Below are the 4 most common types of EMFs that we test for during each inspection. Each type is unique and requires it’s own specific EMF testing equipment and process.
Radio Frequency

Radio Frequency

In addition to cooking our food (microwave ovens)…microwaves are most commonly used for ‘wireless communication’ between devices.

Common Sources Include

Cell phone towers/masts, smart meters, bluetooth devices, baby monitors, smart phones, and tablets.

What Can be Done?

External sources (such as cell towers or radiation from neighbours) can be shielded with various products such as shielding fabrics, paints and window films. Internal sources (such as WiFi, and cordless phones) can often be eliminated by switching to wired or low-radiation alternatives, or by turning off devices when not in use.

Possible Health Risks

Radio Frequencies in this ‘microwave’ range were classified as a “Type 2B (possible) Carcinogen” by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2011.  Other Type 2B carcinogens include lead, styrene and the pesticide DDT.

AC Electric Fields

AC Electric Fields

Electric fields are ‘airborne’ electricity which almost always emanate from electrical wiring as well as all electrical devices. These electrical devices do not need to be turned ON in order for an electric field to exist.

Common Sources Include

Electronics, lamps, light fixtures, appliances, electrical wiring in walls, floor and ceilings.

What Can be Done?

Unplug electrical devices which are infrequently used and ensure that mounted light fixtures are properly grounded. Special care can be taken in bedrooms to identify and greatly reduce or eliminate electrical fields from sleeping areas. Learn more about creating a Sleeping Sanctuary.

Possible Health Risks

A study by the British scientist, Dr. Roger Coghill in 1996 showed that relatively weak AC electric fields, as they can often be found in sleeping areas are a contributing factor to headaches, fatigue, depression and sudden infant death.

AC Magnetic Fields

AC Magnetic Fields

Magnetic fields exist any time there is a ‘flow’ of electricity. Typically, the more electricity that is ‘flowing’, the stronger the associated magnetic field. Household wiring issues, or damaged wiring can also create fields and hot spots inside the home.

Common Sources Include

Home wiring issues, overhead/neighbourhood power lines and transformers, your home’s electrical panel and meter, electric motors, AC/DC adaptors, stray voltage on plumbing.

What Can be Done?

Fields can be reduced/eliminated by correcting wiring issues, or removing offending devices. If a source cannot be eliminated, then creating distance between the occupants and the source will help.

Possible Health Risks

In 2002, Extremely low frequency magnetic fields were classified by IARC as Group 2B, possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on the association with childhood leukaemia.

Dirty Electricity

Dirty Electricity

Dirty electricity is created by many of the energy saving lights and devices that exist in homes today. These devices ‘chop up’ the normal flow of electricity in order to save it. This can create much higher (airborne) electrical ‘frequencies’ on the home’s electrical wiring which can affect large spaces.

Common Sources Include

Energy efficient lighting (CFLs etc), dimmer switches, energy saving appliances/electronics, and variable speed motors.

What Can be Done?

Replace offending lighting/light bulbs. Opt for ‘non-dimming’ light switches, or approved models which do not create dirty electricity. Shut off offending devices when not in use. Any remaining dirty energy can be reduced with the use of special filters.

Possible Health Risks

In 2007 the World Health Organization stated: “high levels of exposure to electric and magnetic fields in the frequency up to 100 kilohertz can affect the nervous systems, resulting in acute health effects, including nerve stimulation.”

Expert Quotes

“Very recently, new research is suggesting that nearly all the human plagues which emerged in the twentieth century, like common acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children, female breast cancer, malignant melanoma and asthma, can be tied to some facet of our use of electricity.  There is an urgent need for governments and individuals to take steps to minimize community and personal EMF exposures.”

– Samuel Milham MD, MPH

Author of Dirty Electricity

“I have never seen a set of epidemiological studies that have approached the weight of evidence that we’re seeing with this.  Clearly there is something here.”

– Martin Halper

EPA Director of Analysis and Support

“Cells in the body react to EMFs as potentially harmful, just like to other environmental toxins, including heavy metals and toxic chemicals.  The DNA in living cells recognizes electromagnetic fields at very low levels of exposure; and produces a biochemical stress response.  The scientific evidence tells us that our safety standards are inadequate, and that we must protect ourselves from exposure to EMF due to power lines, cell phones and the like, or risk the known consequences. The science is very strong and we should sit up and pay attention.”

– Martin Blank, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University

“Sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation is the emerging health problem of the 21st century.  It is imperative health practitioners, governments, schools and parents learn more about it. The human health stakes are significant.”

– William Rea, MD

Founder & Director of the Environmental Health Centre, Dallas. Past President, American Academy of Environmental Medicine

“It is evident that various biological alterations, including immune system modulation, are present in electrohypersensitive persons. There must be an end to the pervasive nonchalance, indifference and lack of heartfelt respect for the plight of these persons. It is clear something serious has happened and is happening. Every aspect of electrohypersensitive peoples’ lives, including the ability to work productively in society, have healthy relations and find safe, permanent housing, is at stake. The basics of life are becoming increasingly inaccessible to a growing percentage of the world’s population. I strongly advise all governments to take the issue of electromagnetic health hazards seriously and to take action while there is still time. There is too great a risk that the ever increasing RF-based communications technologies represent a real danger to humans, especially because of their exponential, ongoing and unchecked growth. Governments should act decisively to protect public health by changing the exposure standards to be biologically-based, communicating the results of the independent science on this topic and aggressively researching links with a multitude of associated medical conditions.”

– Olle Johansson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

    May 31, 2011
    The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency (RF) / electromagnetic fields (EMFs) as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).
    The official classification of Group 2B puts wireless radiation in the same category as other substances already classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”… substances such as lead, styrene and the pesticide DDT.

Additional Resources

Reading

Disconnect by Devra Davis
The Electronic Silent Spring by Katie Singer
Dirty Electricity by Samuel Milham

Videos

Full Signal Movie: For rent on YouTube for $2.99