EMF: Overview of How to Reduce Your Exposure
Instead of updating my previous, longer post on EMFs, I thought I’d share with you a more simple overview of all the previous information. I realize it was A LOT of information at once. And not everyone, as Ben Greenfield puts it, likes to “put on their propeller hat” and geek out.
Whether you’ve given electromagnetic field (EMF) any thought previously, it seems practical to consider your overall environment.
Perhaps your initial thought is, I don’t even know what EMF or non-ionizing radiation is, and who cares. We live in the 21st century, it’s not a big deal. Sure. I get it. Not sexy stuff.
I used to be a heavy power-user. I do still use my iPhone and I am typing this on my MAC, but I have made slight adjustments to better protect myself. I use electronics, I am just more aware of how I use them.
I cannot recall which expert reminded me of this biological fact, but the premise is, our bodies are conductors of energy.
For those of you old enough, do you remember when TVs and radios had antennas? And every so often you would have to get up and adjust those rabbit ears. I think some people would put foil on it to help with reception. The TV was using your body to ground, and that’s why the reception got better.
Our cellphones and laptops do the same thing. When we expose ourselves to them, we are absorbing that EMF energy. Could our man-made EMF environment interfere with our bodies own electrical system?
That is why grounding techniques have become popular. One simple way to do it, is, just go outside, and walk around barefoot. There some caveats to this but for now, I’ll leave it at that. (hint: using grounding mats, plugged into dirty electricity, may cause more harm than good).
Your health may depend on taking precautions. Check out this video regarding concerns with wi-fi in schools.
Alright. Let’s say, you have the following:
- Live in an urban area or a multi- unit building, thus have more exposure to EMFs from your neighbors.
- You have multiple devices connected to wireless router (laptop, tablet and 1-4 cell phones)
- You have CFL light bulbs that emit EMF
- You have a Smart Meter. Your neighbors have Smart Meters.
- You have coiled mattress. Perhaps you have an electric blanket. You have mercury fillings- all of these things are conductors.
- You sleep with a cordless phone and/ or cell phone next to or on your bed.
- You have a bedside lamp, where the outlet is by your head.
- You watch tv in your room.
- You have baby monitors.
- You have night lights.
- You use earbuds that are made of metal wiring.
- You have smart appliances.
- You have an alarm clock by your bed.
- You have a microwave.
- You wear a Fitbit 24-7.
- You work in an office where you’re surrounded by wi-fi and fluorescent lights all day.
- You have Apple TV or use a Chromcast device to stream video.
- You have game consoles.
- you use an electronic reading device.
So, as you can see, the list quickly adds up. Everything on that list exposes you to EMF, and that’s just a sample of your home. Depending on where you work or how often you go into stores, your daily exposure is constant. Not to mention some cars emit higher levels of EMF than others.
What can you do?! It seems daunting to have to take action and maybe you don’t know where to start.
Assuming most of us do not have an EMF meter, here is a short video that demonstrates, with a meter, how much radio frequency you are exposing yourself to. Dr. Magda Havas received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, completed Post-Doctoral research at Cornell University and is Associate Professor of Environmental & Resource Studies at Trent University where she teaches and does research on the biological effects of environmental contaminants and is an expert in this field.
After watching the video, you now are better aware of some of the sources of EMF, and so you could take an inventory of your home, and begin by picking the easy steps first.
Even if you still prefer to keep them, moving the base and the other receivers away from where you sleep is an easy enough step. There are a few models that only look for signal, while in use, check your device to see if you have that one. Talk only on speaker phone.
And since you still have a landline, consider having your cellphone forwarded once you’re home. You could even do it at the office.
Ideally though, if you are forwarding calls, it is to an old school wired phone.
If you aren’t ready to hard wire, you can mitigate exposure by:
Moving the router away from areas where you spend a lot time. As well as away from where you sleep. You could turn it off at night. You could get a shield for it.
When you are ready, you could explore power line adapters. Or look into having your house hard-wired. I am looking into this, so if anyone knows a good electrician, please let me know.
Also, if you are going on vacation, turn the power off on the router. Not only are you saving on electricity, but you are reducing your neighbors exposure. To see how many wireless routers are in your neighborhood, just check out the networks that your phone or laptop picks up.
