Before we talk about reducing electromagnetic fields, a few terms have to be defined:
The term “electromagnetic fields” (EMFs) is an umbrella term that covers many types of invisible energy fields. “Radiation” is another umbrella term for the same thing. “EMR” stands for electromagnetic radiation, same thing.
Radiation has been determined to be biologically active, i.e., capable of affecting your health. The controversy is whether the effects are harmful or not. Thousands of scientific studies provide evidence that they largely are harmful (see the Summary for the Public at www.BioInitiativeReport.com). As I learned in class, the only safe number for sure is zero. People who are sensitive to radiation are said to have ES (electrosensitivity).
From another perspective, we are all electrically sensitive, because our bodies are electric. We would all be better off living in the 18th century, before alternating current, radio frequency, WIFI, cellular phones, computers, etc. – but here we are, with the glories as well as the downsides of modern technology. We have to do the best we can to protect ourselves and still live in the 21st century, with one foot in the 18th century! Sometimes doing the best will result in some inconvenience.
What does the research say?
Go to the tab under this for a literature review of international experimental and epidemiological research reporting health effects from exposure to AC magnetic fields, which are a common type of electromagnetic fields. Even better, take a look at the color charts at www.bioinitiative.org. Health conditions range from cancer and Alzheimer’s disease to heart disease and neurological conditions. More alarming even than cancer may be the short- and long-term effects on cells, ion exchange, and other less-well-known changes.
These effects may be linked with short-term memory loss, impacts on the immune system, concentration capacity, fertility, headache, sleep capacity, sleep length, sleep quality, learning capacity, etc. These effects may be immediate upon exposure, appear within a short period of time, be longer-term, or even take a generation or more to show up. For more on this, check out Prof. Olle Johannson’s (and others) videos at www.YouTube/EMRinformation. Johannson is a neuroscientist from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and was on the BioInitiative committee.
David Carpenter, MD, Director of the School of Public Health at the State University of New York, Albany, said, “In almost any other type of environmental exposures, if the evidence were as strong as the association between EMFs and cancer, there would be extensive government regulation. The major reason that many members of the committee were unwilling to set more rigorous standards was that it would be horrendously expensive and unrealistic to enforce them.” Dr. Carpenter was quoted in the journal, Microwave News, July/August 1995, p. 11.
The EnviroHealth approach is to show you how to reduce as many types of fields as possible to lessen electrostress on your body, so that your body can put its resources toward healing, rather than to combatting environmental stressors.
Many individuals are sensitive to EMFs and do not realize it. My father was one of them. He was a restless sleeper until I reduced the AC electric fields at my parents’ bed. Afterwards, he slept peacefully.
That story had a happy ending. These two next stories did not. At these clients’ houses, I measured magnetic fields over 100 mG at reading areas. At both houses, women told me those were the seats their husbands had spent countless hours in. Both men died of blood cancers – leukemia for one, lymphoma in the other. We will never know if the high magnetic fields caused or contributed to these cancers, but had these high magnetic fields been discovered years ago, I would have made recommendations for correction, and the men might still be alive.
It is in this spirit that the EnviroHealth EMF inspection is conducted, to find the sources of elevated electromagnetic fields of various types and to reduce them as much as possible, as a precaution. Internationally, the ALARA concept is well known – As Low As Reasonably Achievable.
Here are our objectives in reducing electromagnetic fields:
- To identify and reduce exposure to various kinds of EMFs at home and work
- To make the bed a quiet oasis when it comes to EMFs.
- To reduce exposure to “dirty electricity”
Let’s get started in identifying, measuring, and reducing our exposure to EMFs!
Electromagnetic field (EMF) full spectrum screening
EMFs are organized in a chart, ranging from low frequency EMFs on the left to very high frequency EMFs and then nuclear radiation on the right. “Frequency” refers to the wavelength of the radiation.
Radiation travels at the speed of light. Dividing the speed of light by the frequency tells us how long the wavelength is. For example, our household electrical frequency is 60 cycles per second (also known as 60 hertz), so the wavelength would be 186,000 miles divided by 60, i.e., the speed of light divided by the frequency), or 3100 miles…except that’s not how it works with household electrical current. Electrons here jiggle back and forth, just about in place, 120 times per minute, adding to electrostress in our bodies.
