Extremely low frequency (ELF) electro-magnetic waves are produced by high voltage power lines, neighbourhood transformers, and from the front, sides, and back of the computer screen.
Electrical appliances also give off ELF waves which drop off rapidly within a short distance of the appliance. Most appliances are only used for a short period of time. However, hairdressers who use blow dryers for hours at a time may be at increased risk. It may be helpful to point the back of the dryer away from the user's body.
In contrast, electric blankets and electrically heated water beds expose people to continuous potentially harmful ELF electro-magnetic fields. Both can be safely used but should be turned off at night. One study showed that sleeping on a water bed caused an increased rate of miscarriage.
Most recently, concern has focused around the long-term health effects of ELF electro-magnetic waves on body structure and function since these waves can penetrate to the cellular level. Studies done to date show that chronic exposure to ELF waves may cause lowered immunity and adverse effects on the nervous system, blood cell growth, and fetal growth.
To minimize exposure to ELF waves from the computer, make sure you and your children are at least 71 centimeters (28 inches) from your computer screen and at least an arm's length (91-101 centimeters or 36 to 40 inches) from any other computer terminal. Monitor the total amount of time your children spend in front of a video screen (computer, TV and video games) and make sure they take frequent breaks.
Computer work practices are extremely important. There should be regularly scheduled breaks for ten minutes for every hour of visually demanding work (columns, figures, rapid entry of data) and 15 minutes minimum for every two hours of less demanding work. During these breaks, it is important to leave the computer, stretch, gaze into the distance and drink lots of water. Breaks should never be skipped. Intensive computer work should be limited to 50 percent of the work day.
Rosalie Bertell suggests that you outline the electro-magnetic fields for yourself using a hearing aid which emits a high pitched sound when in the field. In this way, you could figure out the best distance to sit from your computer and from any other co-worker's computer near you.
The Tesslar Watch helps protect you from such radiation. This device and others like it are available through Essentia Communications Inc at 613-238-4437 or fax 613-235-5876. Essentia Communications has an extensive catalogue which includes various types of computer screens and measurement devices, as well as the books mentioned below.
The Q-Link which can be worn around the neck and a special clock device that covers a ten foot radius neutralizes electro-magnetic radiation. They are available from Clarus Systems at 1-800-223-1998 or 714-489-9904.
For more information, consult Paul Brodeur 's book, Currents Of Death: Power Lines, Computer Terminals and the Attempt to Cover Up Their Threat to Your Health (Simon and Shuster, 1989) and Dr. Samuel Becker's book, Crosscurrents (St. Martin's Press, 1990).
My book, Take Charge Of Your Body, (Well Women Press, 1997) has a chapter on the health hazards of computers. Microwave News, edited by Louis Slesin, is the definitive source of the latest information on the health effects of electro-magnetic fields (www.microwavenews.com or 212-517-2800).
Lose weight – diet and exercise plans