What does the term electromagnetic smog stand for?

Electromagnetic smog around the Earth
Electromagnetic smoke and the Earth

Electromagnetic smog is classified as non-ionizing radiation.The term electromagnetic smog refers to all artificially generated electromagnetic fields in the environment and the resulting permanent exposure of people and the environment to them. This means that the electromagnetic waves do not produce the energy required to remove electrons from atoms or molecules, unlike ionizing radiation such as radioactivity.

It can be divided in two groups:

- Low-frequency electric and magnetic fields
- High-frequency electromagnetic fields

Electric and magnetic fields in the low-frequency range are generated when electric energy is generated, transported or applied, for example in alternating current circuits and electric appliances. High-frequency electromagnetic fields are generated by wireless transmission via WiFi or baby monitors. Microwaves in kitchens also use a high-frequency electromagnetic field for heating food.

Electromagnetic fields can be produced artificially, but also occur naturally in the environment. For static and low-frequency fields, the electrical and magnetic components are considered separately. The two components are closely coupled to one another in high-frequency fields, so that we speak of electromagnetic fields.

Due to the rapidly advancing digitalization and expansion of electricity networks, exposure to electromagnetic smog is continually increasing in private households, schools, at work and on the road. In particular, the artificially generated low-frequency and high-frequency fields are increasing due to the development of new technologies and their distribution. Smartphones have long become part of everyday life.