Is Electrosmog Harming Your Health?

Electrosmog is invisible pollution in the form of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) resulting from the use of wireless technology such as cell phones, cordless phones, wireless networks, and mobile/cellular phone masts, towers and transmitters. Just as smog from car exhaust and manufacturing pollution has been shown to cause health problems, recent studies show that electrosmog is hazardous to our health. 

In 2007 the Bioinitiative Working Group, an international collaboration of prestigious scientists and public health policy experts from the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, and China, put together a 650-page report (citing 2,000 studies) indicating that chronic exposure to even low-level radiation—like that from cell phones—can cause a variety of cancers, impair immunity, contribute to Alzheimer's disease, dementia, heart disease, and many other health problems.

Also in 2007, a Swedish analysis of 16 studies published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine showed a doubled risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma (brain tumors) after 10 years of heavy cell phone use. Furthermore, the study suggested that if someone started using a cell phone as a teen, they would have five times greater the risk of brain cancer than those who started as an adult.

"Every single study of brain tumors that looks at 10 or more years of [cell phone] use shows an increased risk of brain cancer," says Cindy Sage, MA, coeditor of the Bioinitiative Working Group report.

Why is this?

Animal research, conducted by Swedish neuro-oncologist Leif G. Salford, MD, PhD, shows that electromagnetic fields equal to those generated by cell phones open the blood-brain barrier, causing blood vessels to leak fluid into the brain and damage neurons.

While electrosmog is being linked brain tumors, cancers, and an array of other health issues, there are some measures you can take to protect your health.

7 Steps to Reduce Your Exposure to Electrosmog

  1. Use a headset or speakerphone. When using a cell phone, use the speakerphone or a wired earpiece (hollow cord types are preferable). Do not use a Bluetooth wireless headset. It has been reported that using a Bluetooth can exceed the EMF 'safety' limits. Furthermore, if you do hold the cell phone to your ear, make sure to switch sides every so often to avoid overexposure on one side. 

  2. Turn off Wi-Fi when not in use. Plug in your Wi-Fi only when needed, and disconnect it when you are sleeping. Keep the router as far as possible from your bedroom, children's rooms, and desk (if possible). 

  3. Keep your laptop off of your lap. Many laptops produce a strong electromagnetic field, especially when you use one while it's plugged into an outlet (that means the battery is charging close to where your hands are). You are best off if you unplug your laptop and use it on battery power. When you need to recharge it, you are better off if you stay away from it. 

  4. Unplug what you are not using. If your kitchen counter is cluttered with a coffeemaker, food processor, or other appliances, keep them unplugged whenever you're not using them. The same goes for alarm clocks, lamps, iPod chargers and other devices around your home. Anything plugged into an electrical outlet-even a lamp-emits an EMF. If unplugged, won't. 

  5. Avoid compact fluorescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs emit 'dirty' energy. Instead, use LED or incandescent bulbs.

  6. Keep your distance from the circuit breaker. Main electrical and circuit breaker panels give off high EMF within 3 to 4 feet. Make sure your bed is a safe distance.

  7. Get Your Home Tested. If you suspect that your home has high-EMF exposure, check if your utility company conducts a room-by-room survey. It's usually free. Hot spots can be completely shielded with special coverings.

Note: While it isn't necessary to isolate yourself from modern wireless culture, it is important to consider the hazards of overexposure to electrosmog. For example, recently, France, Germany and England dismantled wireless networks in schools and public libraries to protect the health of their citizens, and Russia has advised against the use of cell phones by children under 18. Take into consideration your exposure, and do what you can to reduce it.


Butler, K. More Evidence Shows Electrical Energy is Harming Our Health. Jan. 20, 2010. Accessed Feb. 1, 2010.

Latker, R. Exposure to the Invisible Cloud of Energy called Electrosmog is Rising. New York Times. September 24, 2007. Accessed February 8, 2010.

Parker-Pope, T. Experts Revive Debate Over Cell Phones and Cancer. New York Times. June 3, 2008. Accessed February 8, 2010.

Segell, M. Is 'Electrosmog' Harming Our Health? Prevention. Jan. 18, 2010. Accessed Feb. 1, 2010.

Segell, M. 11 Ways to Protect Yourself from Dirty Electricity. Prevention. Accessed February 1, 2010.