This “jiggling” allows for the long-distance transmission of electricity. With DC (direct current) transmissions, there would have to be a booster station every few blocks. DC is healthier, and hopefully one day it will be practical to have AC brought to the house but then converted to DC for household electricity and electrical devices.
How long are the waves from our brains’ frequency of 12.5 – 30 cycles per second? 14,880 miles to 6,200 miles long. And from our cell phones? 800 megahertz is the frequency, so divide 186,000 by 800,000,000 and you get about 2.25 inches for the length of the wave.
So, wave lengths are the longest on the left side of the chart and get shorter and shorter the farther right you go, until there is like a cross-over where radiation acts like both waves and particles. That is nuclear radiation.
It is believed that the shorter the wavelength (and the higher the frequency), the more biologically active the radiation, that is, the more potential for harm.
All frequencies can be measured and described. A “full spectrum” screening EMF assessment can use basic instruments, not highly specialized instruments.
At homes, we can measure both AC (alternating current) from household wiring and electrical plug-in devices and DC (direct current) from batteries, magnets and magnetized metal such as in innerspring mattresses.
Electromagnetic fields include
- AC magnetic fields – from neighborhood electrical transmission lines, wiring errors, house grounding issues, and appliances with heat coils, transformers, or motors
- AC electric fields – anywhere in a house, but measured mainly at beds and sitting areas
- DC magnetic fields – innerspring mattresses
- Radio frequency – compact fluorescents, microwave radiation, TV, radio, dimmer switches, cellular, WIFI
- Ionizing (nuclear) radiation – radon, granite objects (countertops, fireplaces)
All types of EMFs are biologically active. This area of physics is extremely complex, and we don’t even fully understand what electricity is. One scientist compared using a gaussmeter to measure AC magnetic fields to using a sound meter to describe a symphony orchestra.
Even given these caveats, it is gratifying to know that we can measure and reduce our exposure to EMFs. For electrically hypersensitive individuals, there are a few electrical engineers available for troubleshooting.
Now, let’s review the basics that would be covered in an EMF screening.
AC magnetic fields
As stated above, “AC” stands for “alternating current,” that is, what we have in our electric systems. “Magnetic fields” are invisible energy fields that emanate out from electric current in concentric circles and go through just about everything in their path.
AC magnetic fields come from neighborhood transmission lines, household wiring and grounding issues, and emanations from electrical devices, particularly ones that have motors, transformers, and heat coils.
AC magnetic fields are measured in units called “milligauss,” which rhymes with “house” and is abbreviated as “mG.” While the only safe level is zero mG, the more conservative scientists generally consider that levels should be 1 mG or lower for prolonged exposure.
AC magnetic fields result from current (flow of electricity). These invisible energy fields extend out in concentric circles from the source, passing through just about everything in their path. Because of the circular nature of these fields, shielding is difficult. Shielding material might consist of layers of aluminum and iron.
What is the health risk from exposure to EMFs? Check the tab for the “Biological Effects of Exposure to AC Magnetic Fields” summary. Exposure to AC magnetic fields has been associated with elevated risk for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, heart attacks, increased rate of miscarriage and birth defects, among many other perhaps more important biological effects on a cellular level.
This information about health effects was gathered from an international journal (Microwave News) that tracks research and findings for health effects linked with exposure to various kinds of electromagnetic fields. These days, many of the Microwave News articles relate more to higher frequency issues with cell phones, WIFI, etc. Sign up for the newsletter at www.microwavenews.com, for occasional notices of new research findings.
Louis Slesin, Editor, performs a worthy public service with his careful reporting of studies associating various forms of EMFs (electromagnetic fields) with health effects. Past issues are posted on-line, and you can also sign up for free news bulletins. I have spent many hours with Microwave News.
To measure AC magnetic fields on your own, order a low-cost gaussmeter, such as the GaussMaster, from www.lessemf.com, 888-537-7363. Lower-cost gaussmeters may only measure up to 10 or 20 mG, but those numbers are already too high. With a lower cost, single-axis gaussmeter, you have to rotate it to get the highest reading at any given location. Then hold it steady to get the reading. The cost is typically under $30.
