EMF Exposure – Understanding How You Can Reduce Your Exposure

EMF Exposure – Understanding How You Can Reduce Your Exposure

EMF is a sneaky thing – because you can’t see or smell it, it is often not considered.

When people are exposed to EMF, they can get a variety of symptoms. With regards to radio frequency electromagnetic energy (RF EME), the officials that set the exposure standards only recognise “thermal effects” – so set the standards to below the level at which tissues are heated.

EMF Exposure Standards Are Too High

I firmly believe that there are many health/biological effects that occur well before this level. I believe that the exposure standards are way too high, especially when IARC (the International Agency for Research on Cancer) recognise radio frequency EME & ELF AC magnetic fields as “Category 2B” (this means that they recognise that these types of EMF are possibly carcinogenic to humans).

There is a growing body of research from scientists (including retired ones!) that not only shows that certain types of EMF result in the body reacting in a certain way, but also are becoming more able to explain how and why these reactions occur.

Symptoms from EMF Exposure

Common symptoms from EMF exposure, based on my observation and interaction with hundreds of clients over the years:

  • headaches and migraines (especially unexplained)
  • poor sleep, including vivid dreaming
  • waking feeling unrefreshed
  • low energy
  • pain, including sciatica
  • grinding teeth (bruxism)
  • ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • poor concentration

Reducing your EMF exposure is important – not through gadgets and stickers, but through turning things off, switching to safer options, and making choices about when and how you use technology.

This is one of my favourite areas to work with people on. Why? Because often, simple changes to behaviour can significantly reduce your exposure.

At Eco Health Solutions, my team and I assess radio frequency electromagnetic energy (RF EME), ELF AC magnetic fields, ELF AC electric fields and dirty electricity.

EMF Exposure in the Home

Here are the top 5 sources of EMF that my team and I commonly see in homes:

1 The meter (smart or otherwise) and the fuse box on the bedroom wall

2 Power boards under the bed

3 Mobile phones and devices (sometimes even found under pillows!)

4 Cordless phones

5 Wi-fi

Reducing your exposure is important – and since our homes are our castles, they are also our safe havens.

Workplaces can expose staff members to extremely high levels of EMF – without realising it!


EMF Exposure in the Workplace


Here are the top 5 sources of EMF that my team and I commonly see in workplace:


1 Cordless headsets

2 Wi-fi

3 Mobile phones and devices

4 The “IT hub”

5 A “spaghetti” pile power cords under the desk


Given most people spend a good 8 hours at work, it is important to reduce your personal exposure as much as possible.

Asbestos-Related Products Are Often On My Radar

Because so many of our homes contain asbestos-related products – everything from walls, soffits, pipes, cladding, roof tiles, carpet backings, and more.

Asbestos was only banned in 2003.

It was widely used in the 1950s through to the 1970s.

When it is intact – there is no risk. But when it is damaged, there is an enormous risk to health – and often the associated diseases take decades to manifest.

If you are in any doubt, treat it as though it IS asbestos and be careful. A licensed asbestos inspector can attend your property to determine if it is or not.

Please spare a moment to think of all those who are or have suffered as a result of this building material. Sending love and support to them and their families. #protectourbuildingindustry

When Building Biology Means Building Courage

Developments in My World Around Building Biology

Building courage has been important in these three great things that have happened in the last week or so.


Firstly, I finnnaaalllllyyyyyy completed my Advanced Diploma in Building Biology. With only one subject to go, loads of travel, and a lot of work on my plate, it was such a struggle to get this done. Pretty much every block of time that I had set aside to study, something came up or someone needed something, and my study time disappeared. I started to recognise the pattern, so I set a date. I focused and worked really hard to get through the enormous pile of readings, and do the assessments. I had to push the date out a tiny bit, but I DID IT!!


The second one was the talk I did for the AustralAsian Academy of Anti Ageing Medicine conference on 3rd August. I was so ridiculously nervous. I have spoken to around 5000 people in the building industry in the last twelve months, but this one had me running scared. Why? Because I created an idea of what I thought they expected and knew I wouldn’t be doing that. I made up this story that had me all freaked out and in avoidance mode. To top it off, I was the second speaker for the day, and listening the to first one confirmed my stories (he was incredible!!). I had to really get the self-talk happening, that it was going to be fine – completely different style, completely different level of information, and perfect in its uniqueness. It was a smaller group that I was used to (around 70), but this actually made me more nervous! Anyway, I got up there and did it. I could hear a slight waver in my voice, fortunately no one else noticed. At the end, I was astonished at the positive reception I had for it. And now, all of those medical professionals are more aware of the role that our built environments play in our health, and are thinking more broadly in how best to assist their patients.


