By Dr. Mercola
Electomagnetic fields (EMFs) are all around us, no matter where you live these days. They emanate from power lines, televisions, household electrical wiring, appliances and microwaves.
They come from cell phones, cell phone towers and wireless Internet connections.
It is estimated that 3-8 percent of populations in developed countries experience serious electrohypersensitivity symptoms, while 35 percent experience mild symptoms, according to Dr. Thomas Rau, medical director of the world-renowned Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland.1
There are a number of factors that influence the degree to which you may be affected by EMFs.
For example, your body weight, body-mass index, bone density, and water and electrolyte levels can alter the conductivity and biological reactivity to EMFs. Heavy metals in your brain also act as micro-antennas, concentrating and increasing reception of EMF radiation.
How Heavy Metal Toxicity May Make Electrohypersensitivity Worse
The issue of heavy metal toxicity in relation to electromagnetic toxicity may be one of the most significant. According to Dr. Yoshiaki Omura's research, the more your system is contaminated with heavy metals from silver amalgam fillings, eating contaminated fish, living downstream from coal burning power plants and so forth, the more your body becomes a virtual antenna that actually concentrates radiation, making it far more destructive.2
And as noted by Theresa Dale, PhD, CCN, NP:3
"Heavy metals can weaken our field through their frequency outputs by modulating compatible frequency components of the body resulting in a weakening of the field thereby causing unhealthy biochemical changes. If you have accumulated toxic metals in your brain, and since your brain is an antenna, you can actually receive more cell phone radiation, which in turn can cause the microbes in your system to overreact and create more potent mycotoxins.
This can create a never-ending vicious cycle between the microbes and metals in your body and your exposure to electromagnetic fields, which can lead to hypersensitivity. I have seen that a high percentage of illness including chronic infections are caused, and/or aggravated, by electromagnetic field exposure. Then chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and other chronic pain syndromes can easily develop or worsen."
Likewise, any kind of metal implants and/or amalgam (silver) tooth fillings will significantly increase reception of microwaves, and the mircrocurrents from cell phones and other ambient fields. In case you're wondering how to detect electrohypersensitivity, the five most common symptoms are:
- Skin itch/rash/flushing/burning, and/or tingling
- Confusion/poor concentration, and/or memory loss
- Fatigue and weakness
- Chest pain and heart problems
Has the Dental Work in Your Mouth Turned You Into a Walking Antenna?
In the guest commentary below, holistic dentist Dr. Lina Garcia expands on this important, and often-overlooked issue.
By Lina Garcia, DDS, DMD
"When considering the numerous reasons for the increasing prevalence of chronic illness in our society, I think that we should not overlook the possibility that metal-containing dental work, especially titanium implants, could be acting like antennas for the microwave transmissions going on between our cell phones and all of the cell phone towers in our 21st century environment.
I strongly suspect that this is an unrecognized source of insidious stress on our physical, mental, and emotional health. The purpose of this article is to bring awareness to the public of this possibility.
If metal dental restorations – especially titanium implants – are acting like antennas for microwave transmissions from cell phones and cell phone towers, then this would ultimately be a new and insidious stress for the human body. In addition to this new type of stress, it is important to be aware that metal dental restorations and implants have already been shown to cause galvanic and electromagnetic stress for the human body. Galvanic and electromagnetic stress occurs when an unnatural electric current is generated by metal ions interacting with the electrolyte-rich fluid known as saliva.
The microwave-attracting stress, along with the galvanic and electromagnetic stress coming from metal dental restorations and implants, can certainly affect all people at any age. In my clinical experience, however, women seem to be more affected than men. This seems particularly true for menopausal women, especially when they have titanium implants.
Titanium implants, particularly when combined with other 'toxic teeth' that make up what I call a 'dirty mouth,' are causing sleep disturbances, anxiety and other neurological problems, thyroid dysfunction, digestive problems, heart problems, and other chronic symptoms in a number of my patients.
