Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)

Is it a serious health risk?

Electricity is all around us. We have cell phones, microwaves, computers, and entertainment centers. Our homes are wired from one end to the other for sound, light, security, and communication. Some individuals may be especially sensitive to electromagnetic fields. The levels that can be regarded as safe are unknown and there is controversy surrounding this topic. However, where your home, family, and health are concerned being aware can be useful in making decisions about wiring your home and purchasing products that use electricity.

In simplest terms, all electrical current has both a magnetic and an electric field, which together comprises an electromagnetic field or EMF. A magnetic field exists only when the electricity is on and flowing to appliances, equipment, or lighting. Electric fields, by contrast, are always present because of the wiring throughout your home. Though you can't see it or feel it, EMFs may affect you to some degree nevertheless.

There have been a number of studies of EMF which have not produced conclusive results, though there is a broad consensus that there may be cause for concern. The Swedes have set a maximum limit of 1 mG (milligauss), which currently serves as the international baseline for exposure. Many health and environmental science professionals, including the US Environmental Protection Agency (which in 1990 labeled EMFs a Class B carcinogen) advise "prudent avoidance."

To control or reduce exposure to EMFs, use a gaussmeter to measure magnetic fields in and around your home. These devices are available in a range of prices and quality levels, but the most accurate is a frequency weighted, triple-axis type that measures all three axes to arrive at a combined field strength.

Avoid unnecessary electromagnetic fields

Because we are so surrounded by electrical devices of one sort or another, we probably can't entirely eliminate them from our lives. The following guidelines may help you reduce the amount of exposure to EMFs:

Ongoing research

As noted, there is no conclusive evidence that EMFs cause significant health risks. Research appears to be at a low ebb in the US and results are sketchy. Nevertheless, some individuals appear to be hypersensitive and would be wise to take as many precautions as possible and practical.


A professional, licensed electrician can help reduce and control the effect of EMFs in your home. Find a qualified electrical contractor at UpdateRenovate .

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