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Episode 25: Your Cell Phone Could Be Altering Your Gut Microbes

Episode 25: Your Cell Phone Could Be Altering Your Gut Microbes

Electromagnetic frequencies. Also called EMFs for short, these are forms of radiation that emanate from your cell phone, your wifi and your laptop, among many other sources. While many experts say that EMFs have no impact on human health, a growing number of scientists, doctors and EMF advocates have started to question whether they’re wrong.   

Our guest today is Nicolas Pineault, author of the #1 bestselling book The Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs and an advocate for safe technologies. He’s also launched the Electrosmog Rx, an online professional-level EMF course in collaboration with Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, with the goal of educating health professionals worldwide on how to address EMF-related symptoms and minimize their patients’ EMF exposure. 

On this episode, Nick talks to Andrea about the anecdotal evidence he’s heard from doctors about their patient’s reactions to EMFs, plus his own experience in battling EMF-related symptoms. They also discuss how the microbiome is impacted by these ever-present frequencies, how to protect yourself from EMF exposure and whether tools like EMF shield blankets and paints make any difference in exposure.  

You can find more about Nick, including where to purchase his book, at  

On this show, you’ll learn: 

  • What are EMFs? (1:20)
  • Is it really a concern and what are the potential dangers we are starting to see? (3:24)
  • Other common symptoms of EMF exposure (10:40)
  • Are EMFs a problem for every and anyone regardless of their lifestyle? (17:15)
  • The impact they have on the microbes that are living in and on us (22:04)
  • How and why children react differently to EMFs (26:37)
  • What precautions we can take that make sense (32:35)
  • Exposure in our homes that we may not have thought about (37:11)
  • The exposure from our cell phones (40:32)
  • Ways to block with blankets and paint (43:13)
  • Everyday items that are exposing us to higher than normal EMF’s (48:05)

BIOHM gut quiz 


Andrea Wien: Welcome to the Microbiome Report powered by BHIOM Health. I'm your host, Andrea Wien. Today's show is all about electromagnetic frequencies. That's also EMF for short and the effect that they're having on our overall health and microbiome. My guest today is Nicolas Pineault. He's the author of the bestselling book, the NoN-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs and an advocate for safe technologies. He's also launched the Electrosmog Rx, an online professional level EMF course in collaboration with Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt with the goal of educating health professionals worldwide on how to address EMF related symptoms and minimize their patients' exposure. On today's episode, I'm talking to Nick about how worried we should really be about EMFs, what the science says versus what might be hyperbole and how we can protect ourselves from exposure. Enjoy the show. Nick, thank you so much for coming on the show. It's such a pleasure to have you.

Nicolas Pineault: Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure to spread this message on your platform.

Andrea Wien: I think a lot of people are starting to hear a little bit of buzz about EMFs and electromagnetic fields, but can you just really break down, what are they? What is this all about?

Nicolas Pineault: Sure. EMF stands for like two magnetic fields and it really refers to the new frequencies that we have been exposed to now for, in the case of cell phones, a few decades in a case of electricity, more decades than that, but basically this is new technology that impacts our biology via these electromagnetic fields. In nature, you always have had exposure to various electromagnetic fields. Some of it come from space in the form of gamma rays, X-rays, all sorts of different fields and the sun and its different fields and different frequencies. Some of them are part of the visible light spectrum and some of it is invisible like UV, for example so if you get exposed to UV, you'd know that there's such thing as a good dose of UV that gives you vitamin D and protects you from cancer and all sorts of great things for your health.

There's such thing as a bad dose of UV, where you burn. You burn your skin and you do increase oxidative stress. There's a dose response relationship when it comes to natural EMFs and it turns out that when we rolled out these new EMFs like cell phones, WiFi, Bluetooth and even standard household electricity or different electronics or electric machines that we get exposed to, we rolled this out really before the science was clear on whether there are biological effects from this technology or not. The more time goes by and the more science unfortunately shows that there are biological effects.

Andrea Wien: I find that talking to people in preparation for this interview, there's kind of two camps. There's the people that are really skeptical that this is even a concern. They're saying, why even worry about this. Number one, it's pervasive, it's everywhere so I don't think it causes any problems, but even if it did, what could we possibly do? Then there's the other people that are really starting to question it, maybe hearing some rumblings of this. Let's talk a little bit about what are the dangers that we're starting to see?

Nicolas Pineault: Yeah. Well, in 2011 you had a committee of scientists that gathered at the World Health Organization, the branch of the World Health Organization, that's called IARC, the International Agency for Research on Cancer. They wanted to assess basically every study that has been published until 2011. What does it say about radio-frequency? Cell phones, WiFi, Bluetooth, cell towers, smart meters, anything that connects wirelessly these days is in the spectrum. They wanted to know, is there a causal link with cancer? They ended up classifying it as a class 2B carcinogen.

