© Unknown
LA bathed in electrosmog
This article is part four in a series of articles on electromagnetic field (EMF) pollution. Part one is available here, part two here and part three here. This article will focus on what you can do to reduce your EMF exposure.

Chronic diseases have many potential causes - including genetics, deficient diet, toxin exposure, and repressed emotions or psychological malformations. Research conducted over the past two decades supports adding electro-magnetic frequency (EMF) exposure to the top-level list of causes of chronic disease (including genome/DNA damage). It's likely that a chronic disease condition results from a unique and individual combination of these top-level stressors, so EMF exposure should be considered in the context of other source causes, as suggested in Figure 1.

Figure 1 EMF health effects in the context of diet and toxin exposure
It's important to note that the evidence suggests EMF exposure is cumulative - much like ionizing radiation (think of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents). This means that periods of relatively high exposure can be offset by extended periods of very low exposure. There is a threshold cumulative exposure beyond which symptoms of being EMF-sensitive (ES) begin to occur, and this threshold will depend on individual genetic factors, diet/health status, and toxic chemical burden. Avoiding this threshold is key, and to do this you need to quantify your environmental exposure in those places where you spend the most time (bedroom/home, workplace, etc).

Another important thing to note is that EMF exposure has much greater long-term health impacts on children due to their rapid growth and maturing of tissue.

There exists a wide variety of EMF test equipment designed to accurately measure environmental EMF - much of it being expensive and not necessary for any longer than it takes to survey and correct any high EMF levels. Rather than purchasing this test equipment, it is much more cost-effective to rent it for a period of a week or two from those who offer a rental option (many of them do). For example, Magnetic Sciences1 offers some good meters and sensors for rental periods of two weeks at rates far less than the purchase price. If a group of family/friends share the rental, then costs can be very low - and two weeks is plenty of time to survey many residence and workplace environments.

There are a few low cost meters that are worth having around to periodically check the environment when electrical work is done, new appliances are installed, a new work place (or residence) needs survey, or to help others that may develop a concern about their own EMF environment. Figure 2 pictures two of these meters; the CellSensor and the Trifield 100XE. The CellSensor is both a gauss meter and a cell phone radiation sensor - the RF sensor has poor sensitivity but the gauss meter measures in two ranges and has a handy single-axis probe (on a 3' cord) that allows you to easily orient the probe for maximum field reading, independent of the position of the meter base. The Trifield 100XE uses a 3-axis magnetic field probe and measures the AC magnetic field in two selectable ranges. It also offers a good ELF electric field measurement (volts/meter). Amazon offers both of these meters; the CellSensor is in the $40 class, and the Trifield 100XE is in the $100 class.


Figure 2 The CellSensor and Trifield 100XE meters. They are not particularly accurate (especially at high frequencies) but they will certainly indicate a problem if it exists.
AC Magnetic/Electric Fields

With your gauss meter in hand, locate your electrical panel/breaker box. Check the readings around it and as you approach it. You'll find very high readings due to the fact that all wires must branch apart to their appropriate connections in the box (net current). Your panel box should be located well away from any living areas since the field from this box will always be elevated. See how far away the probe/meter must be to read 1-2 mG (.1-.2 microT) - it will likely be at least a few feet. Panel boxes are usually located in garages or on the exterior of a home opposite closets - they should not be located directly opposite or adjacent to living areas in the home. If yours is located on the outside wall of a living space, you should measure these living space fields, and block that area from use (especially by children). If you want that living space back, then you should move the panel box at least a few feet away from the house. For this you will need a qualified electrician (and a temporary disconnect of your grid service).

Figure 3 shows ranges of possible mG readings and what they mean in terms of risk to the living space. The green and blue color codes are the goal ranges. Also shown is the Magnetic Sciences1 MSI-95 Gauss Meter, which gives better accuracy than the meters in Figure 2.

Figure 3 AC magnetic field ranges and their associated risk in living spaces – also shown is the Magnetic Sciences MSI-95 Gauss Meter [1]
To begin measurements in the house, turn on the lights and plug in some appliances or other equipment to get some current running through the circuits in your home. This is important because you are looking for fields that may not be present unless current is running in circuits, as is usual in the home. With gauss meter in hand, walk through the living space of all rooms, checking readings along the walls, floor, and open space areas of the room. Check sleeping areas carefully - especially areas at the head of the bed. You may find digital clocks and other devices that radiate significant fields over a short range. You will also find transformers that are plugged into the socket - whether the device they power is turned on or not [Note: transformers should be unplugged from the wall socket when their devices are not in use since they will contribute to dirty power due to AC-DC conversion circuitry]. Make sure all sleeping areas are clear as possible from AC magnetic fields.