A more convenient gaussmeter is a triaxial gaussmeter, which you don’t have to twist and turn. Just hold it steady and take a reading. Check out models at www.lessemf.com. These measure to higher levels of mG and is triaxial (it does the rotational adjustments automatically). However, a lower-end gaussmeter is fine for an individual’s use in screening the environment for AC magnetic fields.
One of the few environmental issues that you cannot do anything about at your home is elevated magnetic fields due to power lines. For this reason, every prospective homebuyer or renter should have a simple gaussmeter to screen for AC magnetic fields at properties under consideration. As stated above, conservative scientists prefer to see readings under 1 mG for prolonged exposure. See below for how to use the gaussmeter.
Note that AC magnetic field readings vary with electricity usage, being lower during the night and usually higher at dinnertime on a hot summer evening. Readings may be higher during the summer months due to increased electrical usage from AC.
Bau-biologie guidelines: (These are non-official standards developed by the Institute for Building Biology in Germany.)
very strong: greater than 10 mG
strong: 2-10 mG
moderate: 0.2-1 mG
weak: less than 0.2 mG
Where and how to measure AC magnetic fields
- Walk around your house and get readings. If levels of AC magnetic fields go above 1 mG, figure out why. Where are the fields coming from? Walk the perimeter of your yard. Check under the neighborhood electrical transmission lines.
- If readings are elevated under the transmission lines, walk toward the house and see how much they drop off. Take your measurements away from the electric meter on the house and away from where the water supply pipe comes to the house.If readings are elevated from transmission lines, there is nothing that can be done about it. This is one good reason to screen any potential home with a gaussmeter prior to signing any contract.
- If readings are elevated above your water service supply pipe, then there might be current on the water service supply pipe. This happens because of the way houses are grounded to the water service supply pipe. If one or more houses on the grid have bad return paths for the electricity, their electricity would escape down their water pipes, through the water main, and into everyone else’s house via their water pipes.If you think you may have this situation, please feel free to contact me for more information. I have paperwork for you to use with your licensed electrician and licensed plumber. You can get the current off your water service supply pipe, thus reducing AC magnetic fields above that area in your house.
- Inside the house, turn on one light in each room, because you need current flowing on each circuit. Walk around the house and make measurements, especially where people sit and sleep. If you find levels elevated, try to figure out the reason for it. Find the source. See if there is anything that can be done to reduce exposure. Possible causes of elevated magnetic fields are:
- powerline issues
- wiring errors
- grounding issues (elevated mG on the first floor over the water service supply pipe)
- proximity to a motor, transformer, or heat coil
- proximity to the electric meter (motor) or panel box
- on the floor above fluorescent ceiling lights
- electric heat (baseboard or in the ceiling)
- Measure at electrical devices (when they are running), including a hair dryer, electric razor, computer, TV, microwave oven, blender, juicer, electric stove heat coils, computer, cell phone, and anything else with a motor. What can you do to lessen exposure? Suggestions include avoiding the device, changing to a battery-operated version where available, standing back from the device, upgrading an older electric stove to a flat top electric stove, etc.
- Tip: Though not an electromagnetic fields topic per se, the subject of how dark your bedroom is at night is related. Melatonin is a cancer-fighting control hormone produced by the pineal gland. It is produced best in darkness and where there are low levels of electromagnetic fields. Make your bedroom as dark as possible at night – no night lights, use light-blocking shades or window treatments if needed, and no lighted numbers in a clock.
- Monitor electrical toys and other devices children would use. A National Cancer Institute study found a positive correlation with childhood leukemia in 25 of 25 electrical devices tested, including video games, TVs, hair dryers, stereos with earphones (not without them), curling irons, electric blankets, etc.
DC magnetic fields
DC magnetic fields are magnetic fields that go in one direction, such as through a wire hooked up to a battery, or with a magnet. “DC” stands for “direct current.”
