21 December 2016
There are many who believe so. When you think about it, we’re completely surrounded by wireless technology and electricity, so it’s no surprise that a growing number of people are worried about the negative effects of so called ‘electrosmog’ on our health. Electrosmog is the invisible electromagnetic radiation that results from the use of wireless technology and mains electricity, with the most common sources being mobile phones, wireless networks, cordless baby monitors and cordless phones. In fact, anything that needs plugging in – so there’s really nowhere to hide… Even veteran TV presenter Noel Edmonds has voiced his concern on the issue, claiming that, “The biggest problem we have is not Ebola, it’s not AIDS, it’s electrosmog.” He himself attempts to ward off the ‘fog and mist’ by reportedly using a £2000 computerised yoga mat every day, and claims this has changed his life. While his views and actions may seem extreme, it is generally accepted that electrosmog does exist, but whether or not it actually contributes to the debilitating symptoms many complain of is a somewhat contentious issue.
“Sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation is the emerging health problem of the 21st century. It is imperative health professionals, governments, schools and parents learn more about it. The human health stakes are significant.” William Rea, MD, Founder and Director of the Environmental Health Centre, Dallas. Past President, American Academy of Environmental Medicine.
A condition known as ‘electrosensitivity’ (ES) or electrohypersensitivity (EHS) has been blamed on electrosmog, with unpleasant symptoms including headaches, chronic fatigue, depression and skin complaints. Many who believe they’re suffering from the condition will go to great lengths to protect themselves from electrosmog, from simply limiting computer use and only making phone calls using a landline, to more drastic measures such as putting up foil-lined wallpaper and placing NASA-designed silvered cloth over their windows. However, studies have shown that it’s not mobile phones and electrical fields that are making us ill, but rather that some people are simply developing this so called electrosensitivity (ES), which itself causes symptoms.
“I think the picture is getting more conclusive that it is not EMFs (electromagnetic fields) that are causing symptoms.” Dr James Rubin, Researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry in London
Dr Rubin has reviewed 31 studies into ES, and not one showed that ES was a statistically significant cause of peoples’ symptoms, and his views are also backed by the World Health Organisation. So this obviously leaves many questions about what the real problem is, as people are certainly getting ill and experiencing real symptoms.
One positive invention to come from the abundance of electrosmog in the air is quite exciting. Former British Science Minister Paul Drayson has managed to power pollution sensors from thin air through ‘Freevolt’. While there isn’t as yet enough electromagnetic radiation around to power your laptop or TV, there is the ability to charge and run small sensors, and maybe even some low-energy wearable tech such as fitness trackers. So as the world becomes more wireless and the demand for energy efficiency becomes greater, this could be an interesting innovation to keep your eye on…
Whether you’re worried about the effects of so called electrosmog or not, remember that when it comes to upgrading or disposal of technology, the importance of responsible computer recycling has never been more vital, if you want to play your part in reducing potentially health and environmentally damaging e-waste, as well as keeping your data secure. So if your company is one that is committed to the ethical recycling of its obsolete computers, handhelds and technology products, make sure secure and environmentally friendly computer recycling that adheres to proper recycling regulations is part of your consideration. It’s also important to be aware that companies are now legally obliged to safely dispose of potentially sensitive information in accordance with current security laws and the Data Protection Act of 1998. Be sure only to use a computer recycling company that operates in accordance with, and preferably exceeds all government guidelines such as the WEEE Directive and the Data Protection Act.