It means a possible carcinogen. There's a lot of things in this category that almost don't make sense to me like pickled veggies. I don't know how that ended up on that list, but anyway, a lot of skeptics at this point kind of scoff at the whole thing and say, well, it's only 2B right, but right now, a lot of scientists that are independent and that have been in this committee in 2011, say that with the new data that came out in the last eight, nine years alone, we should reclassify EMFs as a class 2A, which would be probable carcinogen or a class 1, definite carcinogen and their scientific opinion based on published peer reviewed science.

Then after that, we can argue what is it worth being a carcinogen and all this, but the fact is that tobacco asbestos and other environmental toxins are in this class one category. We know now that the fact that it had been classified so high at the IARC really made changes in our society. With tobacco, we have smoke free zones. We have smoke-free airplanes, smoke-free restaurants, smoke-free bars. Same thing with asbestosis has been, unfortunately in the US it's not banned yet, but the European Union imposed a complete ban or at least they're in the process of doing so. We want to replace asbestos with other things that we know don't cause as much disease in humans, so it just makes sense. Yes, it's ubiquitous, but it doesn't mean that we cannot create technology that's safer.

For now, the cancer EMF link, let's say it's one that is strong, but it's actually a bit of a distraction when it comes to the science, because a lot of people at both sides of the argument are arguing that there's a link. There's no link with brain cancer with breast cancer and different cancers. This is the long-term horizon that we're talking about here. Brain cancer can have a latency period of 10 to 50 years. In reality, if it's 50 years, well, no one has been using cell phones for 50 years. The iPhone has been launched 12 years ago. Widespread use of smartphones next to the head, next to the body in the pocket and whatnot, in the bra next to the breast tissue, it's fairly new. When you look at disbelief, why is it that people believe that it's perfectly safe?

It really comes down to the physics of it. In the EMFs spectrum, you have a classified frequencies in two distinct categories. One of them is ionizing radiation and in this category we know that the type of frequency has enough power, enough force to break molecular bonds and you end up with direct DNA breakage and we know this causes cancer. This is why when we discovered this especially about x-rays as a society and this is the case, and I think in every country on the planet right now, only in medical settings and not just to, for example, some uses that that now would be considered completely crazy is back in the '40s, '50s, and '60s, we used to look at children's feet at shoe stores with x-rays just to make sure that they are the right fit.

This is not a use nowadays that would be considered healthy or safe and yet at the time it was perfectly fine. Our scientific understanding of x-rays has completely changed and this ionizing radiation is considered dangerous or to be used with great care. Now there's everything else below a certain frequency, UV, infrared, and visible light. Then you go down, you go in wireless radiation, cell phone towers and whatnot, and even go down to household electricity, which has extremely low frequency. We declared that well or non-ionizing frequencies so therefore they cannot directly break human DNA so there's nothing to worry about. The only way that this technology might harm us is if it ends up overheating our tissue, so causing either a burning injury that's acute, or even increasing, for example, a cell phone user having a cell phone near the head causing dysfunction, because you'll have I don't know, a mild great fever.

That's not natural and all the consequences that can have on brain function and who knows what else? That was the idea. Unfortunately, there is such thing as the non thermal effects, so there are literally thousands and thousands of studies that disprove this belief really, because it's not a fact, it's a belief that non ionizing radiation cannot possibly harm the human body except by heating it. If you look for example, I think, and I'm going to catch my breath afterwards. The strongest link that we have in science right now is the link between fertility in men and keeping a cell phone in a pocket. I think in the last decade alone, I could be wrong on this number, but it's a large amount of data that came out in the last decade. You have one of the top researchers that say publicly has been saying for a few years, do not keep a cell phone in your pocket. It is dangerous.

It is a dangerous practice based on the science that we have. It's really that. A lot of the science is very blurry, unclear, but it is clearly unsafe is how I would put it.

Andrea Wien: Yeah. I think you make an interesting point. There's a couple directions I want to go in so I'm going to try to do them in order here, but that cancer is not the only thing we need to be thinking of. That's a long-term impact of some of these things, but to get singularly focused on that might not make sense because we're seeing such short term problems. Like you mentioned the impact on sperm and I know Tim Ferris who has a very popular platform and podcast, he's done his own studies with his sperm counts and trying to figure out exactly how cell phones impacted them and he saw just in his own anecdotal research of one that, that was happening. When my husband and I were trying to get pregnant, I made sure that we both kept our cell phones far away from any of our bits and pieces, because that was... We're learning so much more. I think we're starting to see other symptoms. There are other common symptoms of EMF exposure. Can you talk about what those are?