Some individuals are sensitive to DC magnetic fields and may experience symptoms such as brain fog and sleep difficulties. I am an individual who is sensitive to these fields. I slept one night on a magnetic mattress pad and had brain fog for several months afterwards. I didn’t know if my brain would ever get straightened out again.
- Change to beds with no metal parts. The innersprings get magnetized by heavy equipment during manufacture. These fields are chaotic, emanating from the springs.Some beds get more magnetized than others. A compass can be used to check the magnetization on a bed. Place the compass on a clipboard, and drag it slowly across the width of the bed. See how much the needle varies. At one bed, the needle swung around 360 degrees, and the client complained that she couldn’t sleep in her new bed. Usually the compass needle deflection is much less.In the German course I took for environmental home inspections, one instructor said their first recommendation in Europe was to get rid of metal around the sleeping area. In addition to the potential for being magnetized, some metal serves as an antenna for electric fields and radio frequency radiation. Innersprings (mattress and box springs) can serve as an antenna, for electric and radio frequency EMFs.
- Be cautious about using magnets around your body.“Therapeutic” magnetic sleep pads used on the bed may significantly increase the chaotic magnetization of the innersprings. Besides, magnets have very strong fields compared to the subtle energy fields of the body. Effects of long-term use are not known. Dr. Robert O. Becker, one of the early pioneers of magnetic therapy, warned about the potential for tumor growth from magnets. Other practitioners disagree, but at least you are aware of the risk. Microwave News ran one small article about a man who developed osteosarcoma, apparently set off by the use of magnets to heal a bone fracture.
- With lap tables for a laptop computer, there is risk that radiation could be passing through to abdominal organs. Do not use a lap table if pregnant, as a precaution.
At www.defendershield.com, the claim is made that their Defender Pad protects from 100% radiation for those who use lap tops on their laps. I have not seen one in person to measure it with my instruments.
AC electric fields
AC electric fields are different from AC magnetic fields. In contrast, AC magnetic fields expand in concentric circles out from current and go through just about anything in their path. AC electric fields are pressure (also known as “voltage”) that is attracted to our bodies as if we are antennae.
Current is not needed to have AC electric fields, which emanate from anything in contact with the electric system – from electric receptacles, from plugged in but turned off lamps, from wiring in the walls and ceilings, and from overhead light fixtures. Depending on how a house is wired, a bedroom commonly is affected by circuits from other areas as well as from the bedroom. These areas could include the kitchen, exterior lights, basement, etc. Usually, however, the circuit that most affects AC electric fields at beds is the circuit that governs the wall outlets at the bedroom.
Tip: Lamps are one of the biggest sources of voltage in a home. We need manufacturers to wire just about everything with 3-prong plugs, i.e., grounded wiring. Short of switching to battery-operated LED lights, we have the option of taking a lamp to a custom lamp shop and having it rewired. A ground wire needs to be added.
Exposure to elevated AC electric fields (voltage) at the bed has been linked with sleep difficulties, restless sleep, bed-wetting, and (in one Canadian hydroelectric company study) with increased risk of cancer.
You can measure AC electric fields at sleeping and sitting areas with about $40 worth of equipment from RadioShack and the plumbing department of a home supply store. AC electric fields are measured with a voltmeter set for AC. They are recorded in units called “millivolts,” or mV.
Electric field readings change as we change position, so they are difficult to study as we walk around. During sleep, since our bodies are stationary, we measure electric fields at the beds, typically the most important place to reduce them. Our bodies are the most vulnerable at night, where the body carries on repair work and the body is refreshed. Electric fields often disturb sleep, so why not get them as low as possible?
Electrically sensitive people (often a manifestation of a compromised immune system) may need to have electric fields reduced to 20 mV or lower at sleeping areas. Many people are unaware that they are electrically sensitive. As a precaution, it makes sense for every person to reduce these fields at the sleeping area as much as possible. At the least, the immune system will have a lower level of electrostress.
I have written up instructions for measuring and reducing this voltage at your bed, as well as for issues with electrically grounding your body in bed. Click on the tab for “Body voltage/ Grounding” in this EMF section.
Very strong – more than 1000 mV
Strong – 100-1000 mV
Moderate – 20-100 mV
Minimal – less than 20 mV
Body voltage measured at a bed often exceeds 1000 mV but often can be brought under 20 mV.
