Electromagnetic Energy Can Affect Your Health

Electromagnetic energy (EME), also known as electromagnetic fields (EMF), emanates from wired sources and radiates from wireless devices.

It is a very ubiquitous environmental stressor that very few homes are free from.

From the hundreds of assessments of homes and workplaces that I’ve conducted over the last decade, I’ve seen again and again similar symptoms in people who are exposed to high levels of radiofrequency (RF) EME.

These symptoms include:

  • Disturbed sleep, with an inability to fall into a deep restful sleep
  • Busy dreams
  • Waking unrefreshed
  • Non-stop thoughts, I had a 6 year old once tell me that it felt like she couldn’t turn her brain off
  • A sense of buzzing similar to feeling caffeinated
  • Agitation and stress
  • Anger and sometimes rages
  • Feeling frustrated and irritable
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Grinding teeth (bruxism)
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

And what I wanted to share with you today is based on the occupants experiencing many of these symptoms in their new home.

More importantly, the reason for sharing is because the source was so surprising.

Surprising Sources

I recently conducted an assessment for my clients in the home that they were just moving into.

Being out of the city, I was expecting lower readings than what I see particularly in inner city homes.

However, apart from one source, the levels of the different types of electromagnetic energy (EME) were incredibly low – and very close to natural levels.

ELF AC electric fields, we aim for below 0.3 V/m. This place was around 0.1 V/m.

ELF AC magnetic fields 2, we aim for below 2.0 mG.  This place was close to 0.0 mG throughout.

RF EME, we aim for below 10 µW/m2. This place was below 2 µW/m2. This place almost everywhere was below 2 µW/m2… but there were levels well over 100 µW/m2 in the bedroom.

High Frequency Transient Spikes (aka “Dirty Electricity”) we’re aiming for below 100 mV. This place sat between 20-40 mV.

So it intrigued me as to the source of the sleep issues they were experiencing from the very first night they spent there. 

Outside their bedroom was the meter box and switchboard. The meter was a smart meter, so no surprises there… but the readings I got, and the pattern of spikes did not match what I’d expect from a smart meter.

Lo and behold, in the meter box was also something else!

It looked almost like a white computer mouse and was attached to the front of the meter and was sitting on the metal wall of the meter box.

It was an energy management system. 

This is what it looks like:

electromagnetic-energy-energy-management-system-Eco-Health-Solutions

They are designed to send information to an app on your phone so you can manage your energy usage.

Have you got one?

Electromagnetic Energy Findings from the Energy Management System

In this video, you can see the lovely low background levels.

The readings I got were really interesting. I recorded them for you to see and hear.

Every few seconds, you’ll hear a sound that is a bit like a metronome or clock ticking, that is the sound coming through the meter of the EME that it is detecting.

In these videos, you can see how high the readings were…

And it isn’t even connected to anything!

What is Happening?

Whilst taking the readings, as you can see, the energy management system is not connected to anything.

When it was installed in the meter box, it was stuck on with double-sided sticky tape.

And that is normal – they are simply stuck on the meter.

They are then meant to be connected to an app on your smartphone via Bluetooth connectivity.

Whether or not a phone is connected to it, as you can see, it is continuously emitting RF EME every few seconds.

What Can You Do?

Check your meter box and remove the energy management system installed, if you’ve got one.

It may not look exactly the same as the one I’ve shown you here, so be sure to check carefully. 

If you’re in any doubt about what it is, take a photo of it and ask your electricity supplier.You can share it in our Facebook group.

If you’re interested in finding out more about shielding your smart meter, check out this guide here.

What Was the End Result?

With the energy management system gone, I reassessed and found that every 5-10 minutes, there was a spike in RF readings. This was coming from the smart meter.

We installed shielding (shielding paint) and I measured the levels again – and the levels dropped down to what the rest of the place was – incredibly low levels around 2 µW/m2.

And, I’m happy to report that my clients are now sleeping well.

EMF 5 little known sources cover © Eco Health Solutions

Are you already familiar with EMF/EME? 

I’ve put together this Healthy Home Guide which focuses on the little known sources of EMF/EME.

You can download it for FREE here.

Support Your Health by Creating a Healthy Home

Perhaps you’ve heard about “healthy homes” and wondered how a home could support your health?

Or maybe you’ve wondered what you could do to create a healthy home?

And, if you’ve been with me for a while, you’ll likely just be eager for more strategies to support your health.

Please know, that no matter where you’re at, every step you take is a step in the right direction.