Nicolas Pineault: Sure. It gets into more and more controversy because again, if you ask a psychologist or even medical doctors, is it possible to have side effects, to have symptoms from EMFs from your cell phone? The consensus let's say right now is no. It's impossible and it's all in the head, so basically it's just psychosomatic. It is the nocebo effect, so in other words, people fear their cell phone and then they imagine that their cell phone is making them sick and it does make them physically ill. There's no question. Some people have symptoms that are physical and that are verifiable, but where is the source of these symptoms? Is it a real effect, the cause and effect, or is it something where it's psychosomatic? Right now they think it's mostly psychosomatic. If you ask the doctors that do not think it's psychosomatic that a lot of functional medicine practitioners that I have been chatting with for years now, let's take Dr. Zach Bush, for example, he's a triple board certified MD.

At first, when he saw the symptoms of EMF exposure. In other words, self reported symptoms from patients that said, well, I get a headache when I am on my cell phone. I cannot sleep when the WiFi is on and whatnot. A lot of symptoms or even feeling very sick around cell phone towers. He simply did not believe it at first. For a few years, he did not believe this case that it could be important to these people who seems to have, let's say a hypersensitivity or a lot of EMF related symptoms. It turns out that after some of his patients starting removing the sources of EMFs from their environment, they started getting better. He got curious, what did you do? Well, I started turning off the WiFi at night. I started not using my cell phone as much or creating distance between the cell phone and my ear.

These people got better. A lot of these functional medicine doctors are really about what works and not what works in theory. This is what got them interested. When I talked to Zach Bush, Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, who was a real pioneer in chronic disease. Dr. Lee Cowden, I mean, the doctors to the doctors, really. Most of these pioneers are. All of them tell me that EMFs is a huge issue for a lot of people, especially those who already have so many things going on. Whether it's the microbiome completely, severe dysbiosis, parasites, infections, heavy metals, and then chronic fatigue, MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, all these conditions. People are already very weakened by a lot of factors and when you add EMFs in, some of them seem to be overreacting, just like you have some of your patient population, and you might be seeing, or the average doctor is seeing that will be allergic to perfumes.

A few people, right? There's a fraction of the population that is automatically more sensitive, but the science says that whether you feel the symptoms or not, you are affected on a cellular level. That's something very important to tell everyone, listening to this. If you listen, for example, to Dr. Martin Pall, P-A-L-L from the Washington State University, he's 2013 paper won a couple of awards worldwide, and this non-ionizing radiation ends up damaging the human body and is true. Basically it's true. Calcium overflow in the cell, and we can get into this. It gets a little bit geeky, but just going back to the symptoms, if you do feel a symptom, what's you might realize is really symptoms that can mimic a thousand other things or come from a thousand other sources.

It's hard to pinpoint. I have to be honest with that. There's for example, fatigue, sleep disturbance, headaches, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, or word recall, depression or anxiety, memory loss, visual disruption. Some of them have even skin problems. I have heard and seen electrical hypersensitive individuals. You look at their skin after a few minutes, and it has a histamine release. It's as red as a niacin flush for those of you who know what I'm talking about, or if you go in the sun for two hours and get burned, they have an allergic reaction. In these cases, it's pretty much undeniable at this point that this is not happening.

The problem for the average person to realize that these symptoms are true for them, it's difficult, but it usually goes by elimination. Just like a lot of people might have realized when these started heating, let's see a more real food or healthier diet, whatever your introduction was. Was it the vegan diet or the carnivore or Paleo, I don't care. Even though a lot of people report feeling perfectly fine at first, no, I don't have that many symptoms or I have good energy, all of a sudden removing the offending foods that maybe they were allergic to, or maybe they were full of sugar or processed oils, then they realize that their new normal is much, much, much higher. Their new sleep is much better et cetera.

The same thing is seen when you start removing EMFs from your environment and all of a sudden you're like, Oh my God, I slept like a baby. I drooled over my pillow. I was dead during the night, right? Well, this is one of the factors that comes at play is really the electrical pollution in the average city.

Andrea Wien: I think we've talked before on the show about filling up a bucket and so everyone kind of has this imaginary bucket of what their body is able to handle. When we start adding in things like environmental toxins, diet, stress, that bucket gets fuller and fuller and fuller. If we overflow that bucket, we're more susceptible to certain things and so it seems like maybe EMFs now are just another addition to that bucket. Depending on where we are, maybe they don't bother us as much. If we are eating organic, we're not taking in chemicals from our foods, or we don't live in a city, our diet is pretty clean. We don't have high levels of stress, then maybe EMFs, we can tolerate them at a better level than someone who has all of these other factors going on. Is that something that you've seen as well?

Nicolas Pineault: This is completely correct on all levels. If you look at the little data that has been published in, let's say the treatment of EMF related diseases and there's not a lot of data because this idea is kind of pushed aside by a lot of scientists who don't believe it's a problem in the first place. What I see when I ask top functional medicine doctors, for example, there's Dr. Dan Pompa. He's known for as being an expert in detoxification and seeing people who really have a high load of either have the metals or toxic chemicals and going through certain methodologies to get these levels lower. He told me two things that were very interesting. First, he told me, "Nick, 50% of my clients are sensitive to EMF, so they can feel it in some way, shape or form."

