useNature Magazine - the Weekly Column - Tips - Info's - Stories
|< Previous Article
Electromagnetic fields minimising exposure
|Next Article >
Electromagnetic fields (EMF’s), migraines and minimising EMF exposure
Marianne Baker – Building Biologist, Building Wellness
What are electromagnetic fields?
Electromagnetic fields, as tested by Building Wellness, are lines of force related to our electricity supply lines and electrical appliances.
Adverse health effects have been associated with exposure to these fields.
Some people, who are particularly sensitive to them, experience a sensation of warmth or burning similar to sunburn, with or without the development of a red skin rash. Others feel tingling sensations in the skin and dryness of the eyes, nose and throat.
Long term effects of exposure may include :
difficulty concentrating, dizziness, loss of memory
headaches, ringing in the ears
heart palpitations and breathing difficulties
jaw and teeth pain
depression, fatigue, weakness
immune suppression, cancer
miscarriage, birth defec
Building biologists, who are concerned about the potential adverse effects of EMF’s, recommend low exposure levels that are in line with the most stringent international standards.
Case study – EMF’s and migraines
Throughout her life, Jenny had suffered from the occasional migraine. However, recently, she had been experiencing them frequently and at times, had to take several days off work before she obtained relief.
An EMF assessment of Jenny’s home found that the magnetic field level at her pillow position was quite high. The source of the field was traced to a computer which was on the opposite side of the wall to the bed head. This computer was being left on all night, thereby exposing Jenny to a high field for 6-7 hours while she slept.
Following the assessment, Jenny turned the computer off every evening before she went to bed. The frequency of her migraines reduced dramatically, so that, once again, she only experienced them on the odd occasion.
Minimising exposure to high EMF’s
As an EMF is highest close to the source and reduces dramatically with distance from it, reducing exposure may simply involve keeping at least the minimum safe distance from the source. As a general guideline, keep at least 2-3m away from operating microwave ovens and 1-1.5m away from other appliances which are in use.
Ensure that the electricity meter box and switchboard are located away from the walls of rooms where people spend a lot of time (e.g. bedrooms, study). Ideally, locate them on a garage or cupboard wall or on a pole separate from the house.
To reduce EMF exposure while sleeping, ensure that there are no plugged-in electrical appliances on or beside the bed or on the opposite side of the wall to the bed head.
It may also help if there is no electrical wiring in the wall behind the bed head and if there are no metal parts in the bed frame, mattress or bedside furniture.
Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.