Alex Quinn: Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) Extremely Low Frequency (ELF)!
and Radio-frequency (RF): What are the Health Impacts? Particularly now that wireless communications are so closely integrated into our daily lives, electromagnetic fields are all around us. Our cities, especially the larger ones, are perpetually shrouded in an invisible electro-smog, a sea of EMF's through which we swim every day. But does this momentous development in civilization come with health effects, and if so, can we do anything to reduce them? What is ELF-EMF and what are its sources? It's important to realize that there are two main forms of EMF: radio frequency (RF) EMF and extremely low frequency (ELF) EMFs. The frequency range of ELF-EMF is 1-300 Hz, and the Earth's natural geomagnetic field strength varies from around 60 uT (microtesia) at the magnetic poles to around 30 uT at the equator. Many-man made sources of ELF-EMF exist. Prime among these artificial sources are power lines and electronic appliances, with vacuum cleaners, electric can openers, microwave ovens, shavers and hair dryers among the most powerful. These appliances emit ELF-EMF at field intensities ranging from 17.44 to 164.75 uT, measured from 5cm away. Since the intensity of magnetic fields decreases dramatically with increased distance from the source, the corresponding range of magnetic field intensities at 50 cm is 0.12-1.66 uT. The International Commission on Non Ionizing Radiation Protection (INCIRP) has set limits of 1mT( millitesia) for occupational exposure. While these limits are not breached by individual man made sources, additive effects must also be considered, as we shall see. What is RF-EMF and what are its sources? The frequencies of RF-EMFs are considerably higher than ELF-EMFs, ranging from 100 kHz to 300 GHz. As its name suggests, the main uses of RF-EMF are in broadcasting information. In today's data driven world, this means that RF-EMF is constantly around us: it is produced by things such as mobile phone base stations, cordless phones, utility smart meters, remote control toys, wireless networks, radar and baby monitors. In addition, there are various natural sources of RF-EMf, including the Earth, the Sun and other black body radiators. Here's a shocking statistic: did you know that having a cordless phone base station in your house can expose you to the same level of RF-EMFs as having a mobile phone mast in your back garden? Do EMF's pose health problems? The mainstream view is that the only potential danger from EMFs stems from their heating effects on tissue, in the case of RF-EMF, or of electrical currents induced in the body for ELF-EMF. However, there is strong evidence to suggest that the a-thermal effects ELF and RF-EMFs also contribute to various heath problems.