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Electromagnetic Effects on Immune System

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

electromagnetic-effects-on-immune-system

Electromagnetic Fields

The chronic illnesses and diseases associated with no-specific symptoms are increasing around the world, but especially in industrialized countries. There is no definitive proof that electromagnetic effects are the cause of many of these diseases, but many health care professionals seem to believe electromagnetic fields (EMF) may be at fault. Research is ongoing.

Ionizing radiation has enough energy to remove tightly bound electrons from the orbit of an atom. This causes the atom to become charged or ionized, which occurs in particles or waves. Examples of this radiation includes: Infrared light, heat or radio waves.

When you take a look at the vast number of electromagnetic fields we encounter on a daily basis it seems quite reasonable that EMFs are the cause of the increase in diseases. Some of the magnetic fields we encounter on a regular basis include:

  • WiFi's
  • Cell Phone Towers
  • TVs
  • Handsets
  • Computer Monitors
  • Tablets- or computers
  • Broadcast TV and Radio Signals
  • Other Electronic Devices

Non-ionizing Radiation

Non-ionizing (low level) radiation is “a series of energy waves composed of oscillating electric and magnetic fields traveling at the speed of light that includes includes the spectrum of ultraviolet (UV), visible light, infrared (IR), microwave (MW), radio frequency (RF), and extremely low frequency (ELF)”. Some example include:

  • Microwave ovens
  • Computers
  • House energy meters
  • Wireless (Wi-Fi) routers
  • Cellphones
  • Bluetooth devices
  • Power lines
  • MRIs

Almost every electronic device that we use on a regular basis has EMF radiation.

electromagnetic-effects-on-immune-system

Looking Back

The turn of the 20th century was an exciting time as electric power lines and indoor lighting spread across the world. Scientists knew these power lines were sending off EMFs, just like the sun does naturally. Medical imaging procedures, like x-rays and MRIs also created EMFs. At this time 87% of the world has access to electricity and uses electric appliances.

Understanding Electromagnetic Radiation!

Possible Causes of Disease

When we look at the chronic stress of working (often at home now) and taking care of our children while they attend school on Zoom life can be overwhelming. When you consider physical and chemical exposures at work, at home or even during some leisure activity it is no wonder the number of illnesses has increased.

This has certainly come to the attention of the medical community as physicians are seeing more patients with illnesses that do not seem to have a particular cause, which can include alzheimer’s disease or some cancers.

Mixed Reviews

Electromagnetic fields disturb our immune systems because they stimulate allergic and inflammatory responses. They also affect the tissue repair process, which increases the risk of diseases like cancer. The effect on biological processes; such as DNA damage, are widely reported to occur at exposure levels lower than most of the national and international safety limits. This is concerning.

There are a variety of ongoing research studies, some involving animals, to establish safe exposure levels for human beings. Other studies investigate the cause and distribution of diseases in real life situations, in particular communities and in different types of occupational groups. The researchers strive to establish if there is a statistical association between specific diseases and electromagnetic field exposure.

These studies are expensive. Additionally, the measurements on humans are difficult to control when searching to detect very small effects. Researchers tend to evaluate all the potential health hazards, which include animal, epidemiology and cellular studies. A cause and effect conclusion is very difficult to prove.

Sheets of Nirosta stainless steel cover the Chrysler Building

Sheets of Nirosta stainless steel cover the Chrysler Building

Protection

People are concerned enough that some are purchasing products that claim to offer protection from electromagnetic fields. Shielding blocks the electromagnetic field by blocking it with barriers that are made of conductive or magnetic materials. Other protections include keeping your using wired devices or keeping your cell phone further away from your head by using speakerphone. Avoid using your phone in the car where it has to look for a stronger signal. As we spend a lot of time sleeping, turn off nearby cell phones and routers at night. You can also purchase a bracelet, necklace or a cap that offers protection.

Understanding Electromagnetic Radiation!

In Conclusion

The public is pressing for more concrete answers to this exposure question. However, it is very difficult to prove a disease is caused by a particular exposure. For instance, an electric worker may develop cancer, but in addition to this type of work the person may have been exposed to some chemical agent that is unreported, so it is difficult to conclude the work is the cause of the cancer. At this time there are several studies with weak positive results, which really proves nothing at all.

The World Health International EMF Project is attempting to initiate and coordinate research worldwide in order to find some well-founded answers to the concerns of the public. They hope a definitive answer will result from a holistic assessment of relevant and reliable studies.

People are concerned enough that some are purchasing products that claim to offer protection from electromagnetic fields. Shielding blocks the electromagnetic field by blocking it with barriers that are made of conductive or magnetic materials. Other protections include using wired devices or keeping your cell phone further away from your head by using speakerphone of EMFs.

References

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 11, 2021:

Hi Linda,

I agree that we need more research to see exactly what might be dangerous. I think most of us don't pay much attention to our use of these items.

