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Radiation In Cars – Practical Tips On How To Minimize It

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. [1]

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 [2]”. 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):

emfs in cars [3]

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.

 

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