The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has a comprehensive page on EMF and ELF (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emf/) (Extremely Low Frequency radiation, if you didn’t already know). The reports and findings definitely favor the optimistic side of the debates, with little to no indication that EMF is linked to health risks.
That’s pretty good news, I suppose…and it would be great news if I was just a bit less skeptical of government agencies, and the various telecommunications and other tech industry lobbyists that love them. It’s a bit like believing the banker when he tells you that there’s no risk involved in refinancing with a variable rate, or when the seller of those sterling silver rings can’t verify the silver content. This is a problem in many parts of the world, where lax standards or lack of oversight creates problems downstream for businesses ranging from precious metals to gas stations. Especially in the silver marketplace, where markets overseas is the main drive of price. An inexperienced jeweler can easily run into financial trouble if he believes the rumors running in the local marketplace and has no way to verify claims of purity or composition.
The United Nations’ World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/peh-emf/en/) is a bit less glowing in its findings, but still presents a more or less moderate picture of the potential hazards of EMF. Their International EMF Project (http://www.who.int/peh-emf/project/en) is probably the chief worldwide effort to ascertain EMF safety, and it seems refreshingly objective, although still occasionally plagued with the tendency to support the status quo via ‘inconclusive’ findings.
For those in the United Kingdom’s sphere, the HPA (Health Protection Agency) (http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&Page&HPAwebAutoListName/Page/1158934607698?p=1158934607698) offers an EMF page with useful reports, links, and resources. From the HPA site, one can also view the findings of the IEGMP (Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones) and the NRPB (National Radiological Protection Board, the pre-2005 precursor to the HPA).
- RF and microwave radiation (mobile phones, Wi-Fi, TV, radio, etc.). The most numerous and prominent of the EMF concerns, and a topic of considerable debate.
- Ionizing radiation (Gamma rays, X – rays, radioactive materials, etc.). Fairly well – understood risks and protections, though there are exceptions (the potentially-dangerous level of cosmic radiation to which people on airplanes are exposed is not commonly known, for example)
Additionally, it may be the case that not enough people understand that there is a constant and relatively consistent level of exposure to electromagnetic fields / radiation; what we know as ‘background radiation’.
When you undergo a scan, the room that you will enter that contains the MRI machine is often rather cool, keeping the machinery at a proper temperature. You may want to ask for a blanket if they do not supply you with one so that you can keep warm. Be prepared to be in the MRI machine for at least 20 to 30 minutes, which is why staying warm is necessary for laying still! The noise that the MRI machine makes is very loud and the technician will give you head phones to wear during the scan. You need to lay as still as possible when getting scanned so that a clear picture can be formed. Sometimes the head phones they give you will play music, or will just be silent, but the technician can communicate to you through them.