If you have elevated readings throughout a large area of a particular room, you may have a net current problem associated with faulty wiring, neutral-ground connections house-side of the panel box, or a large transformer source nearby. Try to locate the net current in the walls, floor, and ceiling by tracking the high field with the meter. You may need to involve an electrician to track down the source of the net current and affect repairs. If you do call an electrician in, make sure he/she knows what net current is and has the appropriate measurement gear to locate the problem - many electricians do not, and they will not understand what you are asking. You may also want to get a copy of Karl Riley's book.2

If you measure high fields only along the floor, look for fluorescent lights that may be on the ceiling of the floor below. Fluorescent lights are notorious for high-level radiation of AC magnetic fields. High readings along the floor could also indicate net current on a circuit feed running under the floor.

Check readings around major appliances like an electric cooking range. Check the range with heating elements both on and off. Ranges with control dials (and clocks) mounted at the front of the unit will likely produce very high fields adjacent to the range. Measure this area carefully so you know what is a safe distance to maintain when cooking for extended periods. And remember that exposure is cumulative, so periods of high exposure can be offset with extended periods of very low exposure.

If you own a hybrid or electric vehicle (like a Prius), have someone take some measurements while you drive the vehicle at various speeds. You may be shocked at what you find; these vehicles generate very high magnetic fields due to the massive batteries and high currents in the system. It is not unusual for first time passengers to get their first conscious taste of an ES symptom or two during a relatively short drive. [Note: these levels are very dangerous for children.]

Taking the time to carefully make these measurements will show you directly the sources of these fields and may give you many ideas about how to improve your environment. Once any problems are corrected, you will be confident of your environment with regard to at least one of the big three EMFs.

In the Epilogue of Karl Riley's book2, he writes:
"While working with electricians to correct errors which had caused elevated magnetic fields we sometimes discussed the reasons for these errors and their frequency in America's buildings. I have had estimates from experienced electricians that from 60% - 80% of the buildings in this country have errors of the kind [net current] that we have uncovered. My experience would tend to support the higher figure. It is rare for me to find a house or commercial building which does not show elevated magnetic fields from at least one miswired circuit."
So, it is indeed up to each one of us to take some responsibility for our EMF environment by becoming aware of what it is like and actively correcting the problems to the extent we can. Unfortunately, this is just the reality of our collective situation. You should now be well-armed with enough information to find that "one miswired circuit" and get it fixed!

It should also be noted that high frequency noise on the grid (dirty power) will manifest through the AC magnetic field as well, and represents another path by which exposure to dirty power can occur. Your gauss meter will measure this as part of the total field if it has enough high frequency bandwidth in the sensor - the cheap ones do not. If you have a dirty power problem, then it is doubly important to know and improve on your AC magnetic field environment. But the high frequency dirty noise power on the home grid circuits is best measured with meters specifically designed to do so (as described below).

Dirty Power

Detailed characterization of dirty grid power can be an expensive and time-consuming task. Thankfully, David Stetzer (of Stetzer Electric) sells the Graham-Stetzer (GS) meter for measuring instantaneous power quality with bias for the higher frequencies (which have been shown to be the more flesh-penetrating and health-damaging). The meter can be plugged into any socket, and the digital LCD readout gives a measure of the power quality in GS units. Stetzer Electric3 also sells GS plug-in filters that reduce this noise in the band of about 4-150KHz. The meter can then be used to quantify and verify the noise reduction. Figure 4 shows a picture of the meter as well as a table that maps various ranges in GS units to EMF health risk. Again, green and blue color codes indicate the goal levels.

Figure 4 Dirty power GS unit ranges and their associated risk in living spaces – also shown is the Stetzer Electric [3] GS meter used to measure power quality.
The GS meter costs about $100, and you will want to purchase one of these since dirty grid power can vary greatly over time, and you will want to periodically check the sockets (and filter placements if you decide to install them). Some appliances (such as air ionizers) can generate very high levels of dirty power on your own home grid, so it is good to check this when you install any new electric appliances.

In the last few years, another vendor has entered the dirty power meter/filter business: Greenwave4 (GW). GW meters and filters operate up to 30MHz and are capable of filtering low frequency RF that may couple to home wiring. The GW filters also feature ground circuit filtering and a built-in 3-prong socket that can be used for any appliance (so that you do not loose a socket to the filter).

The first thing to do is get a meter and test your sockets throughout the house to see if you would benefit from the installation of GS filters. If you are measuring in the yellow-red category (Figure 4), you will likely benefit greatly from filter installation. You may find the reading varies greatly from circuit to circuit and even socket to socket.