Additional comments about AC electric fields
- Electric fields in city high-rise apartments may be lower than in private homes, because metal-clad wiring is used in high-rises but plastic-insulated wiring is used in private homes. City dwellers may have the rats to thank for their metal-clad wiring. Metal-clad, or BX cable, is required in some city electric codes, because rats might eat the plastic insulation off suburban Romex wiring. In actuality, all buildings should be wired with BX cable or equivalent. BX cable costs more than Romex, so suburbia gets the Romex. NYC, alas, changed its electric code to allow for Romex in new single family houses. Too bad!!
- If your house has aluminum siding or foil-backed insulation, the siding or insulation may need to be grounded to a dedicated ground rod.
- Avoid motors near your bed, unless required for medical reasons, such as a sleep apnea machine. If you require a room air purifier, plug it in across the room. Not only are AC electric fields elevated from devices plugged in near the bed, but with motors, AC magnetic fields can also be elevated.
- There are various plug-in “health” products that more often than not, do not have a grounded connecting wire and so expose the user to elevated AC electric fields, despite whatever else they may be doing. ALL electric devices used near the body should have grounded wiring (3-prong plugs), but so many do not.
Grounding the body helps in reducing electromagnetic fields.
A second issue with voltage has to do with grounding the body while in bed. This is relatively easy to do and often results in better sleep, less fatigue, and less pain…but the subject has its controversy. Learn more at the body voltage tab.
Radio frequency and microwave radiation
These high frequency fields have more energy than household electricity and may be more biologically active. They have been linked with neurological effects, cancers, etc. The quality of food that has been cooked in a microwave oven is lessened, according to a Stanford University study. Nursing mothers should know not to warm their milk in a microwave oven.
Radio frequency is also measured in mV (millivolts), but these millivolts are DC (direct current) rather than AC (alternating current) discussed above with AC electric fields (voltage).
Radio frequency fields come from fluorescent lights (including CFLs), computers, portable phones, cellular phones, WIFI devices, dimmer switches, microwave ovens, smart meters, etc. They can also come from outside sources, such as radio or TV stations, neighborhood ham radio operators, radar, airport transmissions, cell towers, etc. The phone to use for prolonged conversations is the corded, land-line phone.
The recommended meter for finding RF/MW (radio frequency, microwave radiation) sources (and then eliminating them or minimizing exposure) is the Acoustimeter. This meter is available from www.magneticsciences.com/RF-Meter.html for about $350. A pocket version costs less than that.
A strength of the Acoustimeter is that it measures the signal strength (V/m) in addition to microwatts/square meter. The latter has to do with current international guidelines for use, based on whether the exposure heats you up (the “hamburger standard”). Harmful effects are being measured at much lower levels than these guidelines.
Preliminary European Union research findings relating to health effects from cellular phone use show elevated risk for benign brain tumors, showing up at the 10-year mark, 10 years earlier than tumors from smoking. Use a cell phone as little as possible, and use with a headset, speaker phone, or other hands-free device, or text from it.
The latest health-related research relating to cell phones, WIFI, and other EMF devices is tracked by Microwave News (www.microwavenews.com). You can sign up for a free newsletter, which only arrives when there is … news.
Also, go to www.BioInitiative.org and download the color charts, which will give you a review of health effects linked with exposure to radio frequency.
Here are some tips for reducing exposure to radiofrequency:
- Avoid unnecessary electrostress from wireless technology. Choose cable instead of wireless. If you must have wireless, turn the router off at night. Position the router away from sitting and sleeping areas.
- Avoid portable phones. Use land-line phones. If you must have a portable phone, keep the base station well away from sitting and sleeping areas.
- Avoid the BlueTooth ear piece, which makes your whole body an antenna.
- Use a cell phone for emergency, back-up use. Cellular radiation is a new radiation for our bodies. Not only is it high frequency, but it has very rapid pulsations. Rat-a-tat-tat on your brain cells. We are all in an international experiment with this technology.
- If you need a baby monitor, purchase a sensitive one that can be plugged in and placed on the opposite side of the room. Even better, use a battery-operated one, still on the other side of the room.
