EMF Sources in the Home
Though you can be exposed to EMF anywhere, your home might be a major source of EMF levels. With all of the gadgets and devices that can be plugged in at home throughout the day, you might have EMF hot spots that you are not even aware of. The good news is that you can control your exposure to EMF levels inside your home by simply moving some things around or unplugging some appliances when not in use.
Televisions and Computers
Do you sit in front of a computer all day at work? Then do you come home and relax by watching a few hours of TV? You could unknowingly be exposing yourself to very low levels of radiation with every hour you spend in front of a computer or television.
Some television and computer monitors use a cathode ray tube, which can create low levels of X-rays. Keep in mind that X-rays contain ionizing radiation, the kind that can cause health problems. Flat screen televisions and computer monitors that have a plasma display or Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) do not use cathode ray tubes, which means that they do not produce X-rays. As electronic devices, all computers and televisions, not just ones with a tube display, will radiate EMFs, as well.
There have been no medical links between TV or computer monitor X-ray emissions and health problems. The FDA limits the amount of radiation that can be emitted from a TV to 0.5 milliroentgen (mR) per hour. Even so, you might still want to limit your radiation exposure that comes from a television or computer using a cathode ray tube.
As with all radiation sources, the farther you are from the device creating the radiation, the less exposure you will have. If you have a TV or computer that uses a cathode ray tube, sit as far away as possible (at least two to three feet) to reduce your exposure. Limit your time spent on the computer or watching TV. When it comes time to purchase a new television or computer monitor, choose an LCD or plasma screen.
Other electronic devices in your home can emit EMFs and radiation. When these devices are turned off or unplugged, they cannot emit radiation. While all electronic devices will have an EMF field, some devices are more worrisome than others.
Electric blankets can emit a magnetic field that lies right on top of your body. Do not sleep with an electric blanket plugged in. If you want to warm your bed before sleeping, turn on the electric blanket before getting into bed, and make sure to turn it off and unplug it before sleeping. Water bed heaters will also emit EMFs.
Electric clocks have a surprisingly high EMF exposure, considering how small they are. Unfortunately, most people have an electric clock right on their bedside table, close to their head while sleeping. Position electric clocks so they are at least six feet from you, especially when you are lying in bed. Even better, choose battery-operated or windup clocks to reduce your EMF exposure.
Hair dryers are another common electronic device with a surprisingly high EMF exposure. Since hair dryers are aimed directly at the head, there is concern about increased EMF exposure. Low-EMF hair dryers are available. You can also let your hair completely air-dry when possible, or allow your hair to dry as long as possible before styling with a hair dryer.
Electrical Sources and Wiring
Appliances and other items that run off of electricity are not the only sources of EMF exposure in your home. The places where electricity comes into your home can be a high source of EMF exposure, too. If you know where EMFs are elevated in your home, you can avoid them or fix them.
Certain parts of your home might have higher-than-average EMF levels that you cannot easily change. For instance, the spot where your electricity meter is connected to your home, especially if it is an old, rotating disc meter, could have higher-than-average EMF levels. Other electricity connections, such as the main distribution panels, fuse boxes, backup power supplies, and places with major wiring, might also register high levels of EMFs.
Knowing where these areas are in your home allows you to arrange your daily routine so that you do not stay in a high-EMF area of your home for too long. For instance, you do not want to put a bed where you sleep for eight to nine hours a night against a wall with a high EMF reading if you can move the bed to another location. If your fuse box is located in a bedroom of the house, you might not want to make that room a nursery for a newborn child.
Since EMFs are not blocked by walls, it does not matter if an electrical source with a high EMF reading is physically located within a room or not. Your family can still be exposed to the EMFs because the waves will travel to adjacent areas. However, the EMFs will diminish in strength the farther away that you get.
If the wiring in your home is faulty in any way, it can also cause an increased EMF exposure to you and your family. Electrical wires that have been installed properly should not have elevated EMF levels. However, if the wiring was not installed properly, or if a problem has started with your home's wiring, EMF levels can start rising unnecessarily. The only way to know for sure whether faulty wiring is causing high EMF levels is to test your home with a gaussmeter.