Figure 5 shows two filters available from Stetzer Electric. One is the single socket filter; the other is a power strip that incorporates two GS filters. The power strip is ideal for plugging in all that noisy computer gear to prevent that noise from getting back on the circuit.


Figure 5 GS power strip and single socket filters
It is recommended to begin filter installation at the panel box. You want to drop down a single-gang power socket/receptacle from both the "A" and "B" sides of the panel box (a 30-45 minute job for an electrician). You don't have to do this but the filtering is more efficient from here, and you may require fewer filters if you do this. Install two filters in the "A" and "B" sockets, and re-measure your home sockets. Next, install filters where you get the highest readings. Then re-measure the open sockets to see how much reduction you achieved, and in what range of Figure 4 the home rests. If you are starting from high GS/GW readings, it may be easy to achieve an order of magnitude reduction. It is suggested (by the vendors) that 20 filters is usually sufficient for homes up to 2,500 square feet - but 10 is usually sufficient for most homes with moderate/high ambient noise. If you have leftover filters, you can always give them to friends and family. You should check the readings periodically since the grid noise can and does change. It may also change if you install new appliances so readings taken when the appliances are operating can also be useful.

David Stetzer maintains that the filters and meter do not work on circuits driven by solar system inverters due to the fact that most of these inverters are very noisy5. This is certainly true for most cheap or low-quality inverters. I tested this with my own solar system (high quality Outback inverter) and found that the meter does indeed peg at greater than 2,000 GS units in all circuits driven by the solar system inverter. However, with placement of filters as described above, I was able to achieve reductions of 1-2 orders of magnitude - which speaks highly of the filters (and inverter).

The mechanism for health disturbance from dirty power is thought to be capacitive coupling (to the body) via the electric field. If you have an electric field meter (like the Trifield 100XE), you will be able to trace the wiring in your walls from socket to socket (if that wiring is not encased in metal conduit - or something like BX cable). It may be wise to prejudice living space (such as beds, chairs, etc) away from areas where the wiring runs through the walls and under the floor. Similar reasoning might suggest that one remain insulated from ground while in the home. As mentioned above, the AC magnetic field may also play a role here due to its modulation by the high frequency noise components - even at very low levels. If you have plans to build a new home (or even a serious remodel), it might be wise to encase all wiring in metal conduit to contain the electric field (this will do nothing to contain the magnetic field).

Finally, it should be noted that dirty power is the most controversial among the EMF sources with regard to health effects (partly due to measurement/characterization difficulties). The reader is encouraged to follow up with his/her own research into this EMF source. A good place to start would be Milham's book, Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization and his study of the La Quinta Middle School cancers6.

Wireless Radio Frequency (RF)

Figure 6 shows ranges of power density (and electric field) for continuous RF exposure and the estimated risk for developing ES. Truly safe continuous exposure levels are likely to be even lower than the lowest in the table, but this level has not been quantified and remains a source for much debate in the scientific community.

Figure 6 Wireless RF power density exposure ranges and associated risk for developing ES symptoms. Also shown is the Extech 480846 RF meter.
The data in Figure 6 is based on the results of several good epidemiological studies, two of which have been discussed in previous articles in this series. Also shown is the Extech 480846 RF meter with RF range of 10MHz to 8GHz, and with special tuning for the RF communication bands. This is an expensive meter but it can be rented for far less. Rental is a good option since RF exposure levels in the home (from external sources) are not likely to vary widely with time. This meter is a good choice if you want to know the power density in and around the home from all the major communication bands. This will allow you to estimate your total continuous dose.

There are so many sources of pulsed RF radiation from both inside and outside the home, so we'll take them one at a time.

Cell Phone Base Stations

If a cell phone in your home or workplace has good reception, then the RF from the local base station penetrates the environment well and the cell phone will be operating at low transmit power. Conversely, if a cell phone in your home or workplace has very poor reception, then the base station RF is having difficulty penetrating the environment and the cell phone will likely be transmitting at its max power. The latter situation is preferable unless you spend long daily periods on the cell phone. The reason for this is that the cell base station is "on" 24/7, and your cell phone is on for only short periods. It is the cumulative exposure that is important - the total power integrated over time. In many areas there are competing cell carriers (AT&T/GSM and Verizon/CDMA for example) so the actual power levels in your environment may be multiples of the power needed to activate your phone (and this is just the cell phone RF band). This is why it may be important for you to measure this persistent ambient exposure, and take some steps at shielding your environment (particularly the bedroom).

