A little while back I had building biologist Nicole Bijlsma do a run-through of my flat to see if it was toxic, and making me sick. It was. Although my initial Sunday Life column didn’t outline the full extent of things. It was a bit too controversial for the magazine… plus, I hadn’t really digested the brunt of Nicole’s message. Now I have.
Basically, my bedroom is making me sick. No bones about it. Here’s the deal: when Nicole did an EMF (electro-magnetic field) reading… the scanner spun around madly. The reading was dangerously high. And erratic. Nicole was shocked.
So we went outside… my bedroom sits right above the fuse room for the whole building (12 apartments). Every building ecologist around the world advises that you don’t sleep within 2 metres of the fuse box. I sleep only a metre or two above 12 of the buggers. Only wooden floorboards and a spring-coil mattress (which acts as an antenna for the whole damn thing; more on this below) between them and me. I’d always thought it was a bonus that my bedroom floor was always warm underfoot… when all along it was a slow combustion of brain-frying EMFs!!
When Nicole got her breath back, she asked: Have you, by any chance, got immune issues?
Me: YESSSSSSS. I have an auto-immune disease. Um. why?
Nicole: how long have you have you been sick?
Me: Three years.
Nicole: How long have you been living here?
Me: Oh…..dear…. a bit over three years.
Nicole then told me I was the first person she’s ever advised to move. Straight away. Do not pass go.
Why are EMFs in your bedroom bad?
I’ll dot-point for you what The BioInitiative Report, (by an international working group of scientists, researchers and public health policy professionals) said EMFs can do:
- Affect gene and protein expression (transcriptomic and proteomic research)
- Have genotoxic effects – DNA damage
- Induce stress response (stress proteins)
- Affect immune function
- Affect neurology and behaviour
- Cause childhood cancers (Leukemia)
- Impact melatonin production; Alzheimer’s Disease; breast cancer
- Promote breast cancer (melatonin links in laboratory and cell studies)
The things is, our bodies do all their repair overnight. It uses our own internal electrical system that functions with very weak electrical impulses that travel through our bodies which are mainly made of water with a high mineral levels (making it highly electrically conductive).
Problem is… electric currents from stuff in our bedrooms (live electrical wiring in ceilings, walls and floors) are thousands of times stronger than our body’s own electrical system, so long-term exposure buggers your body’s ability to communicate within itself. Ergo, you get sick.
What to do if you’re worried?
a) buy a gauss meter to read the levels around your house, $50 to $200. b) call in someone like Nicole to do it for you. Check out her site for links to people in your area. c) or you can simply pull your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house. Problem solved. A lot of people do this… especially in Europe. If you live in a flat, like me, this is not an option. So… I have to move…
Stuff you can do:
* Cats, ants and termites are attracted to geopathic stress zones (which electropathological energy causes). So avoid sleeping where your cat sleeps. If you don’t have a cat, look for areas where plants fail to thrive.
* Avoid metal-coil mattresses or metal framed beds: they can amplify and distort the earth’s natural magnetic field, which can lead to a non-restful sleep plus headaches, hyperactivity, eyestrain, muscle cramps
* Move your bed so that your head is at least 1-2 metres from all electrical outlets and turn off everything electrical in your bedroom. I turn off the wireless router every night now… magnetic fields can travel through most barriers and for long distances, and are difficult to block.
* Ditch the electric blanket. And the baby monitor.
* Use a battery alarm clock instead of an electric one.
* This tip from Dr Mercola: Never hold a cordless phone to your head, and avoid using your cell phone when in a car with a child or pregnant woman. If you absolutely need to use your cell phone, crack your window so the radiation can dissipate quicker. (I’m not so sure about this…!)
* Or better yet… don’t use a cordless phone at all. Go for an old-school cordless one (And here’s an interesting thing: my friend Rosie recently bought an old-school phone with a cord. At first it annoyed her that she couldn’t move around while chatting. But then she found it actually forced her to have more considered conversations with people because she sat and chatted… as opposed to washed up and chatted, hung the washing out and chatted… It’s funny how EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE).
For more info, check out Nicole’s site, or her new book Healthy Home, Healthy Family. EVERYTHING you need to know’s in there.