Rob Brown, MD

A Physician's Unique Perspective on Wellness

Author: Rob Brown (Page 1 of 5)

5G – A Move into the Future! But… What about Public Health?

We have all seen commercials for 5G. And although most of us don’t really understand what 5G is, we have felt the excitement and the hype. The tech industry and world governments believe 5G to be the genesis of the 3rd industrial revolution that will transform society, allowing for the internet of things! This technology will connect the internet to our appliances, our lights, our “things” and so much more. Turn your dishwasher on with your smart phone! Autonomous self driving vehicles will abound. 5G cells will triangulate and precisely locate your phone and other devices whenever you are connected to the network. Vendors will know who you are when you enter their stores and be able to market to you in real time as you move through the aisles. Companies will know when you turn your lights on, turn your TV off, what temperature you turn your thermostat on and how often you do your laundry! 

Anyone could get caught up in the media hype. That is, anyone but those that fear the implications of wide scale surveillance and those aware of the negative health effects from EMF exposure.

What exactly is 5G?

5G stands for 5th generation and represents the next technological leap for wireless communication beyond 4G LTE. 5G will be providing access to a new band width of higher frequency with increased energy, previously used only by military and radar applications. The 5G technology is much more complex than merely sending and receiving information over a higher frequency band though. This is in part related to the anticipated increase in network traffic as well as technical requirements for working with higher frequencies with shorter wavelengths.

5G will utilize frequencies from 6 GHz up to and beyond 86 GHz within the millimeter frequency bandwidth. These higher energetic frequencies are composed of shorter wavelengths allowing for much more information to be delivered over a shorter time frame. But higher frequencies with shorter wavelengths don’t penetrate structures as easily as longer wavelengths, so without any further modification, these high frequency signals would be blocked by trees, building materials, and even rain! As a remedy, engineers have figured out how to focus the millimeter waves into a narrow beam directed at its target device. The increased intensity of the beam enables penetration through houses and offices.

Because the distance traveled by these waves is significantly shorter than low frequency waves, antennae need to be located much closer to each other and to their target devices than the older 3G and 4G transponders. It is for this reason that these smart cells are being installed every 2 – 19 house in urban environments. In this way, a pedestrian or car utilizing data moving down a street will be transferred from cell to cell, allowing uninterrupted service. For these reasons, this technology will become mainly an urban phenomenon.

The Details:

 For the foreseeable future, the 5G network will be a hybrid system utilizing  both 4G LTE and 5G technology. Both of these frequency bands will be emitted from small cells placed strategically within residential neighborhoods and commercial districts. The 4G LTE signal will be beamed 24/7/365. The beam focused 5G signal, on the other hand, will be “on demand” – only utilized when a user initiates the connection. The 5G network will not canvas the neighborhood for users. The 4G LTE/5G interface is expected to be fully operational in most locations around the globe by 2025. Over time, it is expected that the 5G will function as a stand alone system and the for 4G LTE network will eventually be disbanded. 

Why the concern?

The scientific community does not yet understand the full health implications that will surface from the bombardment of high frequency EMF including millimeter waves into our homes. But researchers and medical professionals understanding EMF are extremely concerned about the 5G rollout. There has been worldwide opposition to the 5G deployment by activists by activists and health care advocates. 

The two most apparent health concerns regarding 5G are as follows:  First, the 4G LTE cells will be much too close to people living or walking in these neighborhoods incessantly beaming RF fields. Second, the focussed 5G beams will consist of very strong pulsed EMF that will have the energy and capacity to do significant biological damage to people and animals.

It is expected that 5G will exponentially augment indoor and outdoor RF levels, undoubtedly increasing the number of people who develop EMF related illnesses and electrosensitivity. Millimeter waves in particular have been shown to accelerate bacterial, viral and cancer growth, negatively impact our body’s tumor suppression capability, and cause eye damage and cataracts. 


5G Detection

The 4G LTE frequencies can be detected with RF meters currently available in the market place. At the present time though, there are no reasonably priced detectors available for purchase that can measure the mm wave frequencies emitted by 5G cells. Once the wireless industry determines the frequency band they plan to use, industry will follow suit and design appropriate detectors.

What Can you do to Limit your Exposure to 5G?

1. Now is a good time to remove wifi from within your home. Since 5G will not be activated without your device asking for its service, the cells won’t beam focused EMF bands into your home if you have your devices hardwired. Here are a few suggestions:

  •  Hardwire your computers, smart TVs and tablets with ethernet cables.
  • Use a corded landline for phone service when you are at home.
  •  Have incoming calls forwarded from your cell phone to your landline when you enter your home.
  •  Place your cell phone and tablets in airplane mode when you are at home.

2. Increase your efforts to shield your home from 4G LTE. These signals will be much more intense than those from remote cell towers as they will be beamed from smart cells as close as 30 feet to some homes.  Consider applying shielding paints, building grade foil and/or RF blocking window film if interior RF fields from outside cells are strong. The extent to which you need to shield will depend on your proximity to the cell and the strength of EMF entering your home. A building biologist will be a useful resource to assist you in remediation.
 
What else can you do?
 
Become aware of this technology and learn as much as you can in preparation of its roll out in your neighborhood. Keep a journal and be observant of any changes in your health or your family’s health. Become politically active if you are able and check out organizations such as the  Environmental Health Trust which utilize grassroots efforts to combat industry and governmental lobbyists.

Making Safe Drinking Water at Home

Water is a medium, an aggregation of tiny H2O molecules, each with a positively charged end and a negatively charged end, functioning like a mini magnet. Billions of water molecules naturally align with each other to form a 3 dimensional matrix. Water is an electrical conduit transmitting electromagnetic frequencies in addition to allowing the dispersement of chemical compounds through diffusion. Both processes are needed for almost every bodily function.