If you find unacceptably high RF power densities in your home environment, the simplest thing to do is to shield the sleeping environment. When you sleep, your body is recovering from all stresses (physical/mental/emotional) of the day, including toxin exposure and any nutrient deficiencies. Wideband pulsed RF is a stressor, and can seriously reduce the effectiveness and recovery you need from a good sleep. There are good light-weight, opaque, conductive fabrics that will reflect the RF and shield very well7. A conductive fabric could be used as a bed cover or even a suspended drape covering the entire bed to the floor. The latter will likely cut the power density (in bed) down by 2-3 orders of magnitude (a factor of 100 to 1000) over the whole body. This can be a major upgrade to the quality of your sleep time and will work against all RF from about 100MHz on up.

Cell Phone Handsets

The very best protection from cell phone handsets is to not own one, but many people find that this is unacceptable for business or personal reasons - an indication of how much this technology has taken control of our lives. Still, there are many things you can do to actively reduce your exposure to this high-level source of RF. It is important to realize that it is the growing noise-like bandwidth of these devices that is making them increasingly dangerous (2G, 3G, 4G, etc). [Note: If you do not need the Internet on your phone, it may be wise to discard it in favor of the older GSM/CDMA standard cell phones.]

Antennas in cell phone handsets are designed to give roughly 360 degree coverage (in azimuth) so that your orientation with respect to the base station does not impact reception. If a cell phone is transmitting at 1 Watt and you hold it directly to your ear, the power density that your head intercepts is well beyond any of the exposure ranges listed in Figure 6 (for cell base station RF). If you hold the cell phone 2 feet from your head (and use the speakerphone), this power density drops by a factor of 100 - a very significant reduction in the power density that the head receives.

This reduced power density is still very high but acts only over the time of the cell call or when your phone is communicating with the base station. Remember, your phone is constantly in contact with (and transmitting to) the nearest base station/tower - even when you turn it off. The only way to prevent these "invisible" transmissions is to put the phone in "Flight Mode". Many cell phone users that wish to minimize exposure will keep their phones in flight mode, and periodically check for messages.

There is another consequence of holding a cell phone directly to the ear. Energy is more efficiently coupled to and absorbed by surrounding tissue including the brain. This is measured by a quantity called the specific absorption rate (SAR), and RF measurements have shown that this decreases rapidly with even small distances from the head/ear. Much of the energy that was absorbed (when the phone was held to the ear) is scattered when the phone is moved slightly away from the head/ear. This is another good reason to always use the speakerphone when using a cell phone. Also note that the SAR for children through teenagers is significantly higher than for adults, putting them at far greater risk for disease conditions, including serious eye and ear damage, and brain cancer later in life.

The following are some additional tips that may help reduce your exposure:
  • Screen your calls and only take those that you must - limit your time "on the air".
  • Know where the antenna is located in your phone and avoid placing your fingers directly over it. The SAR goes up, and your phone may increase its transmit power to compensate.
  • If you carry your phone on your body, place it with the antenna side pointing away from you. For this, you will need to know where your antenna is located in your phone.
  • Allow children/teenagers the use of a cell phone only in case of emergencies
  • Never use a cell phone in a vehicle unless it is connected by cable to an external antenna. The vehicle is a closed metallic space and will reflect much energy back to the occupants. If you want to use your cell phone in your car, get a phone with an external antenna jack and hook it to an external antenna mounted somewhere on the outside of your vehicle.
  • Avoid using your phone when reception is marginal - your phone will likely be transmitting at maximum power on these occasions.
  • Make a habit of using the speakerphone
  • If you want to use a headset, get the air tube type - not bluetooth. Bluetooth is just another wireless signal that you will be exposing yourself to.
  • Never leave your cell phone switched on and near you while you are sleeping. In fact, it is best to remove it from the bedroom.
  • Practice consideration for others when you use your cell phone, and realize that you are irradiating your companions. ES is a growing problem in the population and you may be making someone's condition worse.
DECT Cordless Phones

Many EMF researchers and scientists believe (based on clinical results) that DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) cordless phones are a greater threat than cell phones. The power levels involved are comparable to cell phone handsets, but the DECT phones and base station are transmitting continuously - not just when a call is engaged. This exposure is 24/7 and the cumulative exposure is very high.

The best solution for DECT phones is to get rid of them entirely and go back to the corded version. If you want more freedom of movement, get a corded phone with a good speakerphone.

Wireless Routers

Wireless routers are another source of wideband pulsed RF. The home version floods the home environment, and the power density will increase with decreasing distance from the transmitter. There really is no safe place to put a wireless router in the home. If you are using a computer or laptop through one of these for Internet connectivity, the computer will have a transmitter as well, and you will be exposed to both RF sources (one of them at close range).

