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Debunking EMF Misconceptions: The Six Most Common Ones

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There are thousands of research studies available demonstrating EMF’s biological effects. But many people are either unaware of them, don’t believe in those findings, or simply choose to believe what the mainstream media says. This has ignited many misconceptions around EMF, and there are two very related reasons for this.

First, science is complex. Most people have difficulty understanding the language researchers use in their papers. And even if they can chew the language, most research studies are hidden behind massive paywalls.

Secondly, this directly benefits the telecom companies or any company in the wireless business. Because if people don’t have easy access to science, companies can create their own science in a language that you and I can understand – science that favors them heavily.

And these aren’t just my thoughts. Companies have been suppressing EMF studies for decades and replacing them with their own versions. I’ve written all about it in my series, “The Business of EMF Science.” So, check it out.  

At SYB, we aim to bridge the gap between genuine but complex science and the general population. So, with that mission in mind, I’m writing this post to address the six most common misconceptions people have regarding EMF.

So, let’s begin.

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What is EMF?

EMF stands for electromagnetic field, a combined force of electricity and magnetism. What does that mean?

See, all things contain atoms made of positively charged protons, neutral neutrons, and negatively charged electrons. An atom continuously gains and loses electrons, and that’s how electricity happens.

Now, when this electricity flows in a circuit, for example, in the electrical wiring in your home, it creates magnetic fields.

And the magnetic field created as a result of electricity’s flow is called an electromagnetic field, or EMF.

So, in simple words, EMF is a type of energy that forms from the combination of electricity and magnetism. Watch this video on the SYB YouTube channel for more information.

Today, many kinds of EMF surround us. Some are natural, and some are human-made. And they both have their own significance. Have a look.

Understanding the Electromagnetic Spectrum

This is the electromagnetic spectrum showcasing all types of EMFs in our environment. 

Now, some of these EMFs are natural. And some are human-made. For example, the UV rays and visible lights from the sun are natural and have been here for millennia. On the other hand, radio and microwave EMFs weren’t present in our environment until the late 1800s.

But natural vs. human-made is just one way to classify EMFs. The more important one is the classification of ionizing and non-ionizing EMFs.

X-rays, gamma rays, nuclear rays, and similar extremely high-powered radiation are classified in the ionizing range. They’re so powerful that they can knock electrons off your atoms (i.e., they can ‘ionize’ the atoms in your body). These ionizing forms of EMF are universally regarded as dangerous, even at very, very low doses.

Non-ionizing EMFs, on the other hand, are milder and don’t have as immediate an effect on the human body as ionizing EMFs. They sit on the lower end of the electromagnetic spectrum, and they’re a significant part of our everyday lives through our gadgets, appliances, and network infrastructures. 

But this doesn’t mean non-ionizing EMFs aren’t harmful. For two reasons:

  1. At certain levels of power, even non-ionizing EMF can heat and burn tissue. This is, in fact, exactly how a microwave over works. So, at certain levels of power, even non-ionizing EMF is universally regarded as dangerous.
  2. Now, more importantly (and, in some circles, controversially), research studies say prolonged exposure to even milder, lower-powered exposures of human-made EMFs can cause health problems ranging from minor sleep disorders to chronic diseases like cancer. You can check out my “EMF Health Effects” page for more information on this one.

The Misconceptions

Now, since, at lower levels of power, the EMFs in the non-ionizing range don’t have immediate effects, it’s easier for wireless companies to tell you that they don’t have an effect at all – even if thousands of studies say they do.

And this is what has given birth to many of the misconceptions about EMF. Let’s have a look at some of them.

1. EMF Is Natural, Therefore It Is Safe

As I already mentioned, there are two types of EMFs: ones that we naturally find in our environment – that have existed on earth for billions of years – and ones that humans create, what we refer to as “human-made” EMFs.

Since the combination of electricity and magnetism has been ever present on earth, it’s easy to think that the EMF radiation we’re heavily exposed to today is completely natural and isn’t harmful.  

But that’s not actually the case. The kind of EMF we’re exposed to daily isn’t natural.

And exposure to such human-made EMFs isn’t good for our health, as evolution hasn’t designed our bodies to face the type and levels of EMFs we face today.

See this image where the Department of Commerce in Washington D.C. visualized the amount of WiFi EMF in our surroundings.

