Join best-selling author and actress Melanie Avalon as she interviews today’s leading health and wellness experts, going beyond the fads to bring you all the biohacking tips, tricks, and techniques to effortless upgrade your body, brain, and life. Because why not live awesome? You got this! In this episode, Melanie chats with SYB CEO R Blank about practical ways to reduce EMF exposure– and more!
Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends, welcome back to the show. I am so incredibly excited about the conversation that I’m about to have. It is for the topic that I am so, so passionate about and I know a lot of you guys are passionate about as well. I think it’s misunderstood. I think there is misinformation, and a lot of skepticism, and that is the topic of EMFs. So, I’ve had Dr. Joseph Mercola on the show before about this, but that was a pretty short interview, and I’ve been dying to dive really, really deep into it for everything and I was thrilled when Mr. R blank reached out to me. He is the founder of a company called Shield Your Body, and they actually make a myriad of products to help with EMF protection. But he’s not just an entrepreneur, product creator, he is an expert on this topic. He has co-authored a bestselling book, Overpowered, with his father, who is actually one of the world’s leading EMF scientists, which is super cool. He has a degree from Columbia University and UCLA. He taught at USC, which is where I went, so that was really exciting to me. I’m really, really thrilled and honored to be here today to dive really deep into all of this because I have so many questions. Yeah, so, I’m really excited. So, R, thank you so much for being here.
R Blank: Thank you so much, Melanie. That was such a nice intro.
Melanie Avalon: I’ve been really looking forward to this and we were talking before, but you guys did send me one of your products. I don’t even know what to call it. You put it underneath your laptop?
R Blank: Yeah. We call it the laptop pad.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. I was going to say, it’s like a laptop pad. [laughs] Oh, my goodness, I’ve been loving it because I use my laptop, I’m on a desktop right now, but I use my laptop every single night, and I– historically it was just sitting that right on my lap. So, it’s nice to know that I have something protecting me which we can dive deep into all of that. To start things off, would you like to tell listeners a little bit about your personal story? I’m dying to know– Well, I guess, since your father was a leading scientist, were you destined to be interested in this or [giggles] what was your journey?
R Blank: Sure. As you and I were just chatting about because of what I taught at USC, I taught software engineering. I was a software engineer. I had a company in LA for about 20 years and I taught at university, I’ve written a book, and then it was about 2012 and my father was writing a book. He had a contract from Seven Stories Press to write a book about what he’d learned about EMF and health effects. He’d been a scientist for several decades at that point. He’s a great writer, but his experience was writing for other scientists. So, this book was supposed to be for general audiences. So, he was having a little bit of trouble with that and he asked me if I could jump in and help him. So, that’s what I did. For about six months, he and I wrote Overpowered together. It was a crash course for me. Obviously, I spent my whole life around him and for the vast majority of that this was what he did, but I didn’t get into the weeds when I was growing up. I knew we didn’t have a microwave oven, and I knew it was because of dad’s work, and I knew when I eventually got a cell phone after college to keep it as far away from my head as possible, use a headset, I knew basic things like that, but I didn’t understand any more deeply. That’s what the experience of writing Overpowered with him gave me.
In addition to that, more specifically, it made me appreciate that the science here is very strong. The science demonstrating negative health effects as a result of these exposures is, it’s very strong. Because you’ll hear about it often in the news, in the media, that there’s a debate, “Oh, does this– do cell phones cause cancer? do cell phones cause infertility? The jury’s still out.” And really– in reality, science is kind of overwhelming that this stuff is bioactive. So, that was one realization. The next is, these forces are emitted by sources that are central to our entire economy and entire society. There’s no way of going back to a world in which we’re not exposed to these forces, unless we’re willing to go back to the 1850s before the light bulb was invented. So, I felt that there had to be a safer way of using technology and that is SYB’s mission.
Melanie Avalon: I love that so much. Sorry, I’m really enjoying this conversation and I know we just started, but this is really exciting. Quick question. You didn’t have a microwave, they make places without a microwave?
R Blank: [laughs] Yeah, they really– Yeah, they do. I think I’ve only ever had microwaves when I stay in Airbnbs. I don’t think I’ve ever had a microwave in a place that I rented or owned.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, wow, that’s incredible. So many different ways that I would love to go with this conversation, but I love what you said about how it is a real problem. So, EMFs are qualified as a carcinogen or certain types of them are?
R Blank: Yeah. If I could just step back for a second for those of you who are listening or anyone who listened to the Dr. Mercola interview you did which was great, they’ll know this already. EMF stands for electromagnetic field. It is a form of energy that as the name suggests is made up of electrical and magnetic forces. There are a lot of different kinds of EMF. They exist on what we call a spectrum. Right in the middle of that spectrum is visible light like sunlight. Sunlight is a form of EMF. Now, there’s certain forms of EMF that have more energy than sunlight. These include things like X-rays and gamma rays and these are incredibly dangerous even in very, very small doses. Which is why, when you go to the dentist and have X-rays, they cover you in a lead coat and the technician actually leaves the room. That’s how dangerous they are. Then, there’re forms of EMF with less energy than visible light. These include things like radio waves and microwaves. It was long thought that these were biologically inert that they couldn’t harm you or any living things. But science in the past several decades has shown that that assumption was incorrect.
Now, to get back to your question, the forms of EMF with more energy than sunlight, those are universally regarded as carcinogenic. The forms of EMF with less energy than sunlight, those right now by the World Health Organization are designated as a class to be carcinogen, which means that the World Health Organization believes and this goes back to, I think 2011, when that designation was applied, believes that there is sufficient evidence to believe that they are possibly carcinogenic. There’s significant movement to try to get them, the World Health Organization to upgrade the designation to Class 1, which would be a definite carcinogen. But I would also– before we move on, I would highlight cancer it’s a very serious condition, it’s quite justifiably very concerning to people, it is not the only negative health outcome that has been linked to EMF exposure. So, cancer again, very serious, very important. It should be, in my opinion, designated as a Class 1 carcinogen but there are many, many other health effects that are linked to this stuff.
Melanie Avalon: I feel like the benefit with the carcinogen labeling is that, it makes it seem more credible to people who raise an eyebrow. So, to clarify the waves that are more intense than the visible spectrum, those are Class 1 carcinogen?
R Blank: I believe so. Yeah, X-rays and gamma rays, those are called ionizing because they have ionizing forms of EMF. Because they have so much energy, they knock electrons loose from your cells on contact and that is what creates the DNA mutations and cell death that leads to cancer. Again, this is universally accepted. No one doubts. No one goes around saying, have more X-rays in your life, because [laughs] they know that this stuff is real. It’s totally non-controversial when you say that X-rays are very, very harmful.
Melanie Avalon: Well, it sounds that there are a lot of barriers here to addressing this issue. One, being what you just talked about with our entire society runs on this technology. I know Dr. Mercola makes a whole argument that the industry treats it like they did with the cigarette industry with covering up or manipulating studies. Have you seen that?
R Blank: Yeah, no, there’s actually an entire chapter of Overpowered that is about drawing the parallels between the wireless industry and the tobacco industry playbook. When I heard that part of the interview, it resonated very strongly with me. This happens all the time. The more money that’s in an industry, the more power they have to do this sort of thing, but this is how science operates today. Companies can fund studies in ways that are designed to produce specific types of outcomes that they can then be used in their lobbying, in their public relations and so forth. So, in my mind, it’s totally non-controversial to say that but that’s how they operate.
Melanie Avalon: Historically, would we have been exposed to ionizing radiation before the invention of these technologies?
R Blank: Almost none. Some of this– certain radioactive materials are naturally occurring. But no, basically, until the invention of the light bulb and really, I think it’s important to sort of focus the conversation on the non-ionizing forms of EMF because that’s what is emitted by modern technology. That’s what the cell tower’s emitting, that’s what your Wi-Fi is emitting, that’s what they’re deploying more and more and more of these sources in our lives every day. But until the invention of the light bulb, the only forms of EMF that anyone in all of human history, in fact, all life on earth in the world’s history was exposed to was sunlight, the earth’s own magnetic field, and lightning. Those were the only sources of EMF until around, well, the mid-19th century when the light bulb was invented. Once you had the light bulb, they created a power grid to power the light bulb, that was another source of EMF. Once you had the power grid running to all these houses and throughout all these cities, people started building new appliances to run on that network and those became sources of EMF.
Eventually, they realized you could use these signals to communicate wirelessly. You had the invention of radio, and television, and radar, those were sources of EMF, and it just keeps exploding all the time. So, there’s a wide variety of estimates but one of the more conservative ones that I like to cite is that today, just a background level of ambient EMF in a city that is you’re not holding a phone up to your head. You’re just walking around is over 1 trillion times higher than what is found in nature and that’s a 24/7 exposure, that’s all the time.
