12 steps to reduce exposure to EMFs

child using mobile phone exposed to EMFsThe other day I talked about electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and whether or not they were cause for concern.

Some experts believe EMFs have a hugely detrimental effect on our health, yet numerous studies have produced contradictory results.

If you’re concerned, here are 12 tips for ‘prudent avoidance’

Prudent avoidance

If you wish to follow the EPAs advice and practise ‘prudent avoidance’ there are plenty of things you can do without throwing out electrical appliances, relocating or rebuilding your home. Here is a 12 point checklist to help minimise your exposure to EMFs:

Gauss meter

-) Measure EMFs inside and outside your home with a Gauss meter. A Gauss is a common unit of measurement of magnetic field strength. Gauss meters may vary in the strength of the magnetic field they are capable of measuring. Measure the EMFs from appliances when they are operating AND when they are off with a meter which is able to measure as low as .1 mg. (Available to hire from powerwatch.org.uk).

There’s a heated debate as to what electromagnetic field (EMF) level is considered safe. Many government and utility documents report the usual ambient level of 60-Hz magnetic field to be 0.5 mG. Thus, any reading higher than 0.5 mG is above the “usual” ambient exposure. Many experts and public officials, as well as the few governments that have made an effort to offer public protection, have adopted the 3 mG cutoff point. The EPA has proposed a safety standard of 1 mG. Sweden has set a maximum safety limit of 1 mG. Russian researchers claim that 1/1000ths of a mG should be the standard. It’s up to you to decide.


-) Don’t let your children play near power lines, pylons, transformers, radar domes, mobile phone masts or microwave towers. The amount of EMFs coming from a power line depends on its particular configuration. Power companies know which power line configurations are best for reducing EMFs but most don’t feel the evidence supports costly changes in the way they deliver electricity.

Electric blankets

-) Don’t sleep under an electric blanket without turning it off and UNPLUGGING it. There is no magnetic field when turned off but there may still be a high electric field. Electric blankets create a magnetic field that penetrates about 6-7 inches into the body. Thus it is not surprising that an epidemiological study has linked electric blankets with miscarriages and childhood leukemia.

Clock radios

-) Move electrical appliances (clock radios, baby monitors, cordless phones etc.) at least 6 feet from your bed and eliminate wires under your bed. Electric clocks have a very high magnetic field, as much as 5 to 10 mG up to three feet away.


-) Sit at least 6 feet away from your TV.


-) Check EMFs from your computer monitor and sit at least an arms length away. CRTs are the worst offenders. Better choices are flat screens or notebook computers. EMFs radiate from all sides of the computer. Thus, you must not only be concerned with sitting in front of the monitor but also if you are sitting near a computer or if a computer is operating in a nearby room.

The Swedish safety standard, effective 7/11/90, specifies a maximum of 0.25 mG at 50 cm from the display. Many US manufactured computers have EMFs of 5 – 100 mG at this distance. There is controversy too, over whether or not the screens placed over monitors block EMFs. Some critics claim that not even a lead screen will block ELF and VLF magnetic fields.


-) Where possible, place electrical appliances against outside walls. This prevents creating an EMF field in adjoining rooms from sides and backs of appliances.


-) Mobile phones and Bluetooth earpieces are a source of EMFs that come into close contact with the most vital part of the human body; the brain. Use only when urgent.

Microwave ovens

-) Don’t stand close to your microwave oven when in use. They use a magnetron, which produces a very strong, high frequency electromagnetic field.


-) Metal items on the body can act as antennas for radio waves. If you suffer ill health with no apparent cause, don’t wear jewellery and ensure glasses frames are plastic with no wires to see if it makes a difference.


-) If you can see pylons, electrical transformers, microwave towers, mobile phone masts or radar domes within immediate sight of your home, it is even more important to reduce contact to EMF sources *within* your home to lessen overall exposure.

Stand clear!

-) The most effective and least costly way to minimise risk to you and your family is to avoid coming closer than necessary to electrical appliances or wiring and to turn off electrical appliances when not in use.

Remember, just because you can’t see it or feel it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there! What do you think – are EMFs cause for concern?