A few weeks ago whilst surfing the web I came across a superb article on ‘creating a low EMF home'.
The article (actually a series of 2 articles) gave advice on EMF protection topics which are rarely talked about in any detail. Things like:
- recommended maximum allowable ambient levels of EMF and RF
- building and neighborhood EMF factors to take into account when choosing a new home
- utility services and magnetic field considerations for home wiring
- electrical system installation for low-EMR
- low-EMR heating via forced air
- low-EMF electric radiant heat
- low-EMF wiring in a bedroom
- pool and spa pumps & outdoor lighting transformers
This got me thinking.
Wouldn't it be a great idea to get the author on as an interview guest? Then he could share his knowledge and people could get to ask their questions.
The author of the article is a Building Biologist.
I contacted him and asked him if he'd like to be interviewed. He readily agreed.
By way of introduction to the interview I've included the original articles below:
The following rules of thumb for EMF are intended to reduce exposure to Magnetic Fields (EMF) and Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation. These low-EMF measures include how to locate the site location, recommended maximum allowable ambient levels of EMF and RF, and best practices for wiring a home to minimize exposure to EMF. As a Building Biologist I find these guidelines helpful for our pre-purchase clients selecting a suitable location, and also for our green building clients desiring to rewire and minimize exposure to EMF/RF.
Building Location & Neighborhood Considerations for EMF
- Building more than a ½ mile from electric power transmission lines
- Building more than 100 feet from Utility Substation
- Building more than 25 feet from distribution system electrical transformer
- Building more than 75 feet from overhead or 25 feet from buried electrical distribution lines
- Building is in a neighborhood without wireless Broadband Internet service
- Building is not in direct line of sight of any cell phone antenna
EMF/EMR Site Evaluation and Recommended Ambient Levels of EMF/RF
- Magnetic fields: 0.2 mG (20 nT) or less
- Digital communication radiations: 10 µW/m2 or less at 10 ft above site elevation
Utility Services and Magnetic Fields
- Cable TV, Phone, Electric power, water service entry points are within 10 feet of each other
- Water utility pipe into house is plastic or if metal has 3 ft plastic section 10 feet from house
- Electrical meter located more than 10 ft away from bedrooms, family room, HUR
- Cable TV sheathing, phone cable sheathing bonded to electrical system within 10 feet of entry point
Electrical System Installation for Low EMF and RF
- Main Electrical Panel (MEP) & sub panel is more than 10 ft away bedrooms, family room, High Use Rooms (HUR)
- Supply cable from MEP to a sub-panel does not cross beneath or above a bedroom or HUR
- Electric panel wire lay out minimizes production of magnetic fields
- The electric panel design provides a neutral buss running the full length of each circuit breaker column
- If metal water pipes are used, the only bond to metallic water piping is at the MEP regardless of the number of sub panels
- MEP and sub panel are mounted to wood. On concrete surfaces Panel is on ¾” plywood. No panel mounting screws can penetrate the plywood into concrete.
- The only bond between neutral & ground buses is in the MEP where the main breaker is located
- Neutrals from multiple branch circuits meeting in a J-box are kept separate (no ganging of neutrals from different branch circuits)
- If there are three-way switches, three-way switch circuit hot and neutral are sourced from same location & three wire travelers are used between switches
- If there is low voltage lighting, the transformers for 12-volt can lights are not located below bedrooms
Many people are increasingly aware of the health threats from exposure to synthetic radiation. Over the past 100 years we’ve created an entirely new environment… surrounded by silent, odorless, invisible radiation. If you suffer from electrical hypersensitivity, or if you just are being pre-cautious, I hope these EMF rules of thumb and best practices are helpful.
The above article was originally published on Healthy building Science.
Electrical System Installation for Low-EMR
- All rooms are wired for high speed Internet using Cat 5e or 6 cable
- All rooms wired for phone service using shielded cable
- There is no wireless Internet or cordless phones in house
- There are no cell phone booster stations in house
- All circuit breakers are accurately labeled as to area/devices serviced
Low-EMR Heating Via Forced Air
If there is air-conditioning, the AC condenser & Freon lines are more than ten feet of any point on any bed or any HUR
If there is a forced air system for ventilation, heating or air-conditioning, the Air Handling Unit (AHU) or Forced Air Unit (FAU) fan motor is located more than 10 feet from any point on any bed or any HUR
Low-EMF Electric Radiant Heat
- Ceiling or floor radiant electric heat designed to cancel magnetic fields
- If heat is by electric baseboard, electric baseboard heaters are located more than 5 feet any point on any bed
ThermoSoft seems to have a good low-EMF electric radiant heating system that accounts for both magnetic AND electric fields. However, it’s not “zero-EMF” as they claim.
Low-EMF Wiring In A Bedroom
Using only one of the following 3 strategies is necessary – each strategy is intended to minimize electric fields.
- Wiring above, below, around bedrooms is metal clad (MC) cable or electrical metallic conduit
- Wiring above, below, around every bedroom can be shut off with a kill switch
- Wiring above, below, around every bedroom can be shut off with a remote control switch operating a relay located at the electric panel
Pool and Spa Pumps & Outdoor Lighting Transformers
- If there is a pool or spa, the pool or spa pump or outdoor lighting transformer is located more than 5 feet from any bed or any HUR
These EMF Best Practices have been established for many years, and we have seen them implemented successfully in projects around the world. They are tried and proven best practices for reducing EMF. I’m grateful to the Building Biologists that came before me… and not only created this handy resource, but also were kind enough to share!
If you’re doing a remodel or building from scratch, following these best practices will get you a “better than average home.” To take it to the next level, consider hiring a Healthy Building Consultant!
Thursday, 22nd October at 1:00 p.m. EST (10 AM PST or 5 PM GMT) I’m interviewing Alex Stadtner. The interview will last approximately one hour.
Alex Stadtner MS, CGBP, GPR, LEED-AP, HHS, BBEC, CIEC is a certified Building Biologist, and is president and senior consultant at Healthy Building Science.
I will be asking him about:
- how to detect faulty wiring
- tips for reducing EMF exposures generally in the home
- how to create a low EMF home from scratch
- and much more
I’ve chosen the teleseminar format so that you can follow via your computer or using your telephone AND you can ask your questions! You can do this in 2 ways:
- before the day, by clicking here and sending me your question (if you’re not sure what time the teleseminar starts, the page has a countdown timer.)
- on the day, by putting your question directly to my guest
This interview has been broadcast – sign up is closed.
The replay is also FREE but it’s only available for 24 hours after the event for those that signed up BEFORE the event.