Water is referred to as the “universal solvent” because it has the important chemical property of being able to dissolve a vast number of materials. Not only can water dissolve salts, minerals and chemical compounds such as sugars, essential to life, water can also dissolve toxins. Both naturally occurring inorganic compounds, such as heavy metals and radioactive particles, as well as organic compounds, ranging from simple carbon dioxide to benzene, phthalates, formaldehyde and many others produced by the chemical industry can dissolve in water. Dissolved contaminants may cause discoloration or an odor, but this isn’t always the case. In some instances, water can look clear and be odorless, yet be poisonous.

Water in some parts of world is so clean you can quench your thirst directly from the runoff of a melting glacier. In other parts of the world, water is scarce and/or dangerously polluted. As a nation, the US water supply is somewhere in the middle. We are extraordinarily fortunate to have municipalities that can supply fresh drinking water into the homes of larger communities while others have the ability to get water directly from aquifers through their private wells.

Fresh drinking water distributed by local water authorities has had some toxins and heavy metal contaminants removed. But, the main emphasis of the water authority is to sanitize the water. For this purpose, chemicals such as chlorine or chloramine (a compound mixture of chlorine and ammonia) are added to the water to kill bacteria and other potential pathogens, protecting our communities from waterborne illness. Water authorities are unable to filter out many contaminants that have infiltrated our water table and reservoirs and therefore your fresh drinking tap water may contain traces of medications, pesticides, herbicides, etc., in addition to sanitation byproducts. If you are relying on your public utility to provide you with clean, healthy water that you can drink straight from the tap, you are being too trusting. The water source itself, the piping from the source to your home and the piping within your home are all potential sources of contamination.

Even though you shouldn’t drink your tap water as is, regardless of its source, that doesn’t mean you should consider it unusable and instead spend your cash on bottled water.  Bottled water is either sourced directly from a well or merely treated tap water. Unfortunately, the water sources for the majority of these bottled water companies contain the same contaminants that your tap water at home contains, including traces of medication, industrial chemicals and disinfection products. In addition, water should not be stored in a plastic bottle. The ingredients used to make plastic, along with impurities and byproducts can leach all kinds of chemicals into the water as it is stored, especially if the bottle is exposed to sunlight or a heat source.

The most economical solution, and certainly the healthiest alternative, is to skip the plastic water bottles except on rare occasion, and get a reliable water filter for your home. Then, you can filter your home’s tap water and drink it with confidence. By using activated charcoal and other filter components, a good quality countertop gravity drip purifier can remove most of the contaminants from your water source, including chlorine. Some chemicals, such as chloramines may require more extensive filtration to eliminate. Popular plastic canister systems containing only an activated charcoal filter are not nearly as efficient at removing contaminants as a more substantial system with multiple filters. A good quality counter top drip system can be an excellent method to purify your drinking water.

Store your water in a glass container such as a carafe and drink from a glass or a ceramic cup. If you purchase a glass or stainless steel water canister, you can bring your own water with you when you go to work, school, the gym or to any other activity thereby ensuring that you have clean drinking water throughout your day. There are plenty of glass containers with protective rubber sleeves on the market to allow their safe transport. If you use a metal container, make sure it isn’t lined with any type of plastic material. Due to massive public outcry over the negative health effects caused by Bisphenol A (BPA), many companies now advertise their products as being BPA free. But, even if your container says “BPA free”, scrutinize the interior of the vessel to make sure there is no coating. The industry has figured out alternative replacement chemical compounds to BPA, such as bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol F (BPF), which have also being implicated in causing hormonal damage to the body. Quill.com has a helpful post covering this topic and also offers suggestions for ways to optimally clean your water storage containers. I agree with their content with the exception of their recommendation of BPA free plastic containers for the reasons I just explained. Their blog can be reached here.

So what are the potential negative health effects that one can have from drinking water laden with chemicals such as BPA, chlorine, chloramine, phthalates? Everything from endocrine disruption to cancer. These products of the chemical industry are not nutrients and shouldn’t be dissolved in your drinking water, in any concentration. Even minute amounts will become absorbed into your body’s tissues, bioaccumulate over time, and cause unknown and certainly unwanted health effects. The more frequently you are exposed to these chemicals, the greater the concentration build up in your body’s tissues over time.

Finally, but no less important, there is growing support for the idea that water has the ability to store frequency and therefore has a form of memory. It is unclear how the memory of water can then change its energetic properties. The field of homeopathy is based on this concept. Some believe that even focussing your mind on a thought such as gratitude, love or joy while holding and looking at your glass of water before drinking it can cause a harmonizing effect on the water by transmitting unseen energetic frequency to the water. When you drink water with this coherence, the water may have an even more powerful, mysterious effect on nurturing and healing your body. Try it. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a lot to gain!

Take time to research and find a good countertop water purifier for your home. After you make the purchase and set up the system, relax and be thankful that you will not only have healthy glasses of water to drink each day, you will now have started down the path of ridding your body of unwanted chemicals.

Check out the following infographic from Quill.com for more guidance on storing and transporting your purified water!

If you have any questions or comments regarding this posting, please feel free to email me at rob@robbrownmd.com

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF): A Beginner’s Guide to Assessment and Remediation

Tech companies are flooding the marketplace with an abundance of wireless gadgets. Meanwhile, many health care practitioners around the world are raising the public’s awareness of the damaging health effects associated with chronic EMF exposure. This blog series is designed to help clarify some of these health effects and to recommend simple ways you can reduce your EMF exposure as much as possible. But where to start?

