Wearable Tech & EMFs – Is the convenience worth the potential EMF Radiation risk?

Healthy Living

Know the risks of EMF Radiation Exposure and what you can do to mitigate it.

What is EMF?

Generally speaking, EMF stands for ‘electromagnetic fields’ (ie. the combination of electricity and magnetism). It’s also known as electromagnetic radiation (EMF radiation), or ‘EMR’. EMF and EMR are technically interchangeable, with a notable distinction that EMR is a range of frequencies based on size of wave length that have known adverse biological effects.

EMF is a type of energy that exists in various forms all around us. There are natural forms of EMF, like sunlight and there are artificial forms, like WiFi, Smart Phones & Microwave Ovens. Here are the 4 types of EMF’s:

  1. AC Electric Fields created by voltage within 60 Hz (50 Hz in Europe) unshielded electrical wiring, plastic AC electrical cords, and electrical devices. The higher the voltage, the higher the electrical field.
  2. AC Magnetic Fields are present when there is electrical current running through a wire, metal, an appliance or the ground. Common sources include power lines, home appliances, home wiring, wiring errors (i.e. Neutral to Neutral, Neutral to Ground), and electrical current running on metal water pipes or the home’s grounding system.
  3. Radiofrequency radiation is technically pulse-modulated microwave radiation. RF radiation is emitted from Wi-Fi routers, wireless enabled devices, gaming consoles, cell towers, Bluetooth devices, smart gadgets, smart meters, and more. (We will be focusing on the later and their effects on the human body: EMF radiation.)
  4. Harmonics (commonly referred to as “dirty electricity”): These are frequencies other than the standard 50 Hz/60 Hz cycle generated by things like solar inverters, dimmer switches, florescent lighting, solar inverters, variable speed motors, new electronic systems with switch mode power supplies (SMPS), and other sources. These higher-frequency electrical fields conduct along the home’s wiring system and radiate into the living environment, causing a great deal of electromagnetic interference (EMI) in the home.

 

EMF Wearable History

Wearable tech has been around for a few decades now. I’m old enough to remember having a beeper that I clipped to my oversized jeans back in the 90’s. Did it actually work? No, of course not. I just thought it was cool. Then came the CD Walkman’s that you could strap to your arm with the “anti-skip protection” for your runs. Those were the good old days. Devices with the capability to house massive amounts of radiation were limited to places like NASA and JPL.

Then with the release of the iPod, the entire game changed. You could now take hundreds of songs with you, strap it to your arm and go run a hundred miles before you listened to them all. Like most, I was highly intrigued by this new tech, which seemingly made me a shoe-in for the coming ability to track EVERYTHING and anything I could. Data was the answer to everyone’s fitness problems, right?

 I was sure that if I knew I was getting 10k steps per day, logging all of my food, water and activity, that I would therefore be “on top” of my health.

I was always interested in what all this “tracking” could do, but I never got to the point of being part of the “Quantified Self” movement. According to Wikipedia (the most trusted source ever, and you’re anti-science if you say otherwise, smh), states “the quantified self refers both to the cultural phenomenon of self-tracking with technology and to a community of users and makers of self-tracking tools who share an interest in ‘self-knowledge through numbers’“.

With the advent of the Apple Watch and others from about 2015 on, this explosion of data avail to the Quantified Self evangelists, was mouth watering. Not only could you track your sleep (REM cycles, etc) but people with certain health issues could keep track of their status in near real time. Praise be to the modern technology gods.

This all sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Monitor your heart rate, track your run (calories burned), log your food and water to know that you’re hitting your macros, know the status of your blood sugar without a pin prick or know exactly how you’re sleeping on a nightly basis. (Hmmm…I wonder where all of that data is stored and who has access to all of this personal health information and if it’s kept HIPPA secure? Pshhhh silly me, I’m sure Big Tech keeps it all secure and doesn’t sell it for their benefit).

But what could some of the health impacts be from wearing these devices that emit quite large amounts of EMF (Electromagnetic Field) and EMR (Electromagnetic Radiation) and need a 24/7 connection to a cellular tower, Wi-Fi (more EMF) or another device close by in order to provide all of this wonderful data for our analysis?