Melanie Avalon: Have our bodies adapted at all to this like since we’re born into this now, presumably?
R Blank: Not really. That’s not the scale of time at which evolution– I’m not an evolutionary expert, but I can tell you from what I’ve learned in school that’s not the order of magnitude that we evolve on. It takes thousands of years for that stuff to really change. Plus, add to that, the fact that the amount of EMF in the environment now is many orders of magnitude greater than when you were born. So, even if you had evolved to cope with the damage caused with the level of EMF in the environment, when you were born, there’s way, way more of it today, and there’ll be way, way more of it in two years, in five years, in 10 years, in 20 years because the number of sources just keep exploding in essence because this is entirely unregulated.
I know Dr. Mercola and you had a great discussion about the FCC being a controlled agency and thus stifling regulation. And that’s largely about cell phones, which is a very important subject. But really most of this stuff is actually entirely unregulated. Cell phones being an exception. Most– as you walk around the street, the amount of EMF that the powerlines emit, that’s entirely unregulated. The number of different sources to which you can be exposed simultaneously is entirely unregulated. So, it’s not just that the regulatory agencies are controlled, it’s that there’s essentially no regulation at all. That’s why you are having more and more and more of this stuff deployed into our life. Just look around– I don’t see your room right now, but let me assume it’s like a normal average room these days. Look around, look at how many different sources of EMF are in that room, compare that to when you were a kid and then think what’s going to happen in another 20 years?
Melanie Avalon: Is it safe to say that if it plugs in or is electronic, it’s emitting EMF?
R Blank: Yes. If you’ll recall, I mentioned that there was this spectrum of EMF, the electromagnetic spectrum. And I’ve mentioned things like radio waves and microwaves. Those radio waves and microwaves are emitted by anything that communicates wirelessly. Then there’s a form of EMF with even less energy that’s called ELF or extremely low frequency and that’s emitted by anything that runs on power. So that includes your kitchen appliances, it includes the electrical wiring in your home, it includes the power lines and transformers out on the street. Anything that runs on electricity is a source of EMF and anything that communicates wirelessly is a source of EMF.
Melanie Avalon: What about infrared energy like red light and near infrared? Is that beneficial EMF?
R Blank: Yes, that is a form of– Just like ultraviolet is a form of just– that has just a little bit more energy than visible light, infrared has just a little bit less energy than visible light. So, it is a form of non-ionizing EMF. I am not aware of much science on that particular set of frequencies. It’s also not particularly common. You’re not surrounded by sources of infrared everywhere that you go. So, in terms of dose, we’re just exposed to much, much, much less of it. But to answer your question, yes, it is– it is a form of EMF.
Melanie Avalon: I wonder about it because I have my red light near infrared devices and I run them a lot pretty much 24/7 in my apartment and I know a lot of my listeners have the devices as well. I have them for their beneficial health effects, but I do wonder about that. Another question. So, is there a difference in the health effects of acute exposure to maybe a more potent non-ionizing form compared to just this chronic baseline background? Is the effects of little amounts consistently just as bad as like a more acute exposure or is it not even measurable that way?
R Blank: Sure. No, no, it’s a great question and I’d like to start answering it this way. I mentioned and you talked about this with Dr. Mercola. The amount of radiation a cell phone can emit is theoretically regulated. There’s a whole lot of reasons why that isn’t actually true if you want to talk about that. But let’s say, in theory it is, there is a certain amount of radiation that these phones can give off. That is based on something called the thermal effect. So, what does that mean? That means enough of this EMF, enough power, if you’re exposed to EMF with enough power that it can heat, and burn, and cook human tissue. It might sound surprising although you have a microwave oven. That’s exactly what a microwave oven does. A microwave oven emits enough microwave EMF with enough power that it can actually heat and cook your food. So, there are certain levels of power of this type of EMF that can actually heat and burn your body. That type of damage is carcinogenic. That’s exactly why these safety standards do exist. So, it is for certain that at certain levels of power it is even more damaging.
Now, in terms of what’s worse, one acute exposure for 30 years, chronic lower-level exposure. I mean, at that point, there’s a lot more variables involved. I will say that there is a demonstrated dose response relationship in the EMF science. So, that means, the more of it you’re exposed to, the more likely you are to experience these wide variety of negative health outcomes. And those doses are both in terms of power and in terms of duration.
Melanie Avalon: That is really telling if you think about it with the microwave actually cooking things. Quick question. They say that the microwave is a Faraday cage and none of that radiation exits the microwave. Is that true?
R Blank: No, that is not true. They are shielded. They are regulated as to how much radiation they can leak at the time of purchase. I forget that number offhand as most of the time, people ask me about cell phones. But there’s an amount and we cover it in Overpowered. There’s an amount of radiation a microwave oven is allowed to leak at the time of purchase. The thing is that’s all based on the seal of the door. So, if you read the manual, you’re supposed to actually have your microwave serviced every certain period every year, every two years in order to restore that seal. I’ve been doing this now for about 10 years. I have yet to encounter someone who has ever had their microwave oven serviced. So, at the time of sale, it’s allowed to leak a certain amount, and then over time that amount will increase. That’s exactly why they say pregnant women should not be using microwave ovens.
Melanie Avalon: That is a takeaway. Most of my listeners– I don’t want to make assumptions but I feel like a lot of my listeners might not even be using microwaves but if you are servicing.
R Blank: If people want a demonstration that all they have to do is put their phone in the oven. If you want unplug it first just to make sure you don’t accidentally turn it on when your phone is in the oven. But put your phone in the oven and call it from another phone and it will ring.
Melanie Avalon: Mm, that’s brilliant. I’m going to do that right after this. [laughs] This is sort of a random question. But so, when we use the microwave, we turn it on, the EMFs happen, then it’s done like, do the EMFs linger? Where did they go?
R Blank: No, they dissipate. So, EMFs just travel and they dissipate rapidly. Power of EMF radiation diminishes exponentially with distance. As you double the distance between the source and where you are, you’re cutting the power of the exposure by 75%. So, they go out into the world and they eventually diminish often into nothing.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, that was my second question. So, they do become nothing. They don’t just keep–
R Blank: Correct. They diminish in power quite rapidly which is exactly why when people like me say, “Don’t carry your phone in your pocket.” That’s why that matters so much. Because when it’s in your pocket, you’re getting the strongest possible dose off of this device. Even if you’re carrying it– which it should still be further away than this. But even if you’re carrying it an inch away from your body, your exposure is going to be significantly less than if it’s actually in your pocket. That’s also why when you’re using a microwave oven, you want to stand as far away from it as possible, ideally in the next room, because the power of these waves really diminishes rapidly.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. One of my really prevalent memories from childhood is probably the first time that I went and stood up next to the microwave and was staring it, looking at it, and my mom was like, “Step away, not allowed to do that.” Another question. So, just on a more cellular level, what do these rays actually or EMFs actually do to ourselves, especially, in relation to the calcium balance and things like that?
R Blank: Yeah. Okay. So, at that point, yeah, you’re getting into some of the biological effects. I think the studies that you’re trying to get out with this question, they relate to something called voltage-gated calcium channels. Dr. Martin Paul has a series of studies on that which are the– I’d say, probably the most widely referenced. What he has shown is that, exposures to this type of radiation like you would get from a cell phone impact these calcium channels. So, these VGCCs, the voltage-gated calcium channels, they control how much calcium gets into your cells. That’s important for a lot of biological reasons. But just think of it, like that’s how your body’s designed to work. You have these little gateways on the cell and they’re designed to allow a certain amount of calcium into the cell. So, what Dr. Paul has shown is that the EMF can impact these VGCCs and allow excess calcium to flood into the cells which in turn is a mechanism for creating oxidative stress. That is actually I know you’re listening– you cover oxidative stress in a lot of different episodes. So, that is one of the mechanisms right now that is known about the impact of EMF exposure on the amount of calcium in our cells and what that can do.
Melanie Avalon: For listeners, the show notes for this episode will be at melanieavalon.com/shieldyourbody and I will put links to the studies there, so, listeners can check those out. So, is that the primary mechanism of action with oxidative stress in the voltage-gated calcium channels? I probably, said it wrong.
R Blank: Well, when it comes to calcium levels, yes, that is right now my understanding is what the science is indicating in terms of how EMF exposure impacts calcium channels, and it is one mechanism by which oxidative stress is induced. It is not the only biological mechanism that EMF exposure triggers.
Melanie Avalon: And so, what are some of those other issues?