I now have my router on a power strip and just switch off when I leave the house, and also make sure it is off at night. Even when plugged in, and off, it still will create EMF. You need to turn it off with a power switch.
When you travel, check to see if they have a wi-fi booster next to the bed, and unplug it.
Here is a another presentation from Dr. Magda Havas on wireless technology.
Cellphones, tablets, laptops:
Consider no longer constantly carrying them on your body, or placing them directly on your lap. Talk to your kids about not placing them directly on lap.
You may want to look into some of the cases or pads made to reduce EMF exposure. If you do still put phone in your pocket, at least switch to airplane mode.
Whenever possible, do not use laptop or tablets while plugged in. And do not charge your devices near your bed, or at least while sleeping.
If you still choose to use wi-fi feature, you could switch into airplane mode, or turn the wi-fi feature off when not using, or completely turn off devices when not in use. Another thought is, when you leave your house, switch the wireless function on your phone off. While in transit, you aren’t randomly connecting to strangers wi-fi routers, but your phone still tries to connect to them.
Even when wi-fi and cellular function are turned off, devices still emits radio frequency EMF signal. Try turning both off and then send a text- it will still send, as well as still receive calls. And a more (perhaps you view it as an extreme) step is to turn off and place in a signal blocking pouch. That may or may not be necessary for you, but just be aware that is how strong the signal is, that even when off, there is still a signal. If you don’t have a Smartphone, removing the battery does eliminate the signal. Unfortunately most Smartphones do not have removable batteries.
If you don’t want to turn off your cell phone at night, you could store it away from your bed. Again, don’t keep by your bed AND plugged in.
Do an N=1 study and see if turning your router off at night, and not having your cellphone (or cordless phone) in the bedroom, and see if you sleep better. Many report that they do. Try it for yourself.
Use air-tube earbuds. Someone described it similar to a stethoscope, as the tube is hollow. The wires are made of silicon, and not metal, which conducts energy.
Headsets aren’t really emitting radiation, but rather absorbing it. So you don’t want to clip it to your body either, because then you are still acting as a conductor. Using the standard set sends radiation straight the head!
Laptop: if you do not need the internet, especially if you have a wireless router on, turn OFF the wi-fi on your laptop.
Also, Printers: unless you work from home, and even then, how often are actually printing? Printers also emit radio frequency EMF.
TVs, DVD players, Game Consoles:
Again, when not in use, you could switch off via a the power strip. Not only would you be saving on electricity, you are reducing EMF exposure.
You can connect your Chromcast device via ethernet cable. Here are the instructions.
You also can connect Apple Tv via ethernet cable as well.
Games consoles, such as Play Station and Wii, can also be hard-wired. Many gamers actually prefer this anyway.
Bluetooth headset and car stereos:
Same thing applies. Except with wireless Bluetooth you are adding more radiation exposure.
If you are in the car for an extended period of time, you could consider getting an auxiliary cord and streaming content that is already downloaded to your device.
Think about it- say you have a smart phone, a tablet, and bluetooth activated, and are stuck in a moving (EMF emitting) car where your phone is constantly searching for a signal. You are exposing yourself and your kids to high levels of radiation.
Try to opt-out. Keep your analogy meter. And if not an option, make or buy a shield, to blunt the signal strength.
See if you can convince your neighbors to also shield their meter. You could make your own, or buy one for $19!
Like a wireless router, Smart Meters continuous emit a surge of electricity throughout the walls. They constantly emit both radio frequency AND dirty electricity.
If you are in the market for a new mattress, look into ones without metal coils. Because if you have a smart meter, wi-fi router on, your cordless phone plus lamp by your head, and if your cellphone is on your (metal coil) bed and have Mercury fillings, you are literally conducting energy all day and night.
Constantly exposing your body to not only the pulses from the signals but you are absorbing that radiation.
And if you don’t want to buy a new mattress, consider the above and what you could do to blunt the effects.
If you have a baby monitor, especially a video one, try taking it out of your child’s room and see if they sleep better.Make sure you unplug both receivers.
If you still want to use one, experts recommend switching the setting to voice activated only, to limit the child’s exposure to constant RF radiation exposure.
You could consider using a battery operated alarm clock.
