We live in a “smart” world, where so many things are wireless. From our phones to our computers, and even our electrical meters, the world is truly becoming more and more connected. While this has many benefits — I can’t imagine not using my cell phone! — it can have serious health effects unless we take some simple steps to protect ourselves.
In my two previous articles, I explained what WiFI, EMFs, and EMR are and some of the hazards associated with them. I also touched on effective ways you can protect yourself and your family. I’ll go into much greater detail on those here.
Before we move on to who is most affected and what you can do, I’ll quickly recap what these acronyms mean. WiFi, or wireless fidelity, is the technology of wireless communication, which is facilitated by electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and the result is electromagnetic radiation (EMR). 5G, the fifth generation of WiFi, is of particular concern, as it emits the most intense radiation.
Together, this technology emits something called “electropollution.” It is every bit as real as the toxins I’ve written and spoken about such as heavy metals, pesticides, and household chemicals. Ensuring we steer clear of electropollution as much as possible, just like I advise with other toxins, will help us on our journey to optimal health.
Who is Affected?
Everyone, and especially children. Their cells are growing at a fast rate, their immune systems are forming, and their central nervous systems are under development. Because children’s brains and bodies are immature, this makes them more vulnerable to the effects of electromagnetic radiation. So, it’s important to limit or eliminate exposure as much as possible for young children.
Also at high risk are pregnant women and people in their reproductive years. This is because EMR impacts fertility in both men and women. It lowers sperm production and motility1 in men and causes a drop in the number of eggs in women.2 Finally, people who repair electronic equipment are also at greater risk, due to the close proximity to EMF exposure,3 as are flight crews and frequent flyers who are constantly in closely confined WiFi environments.4
What are the Common Ways You’re Exposed?
You probably never think about the ways in which you are exposed to EMFs and EMR created by WiFi. Here are 10 of the most common, many of which you can control:
- Cell phones and cordless phones
- Microwave ovens
- Bluetooth devices (such as speakers, headphones, mouse, keyboard)
- WiFi itself
- Smart televisions and radios
- Power lines and cell phone towers (also known as base stations)
- Household smart devices (meters, security systems, thermostats, and vacuums)
- Air travel including preflight scanners
- X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs
What Problems Result from Exposure to WiFi, EMFs, and EMR?
Unfortunately, the list of health problems associated with WiFi, EMFs, and EMR is long and various studies back this up. According to expert Dr. Martin Pall, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Washington State University who has a PhD in biochemical genetics from Caltech, there are over 38 documented cases of EMF causing cancer alone. Here is a list of some of the most common problems associated with WiFi, EMF, and EMR:
- Anxiety and behavior changes such as ADD and ADHD
- Increased cancer risk, especially breast cancer
- Changes to cognitive function such as a lack of attention and concentration
- Developmental problems, especially in the brain
- Increased stress response and impact on the adrenal gland
- Infertility due to negative impact on sperm and egg quality
- Hormonal imbalances
- Neurological disorders, including dementia and ALS
- Oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation
What Steps Can You Take to Minimize Your Exposure?
I’ve got some very good news: You don’t have to give up the benefits of modern life to lessen your exposure to WiFi, EMFs, and EMR. I’ve taken many of these steps in my own home. The changes are low-cost, easy to make, and have practically no impact on how my family lives. I recommend implementing as many of these tips as you can.
1. Use Your Cell Phone and Laptop Safely
If you’re like me, your cell phone is probably a constant presence in your life. However, you can adjust your habits without giving up the convenience of your phone. In just a few days, I developed healthier habits with my phone.
- Switch off bluetooth and avoid bluetooth headphones on your computer or phone.
- Carry your cell phone in a purse or bag rather than on your body.
- Get a phone shield case like this one that minimizes exposure.
- Use 3G, which emits much less radiation yet has a slower internet speed. It works fine for most needs. On an iPhone, go to Settings> Cellular> Cellular Data Options> Enable LTE and select “Off”.
- Turn off cellular data entirely. You can do this in your phone’s “settings” menu. This means you’re disabling your phone’s radio signal and the use of cellular data over your provider’s network. If you have a newer cell phone, you can still turn on WiFi to access the internet as well as send and receive calls and texts. Your cell phone manufacturer will have a complete list of functionality for your model.
- Use the speakerphone function to talk on your phone instead of holding the phone to your ear, or use headphones like these that plug into the phone.
- If you want your cell phone by your bed at night, be sure to put it in airplane mode. That way you can still use it as your alarm clock, as I do.
- Limit device time. This seems so simple, yet I admit it can be tough! Many newer phones have built-in apps that will monitor and inform you of how much screen time you’re getting.
- Avoid placing laptops and tablets on your body while in use. If you often have your laptop in your lap, consider using an EMF blocking laptop pad such as this one.
2. Avoid or Remove Smart Meters
If you have an analog meter, then good for you! It’s definitely not a smart meter. If you have a digital meter, it may or may not be a smart meter. Contact your utility company to find out if there is a smart meter on your home.
- Opt out if you can. Many cities and towns will allow you to opt of smart meters. I had my smart meter replaced with a traditional meter for $75 with an additional monthly fee of $10.
- Purchase a protective cover if you can’t have the smart meter removed.
