Nowadays we live in a heavily technology-based world. Scientific advancements and discoveries have incorporated technology into our everyday life, making life in general easier. However, they have also altered our environment in a way that was not foreseen by natural biological evolution. Our bodies are yet to develop a system able to deal with this daily exposure to artificial electromagnetic fields.
The artificial electromagnetic wave spectrum is made up of ionising and non-ionising radiation. The following information outlines which radiation is emitted by different household appliances.
The risk factors found in our environment are:
Low-frequency electromagnetic fields: electrical power grids, power lines, electrical installations, high-speed trains, small and large domestic appliances (e.g. washing machines, fridges, electric ovens and gas boilers), urban and electrical appliance transformers.
High-frequency electromagnetic fields: microwave ovens, wireless telephones, Wi-Fi routers, WiMAX, Bluetooth, radar, mobile phones, aerials for mobile phones and digital television, and satellite dishes.
Static electric fields: carpets, curtains, textiles, synthetic wallpapers, varnishes and paints.
Static magnetic fields: metal bed frames, mattresses, furniture, electronic or electrical equipment, beams and other ferromagnetic building materials.
In short, the equipment and technology we use every day emits continuous radiation and interferes with the body’s bio-electromagnetism. It is therefore possible that even the most common domestic appliances in our homes can pose a potential risk to our health due to the amount of electromagnetic waves they emit.
Knowing the function of all these everyday items is vital to be able to understand how to use them correctly. We can no longer manage without technology but, if we adopt some simple precautions and keep a safe distance, we can minimise the risks associated with artificial radiation.
In 2002, the World Health Organisation classified low-frequency magnetic fields as possibly being carcinogenic (group 2B). Since May 2011, radio frequency fields also belong to this group.