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Harmful Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF)

Harmful Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation

For most people, it is impossible to go even a day without coming into contact with electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and cell phones.

People rely on these technological tools for work, communicating with friends and family, school, and personal enjoyment.

What most people don’t seem to realize, however, is that all of these electronic devices are known to emit waves of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF).

Even people who are aware of this fact often ignore it, but once you know all of the adverse effects this type of radiation can have on your health, you start to pay more attention.

Some people may try to convince you that the negative health effects of Electromagnetic Radiation are simply a hoax thought up by extremely paranoid people. Unfortunately, research is proving that this is not the case at all.

The more research that is done on the matter, the more solid evidence we see that Electromagnetic Radiation emitted from laptop computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices can be harmful to our bodies.

Health Risks of EMFs

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 and nervous system dysfunction, immune system dysfunction, and many others.

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

Children are particularly at risk from EMF 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. 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!

How Mobile Phone Radiation Penetrates the Brain

The effects of prolonged EMF exposure can be cumulative and will span childrens’ 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. The heat from a laptop warms the upper legs and can cause Toasted Skin Syndrome, a brownish discoloration of the skin.

Many studies have revealed a link between the use of these types of technological devices and various forms of illness, due to a breakdown at the cellular level.

Dr. Martin Pall’s research on EMF radiation reveals 8 ways EMF radiation impacts our bodies:

  1. Nervous system and brain: widespread neurological/neuropsychiatric effects like sleep disturbance/insomnia; fatigue/tiredness; headache; depression/depressive symptoms; lack of concentration/attention/cognitive dysfunction; dizziness/vertigo; memory changes; restlessness/tension/anxiety/stress/agitation; irritability.
  2. Endocrine/hormonal systems: The steroid hormone levels drop with EMF exposure, whereas other hormone levels increase with initial exposure. The neuroendocrine hormones and insulin levels often drop with prolonged EMF exposure.
  3. Oxidative stress and free radical damage: central roles in essentially all chronic diseases, as well as other body effects.
  4. Cellular DNA attacks: These are related to cancer causation and produce the most important mutational changes in humans and diverse animals, as well as in future generations.
  5. Apoptosis (programmed cell death): This can cause both neurodegenerative diseases and infertility.
  6. Fertility Problems: This can lead to lower sex hormones, lower libido and increased levels of spontaneous abortion and, as already stated, attack the DNA in sperm cells.
  7. Produce excessive intracellular calcium [Ca2+]i and excessive calcium signaling.
  8. Cancer: 15 different mechanisms of EMF radiation’s effect on the cell can cause cancer. Brain cancer, salivary cancer, acoustic neuromas and two other types of cancer go up with cell phone use. People living near cell phone towers have increased cancer rates.

These effects can create many symptoms in our bodies, some which can be felt, and some which we might not know about. Below are just some of the harmful symptoms of Electromagnetic Radiation exposure.

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%

Electromagnetic Radiation Health Effects

Short-Term EMF Health Effects

  • Headaches
  • Tingling or burning sensations
  • Aches and pains
  • Decreased sperm motility
  • Hands hurt
  • Trouble sleeping

Long-Term EMF Health Effects

  • Brain tumors
  • Mental illness
  • Cognitive and Behavioral disorders
  • Immune disorders
  • Cancers – blood, breast and more
  • Mutated cells
  • Fragmented DNA
  • Toasted Skin Syndrome

Electrical Sensitivity

  • Headaches
  • Concentration or memory loss
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Tingling or burning sensations
  • Sleeping problems
  • Aches and pains
  • Hand pain

Technology plays a major role in most people’s lives. While you can certainly try to live without your mobile devices, it might be difficult. So what is a person to do?

Avoiding the effects of Electromagnetic Radiation isn’t exactly easy, as mobile devices that emit it are everywhere and practically inescapable. Well, there are a couple of different steps to take to look out for your health.

The good news is you don’t actually have to give up your devices and there are many ways of protecting yourself.

You can also minimize the potential negative health risks by using laptop shields, phone shields, or protective clothing that block Electromagnetic Radiation. Being unaware of the harmful effects of Electromagnetic Radiation won’t make you immune to them. Your best bet is to educate yourself and find ways to protect yourself.

WATCH: How to Protect from EMF

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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.