The way these colors fill the image demonstrates how non-ionizing radiation is, quite literally, flooding the environment. And bear in mind that this data is just from WiFi emissions. Imagine how it would look if we added mobile networks, Bluetooth, and electric fields that come from power lines and our in-house electrical wiring.

To use an example, water is natural. And the right amount of water is not only healthy, but actually vital for life. But while a little bit of water is healthy, too much water is harmful. If you drink too much, you can die. If you suddenly find yourself living under water, you won’t just instantly evolve gills – instead, you will drown.

Experts say that the amount of ambient EMF radiation in today’s cities is on the order of 1,000,000,000,000 (that’s one trillion) times greater than those found in nature.

So, the point is, the level of EMF we’re exposed to today, and the EMF itself, isn’t natural – at least for our bodies. It’s a product designed for human convenience, and it’s harming us. We are metaphorically drowning in a sea of human-made EMF that is very much unnatural.

Why do Insurance Authorities Classify 5G As High Risk?

The Portland Oregon Public School’s Genesis Insurance states,

“Exclusions: This insurance does not apply to: Bodily injury, personal injury, advertising injury, or property damage arising directly or indirectly out of, resulting from, caused or contributed to by electromagnetic radiation, provided that such loss, cost, or expense results from or is contributed to by the hazardous properties of electromagnetic radiation.” (Emphasis added.)

The Verizon Total Mobile Protection insurance defines non-ionizing radiation as pollution. Here’s what it says.

“This insurance does not apply to loss or damage identified in any of the following or directly or indirectly caused by or resulting from any of the following:

The discharge, dispersal, seepage, migration or escape of pollution. Pollution means any solid, liquid, gaseous, or thermal irritant or contaminant, including smoke, vapor, soot, fumes, acid, alkalis, chemicals, artificially produced electric fields, magnetic field, electromagnetic field, sound waves, microwaves, and all artificially produced ionizing or non-ionizing radiation and/or waste. Waste includes materials to be recycled, reconditioned, or reclaimed.” (Emphasis added.)

Crown Castle, a telecommunications company, warned their shareholders in their 2020 10-K tax filing, saying:

“If radio frequency emissions from wireless handsets or equipment on our communications infrastructure are demonstrated to cause negative health effects, potential future claims could adversely affect our operations, costs, or revenues.”

So, Why The Self-Contradiction?

On the one hand, wireless companies say that the non-ionizing radiation their networks produce is completely safe, but on the other hand, they say it’s pollution, they warn their shareholders about the dangers of non-ionizing EMF. So, why the self-contradiction?

Are these companies deliberately choosing to withhold this information from the public and only letting the inside people know?

Well, yes. And we’ve written an entire series about this. The series is entitled “The Business of EMF Science,” and it exposes the inner workings of the wireless industry and the industries associated with it. It’s available for free on the SYB website. Just click the button below to start reading.

2. EMF Energy Vs. Power

The terms “energy” and “power” are often used interchangeably when people discuss EMF, and this is a mistake as these two terms mean different things.

Energy is about frequency. See, EMF exists at different frequencies. That’s what differentiates a 2.4GHz WiFi router from a 5 GHz WiFi router – the first operates at a frequency of 2.4GHz (or gigahertz) whereas the second operates at a frequency of 5 gigahertz. Because they are using different frequencies, they are different forms of energy.

So how is power different?

When your cell phone has fewer bars, it will boost the power of its transmission signal to work to establish a connection. It won’t change the type of EMF it is using to communicate; it will change how much of the EMF it is using to communicate.

In other words: Power is how much EMF you’re talking about, and energy is what kind of EMF you’re talking about.

Power is how much EMF you’re talking about, and energy is what kind of EMF you’re talking about.

So, yes. Even though your cell phone emits less energy, the power it has is devastating for human health.

3. EMF Is Non-Ionizing, So It’s Safe

This is an argument we repeatedly hear from wireless companies – EMF that your gadgets and appliances emit is non-ionizing, so it’s completely safe.

And the last part of this sentence couldn’t be further from the truth. As mentioned above, there are thousands of high-quality, peer-reviewed research studies that have linked prolonged exposure to non-ionizing EMFs with health problems ranging from minor sleep disorders to chronic diseases like cancer.

You can learn about them on my “EMF Health Effects” page.

4. A Lot of Science Says This Stuff Is Safe

Science is almost never NOT divided. That’s how the scientific world works.

