Where does electromagnetic energy come from? What are the sources? In this guest post, Lois Cadwallader explores electromagnetic energy examples and sources and looks at the ways we can protect ourselves:
I apply the same principal regarding exposure to electromagnetic energy that I apply to drinking and driving –
a little + a little + a little = a LOT.
So, don’t drink and drive.
Likewise, when it comes to EMF exposure – here a little, there a little, every day, all day can add up to dangerous levels of saturation very quickly.
Where are exposures coming from and what can we do about them?
Electromagnetic Energy Examples
The electromagnetic spectrum above shows the range of different types of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in accordance to their frequency and wavelength. I want you to have a good look at it. It also shows some nice examples of devices which emit electromagnetic energy. Let me explain this in more detail:
#1 Nature and direct current
Nature is replete with electromagnetic energy. It is part of the earth’s magnetic field. It is essential to every beat of our heart.
Unlike man-made electromagnetic energy, it is mostly:
- low-low on the energy scale (except for lightning)
- and non-polarized. [1,2]
In man-made direct current (DC), there is very little energy emitted. Direct current was originally used in electrical transmission, but was exchanged for alternating current, which allowed for greater transmission distance.
Batteries use DC, and are not usually problematic, except in rare cases of hyper-sensitivity.
Tip: When possible, use electronics in battery mode.
#2 Basic electricity and dirty electricity (Alternating Currents)
Basic electricity, including electrical cords, the wiring behind the walls of your home, and machinery are also good examples of electromagnetic energy. They give off what's known as ELFs (Extremely Low Frequencies) and VLFs (Very Low Frequencies).
But don’t be lulled into thinking that the ELFs and VLFs are harmless. There is evidence that long-term exposure to even low levels of this man-made energy could exacerbate existing health issues and/or trigger serious disorders. [3,4]
Other sources of electromagnetic energy are high-voltage wires and electrical substations. These are obvious things to avoid and hopefully, you do not live or work close to either of those.
Tip: Check your house to see where breaker boxes, heating and air conditioning units and utility meters are located. Avoid sleeping near them.
Tip: Pay attention to where you sit, stand or sleep and create distance between you and any electrical cords and electronics or anything that has a motor. Get an EMF meter/s and measure 3 types of energy coming from wires:
- Electric energy
- Magnetic energy
- Dirty Electricity
Consult an EMF expert for remediation. There are adjustments you can make to bring the numbers down and decrease your exposure levels.
On a small business audit and remediation visit, my husband (Certified Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist) discovered that Lisa, the candy-maker, was standing directly in front of her machinery, which was pumping out high levels of magnetic energy. By shifting her work station a few feet to the right, the exposure was dramatically reduced. And the chocolates were just as delicious!
Tip: Consider getting your house checked for electrical wiring errors. Your electrical installation can appear to be working perfectly normally and yet it could be emitting high levels of magnetic fields. Read about EMFs on wiring here.
Dirty Electricity is technically known as high voltage transients and harmonics. These are spikes of electricity that piggy-back on electrical wires. 
You might also want to read Lloyd's extensive dirty electricity article here.
Tip: There are plug-in filters (capacitors) that can reduce it immediately. These work well, but in rare cases where complex wiring errors exist, the filters can cause magnetic radiation to increase. If you are EHS (Electrically Hypersensitive) and feel worse after installing filters, unplug immediately and consult an expert. You may need to try a different type of filter.
Again, they work well, but I recommend you consult an expert if you are going to use dirty electricity filters. See the ElectricSense consultants list.
#3 Radio and TV towers
Radio and TV towers are another example of a source of electromagnetic energies. What's more we are exposed to these EMFs continually. 
There is one simple practice that we can follow to reduce our exposure to this energy.
Tip: Create distance between you and the radio or TV towers. Distance is your friend (this is not always easy to apply, but keep it in mind!).
#4 Smart Phones
There is little doubt concerning the high correlation between wireless devices and disease. [7,8,9]
The most deceptive thing about our “smart phones,” is that they are emitting high levels of electromagnetic energy, even when not in use.
Our phones are constantly, typically every 6-30 seconds, sending out a “beacon” to the nearest cell tower, WiFi, or Bluetooth device to say…
That signal is thousands of times higher than what scientists have determined produce biological effects on the body. [9,10,11]
It’s a fact that electromagnetic energy affects humans at the cellular level. The debate is about whether or not it matters to our health. If you are not clear on this read the EMF scientific research here.