Bandwidths of EMF

To protect your health, and the health of your family, a systematic evaluation of your daily EMF exposure should be performed. Living spaces at home and in the workplace are important areas to study. Four categories of EMF should be evaluated.. These include:

  • Extremely low frequencies electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) 

These frequencies are generated by electrical wiring and appliances. Most are familiar with the potential danger of electrical and magnetic fields emanating from high tension power lines, but internal wiring within our home’s walls is a source of potentially harmful ELF-EMF.  This form of radiation can also infiltrate our homes through ground currents traveling via water pipes and even emanate from radiators! Although the intensity associated with ELF-EMF from internal wiring drops off over a relatively short distance, these fields have been implicated in sleep disturbances, especially when the head of the bed is positioned in front of an outlet and/or power cords.

  • Magnetic fields 

Magnetic waves are generated when current moves through wires and appliances. Turn on your blender or a hair dryer, and a strong transient magnetic field is produced. Some of us are exposed to constantly fluctuating magnetic fields generated by neighborhood power lines. Magnetic fields penetrate through windows and walls and vary in intensity with depending on local power consumption. Exposure to magnetic fields are becoming much more prevalent with the rapid implementation of electronic utility meters, such as the SMART meter. These devices report your usage data throughout the day and night to the utility company.

SMART meter

I have heard many people report that once a SMART meter had been applied to their house, their days of sound sleeping ended. I personally experienced a scary episode of uncontrolled hypertension which required hospitalization soon after a SMART meter was placed on my home. It was after the episode that I learned the old analogue meter had been recently removed and replaced by a SMART meter. I know two individuals who suffered atrial fibrillation requiring cardiac ablation after SMART meters were installed on the exterior of their home. Although the scientific community has not yet confirmed these cardiac associations, it has been reported that chronic exposure to high magnetic fields has been linked to an increase in neurodegenerative diseases including ALS and Parkinson’s disease  Ironically, magnetic fields are also being used to help treat Parkinson’s disease.

  • Dirty electricity

Generated from modern appliances, dirty electricity results from the common manipulation of the 60 Hz electrical current to run gadgets. Many appliances, dimmer switches, fluorescent lights, circuit breakers, and others cause surges and spikes of current, emitting radiofrequency EMF (RF-EMF).

  • RF-EMF

Microwave oven, smart appliances, wireless communication, cell phones, wifi routers, smart homes, Bluetooth devices, etc. are all examples of devices that produce RF fields. Microwave frequency (a subset of the RF band) has been shown to produce neuropsychiatric symptoms, including depression. 
 

The Engineering approach – Measure, eliminate, reduce, shield and remeasure again.

A complete EMF assessment requires the use of 4 different meters, each capable of detecting different bandwidths. A survey can be a complex task, especially as our environments become more infused with overlapping, concurrent frequencies. Although purchasing a detector or two will certainly help you become more aware of the presence or absence of some ambient EMF fields in your home, it may become necessary to hire a specialist, referred to as a building biologist, to come into your home to do an assessment and create a plan for remediation. 

Remediation 

With the aid of detectors, EMF fields can be measured and sourced. Afterwards, remediation techniques can be implemented. Methods of remediation vary depending on the frequency, location, and power of the source.

Typical methods for reducing EMF-ELF include unplugging appliances and turning off circuit breakers in the bedroom before sleep. Kill switches can be installed that not only turn off power to the bedroom but also disconnect the ground, removing any potential for dirty electricity to migrate into the bedroom. 

Magnetic fields from appliances such as alarm clock radios, which often emit strong magnetic fields, can be moved away from the bed, unplugged during sleep, or replaced by battery operated clocks. Magnetic fields emanating from electrical transmission lines cannot be remediated in most instances. Unfortunately, the only way to reduce exposure to these magnetic fields is to move further away from the wires.

Cleaning up dirty electricity may include the removal of appliances creating this contaminant or the installation of filters, such as Stetzer or Greenwave filters, or similar technology, plugging at least one filter into an outlet within each room of the home. 

The application of shielding fabrics, paints and window films help reduce RF from within your home as well as from neighbors and outdoor sources. People often joke about wearing a tinfoil hat to shield your brain from EMF. It is true that foil can reflect and deflect EMF. But seriously, shielding requires some know how, including suitable grounding, and should be done with the aid of a building biologist so that hot spots of concentrated EMF aren’t inadvertently created. A bed canopy composed of EMF shielding fabric, can be an effective way to eliminate RF exposure during sleep. 

After remediation, living areas should be reassessed to ensure that EMF intensity has diminished or been eliminated altogether.
 

Pendants, Crystals, etc.

There are many products on the market designed to ameliorate the symptoms and health effects of EMF. These products range from pendants and stickers containing various metals or circuitry to electrical devices that produce specialized EMF signals designed to lull the brain into a sense of calmness, improving sleep. I have experimented with several of these products over the years, but unfortunately, no peer reviewed studies have shown that the deleterious cellular effects of EMF are reduced by these gadgets. More concerning is that by improving anxiety, these products may provide a false sense of security that the phone or other wireless gadget is safer to use and result in greater EMF exposure thereby potentially increasing the risk of disease. A product that improves your sleep will be beneficial, but I believe the best way to reduce EMF related health risk is to limit and/or eliminate exposure.

Professional Contacts

Building biologists are specialty trained to address unhealthy indoor environments. From mold eradication to EMF detection and remediation, a building biologist can be a valuable resource. An EMF specialist will have detectors to measure each band of frequency, and will survey every room in your home. Following, they will prepare a detailed report and make suggestions as to how you can mitigate exposure. In rare and unfortunate instances, they may tell you to move! Some people hire a building biologist in addition to the usual home inspection team, to assess interior EMF levels before purchasing a new home. EMF is not something the usual home inspector will test for. The Building Biology Institute has a certification program for training biologists in the field of electromagnetic radiation assessment. Their database can be accessed here.

Are you a Tortoise or a Hare?

It Might be Something Worth Thinking About

Sometimes a series of events in space and time are so beyond coincidence they speak from a greater mind… a true gift of manifestation. Today, I experienced this wonder.

