In this 21st century, apart from the exposure to air pollution, noise pollution, global warming, etc, we are exposed to a yet another serious health hazard. The worst part is that 99% of us don’t know that something like this exists. This article is about electromagnetic pollution. Right from the time electricity was discovered, human beings have invented electronic equipment one after another, right from the bulb during Edison’s period to the smartphones and gadgets of the current generation. All these devices produce electromagnetic radiations in various forms such as microwaves, radio waves, gamma waves etc. Apart from the gadgets themselves, we have the high tension and low tension power lines, mobile phone towers which generate their own electromagnetic radiation. When we are exposed to radiation of such enormous extent, we are surely risking our health. This problem is called Electromagnetic pollution. Some people link extinction of sparrows in India cities, to the electromagnetic pollution from mobile phone towers. Many medical experts call electromagnetic pollution the greatest health risk of the 21st century.
The electromagnetic waves are basically of two types. The high frequency waves such as gamma and x-rays which are ionising waves and the low frequency waves such as infrared, microwaves, radar and radio waves are non-ionising waves. The average levels of the electromagnetic field that we are experiencing are estimated to be 50 times more than what are parents experienced at the same age and when today’s children reach our age, they might experience 50 times more electromagnetic field than what we do now.
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The ill-effects of electromagnetic radiation
Our body naturally functions with many electromagnetic impulses for many purposes such as thinking, initiating muscular movement or controlling heartbeats. But when in an electromagnetic field, it creates new electric current which interferes with many biological processes. Electromagnetic field can also cause cell mutation leading to development of cancer. Exposure to EMFs has also been linked to depression, weakened immune system, autism, birth defects, miscarriages, disturbances in menstrual cycle and loss in sperm count.
When we discuss electromagnetic pollution, the special case is that of cell phones. With cell phones becoming the basic necessity for living, each and everyone from a five year old child to a ninety year old senior-citizens has his /her own cell phone. When you are in motion like travelling in a train or car, the cell phone tries to connect to a new tower every other minute and thus the radiation level is higher. Therefore it is necessary to keep your away while you are in motion. Also cell phones tend to have a more adverse impact on children as their organs are in development stage. So, next time when you are giving your phone to your child for educational or playing purposes, put it on airplane mode. This mode restricts it from sending and receiving signals.
The electromagnetic pollution not only affects humans, but also all animals, plants and insects. If like sparrows, insects disappear as a result of electromagnetic pollution, then there won’t be any food on earth as pollination of plants will be affected.
What can we do to protect ourselves?
To save yourself from the effects of electromagnetic pollution, do a research. Find out what all electronic equipment you and your neighbour or others use. Judge whether these devices have an negative impact due to its electromagnetic field on you or your family member. Switch off your electrical devices whenever possible and unplug them. Increase your distances from electromagnetic field sources. Keep your mobile phones or electronic alarm clock away when you sleep. If you have a wireless device, try replacing it with wired alternatives. Obtain electromagnetic field protectors to reduce the impacts.
It is very important to create awareness about this serious health hazard as many of us don’t know. Organisations such as Environmental Health Trust founded by Devra Lee Davis and electromagnetichealth.org founded by Camilla Rees are creating awareness about electromagnetic pollution and its ill-effects at international level. Our governments study these impacts and enforce necessary rules on the manufactures of the devices and frame guidelines for their usage.
We might not be able to live a life without electricity, internet or cell phones, but we can definitely take measures to reduce our exposure to them and thus reducing their impact on us.
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