Electromagnetic field (EMF) protection is a term that has created a great amount of concern in the media. These include warnings about how electronic devices are potentially harmful and emit toxic levels of radiation. We’ve heard about how you shouldn’t keep your laptop on your lap, hold your cell phone away from your head, and even limit the time you spend in front of the computer.
The problem with this media hype is the creation of conspiracy theories. The consumer isn’t to blame for this—who is to know what’s true or what’s not when the media is willing to capitalize on consumer fears? The only way to change people’s perceptions about what EMF is to understand the facts about it—what it is, its effects, and realistic methods of EMF protection.
EMF protection is an acronym standing for “electromagnetic field” protection. What is this exactly? Well, you can think of an EMF as a force field around an object. It’s a physical field, that’s created by electrically charged objects. This field, a combination of electricity and magnetism, affects the behaviour of charged objects within its range. Let’s apply that to a practical example. A microwave emits EMFs when electricity flows through it. It creates microwaves. A cell phone is another example—when it’s on (therefore being electrically charged), it emits EMFs.
There are two types of EMFs, which are as follows: ELFs (extremely low frequency) and EMRs (electromagnetic radiation). ELFs are emitted from all electronic devices, whereas EMRs are created by any electronic device that is using Wifi or cellular communications. EMRs can be either ionizing, or non-ionizing.
Non-ionizing is considered to be safe, but ionizing (which includes x-rays) have enough electromagnetic energy to alter chemical reactions in the body. Devices in the EMR category include mobile phones, computers, tablets, or any other electronic device that fits the EMR description. The issue surrounding EMF protection is the worry that EMFs cause harmful effects in the body. Carcinogenic, reproductive, and neurological side-effects are what make the issue worrying, especially when in the public eye: our society depends so much on electronic devices.
This is where the topic of EMF protection comes into the picture. Please keep in mind that the research on health issues caused by EMFs is not conclusive. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that the effects of EMFs are not definitive. However, the potential for harm has not been disproved. This is why EMF protection is a good preventative measure against any potential health issues.
Using regular laptop cooling pads, desks, or trays do not block any EMFs—they are not designed to do so, although they do limit heat radiation. There are three factors to consider for EMF protection: distance, time, and shielding. First, don’t let your electronic device rest on any part of your body. Using a device from a foot away is better than inches.
For example, rest your laptop on a table at arm’s length away. Second, decrease your use of electronic devices. If you can limit the time spent at your computer, using your phone, or iPad, the less exposure to any EMFs you will have. For example, consider going for a walk around the office at your break times, or getting up to go talk to someone instead of sending an email. The third tip is to use an EMF shielding device. What exactly is a shielding device?
EMF protection works best when using a shielding device. This is a device that blocks the EMFs emitted from an electronic device and you can find retailers online that specialize in these devices. Some products that can be found are monitor screen shields: a clear shield that fits over your laptop, computer, or TV monitor. Other products include cell phone EMF shields, face and eye shields, aprons, or box-shaped shields to cover a monitor entirely. There are even EMF shielding paints and bed canopies.
EMF protection devices also include devices that assess work or home environments for the level of EMF activity. Some of these devices, also available online, include EMF meters that measure electronic, magnetic, and radiofrequency fields.
EMF protection comes in many shapes, forms, and sizes—but your best protection against EMFs is knowledge.