“Electrosmog” – What on earth is going on?
Electromagnetic fields (or EMF’s) of all frequencies are one of the world’s fastest spreading environmental impact factors. Entire populations now live under constant exposure to historically unprecedented levels of EMF’s. Exposure to this man-made radiation will continue to increase as wireless technology marches forward. Some have called this new environmental pollution “Electrosmog” and as such require EMF protection. Electromagnetic fields that are of concern are commonly separated into two main types:
Extremely Low Frequency fields (ELF’s)
Extremely Low Frequency fields (ELF’s) are power frequency electromagnetic fields that emanate from power lines, electricity substations, meter boxes, electrical wiring and home appliances. Anything which carries or uses electricity creates an electric fields. Whether 240V inside the home to 11,000V – 400,000V outside, the higher the voltage, the higher the electric field. In addition, when electricity is turned on and flowing, a magnetic field is also present; the higher the current the higher the magnetic field.
Radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF fields)
Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) or Radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF fields) radiate from mobile phone towers, mobile phones, cordless phones, smart meters, baby monitors, broadcast TV and radio, wifi devices, GPS and bluetooth devices. Dealing with EMR is explained on other pages on the website.
What is the concern with ELF electromagnetic fields?
Leukaemia: Of all the possible effects of ELF EMF’s, the evidence is strongest for childhood leukaemia. Over 20 epidemiological studies have been performed looking just at the possible link between childhood leukaemia and EMFs. Overall there is clearly a statistical association between unusually high magnetic fields and childhood leukaemia. One major studies that pooled over 10,000 leukaemia patients found leukaemia rates doubled in children exposed to magnetic fields of 4 microtesla (μT). For this reason the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified magnetic fields of above 4 mG as possibly carcinogenic.
Suicide & depression: For evidence of links please refer to http://www.emfs.info/research/abstracts/suicide-abstracts/
What should I do about ELF’s?
Many international authorities worldwide have recommended that people take precautions to reduce people’s exposure from unnecessary fields.
The first thing to do is evaluate your current exposure levels. Purchase or hire a basic and inexpensive EMF field gaussmeter that measures magnetic fields in milliGauss or microTesla. Survey your entire home or workplace and take particular note of readings in any high habitation areas eg bed, workstation, couch, reading chair, car, kitchen etc. Fields emanate from powerlines, wiring, appliances, transformers, conductive piping and other electrical source. You will be able to identify high exposure areas (hot spots) and low exposure (safe) zones. Results can vary significantly with time of day and which appliances are on or off eg microwave, hair dryer, so test also while simulating your normal routines.
How can I reduce exposure?
Buy a safe house: It’s near impossible for a regular householder to block the magnetic fields from powerlines so when purchasing a home be sure to measure if there are any high fields present before you purchase. High voltage overhead powerlines and underground cables need also be considered.
Create distance: Move EMF sources eg fridge, computers & printers, TV and alarm clocks away from high habitation areas eg desks, couches, beds & bedside tables etc.
Shield: Shielding paints, and shielded window tinting and shielding fabrics suitable for curtains, bed canopies or clothing, all block harmful EMR.
Replace: Where high EMF sources are home appliances these can sometimes be replaced with low or zero EMF alternatives eg low emf blener, hairdryer with towel. Installing switches and or timers to turn off circuits or individual devices when not in use or certain times of day can also help.
Caution: Electromagnetic fields are not reduced by product that to ‘harmonise’ fields.
What about RF fields?
Above we discuss how to identify and deal with Extremely Low Frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF’s) fields. Radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF fields) are very different altogether and are discovered and measured with an acoustimeter that measures radio-frequency radiation in Volts per metre or microwatts per metre squared. The principles of buying a safe house, creating distance, shielding and mitigating sources still apply however sources of RF fields are wireless signal transmitters eg mobile phone base stations, wi-fi routers, baby monitors, blue tooth, cordless and mobile phones etc.