And most recently, I heard back that my application to be a speaker at the Indoor Air Quality Association conference in 2019 in the US was approved! Applying for this was scary as it meant putting myself out there, possibly being rejected, and then if accepted, speaking in front of some amazing scientific minds… I did it anyway, even though I was literally terrified. Straight after sending it, I posted “I did it!” on social media – because it was such a big deal…

do it anyway

So, why am I sharing all of this?

I think all of us get scared of doing things, and procrastinate and push them down the list. But I think all of those things we need to do are important on the grander scale, and it is only the stories we create that hold us back.

I really want to encourage you to just do it anyway. You never know just how your action can ripple out into the world and make it a better place.

Sleep: Why Is it So Important?

Do you struggle to get a good night’s sleep?

Many people do these days, and this can have a bigger impact that just feeling sleepy all day, or perhaps being on the caffeine-cycle. Ironically, according to apps on our devices, there is an “insomnia epidemic.”

When you are tired, you don’t function so well – your mood is off, your tolerance levels are down, you are easily agitated or stressed. As well, over time, this can deplete you and your immunity is also affected.

Why is Sleep so Important?

Sleep is incredibly important as it is the time that we heal and recover from our day – in preparation for the next day. Sleep is when we detoxify, when we create melatonin (a hormone which has an antioxidant effect) and when we rest.

It is one of the most important physiological functions we do, in my opinion.

What Affects Sleep?

There are many factors that can impact sleep. Some of these are:

  • Stress
  • Eating too late
  • Caffeine
  • Conversation
  • Poor sleep hygiene
  • Environmental stressors

eco-health-solutions natural


Did You Know…?

Did you know that if you use your device for two hours in the evening that it affects the quality of your sleep; melatonin production; your mood, attention and accuracy the following day?

Research links this to the short-wave light emitted from the LED lights inside our devices (Green, et al, 2017). I wonder if there is more to it, and the use of these devices on wi-fi or 3G/4G/5G is also playing a role.

What Can I Do to Improve My Sleep?

I am going to focus purely on environmental stressors here…

1) Promote melatonin production – ensure your bedroom is dark. If this isn’t possible, it would be worth using an eye shade. 

2) Reduce the radio frequency electromagnetic energy (RF EME) – turn off your mobile phone and wi-fi router

3) Reduce indoor air contaminants – remove scented reeds and candles from your bedroom

4) Minimise exposure to allergens – use a silk pillowcase to reduce issues with house dust mites (HDM)

5) Reduce your exposure to biotoxins – address any mould in your home

Still Concerned?

Then contact me and we can arrange a
Virtual Indoor Environmental Health Assessment
to assess and address stressors in your environment.



Green, A, Cohen-Zion, M, Haim, A & Dagan, Y (2017) Evening Light Exposure to Computer Screens Disrupts Human Sleep, Biological Rhythms and Attention Abilities Chronobiology International (Online) Available at https://doi.org/10.1080/07420528.2017.1324878 (May 2017) 

#sleep #indoorenvironmentalhealth #environmentalstressors


“Bake Outs,” Ozone and Our Indoor Air

I want to share some information about ozone, VOCs and our indoor air.

From here, I will share my stance on “bake outs,” so let’s start at the end to make sure it all makes sense.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

The best example of VOCs is the smell of the cleaning aisle in the supermarket.

That smell – the waft get when you are approaching the cleaning aisle… You know the one?

That is the VOCs being released from the cleaning products.

What is a “Bake Out”?

A “bake out” is a process that utilises the notion that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released at a higher rate where there is an increase in temperature. To carry out this technique, you would close up a room or building, crank the heating, and bake out the VOCs. But wait!

BUT, where do they go?

Some can be absorbed by building materials (eg plasterboard) and furnishings (eg curtains, couches, carpet) and much remains in the air.

AND, what happens?

That is part of what I wanted to talk about today.

What is Ozone?

Ozone, is a pale blue gas that is a natural part of our atmosphere. At ground level, ozone can cause damage to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. The US EPA have created a guide relating to the risks it can pose, as well as offering a proactive approach to protecting health. You can read it here.

Ozone can be introduced to our indoor air via some “air purifiers” – namely ones that deliberately produce ozone, and as a byproduct of ionisers (Britigan, et al, 2006). This can result in levels being well in excess of exposure standards.

Indoor Air Concerns

Ozone, apart from its known health risks, can be very problematic in the indoor environment.