R Blank: Sure. Well, one set of important studies that now goes back about 30 years is by a couple of doctors, Dr. Henry Lai, Dr. Narendra Singh, who showed that using a cordless phone because at the time it was a cordless phone, it was the early 90s. Using a cordless phone led to DNA strand breaks. So, a strand break is, I mean, DNA is made up of the strands, and when it breaks, that’s bad. Because you’re breaking down the structure of DNA. Now, there’re two forms of strand breaks because DNA is made up of two strands. So, if you break one strand, that’s called a single strand break, and the body will, because you have two strands, it’ll go to the other strand and say, “Oh, I think I know how to fix this” because it’s a mirror image. But that process is sometimes it gets it wrong. That’s where mutations can enter and that is a mechanism by which diseases like cancer can form.
The other is a double strand break and that’s when both strands in the cell- the both strands of DNA break and then the cell doesn’t have enough information to repair, and so at that point what likely happens is cell death. So, it will actually kill the cell, will kill itself rather than live on and spread bad information through the body. That was just from 15 minutes of exposure to cordless phone radiation. Even more concerning out of those studies was how they show that this damage persisted for hours after the exposure. So, the damage kept occurring for hours after the exposure. Again, it was from a very low exposure, was from about 15 minutes of exposure. That is some of the seminal work in terms of DNA damage because DNA damage is a very– it’s a very significant and harmful outcome in the body.
Melanie Avalon: Where these in vitro studies looking directly at the cells or was it like people holding a cell phone, sorry, a cordless?
R Blank: No. These are laboratory studies done on samples, not on humans.
Melanie Avalon: Presumably, it would be the equivalent, right? Because it would be like the phone to the cells. I’m just wondering, can you pretty much extend that to real life implementation of using a phone?
R Blank: Well, these studies were done on living rats, not on humans but they were done in a lab. So, they were– For some of the science, you can study humans. For other topics, it is considered largely unethical to do those types of studies. So, that’s why you can’t study humans, but Lai and Singh studies were performed on rats.
Melanie Avalon: How are the studies set up when they do test for safety and efficacy, I guess, with the cell phones?
R Blank: They don’t really test for safety. The way that works with cell phones, in the US and in many countries, it’s a little different because the regulatory agencies are a little different in all these countries. There is a level of radiation that is determined to be the maximum that a phone can emit and so people think– So, when a cell phone is released, they think that, that is a regulated amount of radiation that they’re at max getting from that device. There’re several problems with that and I won’t name all of them because we could spend the whole interview on this. But when people think that the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission regulates cell phones, they think the FCC must test these cell phones. The answer to that is they do not. Companies themselves commission these tests, companies themselves publish the results. So, when your Apple iPhone says and it’s different for every model, I’ve read, but 1.1 watts per kilogram. That was never determined by a government agency, that was determined by a lab that Apple hire.
Another issue there is that you can determine the position of the phone during the test. So, if you ever read an iPhone manual, it actually explains that there needs to be a minimum distance of separation between the phone and your body in order to maintain at or below tested levels. So, that means basically, Apple is saying, “Don’t hold the phone up to your head.” Except that’s exactly how they’ve designed the product and you would know that they’re saying that unless you read the fine print in their manuals. So, the actual position of the device during the test can be completely controlled by the cell company that’s commissioning the test. A more extreme example of this– and I’ll get back to cell phones in a second. More extreme example of this is with Dell laptops where if you read the manual for certain models, it says, “You need to keep a minimum of seven inches of distance between the laptop and your body.” The product they call a laptop, you need a minimum of seven-inch distance between the product and your body in order to maintain safety levels. But it gets even worse than that. I mentioned this number or these units. I said, 1.1 watts per kilogram. The actual limit is 1.6 watts per kilogram. That is a unit of something called SAR or Specific Absorption Rate. What that’s supposed to mean is how much radiation does your body absorb when you use the device?
Now, the problem with SAR is that it’s based on a dummy. That is, I believe it’s six-foot tall that emulates– it’s a dummy, it’s not a real human, but it emulates a six-foot tall, 220-pound man. That dummy emulates a body that is bigger than 95% of the human population, which means that 95% of the human population will absorb more than what the test shows. I hope I explained that correctly because it is a key way in which these regulations are obfuscated and circumvented. Because these regulations aren’t based actually, they’re not based on how much radiation a phone emits. They’re based on how much you absorb from that phone. But the way they measure that absorption is with a dummy that emulates a man that is bigger than 95% of the human population and way bigger than children. So, for these reasons and more, which I don’t want to bore everyone by going into them, but these regulations don’t actually protect us. So, I’ll give you a specific example here.
A few years ago, in France, the government decided to test, it was about 300 models of cell phones. They found that almost all of them emitted more radiation than the manufacturers claimed in the documents. Several actually emitted more than were legally permissible and were actually recalled from the market. So, that’s what happens when a governmental agency actually tests these devices. Because right now, it’s effectively all based on the honor system.
Melanie Avalon: So, basically, when they’re doing these studies, I’m assuming they probably set it up in their favor, they probably set it up the way the device is “supposed to be used.” I’m assuming they put in that distance that they recommend, and then on top of that use a dummy that is bigger than a normal human person or the most people.
R Blank: Than most humans. Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: And then on top of that, the devices are also releasing more than they say. So, it’s just so many confounding factors in their favor. That is super, super upsetting. I was just thinking because I’ve had David Sinclair on the show. He has a whole book on aging and like his thing is DNA, and I remember reading his book, and he only like barely mentions any of this, and I was just thinking this is maybe a silly question. But do you think because it’s invisible, like it’s something that we can’t see that we’re just not taking it seriously?
R Blank: Yeah, no. So, A, it’s invisible. Not only is it invisible, it’s odorless, you can’t touch it, see it, smell it, taste it. It’s very easy to pretend it’s not there. Two, it’s kind of a little bit complicated. Just listen to how much we’re talking about the frequencies, and wavelengths, and watts per kilogram, and all these units people have never heard of. So, that makes it even easier to ignore. Third, it comes from all of this stuff that people just love and are addicted to, and we have to be honest, adds a lot of value to society. It’s not like cigarettes where it’s really just device and you could get rid of all tobacco on earth tomorrow and the world would be just fine. It’s not like that at all. Because if we actually got rid of all EMF tomorrow something really bad is going to happen. We can’t refrigerate our food, we can’t communicate with our loved ones, we can’t call an ambulance, there are all of these things that we just depend on. So, it’s hard to understand, it’s very easy to ignore because as you said it’s invisible, and it comes from all of these things that we love. Those create huge obstacles to creating public awareness of the concerns, and the risks, and just even believing for a minute that this could possibly be true.
Melanie Avalon: So, you are speaking about how it’s been increasing and it is increasing. Is it an exponential increase?
R Blank: Yeah, it is. You have to extrapolate it from other numbers. Because there’s not like a global EMF index. But there is– you can check how many smart devices were sold, how many IP addresses have been allocated, how clogged is the network? That’s one of the main reasons for 5G is to create a much more bandwidth capacity for all of these devices, these smart devices to be communicating. The reason it needs to exist is because the number of devices that are connecting and the amount of data they’re sending is so much greater now and is projected to continue growing. So, yes, the growth of technology is exponential and exponential growth in the number of sources also means very significant growth. I’m not sure yet– I have to look at the number. I’m not sure if it’s exponential, but just in data transmission requirements. So, how much data we’re sending over these networks and all of that translates into more EMF exposure. So, yes, it is exponential growth.
Melanie Avalon: Do you think it will reach a point where like, I don’t know, it wipes us out. Like will it reach a point where it will actually be catastrophic?
R Blank: Yeah, it’s a good question. I haven’t really thought of it in those terms. I would say, no. So, think of it like in water and you have this huge infrastructure where you suddenly realize, “Shoot, all the plumbing has lead in it.” That means all our water is tainted. That’s really bad. When all of the water supply has lead in it that’s really bad. But it’s not like everyone just drops dead. There’re ways of treating the condition, there’re ways of remediating the sources of the exposures. It’s not like EMF is the only toxin in the world. It’s not even necessarily the worst toxin in the world and I’m saying that as someone who is obviously very concerned about EMF and making technology safer. Society brings a ton of benefits, which can be measured in any number of different ways from life expectancy to productivity to infant mortality, all these different ways that you can measure the benefits of modern society. For all of those, there’re any number of different toxins that you could identify. I named one already, lead and water. You have microplastics in the oceans, you have antibiotics in the meat supply. All of these different things that we know are toxic.
The issue with EMF is that as you noted it’s invisible, it’s odorless, you can’t touch it, people are addicted to the sources of EMF and so when you have lead in water, when you have microplastics in the oceans, when you have mercury in our fish, and antibiotics in the chicken, no one goes around saying, “Get me more lead in my water, get me more microplastics in my ocean, I don’t have enough of them, get me more mercury-laden tuna.” No one goes around saying that stuff about those toxins. When it comes to EMF, everyone is clamoring for more EMF. That’s one of these mental roadblocks that people like me are working hard every day to try to break through. It doesn’t mean that these exposures will one day culminate into a cataclysmic event which is the end of life on earth. I think we’re approaching that for– We’re doing a fine job of approaching that with other threats.
