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Of all the places you can feel safe, it’s your home.
But is it really, considering your appliances can be the source of dangerous electromagnetic fields?
Better known as EMF, electromagnetic fields are a source of radiation that can be emitted by phones, Bluetooth devices, WiFi routers and smart meters.
When absorbed by the body, this type of radiation can lead to various health complications.
While this information can be alarming, the good news is that we can do something about it.
The critical steps to prevention start with understanding how EMF is measured and what levels are unsafe.
So today, we’ll show you how to understand your EMF readings and how you can determine the danger zones in your home.
EMF Is Measured in What Units?
Within the term “EMF,” we have both “electric” and “magnetic” fields to consider.
So for every field you want measure, you’ll be looking at 2 different units of measurement:
In the United States, magnetic fields are read in Milligauss (mG).
And electric fields are read as volts per meter (V/m).
But when you’re measuring EMF radiation, you have to consider its frequency and strength, too.
Determining the EMF frequency can tell you what the source of radiation is.
Frequency is measured in hertz (Hz) and can be used to assess whether your home’s wiring contains dirty electricity.
Strength, as it concerns you and your exposure level, is largely based on your proximity to the source and which type of radiation you are exposed to.
Readings That Are Considered High
Knowing how to measure EMF radiation around your home should be a top priority.
But it’s equally important to understand which readings are cause for concern.
When looking at EMF readings, you need to be aware of the 3 main categories to take note of – magnetic, electric, and radiofrequency radiation.
While safety guidelines from various companies differ in their understanding of high EMF readings, the safest measurement to consider is below 1 mG.
If you perform readings in your home, you may find measurements between .4 mG to 1 mG.
This is normal and safe, considering that these spaces are where you spend most of your time.
However, if you reside in an apartment complex, the chances are that your readings will be way higher.
The 1 mG limit may be extremely far from the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection or ICNIRP, which advises that the maximum exposure limit is 2000 mG.
But that “safety limit” is astronomical when you consider the research that’s been done showing damaging at much lower levels.
Another important thing to note is that you will find EMF readings spike when you put the meter close to electronics.
When it comes to exposure and safety limits, distance is key.
That means you should make sure you limit electronic use in areas like your bedroom and living room since that’s more than likely where you spend most of your time.
You also want to be mindful of where electronic-heavy rooms like a home office is located in relation to your bedroom (because EMFs travel through walls).
Unlike magnetic and radiofrequency fields, electric field readings are much less discussed and researched.
Nevertheless, they still pose a threat in your home.
In your living quarters, try to ensure measurements of electric fields stay below 10 V/m (volts per meter) since anything above that is considered dangerous.
In some places, like Europe for example, readings above 10 V/m is still considered a normal reading, but to be safe, it’s still highly recommended that readings remain below 10 V/m.
When conducting electric field readings, measurements below 1 V/m are generally safe.
Readings between 1 to 5 volts per meter deserve a closer look to see if changes can be made to lower them.
Though this range doesn’t point to imminent danger, electro-sensitive people can still be affected.
Now if the reading is higher than 10 V/m to upwards of 50 V/m, it’s time for you to act and make changes.
At such a range, numerous health problems and biological abnormalities can occur over a period of time.
Lastly, we have radio frequencies that are measured in milliWatt per square meter or mW/m².
Of all the EMF radiation types, this is the one that is most damaging and pervasive, especially since it’s present in devices you use every day.
These include WiFi routers, cellphones, tablets, microwaves, Bluetooth, cell towers, and more.
In terms of readings, measurements above 1 mW/m² are high and potentially dangerous.
For measurements reaching .03 to .5 mW/m², there have already been reports from people who have experienced sleep disturbances, headaches, behavioral problems, and difficulty concentrating.
What Is a Normal EMF Reading?
Now that we understand what measurements are considered dangerous, what exactly does normal EMF refer to?
Being around EMF-emitting devices is just a part of life for most of us. Eliminating them entirely is virtually impossible.
However, it is still necessary to recognize these sources so that you can maintain a safe distance from them.
Some scientists recommend that safe EMF exposure levels range from 0.5 mG to 2.5 mG.
At this rate, your risk for electromagnetic-related disease and illness is low, although effects may vary depending on how electro-sensitive you are.
EMF Levels Chart
Below is a snapshot of recommended safe levels of EMF exposure as advised by different institutions:
FCC: 61.4 (V/m) and 1000 µW/cm²
BioInitiative Report as of 2012: 0.034 (V/m) and 0.0003 µW/cm²
Building Biology Institute for Sleeping Areas: 0.061 (V/m) and 0.001 µW/cm²
Austrian Medical Association: 0.020 or less (V/m) and 0.0001 or less µW/cm²
Notice the substantial discrepancy between the FCC’s safety standards and that of EMF advocacy groups (which is based on updated research)!
Surprising “Danger Zones” in the Average Household
Look around your home, do you see anything that threatens your health?
At the first look, maybe not.
What can your old coffee maker or innocent smart TV do to you anyway?
Well, as you’ve probably guessed by now, they can actually make quite the impact over time…and not in a good way.
It may be surprising, but the appliances and electronics that you use in your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom are possibly emitting harmful EMFs.
Keep in mind that the recommended safety level is from .5 mG and the maximum would be 2.5 mG, but 1.0 or less is better.
Ok, so let’s look at your living room, for example:
Most households have computers, cordless phones, television sets, and vacuum cleaners that they use in the living room on a daily or weekly basis.
Unfortunately, these devices and appliances can make your living area a danger zone.
- Computers, for instance, can expose you to 4-20 mG.
- TVs can emit around 5-100 mG.
- Vacuum cleaners can give off 230-1300 mG.
Now, how about your bedroom and bathroom?
You might have a lamp with a fluorescent light by your bed and a hairdryer near your sink. Of course, a washing machine is essential, too, though it may be located elsewhere.
But check this out:
- Lamps can emit anywhere from 400 to 4,000 mG of radiation.
- Hair dryers can range from 60 mG all the way up to 20,000 mG.
- Meanwhile, washers can emit a range of 8 mG to 200 mG.
If that’s not enough to peak your interest, wait until you look at your kitchen:
- Microwaves can expose you to 100 mG to 500 mG of radiation.
- Blenders measure high too, giving off 50 mG to 220 mG.
- Coffee makers are not so bad compared to them, but they still give off 6 mG to 29 mG.
As you can see, we need to be vigilant about the level of radiation in our homes as high EMF readings can be found where you least expect it.
However, let me say this:
Don’t take this information and become paranoid…
Use this information to take action.
Complete elimination is not your goal – reduction is.
If you know what a high EMF reading is, which you do if you just read this article, then you can take the necessary steps to get any reading in your home into the safety zone.
Use distance to your advantage.
Eliminate unnecessary tech.
Decrease the amount of time you use “danger” devices.
And last but not least, implement shielding products in areas where elimination and distance aren’t feasible.
Do those 4 things, and you’ll be well on your way to lowering those high EMF levels.
If you have the time, check out this video to learn more about measuring EMF in your home and the different meter options you have:
Video credit: EMF Analysis
Certified EMF Expert, Chief Editor & Researcher at Beat EMF. I’m in charge of testing all the products and sorting through the duds to deliver effective EMF solutions for your family. Learn more about me here.