Like many of you, I work from my home. My office was designed with floor to ceiling windows affording a serene view. Occasional glances at the grassy slope, stream and pond allow me to regain peace and calm during stressful moments. Ducks, turkey, geese, hawks, and occasionally, even a blue heron can be spotted at the pond. 10 years ago, my neighbor told me he saw a very large turtle down there. He described it at the time as being “as big as a dinner plate!” 

I watched and waited for my opportunity to see the turtle. I mowed the lawn, walked the property and looked out the window, but never saw the turtle. I began to think my neighbor had pranked me and that it didn’t really exist. That is… until today.

While working this morning, I heard Bernie, our over-sized Alaskan Malamute, barking in the backyard. He isn’t particularly vocal and so when I heard his low growl and sporadic barks, I stopped my work to look outside. I spotted him on the outside perimeter of his, now fragmented, dog fence lunging back and forth while focusing on a spot in the grass. I put my bathrobe on and walked outside. As I approached the scene, I saw a large brown disc up on-end and then disappear. 

Bernie

“Bernie, what do you have there? Is that a snake?” I said quietly. 

As I got closer, I saw the shell of a large turtle. The head, feet, and tail were pulled in. The shell alone was at least 15 inches in length! 

“Bernie! Come here!”, I scolded. 

The dog reluctantly ran away from the turtle, pranced in a circle, avoiding my gaze. It wasn’t long though before he gave up and slowly walked back to me, tongue lolling. I held his collar as we walked back to the house. Once inside, I sat down at my desk bewildered. I had finally seen the legendary turtle! Concerned that Bernie had injured the reptile, I made a mental note to check out the yard after my shift was over.

Bernie fell asleep on the floor. Not more than 10 minutes later, I looked outside and saw this brown baseball sized turtle head looking at me! The turtle stood in the grass 6 feet from my office window with its head and neck fully extended, resembling ET. I stood up and walked to the window to get a closer look. This creature had walked at least 200 feet to get to the house. But why? It stared at me for at least 5 minutes before turning around. It then slowly lumbered down the hill and was gone. 

It was a spiritual encounter during which the turtle acknowledged me. I reflected on this unique experience and it’s underlying meaning. The turtle is an auspicious symbol, representing prosperity, strength, and good health. The rest of my morning was magical.

It wasn’t until later, though, that I realized the complexity and deeper message behind the turtle’s appearance. 

While getting into the shower, my mind cleared and I muttered “The Tortoise and the Hare”. 

I wasn’t quite sure why I had said it. But then, realized it was, indeed, an allusion. It suddenly dawned on me that it was only one day earlier that I had seen a rabbit in the backyard. Bernie had been active that day too. He had grabbed a rabbit from the yard and brought it to the same plot of grass that the turtle sat in today. I witnessed the rabbit’s decapitation and dismemberment. The dog ate the whole thing without leaving a trace.

I viewed both of these vignettes while sitting in the same chair, while looking through the same window pane, at the same piece of grass on one day and then the next. The sequence of events was not only an extraordinary coincidence, but also conveyed and important message.

So what does it mean? 

Have you read Aesop’s fable The Tortoise and the Hare? It is a story of an overly confident hare who, while in a race with a tortoise, proceeds to take a nap before crossing the finish line. Upon awakening, the hare learns he has lost the event to the persistent, slow moving, and careful tortoise. 

In this tale, going to sleep can represent a metaphor for becoming unconscious of one’s actions. When focus is lost, a planned destiny will not manifest. In my yard, not only did the hare lose the race, it lost its life to a predator. 

After much thought, I’ve concluded that this was a message to remain vigilant and careful. I am tempted to go out to restaurants, vacation at the beach, and visit with friends, but this was an important reminder of the need to remain cautious and protected. I, like all of you, want to finish this race unscathed.

Yes. Perhaps this is a lesson for all of us. Slow and steady wins the race!

Having an increase in strange and nonspecific symptoms? You may be electrosensitive to EMF

Energy currents in an environment infused with electromagnetic fields (EMF) are not readily detectable by our 5 senses. Yet, more and more people are experiencing a variety of nonspecific physical symptoms when exposed to EMF. A subset of individuals even experience an intense reaction, a condition known as electrohypersensitivity syndrome (EHS).

Because EMF can affect the workings of any given cell. EMF exposure can induce a wide variety of nonspecific symptoms in a person with electrosensitivity and EHS, in particular, including:

  • Headaches
  • Pressure and/or sharp pain in the head/ears
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Dizziness/Vertigo/Tinnitus
  • Visual/hearing disturbance
  • Short term memory loss
  • Insomnia/disturbed sleep/Circadian rhythm reversal
  • Tremors/vibratory sensation/seizures
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Sense of urinary and/or bowel urgency
  • Increased chemical sensitivity
  • General sensory up regulation

Courtesy of Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe Electromagnetic Fields Conference Diagnosis and Treatment: Effects of Electromagnetic Fields Exposure – 2019

It is important to understand that electrosensitivity is not a disorder, dysfunction or disease. An individual who can sense EMF will adapt and make lifestyle modifications to avoid exposure the rest of us don’t perceive. Living in neighborhoods and cities has become increasingly uncomfortable for people with extreme sensitivity and many must move out to remote areas where EMF is minimal or absent. EMF free zones are slowly disappearing as industry broadens its network across the globe.

Medical Treatment

If you are suffering from headaches, depression, tinnitus, vertigo, or any of the other conditions associated with EMF, a very real solution might be to make lifestyle changes that diminish your daily and nighttime EMF exposure. 

Several years ago, a close family member was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism by a physician after serial blood tests documented persistently abnormal values. After discussing the surgical and radio-ablation treatment options available to her with her physician, she apprised me of the situation. Being aware that the thyroid gland is extremely sensitive to radiation, I asked her where her wifi router was located. She replied that it was in her bedroom. I suggested she move the router down to the basement before undergoing any treatment and to have her bloodwork repeated one more time. She agreed, and at her follow up doctor visit, her lab values had normalized. Her thyroid function has remained normal ever since without any surgical or medical treatment. 

