Decades ago, when mobile phones were popularized, there were several media reports about whether electromagnetic waves from mobile phones were harmful to the human body. Under the influence of such fear, unproven methods of preventing electromagnetic waves from cell phones have also become popular.
Today, compared to before, there are a lot more diverse and larger numbers of electronic products around us. Its size is getting smaller and smaller to make it easier for us to carry around all the time. The word “wearable device” meaning an electronic product worn like clothes is no longer unfamiliar. In other words, it is an environment where electromagnetic waves from electronic products are more likely to affect us. However, the interest in electromagnetic waves seems to have been less than before. So, in today’s article, we are going to talk about the electromagnetic waves that are being emitted even at this time from numerous electronic products around us.
What is an electromagnetic wave?
First, let’s check the definition of the word electromagnetic wave. In order to use electronic products, current must flow at a constant voltage. At this time, an electric field is formed around the place where voltage is applied, and a magnetic field is formed around the place where current flows. The combination of electric and magnetic fields is called an electromagnetic field. So, electromagnetic fields are generated around all electronic products that use electricity. In addition, electromagnetic waves that propagate into space by forming a pair of electric and magnetic fields are called electromagnetic waves. This is what we call electromagnetic waves.
What are the things that emit electromagnetic waves?
It can be said that electromagnetic waves are emitted from all electronic products that operate on electricity. These electromagnetic waves can be classified based on high and low frequencies. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Equipment) used in hospitals, high-voltage wires or substations, computers used at work or home, and other home appliances emit extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves. Meanwhile, intermediate frequency electromagnetic waves are emitted from induction ovens and microwave ovens. On the other hand, radio broadcast communication devices such as radio, TV, wireless Internet, wireless telephone, mobile phone, etc. emit high frequency high frequency electromagnetic waves.
Are electromagnetic waves harmful to the human body?
Electromagnetic waves have higher energy as the frequency increases. Therefore, when exposed to high-frequency electromagnetic waves, the energy is converted into heat and the temperature of the living tissue may rise. However, it is known that the electromagnetic energy is not high enough to directly modify or destroy molecular structures such as proteins or genes in living tissues. However, when exposed to other harmful substances, it may play a role in altering the structure or function of genes or proteins beyond the effect of transferring heat.
According to one study, children living near high-voltage power lines (extremely low-frequency electromagnetic waves) had a higher risk of leukemia than children in other regions. Research has shown that exposure to high-frequency electromagnetic waves in direct contact with parts of the body, such as mobile phones, increases the risk of brain tumors. However, the WHO announced that it has not found evidence that mobile phones increase the risk of brain tumors in adults. And it is said that they have not found clear health effects of exposed environments that do not come into direct contact with the body, such as radio base stations or broadcasting towers. The International Cancer Research Institute (IARC) has defined ultra-low-frequency and high-frequency electromagnetic waves as factors that may induce cancer in humans (Group 2B), paying attention to the results that ultra-low-frequency electromagnetic waves increase the risk of leukemia in children. In addition, it is recommended to reduce exposure, especially to children.
On the other hand, some people complain of various types of physical symptoms because they are too sensitive to exposure to electromagnetic waves. An unspecified symptom associated with exposure to electromagnetic waves is called’electromagnetic sensitivity.’ This is mainly related to people’s subjective feelings about electromagnetic waves, and the relationship with the exposure to electromagnetic waves has not been proven. However, there is a risk that electromagnetic waves may interfere or disturb electrical devices used in artificial organs in patients’ bodies.
In addition, there are studies that show that teenagers who use the Internet or mobile phones a lot are more depressed or less academically efficient. However, this may be due to lack of sleep or excessive Internet use, so it is difficult to conclude that it is a health effect from exposure to electromagnetic waves. However, broadly it can be said to be a type of health impact from the use of electronic communication devices.
How to reduce exposure to electromagnetic waves?
The basic principle is to reduce unnecessary exposure to electromagnetic waves. One way is to unplug electrical cords from electronic products that are not in use. This is because an electric field is formed if the electric cord is connected even if the electric product is not in use. Also, it is better not to be too close when using electronic products. In general, it is recommended to be at least 30 cm apart. In particular, it is necessary for children and adolescents to be more careful to reduce their exposure to electromagnetic waves. Also, electromagnetic wave prevention stickers or cactus, which some people recommend as a method of blocking electromagnetic waves, have no effect on preventing electromagnetic waves.
On the other hand, companies should make efforts to develop electronic products with lower levels of electromagnetic wave generation, and the government should prepare policies to induce the development of technologies that reduce electromagnetic waves.
Smartphones, Bluetooth earphones, and even smart watches. As the years go by, we are tightly surrounded by numerous electronic products. These electronic products emit electromagnetic waves. However, it seems that our interest in electromagnetic waves has not been as long as before. Maybe it’s because we thought we couldn’t escape from electromagnetic waves, so we became insensitive to the danger. One thing is certain, regardless of what we think, electromagnetic waves are still affecting our bodies at this moment. This is why we need wisdom to reduce exposure to unnecessary electromagnetic waves as the number of electronic products around us increases.