Health & Safety Concerns in The Home – What’s a Normal EMF Reading?

Introduction: What are Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)?

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are “non-ionising radiation” that is created by any device that operates with electricity. EMFs include magnetic fields, electric fields, radiofrequency fields and dirty electricity.

Radio Frequency fields (RF) can be emitted from cellphones, wireless routers, microwaves, smart TV and other electronic devices such as laptops and tablets.

AC magnetic fields (ELF MF) are generated by appliances and motors and are measured in gauss or milligauss using a gauss meter. The frequency range is in the ELF-MF range, and therefore can be labeled as ELF-MF.

AC electric fields (ELF EF) are extra low-frequency AC Electric Fields (ELF EF). AC electric fields are created from building wiring and electrical appliances. The electric field from the wiring in a wall and attached cables will continue to emit a very small electric field even if the appliance itself has been shut off. The strength of the electric field changes from person to person. According to ARPANSA, one should expect a background level of 20 V/m. IARC do not classify AC electric fields as a health concern.

EMF Measurement in The Home

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EMF, or electromagnetic field, is a term that is used to describe the levels of radiation that are emitted from devices such as microwaves, cell phones, laptops, and more. For many people in the modern world, it has become difficult to avoid EMF exposure with rates of 90% or more of people having EMFs in their homes.

You will need to purchase an EMF meter to measure EMFs. However, most consumer meters are highly inaccurate. They may over- or under-report the actual EMF levels. A tri-field meter is a meter that measures three different types of EMF. These are typically radio frequencies (RF), magnetic fields (MF), and electric fields (EF).

The tri-field EMF meter needs to be set to each field measurement, and all rooms should be measured. The front and back yard should also be measured and compared to the indoor EMF levels. This needs to be repeated three times, for each EMF type. 

Radiofrequency fields (RF EMF) typically average anywhere from 500 to 1000+ uW/m2. Building biology precautionary levels aim for under 10 uW/m2 for living areas, and under 5 for sleeping areas. Creating distance from the source,

AC magnetic fields (ELF MF) always emit strong magnetic fields within 1.5 metres from the source. The sources are typically appliances or meter boxes, but electric blankets and heaters are another source.

AC Electric fields (ELF EF) always emit strong electric fields within 1.5 metres from the source. The sources are typically electrical appliances, wiring or meter boxes.

Average Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Levels in the Home

It’s important to know that 95% of EMF levels are highest from internal sources. Reducing exposure to these EMFs can be difficult but it is possible.

Building biology guidelines are precautionary thresholds to reduce the exposures as much as possible. Especially when you sleep, but also where you spend the most time during the day.

These precautionary thresholds are:

  • Radio Frequency (RF) EMF Levels: Under 5 uW/m2

  • AC Magnetic Fields (MF / ELF MF) Levels: Under 0.2mG (sleeping area)

  • AC Electric Fields (EF / ELF EF) Levels: Under 0.3 V/m

Building Biologists recommend to limit the number of Wi-Fi routers in your home, place your mobile phone on airplane mode when you are not using it, or turn off your devices at night.

The most common EMFs are: microwaves, fridges, meter box, electrical wiring in walls, power lines outside the house, electrical outlets and lights inside the house.

Average Radio Frequency (RF) EMF Levels

Average AC Magnetic Field (AC MF / ELF MF) Levels

  • Target Building Biology Levels: <0.2mG

  • Induction Cooktop: 25mG+

  • Oven: 30mG+

  • Fish Tank Water Pump: 40mG+

  • Incorrect Electrical Wiring or Unbundled Wiring in roof: 8mG+

    • pillow are below: 1.9mG

  • Nearby street powerlines 5m from bedroom: 2mG+

  • Wall adjacent to Meter box: 8 – 250 mG+ (depends on appliance use)

Average AC Electric Fields (AC EF / ELF EF) Levels

  • Target Building Biology Levels: <0.3 V/m

  • Bedside lamp: 650 V/m

  • Pillow area next to bedside lamp: 140 – 200 V/m

  • Electrical wiring in wall: 800-900V/m

  • General Power Outlet (GPO) with nothing plugged in: 20-30V/m

  • Salt Lamp cable: 110 V/m

Conclusion: How To Live A Safer Life At Home

EMFs are present in almost every environment, whether it is the home, the office or even on public transport. They can be emitted from electrical appliances and wireless devices. It is crucial to take precautionary measures to protect ourselves from these EMF radiation waves.

Some ways to limit exposure include shutting off all unnecessary electronic devices before going to bed and ensuring that you create a distance between yourself and any EMF emitting devices.

If you wish to have a Building Biologist assess your home, visit www.balancedbb.net.

Better Appliances and Devices with Lower EMF Radiation Levels

Here are some suggested alternatives to some of the devices mentioned above.

We are living in the era of the Internet of Things (IoT). We have everything from tablets to cars that can connect to the internet. With this, our devices are emitting electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that emit radio waves and microwaves. These EMFs can also be emitted by our heating systems and appliances in our homes or in the office. With these devices, we may not feel any pain or discomfort but there is a lot of evidence that it has a negative impact on our health in the long run.

The good thing is that there are better alternatives to some of these devices mentioned above.

  • Kitchen Appliances: Any Bosch or Miele Products

  • NBN Wireless Routers: BYO NBN Router

  • Avoid any appliances with IoT modules, wireless modules, bluetooth modules. Also avoid any device with the word “Smart” in the title or description. i.e. Smart TV, Smart Bathroom Scale, Smart Watch, Smart Washing Machine, Smart Fridge

  • Bed Side Lamp: Block Blue Light Battery Operated Lamp (Amber Color / Red Color Versions) – use discount code ‘balanced’

 

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