Owning and driving the latest hi-tech car can be such a thrill. Automobile technology has given us so much, it really has transformed the driving experience.
But not necessarily for the better. Modern cars have too much electronics for my liking. GPS guidance, GPS tracking tools, remote controls, powered accessories, radio and music systems, bluetooth, the list goes on…..
All these appliances are emitters of electromagnetic fields (EMFs), in some shape or form, that are potentially harmful to your health.
Already, even the most basic model will have EMF exposures from things like the battery, fuse box, electronic dashboard, the spinning tyres etc. These newer gadgets only compound the EMF exposures and increase the risks.
The most vulnerable person is not necessarily the person who is driving the car. They do spend the longest periods of time in the car but the health effects are more linked to proximity and other factors; age, state of health, etc. If for instance you sit next to the battery or the bluetooth transmitter then then your exposures will be higher.
7 Ways To Minimize Your Exposure To Electromagnetic Radiation In Your Car
Here are some practical tips to help you to minimize your exposure to these electromagnetic fields:
1. Go for cars with minimum electronics. The older cars are generally better, provided other parameters are okay.
2. Be reasonable with the music system. If your car is like a traveling disco then you are more at risk. The bigger the speakers the more powerful the EMFs, particularly magnetic fields. Again positioning is important, if you travel in the front, situate the speakers in the back of your vehicle to minimize exposure.
3. Refrain from using GPS, Cellular or other communication gadgetry, these are sources of RF radiation .
4. Remote control systems, such as remote-controlled door lock systems, remote-controlled fuel cap opener etc, avoid using them if possible, or hold them well away from your body if you do use them.
5. LCD display screens. These bother me at night, particularly very bright screens but people with electrical hyper sensitivity (EHS) are also bothered by the EMFs from the screen. They’re impossible to switch off on many cars, at worst you can get an auto technician to fit an on/off power switch.
6. Avoid cars with built in WiFi or Bluetooth gadgets, because they may still be emitting radio frequency radiation even if you disable them – again unless you get a auto electrician to disconnect such devices.
7. Go carefully through the owner’s manual to make sure that you know the safety features that have been set out by the manufacturer. Often the dangers are spelt out very clearly here, you just need to take the time to read and then act upon them.
When buying a new car check it over first with a Gauss meter. Given that cars have direct current (DC) electrics, ideally you would use a DC gauss meter, which is expensive and has limited usefulness. A more practical solution is to use a regular “ EMF gauss meter”. The readings will tend to be on the high side but this will allow you to compare different vehicles and come to a decision about the vehicle with the lowest exposures.
Measuring EMFs in Your Car
The level of EMFs inside the car, particularly in the driver’s area, can be easily tested. Here is a table which shows the type of testing you need to do (the readings shown are not actual readings):
Be methodical. This table focuses on the drivers magnetic field exposures. To be thorough you also need to test for electric fields and RF radiation. And also test in the positions of each of the passengers.
This is the kind of testing you need to do before buying your car. If you already own a car and you subsequently discover that the EMF levels are high, if the problem is magnetic fields there’s not much to be done. It’s generally easier to sell the car and buy one with lower EMF levels.
Update September 2019.
Questions from Lea:
“Are there any new materials, methods for decreasing EMFs in the car? The car I have bought (VW Polo, 2014) has really high LF fields on drivers seat and feet, according to measurements with Cornet.”
The approach laid out in this article to dealing with EMFs in cars has not changed and the materials have not substantially changed. If your Cornet meter is showing a high reading for magnetic fields (I’m assuming its magnetic fields because you didn’t specify in your question) then the best material to shield this is Giron.
“It is possible to buy Giron now in Europe? Or does it help to shield with a mylar blanket for example?”
I’m not aware of any company in the UK that is selling Giron currently. I will update here when I have information. Mylar can be used for RF shielding, but it will not shield you from magnetic fields.
Mike Austin said,
Thanks for the tips, Lloyd. In researching a new Prius, and in finding a note of caution about their EMF on Wikipedia, I began hunting thoroughly around this subject. My research provided a surprising range of good information and misinformation about the matter.
I even talked with a man who had been interviewed by the NY Times about this, who had owned a Honda Insight and then sold it a loss after deciding the car’s EMF risks were greater than he was willing to personally accept. Personal choice is what this has come down to for me; whether or not one finds the manufacturer’s explanations satisfactory. No one in their right mind can assail another for deciding to do something arising from personal choice.
Having lots of experience with corporations and governments, we all should understand by now that they frequently understate risks because they’ve no incentive not to. While it’s true that corporations, governments and attorneys provide valuable services and products for our use, it’s also equally true that modern history’s strewn with mistakes they willingly made which cost us measures of our health. Both significant money and power are derived from our cooperation with them, and those are stakes which incline them to overlook their downsides.
