes in cell conformation in human peripheral blood lymphocytes (between 12 V/m and 42 V/m)Jirillo, 2014
2000 uW/cm22450 MHz RFR for 90-min significantly affected placental parameters and showed that opioid systems were involved in reducing natural killer cell activityNakamura, 1998
2000 uW/cm22450 MHz RFR exposure decreased blood flow of uteroplacental circulatory systemNakamura, 2000
5000 uW/cm2Chronic exposure to 2.1 GHz RFR significantly suppressed T-lymphocyte numbers at 2 months (exhibiting T-cell mediated immunity (a delayed type hypersensitivity response)Nageswari, 1991
10,000 uW/cm2 2450 MHz RFR exposure of pregnant rats significantly suppressed natural killer cell activity and activated the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis indicating great stress on pregnancyNakamura, 1997

Immune System Effects from EMF Based on SAR Exposures

For reference, in the United States, the legal maximum radiation that can be absorbed from a cell phone, in a SAR laboratory test, is 1.6 W/kg. As you will note, most of these studies demonstrate negative outcomes at levels much lower than the legal limit.

0.000021 - 0.0021 W/kgChanges in cell cycle, cell proliferation from exposure to 960 MHz mobile phone RFRKwee, 1997
0.18 W/kg1300 MHz pulsed RFR stimulated pro-inflammatory activity of human immune cells (monocytes)Dabrowski, 2001
0.18 W/kg1300 MHz pulsed RFR resulted in significant increase in proportion of monocytes and immune response by lymphocytes.Dabrowski, 2003
0.21 W/kg1.8 GHz exposure of human peripheral blood lymphocytes caused deformed shaped cells and impaired mitochondria activity of monocyte immune cells; impaired metabolic homeostasis. Progressive changes in oxidative metabolism occur; relatively short time of exposure (5-12 hr) causing impairment of function of inner mitochondrial membrane; malfunction of mitochondria. Competence of immune cell function (innate and acquired immune response and activation of immune-competent cells) - these results imply risks to immune functionLasalvia, 2018
0.21 W/kg1.8 GHz RFR exposure changed the shape of human blood leukocytes (immune cells), mainly cell surface area Jirillo, 2014
0.21 W/kg1.8 GHz RFR caused destruction of organelle and nucleus structures in immune cells (human peripheral blood lymphocytes) and caused destruction of membrane integrity and cytoplasm
lysis Esmekaya, 2011
0.037 W/kg1-hr GMS mobile phone radiation at nonthermal level significantly affects chromatin conformation in human lymphocytes by stress response and/or DNA damage in both healthy and EHS personsMarkova, 2005
1.25 W/kgSignificant changes in leukocytes behavior including rapid changes in shape and behavior (cell shrinking, rolling and expanding ) in just in 2.5 min exposure to 1.8 GHz RFR Ashraf, 2011
1.0 W/kgCell phone use caused nitric oxide (NO) nasal vasodilation (swelling inside nasal passage) on side of head phone was usedParedi, 2001
7.0 W/kg864.3 MHz CW on human mast cells 20-min, 3X/day, 7 days altered gene expression of oncogenes and aptosis-associated gene Harvey, 2000
3000 W/kg835 MHz RFR exposure 20-min, 3X/ day for 7 days caused mast cells to have increased rate of DNA synthesis and cell replication. Cell morphology was altered (actin distribution) Donnellan, 1997
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About the Author

R Blank is the CEO of Shield Your Body, which he founded in 2012. With hundreds of thousands of customers in over 30 countries, and having been interviewed on platforms including Dr. Phil, ABC news television and ElectricSense, R is an internationally followed expert on issues of EMF, health and safety. He also hosts “The Healthier Tech Podcast”, available Apple, Spotify and all major podcasting platforms. In the past, he served on the faculty at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering as well as the University of California, Santa Cruz. Previously, R ran a software engineering firm in Los Angeles, producing enterprise-level solutions for blue chip clients including Medtronic, Apple, NBC, Toyota, Disney, Microsoft, the NFL, Ford, IKEA and Mattel. He has spoken at conferences around the world, including in the US, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and he is the co-author, along with his father Dr. Martin Blank, of ‘Overpowered‘ from Seven Stories Press about the science of health effects of EMF radiation. He has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and received his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Columbia University. He has also studied at Cambridge University in the UK; the University of Salamanca in Spain; and the Institute of Foreign Languages in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Read more about R and SYB or connect with R on LinkedIn.

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R Blank

R Blank