I do view it as a toxin that is doing real damage, damage that a lot of people don’t yet appreciate and damage that is quite easy to start defending against. So, when you have lead in the water you can’t just filter the lead out of the water. If you have enough money, you can go buy bottled water from a store instead of getting it through the tap, but that’s just one example. Actually, getting rid of the lead in the water is a fundamental re-piping of he the entire infrastructure that got the water to you. When it comes to EMF, there is a lot that needs to be done on the broad societal level, but there is a tremendous amount that people can do just in their personal lives to engage more mindfully and more healthfully with the technology that surrounds them. So that is what I and SYBs spend our time really focused on.
Melanie Avalon: Yes, well, I just want to take a gratitude moment to say thank you for what you’re doing and I’d love to get into that topic. A few last quick questions about what we were talking about. You mentioned 5G. I get confusion surrounding that. Is it actually active now or is it coming?
R Blank: It’s active. It depends where you live. But in most, I think, it’s every US city now it’s active. But just because it’s active in your city, it doesn’t mean you have coverage where you are. It is definitely been deployed throughout all the cities in the United States increasingly throughout multiple countries around the world. So, yes, it is active.
Melanie Avalon: The reason I had confusion surrounding that was I feel there was a time where it would say 5G on your phone, but they were saying, it’s not actually–
R Blank: Yeah, I think what you’re talking about is 5GE?
Melanie Avalon: Yes.
R Blank: Yeah and that was a marketing gimmick. I forget which company did. It was Verizon or AT&T.
Melanie Avalon: Well, yeah, I just clicked on my iPhone and it says 5GE, which I had gone into the settings and changed it not to be that. I guess an update.
R Blank: Yeah, 5GE isn’t 5G. 5GE is 4G. Again, I forget which carrier did that, but they were actually sued for misleading marketing and actually had an out of court settlement. So, it was just a marketing ploy to get people to think they have access to 5G sooner.
Melanie Avalon: So that was probably part of the confusion surrounding that. Also, what are smart meters? Is that something else?
R Blank: Sure. Yeah, so smart meters–
Melanie Avalon: Feel very naive with these questions. I just hear these terms.
R Blank: No, before 5G smart meters were one of the major drivers of concerns about EMF exposure. So, in the United States, we all know we have these various utility meters. We have power meters on our houses, we have gas meters, we have water meters, and measure how much we’re using. In the United States, there’s been a drive to convert our power meters into smart meters. What that means is the meter itself actually becomes a wireless device. Instead of a meter reader coming to your house to read how much electricity you’ve been using, it’s actually communicating with the central location sending that data wirelessly.
Now, I mentioned in the United States it is power meters. The reason I say it is because actually around the world, in certain countries, its water meters or gas meters that are the primary driver of the smart meters on the homes. But in the United States, it’s really mostly power meters. These power meters are like having a cell phone mounted to your wall that is communicating, not constantly but all the time. So, the reason I can’t tell you exactly how long is because this is an example of one of these unregulated exposures. I don’t remember the number offhand, but it’s something like 20 different standards for smart meters. So, some communicate multiple times a second, some communicate a couple times an hour, and you don’t really know which one is mounted on your home and if you call the power company, they probably won’t be able to tell you because the customer support rep that you’re talking to has no idea what you’re talking about. When they bubble it up, they’re told, “We don’t distribute that information.” So, you can’t even get access to learn what type of meter has been put onto your home, what type of communication protocol it uses.
But it is like having a powerful cell phone running effectively 24/7 attached to your home. And that’s why a lot of people are upset, and concerned, and worried about the impact that this is having. In some areas you can opt out, you may have to pay a fee, but in other areas they won’t even let you opt out and you are required. If you want power– if you want power service to your home, you must have a smart meter attached to your home.
Melanie Avalon: That is concerning. Speaking of the constant running of that, so, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth both equally concerning, is one more concerning. I have an Oura ring which uses Bluetooth, but I put it into airplane mode. I don’t know how concerning it is when it’s an airplane mode. But I lost it and I downloaded this app to try to find it by– It was an app that basically shows everything Bluetooth around you. Oh, my goodness, it was overwhelming. I was like there’s so many things. Because then I was trying to retrace my steps and going out in the world with this app, and it was just overwhelming how many Bluetooth things showed up. So, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, how bad are they?
R Blank: First off, they’re almost identical forms of EMF. Wi-Fi generally runs, it’s 2.4 gigahertz or 5 gigahertz. Bluetooth is 2.4 gigahertz. So, like I say basically identical forms of EMF. The key difference is between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth involve distance. So, just like a cell phone is designed to communicate over possibly miles in some situate– Your phone can actually communicate miles to reach a cell tower if it has to. Wi-Fi network can vary based on the hardware that you have but generally designed to run over hundreds of feet. So, a Wi-Fi router is generally lower powered than a cell phone again because of this distance thing I was just saying. Bluetooth is even lower powered than that. Because Bluetooth– while Wi-Fi is designed to communicate over hundreds of feet, Bluetooth is generally designed to run over 10, maybe 30 feet. Because cell phones are miles, Wi-Fi is hundreds of feet, and Bluetooth is 10 or 10s of feet, you’re getting diminishing power of the emissions. So, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are very similar forms of EMF, but a Bluetooth device admits it with less power. So from that perspective, you might be tempted to think that Bluetooth is less harmful than Wi-Fi.
The flip side of that is a lot of these Bluetooth devices are designed to be worn on your body for extended periods of time. So that includes not only the smart tech, the wearable, like you mentioned your ring, it also includes things like air pods, which you see people walking around with for hours, little kids walking around with for hours. So, it might be a lower powered exposure, but it is right up against your body and it is for an extended period of time.
It’s really– I have a hard time telling people that Bluetooth is safer because it’s really not, it’s lower powered but again because of the use cases, the exposures can be significantly more. Now add to that the consideration that it’s not like Bluetooth is a substitute for Wi-Fi. It is additive to your Wi-Fi exposure. So, it’s not like when you started wearing this ring that you mentioned, it’s not like you took another source of Wi-Fi out of your life. You did. All your Wi-Fi exposures stayed the same, and then you added this ring. It’s another source of EMF exposure in your life. So, it’s not like they’re substitutes. It is additive, it is increasing your cumulative exposure. So, in general, my approach, I’ve used– So, if you have– Okay, I’ll give you an example where this does make sense or where this can be helpful is with Wi-Fi calling. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard, have you heard of Wi-Fi calling?
Melanie Avalon: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
R Blank: Okay. Yeah. So, with Wi-Fi calling you can turn your phone into airplane mode. You can turn off the cell connection and turn on the Wi-Fi connection. And then you can still make and receive calls. And then your phone is actually emitting less EMF to you and to your environment. So, that’s an example where Wi-Fi is actually substituting for cell data, and by using it you’re actually reducing your overall exposure. With most of these things, you’re not evaluating them as substitutes. So, each new thing becomes a new source of EMF in your life, not one that’s just replacing a higher-powered source, it’s a new source and it’s increasing your cumulative exposure.
Melanie Avalon: If you had to choose between at your home environment having your phone on and having Wi-Fi off, so like normal phone, but Wi-Fi off compared to Wi-Fi on but phone off, because this is like a practical question that I would implement.
R Blank: For people who have actually gotten rid of Wi-Fi from their homes, I don’t advocate them to put it back just to support Wi-Fi calling. But most people still have Wi-Fi. So, for those people, I strongly advocate using Wi-Fi calling instead of cell data. It really is a significant difference in how much radiation your phone is emitting. Also, before I forget one of your earlier questions talked about airplane mode. I don’t think I got to that. The answer is airplane mode is very helpful. When you put a device into airplane mode, it almost entirely eliminates the EMF exposure. There’ll still be like a tiny little bit, because anything that runs on power is going to emit some, even if it’s a low power battery, it’ll emit a little bit. But really, by and large, it is such a reduction that generally I tell people it actually eliminates all of it. Because when you’re eliminating the wireless cards, the radiation from those connections, you’re basically eliminating all of the EMF from that device.
Melanie Avalon: Question about the Wi-Fi. I was asking about that because I keep the Wi-Fi off as much as I can unless I have to turn it on for something. So, I was wondering if I should be making that switch, but it sounds like not.
R Blank: No. Yeah. If you’ve made the accommodations in your life to keep Wi-Fi always off or mostly off, then keep doing that.
