This blog will go over tips and maintenance ideas from Home Inspectors and for home owners in the Houston area.
Could the electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) to which people are repeatedly exposed cause health effects? What tend to be sources of EMFs, and when could they be dangerous?
An "electromagnetic field" is a general term which includes electric fields produced by charged particles in motion, and radiated fields, such as TVs, radios, hair dryers and microwave ovens. Electrical fields are calculated in units of volts per meter, or V/m. Magnetic fields are measured in milli-Gauss, or mG. The field is always most powerful near the origin and diminishes as you move away from the source. These kinds of energies posses the capability to influence molecule at great distances. For example, the radiation from a radio tower affects the atoms within a distant radio antenna, allowing it to pick up the signal. Despite the many wonderful benefits of electric technology, the effects of EMFs on organic tissues remains the most controversial feature of the EMF question, with virtually all scientists agreeing that additional analysis is necessary to establish safe or damaging levels.
Research since the mid-1970s has delivered extensive insight on biological responses to power-frequency electric and magnetized fields. The Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF) Research and Public Information Dissemination (RAPID) Program was billed with the objective of finding if electric and magnetic fields corresponding with the generation, transmission and use of electrical energy pose a risk to human overall health. The fact that 20 years of research haven't clarified that question is distinct evidence that health effects of EMF are not apparent and that risk relationships, if risk are identified, are not simple. Because epidemiologic studies have raised concerns concerning the relationship between certain serious human health side effects and exposure to electric and magnetic fields, the technique adopts the hypothesis that exposure to electric or magnetic fields under some conditions could contribute to unacceptable hazards to human health. The emphasis of the program is not only to test (as far as feasible within the statutory time limits) that theory for individuals serious health effects already identified, but to identify, in as much as possible, the unique circumstances that contribute to heightened hazards, and to suggest measures to handle dangers.
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (ES) is a physiological disorder classified by symptoms directly caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields. It creates neurological and allergic-type symptoms. Symptoms could include, but are not limited to, headache, eye irritability, lightheadedness, nausea, skin rash, facial inflammation, physical weakness, fatigue, soreness in joints and/or muscles, buzzing/ringing in the ears, skin numbness, abdominal pressure and pain, breathing difficulty, and erratic heartbeat. Those afflicted persons may experience a abrupt attack of symptoms after exposure to a new EMF, such as fields associated to a new computer system or with new fluorescent lights, or a new house or workplace. Onset of ES has also been reported following chemical exposure. A concerted effort to provide clinically valid research on which to determine decisions regarding EMF exposures is underway, and results are expected in the next several years. Meanwhile, some authorities recommend taking simple precautionary steps, such as the following:
Increase the distance between yourself and the EMF source – sit at arm’s length from your pc terminal.
Avoid avoidable proximity to stong EMF sources – don’t let children play directly under power lines or on top of electrical transformers for underground lines.
Reduce time spent in the field – turn off your computer monitor and other electric appliances when you aren’t using them.
The Office of Technology Assessment of the Congress of the United States recommends a plan of “sensible avoidance” with regard to EMF. "Prudent avoidance" means to measure fields, determine the origins, and act to minimize exposure.
Identify EMFs in your home and workplace. It is good to know where the sources of EMFs are in your day-to-day world and how intense these sources are. Is there wiring in the wall behind your bed which you don’t even know about? Is the vaporizer emitting strong fields in the baby’s bedroom? How much EMFs are you and your family getting from the electrical power lines in the street? Even hair dryers produce EMFs. Home inspectors often have meters to measure EMFs, or they can be purchased and shared with friends.
Diminish your exposure to the EMFs you discover. Establish just how far you must keep away from the EMF emitters in your home and work environment to achieve no more than 2.5 mG of exposure — the microwave oven, the alarm clock, the computer, and so on. Rearrange your furniture (especially the beds, desks, and couches where you spend the the majority of time) away from heaters, wiring, fluorescent lights, electric doorbells, and other EMF “hot spots.” Where practical, replace electrical appliances with non-electric devices. Have an electrician repair defective high EMF electrical circuitry and help you remove dangerous stray ground currents. Consult a qualified EMF professional, if necessary. Contact the National Electromagnetic Field Testing Association at 1-847-475-3696 for consultants in your area.
Protect yourself. Use shielding devices on your computer screen and cellular phone. Apply shielding to your household wiring, electrical circuit box and transformers.
Magnetic fields are not blocked by most materials. Magnetic fields found in homes vary greatly. Magnetic fields rapidly become weaker with distance from the source.
Electric fields in the home, on average, range from 0 to 10 volts per meter. They tend to be hundreds, thousands, or even millions of times weaker than those experienced outdoors near power lines.
Electric fields directly below power lines may vary from a few volts per meter for some overhead distribution lines to several thousands of volts per meter for extra-high voltage electrical lines.
Electric fields from utility lines rapidly become weaker with distance and can be greatly reduced by walls and roofs of buildings.
From EMFs in the Home - Int'l Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) http://www.nachi.org/emfs.htm#ixzz2rbfjLi1A