High-Tech Stress: The Role of Metal Dental Work
After beginning my research in preparation for writing this article, I drove my car past two big cell phone towers that really made me think about what they were doing. I thought about how those antennas were obviously amplifying my phone reception and clarity, and how they were also transmitting microwaves toward my head as I wore my phone headset.
So I thought about the possibility that metal dental restorations and especially implants, because they go so deep into the living tissue we call bone, can be adding an additional source of 'high tech' stress to our bodies, bodies that are already being 'hammered' with stress from so many other sources. I have never heard any other researcher or health care practitioner make this connection.
The big question is: what is an individual's tolerance to this type of stress? I do believe there are a growing number of people who are finding out for themselves just what the answer is, and it is not likely to be a pleasant experience of discovery.
I recently saw a patient who came to my office after visiting 20 different physicians. This patient had been experiencing what she described to me as "nightly adrenaline rushes," which produced a racing heartbeat that kept her from being able to sleep. Even though this patient told every physician she saw that her symptoms started after having a titanium dental implant put in and worsened after having a second titanium dental implant put in, none of physicians had any interest in considering these implants as the reasons for this patient's persisting problems.
The physicians did a number of 'standard of care' tests but could not find the cause of this patient's distress. Unfortunately, the only 'treatment' this patient was offered was antidepressants and sleeping pills.
After searching the Internet and other resources, this patient decided to call me for a consultation. The first question I asked was, "What had been done to your body before you started having these symptoms?" This patient then told me about the titanium implants and root canals done around the same time that the second implant was put in. I further learned that this patient had a long history of extensive dental work, including mercury-amalgam fillings, metal crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, root canals (which sometimes have metals in them), and a permanent metal retainer.
Adding the titanium implants and another root canal certainly could have pushed this patient into the seriously imbalanced state of being she was experiencing. Adding to this the insidious stress of the implants picking up microwave transmissions from cell phone towers could have caused this patient's body to get stuck in a state of 'fight or flight' stress response. Her symptoms were certainly a strong indication of this.
After I removed her mercury-amalgam fillings and her permanent metal retainer, she experienced a lessening of her symptoms. I expect that she will see further improvement after the removal of her titanium implants. Despite this patient's extensive medical workup with supposedly qualified physicians, none of them even considered the connection between her present illness and her extensive dental work.
Are Metal Implants Truly Safe?
When considering whether metal implants will be safe for us or not, I believe it is prudent to acknowledge the reality that we are already exposed to many stressors in our environment, from the toxic chemicals and metals in our air, water, and food supply, to insidious sources of radiation and microwaves coming from the ever-increasing number of cell phone towers.
Plus, we struggle to balance the ongoing stress of our jobs and the challenging relationships that seem to be part of everyone's lives. And now it is becoming common for Americans to have somewhere between three to five titanium implants imbedded into their jawbone, just a few inches from their brain.
It is enough of a stress for the body to deal with root canals, mercury-amalgam fillings, metal crowns, and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (which are mostly metal). These are obstacles to healing that one's body would have to overcome in order to maintain balance, or what is medically called homeostasis. Putting titanium implants into the mouth of someone who already has other toxic teeth can push that person even further away from balance and towards an increased susceptibility for disease.
Even if your mouth has no implants, root canals, metal crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, or mercury-amalgam fillings, your body still needs to adapt to all of the microwave-transmitting cell phone towers and other environmental stressors.
Humans are made up of different layers – different energy fields – including bioelectrical fields and musculoskeletal fields. It takes time for the different layers of our being to adapt to all the changes going on in our environment.
Conventional dentists and their patients think it is 'normal' to keep adding titanium implants without considering how the whole body will be affected or understanding the dynamics between the implants, the body, and the outside environment. It will certainly be very valuable to your good health to be aware of all these factors.