I was very shocked when he told me 50%. Some doctors tell me it's a high percentage, but 50%, I was really shocked when I first heard that. That's something where, of course he does see people who mostly have major health issues, so that's something to keep in mind. The second thing he told me that was interesting for this conversation about the bucket theory and I think it makes a lot of sense is, the more heavy metals they have, the more sensitive to EMFs they are. Some of the interventions they would do, for example, for an individual that is extremely sensitive. I'm talking about people who can barely live in a city without... They can't barely function if they are exposed to ambient WiFi and to such a degree that some people will think at this point that, Oh, no, these people are crazy.

There's no way you can feel a cell phone at this distance, however we do know from just studying the bio electric machine, that is the human body, that we can react to electricity in the picovolts range. I don't know how small that is, how many zeros after the fraction, but it's very, very, very low voltage and the human body can feel these things. Then these people who are already on fire, their brain is overreacting to heavy metals. Mold is another big co-factor and then you add EMFs into the mix. Of course, their brain is overreacting to the offending agent, just like someone's celiac is overreacting to one breadcrumb. Even the smell of a fresh baked loaf can make them sick and sometimes they go by bakeries and they can get incapacitated. It seems exaggerated, but it can be very real.

Again and again, it's a personal experience for me that if you reduce this toxic load, you usually will reduce your sensitivity to these EMFs. That's my case, I've been working with my functional medicine doc. He's been putting me through a protocol to reduce viral load, Epstein-Barr virus and mycoplasma, principally and so far I've been feeling better and better and better and I do realize that if I were to work on a computer connected via WiFi, I wouldn't get as much of a brain fog as I used to. My health overall is improving. The good news is that in some situations you can reverse this sensitivity.

Andrea Wien: You make a good point. I actually have celiac, so that was a perfect example. We think about these products that are coming out and the standard for gluten let's say is 20 parts per million and there's a quantity that goes into that, right? There might be a product let's say like the beers, there's a lot of beers that are coming out now that are under that 20 parts per million, but if I drink three of those beers then I'm at 60 parts per million and have a reaction. Potentially someone living in a city who's bombarded by all of this ancillary EMF exposure, you're not just talking about one home in the country with my WiFi box. You're talking about all of my neighbors, all of the businesses around me, et cetera, et cetera. It's almost like a synergistic building of the EMF.

I want to switch gears a little bit though, and talk about the microbiome, because obviously our show is all about the microbes and in doing some research on EMFs and their impact on the microbiome, I found that there's actually research that pathogenic bacteria, these are things like E. coli, the proteobacteria are proliferating and multiplying more quickly, and they're more resistant to antibiotics in the presence of WiFi and cell radiation. I think that that is just unbelievable to think about that something that we feel is just pervasive and all around us is actually impacting even the microbes that are living in and on us.

Nicolas Pineault: It is true and before saying that automatically WiFi or cell phones or different frequencies will automatically kind of make the bad stuff grow and make the good stuff grow less. It's not as simple as that. In reality, we don't have a lot of science. We do have certain studies where you put certain strains of yeast that are known to be commonly found in humans, commonly found in a yeast overgrowth and you use a cell phone signal and you see that certain strains of yeast will actually start growing faster and faster and faster, whereas other strains their growth will be stunt. It's really unclear what it is doing with the incredible vastness and complexity that the human microbiome has and the fact that we're scratching the surface on mapping this entire thing and understanding the marvelous interactions between the different species and how different interventions can help us manage this.

It's incredible to me that there's an entire world inside us, so we don't know exactly what are the effects, but it is very plausible to say that it is probably disrupting this normal growth. If you look at different studies are extremely, extremely concerning. There's the TAHERI group, T-A-H-E-R-I, what they did is they took a WiFi router. They basically had E. Coli, certain strains of the E. Coli and other microorganisms become more resistant to antibiotics. Their conclusion is, well, it is a potential threat to human health and should be further investigated and may have many implications in the management of serious infectious diseases.

If we are to install WiFi in hospitals, and it is one of the factors making these bugs more resistant, because in the end, it's a stressor and the bugs just like humans seem to adapt to the stressor and start shifting and reinforcing themselves just like they react well over use of antibiotics. They eventually get accustomed to it, and they can reproduce very fast and modify their behavior and their true epigenetic switches become stronger and stronger. We know that at the same time that this study came out, we are facing the worst epidemic of antibiotic resistance in the history of mankind. From what I heard from professor Johansson in Sweden, at least in a recent interview. He told me that antibiotic resistance will kill tens of thousands of Europeans in the next few years, based on the latest numbers from the European Union.

