3 Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to EMFs at Home
While it is not perfectly clear that exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can negatively affect health, the findings of preliminary research indicate that EMFs may potentially be harmful. So, it may be wise to do what you can to protect yourself by minimizing your exposure at home.
If you want a comprehensive picture of what the various types of EMFs are, what kind of research has been done, how much money has been invested and by whom, typical home exposure, occupational exposure, what kinds of conclusions have been drawn and why, I recommend the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences June 2002 document, Electric and Magnetic Fields Associated with Electric Power: Questions and Answers.
It’s a highly readable and very informative review of a topic that has been a matter of public concern since the 1970s when some research suggested an association between EMF radiation from power lines and childhood leukemia. After many years of study, a weak association has been found between childhood leukemia and power EMFs. But no other weak or strong health links have been established. However, due to the continued and increasing exposure everyone has to these frequencies, any possibly health hazard from EMFs will continue to be a topic of study worldwide.
There has been an effort by industry to lower EMF exposure by certain adjustments in products and industry practices. (For instance, if you have a flat screen computer monitor, your EMF exposure is much less than if you are still using the old variety which used cathode ray tubes which create magnetic fields, to display the pictures on the screen.)
While there is not enough evidence today suggesting that power lines should be buried underground, there is agreement that power lines should continue to be situated at a safe distance from places where people live – not so much because of existing evidence, they say, but because there is uncertainty about what future research may tell us.
Still, the report gives some EMF safety suggestions like these for actions you can take to protect yourself from undue exposure to EMFs:
1. Make sure the wiring in your home is up to date and correctly installed. Faulty wiring can expose you to higher EMFs. And correcting wiring problems is important for other safety reasons!
2. Keep answering machines and electric clocks (as well as your cell phone, if it is turned on) away from the head of your bed at night.
3. Don’t sit too close to your television or to an electrical panel in your home. Putting arms length distance between yourself and appliances can dramatically reduce your exposure to EMFs.