Certainly, some medical conditions in the above list, such as cardiac arrhythmia require prompt medical attention, but excessive exposure to EMF may cause debilitating, non emergent conditions, such as insomnia, even in children. My teenagers have proudly shared with me that when their school friends complain of insomnia they’ve told them not to sleep next to their cell phones. It’s a start…

At this point in time, most physicians know nothing about EMF or its negative health effects. But, if you have EHS symptoms and need guidance, there is a growing community of physicians aware of this condition. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine and the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness are organizations with online searches for knowledgeable physicians. As this condition becomes better understood by the general medical community, the number of physicians available for advice will undoubtedly increase.

Finally, The Environmental Health Trust is an exceptional online resource providing a large number of educational materials and more to help you gain a complete understanding of the current status and future trends of EMF generating technology.

EMF, Cancer, and Chronic Disease

Miscommunication within a cell or between cells is a common cause of disease. Mixed messages and altered signals can result from biochemical contaminants as well as electromagnetic interference. Most people scan down a list of potential adverse health effects to see if a toxin can cause cancer. The risk of developing a chronic inflammatory condition such as autoimmune disease or a hormonal disorder like diabetes doesn’t raise the hair up on most people’s necks like the thought of potentially getting cancer. 

Do electromagnetic fields (EMF) cause cancer?
In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified EMF as a Group 2B carcinogen, i.e. possibly carcinogenic. This determination was based on the potential increased risk of developing brain cancer from mobile cell phone use. That means, as far as the World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned, EMF may cause cancer. We might have thought that over the years, with thousands of peer reviewed journal articles in the scientific literature, this uncertainty would have been resolved. But unfortunately, for political and economic reasons, the WHO placed a majority of members tied to industry on this important influential core research committee. Their conflicts of interest render the indecision suspect.

What causes cancer? 
At a most basic understanding, two conditions can lead to cancer. The first is an improperly functioning immune system. The second is an agent causing an excessive number of cells to go rogue and reproduce uncontrollably. Most of us think of something “causing” cancer as being the latter. Studies on EMF have shown the radiation can play an influential role in both processes.  

EMF and the Immune System
In a real sense, the cure for cancer has always been within ourselves. A properly functioning immune system is designed to knock out crazed, uncontrollable cancer cells before they get a foothold. Immune cells called natural killer cells are tasked with this chore. Short term exposure to EMF can excite the immune system and increase immune reaction, but prolonged, chronic EMF exposure has been shown to cause a drop off in the immune system’s response and a reduction in the number of natural killer cells. Most of us now live with chronic exposure to radio-frequency (RF) EMF through our cell phones, wifi routers, and other sources, ELF-EMF emitted by 50 Hz and 60Hz electrical currents running through our homes also negatively impact the immune system. Magnetic fields over 1 microtesla generated by some appliances and neighborhood power lines have also been found to cause a drop off in NK cells.  

EMF, Cellular Miscommunication, and Oxidative Stress
Cancer starts with one cell going haywire and loosing its “sense of purpose and community. The diseased cell no longer communicates properly with its surroundings and begins to incessantly reproduce itself. One of the important mechanisms by which this can occur is through an internal imbalance called oxidative stress. When a cell is experiencing oxidative stress, molecules within the cell are missing electrons. These charged molecules then look to steal electrons from other sources in the cell, setting off a cascade of events potentially damaging DNA, mitochondria (the energy generating powerhouses of the cell), and the cell membrane, among other important intracellular structures. 

EMF causes oxidative stress even at non-thermal levels! Yes, EMF, along with many other environmental toxins, can cause oxidative stress. Many diseases, including ALL inflammatory diseases, heart disease, and cancer, can arise from oxidative stressChronic oxidative stress in the brain can also lead to mental illness, stroke, and dementia. There is evidence that cardiovascular disease is increasing because of oxidative stress from chronic EMF exposure. And, some researchers have uncovered evidence that the diabetes and childhood obesity epidemics may also be the result of increasing EMF fields in our society.  

What can you do?
1. Limit your exposure to EMF as much as possible during the day and at night.
2. Hardwire your computer and accessories including keyboard, mouse, and printer.
3. Use ethernet cables for all internet based appliances you utilize most often, such as smart TVs, to directly connect them to the internet router. 
4. Turn off wifi while you sleep. Cable companies typically provide a router that emits wifi 24 hours a day. Much better to turn off this capability (ask your cable provider how to do this). With wifi disabled, your cable router will remain in communication with the cable company and hardwired devices will still have internet access. A second wifi router can then be plugged into the cable router when wifi is needed and unplugged before heading for bed. Alternatively, the accessory wifi router can be plugged into an appliance timer so it automatically shuts off 30 minutes before bedtime, and turns back on in the morning.
5. Distance yourself from EMF emitting devices wherever possible. As technology becomes more pervasive in our society, this is becoming increasingly difficult.
6. Place wifi routers far away from the living spaces you spend most of your time in. 
7. Increase your daily consumption of antioxidants. These foods and supplements provide extra electrons to cells undergoing oxidative stress and can help mitigate damage. There are tons of great antioxidant rich foods. I recommend you eat a variety of them and often.
NutrientSource
Vitamin ACarrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli
Vitamin ESunflower seeds, almonds, leafy greens
CysteineCheese, sunflower seeds, chicken
CoQ10Organ meats, spinach, oranges
FlavonoidsTea, Citrus fruit
GlutathioneAsparagus, avocados, squash
Additional suggestions:Artichokes, dark chocolate, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
A Few Recommended Antioxidants 

COVID-19, Blood Clots, and Possible Exacerbation from Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)

This past week, the New England Journal of Medicine published a report that an increased number of strokes are being seen in young patients with COVID-19. Coincidentally, while working last week, I read the CT scans of 3 emergency room patients who had uncommon blood clots. I found the cluster of cases to be unusual. The first patient was a 54-year-old man with a blood clot in the artery supplying his spleen. The loss of blood flow killed (infarcted) a portion of his spleen. The second case was a 71-year-old woman who clotted the artery supplying her intestine (the superior mesenteric artery (SMA)). Her small intestine died. Gas from the dead gut was then pushed into the liver, shown in the following image, and she soon passed away.