It is a huge issue in our society. We know that it affects these bugs and who knows what it is doing to your microbiome. Is it making the bad bugs in your gut or in your brain or everywhere, because they're really everywhere in your body. Is it making them a bad species, so to speak, or the opportunistic bacteria or other microorganisms, is it making them more resistant to antibiotics, natural, or otherwise? It is very plausible that this is happening. Unfortunately, because our safety standards again, are based on heating, well, it's not about heating. We know that the microbiome is where you produce most of your serotonin, correct me if I'm saying something stupid here, but a lot of these essential amino acids and brain chemicals are produced in the gut so who knows how much is...

There's a link with depression or other things that we're seeing are now at epidemic levels. It's really the lack of science and transparency, and of course the fact that our safety standards are just based on looking at the wrong thing, that is the most concerning thing in this whole debate.

Andrea Wien: I think too, something that people are starting to talk a little bit more about is kids and their effects with EMFs. Can you talk a little bit about how we might be seeing how kids react differently or why children might be even more susceptible to this?

Nicolas Pineault: Sure. There's been a warning, there are colleagues and engineers saying that the safety standards are simply not realistic compared to how kids use this technology. For example, there's Dr. [inaudible] who has been, I think it has been 30 years that literally since the first cell phones came out, He said, well, the cell phones are tested on a mannequin head that mimics a 220 pound man, so how can you compare that to a four year old? When we know that in certain surveys, for example, in one survey made by the American Academy for Pediatrics in a poor Philadelphia neighborhood, the four year olds possess their cell phones, almost all of them. Three quarter of them possess a cell phone, so they use it on the head of course, to communicate with parents in case they're in trouble, and that's good. There's good sides to that technology.

I don't want to sound like I'm a completely anti-technology. I have a cell phone too, but it is crazy that we are studying adults and how adults are affected with brain cancer risks, and a lot of other things that are still controversial, but in the meantime, we have kids that literally have a fraction of the size of adults that by default we'll absorb twice the radiation pound per pound, just because they have a higher water content in their tissues. We know that it's much, much worse in children and yet, well the safety standards don't account that children use the cell phones. Well, I'm sorry to tell you that since in the last 10 years, we are seeing horrid numbers and statistics on the chronic disease epidemic that we're facing in basically all the rich countries so to speak.

EMFs are probably part of it because this is something that changed in just the last 10 years. Starting one-year-old, starting newborn, to be honest, people have newborns to distract them. They have their cell phone in front of their face, whereas just a few years back, it was basically only adults that use cell phones, but now with smartphones is much, much different. There's a doctor, Hugh Taylor, from a university you probably never heard about called Yale. Well, Dr. Taylor is a big proponent for safe technologies and to use technology and children in a safer way. What he did is that, one of the studies he did in 2012 is that you use a standard cell phone that was within, let's say the safety guidelines, which are not protective, but still, it was just a standard cell phone that everyone's is exposed to 24/7.

It was placed on top of cages of pregnant mice during their pregnancy. What happened is that the offspring of these irradiated pregnant mice showed a hyperactivity, diminished memory, apathy, impulsiveness, and other behaviors that they said mirrors children with ADHD. What they also looked at is that the severity of the effect depended on the length of exposure. The more you expose yourself while you're pregnant, the more your offspring would have ADHD. They wanted to verify that in humans. You have another study from researchers at UCLA that found that children of mothers who use cell phones most frequently during pregnancy, showed a nearly two fold increase in behavioral and emotional problem and hyper activity by the time they reached school age. There's at least two other studies with cohorts of more than a thousand children.

One from I think a Danish study and other one I cannot recall right now, but that have showed the same things. In other words, pregnancy exposure seems to be a huge risk factor. There's a strong correlation, the way we can put it between cell phone use while you're pregnant, or being exposed to environmental EMFs and your children having ADD, ADHD symptoms. We know that children all time high when it comes to these symptoms, so there's a lot of strong correlation. We start using technology more. We have this epidemic of disease in children. There's a lot of other science we could talk about, but in the end, it's affecting brain function, it's affecting normal growth.

The top researchers on EMFs and really at biology, say that STEM cells are most affected by EMF radiation than any other cell type, so if that's true, well, do get your STEM cells injections, but get away from your cell phone. A lot of people are kind of jumping on board, but it's also, well, if you have children that have all these STEM cells that are trying to differentiate, how is this chaotic signal interfering with this normal process and to truth is we don't know, but it's probably not good.

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I can hear people almost saying like, Oh my gosh, I'm starting to really be concerned about this and they're inescapable, right? I mean, no matter what, even if I took every precaution, which I want to talk about, what kind of precautions people can take, it's still, it doesn't matter. Does it matter what I do in my own home versus, what I'm exposed to just walking around? What kind of precautions can I take that makes sense and might limit my exposure?

