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Do Crystals Help with Electromagnetic Pollution?

Do Crystals Help with Electromagnetic Pollution?

I've had this sitting on my hard drive for a while, and I decided to share it finally. This picture was taken of an actual book that was published and put up for sale at a bookstore.

If you've never been to a new-age-type store, people love buying magic crystals to do all sorts of things. There are a ton of healing and power crystals that absolutely saturate Amazon and similar sites. One common theme is a fear of modern technology creating energy fields that harm humans. While some cases exist where ionizing radiation has made its way into residential areas (check out medical isotope loss if you ever want to read chilling stories), generally, anything referring to "electromagnetic pollution" is just fearmongering. It's a common concern, though, especially if you don't understand the relationship between magnetism and the environment.

Anyway, let's check out this article from a book on power crystals. Never mind spending money on "Norton" or "Avast!" you can perform a ritual to protect yourself from malware.

I don't think it takes an electrical engineer to tell you this is garbage.

Since that book mentions "electromagnetic pollution," I might as well talk about that.

It is not inaccurate to say that everything electric that we use emits electromagnetic fields. This is a very well-understood process.

Everything starts when a power source causes a voltage potential between two points. This causes an electric current to flow if there's a path to flow along, like a wire or circuit board trace. When current flows, an electromagnetic field is produced around the wire. This was discovered by Michael Faraday in 1831. Since then, we've characterized electromagnetic fields exceptionally well. We can bend them to suit our purposes, create them to transmit information, and block them where necessary. There are entire branches of engineering and physics devoted to this.

That being said, everything that is sold that you might have in your home or office has to meet FCC emissions standards. Nothing is allowed to produce harmful electromagnetic interference that could impact the operation of other electronics. FCC testing is comprehensive and runs $5,000-$20,000 per test. If it is sold in stores, it can't negatively impact the operation of other electronics.

What about impacting the human body?

Remember that electromagnetic fields do not affect the human body much at all. An excellent example of this is an MRI machine. That device uses a ton of electricity to polarize hydrogen in your body's cells so that a low-strength radio-frequency signal is emitted and recorded. MRIs are safe even though they concentrate a massive electromagnetic field around your body. MRIs produce an electromagnetic field many orders of magnitude greater than anything you'll find daily. They've been extensively studied with no ill effects discovered.

I'd love to write about how malachite wouldn't do much to protect you even if there was a danger; however, that's not strictly true. Malachite has a high dielectric constant, so it's pretty good at reducing the electric field propagation through itself. I can't find any hard numbers for the magnetic permeability, so I can't speak to that. Regardless, you'd have to coat whatever you were concerned with in malachite for it to do anything significant. Maybe a malachite suit of armor? If you were the hyper-paranoid type, you'd do much better to construct a Faraday cage around yourself. The unfortunate side effect would be that there'd be no WiFi inside, and I don't think we could survive that doomsday scenario.

Hopefully, this has prevented at least one person from buying into what amounts to literal magic.