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Radiation is a term we often hear, but not everyone truly understands the different types and their implications. As an EMF protection expert, I am here to explain the distinctions between solar radiation and manmade radiation, which are both important to consider when evaluating their effects on our health and the environment.
The Electromagnetic Spectrum
To understand the difference between solar and manmade EMFs, it’s important to know a little about the electromagnetic spectrum. It ranges from extra-low frequency (ELF) radiation to ionizing radiation like ultraviolet light, x-rays, and gamma rays. In the middle of the spectrum, there is visible light. Non-ionizing radiation such as ELF EMF radiation, RF-EMF radiation, microwaves, and infrared radiation are located on the lower end of the spectrum.
Each type of EMF radiation has an electric and magnetic field, but they behave differently and can cause different physiological responses in humans. The higher frequency forms of radiation can be more dangerous, as they can ionize atoms and molecules, potentially leading to cellular damage or mutations. Solar radiation, for example, is made up of ultraviolet light which can cause skin cancer if we’re exposed to too much of it.
Manmade EMFs are created by our technology, such as cell phones and Wi-Fi routers. While they’re not as powerful as ionizing radiation, they’re still known to have an impact on our bodies. RF-EMF radiation, for example, has been linked to issues with sperm motility and quality in men and an increased risk of miscarriage in women. Understanding the different types of EMF radiation can help us better protect ourselves from its potential negative effects.
What is Solar Radiation?
Solar radiation is a type of radiation produced by the sun that has three main components: ultraviolet radiation, infrared radiation, and photosynthetically active radiation. Ultraviolet radiation falls in the 30PHz to 790THz range, and makes up about 8% of the sun’s rays. These rays can cause skin cancer, which is why sunblock is so important. Infrared radiation, on the other hand, is in the 430 THz to 300 GHz range and accounts for 49.4% of solar radiation. Too much exposure to infrared radiation can cause damage to the retina.
Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), which is in the 790 THz to 430 THz range, makes up the remaining 42.3% of solar radiation. PAR is essential for plant growth and is the type of light that is used in photosynthesis.
Solar radiation is present everywhere on Earth, although the levels vary depending on the time of year and your location. During the summer in the southern hemisphere, for example, the levels are higher because of the Earth’s proximity to the sun at that time.
On cloudy days, direct radiation from the sun may be blocked up to 100% by clouds, but that doesn’t mean no solar radiation is present. Diffuse solar radiation, which is solar rays that are deflected or scattered from water molecules and other atmospheric particles, still reaches the Earth even through clouds.
It’s important to be mindful of the effects of solar radiation on our health and take steps to protect ourselves when spending time outdoors.
Health Effects of Solar Radiation
Benefits of moderate exposure: Adequate sunlight exposure is vital for the synthesis of vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and immune system function.
Risks of excessive exposure: Overexposure to UV radiation can cause sunburn, skin aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. Prolonged exposure to IR radiation can cause thermal injuries.
We’ve all heard the warnings about sun exposure and its risks. The most common side effect of being in the sun for too long is sunburn, caused by UV radiation. However, sun poisoning can also occur, which is a more severe type of sunburn. It leads to the skin becoming inflamed and a rash developing, along with symptoms such as headache, confusion, nausea, blistering, and a rapid pulse.
Overexposure to sunlight can also lead to skin cancer, with melanoma being the most deadly. Basal cell carcinoma is more common and can be easily treated, while squamous cell carcinoma is less common but still a concern. Severe sunburns increase the risk of skin cancer.
In addition, infrared radiation can also be a potential risk when it comes to sun exposure. If it burns the retina, it can cause serious, permanent damage to sensitive structures in the eye. This is why looking directly at the sun is discouraged.
What is Manmade EMF Radiation?
Manmade EMF radiation comes from a variety of sources, including radiofrequency (RF) EMF radiation, extra-low frequency (ELF) EMF radiation, and microwave radiation. These types of radiation fall within the non-ionizing electromagnetic spectrum, which ranges from 0 to 300 GHz.
