EMF exposure is a hot topic these days. How to easily reduce that exposure in a society filled with an ever increasing number of ever more powerful electronic devices…that’s another matter entirely. Alexa, Siri, how many rays are bombarding my body right now? How many humans are sensitive to their smart phones, microwave ovens, or Gen5 routers?
That paragraph would have made no sense to anyone a few decades ago. Now, sadly, they’re but the tip of a whole glacier’s worth of icebergs. I’d read some, here and there, on the subject, but had taken no action until one day–when reviewing page view statistics for this site–I noticed a backlink from a most interesting website:
Before long, I was ready to purchase a meter that could tell me just how badly I was torturing my body with these EMF hits. Okay, so I wound up buying from Amazon, not LessEMF.com, but at least I was getting my feet wet. Taking action. Moving forward.
It’s not like I really had a choice. My current residence in small town Deer Lodge, Montana, was one thing. The big kahuna? That’s the land I purchased near an even smaller town (Ovando, Montana, still in Powell County). I intend to build my dream houe there someday. Problem is, the property has a conservation easement on it which limits my homesite choices and there’s a run of those gigantic mega-power lines running through the area as well. The best I’ll be able to do is site the house perhaps 300 yards east of those beasts. Is it even going to be safe, EMF-wise? Nervous minds want to know.
But first, the Deer Lodge house. I settled on a Trifield meter, which measures electrical, magnetic, or RF fields from three different angles. Some of the cheaper units only measure from one plane, resulting in less reliable readings. My choice cost $168 and, at least as far as I could gather from product description and Amazon reviews, provides plenty of bang for the buck.
The meter came in today. It was nicely packed, foam padded in a sturdy box. Nine volt battery included.
Below the battery compartment cover in the back, there are two buttons available for special features: Backlighting and sound. Since I needed neither one and preferred to conserve battery juice, I did not activate either one.
In all honesty, part of my reason for choosing this particular meter was its presentation. Its appearance. I wouldn’t have gone for it if the overall Amazon reviews hadn’t been right up there and the pricing reasonable, but in the end, it just felt right.
The meter has settings for measuring either “standard” or “weighted” magnetic or electric fields. Although the “weighted” setting is designed to measure just how human bodies will respond, whereas the “standard” setting is just that, I didn’t find diddly-squat in difference between the two settings–except that the readings tended to jump around a bit more on the standard setting, but so what? So, for the sake of simplicity, this report will discuss only “standard” readings.
First and foremost, I needed to take a meter reading at the position where I spend the most time in close proximity to the most devices: In my desk chair in front of the computer.
Supposedly safe readings, according to at least some sources, set the limit at a reading of 1 (one). Others disagree, saying the currently accepted numbers are way too high. They probably are. But for this initial exploration, let’s go with that Number One. Was I at least sort of safe while working online, day after day, night after night, with my flip phone (not a smart phone, thankfully) in a holster at my hip? Let’s find out.
Oops. The reading came out at 2+ (two and change), more than twice the safe EMF level.
Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture of that screen reading. Nor did I record the up-close readings of the Windows 7 CPU (0.2), 17 inch monitor (0.3), does-only-one-thing printer (0.1), or not-in-use flip phone (0.1, sometimes 0.2). That changed in a hurry when I started checking out the Gen5 router. At a range of twelve inches (one foot), half of the two-foot distance from my body that had been my situation for years, the reading leaped to a whopping 46.6.
Whooee! That thar router be one EMF-ing device!
The Trifield meter also displays the peak EMF output in the upper left corner of the screen–66.0 in this case.
Hey, we’re having some fun now. Wonder just how nasty that Gen5 router is at the source? Easy way to find out. With the meter backed up right to the router/modem case, hey, take a look for yourself.
96.7 EMF ongoing with a peak of ———, indicating the peak pulse had exceeded the meter’s capacity to measure it.
And I’ve been sitting no more than two feet away from this thing for an average of at least four hours per day for the last nine years.
