In the 19th Century, Dr. Karl Roentgen discovered this amazing new technology known as X-ray radiation. We have used it to our advantage to be able to see into the body, the brain, and organs we never thought possible! We have made advances with tools such as CT scans, MRI and PET scans to further our ability to improve our diagnostic skills. Two types of radiation are ionizing and non-ionizing. X-rays fall into the ionizing category. Excess ionizing radiation can adversely affect the body, causing burns to the tissues, cell death, and dysfunction to the extreme point that Dr. Roentgen actually lost his hand due to over exposure (he kept x-raying his hand to see if his invention worked). While most of us know that too many xrays are not a good idea sometimes we can’t avoid them. When we go to the dentist we wear a lead shield, there is lead sheetrock on the walls of the x-ray room at hospitals and doctors’ offices, but we didn’t start out this way. We learned along the way that this type of radiation had the potential to be harmful to humans. So now lets discuss whether or not Electro Magnetic Fields (EMFs), a form of non-ionizing radiation, are safer.

In 2011, the World Health Organization classified EMFs as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” after a series of studies showed a soft correlation between EMFs and brain cancer. Think of EMFs as radio waves, cell phone waves, smart meters, computers, some cars, and satellite communications. These waves surround us all on some level 24/7. Studies have shown that non-ionizing radiation does in fact change the shape of our red blood cells as they circulate in the body. If they are the wrong shape they don’t carry the nutrients they are supposed to, they don’t fit down the tiny capillaries they are supposed to, and they can become damaged if exposed over time. Since red blood cells carry oxygen and nutrients to our cells to help with repairs of tissues and new cell formation, it is vital that these cells remain intact and healthy. The primary organs affected by this type of radiation are the brain, nervous system and heart. Peer reviewed, published studies link EMFs to health problems including: fatigue, headaches, sleep problems, anxiety, heart problems, learning and memory disorders, increased cancer risk, and more. One very important body function shown to be affected by EMFs is sleep. During sleep we clean the brain, we make repairs to the organs, and regroup for the next busy day.

What can we do to reduce our exposure to EMFs?

  1. Put your wifi on a timer to go off at night when you sleep and come back on when you wake. A christmas tree light timer works well.
  2. You can also turn your phone to airplane mode at night or when it is on your person.
  3. You can locate the smart meter on your home or apartment and make sure you are not closer than 8-10 feet from it when sleeping or spending any length of time. If you aren’t sure what a smart meter is: it’s the PG&E meter that measures how much electricity or gas your home uses. If it is too close you can have it removed (for a fee) or move your sleeping quarters. You can also purchase shielding material to put on the wall to reduce EMF exposure.
  4. You can place an EMF shield on or under your electronic device (an example is Defender Shield).
  5. Use the speaker on your cell phone when talking on the phone.
  6. Avoid bluetooth whenever possible (I recently purchased an airtube device that minimizes the EMF exposure to my brain when using my earbuds.)

What about children?

The very young are especially susceptible to EMF radiation as their skull is not yet fully developed and these waves can pass through their softer bone easier than that of an adult. There are lap pads for their electronic devices that they can use to protect themselves when using a device while not sitting at a desk, check it out! Babies in utero are even more sensitive to EMFs than children due to the rapidly dividing cells. I had a new patient come in with a sweatshirt on with the pocket in the front and her cellphone in it. When she informed me that she was pregnant, we had a whole conversation about EMFs, which she knew very little about, but was more than happy to hear and act on. A recent study found that children with the most exposure to cell phones in utero were 80% more likely to have emotional problems, conduct problems, hyperactivity or problems with peers than those in the control group. It is important to remember that our nervous system is like an electrical miracle. If we interfere with the electrical impulses of our body we can expect miscommunication! Remember, wireless baby monitors can also contribute to baby’s exposure, so get a battery operated one if you feel your child needs less EMF.

We need to pass this information around to those we work with, family members with weird unexplained symptoms, parents with children who are challenged with focus and concentration issues, friends who have trouble sleeping. We are now being bombarded with 5G, we don’t even know what to expect from this new wave, no pun intended, of tech pollution, so we are going to have to minimize our personal exposure as much as possible.

How do you check your exposure?

The first thing you can do is check where your nearest cell phone tower is as these are sources of EMF. Go to to find out where they are relative to your home, school, work. You can also purchase an EMF detector to test your home, this can help identify hot spots in your environment and from there you can decide how to protect yourself.

The bottom line here is, tech is here to stay and the adverse effects are something we need to be aware of and it’s something we have the ability to protect ourselves from on many levels. Now, let’s talk about nutritional support if you are suffering from the effects of EMF exposure.

Supporting the nervous system can be accomplished by eating foods rich in antioxidants like:

  • Brocolli, spinach, tomatoes
  • Salmon, eggs
  • Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries

There are also supplements for those unable to reduce their EMF load due to work environment or living situation such as: OPC Synergy, Magnesium Lactate, Ginkgo Forte

If we are diligent, we can reduce our personal load and that of our family. Remember, you can’t un-know stuff, so if you have more questions about protecting yourself and your family from EMFs do not hestiate to contact me!


Dr. Virginia S. Irby D.C., DABCO, ACN

Cascade Chiropractic & Nutrition

2371 Iron Point Rd. Ste. 130

Folsom, CA 95630