- Avoid use of a microwave oven. Not only does it give off microwaves and other types of radiation, but it affects the food. New mothers likely know not to heat breast milk in a microwave oven. The reason for that is that microwaving destroys some of the immune properties of the breast milk, according to a study at Stanford University. Make the mental jump to the rest of our food.
- Avoid fluorescent and compact fluorescent lights. They give off radio frequency radiation, as well as add harmonics (electrostress) to the entire circuit they are on. Unfortunately, screw-in LEDs also add harmonics, also known as “dirty electricity.” Stick with the newer, lower-energy halogen bulbs.
- Metal components serve as an antenna for radio frequency. When I measure radio frequency at some bedrooms, the mattress innersprings are picking up radio frequency. Avoid beds with metal parts, if possible – but also do not buy toxic foam beds. Look for natural latex, organic cotton (without innersprings), or other least-toxic bed, such as from an organic mattress store.
- Avoid a cell phone charger near your bed or, preferably, in your bedroom.
- Turn off (not just have in sleep mode) your tablet device at night.
- If radio frequency radiation is coming from an outside source, hang filmy RF-shielding curtain-like material at windows. This fabric is available from www.lessemf.com. I have no experience in taking before-and-after readings with any of these fabrics.
Suggestions for safer use of a cell phone
- Use a cellular phone for emergency back-up only. Use a corded phone for prolonged conversations.
- Don’t use a cell phone around children; do not permit a youngster to use a cell phone.
- When using a cellular phone, text or use a hands-free device or speaker phone. Keep the phone itself away from your body.
- Go to www.mercola.com and search on articles for “cell phones.” Consider suggestions about use (or non-use) for cell phones. If required to have a cell phone, use a speaker phone or an air tube headset (sold at that site). Please give me feedback on voice quality if purchasing an air tube headset. I heard one less-than-enthusiastic comment regarding the air tube headset.
- Do not carry or sleep next to a turned on cell phone, because there are continual signals between a transmitter and cell phones.
- Preferably use the cellular phone outside, not in a car or a building where the signal has to be boosted. If using the cell phone in a car, hold the phone outside a window, or have an antenna installed on the back of the car.
Radon is part of the ionizing (nuclear) section of the electromagnetic fields spectrum. Inexpensive radon test kits are available from www.radon.com, including test kits for radon in well water. If radon levels are high in your area and you have a well, get the radon levels checked.
Highest readings for radon are likely to be found when the ground is snow-covered. Exposure to radon has been linked with lung cancer; radon-in-water is linked with a low rise in stomach cancer.
What is “dirty electricity”?
In its man-made state, electrical current should have smooth waves, like ocean waves rolling in. However, with electrical current, some devices produce harmonics, which are multiples of the 60 Hz household current. Harmonics could be 120 Hz, 180 Hz, 240 Hz, and so on. There is more electrostress from harmonics.
Some devices cause harmonics to be introduced to previously smooth electrical currents. These devices include: fluorescent lights, LED lights (except for battery-operated LED lights), and dimmer switches and any device with a switching power supply (including, alas, solar panels and geothermal heat).
Filters could be made available to filter out the harmonics, but so far there are no such filters commercially available. Some filters, such as the Stetzer filters, reduce higher frequency harmonics but not the more significant lower freuqency harmonics. These filters also add amperage (current) and thus resistance and may give a perception of being linked with a fire, if not actually increasing the risk.
What are some steps we can take to reduce the amount of dirty electricity produced by devices in our homes?
- Since dimmer switches are big offenders, get rid of dimmer switches (especially in areas of frequent use). If retaining them, don’t turn them off by zooming down the dimmer. Click them off. Many electrically sensitive individuals cannot tolerate dimmer switches.