I appreciate your comments. Hope you are having a good week.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 11, 2021:

Hi Sp,

We do typically ignore most of these in our everyday lives. I think the report will be very interesting. I know some people don't want to use a microwave. I use it but I always step a little away from it until it finishes.

Thank you so much for your comments. Take care.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on May 11, 2021:

It's intersting to see that even though most of us ignore these things that they still being investigated.

I would love to see the report when it's completed by The World Health International EMF Project.

I do think that there are a lot of things that we use during our day that could cause us some issues.

I know some people who will only use earbuds when talking on their cell phone and I know one person who refuses point blank to use a microwave because of it unseen dangers.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on May 10, 2021:

Pamela, I had vaguely heard of this but never really gave it much thought. This is scary stuff. Definitely more research needs to be done. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 10, 2021:

Hi MG,

I get curious about some topics, then do the research so I can present a variety of health related topics. I very much appreciate your comments. Have a good week!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 10, 2021:

Hi Linda,

I agree that we need much more research. What I found wasn't very convincing of anything. I'm sure some of our time near electromagnetic convenience have an affect on us, but how much?

I appreciate your comments. Have a good week!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 10, 2021:

Hi Mel,

I think there are more questions than answers about electromagnetic effects. I am not ready to give up any of my conveniences either.

I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Have a great week, Mel.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on May 10, 2021:

This is a nice article Pamela. you doing a great job in keeping all of us informed about so many things which I at least don't know.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 09, 2021:

I think the topic that you’ve discussed definitively needs to be investigated further by researchers. I find the potential effects of electromagnetic fields quite concerning because they are so common in our environment. Thank you for writing about the topic, Pamela.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on May 09, 2021:

Well, I'm not going to reach for my tin-foil hat yet, but I certainly do not dispute the fact that these powerful signals filling the air around us could be doing us damage. The question is whether the risk is a suitable trade-off for the uncountable benefits that technology delivers, such as my commenting on your article here, instant communication across a distance of a couple thousand miles. Fantastic work!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 09, 2021:

Hi Peggy,

I happened to read about it, so I did quite a bit of research. I know we need more research for sure. I realized how much we do have around us.

Thank you for your comments. I hope you have a Happy Mother's Day!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 09, 2021:

I had heard of the possible damage by electromagnetic energy some time ago and have not given it much recent thought. Given how many such items surround us daily, I hope more research is done on this topic.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 09, 2021:

Hi Bill,

This was new to me also and I read numerous articles trying to sort it out in my head. I am glad to present new knowledge.

I appreciate your comments. Yes, I have 3 wonderful sons. Thank you. I hope you had a good time on your vacation.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 09, 2021:

I had heard of this, but not in this detail. Fascinating stuff...and frightening. Thank you for opening my eyes and filling my bin of knowledge.

Happy Sunday and, if it applies, Happy Mother's Day to you!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 09, 2021:

Hi Flourish,

I am not sure how powerful the watches are, but people do keep them on full-time. I think the immune system is actually the biggest concern. We need much more research, and we need research that is reliable. Hopefully, we will know more in the not to distant future.

Thank you for your comments. Have a great Mother's Day!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 09, 2021:

Hi Peg,

I think the proof is still not very good, but that is changing. I think the most solid research is occurring with animals as their life can be controlled. I am thinking of mice, but I never read exactly what animals were being researched. There is a wealth of information about electromagnetic effects, yet very little proof of ill effects.

I appreciate your comments, Peg. I hope we find out more in the near future.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 09, 2021:

Hi Liz,

I have heard of all the things you mentioned in the past. I probably would never have bought a house near big electrical lines. I found such a mix of reports regarding current research. I think we are around a great deal of electromagnetic sources, so it is hard not to think they have an effect on us, on our immune system at the very least.

Thank you so much for your comments, Liz. Have a good day!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on May 09, 2021:

Really important information here. Years ago when I worked for a telecom company, we did site visits to cell towers. I asked the guide if we needed to worry about EMFs or other dangers, being so close to the source. He just said, "Next question."

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 09, 2021:

I hadn’t thought a lot about this. Now we are even attaching such watches to our wrists and sleeping with them so they can monitor health and sleep quality. Some people even have implanted devices that probably fit your description. They may help one body part or system like the heart but who knows what they do to another body system like the immune system? Hmm.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 09, 2021:

This is a fascinating subject and one which merits further research. I remember many years back, suggestions that living near electricity substations or under high voltage electrical cables could have detrimental effects on health.

Then microwaves were considered a potential health risk. This was followed by mobile phones. A friend told me once how he was trying to avoid carrying his phone in his pocket because of health concerns. Now that there has been a vast increase in our screen time, it is a topic that deserves consideration. A friend once told me of a possible link between smart meters measuring gas/electric use in homes and ill health.

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