Shielding methods and products against man-made Electromagnetic Fields: Protection versus risk

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.344

Dimitris J.PanagopoulosabcGeorge P.Chrousosb

Abstract

Human exposure to man-made Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) has increased to unprecedented levels, accompanied by increase in various health problems. A connection has been indicated by an increasing number of studies. Symptoms characterized as Electro-hyper-sensitivity (EHS) are frequently reported especially in urban environments. Lately, people are advised by private companies and individuals to protect themselves from man-made EMFs by metal shielding through various products, for which there are reasonable concerns about their protective efficacy and safety. Indeed, any metal shielding practice, even when correctly applied, attenuates not only man-made totally polarized EMFs accused for the health problems, but also the natural non-polarized EMFs responsible for the biological rhythmicity and well-being of all animals. Strong evidence on this was provided by pioneering experiments in the 1960’s and 1970’s, with volunteers staying in a shielded underground apartment. We analyze the physical principles of EMF-shielding, the importance of natural atmospheric EMFs, and examine available shielding methods and suggested products, relying on science-based evidence. We suggest that an avoidance strategy is safer than shielding, and provide specific protection tips. We do not reject shielding in general, but describe ways to keep it at a minimum by intermittent use, as this is theoretically safer than extensive permanent shielding. We explain why metallic patches or “chips” or minerals claimed by sellers to be protective, do not seem to make sense and might even be risky. We finally suggest urgent research on the safety and efficacy of shielding methods combined with use of generators emitting weak pulses of similar frequency, intensity, and waveform with the natural atmospheric resonances.

Graphical Abstract

 

Comments by EMFSA:

A very important and relevant study – except that it ignores chronobiology.

We would have liked to have seen chronobiology and the restoration of the circadian rhythm incorporated in both the causation of ill health in those with EHS/EMFIS and as part of the solution.

The use of generators to mimic natural frequency is certainly an avenue worth exploring but as with shielding there may be many unintended side effects especially with 5G.

We are in agreement with the authors’ comments regarding shungite:

All metallic objects, including metallic minerals, such as shungite, claimed to protect from EMFs/EMR (Kurotchenko et al.,2003) should be avoided close to the body of an EHS person since they can increase exposure.”

We especially welcome the section about the following:

“health chips”, “EMF radiation protection chips”, “mobile phone shields”, etc., that supposedly reduce the adverse health effects of mobile phones by “reducing radiation levels” or “reducing the gradients of the magnetic fields” or “smoothing the peaks”, or “alter the radiation into a form that does not produce adverse health effects”,or “transform and neutralize the harmful effects of EMFs by radiating a
protective field when placed directly on devices”, etc.

The authors point out that the above may increase risk. The authors refer to a recent single study  reporting that the use of a chip on mobile phone had a protective role on changes in human EEG induced by the mobile phone without the chip (Henz et al., 2018).

However, this study had several drawbacks:

-it did not show its results in numbers but only in pictures which are
not adequately explained.

-the study does not include any EMF-measurements of the mobile phone emissions with and without the chip,

-no scientific description how the chip works

-no attempt to describe a mechanism of how the chip exerts a protective effect.

-A request for explanations sent by us to the company that produces the chip as this was reported in this study, remained unanswered. (Note by EMFSA – we experience this on a regular basis when we enquire about these kind of products).

-More studies must be performed that will address all the above unresolved issues,before such products could ever be recommended for protection, especially in view of the apparent lack of any possible scientific explanation.

“For the cases in which people have no control on the EMFs they are exposed to, the scientific community must point out the problem, and the public health authorities must set rules to protect public health.” Our comment: easier said than done!