Finding a dentist who truly practices with holistic awareness, along with taking some responsibility for educating yourself about the dental treatments you may be having, will help you make the right choices for your overall and long-term health. You will avoid creating more stress for your body, especially your immune system, and decrease your susceptibility to disease.
We have only one body to live this life -- one body to be the home of our spirit. If you don't take care of your body – where are you going to live?"
Tips for Finding a Biological Dentist and Reducing Your EMF Load
For more information about electrosensitivity, Electrosensitivity U.K. published a terrific primer explaining this condition4 containing over 800 scientific and medical references, written and compiled by Michael Bevington, chairman of the trustees of Electrosensitivity U.K.
If you are interested in speaking with a biological dentist about having any metal dental work removed, it's imperative that you find an experienced professional. Knowledgeable biological dentists can be hard to come by, so start your search by asking a friend, relative, neighbor, or inquire at your local health food store. The following links can also help you to find a mercury-free, biological dentist:
Additionally, you can help to minimize your exposure to electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices by heeding the following advice:
- Children Should Always Avoid Using Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type.
- Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters. As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call. If you're pregnant, avoiding or reducing your cell phone use may be especially important.
- Use a Land Line at Home and at Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness. SKYPE offers a portable number via your computer that can plug into any Ethernet port while traveling.
- Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them as often as you do. And most importantly, do not even consider having any electronic or wireless devices in the bedroom that will interfere with the quality of your sleep.
If you must use a portable home phone, use the older kind that operates at 900 MHz. They are not safer during calls, but at least many of them do not broadcast constantly even when no call is being made. Note the only way to truly be sure if there is an exposure from your cordless phone is to measure with an electrosmog meter, and it must be one that goes up to the frequency of your portable phone (so old meters won't help much). As many portable phones are 5.8 Gigahertz, we recommend you look for RF meters that go up to 8 Gigahertz, the highest range now available in a meter suitable for consumers.
Alternatively you can be very careful with the base station placement as that causes the bulk of the problem since it transmits signals 24/7, even when you aren't talking. So if you can keep the base station at least three rooms away from where you spend most of your time, and especially your bedroom, they may not be as damaging to your health. Another option is to just simply turn the portable phone off, only using it when you specifically need the convenience of moving about while on a call. Ideally it would be helpful to turn off your base station every night before you go to bed.
You can find RF meters as well as remediation supplies at www.emfsafetystore.com. But you can pretty much be sure your portable phone is a problem if the technology is DECT, or digitally enhanced cordless technology.
- Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.
- Avoid Carrying Your Phone on Your Body as that merely maximizes any potential exposure. Ideally put it in your purse or carrying bag. Placing a cell phone in a shirt pocket over the heart is asking for trouble, as is placing it in a man's pocket if he seeks to preserve his fertility.
- Don't Assume One Cell Phone is Safer than Another: There's no such thing as a "safe" cell phone. This is particularly true for industry promoted SAR ratings, which are virtually useless in measuring the true potential biological danger as most all of the damage is not done by heat transfer, which SAR measures.
- Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When it is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area.
- Respect Others Who are More Sensitive: Some people who have become sensitive can feel the effects of others' cell phones in the same room, even when it is on but not being used. If you are in a meeting, on public transportation, in a courtroom or other public places, such as a doctor's office, keep your cell phone turned off out of consideration for the 'second hand radiation' effects. Children are also more vulnerable, so please avoid using your cell phone near children.
If you are using the Pong case, which redirects the cell phone radiation away from the head and successfully lowers the SAR effect, realize that in redirecting the radiation away from your head this may be intensifying the radiation in another direction, perhaps toward the person next to you, or, if in your pocket, increasing radiation intensity toward your body. Caution is always advised in dealing with any radiation-emitting device. We recommend cell phones be kept 'Off' except for emergencies.
- Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded -- and most of them are not -- the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient radio waves and transmitting radiation directly to your brain.
Make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded.
The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.