Over the last year I setup a home office area, outfitted with an array of monitors, two laptops, a set of speakers, wireless keyboard, and more. This equipment had been scattered throughout the house and frankly I just hadn’t had a dedicated space to work in. Now it’s all in a nice little cabinet where I get up early and crank out some work without waking the house.
My vision has been in decline, and rather than taking the time to go to the eye doctor for glasses, until recently I’ve preferred to lean in closely and squint. To help with this I setup a much larger monitor at work, and the same configuration at home. That way after 10 or so hours at the office I can come home and continue to work into the evening without having to reconfigure my layout. I also got an iPad for reading, to maximize my time and always have documents, books, email and news available when it’s not convenient to be by the computer. I usually hold this in my lap.
Since I started my career, which happened to be at the phone company (many years and many careers ago) I’ve always had a cell phone. Sometimes two. Sometimes two phones and two pagers (old school) all clipped to my belt for work. To clearly reveal my age, the first were those brick phones that looked like field phones from WWII. I would often have them pressed up against my head for hours, literally sometimes up to 6 or 8 hours, while troubleshooting a complex systems problem for work.
I wish I could say I was ignorant of EMF/RF emissions but from many years in the computer hardware industry I am well aware of the pains engineers must take to reduce emissions to Passing Rates for regulatory compliance. A lot of equipment is just within standards when it ships. I’m sure all of us have heard the phenomenon of passing a phone or something else near a TV or a radio and actually “hearing” the energy on another device. Or having your cell phone close to a speaker phone at work. You can even hear the static when an email or text is received.
We know what microwaves do to food, but we rely on the soundness of our store-bought products to keep us safe from rogue emissions. We know that these emissions are happening all around us, and happening all the time, and every day we seem to add more. How about the wiring in the house, and my new home Smartmeter that beams data to the mothership? It’s on the side of the house with the AC panel and the big power line from the service pole. You know, the side of the house where I sleep.
At the hospital they use machines to monitor your heart rate. By attaching a sticky pad with a wire, they pickup the electrical signal from your heart all the way through your body on the surface of your skin.
Could the reverse be true? Could static buildup or low level electrical exposure from EMF outside your body enter through your skin and cause biological changes or consequences to your health?
If you get shocked with a taser you know what happens next is pretty dramatic (“Don’t taze me Bro!”), the electricity travels through your body affecting critical systems, temporarily disabling you, or worse, causing paralysis and sometimes death. But what about very, very slight electrical exposure?
As I began to take an inventory of strange sensations that I have wondered for many years were EMF related I thought about my daily exposure rate. From morning until evening I surround myself with EMF. I rarely sleep more than 7 hours but when I do, my cell phone is just a few feet from my head as a replacement alarm clock, the first thing I touch in the morning to check email, and the last thing I touch at night.
From the start of my commute and all during the day my phone is clipped to my waist with a Bluetooth transmitter stuck to my head. I can easily be on the phone off and on for 10 hours. All throughout the work day I am leaned in close to a jumble of AC and network wiring, LCD screens and computers, bathed in cool light from fluorescent bulbs. To increase my productivity I replicate this at home. Radiation for 17 hours while I’m awake and 7 hours while I sleep.
When it recently became obvious that I felt different when I spent several hours in front of the computer, I opened up my favorite search engine and typed, “EMF LCD feels like sunburn without the heat” and pressed enter. The results surprised even me. What really surprised me were the results that were very similar to, “it feels like I have sunburn without the heat.” These were the very words I had used to describe the sensation many times, even on recent occasions. In the same results were other symptoms which I had wondered were EMF related and there they were, radiating toward me from the screen.
In this LA Times article from 2010, the author seems to lead more toward a psychosomatic cause (all in your head) than a physical one, but also acknowledges that the former director-general of the World Health Organization, Gro Harlem Hrundtland, told the BBC that she, “didn’t allow cellphones in her office because the radiation gave her headaches.” The BBC article references a study in Finland suggestion that radiation from mobile phones causes changes in the brain, even impacting the blood-brain barrier.
I wonder if this search will lead to some actionable answers, or if I’m just a wacky nut with an overactive imagination? Or both?
Tune in to the next exciting installment to follow my journey of discovery and decide for yourself as I ask these questions and many others. Is EMF pollution real? I am bathed in it? Is there proof? Does it matter? What can I do about it?
Human Aura photo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License found at this site.
EMF Pollution by Brad Rowland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.