Eager to learn how to reduce EMF exposure in the home and on your body, Janna Spoke with resident Health and Wellness expert Laurie Cohen Peters.
EMFs are invisible but not benign.
What is an EMF?
Before we learn how to reduce EMF pollution, here is the straight science:
EMF stands for Electromotive Force. This is the voltage or electric potential difference that drives an electric current through a conductor. It’s a physical quantity that describes the electrical energy that is converted into another form of energy. This would be mechanical or thermal energy.
In practical terms, EMFs are generated whenever there is a flow of electric current in a conductor. Examples of this are wires or circuits. This occurs in a variety of contexts, including household appliances, power lines, and electronic devices.
Did you know there are four types of EMFs?
What are the four types of EMFs?
- dirty electricity
- radio frequency (RF)
- electric fields
- magnetic fields
Here is a great five-minute video on RF and EMFs
Electric and Magnetic EMFs
Learn which EMFs to avoid the most
The primary two types of EMFs in most homes are electric fields and magnetic fields. “They are present wherever AC, or alternating current, electricity is present. That could be electricity on power lines and wires inside houses.
Consider circuits in walls and the cords we plug in. It can also involve radio transmitters where electricity at much higher frequencies is sent out into the air. Think of wireless transmissions [TV, screens, monitors, cell phones, tablets, smart appliances.….]” (Oram Miller, EMF expert)
Any vector of one type of magnetic field that emits from a cord or wire has a corresponding vector of the other type of EMF. This latter is positioned at right angles to the first type.”
Why should we want to reduce EMF pollution in the home?
EMFs can have a variety of effects on living organisms, ranging from potentially harmful to neutral. For instance, high levels of EMF exposure have been linked to increased risk of certain types of cancer. There are other potential health hazards and problems as well. Alternatively, lower levels of exposure may have no discernible effect. There is still more research to be done on the latter.
“Magnetic fields are considered by us to be the most serious type of EMF. Fortunately, except magnetic fields from overhead power lines, they‘re generally localized to only certain parts of the house. Electric and magnetic fields are the least common of all types of EMFs. However, when you find them, you must deal with them as they are the most harmful.
I say to clients that magnetic fields wear you down. They can cause a depressing influence on the immune system. This is in comparison to electric fields, which wear you out and rob you of a good night’s sleep. Magnetic fields cause a serious influence on your vitality and are known to be carcinogenic.” (Oram Miller, EMF expert)
It’s important to consider the amplitude of the electromagnetic field (radiation). This is 1/4 the strength at a distance of 2 inches and 50 times lower at 3 feet. But, pollution from EMFs extends for 20 feet.
This is a good thing to consider when using the phone in public; consider it like secondhand smoke.
Laurie weighs in: what I’ve learned from working with clients
Exposure to EMF radiation and the body’s reaction (head buzzing, body buzzing, fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression, tinnitus, hyper sense-sensitivity, headaches, cellular oxidation, nausea, insomnia, arthritis or other autoimmune, cancer, the list goes on…) is similar to a bucket of water; once you’ve filled it to overflowing, it slops over the edges. That’s when you start to feel the symptoms of EMF pollution in the body.
In modern civilization, EMF exposure is a constant and at some point, for many, it will be too much. This is when the body reacts.
Are you someone with EMF sensitivity or symptoms? If so, try to keep wireless devices out of the bedroom and unplug anything electrical as much as possible.
As someone who is EMF-sensitive, I prioritize the lessening of exposure. I don’t want my “EMF bucket” to runneth over. I know I can’t move the 4g tower down the street. That said, I can do many things to improve my environment. Therefore, I called in an expert to EMF safe proof my home. Along with a host of tricks from employing ether cables to dirty electricity plugs, he measured exposure in each room.
What I learned from my journey with radiation sensitivity
One thing we learned was that my bed was up against a wall. That wall just happened to have cable with plastic rather than metal wiring. As a result, I was having reactions at night, meaning my symptoms were increasing. He instructed me to flip off the electrical outlets in a room before I went to sleep. This of course was a total drag and took wear and tear on the fuses. So, he ordered me a “kill switch” on a timer. I set the same time every night and time it to my circadian rhythms.
The power in my bedroom goes off and I get a much better night’s sleep. While my room did not allow for the bed to be repositioned, I did move it away from the wall. Still, it required turning off the electricity to make a difference.
All told it’s best to assure your bed is not sharing a wall with any electrical devices. This includes refrigerators, heaters, and entertainment centers.
