I’ve just returned from training in measuring Electromagnetic frequencies and radio frequencies. Which is a hot topic at the moment, and right on the heels of the “Wi Fried” Catalyst programme recently. Many “industry experts” have tried to discredit research presented in the programme. Its important to understand with all this that the standards for electromagnetic fields in Australia are not health based standards. They are based on acute short-term effects to a 100kg healthy man. This doesn’t consider long-term low-level exposures and certainly doesn’t represent different parts of our population such as infants, sick, elderly etc. Countries including France, Russia, Israel, China among others have standards 100 times lower than Australia. Another concern is our standards don’t account for total exposure to all types of radiation.
Electricity (which creates potentially harmful magnetic fields when appliances are on) and wireless technology (which creates radio frequencies) are an unavoidable part of living in modern built environments. I’m not anti-technology, however with questionable standards in Australia, it’s critical we take as many precautions as we can to reduce our overall exposure. Here are ten steps to reduce overall exposure for yourself and your family:
- Create distance from appliances wherever you spend most of your time (bed, lounge, desk, kitchen bench, kids play area), in particular try not to have any appliances in your bedroom. 1.2 meters will reduce exposure to electrical fields and most magnetic fields.
- Change cordless phones to old-fashioned landline phones. Cordless phones can be worse than mobile phones because they continually emit microwave signals. If privacy with phone calls is an issue you can have additional points put in.
- If your kids play games on your phone or iPad always have it in flight mode. Their skulls are thinner and more conductive due to more water.
- Always use a hands free device for talking on a mobile phone (earpiece or speaker) and place it away from your head and the centre of you body. Use texting as much as possible.
- Create as much distance from any wireless device as possible – router, printer, smart TV etc.
- Switch appliances off at the power point when they’re not in use.
- Ensure no one is sleeping with the meter box (or other high magnetic field) behind their beds.
- Reduce use of mobile phones and Bluetooth in cars and other forms of transport as the metal casing increases exposure. If you have a recently built home, it may have metal wrapping which can have the same effect (although it can reduce radio frequencies from outside).
- If you have lots of cords lying around, bundling or twisting them together will reduce the magnetic field. Wiring inside walls should also be bundled as much as possible.
- Replace your wireless connection with hardwired connection such as ADSL or cabled broadband. Otherwise ensure the WIFI is turned off when not in use, and especially when you’re sleeping.