EMF Radiation Levels

Well let’s first look at what a safe level of EMF exposure has been shown to be. EMF is typically measured in microWatts per square meter (µW/m²). According to Safe Living Technologies Inc.

The well established guidelines for EMF exposure from things like cellphones, Apple Watches, etc…is between 0.1 – 10 (µW/m²).

The scary part is that most Apple Watches, when put next to an EMF meter can register in the hundreds to thousands of microWatts per square meter (µW/m²). Imagine the amount of radiation you’re being exposed to on a daily basis by having this technology on your wrist?

The thing to remember about exposure to EMF’s is the cumulative effect. If you’re like most people these days, you are surrounded by EMF’s constantly and may not even know it. Wi-Fi, Smart Meters, Smart Appliances, Cell Phones, etc…are all around us, ALL THE TIME. You can’t get away from them, unless you become very conscious about your surroundings and become hyper vigilant about what you exposure yourself to, and for how long.

The cumulative nature of exposure is what has caused many people to develop severe symptoms and raise awareness about Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity or “EHS”. A condition that effects about 10% of the population (that we know of). Which is ever more interesting when you have a Swedish scientists stating that we are now exposed to 1 Quintillion times (yea, that’s 18 zeros….) more Radio Frequency (RF) energy that we were ten (10) years ago! Yay technology? Yay Elon Musk and his Star Link program ready to beam 5G (5th generation wireless technology, which ranges between 24-100 GHz and has never been tested on humans) down to every corner of planet earth?

What is EHS? (from Safe Living Technologies)

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), sometimes referred to as Electrical Sensitivity (ES) or Microwave Sickness, is a condition in which a person experiences adverse health effects and loss of homeostasis in the presence of man-made electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

Some of the symptoms associated with prolonged exposure to EMF’s can include the following:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Feeling stressed or “wired”
  • Trouble sleeping through the night
  • Tingling skin sensations
  • Buzzing or static feeling in the brain
  • Ringing ears
  • Unexplained rashes or hives
  • Body pain
  • Weakened immunity
  • Hormonal imbalances that don’t respond to treatment

 

EMF Radiation Research

Over the past few decades, there has been extensive research done on the effects that EMF’s can have on the human body.

In fact, there are over 3000 peer reviewed scientific articles that have been compiled by Bioinitiative.org that conclusively and definitively show that radio frequency (RF) radiation causes biological harm. Most notably by Dr. George Carlo from as early as 1993 that resulted in findings of genetic damage to human blood. This and other research from around the world led the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO) to classify RF Exposure as a “Group 2B Possible Carcinogen”.

So then, are you sure you want to continue wearing that handy dandy tiny nuclear accelerator on your wrist? I mean to each their own, but is all of that ‘data’ worth the risk of constant exposure to radiation? If you’re willing to take the risk, that is certainly a choice that you are welcome to make and I will always support your choice to do what you think is right for your health, no matter what the topic.

But if you’ve read this far and you’re now thinking what can you do to limit my exposure to EMF? Or maybe your symptoms all make sense now and you’re thinking you could be part of that 10% of the population with EHS? Either way, you’re ready to know what options there are to reduce your exposure from this constant radiation. (You can start with Our Favorites Page on the RHMC website for EMF protection options from some of our favorite companies in the field, including some great discounts.) The list is LONG and comprehensive, which can be overwhelming, but let’s take a look what Dr ACE and I do in our lives to help mitigate our exposure both in and outside of our home. Then you can start with the easier ones first and work your way up the difficulty ladder.

Below is a list of what Dr ACE and I (Coach Dave) do in our home and in our lives to reduce exposure. Keep in mind, anything you can do will help, but if you’ve become used to the convenience of technology, some of these items might seem way over the top at first, so you’ll have to decide how much you’re willing to do to start:

In Home:

  • Wi-Fi free zone: That’s right, we do not have Wi-Fi in our home. We have chosen to hardwire everything. We have Ethernet drops throughout the home in strategic locations, so that where we use our technology is limited to a few places. Prior to removing Wi-Fi from the home, we would actually turn it off at night so that we weren’t being exposed to it while we sleep.
  • EMF Shielding Exterior Paint: In order to block the radiation signals coming from our neighbors, we have painted certain areas of the exterior of our home with EMF shielding paint that contains a graphite composite that blocks over 90% of EMF’s.
  • EMF Shielding Window Film: Same as the paint, but for windows, as windows allow much more EMF’s to pass through.
  • No Smart Devices Policy: We keep all of our appliances “dumb” for the simple fact that it’s the smart thing to do (based on our research) for a healthy home. This obviously extends to wearables and such like the Apple Watch, et al.
  • Phones On Airplane Mode: While inside the house, we keep our phones on Airplane mode as much as possible and if we want to check something, we use an ethernet cable and connect the phone. Yes, it’s certainly not as convenient, but the added step is worth it to us and our health.
  • EMF Kill Switch: We installed a kill switch that cuts the electrical power certain outlets in our house while we sleep. This helps to mitigate any electrical fields or frequencies from pulsing though our bodies while we recover from the day. Of course, our essentials still have power to them (fridge, freezer, laundry, dishwasher, etc…). This also helps us save a TON of on energy cost and reduces our monthly electrical usage and bill. Not to mention that we have solar panels installed above the garage (don’t put them over any living areas if possible due to the electrical fields produced from them) which also help us reduce our need for grid power.
  • Faraday Bags & Cages: We do have an Apple TV (hardwired), but due to the massive amount of EMF produced from it, we have placed it inside a faraday bag that reduces about 90% of its emissions. This does not effect the remote’s ability to control the unit. The remote itself produces A TON of radiation while you’re using it, so use it sparingly where possible. We also have placed a faraday cage (SmartMeter Guard link) around the SmartMeter to reduce the EMF that it produces. You can also ask your untility company to “opt-out” of using a SmartMeter, but there is a small upcharge for doing so.

Outside of the Home:

  • Phones On Airplane Mode in the Car, Pocket & Enclosed Rooms: Our habits have changed over the years, and not to say that the old ones didn’t put up a fight. If our phones are in our pockets or near our body, the phone go on Airplane mode. As much as possible, we keep them on Airplane mode while driving in the car. iTunes still works on airplane mode, just make sure you have music downloaded to your phone and not only in iCloud
  • Regenerate Health Medical Center is a Wi-Fi Free Zone: We have taken steps over the past year or so to hardwire EVERYTHING at our medical office (Laptops, Desktops, Sonos speakers, Printers, Phones….everything). Since we are seeing more and more patients come in with EHS or complain about symptoms related to EHS, we have made these changes, not only due to our investigation, but also for the benefit of those with existing sensitivities.
  • No Wireless Headphones / Wearables: This one should go without explanation based on the content of this article, but just the same, we choose not to expose our bodies to a constant does of radiation on a daily basis by placing it in contact with our skin.

While this may seem like a lot, the things that we do are only just scratching the surface of what you COULD do to mitigate your exposure on a daily basis. How much you’re willing to change is up to you in the end.

To make it easier, below is a list of five (5) things you can do today that will get you started on the path to reducing your exposure:

  • If you can’t live without the convenience of Wi-Fi, the next best step would be to plug your router into a timer so that it shuts off for the time you’ll be sleeping. This at least give your body a break form the constant EMF frequencies beaming through your home.

 

  • Turn your phone on airplane mode at night before bed and plug it in as far as way from you as you can. Better yet, just turn your phone off at night, believe it or not, it still emits when on airplane mode (think, location services). Battery powered alarm clocks are cheap.
  • Remove ALL technology from your bedroom OR just unplug it so that it’s not emitting any EMF’s or producing electrical fields near your sleeping area. (I highly suggest you consider removing your TV from your bedroom)
  • Keep your phone, iPad and other devices either on airplane mode when not in use or place them in a faraday bag so the background communication isn’t happening when you’re not using them.
  • If you do use wearables, take them off your skin as much as possible or keep them on airplane mode when you don’t need them. Sometimes it’s good when you can’t be reached.

Before I go, I’ll include a number of helpful links that you can use to do your own research on this topic if interested. From the fitness perspective, I am choosing to avoid using the wearables due to the research that has indicated the negative biological effects to mitochondria. But again, do your own research and do what’s best for you.

Helpful links for your own research:

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