Melanie Avalon: I’ve hardwired, I use Ethernet for my computer. I turn it on when I’m gone because it runs my security system. I turn it on if I’m using my laptop. I should probably work on that to get a– to hardwire my laptop. Question about the Wi-Fi though, I did go in, I had to call them to do this you couldn’t do it yourself but I made it so that it just uses the 2.4 rather than the 5. Does that matter?
R Blank: Yeah. So, what you’re talking about is, so a lot of Wi-Fi routers that you’ll get from your internet provider these days, what are called dual-band, which means that they’re one router that’s designed to run two different networks. One will run a 2.4 gigahertz and one will run at 5 gigahertz. And when you’re running two networks, you’re doubling the exposure. So, it’s smart if you just turn one of them off. It’s from the sound of it, you had to call your ISP to do that.
Melanie Avalon: It was not easy to do and they were like, “Why do you want to do this?” I was like, “Please, just do it.” [laughs]
R Blank: Yeah. But for some people who maybe know how to access the admin panel on a router, for a lot of them, you can just do it yourself. But either way, I strongly advise that and probably you’re going to want to keep the 2.4 gigahertz one running and disable the 5 gigahertz because the 2.4 gigahertz– well, it depends what you want to achieve. But generally, the 2.4 gigahertz will get you better reception in more of your home.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, really?
R Blank: It travels farther.
Melanie Avalon: Oh.
R Blank: The lower the frequency, the further it will travel at the same level of power.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, harm wise like EMF harm wise.
R Blank: No. So, harm wise, yeah. The science isn’t sufficiently detailed really to be able to tell you the exact differences, but by and large what we see is there is health risk from exposure to all of these different frequencies. At different sets of frequencies, you will see different sets of health risks emerge over time. So, the health risks and the type of EMF that come from a power line, the science is showing that those over time, they accumulate those are different than some of the specific health outcomes that we’re seeing from cell phones or Wi-Fi. So, you’ll see different sorts of diseases and negative health outcomes in different areas of the spectrum, but you get these health risks from all– That’s one thing that the science is showing. There isn’t a safe frequency.
Melanie Avalon: I just assumed because it was five, it just sounded more intense and so it would be more harmful.
R Blank: Yeah, that’s not what at least not my reading of the science. I haven’t heard anyone, are you or that point. But maybe there are people that do. But that’s not my reading of the science. My reading of the science is that all of these frequencies are bioactive. There’s basically no safe level of this stuff regardless of which frequencies you’re talking about.
Melanie Avalon: Do you think there would be a benefit to switching between the 2.4 and the 5, so that you’re not having chronic exposure to one?
R Blank: I don’t know enough to answer that question.
Melanie Avalon: It’s just where my brain is going.
R Blank: I like how inquisitive your mind is, but no. Unfortunately, I do not know enough to answer that question. My intuition would be there is no benefit. Who knows?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that’ll be my intuition as well but I was just curious and I highly doubt they’re ever going to test that. So, are you familiar with Oura ring?
R Blank: No, I am not. I heard about it in your interview with Dr. Mercola. That was actually the first time I’ve heard it.
R Blank: Okay. Yeah, so, it’s a wearable, it’s to ring. I’ve had the founder on the show or the CEO on the show twice. I love it. It measures your heart rate variability, your respiration, your temperature, and your activity levels, and it syncs via Bluetooth with your phone, but you can put it into an airplane mode, where it’s not communicating with your phone, and then you turn it back on by putting it on the charger. But there are studies on it show like very, very minimal emission. I’d have to look at the actual testings, but so how concerned should I be? It brings a lot of benefits to my life. So, I know you don’t know the testing on it for what it’s emitting, but what are your thoughts on that concept?
R Blank: Yeah. So, obviously, because I don’t know the product, I can’t comment on the specific product but what the question you’re getting at is a great one, and it’s a fundamental one, and it’s what I spend my time. Because I don’t spend my time telling people, get rid of technology, stop using technology. As we started this conversation talking about, I had a 20-year career in software engineering in California. I was surrounded by tech, not just in my life, but in my entire world. And I realized there’s tremendous benefit to be had in technology. What I advocate against is, is mindless consumption of this technology. Because people are doing this without realizing the cost to their health and their health risk profile. What you’re getting at is, it’s a fundamental decision or way of approaching technology that is one that I advocate, in specific, it’s engaging in a cost benefit analysis.
You had another one earlier which I noted. When you said you turn on your Wi-Fi for your security system, which is another one where you decided that the functionality of the security system was one that you wanted and you’re willing to engage in these exposures. Maybe in that example, you’re not home so much when they’re on but even so you’re willing to have these exposures in order to enable that particular functionality without which you would lose some tangible value in your life. The same thing can be said of this ring that you’re talking about, which is, if you and you sound like an EMF issue is not a foreign issue to you, you’re aware of this, and even given that you believe the value that this ring brings to your life is such that it justifies it. I think I mean that’s entirely reasonable.
I have a cell phone, I keep it in airplane mode a tremendous amount of the time, but I run a company, when I’m out, I have to be able to be in contact with people. So, it’s not like I don’t have a cell phone even though, I think cell phones are very, very harmful from an EMF exposure perspective. What I advocate is people engage in this, they don’t just go out and go buy tech that emits EMF when they don’t need it and you see this all the time these days. You see with smart fridges. I’ve never met anyone who actually benefited from a smart fridge. They have smart kitty litter boxes, they have smart hairbrushes, they have smart, I swear, smart tampons.
Melanie Avalon: They do?
R Blank: Yeah. There’s a company out there making and selling smart tampons.
Melanie Avalon: What do they do? They say like– They say if they’re like full or something?
R Blank: [laughs] They provide some type of biometric feedback on the process. But of course, not only have women gotten away or survived just fine with regular tampons for so long, that one is in a particularly sensitive– it’s emissions in a particularly sensitive area, very close to the eggs, into the uterus, and other sensitive bits. Anyway, that’s all by way of saying, there’s a tremendous amount of stupid smart tech out there, stuff that you really just don’t need, that you’re only buying because it sounds cool, your friend bought it, or you saw great photo of it on Instagram, and your body isn’t trained, your mind isn’t trained to realize, “I don’t need that exposure.” It doesn’t add enough value. But there are plenty of exposures in life that will add enough value, you can’t go through life without increasing your health risk, just going out and driving to work is increasing your risk. So, you can’t live a life without risk and you can’t live a life in modern society without exposure to EMF. What I advocate is going through the decision-making process like you just explained with that ring. I think that was a great example for your listeners of the type of thinking. So, it’s not about swearing off technology at all, it’s about engaging mindfully deciding what tech actually brings real value to you.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. That is a refreshingly encouraging, amazing perspective. Yeah, it definitely goes into all of my decision making. I bought sort of recently a simple human trashcan, which I am obsessed with. But they have an option for like the hands free open and I was like, “Oh, I really want that but I don’t need that I can just open it myself.” [laughs] One more question about this whole topic that we’re talking about right now. A lot of my listeners and I included, have you ever worn a continuous glucose monitor or are you familiar?
R Blank: No. But one a person, I can’t remember when, it was over a year ago, but a person emailed me about this for their child. I think the child was severely diabetic and he had been prescribed, I think, it’s what you’re talking about, I’d have to go through my emails and figure it out. But I believe he was prescribed what you’re talking about and she was saying, “I’m really worried, his diabetes is very serious, he needs this, but I’m worried about the continuous exposure.” My reply to her was, “If he really needs this, that’s a great example of something that’s providing a lot of value and it clearly justifies the exposure.” So, if you’re concerned about his EMF exposure from this device, then try to make reductions elsewhere in his life. But don’t stress about this life saving technology that he is using, that is also an exposing him to EMF. I know I cut you off on your question. I apologize now for doing that. But did that answer what you were going to ask?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, historically, they’re for diabetes. So, they monitor your blood glucose levels like 24/7. But now they’re becoming available to the general public, because they’re really, really wonderful methods of seeing how your body responds to food, and diet, and exercise. So, you get a picture of your blood sugar, you wear them on your arm. So, I wear one a lot. I’m not right now but I’ve gone a few months wearing them and a lot of people and my audience have tried them. One of the questions I’ve been having with them now is, historically, they used, are you familiar with RFID technology?
R Blank: Yeah.
Melanie Avalon: So, you just would scan it to transport the information. Now, they’re moving towards Bluetooth and I actually just had a call the other day with the company that wanted to come on the show and talk to me about their program, but they’re using the CGM that only runs on Bluetooth, and I’m trying to make this decision right now. I don’t know– I don’t know cost benefit of that, like wearing a Bluetooth device on your arm for two weeks would be how long people would wear it if they’re doing it just to see how they respond to things. What are your thoughts on that RFID and then Bluetooth on your arm for two weeks?
