Electrosmog: Could Emissions From Devices Be Harming You?

When we turn on the news or have unending conversations about chemical and biological pollution, we wax lyrical about how the various sources of pollution are impacting our quality of life. However, we appear adamant in ignoring pollution sources that thrive in our midst.

Electronic and computing products have dramatically improved our lives over the last half-century. Electrical appliances and installations have seen improvements that continue to defy our imaginations of what is possible.

Yet, we fail to realize the hazards these blessings of science and technology come with. One such hazard is “electrosmog.” Maybe you’ve heard the word. It’s also likely you have not. What’s important is that it exists.

In recent years, there has been growing awareness that electrosmog is a significant public health concern. “Smog” itself is an invented word, comprising the words “smoke” and “fog.” It refers to air pollution from exhaust fumes in metropolitan areas.

To create a safe living or working environment that is also healthy, we must take preventive measures against electrosmog.

electromagnetic fields

What is Electrosmog?

We will now attempt to provide a formal definition of electrosmog.

Electrosmog is the collective term for all man-made electromagnetic radiation created and persisting in our surroundings.

To understand electrosmog, however, we first need to understand electromagnetic fields.

Electromagnetic fields or EMFs are generated by both alternating (AC) currents and direct (DC) currents. In the simplest of terms, electromagnetic fields are a combination of electric and magnetic fields.

But, we can also separate electromagnetic fields into low- and high-frequency fields.

Electric Fields

Electric fields arise from voltage and can exist even when an appliance is turned off or even in so-called “standby” mode.

Inserting a wire into an outlet creates electric fields in the air around the device or appliance. With a higher voltage, the appliance or device will produce a stronger electric field.

Given that the voltage can exist even when there is no current flowing, the appliance does not need to be turned on for an electric field to exist.

It is the norm to transmit and distribute electricity using high voltages. On the other hand, relatively low voltages are emitted from wired electrical systems such as transformers, power lines, and defective wiring systems in buildings.

Magnetic Fields

Magnetic fields arise from flowing currents. They exist the moment an appliance or device comes on.

Therefore, magnetic fields and electric fields co-exist in the environment. The higher the current, the stronger the magnetic field. Conversely, a lower current yields a weaker magnetic field.

Typical sources of magnetic and electric fields include power lines, transformers, motors, electrical alarm clocks, and building wiring.

Radio Frequency (RF)

Radiofrequency or RF fields are high-frequency fields emitted from wireless systems, such as cell towers, WiFi routers, and cell phones.

The number of wireless devices we use continues to grow (probably exponentially). This increase also comes with the unavoidable increase in the exposure to them.


Tying it All Together: Electromagnetic Smog

Electrosmog or electromagnetic smog deals with all electromagnetic fields generated artificially in the environment. It also includes the continual exposure of people and the environment that results from this electromagnetic smog.

Electromagnetic smog is in the category of non-ionizing radiation. As non-ionizing radiation, the electromagnetic waves do not produce the energy required to remove electrons from atoms and molecules.

However, ionizing radiation, such as radioactivity, produces energy.

As we said before, there are:

  • Low-frequency electric and magnetic fields
  • High-frequency electromagnetic fields

Low frequency electric and magnetic fields result from generating, transporting, and applying electrical energy in AC circuits or electric appliances, for example.

On the flip side, wireless transmission via WiFi or baby monitors is responsible for high-frequency electromagnetic fields. Microwave ovens also use a high-frequency electromagnetic field to heat up food.

While it is possible to produce electromagnetic fields artificially, they also occur naturally in the environment. For low-frequency and static fields, the electrical and magnetic components are separate. Still, both components are in close coupling in high-frequency fields. This is how we come about electromagnetic fields.

Rising Exposure to Electrosmog and Impact on Humans

Scientists continue to explore EMFs, and their impact on humans has been well studied. There is increasing exposure to electrosmog in homes, schools, offices, and on roads. This is due to advancing digitalization and the expansion of electricity networks.

In particular, artificial low-frequency and high-frequency fields are on the rise due to the development of new technologies and their distribution. Smartphones have long become an integral part of everyday life. Millennials and those younger could probably never imagine life without smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices.

More and more mobile phone masts are going up to ensure seamless accessibility. There are currently more than 7.3 billion cellphones and smartphones presently in use worldwide. The numbers continue to rise.

Bluetooth, WiFi, and ultrawideband (UWB) technologies are great tools. Yet, they only serve to make the electrosmog scourge worse. They come with high-frequency electrosmog as they connect various mobile devices for telecommunications and data processing.

Smart home (and office) solutions also contribute significantly to electrosmog. Networked devices which may be controlled remotely, and installations that provide greater security and efficient energy consumption often improve the quality of homes and life in general.

However, convenience comes at a high cost by increasing exposure to electrosmog.

Even cars are not exempt. The future use of electric vehicles will increase passenger exposure to electrosmog due to the electric engine and its battery.

Physiologic Consequences of Electrosmog

There are several possible consequences of electromagnetic smog. Electromagnetic radiation can interfere with the natural processes of the human body. The body is mostly water and is controlled by bioelectrical impulses.

Electromagnetic radiation penetrates the body, preventing optimal cell supply. Exposure to electrosmog (artificial electromagnetic fields or electromagnetic smog) can impact essential biological processes in the body. Common effects include:

  • Lower concentration and insomnia
  • Altered balance of vegetative nervous system
  • Weaker immune system
  • Hyperacidity and clogging leading to metabolic disorders
  • Mental stress and strain

Esmog Conclusions

Electrosmog is a real and potent threat. Governments are now taking measures to protect their citizens from the health hazards of electrosmog. They are limiting emission values for low-frequency and direct current systems.

WiFi and smartphone radiation is more harmless than people realize. They may cause possible damage to a cell genome or similar issues. Therefore, some countries like India have come down harder, prohibiting mobile masts around hospitals and schools because of looming health risks. Israel bans WiFi in preschools and kindergarten. It also restricts its usage in school.

However, the ultimate responsibility lies with the citizen, to educate themselves on the latest about electrosmog.

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