Microwave radiation is emitted by microwave ovens, military and police equipment, and communications satellites, among other things. It travels line-of-sight and can be easily blocked by natural obstacles like trees and hills. As it heats food from the inside out, microwave radiation has a similar heating effect on the human body.
ELF-EMF radiation is generated by electricity and can be found in power lines, solar panels, and the dirty electricity within your home. This type of radiation can be especially high in close proximity to the source, but dissipates quickly over distance.
RF-EMF radiation is produced by electronic devices like WiFi routers, cell phones, and laptops, as well as cell towers and certain types of light bulbs. Most electronic devices that transmit or receive an RF signal also emit RF-EMF radiation. Like microwave and ELF-EMF radiation, RF-EMF radiation has a heating effect on the body.
While the effects of manmade EMF radiation on the body are still being studied, some experts suggest that long-term exposure could be linked to cancer, fertility problems, and other health issues. As such, it’s important to be mindful of the sources of manmade EMF radiation in your environment and take steps to reduce your exposure when possible.
Health Effects of Manmade Radiation
Effects of ionizing radiation: Ionizing radiation has enough energy to remove tightly bound electrons from atoms, which can cause damage to cells and DNA. Exposure to high levels of ionizing radiation can lead to acute radiation sickness and increase the risk of cancer.
Effects of non-ionizing radiation: While the health effects of non-ionizing radiation are still being studied, prolonged exposure may cause headaches, sleep disturbances, and other symptoms. Some studies suggest a possible link between long-term exposure to RF radiation and certain types of cancer.
When it comes to the risks of exposure to EMF radiation, it’s important to understand that different types of radiation have different effects on the body. Microwave radiation is known to have a heating effect on the body, penetrating deep within living tissue and causing dielectric heating that can lead to severe burns and even death. Exposure to microwave radiation can also cause cataracts to develop, as the eye is highly sensitive to heat. It can also affect the central nervous system and brain, although this is due to thermal properties of this type of radiation.
ELF-EMF radiation has been designated as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organization’s International Association for Research on Cancer (IARC) due to its link to childhood leukemia. Studies have found that the closer a child’s birth address was to a high-voltage power line, the more likely the child was to develop childhood leukemia, a rare and often fatal disease.
Similarly, RF-EMF radiation has also been designated as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the WHO’s IARC. There have been studies that indicated a slight causal relationship between extremely high mobile phone usage and glioma, a rare and deadly form of brain cancer. Many people have also reported a variety of symptoms when exposed to high levels of RF-EMF radiation, including depression, nausea, itchiness, irritability, and insomnia, among others. These symptoms are collectively known as Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS). Other conditions linked to RF-EMF exposure include miscarriages and problems with sperm motility and mobility in men. It’s essential to take precautionary measures to limit exposure to these types of EMF radiation.
Solar Radiation vs Manmade EMF Radiation
Solar radiation and manmade EMFs have their own unique characteristics and impact on the human body. While solar radiation consists of different types of radiation and is at a different place on the electromagnetic spectrum, manmade EMFs are generally farther down the spectrum. However, it is important to note that solar radiation is not completely harmless, as it can still cause serious conditions like skin cancer.
One key difference between solar and manmade radiation is polarization. Manmade EMFs are polarized, meaning that the electrons oscillate along the polarization plane, creating a polarized field. This polarization is linked to the development of certain health conditions like cancer. In contrast, solar EMFs are not polarized, meaning that the electrons oscillate on random planes. This may help explain why manmade EMFs carry more risks than solar radiation.
It’s worth noting that while solar radiation and manmade EMFs have different characteristics, they both have an impact on our daily lives. It’s important to understand and mitigate our exposure to both types of radiation to minimize potential risks.
Understanding the differences between solar radiation and manmade radiation is essential for making informed choices about exposure and protection. While solar radiation is a natural part of life on Earth, manmade radiation poses unique risks to human health and the environment. By staying informed about radiation types, their sources, and potential effects, we can take appropriate measures to minimize risk and promote a healthier, safer world.