Finally. I've been trying to get to the computer to blog for a couple of weeks now, but the problem is every time I find a few precious minutes I discover the computer has been shut down. Along with the television, DVD player and Wii. Power strips are commonly found switched off. The iPods are kept on airplane mode and safely stored high where little hands can't reach them. That's right. We are slowly converting to the Amish religion. I haven't used my microwave in nearly a week. Adam is still working from his office upstairs, which requires a computer, but for the most part we are really trying to minimize our use of electrical objects. And I'm about to tell you why!
I know you guys are starting to think of us as a little bit wacko. We've gone vegetarian. We tossed the cell phones and cordless landlines in favor of good ol' fashioned corded phones. We have various homemade concoctions lining our bathtub and bathroom sink. We juice and make vegetable smoothies several times a day. We put coffee up our bums (and like it). I know I'm tiptoeing dangerously close to the edge, and pretty soon I may find myself in a well-meaning intervention meeting with my friends. But, I'm not gone yet. I'm not yet standing on a box in the center of Berryville, unwashed, with soiled clothing and crazed eyes, shaking my fist at the sky and yelling, “Repent, repent! The end is nigh!” I haven't joined the Lyndon LaRouche supporters outside the post office. Although, politically speaking, I think they might find me a bit too fringe for their liking (the Illuminati have control of the whole world and there is no hope for us except to become hermits and shield our children from their evil agenda).
Adam started doing research into electromagnetic frequencies a few weeks back, and has uncovered a lot of interesting information. Many people have asked upon hearing about Adam's condition, “Is it the cell phones?” The answer is “yes” (just like, “Do vaccines cause autism?.... YES) If you have a sneaking suspicion that holding a cell phone up to your skull for hours a day might have negative effects on the brain held within, then your instincts are trying to tell you something. A 2007 study from Sweden (I love Sweden) showed an increased risk of brain tumors in subjects who had been using cell phones for at least 10 years. Another Swedish study (have I mentioned I love Sweden?) showed that children regularly exposed to 3mG (milligauss) or more of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) had 4 times the rate of leukemia. In the same study, adults who where exposed to 3mG or higher of EMF at their place of work had 3 times the rate of leukemia. 8 other studies have reported increased risks of several different types of cancer relative to the subject's proximity to power lines. So where do we find EMFs? Pretty much anything electrical will emit EMFs. Power lines, fuse boxes, the computer, the fridge, the microwave, your clock radio, and cell phones among many other things we use everyday. Anytime you are seated next to or are holding an electrical item, waves of electromagnetic energy run through your body. But, how does that affect us? We don't really know. One theory is that electromagnetic energy disrupts our body's ability to produce melatonin. In animal studies, rats exposed to increased levels of EMF had decreased levels of melatonin. However, in similar studies with sheep and baboons, their melatonin levels were unaffected. One study on humans did show decreased melatonin levels in subjects who already had low melatonin levels when they were exposed to EMFs, but those subjects within the normal range seemed to be unaffected. Melatonin, if you don't know, is a hormone released by the pineal gland that slows cancer growth, among many other important functions. If people who are deficient in melatonin are exposed to EMFs, their already increased cancer risk may have just gone up. That's worth noting.
Adam decided that for his birthday he really wanted an EMF meter to take some readings around the house. Based on the Swedish studies, some groups have determined the maximum safe exposure of EMFs to be at 3mG. In most of the rooms of our house, the ambient EMF level is about 1 ½mG. That's good. But start moving closer to the electrical items, and interesting things start happening. The stereo (when playing a CD) went up to 100 at point blank range. You need to back up at least a foot before it falls back down to 3mG. The microwave when OFF went up to 100 at point blank range, but fell back down to 3mG less than a foot away. However, when we turned it ON the needle again went off the charts, and we needed to back a full 6 FEET away from the unit before the needle went back down to 3mG. That's shocking. Especially when I realized that having a built-in unit above the stove is the most dangerous decision we could have made 3 years ago when we had our kitchen done. How many times have I stood with my head less than 6 inches away from a running microwave because I was also tending to food cooking on the stove. Frightening. We had a lot of fun testing the TV, Wii, clock radio, computer hard drives, computer monitors, and everything else we could think of. All of them had shockingly high readings at point blank range. It is really important not to sleep right next to an alarm clock. It's also important to make sure you are always at least 3 feet away from your computer screen. If you are at an arm's length, you are okay. If your teenage daughter sleeps with her cell phone under her pillow, run (don't walk) and go get her an MRI. Today. Okay I'm kidding, sort of. But, these kind of habits have to change if we want to prevent an epidemic of brain tumors or other cancers in the future. The Swedish government (can I tell you again how much I love Sweden) has recommended that no new homes or schools be constructed near energy plants and has proposed that efforts be made to lower EMF levels in all homes, schools and workplaces. Adam used to walk up to the new Clarke County High School every morning, until one day last week he took his EMF meter with him. There is a mobile phone tower right next to the school, and the levels in front of the school were off the charts. That's exposure of over 100mG of EMFs all day everyday for all the children and staff of that school. Adam has changed his walking route. For the rest of you, think about all the electrical items in your house and how you may be able to change some of your habits. Please consider using your cell phone only on “speaker”. You can find modern corded phones with caller ID. Instead of leaving the WiFi on all the time, switch it off at nights. Same for the computer. And toss the microwave. Unless it's built-in like ours, in which case you just found some more storage space! Also, there are protective measures you can take if you must work in an office and use a cell phone regularly. Pong makes a case for cell phones that block radiation and make them safer to carry around with you all day. Also, Safe Space, among many other companies, makes patches that you can stick on computer screens, hard drives, printers and appliances that absorb EMFs. Finally, there are supplements you can take to help your body deal with EMF exposure. Adam takes rosemary capsules everyday. Also cilantro, dandelion and seaweeds (kelp, spirulina, and chlorella) help the body eliminate cells that have been damaged from metals, radiation and EMF exposure. If you are unable to go the full Amish and avoid EMFs completely, and you feel you might be at risk, consider adding one or two of these supplements to your diet. And do some research. Some of this information can be hard to find, but it's out there!