Dirty electricity: You can’t feel it, see it but electro-smog can kill you

Published: May 13, 2012

Your brain before using a cell phone - and after a 15-minute conversation on one.

When radiation hits the head, it penetrates the skull. The pictures above are the result of an experiment that shows how radiation penetrates the skull of an adult (25%), 10-year-old (50%) and a 5-year-old (75%). The younger the child the deeper the penetration due to the fact their skulls are thinner and their brains contain more fluid than adults. Radio frequencies travel through children’s brains much more easily and therefore increase the risk of cancer. When radiation hits the head, it penetrates the skull. The pictures above are the result of an experiment that shows how radiation penetrates the skull of an adult (25%), 10-year-old (50%) and a 5-year-old (75%). The younger the child the deeper the penetration due to the fact their skulls are thinner and their brains contain more fluid than adults. Radio frequencies travel through children’s brains much more easily and therefore increase the risk of cancer. Your brain before using a cell phone - and after a 15-minute conversation on one.
KARACHI: 

Electricity might be a scarcity, but according to recent research artificial electromagnetic fields can cause cancer, memory loss, headaches, fatigue and sleeping disorders in adults and children.

On Saturday, Dr Tasnim Ahsan, the head of the department of medicine at Jinnah hospital, gave a presentation on ‘Dirty Electricity’. She explained that the term dirty electricity referred to the electro-smog created daily by using electrical appliances, including computers, laptops, cell phones and the radio, at home and work.

“Although we cannot touch, taste, see or feel the smog,” she said, “It is pervasive in the environment and is harmful to our health.” She added that a couple of years ago, doctors were only aware of the therapeutic effects of electromagnetic fields which were used for bone repair, depression, anxiety and insomnia.

According to Dr Ahsan, the harmful effects of ionisation radiation were common knowledge but no one knew about the impact of electromagnetic radiation – Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) and Radioactive Frequency (RF). “Evidence-based research on the impact of electromagnetic fields have been going on for the last two decades but the concept was absolutely unheard of in Pakistan,” she said. “We stumbled on this research while working on a few others.”

In her presentation, Dr Ahsan explained that the current ELF and RF limits were 1,000mG and 2.0W/kilogrammes, respectively. RF is usually measured as Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) which reflects the amount of RF energy absorbed into the body when a cell phone or cordless phone is pressed to the ear. The regulatory limits are based on induced currents in the body and thermal effects of ELF and RF.

Effects on adults and children

Evidence suggests that children might be more susceptible to the effects of EMF since their rate of cellular activity is high. RF travels through a child’s brain faster than in adults. Different studies show that ELF causes leukemia in children. Patients recovering from leukemia have a poorer survival rate if their ELF exposure is between 1 to 2 mG. A study on a pregnant woman’s exposure to magnetic fields showed that higher exposure put them at a risk of miscarriage in the first ten weeks of conceiving, especially among those with a history of miscarriages.

In 2007, the World Health Organisation called for remedial action and precautionary approaches to fight exposure to ELF sources. The German government issued a safety warning on Wi-Fi systems, the Swiss government issued a list of precautionary measures in 2005, while countries such as United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Spain set a limit on ELF and RF exposures.

Do’s and don’ts

One of the most important measures would be to decrease or completely avoid using a cell phone. “Do not allow children under the age of 18 to use a cell phone,” said Prof. Ahsan. “Also avoid using a wired headset, when using the cell phone, keep it two centimetres away from the head. You know, it is less harmful to use the landlines.” She added that the government should take this research and precautionary measures seriously to create public awareness.

On your finger tips

Dirty electricity: is unusable electromagnetic energy that is created by many electrical devices – caused by interruptions and fluctuations in the flow of normal 60-Herts AC power travelling through wires and electrical systems and appliances at home and at work. These interruptions result in voltage spikes or surges which combine to form a complex and potentially harmful electromagnetic field.

ELF : electromagnetic fields from electrical and electronic devices and power lines

RF: microwaves from wireless devices such as cell phones, cordless phones, cellular antennas and broadcast transmission towers

Common sources of dirty electricity:

Broadcast/cell phones antennas

AM/FM radio

Radars

Cell phones

Pagers

Electrical pylons

Ignition systems

Mobile radar units

GPS

Cordless telephones

Laptops/Computers/Ipads

Television

WiFi

Microwave ovens

Dimmer switches

Energy saver lights

Remote controls

Baby monitors

Electronic games

Treadmills

Gaming consoles

Hair dyer, shaver, etc

Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2012.

Reader Comments (9)

  • May 13, 2012 - 10:40AM

    Pagers

    You are still using them?

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  • May 13, 2012 - 12:47PM

    Lets go back to caves.

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  • ashar
    May 13, 2012 - 2:03PM

    @tanzeel:

    We have an example of Warren Buffet. Does he live in a cave.
    Life has become more complex and problematic with the advent of these gadgets.

    Recommend

  • Vigilant
    May 13, 2012 - 2:11PM

    Different to read

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  • Asif
    May 13, 2012 - 2:54PM

    Ever wondered why a person feels calm and pleasant when in nature, away from the cities? Exactly this same reason!!!

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  • Kashif
    May 13, 2012 - 5:34PM

    When we offer ‘Namaz’ and do ‘Sajdah’ in which our foreheads touch the ground, we neutralize the effects of Dirty Electricity. This way all the electromagnetic radiation our bodies absorb in a course of a day, goes back into the ground.

    Recommend

  • Emma
    May 14, 2012 - 6:36AM

    If anyone is interested in further rading, here’ are several useful bibliographies, with links to the abstracts and scientific articles:
    http://www.scribd.com/collections/3440803/Electrosmog-Bibiographies

    a collection of over 200 EMF-related papers http://www.scribd.com/collections/3220833/Mobile-phones-electrosmog-and-health-risks

    A list of over 40 books on the subject
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/93297729/Science-and-safety-EMF-book-list

    Recommend

  • Petra
    May 20, 2012 - 4:47PM

    great article but some errors–RF is not radioactive frequency but radio frequency radiation. Dirty Electricity is transients going across the “clean” 60 or 50 HZ electricity, not what this article says. Even so, I applaud the author of this article and the Doctor. We need more articles and research like this across the world. This is one of the larges environmental and health problems we are facing in the world today, and it does not get much research or press.

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  • Jun 14, 2012 - 8:29PM

    This is a serious issue and everyone should protect themselves. Use speakerphone when you can, don’t carry cell phones in pockets or against your body, turn off wifi when not in use, set phones to “airplane mode” when you can, etc.

    Children are at greatest risk as they absorb 2x the radiation of an adult!

    “Electromagnetic pollution (EMF) may be the most significant form of pollution human activity has produced in this century, all the more dangerous because it is invisible and insensible.”
    ~Andrew Weil, M.D.
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