Tom Harrelson

The results of many epidemiological studies indicate that a Magnetic Field exposure of 3.0 milligauss (mG) or an Electric Field exposure of 2.5 Kilovolts per Meter (KV/M) is the threshold level of twice the cancer risk from chronic exposure (8 hrs./day). Robert O. Becker, M.D., the top pioneering expert in the field of Electro-Magnetic Radiation (EMR), considers the safe exposure level to be below 1.0 mG. Many city and suburban environments have higher exposure levels (2.0-2.5 mG), which is mostly from electrical appliances, plus transmission/distribution transformers and power lines. But one point must now be made regarding power line/transformer exposure versus appliance exposure. Except for the possible use of electric blankets, water bed heaters and long-term computer exposure, most appliance use is short-term. Some other considerations are important as well, such as temperature and time-of-day, since these can affect the amount of current drawn, which in turn determines the EMR exposure levels. High air temperatures usually mean a higher amount of current because of air conditioning. In addition, different times of the day can have different demands on electric power depending on the surrounding community using it. For example, a suburban community would have a higher demand during the evening, but a lesser demand during the daytime, since most people are at work.

EMR is produced whenever an electric voltage and/or current is present. In the strict technical sense, electric current produces a Magnetic Field, while electric voltage produces an Electric Field. Although both are present in EMR, it is the Magnetic Field which is most prevalent, causing the most concern. Our electricity, that the power company supplies, is known as Alternating Current/AC. The voltages and currents alternate back and forth at a rate of 60 times or cycles per second (60 Hertz/Hz.). Scientists have classified this particular electrical power in a frequency range known as Extremely Low Frequency/ELF (between 30 & 300 Hz.). ELF Magnetic Fields, in particular, are being singled out as the worst overall potential health hazard from EMR!

Any device which operates by using AC power will generate EMR, but probably the most disconcerting sources of EMR are power lines/transformers (overhead and underground). These EMR sources are often overlooked, and yet potentially pose a significant hazard! Since our daily lives tend to be inundated with electrical devices, we should ask this question, "What steps should be taken by a person to minimize his/her risk to the daily exposure to this potentially harmful EMR?". With the exception of mu-metal (an exotic ferromagnetic alloy), Magnetic Fields are very difficult to shield. Even materials such as concrete walls, office dividers, lead, and aluminum have no effect whatsoever on reducing them. Electric Fields are easier to deal with, but still can be somewhat costly. The most effective way to reduce exposure to EMR is to increase your distance from any high exposure level source(s), if possible, or at least minimize the time spent close (within 3-4 feet) to them!

You should take any Magnetic and Electric Field exposure level readings (at your home, office, and/or school) in the general area where you are least active and/or spend the most time. If possible, turn the power completely OFF to determine how much of your long-term EMR exposure is from any external sources. After taking these readings, now turn the power back ON again and take another set of readings. Subtract the first readings from the last ones to determine the exposure levels from the internal sources (wiring, appliances, etc.). From this data, you can now determine the highest exposure level sources (internal or external). For now though, let's concentrate on the internal EMR sources. Take Magnetic and Electric Field exposure level readings at the exact place(s) you would normally stand, sit, and/or lay down. Remember that the TRIFIELD METER reads in all at once, so that you won't have to turn it around in 3 different directions. If the reading is a higher than the established safety exposure level (above 1.0 mG), then move around until the reading is at (or better yet below) this safe level. Note that particular place in the room, then reorient and/or relocate your furniture to that particular area. Distance is really the only practical measure that can be taken to get away from these potentially hazardous Magnetic Fields. If it is not practically possible after trying your best to lower your exposure to an acceptable level, then you must somehow determine the possible hidden source(s) of the high levels of EMR including improper grounding or shielding. At this point, if you are not knowledgeable enough to go any further, you should probably get an experienced electrician that is familiar with EMR testing to help with solving your particular problem. In the end though, you may find that you will have to move out altogether to get away from the EMR, especially if it is already affecting your health!