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Electromagnetic Fields and Your Immune System

by Michael R. Neuert, MA, BSME

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As compared to conventional medicine, with its expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of symptoms, the value of a more holistic approach may be the recognition and treatment of the underlying conditions that allow "dis-ease" to exist. This article deals with one of the most controversial, yet perhaps most prevalent dis-ease conditions today: the bio-effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

EMFs are a type of low-frequency radiation emitted from everything electrical around us: power lines, transformers, electrical wiring, computers, TVs, lights, clocks, appliances, etc. Recent studies have linked EMFs to increased leukemia, lymphoma, brain cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, miscarriage, birth defects, suicide, and most recently, Alzheimer's disease. This wide range of health problems may be due to EMFs' effects on the pineal gland, which is the master gland of the body, secreting hormones which control our circadian rhythms, and regulate important functions of the brain and all the other glands.

Researchers have discovered that EMFs can suppress the pineal glands' secretion of melatonin, a hormone which controls our wake/sleep cycle, moods and task performance. Depressed melatonin levels are associated with mood changes, depression and psychiatric disorders. Melatonin also plays a critical cancer role, by increasing the phytotoxicity of the body's natural killer lymphocytes. Suppression of pineal gland function has been implicated in the etiology of breast, ovarian, prostate and melanoma cancers.

Other studies have linked EMFs to decreased production of enzymes called "protein kinases" in human lymphocyte cells. This also indicates that EMFs can suppress the immune system. Now, if EMFs can suppress the immune system to the point where cancer rates double or triple, what other effects might a suppressed immune system have on our day-to-day health and well being? Do we experience more colds, more allergies, and more susceptibility to other seemingly unrelated medical problems? Are we less capable of handling chemical pollution from the environment?

And today, considering the prevalence of immune related disorders---from allergies to AIDS---wouldn't it be wise to support (rather than suppress) the immune system? A natural, holistic approach to health would suggest reducing EMFs as much as reasonably possible.

Researchers have raised important concerns about both the electric and the magnetic components of EMF emissions. However, the greater concern is focused on the magnetic part, because repeated studies have linked magnetic field levels to increased childhood cancer deaths.

Most magnetic field exposures come from power lines and electrical wiring. Other common sources are waterbeds, electric blankets, computers, fluorescent lights, TVs, telephones, appliances and automobiles. To detect magnetic fields, you can buy or rent a gaussmeter, or have a professional perform an inspection. Reductions can be as simple as avoiding high exposure locations. Electrical wiring can be repaired to installed according to low-EMF methods. Specific sources can be shielded. Low emission computers, telephones and appliances are becoming available.

Anecdotal evidence indicated that AC (alternating current) electric fields are often involved when people are knowingly "sensitive" to electricity. Often referred to as "wired and tired," they may experience conditions ranging from a rather vague discomfort or irritation. to headaches, fatigue and other symptoms.

In my observation, almost everyone today experiences an underlying level of "wired and tired" due to electric fields. Some individuals handle it better, perhaps having a stronger resistance to life's stresses. Others are more sensitive, and in extreme cases may experience allergies, depression, environmental illness, or chronic fatigue syndrome. If you are the type of person who feels better when the electricity suddenly goes off during a power failure, or when walking out in the woods away from any electricity, you may be sensitive to electric fields.

Most electric field exposures come from building wiring. The remainder come from cords, appliances and nearby power lines. Electric fields are easy to reduce. Walls and ceilings can be painted with special shielded paint. New electrical wiring can be installed using shielded materials. In many homes, certain electrical circuits can be switched off at night, reducing the fields during sleep.

Michael R. Neuert has over 10 years experience with the EMF issue. He is the owner of Safe Home & Office Company, providing complete EMF reduction services and products for Northern California.

Related Info:
Toxins In Your Home
The Hazards of Household Cleaning Products
The Dangers of Electromagnetic Radiation
WIFI: Friend or Foe?
Plastics & the Environment


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