Electricity is all around us all the time. It makes our lives easier, safer, and more fun and most of us never think about it. But is there such a thing as too much electricity? Could the thing that is the foundation of the modern world slowly be killing us? Before we dive deeper, let’s try to understand what electricity is, and how it affects us. In this post, we will tell you the facts about electromagnetic radiations.
What is electricity?
The movement of an electric charge is referred to as electricity. Electric and Magnetic Fields are created as a result of this movement and convey energy throughout space. This phenomenon is known as electromagnetic radiation. The word “radiation” makes many people anxious. However, to radiate simply means to emit. As when your home’s radiator emits heat in the form of infrared radiation.
Different forms of radiation correlate to different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. And many of them are completely safe. However, some of them can be harmful.
Types of radiations
UV light, X-Rays, and Gamma Rays have short wavelengths and are powerful enough to rip electrons from their atoms, causing burns and genetic damage. When most people hear the word “radiation,” they think of this.
The remainder of the spectrum includes longer waves such as visible light, infrared, microwaves, and radio waves. This is the type of radiation that all forms of human technology emit. Mobile phones, Wi-Fi routers, electrical cables, and domestic appliances are all examples. Our bodies’ molecules are not disrupted by this radiation. However, certain types of radiation can excite muscles and nerves, as well as cause the hair on your body to vibrate, causing a tingling sensation above specific threshold values.
Other types are handy in the kitchen. Microwaves circulate the water molecules in your food, warming it. This happens to us on a regular basis. The pleasant warmth you feel at the beach, for example, is your skin heating up due to exposure to the sun’s electromagnetic infrared radiation.
The industrial revolution and electromagnetic radiation
We are always and always have been surrounded by natural, and mostly harmless, sources of electromagnetic radiation. However, we have added a lot of stuff to our immediate environment since the Industrial Revolution. When a 1979 study connected leukemia to living near power lines, the question of whether this is genuinely risky arose. However, this particular study was quickly debunked. The correlation could not be explained, and no direct causal link could be established. However, once this was offered, the concept stuck. Thousands of studies on potential dangers show that it is still considered a serious threat.
Many people claim to be sensitive to the radiation emitted by modern household gadgets and cell phones. Headaches, nausea, skin rashes, burning eyes, and tiredness are among the symptoms they describe. But those are only consequences that are reported on a daily basis. A few researches have produced far more disturbing findings. As an example, there may be links between the side of the brain used while people are on their phones and the emergence of brain tumors.
The question that science is attempting to solve is not so much about the acute impacts of irradiation as it is about the long-term repercussions. For example, we know that x-rays induce immediate DNA damage in your cells, whereas radio waves do not. However, the question is:
Is the type of weak electromagnetic radiation we are continually surrounded by, as a result of some as-yet-unknown mechanism, dangerous in the long run?
This question was far more difficult to answer than we had anticipated. Thousands of primary materials, reports, and comments from a variety of organizations are available. We discovered that this discussion is an excellent example of how science should and should not be communicated. Many of the widely referenced studies that have propagated fear about electromagnetic radiation are highly debatable. A series of population studies based on surveys and self-reporting, for example. Asking brain tumor patients how much they think they used their phone in the last few years is one example of this. The issue is that people are untrustworthy. We have a tendency to forget things or to be easily influenced.
Furthermore, studies or news broadcasts may cherry-pick the facts that best support their point of view or make for the most interesting headline. A research, for example, investigated cancer in rats and mice as a result of cell phone radiation. The findings appeared to point to a link. But only in male rats, for some reason. In mice, there are none at all. However, the study was portrayed as proving that cell phone radiation causes cancer.
Unfortunately, this is true of research that has both positive and bad outcomes. Another point to consider is that the WHO has classified radiofrequency fields as possibly hazardous. But what this really means is that there are some clues that they may cause cancer, but we can’t prove it, so we’ll keep a watch on it.
The bottom line: Facts about electromagnetic radiation
So, what’s the large picture if we zoom out a little? In general, human investigations have shown no consistent evidence that electromagnetic radiation below exposure value limitations causes health concerns. Although there are some statistical correlations, they are generally weak and inconsistent. Because we have so much data, we would know if there were any definite cause-effect relationships.
Should you be concerned about the radiation from your laptop, cell phone, or television, given the current state of science? No, that is not the case. You must not. But what about those who claim it is causing them harm? According to research, they may be experiencing the Nocebo Effect. You might notice a link between the two if you have a headache and feel better shortly after turning off your laptop.
Once you have this suspicion, just thinking about how weak radiation could affect you could be enough to do you harm. It’s easy to dismiss these folks; most of them believe they aren’t being taken seriously, which makes matters worse. They should be helped. However, it’s crucial to note that there’s no solid evidence that electricity used below permissible levels causes harm to humans.
In today’s attention economy, talking about untested hazards can cause us to overlook things we know are bad for us. Here’s an example: Outdoor air pollution is linked to 4.2 million early deaths each year, and it’s something we can definitely do something about right now. Nonetheless, various long-term studies are underway to ensure that people are safe. The Cosmos project, for example, will examine the potential health effects of cell phone use by precisely tracking the number and duration of phone calls. However, while we wait for the results of this long-term research, there are many more important issues to address.