R Blank: Yeah. So, RFID, I’m assuming it would need to be scanned, right?
Melanie Avalon: Yes.
R Blank: Yeah. So that would be almost no exposure. Bluetooth, if it’s a for a fixed period of time, it all depends on what it finds. If the data you’re going to get in that two-week period is really going to help you live a healthier life, who knows if the Bluetooth exposure is going to be– It sounds like it could be totally justifiable. If it’s really going to help you live a healthier life getting that data that makes a lot of sense to me. I try very hard not to wear any EMF emitting tech. So, I would never wear a smartwatch, or what is this new thing, Ray Bans from Facebook, I would never wear those. I wouldn’t probably wear– Oh, I certainly wouldn’t wear air pods. But what you’re talking about it’s for a fixed period of time, it’s not too long, and if you’re really going to make use of the data to live a healthier life, you can’t say in advance how much healthier that data is going to make you versus what the impact of the Bluetooth is. So, that’s just one of those things where you’re going to have to decide. Is this data going to really help me live a healthier life, am I going to actually take advantage of it? If so, if it’s just for two weeks, you know? Sure, I mean, that’s a personal decision.
Melanie Avalon: See like right now it’s at a point where some of the companies are still using RFID which is great, but I think they’re probably all moving towards Bluetooth, but I’m hoping in the future, future, they will have some airplane mode. So, I guess, we’ll just wait and see what happens with it. So, I’d love to dive into all the products that you are creating. One last question before that, you were mentioning heavy metals, and lead, and mercury. So, actual, “EMF sensitivity,” are some people more sensitive to EMFs than others and/or is it like a bucket thing where if you have a certain level of oxidative stress that matters, and/or I was asking about the heavy metals? I’ve heard that people who have heavy metal toxicity might be more reactive, so just that whole question.
R Blank: Yes. So, the answer to your question in terms of EMF sensitivity is yes. There are people who are more sensitive. There’s a condition known as electrohypersensitivity or EHS. It also goes by some other names, electromagnetic illness, some people call Wi-Fi allergies, and you can think of it like an allergic reaction to exposure to this type of radiation. So, if you and I walk into a room and we’re fine, someone with EHS might walk into that same room and experience symptoms of varying degrees of severity from uncomfortable all the way up to intolerable. They could be rashes, pains, auditory effects, complete inability to sleep, severe anxiety. It’s not a universally recognized condition, but it is recognized formally in multiple countries in the United States, it is recognized in Medicare billing codes. So, while the government doesn’t say, it’s an official condition, your doctor can actually bill Medicare for this condition.
Melanie Avalon: I did not know that.
R Blank: Yeah, a lot of people don’t know that. So, it is real condition, it’s hard to treat. But there are some places like the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, few others that have formal treatment regimens. It’s still a poorly understood condition, which means it’s also the prevalence is poorly understood, the estimates range quite widely anywhere from let’s say, 3% to 15% of the population. Some estimates have it even more. I believe that a lot of people have it without even realizing they’re having it because if you’re having anxiety, if you’re having insomnia, severe insomnia, if you’re having rashes, you might have no idea that that could be because of your EMF exposure. You might attribute it to something else. A ton of people these days have sleep disorders and anxiety disorders and so forth. So, on a conservative level, certainly a certain percentage of the population has, I believe it’s much more than that.
But what I was going to say is, I think, what we’re going to see is more and more and more people have it because as we’ve been talking about the amount of EMF in our daily environments, particularly, in urban environments, it just keeps growing every year. That means more people will be exposed at a level that hits that threshold after which they realize they’re having these symptoms. Whereas two years ago, three years ago, the EMF was lower, maybe, they weren’t at that threshold. Now, getting back to the other aspect of your question, which was susceptibility given other sensitivities, yes, my understanding is other toxicities contribute to EHS and EHS contributes to other toxicities. So, this would include, as you said, heavy metal, it would include multiple chemical sensitivity, MCS, it includes Lyme disease, these are all examples of conditions that have crossed susceptibility with EHS where those conditions make you more likely to be EHS, and EHS exacerbates those other conditions.
Melanie Avalon: That is mind blowing about the medical code. I did not know that. It’s so helpful. So, making practical changes and mitigating our exposure in our daily lives, so you’ve touched on a lot of it already, just making those conscious decisions about what you do and don’t actually need in your life that might be emitting EMFs. Like the things I’ve done the Wi-Fi, like I mentioned, I use the ear pods, which I realize you make ear pods, right?
R Blank: Air Tube headsets, yes.
Melanie Avalon: Yes. What is the converter, the H.A.R.D. converter that you have?
R Blank: Yeah. So, that’s a little bit different. The H.A.R.D. is, it’s basically a filter. Let’s actually talk about the problem first, that both products, the Air Tubes and the H.A.R.D. are designed to protect against. You should never ever hold the phone up to your head. That’s absolute universal rule. So, that means either using speakerphone or headset. Now, speakerphone isn’t always convenient if you’re out in public, you don’t want people hearing everything, if you’re trying to listen to a video or a podcast, it’s not great. So, that leaves headset. Now, using a regular headset and I mean regular like wire, not ear pods or anything like that using a regular headset is much, much, much safer than holding a phone up to your head like so much safer. I don’t want to confuse anybody about that. When given the choice, always use a headset instead of holding the phone up to your head. The issue is though, that traditional headsets, they use wire to conduct the sound from your phone or whatever device you have plugged into up to your ear. That wire can conduct some EMF. So, regular headsets while they are much, much, much safer than holding a phone up to your head, they still conduct some EMF from the phone up into your ear canal. So, anti-radiation headsets are designed to cut that radiation flow off. They don’t stop your phone from emitting EMF but they do stop that EMF from being conducted up the headset into your ear.
Air Tubes do that by not using wire. They actually convert the sound, instead of sound conducted over wire, sound conducted over air through tubes. Hence the name Air Tubes. They’re very effective. They also leave a little something to be desired when it comes to sound quality, because you’re conducting the sound over air. So, that’s where the H.A.R.D. comes in. The H.A.R.D. is an adapter. So, you plug it into your phone, or your laptop, or your Nintendo Switch, or whatever you’re using and then you plug your headphones into the H.A.R.D. And the H.A.R.D., inside of it, it has a little pack of dielectric gel, which absorbs the stray EMF and converts it into a tiny amount of heat which then dissipates. So, it’s a way of filtering the stray EMF off of the signal. So, that allows you to use standard headsets and not only doesn’t diminish the audio quality, because you’re actually filtering out the stray EMF which is a form of interference, you actually get improved sound quality. In fact, that’s– the technology was initially developed to improve sound quality not to protect against EMF, but that ended up being a byproduct.
Melanie Avalon: The headphones I have in right now are I got them on Amazon, though, they are Air Tubes. I’m going to order yours right after this. Do you make one that has the adapter for the iPhone?
R Blank: No, we do not and I get asked this question all the time nor do we make Air Tubes for the iPhone, that Apple charges a tremendous amount in hardware royalties to use the lightning adapter. The iPhone is the only product you need that for. You don’t need that for the MacBook or the iPad, because they use regular connections for those devices. It looks like Apple is going to have to abandon the lightning for iPhone anyway because yeah, the EU has passed a law to protect consumers that basically says everything has to be USBC and this just happened. So, it’s going to take some time to take impact. But it’s because just the economics, Apple makes it very, very expensive to build hardware that works with the lightning adapter and so that’s why we don’t do it.
Melanie Avalon: The European Union passed that law? Is that going to affect them for the US?
R Blank: Well, if they want standardized iPhones around the world, it will, which is probably what they’re going to do.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. So, in the meantime, if we get your Air Tubes and I use a little converter thing, is that going to add back the EMF?
R Blank: No. That’ll work with the Air Tubes. It doesn’t unfortunately work with the H.A.R.D. It works about half the– depending on the– There’re so many of these lightning adapters, and their varying quality, and about half of them don’t work with the H.A.R.D. So, we just tell people not to use the lightning adapter with the H.A.R.D. They all work with the Air Tubes.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, okay. Gotcha. Okay. That gel, do you think there’s the possibility in the future of like a lotion that you would put on that would do that for your body?
R Blank: Yeah. I wouldn’t want this gel on my body but I have thought about [chuckles] more daydreamed. We use sunblock to block UV rays and we can put on clothes to block EMF, certain EMF shielding apparel. So, why can’t we do an EMF sunblock and a product or EMF lotion? Yeah, I suspect it’s possible. I haven’t seen it done and I haven’t heard of anyone doing it.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, if you want to do a project together in the future, [laughs] I would be like so down. I’m creating my first product right now. So, I’m like in entrepreneur mode. I’m like, “Oh, all the things.” That’s amazing. So, the cell phone stuff that you have and thank you for taking the time to talk about this. I get so many questions from listeners about wanting these products. So, this is going to be so helpful for them. So, the cellphone products that you create, one of the ideas out there is that putting a case or something on your iPhone actually, I keep saying iPhone, on your phone might exacerbate the problem because then the phone has to work harder. What are your thoughts on all of that?