This is why there are concepts of replicating studies, peer reviews, and other studies on the same subject. If there are huge numbers of studies saying that EMF is harmful, there are also a ton of studies saying it’s not. So, who do you believe?

To make this decision, we have to dive deep into the history of EMF science. See, anyone can fund a study. And if you even make minor adjustments to the experiment, you can get your desired result without lying. And that’s what the wireless industry has been doing for a long time.

They’ve funded scientists that write in their favor, and defunded and discredited scientists who have written against their interest. And this has been going on for decades. I’ve written all about it in my new series, “The Business of EMF Science.” So, check it out for more clarification on who and what to believe when it comes to EMF.

5. There’s No ‘Definitive Proof’ That EMF Is Harmful

“Proof” isn’t defined the same way in the scientific world as it is for the general population.

For us, common people, proof is often governed by logic. For instance, how do you prove that you’re mortal?

  • Thought stage one: All humans are mortal
  • Thought stage two: I am a human
  • Thought stage three: Therefore, I must be a mortal

Assuming the first two thought stages are correct, you conclusively prove that you’re mortal. But it doesn’t work the same way in science.

If you’re a scientist trying to prove a theory that humans are mortal, you have to first come up with the hypothesis that humans are mortal.

evidence in EMF science

Now, assuming no ethical consequences, you design an experiment with a sample of humans, you see them day by day, analyze their bodies, and once all of them have died, you’ll publish a paper saying that humans are mortal.

But even though you have seen those people die, you haven’t really proved that humans are mortal. What if your experiment conditions forced the humans to die? What if there were some other factors?

So, other scientists pick up the case and repeat the experiment to verify your result to see if it matches theirs. This process can go on for generations until you and the other scientists reach a general consensus. After decades of thought and experiments, you could even reach the conclusion that humans are not actually mortal, and that what we eat is causing us to die.

Proof in EMF Science

Although this is just a hypothetical example, we have several real ones where the entire scientific community believed one thing, and it turned out to be another.

One such example is the thought that the universe is static. Scientists like Albert Einstein supported that theory. But after Edwin Hubble’s discovery, we now know that the universe is constantly expanding.

Science can only ever say that a certain thing is probable after years of thoughts, experiments, and replicating those experiments. It’s almost never a simple yes or no.

So, what I mean to say is that proof in science is an ongoing process. Given the observable facts, it reflects the best information available at the moment.

In EMF’s case, though we can’t “prove” whether it causes chronic illnesses like cancer, we can certainly make an educated guess based on research studies we have at the moment.

6. Bluetooth Earbuds and Fitness Trackers Emit Too Low EMF to be Hazardous

I’ve heard this a lot. Small wearable devices with an effective range of 3-10 ft don’t emit powerful levels of EMF. And I agree with that. But what I don’t agree with is the notion that they aren’t harmful.

Most fitness trackers and modern headphones use Bluetooth to wirelessly connect with smartphones. And Bluetooth uses radiofrequency EMF, which makes your device a new source of EMF exposure.

One might say that these devices don’t emit as much EMF as a cell phone or laptop because of their insignificant size, and I’d agree with them. But the most significant risk with them isn’t the volume of EMF but the minimal distance and prolonged usage of these wearables – as the accumulated dose of EMF becomes large enough to trigger biological effects in your body.

EMF Safety Is in Your Hands

See, there are a lot of things that can make you question or even disbelief what scientists and people like us are saying about EMF. And even if you don’t believe it, that’s ok. But what’s the harm in being on the safer side?

You just have to do a few things differently, which will not even cost you a penny. Read my post, “What is the Best EMF Protection? Hint: It’s Free. And You Can Start Right Now,” for more information.

Your and your loved ones’ safety is in your hands. And you don’t want to discover 30 years later that EMF was actually harmful when it has already done the damage.

Check out my free page, “SYB’s Healthy Living Tips,” to learn everything you can do to start protecting yourself and your loved ones from harmful EMFs today.

Where do you carry your phone?

Want to Slash Your EMF Health Risks?

Good! Learn the one small change you should make right now.

Want to learn more about EMF?

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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.

Have a Question?

I take pride in designing great, effective products, based on real, measurable science – AND taking the time to ensure that each and every one of you has the information you need to understand EMF and make informed decisions.

So if you have a question, just email me and ask.

R Blank

R Blank