Let’s Not Ignore the Invisible Things Around Us (We Can’t Afford To)
I went off topic last week.
I wanted to share a food-related update (and thank you for all of your kind responses), but the truth is, I felt silly writing another post about a topic that clearly nobody cared about.
Electromagnetic Fields. Boring. Too intangible. Too inconvenient. Too scary to think about. Too little science to back it up.
I knew all this going into the month, but I went ahead with it anyway because I wanted to understand it better. After all, that’s what this blog is all about – exploring the things I find curious and interesting. But while I found EMF to be a fascinating subject, it was an unpopular one.
I was ready to call the month a bust and move on when I heard the sad news that a family friend’s breast cancer had returned, and had spread to her lungs. This comes not months after another dear friend lost her battle with brain cancer. Both women, both the picture of health, both in their 40s.
Not much different than me.
And it got me thinking – it could be me. It could be any of us, at any time.
We’re all born with certain genetic predispositions. The question is, how much are we at the mercy of our DNA? And how much does our environment (and by environment I mean the food we eat, the beverages we drink, the air we breath and the things we come in contact with) accelerate or protect us from these predispositions?
Some scientists say the environmental factor represents as high as 70-95% of our likelihood to develop autoimmune or chronic disease.
That’s pretty high.
Here’s another crazy tidbit: America’s animals are becoming heavier. As in mice, lab rats, monkeys, marmosets and domestic pets? According to the article, scientists are linking industrial chemicals, like BPA in plastics or pesticides in food as a piece of the growing obesity puzzle (in addition to diet, stress and lack of movement), claiming that these substances alter the way that energy is stored within cells in a way that enhances the retention of fat.
My point is, that while the majority of us focus on the diet/exercise/stress component of our health and well being (as we should), we can’t ignore the rest of the things around us that are slowly seeping into our bodies and brains.
So I’m jumping back on my little soap box to finish this EMF month out for two reasons:
- It is something that we should at least be aware of. We’re surrounded by man made electrical pollution 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our kids are exposed to it and we will be living with it for the rest of our lives. Things like:
- Smart-meters: Your electric company has likely installed one of these wireless systems in your home and you probably don’t even know it!
- Bluetooth devices
- Wireless devices: laptops, smartphones, sound systems, gaming consoles, baby monitors, alarm systems
- Cell phone towers and power lines
- Medical Scans: CT scans, X-rays, ultrasounds etc.
- Recommended precautions, for the majority of us, are fairly simple and straightforward. You can click here for a comprehensive list of tips to minimize EMF exposure complete with links of products to buy, or, you can just take note of the following:
Do not press your cellphone, laptop or any wireless device against your body. Get your phone out of your pocket, your bra, get your laptop off of your lap, and your phone away from your ear, especially if you are in a place where your signal is weak (like the woods, an elevator, a moving car or train). Use a headset, a laptop pad, the speakerphone function or airplane mode. Let distance be your friend.
The less wireless signals around you, the better. Work with a wired mouse and keyboard. Plug into your Internet connection instead of relying on wifi. Turn your router off at night. However, if you are using wifi, use your device on battery power and not plugged into a charging station.
Don’t stand next to your microwave while it’s on.
Limit your kids’ use of electronics. Kids’ brains are not fully formed and they absorb more radiation from the same device (and will over their lifetime). At the very least, put your device on airplane mode when you hand your child the device, especially in a car, airplane or train. For parents of teenagers, this is another excellent reason to ban devices in the bedroom.
And if you want to see how toxic your life really is – beyond electromagnetic radiation, take this neat quiz. Turns out, I’m “average”. Well, it’s a good reminder that there’s always something to work on!
And that wraps up my month on all things EMF. In October I’m moving onto a different kind of challenge. I might be crazy for taking it on, but it will certainly be interesting. If you’re the least bit curious, join the newsletter!