What WE CAN DO to reduce EMF pollution in the home and the body?
Simple steps lessen EMF pollution in the home and on our bodies
Mitigating EMF exposure 100% is unrealistic for almost the entire population. Lessening EMF pollution as best we can is the goal.
The following are some easy ways for you to accomplish the lessening of EMF pollution in the home and on your body. If you want to go for a more aggressive approach. You can address everything from electric or magnetic fields to dirty electricity. For this, I suggest enlisting an expert in your area. This is especially applicable for new builds or when house shopping. They can truly offer lifesaving information.
Consider a consult with Oram Miller or Mary Cordaro. Both can direct you to truly reliable EMF products and experts if you do not live in Los Angeles, CA.
Easy Tips to reduce EMF pollution in your home and on your body.
1) When using your phone, consider placing it at arm’s length to lessen EMF exposure
If you spend time in one place, consider a prop-up stand. I am a fan of the donut, but there are many different styles online.
2) When not using your phone, keep it away from your body
Always keep your phone at least 6 inches from your body. (A hand’s length away is a good measure.) even when speaking. For this reason, speaker mode is best. If you must carry your cell phone on your person, make sure that the keypad is positioned towards your body and the back is positioned towards the outside. This way, the transmitted electromagnetic field moves away from you rather than through you.
Correlative studies connect a rise in breast cancer with women who run with their iPhones in their jogging bras.
Keeping Cell Phone in Bra
“Researchers revealed the results of a recent survey are they are astounding. As many as 40 percent of females in college environments place their cell phones in their bra. Likewise, as many as 3% indicate they carry their cell phone in their bras for more than 10 hours per day. Many surgeons agree that women should stop storing cell phones next to their breasts because this practice could cause cancer. With cell phone technology still being relatively new, the truth of the matter is that evidence from long-term studies is not available and won’t be for many years.” — wisespecialists.com
Subsequently, many consider the Apple watch to be a better alternative to carrying a phone, especially when exercising. However, please be aware of the fact that these devices also emit EMFs and are directly on the body. Because of this, I do not recommend them.
If you walk a lot or need to have it on your person, consider getting a Faraday bag. I use this one from Mission Darkness. It’s true that when the phone is placed inside the bag and sealed, it will block WiFi (2.4 & 5GHz). It also blocks Bluetooth, cell signals including 5G networks, GPS, RFID, and radio signals from low MHz to 40GHz.
However, sometimes when I walk, I don’t want full blocking of the signal. I may even want to listen to a podcast. In these times, I place it in the Faraday bag, leave it open, and hold the bag by the corner. This is far better than holding it in my hand.
Another cool fact about the Faraday bag is that it prevents device hacking, tracking, spying, and chain of custody corruption.
Reduce EMF pollution in your home and on your body with these simple hacks.
3) Turn off Your iPhone and other wireless devices whenever possible, especially at night
Oftentimes, clients have an issue with this because they have kids outside the house and they may need to be reached or they are on call for work. If this is your situation, I encourage you to get a landline. Understandably, this is becoming a more difficult thing to do. Another option then would be to put your phone on high volume. That way you can keep it charging in another room or as far from you as feasible and still hear if someone calls.
4) Turn off your computer wireless router each night
Again, I get backlash from clients on this one. Often it is for one of two reasons. These are that the router is in an inconvenient place to one’s bed, or because others in the home use it later in the night. If this is the case for you, consider getting a timer. Then establish when is an agreeable hour for all inhabitants to cut off the wifi. This is a popular method in many homes in Europe and a healthy EMF hygiene practice. I think more than anything, it just requires a shift in attitude.
If this is not a good solution for you, investigate getting a router cage. There are many shapes and models on the market. This simple square box is what I use in my home. It reduces EMF output by about 40-50%.
If you want stronger protection, they now make Faraday router pouches. What’s more, there is now an extra-strength version that is new on the market and reduces EMF pollution by 90% (the tighter the weave the stronger the blockage.) That said, bear in mind, this means rooms outside the vicinity of the router will most likely not get any signal. While this is the ideal solution for routers that sit near where children play or for adults who spend a good amount of time near the router such as in an office or bedroom if someone needs service in an adjacent room, this may cause a problem.
