by ƒ(x)
 P: 323 Recently, someone I know has become convinced that the poor sleep I'm getting is the result of EMFs being emitted by anything near my bed that's electrical. I think this is complete ******** (Edit: look at that, the forum auto-censors). Although, if that was the end of the matter, I'd be completely fine. Now, I've been receiving emails from said person containing product links to EMF Meters, like this one. They cost about $200. This person is a little bit past middle aged and doesn't have a mind that's completely grounded in science or rationality. As such, she's (it would probably be simpler if I just told it's a family member), particularly vulnerable to pseudo-science and carries out all the instructions, which normally involve spending money, recommended by her homeopathic doctor. (Not that I have anything against homeopathy. Some of the stuff seems to work, and I can't argue with results.) It annoys me to no end that she gets duped like this, but all my arguments have been in vain so far. This EMF issue seems like something that, given the appropriate facts, I could actually put an end to. Unfortunately, I'm not knowledgeable enough in this area, and my research attempts have been fruitless. I'd greatly appreciate it if any of you guys had an points I could use to disprove the hypothesis that EMFs are causing my poor sleep. Emeritus Sci Advisor PF Gold P: 12,500  Quote by ƒ(x) Recently, someone I know has become convinced that the poor sleep I'm getting is the result of EMFs being emitted by anything near my bed that's electrical. I think this is complete ******** (Edit: look at that, the forum auto-censors). Although, if that was the end of the matter, I'd be completely fine. Now, I've been receiving emails from said person containing product links to EMF Meters, like this one. They cost about$200. This person is a little bit past middle aged and doesn't have a mind that's completely grounded in science or rationality. As such, she's (it would probably be simpler if I just told it's a family member), particularly vulnerable to pseudo-science and carries out all the instructions, which normally involve spending money, recommended by her homeopathic doctor. (Not that I have anything against homeopathy. Some of the stuff seems to work, and I can't argue with results.) It annoys me to no end that she gets duped like this, but all my arguments have been in vain so far. This EMF issue seems like something that, given the appropriate facts, I could actually put an end to. Unfortunately, I'm not knowledgeable enough in this area, and my research attempts have been fruitless. I'd greatly appreciate it if any of you guys had an points I could use to disprove the hypothesis that EMFs are causing my poor sleep.
You defeat it by asking for published studies [in proper science journals ONLY] supporting his claim. I am quite sure there are none. The burden of proof is on him, not you.

Ask him to show actual evidence that this isn't total bs.
P: 5,630
 Quote by ƒ(x) I'd greatly appreciate it if any of you guys had an points I could use to disprove the hypothesis that EMFs are causing my poor sleep.
You say it's a relative, so is there anyone you both know who sleeps pretty well despite having just as many electrical things around?

Mentor
P: 26,523

 Quote by ƒ(x) (Not that I have anything against homeopathy. Some of the stuff seems to work, and I can't argue with results.)
Sorry, homeopathy is crackpottery. Watch this to understand what homeopathy is and why it can't work, aside from a placebo.

http://www.physicsforums.com/showthr...ka#post3481267

You can at least use this to prove to that homeopathy is crackpottery.
Mentor
P: 5,462
 Quote by ƒ(x) (Not that I have anything against homeopathy. Some of the stuff seems to work, and I can't argue with results.)
Are you aware of what homeopathy is? Every credible study shows it to not work. Even the very premises of homeopathy fly in the face of established science. Homeopaths believe that if a substance causes symptoms A, B and C in one dose it will cure symptoms A, B and C in a massively diluted dose. So diluted that there is literally nothing left but water, but that's ok because they claim that water has memory and that it takes on the properties of the substance that has been diluted.

It is pure crackpottery and I am disgusted that in the modern world there is not a greater effort to tackle these snake-oil salesmen who take millions of pounds of peoples money selling fake medicines.
 Emeritus Sci Advisor PF Gold P: 12,500 A lot of people confuse homeopathy with holistic medicine.
Mentor
P: 5,462
 Quote by Ivan Seeking A lot of people confuse homeopathy with holistic medicine.
And even that is itself mostly rubbish. When used by doctors or medical researchers it means treating various aspects of a person's needs e.g. dealing with the psychological and social ramifications of a patient's cancer as well as treating the cancer. However the term is often used by practitioners of alternative medicines to promote things like homeopathy, spiritual counselling, acupuncture etc.
Emeritus
PF Gold
P: 12,500
 Quote by Ryan_m_b And even that is itself mostly rubbish. When used by doctors or medical researchers it means treating various aspects of a person's needs e.g. dealing with the psychological and social ramifications of a patient's cancer as well as treating the cancer. However the term is often used by practitioners of alternative medicines to promote things like homeopathy, spiritual counselling, acupuncture etc.
Yes, it gets pretty mucky.