- Stick with lower-energy halogen bulbs for now. Compact fluorescent, fluorescent, and screw-in LED lights produce dirty electricity. Every once in a while, check in at www.ulema.com to see if they are ready to sell energy-efficient lights that don’t produce dirty electricity. In the meantime, look for battery-operated LED lights. Bear in mind that there is some beginning questioning about the quality of the LED lights on the eyes. LED lights save energy and do not produce dirty electricity. Halogen lights do not produce dirty electricity and are more energy efficient than incandescent (though less than fluorescent). Choose a standard halogen light rather than the much less efficient (and potential fire hazard) of the older torchiere halogen lights. It’s sad to revert back to halogen (or incandescent) lighting when we want to be kind to our planet and save energy. My recommendation, though, is to save on energy in other ways. Consider arranging for an energy rating on your home and take steps to reduce the heat loss in other ways – see the energy tab. You may end up saving a lot more energy than if you switched to CFL or LED lights. For example, a non-insulated attic hatch can be thought of as a chimney for heat loss.
- Turn off routers at night.
- Some dirty electricity comes from outside our homes. For seriously electrically sensitive individuals, this can be dealt with but the cost is up there. An isolation transformer would have to be installed, on cooperation with the electric company.
Question: What about devices that purport to reduce or neutralize levels of various types of electromagnetic fields, such as the Stetzer device, the QLink, or the Memon?
Response: There are several issues with such devices.
- They may give an individual a false sense of protection. The person may think that she is protected but is meanwhile undergoing continual exposure to fields. As an electrical engineering colleague puts it, “There is something nasty in the room, but my gadget protects me.” Our approach rather is to remove or reduce the “nasty,” not to depend on something that may or may not be helping.
- Their effects (if any) can wear off, leaving the person more electrically sensitive than she was previously.
- They can be a Band-Aid, rather than dealing with the source. They are a disincentive to making corrections and repairs.
- They can turn off the body’s alarm system to such as exposures as current on the grounding system.
- If there are wiring errors in the house, these errors can be compounded by some of these devices. If the device adds current, magnetic fields can be increased due to the wiring error.
- There may be no way to measure their effects using instruments. That is, the “technology” may be voodoo or even fraudulent or be doing something beneficial – your guess.
- Even when effects can be measured, they may be only partial. For example, a spectrum analyzer reveals that the Stetzer filter reduces higher frequency harmonics but not the more important lower frequency harmonics.
- They can result in adverse unanticipated scenarios. For example, if a device purports to protect from cell phone signals, what’s to keep the cell phone company from paying a consultant to set up these or other supposedly protective devices, perhaps on a town-wide basis? That would be cheaper than dealing with litigation relating to cell phones or smart meters. No one can prove otherwise with such devices. Be careful what you wish for. An opt-out system would be a utility company’s dream.
My EnviroHealth environmental inspection includes a screening for these various EMFs, plus instructions on reducing exposure to AC electric fields at the beds. Feel free to touch base with me to discuss your needs. Reducing exposure to all sorts of EMFs is not on the radar of your typical electrical engineer, electrician, or manufacturer.
Websites, in alphabetical order
www.conradbiologic.com – Richard Conrad consults over the phone with computer savvy individuals who need to reduce radiation exposures from their computers (or from someone else’s computer).
www.microwavenews.org – Sign up for their news bulletins. The literature review about health risks linked with exposure to AC magnetic fields (see tab) comes from my reading of this journal.
www.stopradiation.org – started as a citizens’ movement against putting cell towers on apartment buildings
Books to help us in reducing electromagnetic fields
There are more up-to-date titles that need to be explored. Please give feedback as you seek them out.
Gould, Jay M. and Benjamin A. Goldman, Deadly Deceit- Low-Level Radiation, High-Level Cover-Up (Four Walls Eight Windows: NY), 1991. Jay Gould recently passed on. See a memorial statement at www.microwavenews.com.
Levitt, B. Blake, Electromagnetic Fields – A Consumer Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves (Harcourt Brace & Co.: NY), 1995.
Levitt, B. Blake, Cell Towers – Wireless Convenience? Or Environmental Hazard? (New Century Publishing: MA), 2000.
O’Becker, Robert, The Body Electric and others
Pinsky, Mark A., The EMF Book – What You Should Know About Electromagnetic Fields, Electromagnetic Radiation, and Your Health (Warner Books: NY), 1995.
Let’s check out the tab on reducing body voltage. Following through on this information has helped many individuals to better sleep.