How Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF) Affects Our Health

Last Updated on October 2, 2023

Youth are most vulnerable to EMR

Technology is advancing at an accelerated pace, bringing great and enriching benefits to our lives. We have witnessed electronic devices that once filled large rooms shrink to fit into the palm of our hands, allowing us unprecedented reach into our world!

With today’s mobile device technology comes enormous power at our fingertips. We can call a friend living on the other side of the world from anywhere, at any time. From fingertips, we can see who is in our house from 1,000 miles away.

Unfortunately, all of today’s technology emits Electromagnetic Radiation, or Electromagnetic Field (EMF) radiation, which can cause health problems over time which include fertility issues, DNA damage, electromagnetic hypersensitivity, and many other health concerns.

Fortunately, a few simple lifestyle adjustments can reduce the health risks.

The Issue with Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF)

EMF can be isolated into spectrum segments: Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) and Radio Frequency (RF) radiation.

ELF radiation emissions are generated by fans, microprocessors, and other computer parts. RF radiation emissions are from transmitters and receivers that connect to cell towers or WiFi.

Only in recent times have we begun to understand that long-term exposure to this radiation can cause long-term health problems. Experts say that it may take 20 or more years before we fully understand the impact EMF radiation emissions on our health. And for our young children, the exposure can be lifelong.

According to Devra Davis, MPH, PhD, today’s scientific evidence “supports a classification of cell phone and other wireless technology as a probable human carcinogen.” She believes that EMF emissions are as harmful for our health as diesel exhaust, petroleum refining, and a number of pesticides.

Health Risks of Electromagnetic Radiation

Did You Know?

When an EMF radiation source is at zero distance from the body, it’s most dangerous. As you move farther away, risks are reduced. The following chart shows the benefits of distance with corresponding emission reductions related to a 90 MG ELF EMF source.


Source Measurement
(in milligauss)

Risk Reduction

1 ft.2078%
2 ft.793%
4 ft.193%

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) believes we need to do a better job at understanding the negative health effects from EMF exposure.

They have documented significant harmful effects occur from EMF exposure such as genetic damage, reproductive defects, cancer, neurological degeneration, nervous system dysfunction, immune system dysfunction, and many others.

In their view, EMF radiation studies repeatedly have shown gene mutations and DNA fragmentation, which can cause cell mutation and cancer.

Children are particularly at risk from EMF radiation exposure, because a child’s body absorbs more EMF than an adult’s, according to The Stewart Report. In fact, in reviewing these reports, we find that children absorb up to 60 percent more energy per pound of body weight than adults do.

More than that and to place the risk in context, today’s standard for the maximum signal strength of cell phones is known to penetrate an adult head up to one inch. This same cell phone signal can pass completely through a child’s head!

The effects of prolonged EMF exposure can be cumulative and will span the children’s lifetimes. This exposure is unprecedented and not experienced by previous generations.

Male and female reproductive systems are also at risk from EMF exposure. In one study, Dr. Conrado Avendano and his colleagues of Nascentis Medicina Reproductiva in Cordoba found that “the use of a laptop computer wirelessly connected to the Internet and positioned near the male reproductive organs may decrease human sperm quality.”

Their study found that after a four-hour exposure, 25 percent of the sperm was no longer active compared to 14 percent from sperm samples stored at the same temperature over the same time period and away from the computer. They also noted that 9 percent of the sperm showed DNA damage, three times the damage found in the comparison samples.

Similarly, the Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health reported laptop EMF emissions create health concerns particularly for women and their fetuses. The study found that Swedish EMF standards were exceeded by 71 to 483 percent by the laptops used in the study which, by the standard’s definition, increases risk for tumor development.

Today’s technologies also produce heat. Studies have shown that prolonged exposure emitted from the bottom of a laptop can damage the skin. The heat warms the upper legs and can cause Toasted Skin Syndrome, a brownish discoloration of the skin. In some cases, this skin darkening can become permanent, and in rare cases, the damage may lead to skin cancer.

Watch Below to Learn More About the Biological Effects of EMFs

Ways to Reduce EMF Exposure

  1. Use shielded CAT-5 wiring in your home.
  2. Use a Ethernet cable to connect to the Internet. Turn off the WiFi on your computer.
  3. If you must use WiFi, when finished, turn it off on your router and computer.
  4. Avoid close proximity to RF emitters such as WiFi routers and cell towers. The farther you are from an EMF source, the safer you are. Just four feet can be enough to reduce ELF transmission by 99 percent.
  5. Use cell phones only briefly to minimize exposure times.
  6. Place your cell phone away from your ear and use the speakerphone feature or a wired headset.
  7. Limit use of laptop computers and tablets on the lap. Short durations are not as harmful.

You cannot see, touch, or smell EMF radiation, but it all around us. Devices like cellphones, laptops, and tablets now rest at zero distance to our bodies, emitting EMF radiation on a constant basis. 

There is growing evidence that EMF radiation emissions, depending on intensity and duration, can have negative health impacts on our body. There can be DNA and chromosome damage, cells can be transformed, and your immune system can be compromised.

With the large body of scientific evidence that demonstrates the health dangers of radiation exposure, the importance of guarding yourself from EMF radiation is important, and avoidance is encouraged. With a little planning and some care, and even EMF shielding protection, we can reduce the risk.

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Daniel T. DeBaun

Daniel T. DeBaun is an internationally recognized and influential expert in Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF) and shielding electronic emissions, with a particular focus on the effect of exposure from mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and cell phones. Daniel’s concern regarding the health impact of electronic radiation emissions grew from over 30 years of engineering experience in the telecommunications industry, where he held a variety of leadership and executive positions at Bell Labs, AT&T, SAIC and Telcordia. Daniel is co-author of recent bestseller, Radiation Nation: The Fallout of Modern Technology, a complete guide to EMF radiation safety and protection. Daniel is also a highly regarded industry consultant, speaker as well as frequent guest national radio and television programs discussing EMF health issues.