If you are “EMF savvy,” you know that other than completely powering off, the only safe way to carry a cell phone on your body is to:
- Turn Airplane Mode ON
- Turn Bluetooth And WiFi OFF
This shuts down all electromagnetic energy. And of course, shuts down all transmission and reception. So, you must check for messages periodically.
But beware ! Some of the newer phones (and tablets) have an automatic re-connect feature.
Tip: You must double check to ensure that Airplane mode is ON and Bluetooth and WiFi remain OFF when your phone or tablet is close to you. These devices “want” to be connected and are programmed to do so. Learn about cell phone radiation protection here.
#5 WiFi / Routers / Bluetooth
WiFi / Routers / Bluetooth are another example of an electromagnetic energy source. They have increased in power density dramatically over the past couple of years.
Moving the WiFi / router as far away as possible from living and sleeping areas is helpful. But new routers are so much higher that you could place it in the far corner of the garage and still receive a high saturation of electromagnetic energy throughout your entire house.
Tip: At least turn off at night. Better yet, only turn on when you need it. Using a remote control cut-off switch makes this effortless.
Something else. Did you know that even a hard-wired printer (or other device or appliance) could have an embedded WiFi feature?
During a home audit and remediation appointment, my husband picked up a very high reading in a kitchen. After unplugging “everything but the kitchen sink,” it still persisted.
Turned out that it was coming directly from above – a home office printer. The printer was prudently hardwired and turned off, but contained a stealth WiFi feature that had to be manually disabled or completely powered OFF at the source. Good reason to own an EMF meter.
Tip: Put your office machines and appliances on a power strip or a remote control system. When not in use, cut power at the source.
Some people have the false notion that Bluetooth is somehow less dangerous. Bluetooth is the same frequency as most WiFi routers. Because these devices are generally very close to the body, we do not recommend them. Check out excellent article and quick read: Bluetooth What You Will Learn Nowhere Else – Is It Really Dangerous?
Tip: Avoid Bluetooth. Not a good look.
#6 Cell Towers
Cell Towers. This is difficult because it is something over which we have no control. And now we are dealing with 5G radiation which features “smaller” antennas which can be located every 2-12 houses.
Currently, most cell towers are using 3G and 4G. But 5G is rolling out and even fully operational in some cities. And some areas are co-locating 4G and 5G antennas so as to be ready for the completion of the 5G infrastructure.
Sadly, most people would rather have the best reception than a low EMF environment, and you usually can’t have both.
Some grassroots efforts to thwart the placement of cell towers on school property have been successful. [12,13 ]
See my article: Are 5G Towers Really More Dangerous?
Tip: If you live in the USA, go to antenasearch.com and find out where active antennas are in your neighborhood.
You may want to consider shielding options if electromagnetic energy is hitting a particular wall of your home.
However, shielding can be tricky. Since it is reflective, if it is not properly installed it can actually make things worse. I recommend consulting with an EMF professional who will meter before and after to ensure that the intended result is achieved.
See the ElectricSense EMF consultants list.
Microwaves. What a convenience! And what a danger! These things are terribly powerful and probably not good for our food; much less, our bodies.
Tip: Step awaaaaay from the microwave. And don’t forget your pets. Just how far away? This 1 min. video may surprise you:
#8 Light, light, light
With light, we are now approaching the energy zone commonly referred to as “ionizing.” Characteristic of ionizing electromagnetic energy is heat and DNA damage. It is widely accepted as being a potential health hazard.
Let’s take another look at the EM spectrum.
Infrared Light comes in far, medium, and near types and is designated according to wave lengths. This is mostly invisible and involves heating. One might encounter infrared light energy with saunas and spas, tanning salons, remote controls signals, and in certain manufacturing processes.
Tip: DDT – Limiting the Dosage, Distance and Time are key factors in minimizing the damage that infrared light waves can potentially cause to eyes, skin, and DNA.
What about remote control cut-off switches? My answer is that, it is on for less than 1 second. Not to worry.
Also, be advised that not all saunas claiming to be “low EMF” are actually that. Remember, there are several types of electromagnetic energies.
- Through the air
- Wireless, WiFi, Bluetooth / RF
- And, from the wires
- Dirty Electricity
We measure all of the above. Oftentimes, a sauna might be legitimately low in only 1 type of EMFs but high in others. Check out Oram Miller’s article.
Light bulbs can be problematic. The so called, “energy efficient” light bulbs create spikes of energy thousands of times per second. Let’s get right to the solution.
Tip: Replace florescent and CFLs (curly-cue) light bulbs with the old-fashion incandescent light bulbs or halogens with the wide-base, screw in type.
