Modern technology provides us with convenience and entertainment, but it comes at a cost. That cost is exposure to electromagnetic fields, also known as EMFs.

Wikipedia innocuously describes EMFs as “a mathematical representation of the influences on and due to electric charges.”

In laymen’s terms EMFs are invisible areas of energy that surround electronic devices and power sources. EMFs are produced by the movement of electrical charges and exist in various forms—electric fields, magnetic fields, and radiofrequency fields.

Thanks to emerging research and negative publicity most people today have at least a rudimentary awareness of EMFs. We now recognize that though EMFs have always existed in the world, the increasing level humans are exposed to today is a growing danger. Notwithstanding studies in the 1990s—mostly industry sponsored—that found EMFs to be generally safe, today expanded studies are linking a number of health conditions to EMFs.

While broad scientific consensus is still evolving as far as the extent of the danger, EMFs have been associated with certain cancers, fertility problems, neurological disorders, sleep problems, chronic migraines, and more.

Ubiquitous and unavoidable

EMFs are ubiquitous worldwide. They are emitted by even small electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops, Wi-Fi routers and household smart devices.

Once a person leaves home, they are further exposed by vehicle equipment, power lines, cell towers, hospital equipment, and endless devices worldwide. Completely avoiding exposure is impossible. One can only hope to limit exposure.

Fortunately, at the same time new studies show EMF exposure levels increasing, other research proves there are ways for people to protect themselves.

One of these methods is a type of clothing known as EMF-shielding fabric.

EMF-shielding fabric is a specialized type of textile material designed to block, or at least reduce, the penetration of electromagnetic radiation. This type of clothing is typically woven with metallic or magnetic material that helps create a barrier against EMFs.

The metallic material is usually interwoven between normal textile material, such as cotton or polyester; however, the shielding fabric itself is woven so tightly that it is smooth to the touch on its own.

EMF-shielding fabric can be incorporated into various products—curtains, bedding, and accessories like purses and phone cases—but studies show these methods offer limited protection. Clothing worn on the body appear to provide the best protection.

2021 study

An extensive study, published in the journal Materials in March 2021, confirmed the benefits of EMF-shielding fabric.

According to the the researchers, based at the University of Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia, polyamide knitted fabric made of silver-coated thread possessed an optimal electromagnetic shielding effectiveness in the frequency range from 0.9 GHz to 2.4. GHz—the common ranges people are regularly exposed to.

The elaborate testing conducted by the researchers involved a laboratory with a field generator, a NARDA SRM 3000 measuring instrument, a horn/funnel antenna, and computer monitoring equipment. Details of the testing equipment and methodology was published along with the study’s findings.

The series of tests were designed to not only test the fabric’s ability to block EMFs, but also to test the effectiveness of the protective abilities after repeated washings.

“The shielding effectiveness against EMR of fabric knitted from polyamide threads coated with silver, measured in the frequency range of 0.9 GHz to 2.4 GHz, indicated a high degree of protection,” the researchers wrote in the study findings.

Commenting on the potential applications for this type of fabric, the researchers also noted, “The protective factor, minimal weight and thickness are promising characteristics for clothing, interior, and technical applications.”

Other benefits provided by EMF-shielding apparel includes anti-bacterial and anti-odor properties. These benefits are provided by the same metallic coating that reflects the electromagnetic radiation.

“This functional knitted fabric can either be incorporated as a functional interlining in clothing or used to make children’s clothing due to its soft touch and antimicrobial properties, made possible by the silver,” the researchers wrote in the study conclusions.

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Source: Materials, March 2021 (MDPI.com).