Well, then. I rolled my desk chair back a few feet and took another reading. The improvement was beyond dramatic. The readings dropped by a factor of more than ten, now showing 0.1 base and 0.5 peak. That was when I’d moved about four feet back. Even a two-foot remove was pretty impressive: 0.3 base, 0.6 peak. How encouraging! If I could move that Darth Vader router even a couple of feet farther from my precious person, I could dramatically–and with relative ease–reduce the EMF hits my body had been taking for the better part of a decade. A plan began to form. My desk (really a table) desperately needed a thorough cleaning and rearranging anyway.
Two more feet of separation was about as much as I could hope for, though, due to the small office’s configuration and my relative laziness.
Two or three hours later (I wasn’t clock-watching), all of the device-shifting was finished, unnecessary items had been removed, the table surface had been dusted, and my workspace looked less like a hoarder lived here.
Okay, the workspace is ready. But did we get enough EMF reduction at my usual working position to make it worth it? Um…yup! At the keyboard, we now get a base reading of 0.1, a reduction of more than 95%.
Wow. How easy was that? And it didn’t cost a dime. Except for the meter, of course, but that will be of use for many decades to come.
What’s next? The recliner with living room TV on, the couch, my bed, and my flip phone when it’s working (a call in progress). The results? Amazingly, in a good way, nothing above 0.2. Not 2 but 0.2, with almost everything hitting 0.1 as often as not.
Caveat: With the sole exception of the Gen5 router, the electronic devices in this house are all older models. The CPU dates back to 2010. Both TV sets, though flat-screen models, are low-end units. My flip phone is the smallest they make, with the smallest number of features. The printer is the dead opposite of those do-it-all monstrosities; it just prints. So I’ll need to get the meter out again whenever something needs to be replaced.
That leaves only the microwave oven, a Westinghouse model purchased from Walmart some years back. The spindle is wearing out, its bearings grinding when it’s in use, but for now that’s what I’ve got.
It’s also tricky–not to measure as such, but to decide how heavy an RF hit is too much. Simply put, there are an awful lot of RF safety standards out there, quite a few of them disagreeing with each other. After several hours of digging through sometimes obtuse explanations for various standards, I came to the only possible conclusion: The smaller the RF number the better, and leave it at that.
My old Westinghouse turned out to be a regular artillery piece, spewing RF waves (microwaves) out like grapeshot from a cannon. Measured a few inches in front of the oven with the beast turned on, the base RF reading is 13.317 with a peak of ——. Once again, a device has exceeded the capacity of the meter to measure its output. In effect, the supposed shielding that’s designed to keep microwaves inside the oven is simply not doing its job. Standing there watching a mug of water heat is a bit like taking a shower in the working center of a nuclear reactor.
Could I simply step away from the microwave oven? Would that help dramatically, like putting two more feet of separation between human body and Gen5 router helped? I backed up into the living room and took a second reading from a distance of twenty feet. It did help, dropping the base reading to 1.399 with a peak reading of 9.333. Much better, and at least the peak RF hit was measurable, but I still didn’t feel all that good about it. As a result, I’ll be using the microwave oven only rarely from now on. Tea water will be heated in a kettle on the kitchen range, for example.
Another easy fix, and again, not a dime in cost.
Summary: Electronic wave readings in my Deer Lodge home were reassuringly low for the most part. Two extreme exceptions were the Gen5 router/modem and the microwave oven. Router readings dropped dramatically to match other levels when the router was moved another two feet away from my seated working position. The microwave oven was best treated by being abandoned altogether.
Not that many readers will jettison their microwave ovens, let alone smart phones or the self-driving cars of the near future. If there’s a way to be lazier, to abandon responsibility for one’s own welfare, people will go for it and hang the consequences. Said the cynic.
But for those of us who would rather put a little sweat equity into our lives than passively accept destruction, today’s readings provide a spark of light. With awareness comes responsibility, leading to freedom. And there’s a cheerful footnote: I’m not feeling as sleepy-tired as I usually am after a few hours at the keyboard. It might be a placebo effect, but I’m inclined to suspect the lesser EMF bombardment is allowing my natural energy to keep on pumping the way it was designed to do by Mother Nature.