Portal venous gas due to SMA thrombosis and ischemic bowel

Portal venous gas due to SMA thrombosis and bowel necrosis

The third patient, a 57 year old man, developed a clot in his portal vein, a large vessel that carries blood and nutrients from the intestine to the liver. Although I didn’t have clinical history providing a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, I did speak to the ER physician and recommended she test these patients for the virus.

Blood clots in veins versus blood clots in arteries

Many people understand that veins can become clotted if you are inactive. Laying in bed for days and sitting for prolonged periods, such as when on a long plane flight or car ride can result in a deep venous thrombosis (DVT). These venous blood clots are dangerous because they can dislodge and float downstream to the heart where they are propelled into the artery leading to the lungs. It is here these clots can block blood flow to the lungs and cause serious health problems, including death.

Blood clots in arteries are different. An arterial clot doesn’t typically come from blood stagnation. Instead, an abnormality in either the clotting characteristics of the blood or a disease of the blood vessel lining which then incites an immune response, can both cause clotting. The parts of the body receiving diminished blood flow become deprived of nutrients and oxygen, a condition called ischemia. In time, the affected structures may die. This process can occur in the arteries supplying the brain (a stroke), those supplying vital organs, the limbs, or anywhere else.

It is now recognized that COVID-19 causes blood clots, both in arteries and in veins. The cause for this appears to be multifactorial. The virus damages the cells that line the blood vessels, the endothelium, and causes an immune response which, in itself, may cause increased viscosity of the blood. Dr. Maria Pavlis, a cardiologist working in a suburban hospital of NYC, told me last night that most of their patients with COVID-19 are now being placed on blood thinners.

Where does EMF fit in?

Evidence that EMF can cause a reaction in endothelial cells, increasing the risk for blood clot formation, was first described in 2004. EMF exposure may also induce Rouleaux formation, a reversible condition where red blood cells adhere to one another and become stacked, one on top of the other like a stack of coins. This phenomenon may occur with many conditions, including infections, connective tissue diseases and cancer. Rouleaux formation can be associated with increased viscosity of the blood and can cause the blockage of small arteries.

Normal Blood Cells
Same Patient – Rouleaux formation of red blood cells after 10 min exposure to 2.45 GHz

Dr. Magda Havas, PhD and Professor Emeritus at Trent University in Ontario, provided me with the following images. Both slides demonstrate blood smear specimens from the same patient and were collected within twenty minutes of each other. The first image was obtained before EMF exposure and is a normal blood sample. The second image was obtained after exposure to 10 minutes of EMF from a 2.45 GHz wifi router (at levels considered safe by international standards and well below FCC guidelines). Red blood cell stacking in the irradiated sample is easily appreciated.

My concern is that given the prevalence of the COVID virus and the ubiquity of EMF in our society, could it be that EMF generated Rouleaux formation is exacerbating the propensity for thrombosis in some patients with COVID-19?

Whether or not you have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, we should all seek ways to reduce our EMF exposure, particularly during sleep. Hardwire computers, accessories, laptops and TVs wherever possible. Turn off EMF emitting devices, such as wifi routers and cell phones at night. Rouleaux formation should reverse, sleep will improve, melatonin production will increase and we will wake up better refreshed and healthier. I’ve made these changes in my own life and highly recommend you do the same!

For more information on possible interrelationships between EMF and COVID-19, please read Dr. Havas’ blog here.

Careful! Don’t Mistakenly Poison Yourself at Home

The American Medical Association (AMA) disseminated several media reports, including this AP news report describing a disturbing national increase in the number of accidental poisonings of adults and children in the US. The authors believe these incidents are related to the use of disinfection products in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Most of you are keenly aware of how to avoid inhalation and contact injuries from toxic household cleansers. But, many others have no idea how damaging these chemicals can be to human health. The pervasive fear of catching COVID-19 is certainly understandable, but it is very important to take simple precautions when cleaning your home so you don’t do unnecessary harm to yourself or your family.

First, I rarely recommend harsh chemicals such as bleach as a household cleaning solution. Hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol can both be used to clean surfaces in the home and will both destroy coronavirus. Hydrogen peroxide requires a long contact time ( 6 to 8 minutes) to be effective and is therefore impractical for many surfaces. However, a concentration of >70% isopropyl alcohol will inactivate the virus in 30 seconds. If you choose to use a strong disinfectant like bleach, it is imperative to wear proper gloves made out of a material such as latex or nitrile. This will protect the skin on your hands and prevent chemical absorption through the skin. It is also important to turn fans on and open up windows to provide cross ventilation whenever you use any disinfectant. Fumes from bleach and other harsh cleaning products can damage the airways leading to the lungs, become absorbed into the bloodstream, and make you and your family sick.

Some people are disinfecting their produce with dilute bleach. Please don’t do this. If you have fruits and vegetables you want to wash, use a non-toxic fruit and vegetable spray designed to clean produce. Or, you can simply use a dilute solution of vinegar in water.

Hand sanitizers should be thoroughly washed from your hands before eating. Be aware that videos are circulating on the internet, showing that hand sanitizers are highly flammable. If you are going to cook on an open range or grill, be sure to first wash the sanitizer from your hands, wrists and forearms before engaging an exposed flame.