Let’s get started.

Does Your Home Support Your Health?

It could be! You don’t have to be bed-bound to be experiencing the effects of hidden hazards in your home – you might be fit and well but feel a bit off at times.

Since there are so many signs and symptoms which may suggest your home could be hampering your health, and many of these may also have medical causes… The best thing to do is to start by observing.

Here’s my key question: do you feel better when away from your home?

From my experience with clients over the last 9 years, the vast majority have reported that when they spend time away from their homes, their symptoms become less severe. For some, it’s almost instant. For others, it is gradual.

What are some of the common symptoms when your home doesn’t support your health?

Given we’re all different, these will vary from person to person. However, here are some of the more common symptoms.

  • Headaches
  • Sore and/or dry eyes
  • Poor sleep
  • Heightened levels of stress or agitation
  • Sore and/or tight muscles
  • Feeling not quite right (aka malaise)
  • Foggy or muddled head
  • Low energy
  • Vertigo or losing balance (only when at home)
  • Grinding or clenching teeth (aka bruxism)
  • Runny nose
  • Depression, anxiety, rage, angry outbursts

Please remember, there can also be medical causes for some of these, and these should also be ruled out – as some of the medical causes could be sinister.

Let me tell you about Beth and Jo

Beth and Jo were renting, and not long after moving into their new place, they began to feel unwell. Things got worse day by day, and eventually they both needed time off from work.

Alarm bells started to ring for them when they found they felt worse when resting at home.

Jo spent the days outside weathering the cold Melbourne winter.

Beth felt so bad at home, she opted not to take time off – the fact was, she felt better there anyway.

When I attended their home, it was clear that they had some big issues with water ingress and mould. They decided to break their lease and get out of there A.S.A.P.

For Beth and Jo the link was super obvious. However, for many people, the changes can be subtle and not so readily noticed.

Let’s consider some easy (and free) ways that you can get started on right away.

Cap Screen Time

Studies have established there is a variety of adverse health effects linked to screen time. Apart from the more obvious ones such as dry eyes, there can be a range of other effects.

The effects of shortwave light (SWL) from the LED lights in screens was studied by Israeli researchers, Green, et al, in 2017. They discovered that 2 hours of evening device use resulted in increased wakefulness at night, low-quality sleep, and suppressed melatonin production.

But wait – there’s more!

The research team also noticed symptoms the next day, including an elevated level of sleepiness, a decrease in the capacity to concentrate, poor mood, and reduced performance levels when performing actions.

What also came to light (excuse the pun!) was that dimming the lights on the screen didn’t make much difference to the aftereffects that they had observed.

Here’s what I recommend –

Reducing screen time in the evening by setting a curfew. In my home, we started by selecting a time that worked for everyone to “down phones/devices.” For us, it’s 7:00PM. Find a time that works for your household and stick to it.

Clean Your Air

Australians spend between 90 and 95 percent of their time indoors (State of Knowledge, 2001).

Knowing this can help us to understand the important role which our homes (and offices) have in our wellbeing.

I was shocked to discover that many people rarely open windows and doors, and that occupants rely on the heating and cooling systems to control the indoor environment.

This means that the indoor air is rarely (if ever) exchanged, and the result is that indoor air contaminants continuously increase. Often, too, I’ve seen a decrease in oxygen levels and an increase in carbon dioxide. There are statistics around that show that indoor air can be 5-10 times more polluted than outdoor air.

Ventilation is key and done regularly, will allow indoor air to be exchanged with and refreshed by outdoor air.

The quickest and easiest way to do this is to do a lap of your home, opening every single door and window. It can take as few as 2 minutes to exchange the air in your home. It is ideal to do this hourly.

Down the Device

Various exciting technologies over the last 15 years have made it easier for people to be hooked on their devices. Have you noticed anytime you have a question, you reach for your device and search for an answer?

We’ve already touched on the shortwave light from LEDs in screens, but there’s more to it than that.

Our energy, emotional and mental health can take a whack with the constant pings and interruptions when we’ve got an email, SMS or a notification from an app or social media. Our sleep is easily affected when we’ve seen/heard something distressing right before bed.

One of my guiding principles is “the precautionary principle.” This means that something has to be proven to be safe, and unless it has, then I limit use or access to it.

So while the scientists re debating the semantics about health vs biological effects, I choose to minimise my exposure to wireless radiation.

