Environmental Justice & Marginalized Communities
Have you ever heard of Environmental justice? It’s actually a critical issue that addresses the disproportionate distribution of environmental hazards and risks faced by marginalized communities. This includes exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation, which may impact these communities at a greater rate than others.
As previously mentioned, EMF radiation is a type of radiation that is emitted by electronic devices such as cell phones, Wi-Fi routers, and power lines. While EMF radiation is generally considered safe at low levels, some studies such as this one have suggested that long-term exposure to high levels of EMF radiation may increase the risk of certain health problems such as cancer, neurological disorders, and reproductive problems.
Marginalized communities, including low-income communities and communities of color, may be at a higher risk of exposure to high levels of EMF radiation. This is due in part to the fact that these communities may already be facing other environmental and health challenges, such as exposure to air pollution and toxic waste sites. Furthermore, because these communities tend to live in areas that are not as well maintained or even funded, they may not even have the resources to combat the negative effects of such radiation.
For example, a study conducted in California and published in 2018 found that low-income communities and communities of color were more likely to live near power lines and other sources of high levels of EMF radiation. These communities may also be more likely to live in buildings with poor ventilation, which can increase exposure to EMF radiation from Wi-Fi routers and other electronic devices.
Another study conducted in the United States found that African American and Hispanic children were more likely to be exposed to high levels of EMF radiation from cell phone towers than white children, published in 2021. This is due in part to the fact that cell phone towers are often located in or near marginalized communities, where land is cheaper and zoning laws may be less stringent.
The impact of high levels of EMF radiation on marginalized communities can be significant. For example, exposure to EMF radiation has been linked to an increased risk of childhood leukemia, which is already more prevalent in low-income communities and communities of color.
Interested in learning about how much exposure you face everyday? Read more about EMF meters here, and the compounding effects of the devices you use everyday here and the hidden impact of devices in your kitchen here.
To address this issue, it is important to raise awareness of the potential health risks of EMF radiation and to work to reduce exposure in marginalized communities. This can be done through policies and regulations that limit the construction of new power lines and cell phone towers in these communities, as well as through education and outreach to help individuals reduce their exposure to EMF radiation from electronic devices.
Overall, it is essential to consider the impact of environmental hazards on marginalized communities and to work to ensure that all individuals have access to a healthy and safe environment. By addressing the issue of EMF exposure and its potential impact on marginalized communities, we can take an important step toward achieving environmental justice for all.