When I first started here, I had no idea what homoeopathy was. I thought it involved eating healthy foods, and meditation. It turned out that a lot of people had these wires crossed.
P: 323
 Quote by Ivan Seeking You defeat it by asking for published studies [in proper science journals ONLY] supporting his claim. I am quite sure there are none. The burden of proof is on him, not you. Ask him to show actual evidence that this isn't total bs.
She countered with this

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/emf/
P: 323
 Quote by Evo Sorry, homeopathy is crackpottery. Watch this to understand what homeopathy is and why it can't work, aside from a placebo. http://www.physicsforums.com/showthr...ka#post3481267 You can at least use this to prove to that homeopathy is crackpottery.
 Quote by Ryan_m_b Are you aware of what homeopathy is? Every credible study shows it to not work. Even the very premises of homeopathy fly in the face of established science. Homeopaths believe that if a substance causes symptoms A, B and C in one dose it will cure symptoms A, B and C in a massively diluted dose. So diluted that there is literally nothing left but water, but that's ok because they claim that water has memory and that it takes on the properties of the substance that has been diluted. It is pure crackpottery and I am disgusted that in the modern world there is not a greater effort to tackle these snake-oil salesmen who take millions of pounds of peoples money selling fake medicines.
Guess I wasn't aware what it is.
Emeritus
PF Gold
P: 12,500
 Quote by ƒ(x) She countered with this http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/emf/
That has nothing to do with her claim. Specifically, what information is she referencing here? Handing off an urelated link means nothing.
 P: 639 For a very good analysis of homeopathy, read http://depletedcranium.com/how-homeo...s-illustrated/
Mentor
P: 26,523
You can point her to this.

 National Policy 95.2 POWER LINE FIELDS AND PUBLIC HEALTH(Adopted by Council on April 23, 1995) (Reaffirmed by Council 15 April 2005) Physicists are frequently asked to comment on the potential dangers of cancer from electromagnetic fields that emanate from common power lines and electrical appliances. While recognizing that the connection between power line fields and cancer is an area of continuing study by research workers in many disciplines in the United States and abroad, we believe that it is possible to make several observations based on the scientific evidence at this time. We also believe that, in the interest of making the best use of the finite resources available for environmental research and mitigation, it is important for professional organizations to comment on this issue. The scientific literature and the reports of reviews by other panels show no consistent, significant link between cancer and power line fields. This literature includes epidemiological studies, research on biological systems, and analyses of theoretical interaction mechanisms. No plausible biophysical mechanisms for the systematic initiation or promotion of cancer by these power line fields have been identified. Furthermore, the preponderance of the epidemiological and biophysical/biological research findings have failed to substantiate those studies which have reported specific adverse health effects from exposure to such fields. While it is impossible to prove that no deleterious health effects occur from exposure to any environmental factor, it is necessary to demonstrate a consistent, significant, and causal relationship before one can conclude that such effects do occur. From this standpoint, the conjectures relating cancer to power line fields have not been scientifically substantiated. These unsubstantiated claims, however, have generated fears of power lines in some communities, leading to expensive mitigation efforts, and, in some cases, to lengthy and divisive court proceedings. The costs of mitigation and litigation relating to the power line cancer connection have risen into the billions of dollars and threaten to go much higher. The diversion of these resources to eliminate a threat which has no persuasive scientific basis is disturbing to us. More serious environmental problems are neglected for lack of funding and public attention, and the burden of cost placed on the American public is incommensurate with the risk, if any.
http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/95_2.cfm
 P: 323 The argument reached the point where she said something along the lines of "Thank you for your views. This has been very interesting."
 P: 3,014 The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is a blackbody radiation corresponding to a temperature of 2.7255 K. According to Wien's displacement Law, this corresponds to a peak frequency: $$\frac{f_{\mathrm{peak}}}{T} = 58.77 \, \frac{\mathrm{GHz}}{\mathrm{K}} \Rightarrow f_{\mathrm{peak}} = 160 \, \mathrm{GHz}$$ This falls into the Extremely High Frequency range of radio waves in the EM spectrum. The total energy density is given by Stefan's Law: $$u = A \, T^4, \ A = \frac{8 \pi^4 \, k^4_B}{15 \, (h c)^3} = 2.407 \times 10^{-16} \, \frac{\mathrm{J}}{\mathrm{m^3} \, \mathrm{K}^4}$$ $$u = 1.328 \times 10^{-14} \,\frac{\mathrm{J}}{\mathrm{m}^3}$$ This energy density corresponds to a total energy flux density ((energy flow per unit time = power flow) per unit area): $$I = \frac{c \, u}{4}$$ $$I = 0.996 \, \frac{\mathrm{\mu W}}{\mathrm{m}^2} = 9.96 \, \frac{\mathrm{mW}}{\mathrm{cm}^2}$$ So, there is an all-surrounding intensity of about 10 milliwatts per square centimeter due to the CMB. What intensity levels do those devices that you were looking to buy measure? EDIT: This is an enlarged view of the picture of the device's scale: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...L._AA1500_.jpg Look at the bottom scale! It measures intensities that are one order of magnitude lower than what the CMB has. So, blame the Big Bang for cancer!
PF Gold
P: 739
 Quote by ƒ(x) She countered with this http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/emf/
Just read that page... nothing about sleeping and EMF. Unless you're experiencing significant childhood leukemia, I don't see anything relevant.

Also, last I heard, the link between EMF and leukemia had been broken by an "outbreak" in undeveloped parts of Togo which has finally skewed the results to "trivial." I believe the conclusion was that there are far stronger genetic links than environmental links.

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