Nicolas Pineault: First, you can do something about it. Of course cannot do anything about, let's say EMF pollution in your city, Bluetooth headphones, and then their cell phone is downloading something and they have a tablet that's charging. I mean, there's so many devices. You cannot really tell your neighbor to just not do these activities right now. It's not enforced. It's not enforceable in our society. I think it will come, but we have a long way ahead of us to change habits and regulations. In the meantime, what you can control is still tremendous for your health and the health of your kids. Is really what you put inside your home. The first thing that you want to do is just to create distance between any device that emits EMF, so that can connect wirelessly to anything else, like a cell phone, a tablet, an E-reader, even kids toys now, some of them have Bluetooth in them.

When it comes to how do you do that practically? Well, with your cell phone, you put your speaker mode on and you talk one to two feet from your head and if that's not convenient or if you're just an annoyance on the subway train, well, do you use headphones. The safest type of headphones is called Air Tube headset. This is a bit safer because the wires of the headphones themselves can sometimes attract these EMFs to the head, but if you have only normal wired earbuds, and you want to use those, I think it's still very valid and way better than using a cell phone on the ear. If a cell phone in the ear is linked with increase in cancer risk, at least this is where the data is going right now. I don't think it's going to really backtrack it steps.

What is it doing if you keep a cell phone in your pocket, if you keep your cell phone near your gut, because maybe you'd tuck it into your yoga pants, your Lulu lemon yoga pants and maybe it's right next to your ovaries, or it's right next to your hip. Well, it's probably nothing good. There's two studies in the last two years that showed hundreds of men keeping a cell phone in their pocket and a 10% loss, or it might be more don't quote me on the numbers, but a loss in bone density on the side where they wear the cell phone on the hip. It is verified that it's very disruptive for bone growth for example and it just makes sense. What part of your body do you want to disrupt is the question, if possible, no part.

When you put it in your pocket or anywhere near your body, I recommend hitting airplane mode and in this case you don't have these EMFs being emitted, then it does require a little bit more planning on your part. If you're taking a daily ride again, subway train is my example, because I take it every day here in Montreal and this system is pretty good. I'm always listening to podcasts or I'll listen to interviews and I will put them in my playlist, so basically go in my iTunes and drag and drop my MP3s in there and that's it. Now my phone will be in my pocket, but it's not emitting anything and I'm still using my phone the way most people do. Music, apps, this and that is just that you will not be able to stream live video.

I know that's what a lot of people love doing on Instagram or Facebook scrolling and the second offender is really the radiation because there's no higher EMF activity than scrolling social media and listening to streaming videos, especially those who are in very high quality, like 4k nowadays on YouTube. This is really how you want to change your technology. If you hand a tablet or an iPad to a child, the same thing can apply. You can have a tablet and have pre downloaded content on there, different games that can be played offline, or even, I don't know, TV shows or movies that you can put on the tablet and then use it in an offline manner.

Andrea Wien: I think too, for people who are thinking, that's completely outside of the question for me, or I could never do that. What we do at my home is we have our WiFi on a timer and so it's on during the working hours and then at a certain time, it automatically turns off. I'm not having to think about it every evening when we get home. Okay, turn off the WiFi before we go to bed, it's automatically done and I think maybe $9 or $10 on Amazon to get a timer that does that pretty effectively.

Nicolas Pineault: That's good. That's one of the best tricks that people get into. If you're not ready to eliminate WiFi, I just want to mention it because it's just how I feel like I want to say the top situation first. You might realize if you turn off the WiFi at night and you also make sure that you do not have a wireless device right next to your head as you sleep, so your cell phone or a tablet, or maybe your laptop that is still connecting to the internet maybe you're downloading something during the night, all of these devices put them away or make sure they're turned off or on airplane mode. This combination, usually people start reporting better sleep. Even those who did not feel like they were sensitive. That's something very important. I shared this trick with a random person.

It was the clerk at the Budget Car Rental store and I told her, I'm an author. I wrote a book about EMFs and she's like, Oh, what's that? Then we started chatting. A few minutes later, she's like, Oh yeah, I'm going to try that, cell phone on airplane mode at night and turning off the WiFi, that's it. The next week I came back with the car to return a car, and she says, well, you know what? I didn't think it would make a difference, but my husband it's the first night in 20 or 30 years that he did not wake up at 3:00 AM. I'm like, well, that's an incredible testimonial and that's an anecdote, but it just shows you that his sleep was deeper. He didn't have maybe this, I don't know, having to go pee at 3:00 AM or whatever his issue was.