R Blank: All of my products and all EMF shielding products use these shielding materials that work– You can think of them like Faraday cages because they block and deflect EMF radiation. So, my phone pouch for example is made with the shielding material, my baseball cap is made with the shielding material, my boxer briefs are made with the shielding material. So, it’s an EMF shielding material. If you were to fully wrap your phone in this material, your phone would compensate– because you’re then obstructing the signal. So, your phone would compensate by boosting the power to work harder and harder to get the signal out there. So that could lead to increased exposure. It certainly would drain your battery. That’s why I don’t make any products that are designed to fully wrap your electronics, whether it’s your phone, or your tablet, or your laptop, none of my products fully wrap your device for that reason. To answer your question is, yes, what you’re talking about is possible but when a product is– when a shielding product is properly designed that should not be the result.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, and actually, I’m so glad you discussed all of that because that was one of the questions, I had like physically blocking– through these products or whatever you’re using. Physically blocking these EMFs. If we could see the EMFs in light, if they were colored and we could see them, when they hit the block, do they go around the block, do they absorb into the block?
R Blank: Yeah, they don’t go around and they don’t absorb. There are some materials that absorb, but my products don’t absorb. Because when they absorb, they convert to heat, and so it heats up. So, my products just deflect. You can think of it like a window shade blocks sunlight. My products block EMF. And what that means is they deflect and bounce in the opposite direction.
Melanie Avalon: The question I always have when I’m thinking about my phone and blocking things is, if it’s still on and it’s still receiving the signal, how is that actually protecting me? It’s hard for me to visualize like how it’s protecting me if part of the phone is covered?
R Blank: Okay. So, that’s a great question and that’s all about how it’s designed to be used. That’s why for example, I don’t make a phone case. I make a phone pouch, I also have the phone shield, and the pocket patch, and the sling bag. Those are all designed to make it safer to carry your phone. I’ll use the example of the phone pouch because that’s almost six years old now and it remains my most popular product. With the phone pouch only the back is shielded, the front is not. So, you put your phone in the pouch, and then you put the pouch in your pocket or on your belt because the back of it is shielded the side between the phone in your body, it deflects radiation away from your body, but still allows your phone to communicate. The same principle applies to all of the products under that menu on my store. So, even the sling bag, which is like a little cute little backpack, that only the back of the bag, the part that comes into contact with your back, only that part is shielded. So, that’s how it reduces your exposure to your device’s radiation, but it still allows your device to communicate.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, gotcha. That makes more sense.
R Blank: But I don’t do cases because I don’t want any product that even implies that it is ever safe to hold the phone up to your head because that’s what a lot of these phone cases are designed to do to “make it safer” to talk on your phone up to your head. I don’t believe in that use case at all. I think people shouldn’t carry their phones in their pockets either. But that is less harmful and it’s also largely unavoidable for a lot of people a lot of the time. They have to carry their phone where are they going to carry it. There’s no excuse for [laughs] talking on the phone up to your head in my opinion, which is why we don’t, that’s why we don’t make phone cases.
Melanie Avalon: I very, very rarely ever hold it up to my head. The only time would be if I’m in some sort of environment and I, for some reason don’t have my headphones and I have to do a call and the visceral response of my body like I just think it’s so bad. I like them shuttering while I’m like holding it up to my head. So, I just wish everybody could get there. Then at Christmas, one of my family members gave everybody ear pods. I was like, “Oh, no. Oh, no. Please don’t use those.” So, for women who carry their phones in their purses, there would be a benefit to putting the phone into the pouch. Okay. The clothing, do you wear EMF blocking clothing every day?
R Blank: I do. Well, every day, no. But I live in a very, very low EMF area.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, where do you live, by the way?
R Blank: [laughs] I’m just close located. SYB is based in Nevada. So, I started it in Vegas. I’ve been traveling quite a bit since COVID hit and I prefer to stay in undeveloped areas. In terms of the apparel of them, well, the boxer briefs are super, super comfortable. I love wearing those when I go into the city. I also love the neck gaiter. So, that’s like a neck tube or sometimes called a Buff. Although, that’s actually a brand name, but people call them buffs. So, it’s like this tube that you can put around your neck and because it’s just a tube, you can wear it now all these different ways. You can wear like a scarf, you can wear like a beanie, you can wear it like balaclava, it can be worn in over a dozen different ways. It’s made from this material that’s 90% silver, 10% spandex, it’s a great, I just love it. As you probably saw, I have a shaved head. So, I’m a big fan of head protection and just in general. So, I really love the neck gaiter. The newest form of apparel, I don’t have one yet, because all of the production samples were taken by other members of my team who wanted it more, but is the wristband which is designed specifically for people who use smartwatches, which is another thing, which I advocate strongly against.
But for all of these things, the best solution, I consider my products. I want your listeners to know this. My products are a backup for when the primary methods of defense don’t work, because the primary methods of defense are what the stuff we’ve been talking about, which is not buying that source– that new source of EMF or turning off your Wi-Fi at night, or keeping your phone in airplane mode when you carry it, not keeping it on. Those are all the best sources of defense. The best ways to protect yourself is to not get those exposures in the first place and to keep them as far away from you as possible when you are having them. So, all of my products are a second line of defense. So, that’s true for all EMF protection products everywhere. There’s not one EMF protection product that actually makes EMF safe, it makes certain exposures safer. That’s what they do. The things that make it safe or not having the exposure in the first place.
A good example of that is smartwatches. I hate smartwatches. I did a whole webinar just in August about how dangerous I view them and how people shouldn’t use them. But I’m also a realist and I know that people do use them, which is why I created the wristband, which is, it’ll probably be shipping by the time this episode airs.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome, awesome, awesome. Question. So, I do have an EMF canopy. I was using it for a while and then I read that if it wasn’t properly, I don’t know, if it wasn’t grounded or something that I could be making matters worse. So, then I was like, “Oh, I don’t even know. So, I took it down.” I know you sell canopies. What are your thoughts on the canopies?
R Blank: Yeah. That’s a very good question. The canopies are great. It depends what you’re trying to shield against. We also offer consulting to SYB with certified EMF specialists and this is one of the questions we get a lot in the consulting. So, Kathy, who’s our senior specialist, she spends a lot of time talking about this, I talked to her about it a lot. What it really boils down to is, if electric fields are the big source that you’re trying to shield against, then you really need to think about other solutions. But if the high exposures are coming from radio frequency and magnetic fields, generally, the lack of grounding is not increasing your exposure. All that said if you needed to ground the canopy you can with an attachment, and so it all depends on the specifics of your particular environment where you’re trying to actually add the shielding, which is a great example of why we offer consulting because you can see just by that answer it already got complicated and a little boring,
Melanie Avalon: I’m riveted. I’m thinking about my canopy.
R Blank: Yeah, because you always should be thinking, especially with something like the canopy. With a product like this, the phone pouch, or the laptop pad, or the headsets, it’s obvious what they’re protecting you against. When it comes to these larger products designed for in home protection, it really does need to be based on what you’re trying to protect against in your home. So, there’s no one size fits all type of protection for EMF. There’re so many different sources and they can interact with each other very differently and lead to– So, you really need to– if you’re trying to provide large scale in-home protection, you really need to put a little more thought, research, and effort into it, and then would normally go into just buying like I say, like a phone pouch or a laptop pad.
Melanie Avalon: With the whole canopy thing, this really speaks to what we were talking about with the invisibleness and the nebulousness. I put up the canopy, then I read that about the grounding, and the thing came with this sheet and instructions on how to ground it. So, I did all of that, but then I was like, “I just don’t know.” I was like, “I don’t know– I don’t know if this is making it worse.” So, the fact that you have this consulting, how does it work? Do they come to your house or is it like a phone call or–?
R Blank: Through SYB, it’s all through Zoom. You pick the time on the website, when you’re doing your booking you pick the time, and the Zoom room is created, and both of you show up, and you can get a recording of it, you can ask whatever questions, and get them answered. If you’re in the area where she is you could actually schedule an in-person consult, but the problem is most people aren’t. So, no, it’s all handled– it’s all handled online through Zoom.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. This is amazing. Okay, I’m so excited. Do you sell the paint?
R Blank: No.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. Do you have thoughts on the paint?
