EMF Dangers

Did you know that sleeping with an electric blanket might actually increase your chances of breast cancer?  There are hidden dangers in our electrical appliances most of us don’t suspect.

Today I wanted to share with you the hidden dangers of EMFs and then give you some tips on how to reduce your exposure.

What Is EMF?

Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) are areas of energy that surround any electrical device.  EMFs are produced by electrical appliances, power lines and electrical wiring.

Electric fields are easily shielded or weakened by walls and other objects, however, magnetic fields are not.  Since magnetic fields are more likely to penetrate the body, they are the component of EMFs that are usually studied in relation to cancer.

How Are EMFs Related to Breast Cancer?

It begins with the hormone known as melatonin, which is secreted by the pineal gland.

Melatonin is known to play a major role in cancer prevention and longevity. One of its primary functions is to regulate circadian rhythms in the body, which govern our waking and sleep cycles. Melatonin is also a powerful free radical scavenger, facilitating proper DNA synthesis and also cell division.

A very interesting function of melatonin, however, is how it interacts with breast cancer cells.  Studies have shown that a low level of melatonin in the body stimulates the growth of certain breast cancer cells.  When melatonin is added to these cells, their growth is inhibited.  Women with breast cancer have as little as 1/10 the amount of melatonin in their bodies, compared to healthy women.

The Studies Reveal Mixed Findings

The National Cancer Institute website advises that the majority of studies have shown no relationship between breast cancer in women and magnetic fields from electrical appliances.

Having said that, they do mention a Norwegian study that found a risk for exposure to magnetic fields in the home (Kliukiene J, Tynes T, Andersen A. Residential and occupational exposures to 50-Hz magnetic fields and breast cancer in women: A population-based study. American Journal of Epidemiology 2004; 159(9): 852–861).

The NCI also mentioned a study in African-American women which found that use of electric bedding devices may increase breast cancer risk (Zhu K, Hunter S, Payne-Wilks K, et al. Use of electric bedding devices and risk of breast cancer in African-American women. American Journal of Epidemiology 2003; 158: 798–806).

A Precautionary Stance is Advisable

Can we afford to take the risk?  As a precautionary measure I moved all electrical gear out of our bedroom after my breast cancer diagnosis — my beloved electric blanket (so nice in the winter, darn it!), the old television (no more Jay Leno late in the evening), even the electric clock on my bedside table.  Because although the NCI takes a blase view of EMFs, most natural therapists with whom I consulted did not.

At the very least, you should be aware that studies on the link between EMFs and breast cancer are ongoing, and take a precautionary stance.

There is an exhaustive discussion of the matter on a great website called canceractive.com.  Click here to read their article “EMFs, Lack Of Sleep, Melatonin Depletion and Breast Cancer“.

If you are sensitive to EMFs, you might experience symptoms like fatigue, stress and sleep disturbances, skin rashes, muscle aches and pains, burning eyes, brain fog, depression, even infertility.

7 Tips on Reducing the Effect of EMFs

  1. Go to Radio Shack and buy a $20.00 multimeter, then watch this video on how to use it to test for EMFs in your environment.
  2. Grounding pads (such as described in the video in #1, above) are available at amazon.com.
  3. Remove all non-essential electric appliances from the bedroom, especially computers with WiFi.  If you can’t remove them, unplug them before you go to bed.
  4. Don’t recharge your cell phone in the bedroom.
  5. Look out your bedroom window. If there is a clear and unobstructed view of a cell phone tower facing your way, you would be well advised to look into shielding solutions.
  6. Don’t use your laptop computer on your lap.  See this great article from Dr Mercola on why not.
  7. Take 3 mg of melatonin thirty minutes before going to bed.

I hope this helps!

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