Doesn't mean the reason he doesn't sleep well is just EMFs, but it shows you that once you go back to a more natural EMF environment, because we've literally never slept in nature with all these chaotic frequencies around us. Well, it does something, it brings you back to more natural sleep. It's only logical. You really owe it to yourself to at least try these steps especially at night to see if you feel a difference. If you don't, I still recommend minimizing your exposure, just like you don't initially feel the effects of having pesticides on your food, but you probably would want to minimize your pesticide exposure. It's not a vitamin, so it's not something our body needs. The same thing can be said with WiFi and even something you could do is, yes, a timer at night is good and for some people I realized that some of them spend a lot of time at home, or maybe they're even away from home.

I recommend, if you barely use WiFi anyway, some of them use it one hour at night or two hours at night, just open it when you need it. For some people, especially people who are either alone or just a couple, maybe a large household is another story, but if you don't need WiFi, you can just turn it off and then when you need it, you're like, okay, well, I'm going to need it in five minutes if It takes a little bit of time to reboot and then I have WiFi and I'm happy. You minimize your exposure this way and you don't really think twice about it.

Andrea Wien: Absolutely. I think just to touch, you mentioned the distance rule. I think something that not a lot of people realize is in the fine print of these cell phone companies, Apple, Blackberry, Samsung, they all say, don't hold your phone to your head. Don't keep it on your body. People don't think that, that's true, but if you actually went through and read that little booklet that you get, that everyone throws away immediately, the cell phone companies know something that we don't.

Nicolas Pineault: It is completely correct and the French government did the testing at zero millimeters right next to the body and they found that nine out of 10 cell phones exceeded the radiation guidelines in North America, the equivalent of the FCC guidelines. Most of them exceeded by many fold and then what happened just a few weeks back, the Chicago Tribune did the same thing, and they took the cell phones and they tested it right next to the body in the real place, the real facility where cell phones are tested. It's a real lab test that's completely independent. They purchased phones out of random stores and then they did the testing and it was horrible. Basically all of them went overboard, except one, I think went a way higher at when you have just a two millimeter from the body distance compared to this usual distance that they use in the testing.

I mean, the Apple iPhone 7, I'm looking at the results right now. Two millimeters from the body, it went at 7.15, but the limit in the US is supposed to be 1.6. In other words, users have been exposed to radiation levels that were several fold higher than what has been permitted in the first place and considering that these safety limits are extremely permissive in the first place, it just shows you that, well, we should really, unfortunately we have a situation where cell phones are really far from being safe and it's going to take a while before these test results are enforced. It's going to go in court of law and in the meantime, it's really your personal choice, but what I've been telling people over and over, it's been almost three years of me doing this full time.

It's really, you take your own decisions, but start learning how to reduce my exposure right now and then if later we learn that cell phones are the worst thing on the planet. Well, obviously at this point, they're going to change how the cell phone is designed. They're going to be lower radiation, right? The technology itself will change, but if you want to be cautious with this technology, I really encourage you to follow the steps we talked about in the interview and make up your own mind.

Andrea Wien: I want to ask, so now we're starting to see, and I know we're coming up on time, so we'll try to make this fast, but we're starting to see things like blankets and paint that are supposedly helping to block this radiation. Are those a false sense of security or are they actually effective?

Nicolas Pineault: Some products, using just a blanket it's kind of hit or miss. It could help, but at the same time, it does encourage people to have a device right on their lap. For example, if you use a blanket. I would rather have them create distance, use it on a desk in front of them, for example, the laptop. That's something creating like the one, two feet distance. This is why I'm not a huge fan of these blocking technologies overall. You can use them if you have developed the wisdom of reducing your exposure in all areas of your life. This is really why I teach to this sense at first and then if you have a few gizmos, you want to try to reduce exposure. Some of them do work. There are shielding materials that can be used. You have several sets of EMF survey specialists or mitigation experts that exist in the world.

There's the building biologists profession. There's the Geovital Academy who originated in Austria and they do teach people and they do EMF home surveys. I've had one just a few weeks back from one of the top people at Geovital and he did recommend me to shield my bedroom because I'm exposed to a lot of cell phone towers. I know that my energy and overall sense of health it always gets lower when I'm back home. Whenever I'm in vacation, even in the worst cities on the planet, Bangkok and the smog, I felt better than back home and I know that one of the factors that changes is really my EMF environment and I can measure it. I've measured it, and I know it's high.

In our case, what we could do is apply this EMF blocking paint, and then you repaint over it because it's a black paint. It's a carbon based paint. It does work. You can literally in the middle of a city, if you do this right and you invest the money, it can be a large sum, it's an investment, but you can create a bedroom where you will sleep with EMF levels that resemble what we would have found in nature. We cannot get as low as that, but they're good enough that I'd say I have yet to meet someone who has done a great shielding job and has an entire room shielded, especially those who live in a city and who doesn't report better sleep and better health and better resilience to the exposure that you get on the outside that you cannot control also.

