Most modern homes are engulfed by electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Fact.
Here are some of the sources:
Internal Sources of EMFs
Here are some common sources of EMFs inside the home:
- Wi-Fi routers
- wireless modems
- wired and wireless video game consoles
- wireless burglar alarms
- wireless baby monitors
- blue tooth devices
- TV and computer screens
- electrical wiring
- personal computers and laptops
- wireless printers
- digital alarm clocks
- smart meters
- microwave ovens
- smart phones
- cell phones
- DECT cordless phones
External Sources of EMFs
Here are some common sources of EMFs outside the home:
- cell phone antennas and masts
- radio and TV antennas
- Internet masts
- electricity substations
- high voltage cables
- your neighbors’ electronic devices.
People often think it’s the cell tower, the smart meter or the neighbors WIFI…..that’s the biggest problem.
In the vast majority of cases they’re wrong – EMF sources in your home are the biggest culprit.
How To Reduce The Electromagnetic Radiation In Your Home
Here are 12 ways you can reduce the EMF exposures in your home:
1. Wi-Fi Devices and Routers, Wireless modems, Bluetooth Devices, etc.
All electronic devices that use a wireless connection bathe your home with radio frequency (RF) radiation. Typically these are the biggest contributors to EMF pollution in your home. As much as possible, try and eliminate them. Use wired cable (Ethernet) for your internet connection with a wired modem – my own personal preference is for the TP-LINK Wireless N300 because you can easily switch the WiFi function off and it stays off. I have one of these routers in my home and we can run up to 4 computers on it all round the house on wired connections.
If you’re not able to eliminate these devices from your home:
- turn them on only while in use
- move the Wi-Fi router away from your bedroom, office and other living spaces
- place wireless equipment in a secluded part of your home.
The further away they are from you and your family, the better.
A sensitive RF meter will allow you to measure your exposure and better understand the dangers.
2. Cell Phones, Smart Phones and PDAs
The smartest thing to do here is to adopt a “no cell phone policy” within your home and make sure everyone in your family sticks to it. There is no reason to keep your cell phone switched on in your home. Much better to use the land line or Skype through a wired handset on your computer.
Just like in British homes in the last century it was customary to have an umbrella stand in the hallway so that people could stand their umbrella there when they arrived home and so that they knew where to find it when they were leaving the house. In our house we do the same thing with cell phones, we have a little basket by the front door where everyone puts their cell phone when they walk into the house – visitors also. See also my article on how to minimize your exposure to cell phone radiation.
3. Microwave Ovens
Having a microwave oven in your home makes no sense at all. On the one hand is what it does to the food. Microwave cooking releases free radicals and causes antioxidant loss. On the other is the considerable amount of electromagnetic radiation it emits into your home when it is in use. Do yourself a favor, get rid of the microwave oven. Click here to read more about the dangers of microwave ovens.
4. Cordless Phones
The testing I have done in many different homes shows that cordless phones are very often the worst offenders in terms of EMF exposures. Often much worse than WiFi. They emit pulsed electromagnetic radiation into your home 24/7. Replace your cordless phone with a regular corded land line. If you really can’t live without a cordless phone at least go for a low EMF cordless phone which only emits EMFs when you are using it.
Digital baby monitors – its the same problem, but worse. They emit pulsed electromagnetic radiation into your babies bedroom. These are horrific devices when you take into account the devastating effects of EMFs on babies, young children and even teenagers. If you are a parent or a grandparent or you have a friend that use one of these devices its your duty to warn them of the dangers. The alternative is an analog model or a webcam linked via Ethernet.
5. TVs, PCs, Computer Screens.
The older cathode-ray monitors emit the highest amount of electromagnetic pollution if you have still got one of these switch to a flat-screen computer monitor and TV, they emit far less electromagnetic radiation. When not in use, switch off your computer and TV and unplug it (they give off EMFs even if they are switched off but plugged in*). This saves on energy and greatly reduces the levels of electromagnetic radiation in your home. If you’ve got this kind of equipment in your bedroom then you are particularly exposed.
* Switching off an electrical device does not eliminate AC electric fields. EMFs are still present in any electrical device while ever it is plugged in, even if its switched off.
6. Transformer Units
Transformer units are found in almost all the electronic devices in your home. Transformers are used to convert high voltages from the mains to lower voltages. For instance a bedside alarm clock might operate on 6V but your supply may be 110V (in the US or 240V in the UK). The 104V surplus is radiated out as electromagnetic energy. If an electronic device plugs into the main electricity, it usually has a transformer.
Bedside digital clock and radios are examples of devices in your home that have transformers. Electric bedside alarm clocks because of their close proximity to your head can expose you to a high amount of electromagnetic radiation.
Eliminate these devices from your bedroom. Switch to battery powered clocks and alarms. If not, keep the devices at least 2 feet away from you. See my video on EMFs from bedroom clocks below:
7. Smart Meters
A smart meter is a digital meter installed by your utility company to measure your gas, water or electricity consumption which communicates directly with the utility company. It uses an RF transmitter. Some studies have suggest smart meters are responsible for 160 times more cumulative whole body EMF exposure than cell phones.
If you have one of these installed on your property. You can either pay to get it replaced with an analogue meter or ask your utility company to remove the meter. If all else fails you are best advised to shield your meter. See my article on smart meter shielding tips.
8. Household Wiring
In Europe wiring is typically run through conduits which offer some protection (particularly if they are metal) in the US this practice is much less widespread. One way you can significantly reduce your exposure in the bedroom (which is where the EMFs can do the most harm) is by moving your bed a couple of feet from the walls.
With the rapid adoption of wireless technologies in homes, dirty electricity is another EMF issue which adds into the mix.
9. High Voltage Electricity Pylons
Depending on the distance between your home and high voltage power lines, you could suffer a myriad of health problems from EMF radiation from these power lines. In the US the FCC has guidelines (as do the regulatory bodies of other countries) on the height above ground of these power lines. But these guidelines give little to no protection. See my article on power lines here.
Dr. David Carpenter, Dean of the School of Public Health, SUNY estimates that 10% to 15% of all childhood cancers may be due to exposure to residential power lines. The further away you live from high voltage electric power lines, the safer you are.
10. Electrical Substations
If an electric substation is immediately adjacent to your home, its possible that you are being exposed to high levels of magnetic fields.
If the substation is more than 3 meters away, the radiation reaching your home should be minimal – depends on the size of the substation. Measuring with a gaussmeter like the Trifield 100XE will tell you exactly what your exposures are and whether you need to take action.
11. Cell Phone and Internet Antenna’s
If you live nearby a cell phone antenna, radio station transmitter, radar facility or Internet mast, it is radiating your home with electromagnetic fields. If you have an unobstructed view of the tower from your home, you need to seriously consider taking action.
There are various solutions, see my article on cell phone tower shielding for a good overview of this subject. The same solutions apply to Internet masts and radio and TV transmitters and the like as to cell phone antennas.
12. Your neighbor
Yes, your neighbor could be a major electromagnetic radiation polluter. Electromagnetic fields penetrate walls. The same shielding solutions apply as for cell phone tower shielding (see above). Keep in mind that if you have wireless devices in your home this will also reflect radiation back into your home, and may increase your overall levels of radiation.
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This article was last updated December 2015.