The human body uses electricity to do just about everything. Every part of us requires electrical impulses traveling along nerves in order to function properly. When these electrical impulses are disrupted or disturbed, we cannot function properly. This is essentially what causes many devastating diseases of the nervous system; when the nerves do not function or begin to over-fire, we get unwanted symptoms. This raises an important question; do humans have electromagnetic fields? And if so, what does this mean for our health in a world so full of other electromagnetic fields? How does the human magnetic field differ from the man-made magnetic fields that we encounter in our daily lives?
What are Electromagnetic Fields?
Electrical devices emit an electromagnetic field (or EMF). This is the area around the source of the electromagnetism into which electromagnetic waves, or radiation, reach. So we are all surrounded by many EMFs every day. The computer you are using, the cell phone beside you, the television on the wall, all of these have electromagnetic fields. The safety of these EMFs is under constant debate; some appliances are tested for safe levels of EMFs, but we are sadly lacking in long-term research to prove that being exposed to multiple sources of electromagnetic radiation is safe. So what about the human body itself? We use electrical energy within our bodies, so do humans have electromagnetic fields themselves? Let’s take a look at the EMF of the human body and how it is different to the various man-made EMFs around us.
Do Humans Have Electromagnetic Fields?
It might seem strange because we tend to think of electricity as something man-made that we use to power the various appliances and devices that we use, but humans are essentially electrical. The cells in our bodies are structured in such a way as to conduct electrical currents so that they can communicate. The nervous system uses electrical currents to send and receive messages between the body and brain. These electrical impulses are essential for the human body to function. One of the reasons we need the mineral nutrients that we get through our diet – minerals such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium – is because these minerals are electrically charged ions. Ions are used by the nervous system to generate electrical charges that move along the nerves. When you think of how complex and intricate this system is and how important it is for all human life, you realize how electricity is one of the fundamental forces in our lives.
The World Health Organization says, “Tiny electrical currents exist in the human body due to the chemical reactions that occur as part of the normal bodily functions, even in the absence of external electric fields. They cause current to flow through the body to the ground. Low-frequency magnetic fields induce circulating currents within the human body.”
So, if the human body has its own electromagnetic field, then why should we worry about other electromagnetic fields we come into contact with? If we are walking around as electrical beings, generating our own EMF simply through being alive, then how can other EMFs be a health concern?
The EMF of the Human Body
Do humans have electromagnetic fields? Yes, we undoubtedly do. Are they strong EMFs? No! The EMF of the human body is very small. In fact, it is smaller than the EMF created by any of the electrical devices around you each day. There is another key difference between the natural EMF produced by, for example, a human being and the man-made EMFs that are produced via electrical devices; polarization.
What is the Difference between Polarized and Non-Polarized EMFs?
One of the concerns of scientists studying the effects of electromagnetic fields on human health is the difference between natural EMFs and man-made EMFs. It appears that man-made EMFs tend to be polarized. Polarized EMFs are far more active than non-polarized EMFs. Polarized radiation causes a higher level of biological activity as the concentration of radiation can be intensified. This area of research is ongoing.
Can Human Beings Sense EMFs?
Incredible research conducted in recent years highlights exactly how much we don’t know about how the body reacts to electromagnetic fields. Scientists have been fascinated by studying the way that other animals, from tiny insects to large mammals, appear to be able to detect magnetic fields. A dog can be trained to track down a magnet, for example, and birds use the magnetic field of the earth when navigating huge distances during migration. What has puzzled scientists is that humans did not appear to have the ability to detect electromagnetic fields. Although, recent research has shown that the brain does, in fact, react to changes in the magnetic field around us. Some people appear more sensitive than others to these changes, but many people react to magnetic fields without even realizing. This subconscious ability is extremely thought-provoking. If we can detect magnetic fields, then this raises questions about how EMFs are affecting the body in other ways.
There is a Lot More to Learn
Human beings, their bodies, and how they interact with the world around them is under constant scrutiny from scientists who want to solve the mysteries of human biology. New discoveries are made all the time when scientists ask questions like ‘do humans have electromagnetic fields?’ and ‘can humans detect magnetic fields?’. Things that were once considered safe are frequently discovered to be harmful. Things that may have been considered harmful are often proven by scientific evidence to be safe. The electromagnetic field in the human body is something that we know little about; we have not long known that humans can even detect magnetic fields. We also do not have conclusive evidence that EMFs are safe for human health. While this uncertainty over how EMFs affect humans exists, all we can do is reduce our exposure and mitigate against the risks in order to make the most of the technology available to us while protecting our health.