Electronics

Electromagnetic Radiation Explained

In the last 10 years, there has been a large push and hundreds of studies trying to understand the effects of the ever-increasing electromagnetic pollution on the human body.

Electromagnetic pollution is a form of radiation and when the word “radiation” is introduced into a discussion, the discussion turns to fear and, in this case, a lot of misinformation. In the below, we will discuss what the nature of radiation is and look at the current standing consensus whether electromagnetic radiation is damaging for us or not.

Radiation

Radiation is a simple term, which in this case means simply to release, or radiate. Anything that emits light or heat in our everyday lives, including the sun, is a form of radiation. The electromagnetic spectrum is large, with only a very small portion fitting in with the consensus of radiation being damaging.

Everything from all the visible light we see to radio waves and even the Wi-Fi in your house is a form of electromagnetic radiation. To better understand the differences in radiation, let us look at the general difference between the radiation that we know is damaging to humans versus the radiation we are exposed to every day.

– Ionizing radiation

Ionizing radiation is the one which is harmful to humans and pretty much any living matter. There are a few main types of ionizing radiation, namely:

  • Alpha particles
  • Beta particles
  • Positrons
  • Gama rays
  • Xrays

All ionizing radiation has a wavelength of shorter than 250 nanometres, with a wavelength that short, it gives ionizing radiation the ability to remove electrons from atoms and small molecules of matter. This nature of radiation, while not deadly in small quantities, can be fatal when received in large quantities.

This difference in amount is what makes getting an X-ray or CT scan safe for us, where 25 CT scans in short order has the ability to be damaging. Ionizing radiation is usually measured in sieverts. The average CT scan will give the effected organ on average 0.015 Sieverts, where 1 Sievert is enough to induce radiation poisoning and 5 sieverts is enough to be fatal for 50% of those exposed.

– None-ionizing radiation

None ionizing radiation is all the other forms of radiation that exist, including but not limited to the sun, lights, Wi-Fi, radio signals and many more. None-ionizing radiation, which includes the electromagnetic radiation we receive every day, is considered to be completely safe.

The Debate

In recent years, many studies have been done to try and determine the long-term effect of electromagnetic radiation on the human body. As of now, most of the studies have been unable to find any negative effects caused by the normal amount of electromagnetic radiation that the average person’s sees on a daily basis.

There have been a handful of studies which have pointed to electromagnetic radiation increasing the risk of cancers later on in life. These studies have for the most part been debunked for the use of flawed methodology or producing results that other studies have not been able to replicate.

Fear

The studies which have been proven to be false have caused problems, though, as bad news seems to always spread further than good news. So, you’ll hear about winners who black lotus slots games after you hear about a disaster.

The disproved studies have caused a lot of concern in the public to a point where we have been introduced to a few conspiracy theories relating to a few different kinds of electromagnetic frequencies, the latest being the latest mobile phone frequency, 5G.

World Health Organization

The WHO has marked electromagnetic radiation as a possible carcinogen, not in favour of evidence that it can cause cancer, but because of the lack of long-term studies. As it stands, the amount of electromagnetic radiation we see today has not existed long enough for true long-term studies. As the studies go on, we can rest assured that as far as we know today, there is no negative effects caused by electromagnetic radiation.

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