Mattress as an antenna?
This is a topic that recently took my attention as this is certainly something I was not thinking about. And nobody is talking about it either. This is not a mumbo jumbo, this is real. And this is bringing attention to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) – which is something to be really aware of.
If you have any metal in your mattress or base (e.g. the coils in a box spring mattress), that metal can act as an antenna that amplifies any FM or TV radiation of certain frequencies. The weak electromagnetic waves are captured and then amplified by any metal objects of specific length sized to match the wavelength of a specific frequency of electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Any piece of metal which has similar, half or one quarter of the wavelength of an electromagnetic wave of a specific frequency can act as an antenna. It doesn’t have to ‘look’ like an antenna to behave in the same way.
What are the evidences for this mattress problem?
Researchers noticed that in Japan, the rates of breast cancer and prostate cancer are much lower than in Western countries. A plausible reason for this difference in cancer levels could be that the beds are different. In Japan, futons are the usual bed of choice whereas spring mattress and box spring are more commonly used in Western countries. A futon does not have any metal in it, while a spring mattress contains a lot of metal inside. Thus, researchers are speculating that the electromagnetic field of a spring mattress in combination with a box spring could be causing an increased risk of cancer.
Of course, there could be many other differences between Japanese and Western lifestyle besides the beds. Therefore, it is not 100% certain that the electromagnetic field of a box spring mattress is the main cause of the increased breast and prostate cancer rates in Western countries.
However, there are some additional evidence linking electromagnetic radiation with cancer. One of these is the link seen by researchers who noticed an increased risk of melanoma in areas where there were a lot of FM or TV transmission towers. Such towers broadcast large amounts of electromagnetic radiation.
This situation is a complex one and we need to be aware that there is still uncertainty over the correlation between cancer risk and electromagnetic radiation. A review of many studies suggests that the link depends on the type of cancers and the type of electromagnetic radiation. Thus, certain types of electromagnetic radiation may cause certain types of cancers, but not other types.
In any case, we are concerned with eliminating the antenna effect off the mattress. Clearly this will be the safest thing to do.
How will electromagnetic radiation affect us?
Not everyone exposed to electromagnetic fields will go on to develop cancer. The situation is thought to be a very complex interplay of many factors, not solely based on exposure to electromagnetic radiation. For example, your overall cancer risk may involve additional factors such as whether you eat healthy foods, whether you have a genetic predisposition to certain types of cancers, your overall health, and so on. Yet, the evidence of the studies above suggests that electromagnetic radiation is one of these many factors. So, you need to be aware that your mattress may be harming you if it contains any metal.
How to fix this?
The good news is that this problem of electromagnetic fields is within your control and you can do your part to minimise exposure. This is because it’s not the small amounts of TV or FM radiation typically present in your room that you need to worry about. It’s the amplification of this radiation by your mattress (if it contains metal) that you should worry about. By changing to a safe mattress, you can avoid sleeping in an increased electromagnetic field.
How to pick a safe mattress?
You can eliminate this antenna effect when you select a mattress which contains no metal. Ensure also that your bed base is free of metal for the same reasons, of course.