Apart from the potential health risks, there are the mental and emotional health risks that most have already experienced. On top of this, I value quiet time to reflect, form my own opinions, and rest my eyes from the eternal scrolls…

Thus, I recommend choosing times in your day where you are without your devices.

Instead, you could go for a walk in nature (and bring in the many health benefits of Shin-Rin Yoku, or “forest bathing”), read a book or magazine, play a board game, draw, dance, sing, play… I’m sure you can easily find joyful ways to spend your time.

BONUS TIP: Have a look at your screen time (your device measures this) and multiply it by 365 to see just how many hours (or weeks!!) you’re spending with your device. Then ponder what else you could do with that time.

Creating a Healthy Home Can Support Your Health and Wellbeing

Create an oasis for yourself at home in which you can feel safe, nourished, and happy…

Knowing that your home does support your health.

You can do this!

And if you want my help…

And if you’d like more tips, check this out.

Time Indoors – Is it Affecting Your Health?

Spending more time indoors, you may discover that your place is not supporting your health.

Did you know that on average Australians generally spending 90+% of their time indoors?

This can include home, work, in vehicles and places of worship.

Whether it be a change in employment, circumstances or, due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, all of a sudden, you might find yourself at home a lot more than previously.

Like André.

His contract finished, and instead of being on the road all the time for work, he was at home until he arranged new employment.

All of a sudden, his voice got raspy, he felt sick, but not sick enough to spend the day in bed, his energy was low. He didn’t feel great, so found that he spent even more time indoors.

Quickly, he realised that something was wrong.

He got in touch with me, and we uncovered some hidden hazards, otherwise known as environmental stressors.

Once these were addressed properly, he was 100% a-okay in his home.

He was sweet, he called me every week to say, “I’m still okay!”

That is exactly why I do what I do!

Being able to help someone take back the reins of their life, to return to full health and be able to do whatever they choose… that is what is all about.

All too often, when something goes wrong health-wise, people immediately think there is something wrong with them.

Yet, like in André’s case, sometimes the problem is within the environment, not the person.

You fix the environmental stressors, and the person returns to normal.

In so many instances, when you clean up the environment the problem goes away.

I believe that more people are affected by the environment than they realise.

A good example of this is a headache. What do you do when you get a headache?

Do you…

  • Reach for the painkillers like many people do?
  • Drink extra water and have some downtime?
  • Explore your environment for changes?

My #1 go-to is always to explore any changes in the environment.

I would rather fix the environment (cause) than take medication to temporarily ease the symptoms and never get to the bottom of it.

We’re all different, I get it. No judgement here. ☺

Have you noticed any changes since spending more time indoors ?

Here’s a list to get you thinking – but do note, there are medical causes for some of these too – so do check in with your doctor or health practitioner for certainty.

  • Headaches
  • Poor sleep
  • Aching eyes
  • Muscle tension
  • Feeling off (malaise)
  • Ringing in your ears (tinnitus)
  • Grinding your teeth (bruxism)
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Low energy
  • Foggy head
  • Poor concentration

These can all have environmental causes.

So, you might want to check things out.

eco health solutions nature

The best way to determine if your place is playing a role is…

Notice how you feel when you are out of the building? 

OPTION 1

If you are in lockdown, you can’t stay somewhere else, but if you aren’t in lockdown, see how you feel when you are away from your place for a few days.

OPTION 2

Go for a walk, ideally in nature (the beach, a park, a reserve). Ideally spend a few hours enjoying the sunshine, fresh air and natural world.

If you notice your symptoms ease off when you are away, it begins to point to an issue in your place.

If you find that they ease off and then when you return, the symptoms do too, then it confirms that there is an environmental stressor there that is affecting you.

Simple Steps to Ease the Symptoms when you are Spending Time Indoors

Here are some simple steps that you can use to ease the symptoms. Do be aware that these are temporary measures and until the cause is addressed, the issue remains.

1. Ventilate. 
If there is a build-up of indoor air contaminants, open your doors and windows to exchange the air and dilute the levels of contaminants.

2. Spend time in nature. 
Shinrin Yoku is the Japanese practise of “forest bathing” and it is seen to be highly beneficial for health (including mental health).

60 minutes of time in nature, especially under a canopy of trees can result in 7 days of benefits. Make some time, at least, every week to get out in nature.

3. Turn off your devices, wi-fi and smartphones – at least while you sleep. 
Sleep is the most important time of the day it is when our body heals. So, give it the best chance to do this, and turn everything off.

