BodyEditors’ pick

Are Electronics Making Us Sick?

How EMF Damages Biology

“white microscope on top of black table” by Ousa Chea on Unsplash

You may think it’s all fine and dandy understanding that all these electrical fields exist, but so what? No one has ever told you these things actually affect you, and so far, I haven’t actually given you any evidence. Wouldn’t you have heard about it by now?

Well, first of all, there has been a problem of research sources over the course of history. I won’t get too in depth on it, but basically, many of the studies on how EMFs affect our health have been funded by telecom companies who have a vested interest. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the data is all bad, but there is a stark contrast between the results of telecom funded research and independent research.

As reported in the book Overpowered by Martin Blank PhD, Some 27% of telecom funded research found implications on health due to EMFs, whereas 68% of independently researched studies found links between EMFs and health.

Furthermore, there are also many cases of researchers having getting fired (having their funding pulled) as soon as they were going to publish information that linked EMFs and negative health effects. Some examples of this include:

Allen Frey: 60’s researcher hired by General Electric. Demonstrated clearly that cell phone radiation can open up the blood brain barrier. Research work related to this topic was shut down after these findings.

George Carlo: Dr. Carlo is a strong advocate for continued research due to the dangers of EMF technology. However, he was originally hired as the head of $28.5 million dollar research program funded by the cell phone industry from 1993 to 1999. From 1999 onward he began to be discredited by the same industry.

So with this in mind, that research has been in some ways biased or stifled, what data do we have that implies that electronics could be dangerous?

DNA Damage and Voltage Gated Calcium Channels

One of the arguments against EMFs causing damage is that they are not a form of ionizing radiation (think x-rays, or Chernobyl) which damage DNA by breaking it as they pass through the body. However, EMFs do damage our DNA, and it appears that it is not a direct process.

A study in 2005 from the medical University of Vienna displayed breaks in the DNA and RNA of human fibroblasts due to exposure from 1800MHz cell phone radiation. There was no heat generated, leading researchers to believe that the DNA breaks were a downstream effect of other mechanisms affected by the cell phone.

This study was confirmed in 2009 by Blank and Goodman, as well as 10 other papers. Further, this effect seems to be 10 times greater in 3G phones compared to the old 2G networks, and it is likely that 4G and LTE compound this even further.

Dr. Martin Pall believes he may understand a prime mechanism behind the damage that EMFs cause to our cells. Within our cell membranes are Voltage Gated Calcium Channels (VGCC) which open and allow calcium into the cell in response to low electromagnetic frequencies (think 3hz.)

Low levels of EMFs can keep your VGCCs open for hours after exposure, and this excess calcium is incredibly damaging to the body. It’s complicated biology stuff, but this calcium is a form of highly reactive molecule known as a free radical. In particular, this calcium free radical can cause damage that is linked to Autism, DNA damage, cancer, you name it.

Here’s an interesting thing, the cells in our heart muscle have a high abundance of these calcium channels. Calcium blocker drugs, aka beta-blockers, are incredibly effective at treating heart rhythm problems. They have been proven to block the flow of calcium from our VGCCs. Could it be that EMF exposure is the culprit in the first place?

Pall has contributed dozens of studies on this subject in the last decade, but one in particular has been recognized as one of the top medical publications of 2013. You can also view his presentation in Oslo for an in-depth on the subject.

EMFs open up the blood brain barrier

Remember Allen Frey? The researcher mentioned earlier whose work was stopped for linking EMF exposure to causing leaks in the blood brain barrier? Well, here’s what that actually means.

Your blood brain barrier is a membrane responsible for keeping toxins and inflammatory compounds out of your brain. Pretty simple huh? Problems with the blood brain barrier have been linked to all manner of disease, and there are many potential causes. From food toxins to pesticides, there are many ways the blood brain barrier gets damaged.

Turns out that EMFs are one of them.

In Allen Frey’s experiments, he first injected fluorescent dye into the bodies of rats. Within some time, the fluorescent dye had spread to every part of the rats body except the brains, which is normal. Then he performed the same experiment on rats who had been exposed to 1.9GHz of radiation (similar to that of a cell phone) for two hours. Sure enough, the fluorescent dye had leaked into the brain, and as the story goes, Frey’s funding was pulled for coming to these conclusions.

I hope this has been enough to convince you that we should be at least concerned. For a more in depth guide, including more researched effects of EMFs including the negative effects on plants and animals, blood brain barrier problems, and the way EMFs negatively impact sleep, I strongly suggest buying the ebook The Non-tinfoil Hat Guide to EMF by Nic Pineault

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