5) Make sure the router is placed as far from your body as possible
In your home or office, it should be at least 6-10 feet, including your desk, or anywhere else in the home or office that you or your family spends time. For best protection, eliminate wireless and, instead, hardwire your computer connection with an ethernet cable.*
6) Avoid using cordless phones or baby monitors that are labeled as “DECT” or “Gigahertz”
Did you know that many items put out a signal similar to cell phones? It’s true. But, perhaps the most assaulting are smart appliances in a nursery or near where the baby is sleeping. Cordless phones, baby monitors, and smart lamps emit EMFs 24/7, even when they are turned off. Ideally, these should be avoided altogether. While cordless phones are fairly obsolete, some people keep them around thinking they are safer than iPhones. Sadly, this is not the case, especially with the slaves. If you must talk on a cordless phone, try a 900-megahertz model and limit your conversations.
7) Do not charge your phone near your sleeping area
When your phone is on or charging, keep it at least 20 feet from the bed area. But bear in mind, this is not sufficient to protect you from sleep interference from EMF exposure. And lest you think turning it off does the trick, unfortunately, you are wrong. Please note, a turned-off iPhone still emits EMFs. Rather, the preferable location would be in a different room altogether.
8) If not turned off, always keep iPhone on Airplane mode when not in use.
There is a discrepancy about whether the airplane mode still does anything to change the EMF exposure from the phone. Experts continue to say this is the case. I plan to test it with my EMF meter and will post a video doing so here. Should it prove effective, remember that you can still use the timer, clock, and alarm when in airplane mode. Of course, you could consider purchasing a battery-powered alarm clock like this inexpensive vintage clock from Amazon.
8) Never keep your iPhone, portable phone, iPad, computer, or other electrical devices on your body
Remember the 20 feet pollution rule. But again, if you must, know that there are Faraday bags for your laptops and tablets too. You can even get Faraday knapsacks and travel bags for all of your devices when you travel or for school and work. While we are at it, Avoid using your cell phone in places like a bus, where you can passively expose others to your phone’s electromagnetic fields….again, that 20 feet pollution thing…
And did you know that getting rid of unnecessary apps will cut down on radiation? With fewer programs looking for updates, or connection, you avoid the heightened amperage of “search and dodge” which is an increased EMF surge in your device’s attempt to connect to service.
9) Use an ethernet cable at home
By deactivating your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Data and using Ethernet cables to get online with your phone, tablet, and other wireless devices, you will significantly decrease EMF exposure. You can buy ethernet cables up to 100 feet long or have your home professionally wired with their Ethernet ports in every room.
Sometimes, your equipment may require an ethernet
10) Opt for an analog meter over a smart meter
While smart meters in themselves are not necessarily an issue, this depends very much on placement and proximity to your living area. I suggest to my clients, that it’s best to avoid it since the potential for smart meters to be a health hazard can be significant. Smart meters can increase EMF exposure at levels to that of several hundreds of cell phones. Combine this with other wireless devices in the home and now that bucket of water analogy comes into place. A Wi-Fi router may be necessary in your home, but a smart meter is not. An analog is an easy substitute even if your Department of Water and Power charges you to have it removed and for monthly analog use. I believe it can be worth it should it contribute to overall EMF levels in your home.
11) Lessening EMF pollution in your car
Using your phone in enclosed spaces, and this goes for public transport, as well as elevators or small indoor spaces condenses EMF pollution in your body.
Avoid using your cell phone when the signal is weak or when moving at high speed, such as in a car or train. When cellular reception is bad, your phone emanates ten to a thousand times more radiation to reach the nearest cell tower. This automatically increases power to a maximum as the phone repeatedly attempts to connect to a new relay antenna.
*Turning your phone on airplane mode when in the car is especially helpful in reducing EMF pollution for your body. This is because, as you drive, you pass through many cell areas, and your phone acts as a magnet to these frequencies.
If you don’t want to put it on airplane mode, ACTIVATE your Bluetooth
**Bluetooth systems for cars —NOT the Bluetooth that goes on one’s head is preferred if you are using your phone in your car because it is hands-free, on a system factory installed or aftermarket, that puts an antenna on the outside of the car. This means the signal comes into THAT antenna, and not the one on the phone.
12) Keep it short.
Refrain from long calls on cell phones (and portables when applicable). Consider a landline with a cord for in-depth talks or at least keep the phone on speaker and at hand length from your body. Better yet, text or email.
12) Purchase a special cell phone headset
It should be outfitted with a “ferrite snap-on bead” and be a wired head seat with a blue plastic tube on it. You use a ferrite filter or the beads that attach to the wire that plugs into mobile phones. This helps with the highest intensity traveling to your head. The blue tube cuts down on the number of EMFs that go to your head and is the only type of headset configuration that makes a measurable difference.