What? No LEDs? I used to recommend them but I no longer do because of the flickering issue as well as the production of blue light and dirty electricity.
Sunlight is, of course, necessary for life. But a little goes a long way. Over exposure to Ultra-Violet (UV) rays can cause damage to eyes, skin, DNA, and is one of the main causes of skin cancer.
Tip: Enjoy natural sunlight in the early morning hours or late afternoon when the sun does not have a direct and intense effect on you. And, use appropriate shielding.
X-Rays are an example of ionizing electromagnetic energy. These are powerful rays that are able to penetrate the soft tissue of the body. They are called “Ionizing” because they produce heat and can damage DNA.
X-rays are mostly valuable in diagnosing skeletal injuries, lung disorders and dental decay. Since they are near the high end of the electromagnetic energy spectrum, they should be used sparingly.
There is a reason your x-ray technician puts on a leaded shield and stands behind a barrier.
Tip: Keep exposure to X-rays as infrequent as possible. If you have had a lot of exposure to X-rays, specific nutritional support might be beneficial. Two good articles:
#10 Gamma Rays and Cosmic Rays
These represent the highest, most dangerous electromagnetic energy on the spectrum.
Gamma rays are used for the sterilization of food, in radiation therapy for cancer, and in other medical applications. They are associated with nuclear explosions.
Cosmic Rays are produced by the hottest and most energetic objects in the universe, such as supernova explosions.
Tip: Weigh the risks and benefits of medical radiation therapy. You may want to consider other options.
This concludes my examples of sources of electromagnetic energy.
a little + a little + a little = a LOT
We never know what the “tipping point” for our health is.
Electromagnetic energy is cumulative. Think about that regarding children.
We cannot totally escape the presence of this. But there are many things we can do to minimize it in our daily lives.
May your EMFs be low and your health be high.
Many thanks to Lois Cadwallader for this guest post.
Author bio: Lois Cadwallader, MA, has been a professional educator all her life. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and enjoys volunteering in after-school clubs, hiking and cycling. She is the co-author of Exposed: The Electronic Sickening of America and How to Protect Yourself – Includes Dangers of 5G and Smart Devices.
Sources and Bibliography
For a detailed list of possible sources of electromagnetic energy, room-by-room, see:
Cadwallader, Bill, “EXPOSED: The Electronic Sickening of America and How to Protect Yourself—Includes the Dangers of 5G and Smart Devices,” Stop Dirty Electricity, Las Vegas, NV 2018
Bill shares over 30 pages of up-to-date information from his annual visit to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. You may be surprised how many things in your environment have turned “smart” and could be spewing out electromagnetic energy, even when turned off.
1. Invisible Rainbow, A History of Electricity and Life, The. Arthur Firstenberg. Santa Fe, NM: AGB Press, 2017.
2. Body Electric. Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life, The (with Gary Selden). New York: NY: William Morrow & Co., Inc.; 1st edition, January 1, 1985. Also available in paperback and Kindle editions.
3. Wertheimer, N., and E. Leeper. “Electrical Wiring Configurations and Childhood Cancer,” American Journal of Epidemiology, March 1979, 109(3):273-84.
4. Sage, C. (Ed.) BioInitiative 2012 (Updated 2017) – A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF). Rensselaer, NY: University at Albany, 2012.
5. Milham. Dr. Samuel. Dirty Electricity—Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization, 2nd Edition, iUniverse, 2012.
6. Cherry, Neil PhD, Probable health effects associated with mobile base stations in communities: the need for health studies, 2000.
7. Disconnect, The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation. Dr. Devra Davis, New York, NY: Environmental Health Trust, 2013.
8. National Toxicology Program. “Cell Phone Radio Frequency Radiation,” from the rat and mouse studies, November, 2018. Retrieved from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
9. Sage, C. (Ed.) BioInitiative 2012 (Updated 2017) – A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF). Rensselaer, NY: University at Albany, 2012.
10. Belyaev, I. “Evidence for Disruption by Modulation: Role of Physical and Biological Variables in Bioeffects of Non-Thermal Microwaves for Reproducibility, Cancer Risk and Safety Standards,” BioInitiative 2012 (Updated 2017) – A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF), C. Sage and D. O. Carpenter (editors).
11. Adey, W.R. “Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields,” Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 51, No. 4 (April 1993).
12. Environmental Health Trust: ehtrust.org. Dr. Devra Davis, founder and president. This website not only contains valuable and reliable information, but also ideas on how you can take local action in your schools and community.
13. Manhattan Neighbors for Safer Telecommunications. Contains useful advice for parents and schools.