This week I’m committing to a new car, and I’m armed with a TriField 100 XE meter. I’ve designed and printed straightforward forms on which to quickly jot the observed measurements to make the process smoother. Would I ever trust makers like Toyota, GM, Ford or Honda? No more than I would trust any government or corporate representative to consistently do the right thing on my family’s behalf.
When you say “we all should understand by now that [corporations and governments] frequently understate risks because they’ve no incentive not to.” How right you are. When my sensitivity came on, such was my trust in corporations and governments, that I could not believe that my cell phone was making me so ill. Whether it’s because I’m so law-abiding (I’ve never even had a speeding ticket!) or just because I was plain stupid, I don’t really know, but I did spend two years in denial over this issue because there was no information out there to alert me to the dangers. When all along the cell phone industry and our governments knew of these dangers. It is, unfortunately, all about the money.
I look forward to hearing about your EMF findings with your new car.
Robin Sandorf said,
Please continue this thread with more info. My brand new car makes me severely dizzy and produces headaches – consistent and repeatable. AAnother driver, independently reported similar symptoms. We are experimenting with turning things off, etc. I want to learn from others who have this problem and ways to take objective measurements. I read a gauss meter may not pick up all kinds of electro radiation. I am EMR sensitive and cannot use cell phones w.o. unpleasant after-effects. Until now, autos were no problem; but this brand new car is a real problem. Any new info? Support groups? Thank you.
Unfortunately modern cars tend to be more of a problem than older models, so the short answer is trade in your new model for an older one; not very helpful I know.
– if you are ES no meter will pick up EMR like you can, even one costing into the thousands. But a decent meter should enable you to pinpoint hotspots. If I hear of a support group on EMFs in cars I will let you know.
Hey! Would anyone know which is worse for you in regards to EMF: remote keyless entry (normal power doors), or satellite radio that I would never turn on (always have it on AM/FM)? If I don’t use the remote, but just use the key is there still radiation coming from the door, or is the door just the receiver and all radiation coming from the remote? Also with satellite, is it always searching for signal or only when I press the Sirius button. If I only have it on AM/FM will it still be picking up satellite and therefore receiving more radiation? I don’t know who to ask for such things, as all dealers will just laugh at you, and most know nothing about emf radiation.
I have a remote keyless entry, a key fob, for my garage door. I have tested it with my meters and mine only gives off EMFs when I actually press on the button to open the garage door. I actually get readings of radio frequency, magnetic and electrical radiation. Personally I do not see this as a problem because the readings are low and there is only exposure when I actually press on the button, so it’s a few seconds a day.
I also tested the motor block for the door and picked up no readings of any kind when it was not in operation. My understanding is that the key fob is the transmitter and the motor block the receiver, so there would never be any EMFs at the door end, except than those given off when the electric motor kicked in.
Satellite radio, I cannot test because I do not have one installed in my car. An RF meter would tell you straight away if this was an issue.
I took a prius 2010 for a testride wiht EMF meter, medium levels most parts in driver seat, but center console was real high, meter to the top high. That includes right leg and lower arm. No where was it below middle of meter.
This prius was a executive, all inclusive.
No new prius for me, to bad…
My old Volvo S80 2001 has maximum level at roof, sunshield and side (still maxium at heas posistion). And all the legs and butt.
My grand cherokee 1995 has medium to low level everywhere, if I remember correct it has medium at seat (power seat). The rest is in low range if any.
I started checking after getting headache from driving Volvo 1,5 hours every day and noticed the headache stopped after driving wifes jeep for a few days…
Jim S said,
I have 100 gauss reading at the fuse boxes in my car and I found that the car maker used plastic fuse boxes.The old cars had metal. The wires in these cars should be shielded as well.
Now I am waiting on my delivery of silver lining, and I will shield myself, the areas I am referring to…
My Q. Why are un-learning the things we have learned? Edison and Westinghouse knew this stuff…
Good question, I have another one – Why are we learning a lot of useless things and at the same time more and more ignorant about those things which are important?
Ehab S. said,
Shortly after getting a skoda with bluetooth and multifunctions steering wheel, I started suffering badly when using the hands free phone while driving. This is when I realized that I am ES 3 yrs back, at that time I decided to get rid of anything wireless and my life changed specially in the car. I did the following steps and it worked well: first I removed the bluetooth box from below front seat. Then I disallowed the speaker next to driver seat and finally I minimized the use of mob while inside vehicle . What bothers me most, is the high emf I measured close to 100 mG for the lower body half using a Trifield meter although it doesnt affect me directly since upper half region was close to 2 mG. I do spend almost 2 hrs per day driving and don’t like such high exposure …. Any ideas folks?
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