Due to it’s molecular structure, ozone readily interacts with other gases (particularly VOCs) to form byproducts – some known, some unknown.

Summary: In a Nutshell

  • Avoid doing bake outs
  • Avoid anything that produces ozone, including ionising air purifiers
  • Introduce more plants in and around your home


Open your doors and windows several times a day to exchange the air and reduce the build up of VOCs and other indoor air contaminants.


  • Britigan, N,  Alshawa, A, and Nozkordoc, SA (May 2006) Quantification of Ozone Levels in Indoor Environments Generated by Ionization and Ozonolysis Air Purifiers J Air Waste Manag Assoc (Online) available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16739796
  • US EPA (August 2015) Air Quality Guide for Ozone (Online) available at https://www3.epa.gov/airnow/ozone/air-quality-guide_ozone_2015.pdf (3 November 2017)

#ozone #airpurifiers #bakeouts #indoorairquality

Mould Water Damage and Health

Mould, Water Damage and Health

Mould spores are everywhere. They are a vital part of life on earth as they play the important role of breaking things down. However, like most “pests,” within our homes, they can wreak havoc, in two ways.

Before examining these, the following are important points to note.

Mould Doesn’t Have To Be Obvious To Be Present

You may not be able to see or smell mould for it to be present.

Mould can grow in between the walls, under tiles, behind the kickboards in the kitchen, and it can even be growing on the wall without being visible to the naked eye.

Oft times, when you can see is it, it is just the tip of the iceberg, where there is so much more that is out of sight, and the patch you can see is just an indication that it is there.

Mould Doesn’t Have To Be Growing To Be A Problem

Mould releases spores and hyphae (branches) can break off it and circulate in your home. Spores and hyphae both pose risks to human and animal health due to the mycotoxins that they contain.

Wreaking Havoc

Firstly, mould can structurally damage your home. Building materials that are wet for more than 48 hours can create a perfect habitat for mould, primarily as there is both water and source of food.

As well, water-damaged insulation is less effective, and therefore can increase energy consumption.

The presence of moisture can be attractive for vermin and termites, both of which are problematic in terms of the former being capable of carrying disease, and the latter being able to seriously damage the integrity of a building.

Modern building design is centralised around the notion of being energy efficient, this generally means “well-sealed,” which results in a building losing its ability to breathe. A result of this is that moisture cannot escape, and thus building materials, even without being affected by a leak or flood, can become “water-damaged.”

Secondly, mould can wreak havoc with regards to health.

eco health solutions eco

Mould Can Be Problematic

Clearly, the presence of mould, mould spores and/or hyphae can have life-changing consequences.

What follows is a list of signs and symptoms identified that may be related to mould exposure. This is for your information and is not intended to diagnose or to replace the advice or care of your registered health care professional.

Symptoms Associated with a Water-Damaged Building

Of  three systematic reviews on the adverse health effects associated with water-damaged buildings, the following signs and symptoms were consistent: cough, wheeze and asthma.

Other symptoms include upper respiratory tract symptoms, respiratory infections, bronchitis, allergic sensitisation and hay fever. This set of symptoms is also recognised by New York State (2010),

Headaches and tiredness have also been associated with mould exposure (Bornehag et al, in New York State, 2010, 27; IICRC, 2008, 74), as has cause skin reactions (National Institute of Medicine, 2004, 170).

Children and those with preexisting conditions are recognised as being at great risk (New York State, 2010, 27).

Other health effects

Neuropsychological effects, impaired energy production pathways, changes to hormonal functions, alterations to visuo-spatial learning and memory, migraine, pain, balance problems, autonomic nervous system abnormalities, and respiratory problems were all noted in research analysed by the Mold Research Committee (2010).

The National Institute of Medicine acknowledges that there are a group of mycotoxins that “selectively or specifically target the nervous system” resulting in neurotoxic effects, some of which include interfering with neurotransmitters or receptors (2004, 157, 160).

Many sources correlate mould-exposure to sick building syndrome, this is discussed at length in IICRC, 2008). By removing a person from a mouldy environment, it has been noted that their symptoms dissipate (New York State, 2010, 27).

Looking deeper, there is a growing body of research that implicates mould in inflammation (as discussed by the Mold Research Committee, 2010).

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  1. an area has been wet for more than 48 hours;
  2. there is a history of water damage; or
  3. you have any concerns

… it is worth getting your in touch.

#mould #waterdamage #health


IICRC S520. (2008).Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mould Remediation. (2nd ed). ANSI/IICRCS520-2008. Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Vancouver, Washington. USA.