If you are attempting to disinfect a makeshift face mask by spraying it with bleach or another disinfectant, please don’t! Breathing in these toxic, concentrated vapors may poison you. Clean your mask with soap and water if it is washable. If your mask material is not washable, you’ll need to replace it often. Hospital masks also need to be replaced frequently. Please don’t attempt to spray your mask with alcohol to sanitize it, for the alcohol will damage the mask’s coating, and render it more penetrable to water droplets.

As always, remember to keep all cleaning and sanitizing products away from children. I suggest you place hand sanitizer gel on your children’s hands when appropriate. But otherwise, keep these bottles and dispensers out of their reach.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful. 

Take care and stay well this spring!
 

Can’t Sleep? It Might be EMF

This is the 2nd in a six part blog series on the health effects of electromagnetic frequency (EMF). In the first post, I described thermal related health effects from EMF.

Aside from heat production, there is a common misconception that lower frequencies of EMF, including those used for wireless communication, cannot cause any physical harm. Yet, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of scientific papers from around the world documenting damaging non-thermal health effects from EMF. One important impact is on the sleep-wake cycle.

In the beginning, there was light!

The sun is our solar system’s EMF generator. It produces light along with the gamut of electromagnetic radiation comprising the electromagnetic spectrum. Although gamma rays do not escape the sun’s surface, X-rays and ultraviolet rays make it to Earth where they are absorbed by the atmosphere and ozone layer, respectively. Visible light and lower frequencies of EMF are able to pass through the atmosphere.

At any given time, half the planet receives this energy, while the other half is put into darkness. As the earth rotates, the activities of plants and animals change. All living beings on Earth have biological systems designed to respond to cycles of light and dark. Humans are no exception. We are awake and alert during daylight and sleep when the sky is dark. During slumber, our bodies relax, reassess, and heal. The body’s immune system goes to work during sleep. Cancer cells are suppressed and destroyed.  Injuries are repaired, and life’s puzzles are solved. It is a critical time for  rejuvenation.

Melatonin

One of the most important consequences of sleep is the production of a hormone by the brain’s pineal gland called melatonin. This hormone is produced and released during darkness after prolonged exposure to daylight. Melatonin is critical for a properly functioning immune system, especially during the winter months in the northern latitudes when nights are long and Vitamin D levels are low.

The eyes report ambient light conditions to the pineal gland. If the eyes report that there is light, even dim light, melatonin production and release may be delayed and even suppressed. If, for example, one is sleeping with the television on, even if the eye lids are closed, light will be sensed through the eyelids, and melatonin production and secretion will be delayed or prevented.

Blue frequencies of light suppress melatonin production more dramatically than reddish light. This makes intuitive sense. Bright blue skies tell us it is daytime and readies us for action! The beautiful, calming reddish glow of a setting sun signals us to relax. The day is over.

LED screens on tablets, cell phones, and flat screen TVs produce bluer frequencies of light akin to a blue sky. Watching an LED screen before bedtime including an E-reader, has been shown to suppress and delay melatonin production by over 1.5 hours! .

EMF Suppresses Melatonin Production

Lower frequencies of EMF penetrate the skull and can directly impact pineal gland function and suppress melatonin production just like light. For our pineal gland, living amidst constant EMF emission is like living on a planet where the sun never sets. Melatonin production is dramatically reduced and immune health suffers. It seems that nowadays, human health IS suffering everywhere.

What can you do?

1.  Bask in the sunlight during the daytime hours for at least a few hours. Exposure to daylight is associated with increased melatonin production at night. If you are relegated to the indoors for the better part of the work day and do not have a window in your office, illuminate your work room and/or office with full spectrum lights. Full spectrum and/or blue frequency enriched lights are not ideal, but they may help!

2. Pick a bedtime you can stick with. Over time, your body will adapt to your chosen sleep-wake cycle.

3. Avoid full spectrum lights, blue lights, and LED screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime. So for all you e-book readers, better to read from a real book before bedtime than from an illuminated screen.

4. Choose a warmer reddish bulb for a bedroom lamp rather than a cool blue variety. Light bulbs are now labeled in this manner.

5.  After turning off the lights, make sure there is no ambient light in your bedroom. Any illuminated diodes on equipment should either be unplugged or covered. Have black out liners placed on shades and curtains if light enters your room from outside. If needed, wear a sleep mask to prevent any light from coming into your eyes while sleeping.

6. Turn off all EMF sources. Depending on your location, urban versus rural, this may be more difficult. But, here are a few suggestions. 

  • Place Wifi router on a timer so it automatically shuts off prior to bedtime.
  • If you keep a cell phone in your bedroom while you sleep, place the phone in airplane mode. Otherwise, move the cell phone to another room, far away from your bed.
  • If you suspect there are external sources of EMF entering your bedroom from a nearby cell tower or power line, they will ultimately need to be addressed. Look for further info in future blogs.
  • Consider unplugging lamps, clocks and other appliances next to your bed while you sleep. Circuit breakers supplying electricity to the bedroom can be turned off to cease extremely low frequency (ELF)-EMF emanating from electrical lines within walls and cords.

Pick one modification at a time and work your way through this list. As you do, I am certain you will find yourself having much more restful nights than before. You will be MUCH healthier too!

One final suggestion… 

7. If you have a loved one in the hospital, rehab or nursing facility, provide them with ear plugs and a sleep mask. These health facilities notoriously provide an atmosphere polluted with noise and ambient light, precisely the opposite of what the body needs to heal. A sleep mask will encourage melatonin production and allow their body to heal faster.

An Introduction to EMF: Basic Cell Phone and Tablet Precautions

What is electromagnetic frequency (EMF)?

Everyone everywhere interacts with EMF everyday. Radio waves, microwaves, wifi, and sunlight are all everyday examples of EMF. These bandwidths of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) exist on a continuum spanning from extremely low frequency (ELF) waves to X-rays and gamma radiation with higher frequencies harnessing greater energy. 