Andrea Wien: Yeah, you mentioned it is quite a bit of an investment. I think some of the paints that I've seen are $200 and $250 a gallon. To paint an entire home, obviously it would be incredibly cost prohibitive. Is it helpful to do something like just paint the wall or the floor perhaps, that borders the most intense WiFi signal or really doesn't need to be the whole room that needs to be done to be effective?

Nicolas Pineault: It really depends on the situation. If you hire... The first step for me, that I would recommend is having someone at home to assess your EMF environment. It is less costly than doing the paint or anything like that. It goes for a few hundred dollars. There's the building biology movement. You can type just building biology in your city and see if there's people who can help you. It's like a mold inspector. It's an EMF inspector quite literally. Geovital is also one, and there's also My buddy, Brian Hoyer is there and he's actually doing pretty much all of North America, kind of roaming around, and he's always traveling with his team. These professionals can come and then tell you about these solutions, depending on your situation, depending on even the angle of your window, you might have one situation and your neighbor would have a completely different situation.

The EMF signals will bounce around on certain materials, get absorbed or blocked by other material. There's no cookie cutter answer unfortunately, but maybe having EMF blocking curtains that look like daylight, 50% shade, or 50% sun blocking curtains. These might do the trick, but it's really a one on one thing that you need to assess. These professionals have professional grade instrumentation that costs thousands of dollars to really know what you're exposed to and then take the wisest decisions as far as how to address this situation.

Andrea Wien: Great. That's really helpful. Then my last question is I know there are things that people are doing, mistakes they're making that are accidentally exposing them to high levels of radiation. For example, using your phone when it's on a very low signal or using your phone when you're driving, where it's having to pick up and ping different cell phone towers. Can you talk about the things that people might not even know are exposing them to higher levels than normal?

Nicolas Pineault: Yeah. Well, you mentioned two great situations. There's a study that came out, it might be early this year or 2018. It did show that in low connectivity situation, when your cell phone displays one or two connectivity bars out of four or five, depending on what model you have, you can have up to an increase 10,000 fold. Why is that? Well, your phone kind of starts draining all the battery, right? A lot of people realize that when they're in a car and the connectivity is bad, or maybe in a large commercial building built out of concrete, or even in the middle of the woods, you would see that your phone tries to connect harder. It really ramps up the radiation in the midst, so that's one situation. Another situation is, a lot people don't realize necessarily that you can be on airplane mode, but you can also be on airplane mode and open your wifi or Bluetooth antennas individually.

What this means is that when you hit airplane mode on a phone, normally it will turn off all the other antennas, but it's not always the case, depending on what model you have. With new software updates, it always changes. I can tell you something now, but you have to verify it for yourself. What you want to do is ensure that the WiFi icon and also the Bluetooth icon, are both either crossed off or turned off or grayed out whatever your, if you're on Android or Windows phone or iPhone, it really would vary, but that's something that you don't realize. What happens is they tell me, well, my phone is on airplane mode and I take a meter and I still hear it. I hear it a kind of scream and I'm like, well, what's happening here.

It turns out they're on WiFi, for example. It's just something to keep in mind. That's a bit technical, but I think it's very important. Then the other thing I'll mention real quickly is all the other sources in your home that you might not think are emitting EMFs are things that you can address as well. For example, if you have an alarm clock that has a Bluetooth capability, well, it should be unplugged or I would not have that in my bedroom. Even if you do not use the Bluetooth, because most people don't realize Bluetooth is a technology that, I might be wrong on this one, but almost 100% of cases it emits 24/7 looking for a phone, so you're not actively connecting to Bluetooth. You're not kind of sharing your songs and playing it or whatever the different capabilities of this alarm clock are, but it's still emitting this radiation.

Maybe your phone is on airplane mode, but then your alarm clock needs to be on airplane mode. I don't know, even like did they make a Bluetooth blankets these days? Maybe? I mean, I don't know exactly. All the different gizmos you have at home, be very wise about how you use them and try to minimize your use and whatever could be emitting a wireless radiation or could connect to something wirelessly. Well, just unplug it from the wall when it's not in use. You might not think it makes a difference, but most of the time it does.

Andrea Wien: That's really helpful information. Thank you so much and thank you for going over a few minutes with us today. It was so helpful to have you on, and I think this'll be a lot of information that's new to people in our network. We really appreciate the time today. If people want to read your book or learn more about EMFs, get some more tips from you, how can they do that?

Nicolas Pineault: Sure. Just go to and my book is called the Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs. You can find it on Amazon. All great Amazon stores worldwide in hard copy and Kindle.

Andrea Wien: Nick, thank you so much for coming on. We'll talk to you soon.

Nicolas Pineault: Thanks for having me. It was a pleasure.

Andrea Wien: As always, thanks so much for listening. This episode of the Microbiome Report is powered by BIOHM Health, until next time, I'm Andrea Wien.


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