Mold Research Committee (27 July 2010) “Research Committee Report on Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Caused by Exposure to the Interior Environment of Water-Damaged Buildings” Policyholders of America (Online) Available: http://courses.aces.edu.au/pluginfile.php/720/mod_resource/content/1/Policy%20Holders%20of%20America%20%282011%29%20CIRS.pdf

National Institute of Medicine (2004). Damp indoor spaces and health. National Academies Press. (Online). Available: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309091934

New York State. (2010). Toxic Mould Task Force. Final report to the governor and legislature. (Online). Available: https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/indoors/air/mould/task_force/docs/final_ toxic_mould_task_force_report.pdf

Sick Building Syndrome – What Does it Mean?

What is a “Sick Building”?

Have you heard about “Sick Building Syndrome”?

This is where the occupants of a building are sick because of something in a building where they spend time.

What makes people sick are known as “environmental stressors” – environmental hazards that place a stress on our immune system.

This can be anything from water damage and mould, to indoor air quality, to electromagnetic fields. It may be from components of the building itself, such as lead. Or even from the land where the building was erected – a form of “geopathic stress.”

In Australia, this term is somewhat understood, but far less people really understand what “Building Biology” is.

An Interview

When I began this career, I was an active committee member of my professional association. In my time as President, Nicole Groch from LivingSafe.com.au interviewed me about “building biology.”

Here is a snippet of it:

You may have heard of someone using a Building Biologist to check out their home for radiation, mold and sick building syndrome, but you really are not exactly sure what it is they do and who they are….

I personally have hired a Building Biologist to come out and measure the EMF from the Smart Meter in our home and I am very glad I did. It wasn’t just the smart meter that was the problem. It was also our transformer base study lamps, that we were using as bedside lamps and high EMF hot spot was found in our bedroom from an unearthed water pipe running under the floor. Thanks to the Building Biologist we were able to correct these hazards.

So what is a Building Biologist?

In a nutshell, a Building Biologist is a person who has been trained to assess the potential health hazards of a building or built environment. We adopt the Precautionary Principle, that is, if something hasn’t been proven to be safe, then we err on the side of caution and aim to minimise exposure or risks.

… Read it all here.

Another Interview

As well, I chatted with Nicole Bijlsma about Building Biology, the changes in the field, and what is required of a Building Biologist.


#buildingbiology #environmentalsensitivities

revised 20/4/20

Lead Reducing Your Exposure

Lead tends to be ubiquitous…

Lead tends to be all around us – thanks to the lack of knowledge and understanding about its health effects.

Sources of contamination include:

  • lead paint
  • windows with leadlighting
  • petrol/fuel
  • smelting
  • fertilisers
  • slag from industry used as soil or landfill
  • dust in ceilings and wall cavities
  • solder on water pipes
  • fishing tackle/weights

What Can You Do?

Choosing a Home

Firstly, if you can avoid it – do so.

If you are looking to buy or rent a home that is near industry, please reconsider.

Renovating, Remodelling or Repainting

Make sure you test for the presence of lead in paints before any renovations or repainting. (If you missed this step, test it right away.)

Lead test kits are available from paint and hardware stores.

If you are doing any of these activities, then make sure you are wearing a disposable tyvek suit, gloves and a P1 respirator. Also be sure to keep pregnant women, young children and pets out of the way – lead poisoning can be deadly.

There are some more tips in the video below.

Babies, Children and Animals… Some Great Tips:

All three spend a lot of time on the ground, so make sure the following become part of your daily routine.

  • Introduce (and enforce) a no-shoe policy – this will prevent lead dust from entering your home
  • Wash paws and feet if they have been outside where there is possible lead contamination
  • Make sure you wash hands before every meal AND before (and after) toileting
  • Wet dust and mop your home, including sills and ledges – use sugar soap or detergent
  • If there is lead dust, then using a 3-bucket system*, as advocated by the LEAD Group
  • Ensure your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter, or is cyclonic
  • Consider where the painted toys are from – choose ones from Australia
  • Where there is bare soil, create barriers in play areas – such as mulch or play mats to prevent contact
  • Wash toys, dummies and so forth regularly

And a video

Here is the 3-Bucket System recommended by The LEAD Group.


I personally don’t like Step 5. Instead, I suggest finding another safe way to dispose of the water – ask your local council.

An alternative would be to clean with Bamboo Microfibre Cloths and dispose of them.

#lead #LEADGroup #ecohealthsolutions

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