I call this “digital downtime” and you can do it more often than just overnight. 😉

 

Hawthorn University Holistic Detoxification Presentation

Hawthorn University: Holistic Detoxification

Hawthorn University offer high level online training to health practitioners, predominantly naturopaths. So, I was thrilled to receive an invitation from Hawthorn University to present a webinar.

I have watched many of their webinars, which are available for free and are presented by highly respected people, so as you can imagine, getting an invitation from them was such an honour.

The topic which I presented on is, of course, so dear to my heart – Holistic Detoxification: How to Create a Healthy Home Which Supports Healing.

Too often I hear stories of people on the (expensive) merry-go-round of treatments, objects, supplements, drugs… when in many cases the cause is environmental and can easily be addressed by changing the environment.

I wanted to help students of natural therapies and practitioners understand more about this and avoid unnecessary treatments and delays.

In a nutshell, the topics that I covered in my webinar include:

  • why detoxification is so important
  • case studies
  • our built environment
  • hindrances to detoxification
  • action steps for your clients/patients
  • when to think of the environment

After the webinar, I was able to answer the questions asked by the audience – and they were such fabulous questions.

I would like to publicly thank Hawthorn University for the opportunity to present this webinar, all of the audience members, and everyone who has watched it since. What an honour!! 🙂

Hawthorn University Presentation

#hawthornuniversity #holisticdetoxification #buildingbiology #health

Use Your Laptop or Device Safely: How to Reduce Your EME Exposure

Device-Use…

Device-use (tablets, laptops and smart phones) has skyrocketed since I first wrote this post back in 2014. They not only are used widely but dominate the lives of many.

The rampant use of devices is apparent when looking about. So many people walk down the street glued to their device. Somehow they manage to avoid colliding with power poles and people.

It has become such a problem that we have new phrases, like “Digital Detox” as part of our vocabulary, now.


With my work as an Indoor Environmental Health Consultant, I get a range of enquiries from people about different things. One of the biggest areas of questioning is about reducing exposure to electromagnetic energy (RF EME).

The most asked question is, “How can I use my laptop or device safely?”

There are three types of EME exposure associated with laptops and devices which will be discussed below.

Let’s cover a bit of the scientific background so it makes more sense.

AC Electric Fields – ELF

The electric fields emitted from many household appliances fall into the category of Extra Low Frequency (ELF). Electric fields are created where there is electricity under pressure. This means that any wiring connected to a power source, can emit an electric field.

Further, a buildings’ wiring can have an electric field even when there are no appliances plugged in. Electric fields can occur when an appliance is plugged in and not in use.

I always recommend people to unplug cords from power points when they are not in use.

Electric fields are also proportional to voltage and they decrease with distance from the source. Therefore, keeping away from appliances that are plugged in can reduce exposure.

Common sources include power lines, household wiring, lighting, and smartphone chargers. As well as all appliances, including, hair straighteners, irons, kettles, electric blankets, electric ovens, electric hot water systems, slab heating…

ELF electric fields have been associated with Electrical Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS), also known as Electrical Sensitivity (ES). This condition can manifest with some or all of these and other symptoms:

  • skin symptoms (a feeling of itchiness or biting, redness, a burning sensation)
  • eye symptoms (redness, dryness, pain)
  • poor concentration, and
  • dizziness.

Some other health effects that have been associated with ELF electric fields include:

  • sleep disturbances,
  • fatigue,
  • headache,
  • ringing in the ears (tinnitus),
  • and a constant feeling of a cold or flu about to start but not eventuating.
eco-health-solutions-gadget

AC Magnetic Fields – ELF

Magnetic fields exist in nature. This can be seen when the field of the earth causes the compass needle to point to north.

However, it is with man-made magnetic fields that we are mostly concerned.

Magnetic fields are created when an appliance is switched on. That is, it directly relates to a current being drawn. This is why I always recommend clients turn off any appliance that is not in use at the wall.

Magnetic fields arise from the motion of the electrical charge (WHO, 2012). This is especially the case in alternating current (AC) as the electricity changes direction frequently.

Common sources of ELF magnetic fields are the same as for Electric Fields.

There is a large body of evidence that links ELF magnetic fields with biological changes. Possible health effects, according to Professor Adey, include:

  • a reduction in the immune system,
  • abnormal foetal development,
  • changes to cell growth and development,
  • changes or interruptions to the brain and central nervous system

Other linked or suspected health effects include breast cancer, miscarriage, depression and suicide.

