Apple recently included a warning in their support documents for the iPhone 12, cautioning users to keep the phone at least 6 inches away from medical devices, specifically implanted pacemakers and heart defibrillators.1
The idea that electromagnetic fields can damage your health is not new. Over the past decade, I have written many articles discussing the evidence of biological harm from EMF.
While the wireless industry has been built on the premise that only ionizing radiation, such as that produced for X-rays, can cause health damage, researchers and scientists have been warning that even nonionizing and nonheat-producing radiation can cause damage to your health and the environment.2
I have been so convinced of the damage that EMF can cause to human health that I took three years to write â€œEMF*D,â€� which was released in early 2020 during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the book, I reviewed the overwhelming scientific evidence that EMFs are a hidden health hazard that simply cannot be ignored any longer. Over the years I have interviewed several scientists who have shared their knowledge and expertise in a field that is poorly understood and in which the wireless industry has a vested interest in keeping you in the dark.
For over two decades evidence has demonstrated that EMF exposure has a negative influence on your immune system, which is significant during cold and flu season, as well as during the current COVID-19 pandemic.3 While Apple acknowledges the interference EMF may have on pacemakers, it is far from the only damage EMFs can do to your health.
Apple Cautions All iPhones May Interfere With Medical Devices
The new Apple iPhone 12 has reintroduced MagSafe magnets, which are built into the back of the device to attach accessories like magnetic cases or wireless chargers.4 MagSafe magnets were introduced in 2006 on the Mac computer, which allowed the power connector to magnetically attach. These were replaced with a USB-C connector in 2016 and reintroduced on the iPhone 12.
In late January 2021, Apple published a new support document cautioning these magnets, as well as the â€œradios that emit electromagnetic fields,â€� should be kept a â€œsafe distance away from your device (more than 6 inches / 15 cm apart or more than 12 inches / 30 cm apart if wirelessly charging). But consult with your physician and your device manufacturer for specific guidelines.â€�5
The devices they refer to are â€œmedical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators â€¦â€�6 After Apple released the support documents, the New York Post7 reported that Apple was unable to be reached for comment.8
Although there was no explanation for why the warning was published, it comes just weeks after a paper published in Heart Rhythm9 found the iPhone 12 could disrupt implanted defibrillator function. When brought near the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) over the left chest, the researchers found the ICD immediately suspended action.10
The researchers were able to reproduce the effect multiple times and warned that the iPhone 12 â€œpotentially can inhibit lifesaving therapy in a patient, particularly when the phone is carried in an upper chest pocket.â€�11
In their statements, Apple said the recent iPhone model poses nearly the same risk of interference as their past models and cautioned that the magnets and EMFs may interfere with the function of medical devices.12
Landmark Study Calls for Less EMF Exposure
Data published in late 2020 confirm many of the health effects scientists have warned about from EMFs. The New Hampshire Legislative Commission to Study the Environmental and Health Effects of Evolving 5g Technology was engaged to â€œstudy the environmental and health effects of 5G wireless technology in 2019.â€�13
The commission was made up of 13 members who were asked to answer questions such as why thousands of peer-reviewed studies that have demonstrated negative health effects have been ignored by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and why FCC guidelines do not account for the health effects of wireless technology.
In all, there were eight crucial questions. The commission heard from experts who all acknowledged that the RF radiation from wireless devices had an effect on humans, animals, insects and plants â€” all, that is, except for the telecommunications representative.14
In much the same way the tobacco industry worked to convince the public that smoking was not dangerous,15,16 the telecommunications industry is trying to sell the public on speed over safety. The 5G technology promises speeds that will be from 10 to 100 times faster than 4G17 and, yet, the signals will likely be weaker since the wavelengths do not penetrate buildings and tend to be incorporated into rain and plants.18
One of the significant problems is that it relies primarily on millimeter-wave (MMW) bandwidths, which are known to penetrate human tissue up to 2 millimeters, where it is absorbed by the surface of the cornea and conducted by sweat glands within the skin. Each of these factors leads to an association with several potential health problems.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has also found MMW useful in crowd control weapons called the Active Denial system, since it produces a severe burning sensation. The DOD writes, “The Active Denial System generates a focused and very directional millimeter-wave radio frequency beam.”19
MMW is also known to suppress your immune function20 and increase cellular stress, harmful free radicals, learning deficits21 and, potentially, bacterial antibiotic resistance.22 There is nothing to suggest that 5G will produce less harm than the current technology, and there are thousands of studies demonstrating the harmful effects that it could.
EMF Pollution Likely Taking a Hidden Toll on Your Health
One of the significant challenges with EMF radiation is much like high blood pressure. You cannot see it and most people do not feel it. Additionally, EMF radiation cannot be heard or smelled. However, the evidence is clear â€” there are biological effects taking place whether you’re able to sense those changes or not. For most, it’s simply a matter of time and overall exposure load.
It is important to realize we’re not talking about just radiation emitted from your cellphone. Within your home and work environment you are likely exposed to electromagnetic frequencies from Wi-Fi routers, computers, home appliances and wireless â€œsmartâ€� technology. With the development and rollout of 5G, it’s bound to get far worse.
In 2004, the World Health Organization acknowledged the existence and reality of electromagnetic hypersensitivity, writing about those who experience it saying: â€œTheir EMF exposure is generally several orders of magnitude under the limits of internationally accepted standards.â€�23
One year later they acknowledged, “Approximately 10% of reported cases of EHS were considered severe” and “â€¦ others are so severely affected that they cease work and change their entire lifestyle.”24
In 2008, one study25 noted the prevalence of electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome in Austria had risen 1.5% since 1994, which appears to follow the industry growth curve.26 Symptoms can vary between individuals, but some of the commonly reported symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome include:27,28
Burning sensation on the skin
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
US Military Investigating EMF and Pilot Crashes
Wireless technology is also used by the U.S. military. Following a history of unexplained aviation crashes, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) issued a solicitation for research in late 2020 for the Impact of Cockpit Electromagnetics on Aircrew Neurology (ICEMAN) project.29
The objective is to determine how the flood of â€œradio frequency noise from onboard emissions, communication links, and navigation electronics â€” including strong electromagnetic fields from audio headsets and helmet tracking technologiesâ€� are affecting combat aircraft pilots.30
In 2018 there was a series of three plane crashes that killed five servicemen over two days. At a press conference the director of the Pentagon’s joint staff downplayed the trend and rejected questions that suggested the military program was in crisis.31 One year earlier 37 servicemen died in non-combat crashes, double the number that died in 2016.
Fox News reported in April 2018 of additional crashes and emergency landings that did not result in fatalities.32 In 2016, Martin Paul, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of biochemistry and basic medical sciences at Washington State University, published a paper describing how EMF can trigger neuropsychiatric problems.33
The paper built on past research34,35 that showed EMF triggers voltage-gated calcium channels to open, which in turn causes a chemical cascade resulting in the production of harmful peroxynitrite. Since the brain and nervous system have particularly high density of voltage-gated calcium channels they are prone to the impact of EMFs.
Strategies to Reduce Your Exposure to EMFs
There is no doubt in my mind that microwave radiation from wireless technologies is a significant health hazard that needs to be addressed if you’re concerned about your health. Unfortunately, you may be frequently exposed at home and in the workplace. With the rollout of 5G, this will make remedial action even more challenging.
It is important to get involved and do what you can before 5G becomes a permanent fixture in the environment, such as contacting your local lawmakers and signing local petitions. There are also strategies to help reduce your exposure and mitigate the damage from wireless technology.
I’ve made a chapter from my book â€œEMF*Dâ€� free to download. It summarizes many of the major recommendations and is a handy reference as you’re making changes in your home.
In early 2020, I also interviewed Brian Hoyer, a leading EMF expert and primary consultant for my book â€œEMF*D.â€� In a two-part series Brian shared his personal journey and training and we answered many questions. Consider the suggestions in these articles as well:
- The No. 1 Thing to Do to Protect Yourself From EMFs
- Your EMF Questions Answered, Part 2
- Landmark 5G Study Highlights Health Threats