R Blank: Yeah. I was just explaining with the canopy, the same thing applies to the paint as well. Once you start getting into these larger scale home defense implementations, you really need an expert, because it’s very easy to get it wrong. And ‘A’ it’s expensive, and ‘B’ if you get it wrong you can actually increase your exposures. So, you need to work with an expert, like a certified EMF specialist from the Building Biology Institute or perhaps someone else who might be in your area to actually implement that type of scale of a shielding solution. I’m a big fan of the paint. Let me just be clear. It’s a great product. Though, the one I know of is called YSHIELD, it’s a great product, it does what it says, but it’s also very complicated to do it right. That’s why I strongly advocate people actually engage with qualified specialists before attempting to do something like that.
Melanie Avalon: I have a meter and it’s not my language. So, basically, I just walk around with it and things look like they’re bad, but I don’t really know what it means. How do you feel about people using EMF meters and testing things?
R Blank: Wow, thank you for asking this. I am a huge advocate for people doing that. As a starting point, you need to start with a decent meter. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a professional grade meter, but you can’t get these $30 meters off of Amazon and think they’re going to do you any good. So, the meters I recommend start at about $160. That would include like the TriField TF2, and the Cornet ED88T, and a handful of others. So, I actually have a guide. It’s available for free on my site. It’s a shieldyourbody.com/test and it is a really good guide. So, it recommends several meters, so people can choose which one looks like it’s right for them. Functionality price point, maybe if they could get it delivered more quickly whatever it is. I don’t make any commission. I don’t make meters. So, I just recommend ones that I think are good, and then I have a whole bunch of tips.
Well, before that, I actually explained like you said, it’s all, I forget the word you use but effectively, it’s gibberish. So, I have a whole bunch of pages that explain what these units are and what they’re measuring. Then, I have a bunch of pages that have how to do it and tips to do right and to get good readings. It’s a great guide, it’s now in its sixth edition, like I say, it’s free to download on my site. I’m actually excited to talk because I’ve been doing that eBook, that guide, I’ve been doing that for years. It gets better every year, but I’ve been doing that for years. I’ve actually just last month launched something and this is actually the first time I’m talking about it on a podcaster or anywhere off of my YouTube channel really, that is called the SYB EMF Health Effects app. So, when you go to my site, you’ll see it up in the nav, Health Effects app. This is meant to help plug a gap. So, I’m a big advocate of learning how to test, I understand also that these readings can just be very confusing, and you can look at it and compare it against a chart and say, “How does this compare to what so and so.”
The Building Biology Institute says, it is a high exposure or a safe exposure, whatever it might be. But that’s about all most people can get out of this. Now, people like me come on podcasts like this and tell people like you, Melanie like there’s so much science, there’s so much science showing that this stuff is harmful, that this stuff is bioactive, but there’s a real disconnect between what you’re seeing on the meter and actually understanding how that relates to the science. So, what we did is we created this app, has about thousand studies in it so far, and you can go to this app, and you can enter a reading from your meter, and then it will show you a bunch of high-quality published peer reviewed science showing health effects at or below the level that you’ve entered into the app. So, it’s actually a way of connecting, the reading you’re getting off of your meter in your home, or your office, or your kid’s school, or wherever you’re doing it, and seeing what actual science says happens at those levels of exposure.
Melanie Avalon: That is fantastic. Congratulations. When did you launch that app?
R Blank: September 22nd. We celebrate a holiday here at SYB called EMF Radiation Safety Day. A lot of years we’ll have a big sale or we’ll do a contest. This year the big reveal was this app. That was the big celebration for– I guess, we’re a little bit dorky about EMF, but the big celebration was releasing this app. So, that was just a couple of weeks ago.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, that’s incredible. I am sharing that with my audience ASAP. That’s so exciting. The guide that you’ve mentioned, super grateful. So, we have a link for listeners. You can go to shieldyourbody.com/melanieavalon, that is the link to the guide you’re talking about, right?
R Blank: Yeah. We can add it to that page. We have a lot of guides.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, this is good to clarify. Okay.
R Blank: Yeah. No, no, that guy is a great guy, too. So, that one is about the five best ways that you can cut your EMF exposure right away without buying anything. So, that includes things like not carrying your phone in your pocket. But it’s not just those five things, it also explains why those five things are the most important things that you can be doing in your life to reduce your exposure. So, that’s the guide that I would strongly encourage people to get at shieldyourbody.com/melanieavalon.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, so, that guide and then the guide you’re speaking about is on your website as well. So, we can put a link to it.
R Blank: Yeah, please do. Yeah, let’s do that. I’ll send you a direct link to it after this too so you can see for yourself. If you have a meter, I think you’re really going to like the guide.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So, I pulled out the meter. The one I have is GQ EMF-390. Does that ring a bell?
R Blank: It does.
Melanie Avalon: It was in that price point-ish.
R Blank: It is not one of the meters that I recommend. It has an impressive feature set for the price point for sure.
Melanie Avalon: I’m very excited to get your guide because I realized I just don’t have that knowledge or information about how to use it. So, I’ve been using it very casually. [giggles] I’m very excited to get your guide about it. Then also super, super grateful, so if listeners would like to get their own products from Shield Your Body, which I’m pretty sure they will want to I’m going to go stock up right after this. You can use the coupon code MELANIEAVALON, and that will get you 15% off. So, thank you so, so much. I’m just thrilled about that. This has been absolutely amazing. I have one more last question. It’s a product but it’s not one of your products. Have you heard of Somavedic?
R Blank: I have heard of it but I can’t recall specifically what it is. I’ve definitely heard the name.
Melanie Avalon: it’s this glass housing that has semi-precious and precious stones on the inside and they say that it mitigates EMF and they have literature on the website. One is published in a journal, the other three are studies that aren’t published in a journal, but they were assuming they’re accurate, they’re pretty impressive. So, they sent me one and I was like a little bit skeptical. But the difference I started seeing on my Oura ring scores which shows the heart rate variability in the sleep was shocking. I don’t know. It really seemed to make a difference. So, I bought another one for my bedroom as well. But I’m just curious if you have thoughts on this idea of stones and then the interesting thing, they say about it is, they say that it takes like a few weeks to reach maximum potency. So, I’m confused about like, “What is it doing to take time to change the environment?” Do you have any thoughts if this is like out of your field?
R Blank: Well, in general, I try not to comment on specific companies anyway except my own. But I will say in general terms, I know people who have tried products like this and some report tremendous success, others report no impact, some report tremendous success, but then build up a tolerance over time, and then it doesn’t work as well. So, my opinion with any of this stuff where the mechanisms aren’t clear, maybe the supporting evidence isn’t entirely clear is, if you want to try it, try it. If it works for you, keep using it. That is my approach. Because I get questions a lot about brand names aside about Orgonite and Shungite and other certain stones and gems. My answer is the same, which is especially if you’ve tried other things and those haven’t worked, and you are kind of desperate for some relief, try it and if it works for you, keep on using it, and if not, stop.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, awesome. Like I said, it’s very pricey and they sent me one, which was amazing, but I was very skeptical. But I don’t know. The effects I saw, I was like, “Oh, okay,” so then I went and read what they had written and then I bought another one as well. But okay, I like that approach. Well, thank you. This has been amazing. We’ve covered so much. Was there anything else you want to draw attention to that we didn’t touch on?
R Blank: No. This has been a fantastic. [laughs] I don’t think I’ve ever been interviewed by someone who enjoyed it quite as much as you did. So, that was a real kick for me. I really appreciate your enthusiasm for this topic, the detail with which you kind of approached your questions. This was great. I really appreciate it. I hope your listeners really appreciate the effort that you’ve put into this. This is great, thank you.
Melanie Avalon: No, they’re going to love it. Normally, when I record the interviews, it’s pretty far out that we air it, but I’m going to try to bump this one up because this is just– I just want to get this information out there and this was absolutely incredible. I’m just so, so grateful for what you’re doing and that’s perfect because the last question that I ask every guest on this show relates to all of that, and it is, what is something that you’re grateful for?
R Blank: Well, right now given that it’s 2021 and especially everything that happened last year and even this year, I am just very grateful to have a stable life, stable home, a stable business, and a loving relationship that’s the kind of over– overwhelming sense of just gratitude, just things being nice and normal. I know that might be a boring response to that question but right now that’s a lot of the gratitude that I’m feeling these days.
Melanie Avalon: It’s not boring at all. I think it’s absolutely wonderful and again like I said so grateful for everything that you’re doing. Again, for listeners the code MELANIEAVALON will get you 15% off sitewide at Shield Your Body. This has been absolutely amazing. I look forward to all of your future products and developments, and hopefully we can talk more in the future.
R Blank: Excellent. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it, Melanie.
Melanie Avalon: All right, thanks, R., bye.
R Blank: Bye.