The term EMF is now commonly used to represent the lower end of the electromagnetic spectrum, and includes extremely low frequency (ELF), very low frequency (VLF), and radio frequency (RF) waves. Visible light, a narrow band of higher frequency, is the only part of the electromagnetic spectrum we can “see” with our eyes. Understanding that visible light is part of the same electromagnetic spectrum as ELF-EMF and RF is important. 

EMF sources

The sun irradiates Earth with a broad array of EMF, warming the planet, and providing plants frequencies with which they can generate chemical energy. Human generated EMF fields were first created during the advent of electricity in the 1800s. Today, EMF is produced from technology utilizing electricity and devices that send and receive wireless communication. We have learned how to modulate EMF, meaning attach information to these various frequencies to fully harness the power of this technology. Human generated EMF is emitted by numerous sources including :

        Wifi routers
        ALEXA and other SMART home devices
        Baby Monitors
        Cell phones, Tablets, smart watches, smart TVs
        Microwave ovens
        Smart Lights
        Smart meters
        Ground currents
       “Dirty” Electricity  
        Power cords
        Light bulbs
        Electrical transmission lines
        Gaming consoles
        Blue tooth devices and wireless ear buds
        CPAP machines and health monitoring equipment
        Hybrid vehicles and electric cars
        Cell phone towers, radar, 5G small cells

If you live in an urban environment, you are more than likely surrounded by devices that produce overlapping EMF fields throughout your day, everyday. These fields travel invisibly through the air and penetrate the walls of our homes, businesses, and our bodies. Depending on the frequency and signal strength, the EMF’s energy may pass through your body or become absorbed. The signal strength, referred to as the amplitude, is much greater at the energy source, so standing right next to a microwave oven or a wifi router is going to blast you with much more EMF than if you are 20 feet away from the same source. 
 

Why we should all care about EMF

We are living through an explosion of technology generating EMF. The extent to which our environment has been infiltrated by EMF from electricity and wireless communication is truly mind-blowing.

Consider these two maps of the Continental US and Canada showing wifi networks in 2003 and 2019 (from www.wigle.net)


2003                                                  2019

This technology is coming at us with a cost most of us are unaware of. Perhaps your vision is deteriorating you received a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism,  or you can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep anymore. For other’s, it may mean irregular heart beatsAre you or your children depressed? Yes, this too could be the result of too much EMF exposure. Unfortunately, many more increasingly common conditions  have also been associated with EMF exposure. We should all care about EMF. Our bodies absorb this energy and react in different ways. All frequencies of energy are biologically active. Like chemical toxins and toxicants, EMF can damage the body’s functionality. Learning about electropollution is important for every one of us.
 

Penetrating and potentially damaging heat

If you have ever held a cell phone up to your ear (something you will no longer want to do after reading this blog series), you have undoubtedly noticed that your ear and cheek heat up quickly while you are using the phone in this manner. Did you know that the temperature rise you experience is not limited to the skin surface? If you hold a cell phone against your ear to talk, the heating effects from EMF penetrate deep into the skull and warm the brain!  For children, this effect is more dramatic than for adults. The heating effect is significantly less when you hold the cell phone away from the skin surface. Similarly, the warmth you feel in your lap where your tablet has been sitting, is EMF produced by your device penetrating and becoming absorbed. Water is the most effective absorber of EMF and our bodies are composed of mostly water. Consider that a microwave oven heats up food with frequencies not much higher than those used for wireless communication! 

 The human body is held at a specific temperature, 37 degrees C (98.6 degrees F) for an important reason. Living systems are composed of proteins which perform critical life tasks such as maintaining a genetic code through the formation of DNA. Proteins also compose enzymes which work as little three dimensional machines accomplishing innumerable important functions in every cell of the body.

The ability of an enzyme or protein to do its job is determined by its physical shape which is only able to be maintained within a specific temperature range. When temperatures rise above 40 degrees C (104 degrees F), (only 5 degrees over our normal body temperature), proteins begin to lose their shape and functionality, a process called denaturing.

EMF exposure from the common usage of devices, won’t cause an increase in the body’s core temperature, but can generate local hot spots within the body’s tissues which may cause local proteins to denature and compromise the functioning of the affected cells. This is a dangerous and scary proposition.


Recommendations:

Follow this basic rule of thumb…If you feel warmth from an electrical device, turn it off and/or move it away from your body. 

  • Never hold your cell phone up to your head. Cell phone manufacturers include an information sheet with their packaging that specifies not to keep the cell phone within 1 inch of the body when in use. This is an important precaution. Get in the habit of placing your cell phone in speaker mode and laying it on a desk or countertop when in use. 
  • Do not place an EMF generating device on your lap, especially if you are pregnant! I dread walking through an airport and seeing a young expectant mother with a portable computer on her belly knowing she has tapped into wifi and her unborn child is being irradiated. Research has shown that prenatal exposure to EMF may affect brain development, future learning, and memory. Industry renamed the “laptop” a “tablet” because these machines belong on a table and not on a lap. If you need to put a device on your lap, make sure it is in airplane mode with Bluetooth turned off. 
  • Do not walk around with a Bluetooth device, including wireless earbuds, in your ear. These devices bring EMF directly to the brain via the ear canal. EMF has been implicated as a cause for the increase in acoustic neuromas (a benign form of brain tumor) over the past decade! Although research on Bluetooth devices has not yet been published, why take the chance? Best to listen to music through an external speaker. If you need to use a headphone set, find an accessory that breaks off the electrical current and associated EMF away from the ear canal by interposing a segment of plastic tubing. These devices are a much safer way to go for even wired headsets bring EMF currents into the ear canal. 

Changing cell phone and tablet habits may seem like a burden, but new routines become engrained quickly. I strongly suggest you apply these recommendations and begin limiting EMF exposure. Your future health may depend on it.

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