14) Get educated
Everyone needs to stay up-to-date on the most recent scientific evidence and studies about wireless technologies. Luckily, experts are working to make this information available to the public at no cost on the Internet.
Below are some great resources containing more information:
How to lessen Non-device EMF pollution in your home.
As mentioned above, EMF pollution in the home is not just relegated to smart technology. There are both low and high fi EMF. Even your non-smart refrigerator gives off low-wifi EMF pollution.
Though often referred to as “ELF”, (extremely low-frequency EMFs) they can still have an impact on the human body. I worked with an EMF expert that tracked a client’s bells’ palsy back decades. This was to his childhood when he slept for years with his bed against a wall that shared a refrigerator.
What to do about ELF appliances?
Take into account where you place your sleeping and seating arrangements. Note what electrical equipment is around them and what’s on the opposite wall if they touch a wall.
A lifestyle-tech and tech wellness interior designer is a great expert to contact for this purpose alone. Someone like Janna can not only help with the aesthetics, but she will also understand these issues and help lessen EMF pollution in your home.
Do antennas contribute to electromagnetic radiation?
Antennas emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the form of radio waves, which are a type of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation only. The specific type of EMF or radio frequency energy emitted by an antenna depends on the frequency of the radio waves being transmitted. For example:
- Radio and TV broadcasting antennas typically emit EMFs in the range of 30 MHz to 1 GHz.
- Cellular and wireless network antennas typically emit EMFs in the range of 800 MHz to 2.5 GHz.
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas typically emit EMFs in the range of 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz.
When you seek to reduce EMF pollution in your home and on your body, keep in mind that outside influences can also play a role. It’s important to note that the strength of the EMFs emitted by an antenna decreases rapidly as you move away from it. So, while you might be exposed to higher levels of EMFs if you’re standing right next to an antenna, the levels quickly drop off as you move away. Additionally, regulatory agencies around the world set limits on the levels of EMFs that are considered safe for human exposure.
13) Locate the closest antennas and cell towers to your home
Not everyone has the flexibility to choose where he or she lives in proximity to cell phone antennas. But, again, it never hurts to be aware. This website can tell you the locations of antennas in your area. Likewise, You can do the same for cell towers here.
New antennas go up all the time, so while the site is updated periodically, it might not have every single antenna in your town. However, it will give you a rough idea of proximity. The rule of thumb is that a cell antenna that’s at least 1/3 mile from your building will usually not be emitting high levels into your space.
14) Test your home
Hire an expert to do an in-depth EMF evaluation of your home and learn how to reduce EMF exposure. Laurie recommends Mary Cordaro (marycordaro.com) or Oram Miller. A professional can determine the levels of radiation from EMFs, where they are coming from, and how to make the corrections. This is especially important if you have small children, suspect you may be EMF sensitive, or have other health concerns. Any steps you can take to reduce EMF pollution from the home and on your body are positive. Consider this when tricking out the playroom or nursery. Yes, shiny smart gadgets are enticing. That said, choose them judiciously because each one will contribute to the EMF equation for yourself and your loved ones.
15) Inspect before you buy
Before you buy or rent a new home consider scheduling a comprehensive environmental inspection. Some highly skilled, environmental health inspectors, including those called building biologists, test not only for EMFs. They can also check for mold, chemicals, and other contaminants as well as heating and AC systems. This way you can avoid purchasing a home with a problem that’s expensive, disruptive, or not feasible to fix. This might involve outdoor power lines or a serious chemical or mold problem.
Of course, there is a great deal of training and expensive equipment that come with the expert. As well, an expert brings scientific knowledge to the table. This person will have years of study on what frequencies mean. An expert understands what radiofrequency radiation and placement say about your exposure risks. Alternately, while you cannot easily test and detect all radio frequency EMFs with meters, they can help. Laurie personally uses this one from Safe Living Technologies.
When to use a meter?
There are many products on the market today geared to help you reduce EMF pollution in your home and on your body. Over time we will be evaluating many of them.
Meters come in handy should you want to better understand and manage your exposure to electromagnetic fields. I use a meter when checking an Airbnb or long-term rental, or sometimes even when entering a hotel room.
**According to Dr. Lee Merritt, the higher the hotel room, the fewer EMFs. She also recommends these products from emfsol. Well, will discuss this in another article.
*One thing you can do for yourself is to purchase a Gauss Meter Triaxle. This digital Gauss meter for 60 hertz runs along pipes to see if you have EMFs on your cold water line. Fixing this, however, requires an expert.