Most wireless routers allow the user to turn off the wireless transmitter and go with wired connectivity by plugging in the appropriate cables. You simply need to run a cable to each location that you would like to use the computer. This may be inconvenient, but it is a far better choice than the wireless alternative. If you decide to do this, don't forget to turn off the wireless transmitter in your computer - in fact, disable the wireless driver in the computer.

If your children's schools use wireless routers, it may be worth petitioning the school administrators to consider wired options - conversion is not usually a cost driver.


Computers (particularly larger desktop units) can be a source of noisy RF that drops off quickly with distance. The RF is usually found at or around the CPU clock frequency and can be measured with an RF meter (as shown in Figure 6). It is a good idea to position these units at least several feet from the user.

Laptop computers exhibit strong AC magnetic fields close to the unit. These fields drop off very quickly with just inches of distance from the unit housing. But regardless of the name "laptop", the unit should not come closer than about 2-3 inches of your lap. A small pillow or other support should be used to keep the laptop above your lap and away from close contact with the body. A metalized flat plate layer between the unit and pillow support will block the electric field sufficiently (I use a piece of sheet metal). For those who use laptops/notebooks over long periods, it is good practice to ground the units using a ground wire in contact with the metal housing of any external connector (such as the output video connector).

The wireless keyboard/mouse is just that - another wireless RF device that exposes the user at close range. There is really no functional reason to use these devices over their wired counterparts. If you become aggravated with the loss of slack in your keyboard/mouse wires, use an attachment point that preserves the desired slack in the wire at all times.

Microwave Ovens

Microwave ovens depend on a good RF seal so that the surrounding environment is not flooded with pulsed RF. If you have a cell phone and get good reception in your home, you can try a good quick test. Place your cell phone inside the microwave and close the door. Dial your cell number and see if it rings. If it does, you probably have a leaky microwave. The better test is to use an RF meter to test the power density levels in the vicinity of the microwave and determine a safe distance to maintain when it is operating.

Other Sources

There are many other sources of pulsed RF in our environment such as pulsed Doppler radar, military radar, point-to-point microwave links, private security links, and military communications. It is very difficult to know precisely which sources are affecting which groups without direct measurement. Just knowing your environment is half the battle.


This four-part EMF series is a large amount of material to digest at one time, particularly if the EMF field of research is new to you. The intent was to cover all of the major EMFs and provide enough detailed reference material to allow the reader to conduct his/her own measurements and investigations with the goal of reducing all-source EMF exposure. In this sense it may be useful as a reference work that readers can return to when EMF exposure might come into question.

Just as quoted of Robert O. Becker (below), it may be that "the greatest polluting element in the Earth's environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields". The observable evidence for this lies in the collective health and behavior of plants, animals, and humans that have been studied under controlled and uncontrolled, natural and unnatural EMF exposure conditions (regardless of the political positions of various agencies, governments, or policy-makers).

The importance of natural EMF variations to circadian rhythms in animals and humans has been established by many epidemiological studies that address abrupt changes in the natural background EMF due to abnormal solar activity. It may be that the "masking" of natural EMF by man-made EMF plays a causative role in some disease conditions and symptoms of electrosensitivity but, clearly, the natural EMF plays a significant role in healthy metabolism and systemic function of all life on Earth.

The symptoms and disease conditions associated with EMF exposure very nearly overlap those of chronic dietary deficiency and exposure to toxins. These serious systemic impacts suggest that a three-pronged approach may be necessary to recover from chronic disease and maintain vibrant health in the body/mind - that is, diet/nutrition, detoxification, and EMF exposure mitigation be addressed together in any health plan. In doing so, you thwart the agenda that is clearly in play (through governments and multinational corporations) to control, exploit and suppress the human population.
"I have no doubt in my mind that at the present time the greatest polluting element in the Earth's environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields"

-Dr Robert O Becker, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon, author, teacher and twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in medicine

1. Magnetic Sciences
2. Riley, Karl, 'Tracing EMFs in Building Wiring And Grounding - A practical guide for reducing magnetic fields due to wiring errors as well as current grounding practices', 2nd Edition 2007 by ELF Magnetic Surveys.
3. Graham-Stetzer socket filters are designed by Professor Graham and David Stetzer and offered for sale by Stetzer Electric, see for more information on the GS meters and filters.
4. Greenwave meter and filters can be found here
5. Personal e-mail communication with David Stetzer
6. Milham, S, Morgan, L, 'A New Electromagnetic Exposure Metric: High Frequency Voltage Transients Associated With Increased Cancer Incidence in Teachers in a California School', Am. J. Ind. Med. 2008.
7. See