EMFs in the Home – How Much Do You Get Daily?

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How Much EMF Exposure Do You Get Every Day?

If you’re like most people who live in the developed world, you probably have your cell phone next to you all day long. Maybe you spend hours sitting in front of a computer, then take a break just to sit in front of the TV. Then you walk into the kitchen and microwave yourself a cup of coffee.

We are all surrounded by EMF radiation all day every day.

But how much EMF exposure do we get every day? And what’s the truth about how safe or harmful it is?

What is EMF Radiation?

EMF stands for electromagnetic field. An EMF is when you have an electrical field perpendicular to a magnetic field, and they travel together as one waveform.

- em wave - EMFs in the Home – How Much Do You Get Daily? EMF waves

Electricity creates EMFs. Radio waves, microwaves, Wi-Fi signals, visible light, UV light, and infrared are all forms of EMF.

EMFs are grouped into ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

Non-ionizing EMFs have low-frequency wavelengths. They include radiation from cell phones, microwaves, visible light, computers, Bluetooth devices, and MRIs.

Ionizing EMFs have higher-frequency wavelengths. Sources include X-Rays, Gamma Rays, and UV light.

The frequency is measured in Hertz, which is defined as one cycle per second. Magnetic fields are measured in Gauss.

Studies show frequencies as low as 10 Hz can damage cells, and magnetic fields exposure above two milliGaus (mG) begins to harm human organs.

How Much EMF is Emitted by Household Devices?

Each device varies according to different manufacturers, but here’s a list to give you some idea of the amount of EMF given off by various devices that you might use every day.

  • Cell Phones: 900-1900 MHz (megahertz, or 9 x 108 – 19 x 108 Hz). EMF radiation from cell phones and cell phone chargers extend about 2 feet.
  • Computer Monitors and TV Screens: The flat-screen computer monitors manufactured after 2010 emit very little EMF. The same goes with the flat-screen TVs. If you sit at least 12 inches away from the screen, you will receive almost no EMF radiation. The general rule is to take the diagonal size of the screen and halve it to get the safe viewing distance. So if you have a 40” screen, you should sit 20” away from it. I can’t give you an average frequency range because there are just too many variations. You’ll have to test yours.
  • Computer: The main sources of EMF from your computer include the power supply and the disk drive, but these dissipate in about 18 inches. So as long you sit at least 18 inches away from it, you should receive almost no EMF radiation.
  • Microwaves: The inside of the microwave emits about 2.45 Billion hertz. 10 Hz can damage cells and tissues, so it’s imperative that your microwave not have any leaks in the seals around the door. Some people claim that all microwaves leak radiation, even when they’re brand new. In addition to microwaves, the electrical transformer also emits a 60-Hz EMF. Don’t stand next to your microwave when it’s running. According to EMWatch, the field strength at 3 feet is over fifty times smaller than at 2″ away. For safety, you should keep a distance of at least 5 feet when it’s running.

You can easily test how much EMF radiation is emitted from the devices in your home with your own EMF meter.

When you choose an EMF meter, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Some of them only measure waves in one direction, meaning you have to have the meter aimed in the direction of the wave to get an accurate measurement.  But some are tri-directional. They pick up the wavelengths no matter what orientation you’re standing in.

Also, you want to make sure that it is capable of detecting a range of frequencies from at least 100 MHz to around 4 GHz.

A relatively inexpensive one is this TriField Meter at Amazon:

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This one is tri-directional. It measures both electric and magnetic fields, as well as microwaves. It has a range of 40 Hz – 100 KHz frequency range and Microwave 50 MHz – 3000 MHz (3 GHz).

But if you want a better one, you could spend a bit more and get one like this digital meter that has a frequency range of 200 MHz up to 8 GHz. It even has sounds that go with it:

- digital emf meter - EMFs in the Home – How Much Do You Get Daily? Digital EMF Meter
This one costs more but has better features and is easier to read. It would be a good idea to get a group of friends and family together and decide to split the cost. That way, everybody gets to use it, and you don’t have to spend so much money by yourself.

Or if you’re the entrepreneur type, you could get it then charge people to come into their homes and take measurements of their EMF levels.


So, Are EMFs Harmless?

Not really.  There are those whose interests lie with sellers and manufacturers of the EMF-emitting devices, so they work hard to publish reports that say, “They’re completely safe!”

So, when you’re looking at studies, you have to delve deep to see who funded the study and determine if they have any commercial connections to various industries.

It’s a known fact that EMF radiation can alter DNA and other cellular components, and this can lead to a number of different kinds of cancer or other cellular damage.

However, it’s dosage-dependent.  So, if you’re only exposed to a small number of low-frequency EMFs, it might take years for damage to occur and show up, if it ever does. The more exposure, the more risk for cellular damage. And it depends on the person, too. Some people are more susceptible to the damage while others have very strong immune systems that protect them.

The best thing you can do is be aware of what’s happening in your environment.  Get yourself an EMF meter and take measurements.  Find out how much EMF is being emitted in your kitchen, your living room, your bedroom, and your office by all your devices.  Find the safest distance from each one, and then make it a practice to stay far enough away to be in the “safe zone”. Knowledge can keep you safe.

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Michele Swensen is a writer and web designer who loves learning, animals, writing, reading, and playing the piano. She’s a member of Mensa and a college graduate.
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