3. Limit Your Smart Devices
I recommend you don’t buy any of the “smart” devices that are becoming popular. A smart device is one that connects wirelessly to other devices (like your phone) via different wireless protocols such as Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G, 4G, and 5G. If it’s wireless, it’s emitting radiation into your environment. Instead, choose hardwired versions if you can. However, some items like non-smart TVs are practically impossible to find. And some smart devices are now standard in new homes.Try to minimize their use as much as possible. Here’s a list of smart devices I suggest you avoid if you can:
- Home assistants (like Amazon Echo or Google Home)
- Garage door openers (traditional remotes are not smart devices)
- Self-propelled robotic vacuums
- Light bulbs
- Video doorbells
- Door locks
This is one anyone can do! It not only reduces electropollution, it will also save you money which is never a bad thing.
- Plug electronic devices into a power strip with a timer. This makes it easy to have devices on when you need them and off when you don’t. I have my TV, router, soundbar, and a few other items on a power strip and timer and I’ve found it very convenient.
- Unplug small items that don’t need to be powered at all times like your hairdryer or kitchen mixer.
- Disconnect your router at night or when you’re not using it.
- Turn off your baby monitor if you feel ready to go without. Otherwise, opt for a hard-wired model and place it across the room from the crib or bed.
- Restrict electronic devices in your bedroom to absolute must-haves such as an air purifier or humidifier.
- Place your router, smart TV, speakers, and other smart devices as far from your bedroom as possible.
- Turn off breaker switches to bedrooms at night.
I can’t stress enough the difference this can make! It’s an old-school solution to a high-tech problem.
- Purchase ethernet cables to directly connect devices. Most older computers have an ethernet port specifically for this purpose. If you have a newer Macbook, like I do, or one of the newer, thinner models of laptops that are now being released, I found you’ll need to purchase a USB-C to ethernet adaptor to connect the ethernet cable to your computer. You can also directly connect your computer to your printer with a USB cable when you need to print. This may also require an adapter. Don’t forget to shut off the WiFi on the printer.
- Wire your iPad or tablet, using adapters. For an iPad like mine, you’ll need an RJ45 Lightning to Ethernet Adapter and a shielded ethernet cable with metal rather than plastic ends. Once connected, go into “Settings”, and the “Ethernet” menu item will appear. Ensure Airplane Mode is on, and WiFi and Bluetooth are off.
- Invest in a MOCA adapter that allows you to turn RJ45 coaxial cable into an ethernet port, which has a switch on it so you can turn it on and off. My TV, speakers, Apple TV, and cable box are all attached to one and are now hardwired.
- Purchase an adapter that allows you to plug your smartphones directly into your home’s network so they can access the internet. I did this so I can turn off the cellular antenna and WiFi, yet still make calls through the internet.
- You can turn off the wireless component of most internet modem/routers whenever you want. I have to be directly connected (hardwired) to the router, yet I can remotely control this functionality by turning it off and on through an app on my phone.
- Insert a cable isolation filter into incoming cables that carry current to help filter dirty electricity.
6. Boost Your Immune System
Another action you can take is to boost your immune and overall health with supplements. In case you’re wondering: Yes I do have all of these in my home!
- Glutathione: Glutathione is the body’s most powerful detoxifier and is critical for a strong immune system and clearing toxins from your body.
- Rest and Restore™: Rest and Restore™ is a physician-formulated combination of targeted amino acids and minerals designed to support relaxation and sleep.
- Curcumin: Curcumin supports a healthy immune response and modulates your inflammatory response. My liposomal formula allows the greatest bio-absorption of this substance that’s derived from turmeric.
- Omega-3s: These fatty acids support your body’s healthy inflammatory response as well as healthy vision, mood & cognitive function.
- Resveratrol: Resveratrol is a powerful free radical scavenger that optimizes the immune system, supports the healthy appearance of vasculature in the legs, and balances inflammatory response.
- Multivitamin: My specially formulated multivitamin is designed to build the ultimate foundation for optimal health. It contains high levels of key nutrients for general wellness and detoxification including selenium and zinc. The vitamins are in their activated forms to promote cardiovascular and neurological health, and optimize detoxification and methylation.
7. Go Above and Beyond
If you find that you are especially sensitive to EMFs or simply want to take further steps, here are a few additional options you can consider.
- Sleep under an EMF-blocking blanket. These are also available in child sizes. These are great if you’re in an apartment or traveling to a hotel where you can’t have control over the environment.
- Use EMF-blocking paint that can be covered with regular paint on interior walls to block outside EMFs from entering your home. Some apartments will also allow you to paint the walls. Consult your lease, or reach out to your management team or landlord for permission.
- Consider purchasing a whole-house dirty electricity mitigation system such as this one from SineTamer. These are wonderful if you own your own home.
You may or may not feel a difference between an environment with a lot of electromagnetic radiation and one with very little. I myself can’t tell a difference whether the WiFi is on or off, however I had patients who were extremely sensitive and could not tolerate it. When you make these changes, you may feel an improvement right away or nothing at all.
However, there are many toxins we can’t see, smell, feel, or taste and yet they can impact our bodies dramatically. This is especially true over the long term because exposure to toxins has a cumulative effect.
As a functional medicine physician, I advise everyone to control what they can in their environments. In fact, Tame the Toxins is the third pillar of The Myers Way®. Filtering out dirty electricity, WiFi, EMFs, and EMR is every bit as important as filtering your air and water; eating clean, organic foods; and buying clean beauty and homecare products.
Fortunately, you can create a haven within your home and limit your exposure with these simple steps that put you in control of these toxins. And the added benefit is that the more of us who take these steps, the more we minimize electropollution for everyone.