Again, many advise not to use one. But if you do, distance really matters. Do NOT stand directly in front of your microwave, experts report to stand at least 5-8 feet away to avoid microwave radiation. How many people actually stand at least 5-8 feet from the microwave while running?
From what I have read, it seems that the concern isn’t so much about what the microwave does to the food, but rather what it does to the person, standing in the vicinity of the microwave. Some claim microwaves leak radiation…
I thought this explanation from the World Health Organization (WHO) on microwaves was a great one.
Microwaves are high frequency radio waves (radiofrequency fields) and, like visible radiation (light), are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Microwaves are used primarily for TV broadcasting, radar for air and sea navigational aids, and telecommunications including mobile phones. They are also used in industry for processing materials, in medicine for diathermy treatment and in kitchens for cooking food.
Microwaves are reflected, transmitted or absorbed by materials in their path, in a similar manner to light. Metallic materials totally reflect microwaves while non-metallic materials such as glass and some plastics are mostly transparent to microwaves.
The WHO doesn’t condemn microwave ovens.
And yes, the industry claims no radiation is leaked. I suppose the only way to test yours, is to get a meter and see for yourself.
Humans are approximately 70% water, so… if you aren’t standing 5-8 feet away, and your microwave is leaking radiation… “water, fluids and tissues, readily absorb microwave energy”…
So, if on a occasion, you do use your microwave, make sure you aren’t close to it, nor let your kids peer inside to watch the food cook.
And if possible, unplug it when not in use.
Check out this link, there is a cool Mythbusters video on microwaving water.
Dirty electric filters:
I’m still investigating this but would like to have an electrician evaluate my home before deciding the best route to take there. It is clear you need someone who specializes, or at the very least, is aware of EMF and how to make sure your home is wired accordingly to properly blunt effects.
Reduce dirty electricity by plugging into grounded outlets. 2-prong plugs are not grounded. You could buy a power strip, that is grounded. Use the on/ off button when you sleep or leave the house. This could also save on your electricity bill, as TVs and other appliances, as well as plugs left plugged in, still draw some electricity. One expert even went as far as saying turning off the breaker in bedrooms, as some electromagnetic energy could disrupt your sleep. But if you don’t want to go that far, check to see if your outlets are by your head, as you sleep. There are wall switch taps that shut off the power to lamps. Or you could use a power strip on/off. Here is some information on why it is important to shut down EMFs while sleeping.
Again, look into those Stetzer filters.
Remove all CFL bulbs from home.
They contain mercury and emit EMFs.
Be sure to take great caution when handling, as they contain mercury. It is recommended that if broken, you air out your home and wear gloves. Toxic stuff.
Here is another link that discusses some of these tips as well.
If you or someone you know, have had cancer, you may want to look into limiting/ reducing EMF exposure. Also, if you are pregnant, it may be worth looking into. Here is some information from the BioInitiative Report. Here is a video on fertility, health and some tips regarding EMF.
Many other countries, such as Sweden, have begun to take EMF safety seriously. And there are cases of harm. There have been some class action lawsuits. But did you know that there was a more recent bill (2011) passed where cellphone companies cannot be subjected to class action lawsuits? Hmmm.
It is important to note that the safety standards in regards to radiation is based on heat, not prolonged exposure.
Regardless if you are want to wait on the government to tell you if it is definitely unsafe or not, what is the harm of being proactive about your health and safety? Even if you want concrete proof, in a general sense, doesn’t seem plausible that LESS radio frequency EMR is better than LESS?
As with anything, the food we eat, the air we breath, everything is variable, and I am not saying absolutely that EMF causes cancer or health problems, but some of the research is compelling. At least enough to want to seek ways to reduce what I can control.
Even if you still are not convinced of wi-fi dangers, I’d say, do not throw the baby out with the bath water when evaluating your risks in regards to EMF exposure.
And am I saying that technology is to be avoided or it doesn’t help us be more productive? Of course not. Personally, I am just erring on the side of prudence.
And if you want to learn more about the specifics of EMF and dirty electricity, refer back to my previous post for more details.
Hopefully you don’t feel overwhelmed, but rather motivated to make some changes.
The thing is, if we the people do not start to care about this, universally, nothing will change.
For those who want to read more clinical data, click here.