Radio frequency electromagnetic energy (RF EME)

On the electromagnetic spectrum, radio frequency electromagnetic energy (RF EME) is between 3kHz and 300GHz. Here we measure the combined electric and magnetic fields and refer to this as electromagnetic radiation.

There is an ever-increasing range of sources for radio frequency electromagnetic energy (RF EME) as we move towards wireless technology.

As the race to “get rid of unsightly wires” continues, we are adding many layers of convenience to our lifestyles. Some of these “advances” include driverless cars, 5G and so on.

Sources include mobile phone towers, cordless telephones, satellite transmitters, mobile phones, tablets and i-pads, wireless games such as Wii and X-Box, many baby monitors, wireless computer accessories including printer, keyboard, and mouse, wireless internet connections, smart meters and so on.

Numerous health concerns have been linked with RF electromagnetic energy. These include:

  • disturbed sleep,
  • headaches,
  • learning difficulties,
  • concentration problems,
  • fatigue,
  • waking feeling unrefreshed,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • muscle and joint aches and pains,
  • ringing in the ears,
  • hearing loss,
  • palpitations, and more.

As well, there have been some links made to brain tumours, epilepsy, blood pressure, and lowered immunity.

UPDATE (Jan 2020): As we speak, research is being done as the new technology of 5G is being rolled out.

What is evident is that there is not enough research that shows it is safe to use.

Some of the concerns centre around the fact that we will be utilising even higher up the electromagnetic spectrum, into the millimetre waves.

Millimetre waves do not travel very far, and cannot penetrate walls, however, they can penetrate our skin and our eyes. (Lower levels of RF EME can penetrate deeper into our bodies.)

How Can I Use My Laptop or Device Safely?

1. Laptops and devices have a massive advantage over the desktop computer, in my eyes

This advantage is that they can be used on battery. Anything that is plugged in uses AC power. AC stands for “alternating current.” Alternating current is where electricity passes back and forth through the wires. In contrast, a battery uses DC, or “direct current” – which only goes one way. In short, DC is safer than AC.

Unplug the charger and use your laptop or device on battery.

eco health solutions gadget

2. No matter what, I always recommend that you used wired connections – for Internet, mouse and keyboard.

This point is a bit of a 3-for-1 deal – I can’t just give you three tips!

Ultimately, this tip is about reducing your exposure to the radio frequency end of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Here’s the best things that you can do – get a keyboard and mouse that you can plug into your laptop. (Not all devices have this option, so I would suggest using a stylus instead of your fingers.)

Using the wired keyboard and mouse means that you have a greater distance from your laptop. This is always a good thing. It also means that you are not relying on a wireless (radio frequency electromagnetic energy (RF EME) connection).

Using a wired Internet connection is part of this solution.

Note that you will also need to turn off the Wi-Fi capabilities on your computer. Otherwise, it will constantly be searching for a connection. Leaving it on would then be defeating the purpose of using a wired connection) AND you will need to have a modem that does not have Wi-Fi capabilities.

Finding one can be a little tricky. I located some at my local office supply store. I got a modem that had no aerial and only worked via Ethernet connections. It only cost about $50.

So, swap your wireless bits and pieces for wired/cabled equivalents. 

3. Despite its name, do not EVER use your laptop or device on your lap.

We have already discussed the health implications above, and I have pointed out that distance is the key.

The other thing to think about is that by having it on your lap, it is close to your reproductive organs.

Science is only beginning to recognise and accept that there can be health effects beyond the thermal changes.

A bit of background information

When radar began to be used mid last century, the thermal effects of radiofrequency EME were recognised as problematic for health.

The thermal effects on the body have been used as the measuring stick for health effects. This is despite the fact that the vast array of associated health effects have nothing to do with tissues being warmed.

Therefore, never use your laptop or device when it is in contact with your body. 

There you have it – 3 tips to help you use your laptop or device more safely.

I hope you have found this information helpful. Please feel free to get in touch with me if there is more you would like to hear about.

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POSTSCRIPT

As things have evolved, there are many laptop mats that shield from wireless technology (RF).

TAKE CARE!

RF EME can bounce back off the mat. This can increase what you are exposed to. So if you are sitting over it, it can be a double whammy.

As much as it would be lovely to have a “magic pill” to protect us from RF…

The best and most reliable way is to not have it.

This is a stretch for many people, but would you knowingly put your health at risk?

Available in store now – all for shielding/reducing your exposure to ELF AC Electric Fields:

It is also important to consider connectivity – using an ethernet adaptor is key. Read more here.


Further reading: