How to Find a Safer “Low EMF” Home, Work, and School
The truth is EMFs are impossible to avoid completely. But they can be reduced. Thus, a safer “low EMF” home, work, or school can be found with some research and proper tools.
Generally, the further you are from mobile base stations aka cell phone towers – the less high frequency EMF (RF) radiation you will experience.
Cell phone towers radiate very strong EMF signals at a very high frequency RF range anywhere from 2G, 3G, 4G to LTE. They enable our mobile phones to work properly by giving us reception and the Internet. But living in close proximity to cell phone towers has been linked to adverse health conditions ranging from minor ones like insomnia to major ones like cancer and DNA damage. (Source: Bioinitiative Report)
Therefore, it is prudent to live as far away from cell phone towers as possible. The trouble is that in an urban setting mobile cell phone towers can be spaced every few hundred feet apart. This ensures that you always have great signal, but at the expense of everyone being exposed to these harmful EMF frequencies.
It’s not easy to find a “low EMF” home, work, or school in an urban environment, but the effort is worth it in the long run. Especially for individuals with electromagnetic sensitivities (ES).
Some people are more sensitive to EMFs than others. In fact, some people are so sensitive to EMFs that they choose to abandon their work and home and live in the country where EMFs are the least. They become EMF refugees.
A great example of this is a story of a former Ericsson cell phone engineer Per Segerback who ditched the city life to escape the EMFs by living in the woods. He became an EMF refugee. Popular Science article
How to Find a Safer “Low EMF” Home, Work, and School
The Search Begins: Preliminary Research
We can only do our best to find a place to live, work, and go to school, that’s as far as possible from the nearest cell phone tower by doing preliminary research on the area.
If you’re moving to a new home, looking for a new place to work, or go to school you can use this awesome Cell Phone Tower Map Tool to look for cell phone towers nearby. For 5G towers locations you can use this Hawaii 5G towers map courtesy of Stop 5G Hawaii.
It’s also smart to double check the area using Google Maps in satellite and street view to look for objects that look like cell phone towers, since the Cell Phone Tower Map Tool did miss some cell towers.
In Hawaii cell phone towers are usually placed tall poles or on top of buildings’ elevator shafts – on the roof! They are usually white or gray thick rectangular antennas spaced closely and parallel to each other.
Why would they put cell phone towers on top of peoples homes? It’s because the building makes extra money from renting out that space to a cell phone company. At the expense of exposing people living nearby to these harmful EMFs.
What’s even worse is when the cell phone towers are placed right across from child daycare centers, schools, and hospitals where children and the sick are even more susceptible to health risks associated with EMFs.
Scouting the Area in Person
If the prospective area looks good on the map, next step would be to go there in person to make sure that there are definitely no cell phone towers nearby. Satellite and digital street maps are not in real time. And sometimes it’s hard to spot cell phone towers just from the map.
Going in person and scouting the area within at least a 300 foot radius of the proposed home, work, or school is a good idea. Again, special attention must be paid to building roof tops as well as tall poles with cell antennas.
Some mobile cell towers are camouflaged as trees! In Hawaii these fake trees are usually large palm trees or large pine trees. Their antennas will be painted dark green towards the top of the tree.
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How to Measure EMFs: HF, VHF, and RF
HF, VHF, and RF stand for “high frequency”, “very high frequency” and “radio frequency.” Microwave frequency is also part of this range.
Having an EMF meter like the Acousticom 2 is very helpful and recommended since it can show actual exposure levels in the immediate area. It’s extremely easy to use and it fits in the pocket.
The Acousticom 2 measures high frequency EMFs in the RF (radio frequency) microwave range from 200MHz – 8GHz. This range catches cell phone towers, Wi-Fi, smart meters, radar, cell phones, and common 5G frequencies. It even lets you hear these dangerous EMFs, which is helpful in determining its source. The audio function can be turned on and off.
When we were apartment hunting we brought the Acousticom 2 to every potential apartment to test it during the previews. We turned down a few apartments due to high EMF readings from nearby cellphone towers.
The one we settled on had the lowest EMF readings and not a cell phone tower in the line of sight! We were so happy to find such a rare place in an urban environment of Honolulu.
Another way to test the area for (RF) EMFs is by looking at how many bars of reception you have on your cell phone. Generally, the less bars you have the further away a cell phone tower is, the less exposure from the tower.
How to Measure ELF and VLF Power Frequencies
ELF stands for Extra Low Frequency and VLF stands for Very Low Frequency.
To measure low frequency EMFs (ELF and VLF) from electricity inside the walls, substations, power meters, and electrical devices we use the PF5 Pocket Power Frequency Meter.
It’s the same size as the Acousticom 2, so it easily fits in the pocket. Most importantly it’s very easy to use with just one button and a clearly labeled scale. Basically you don’t have to be an engineer to interpret the results.
Using the PF5 Pocket Power Frequency Meter we uncovered an ungrounded MacBook Pro laptop. It was giving off strong magnetic signals – for years! We were able to eliminate these high magnetic frequencies after properly grounding the laptop. It was a very quick and simple solution with immediate results.
More importantly, the PF5 Pocket Power Frequency Meter helped us uncover a very strong magnetic field running along our office wall and through our bedroom! In essence, affecting our entire home.
It’s probably caused by ungrounded or poorly grounded electrical wires running through the wall. This is something we need to closely investigate in the near future.
The reason for our concern about this strong magnetic radiation is because it’s been linked to childhood leukemia in amounts as low as 2 mG! Our average was around 8mG and as high as 20mG!!!
Wi-Fi from your neighbors
Love thy neighbor (but not their Wi-Fi)
Another area to consider is your neighbors’ Wi-Fi networks, since Wi-Fi is another high frequency EMF source that travels through walls. New modern Wi-Fi routers are very strong and can emit 2 bands of frequencies: 2.4 GHz and a 5 GHz at the same time!
The worst type of Wi-Fi environment would be where you have neighbors all around you, such as an apartment building or a high-rise. And they most likely never turn their Wi-Fi off!
If feasible, moving to a corner unit might make some difference, but you may still have neighbors’ Wi-Fi below, above, and on two sides that you share walls with. I suppose that’s a bit better than being in the middle surrounded on all sides by the invisible sea of Wi-Fi.
In this case living in a single family home has a clear advantage of (hopefully) not having your neighbors’ Wi-Fi nearby.
One way to test this is to enable Wi-Fi on your smart phone, tablet, or laptop computer and see how many strong signal Wi-Fi networks it can pick up nearby. The more bars and the more Wi-Fi signals nearby – the more the radiation exposure from Wi-Fi EMFs.
Another way to test this is with an Acousticom 2 meter mentioned earlier. This will give you the actual measurement of all the high frequency EMFs (RF) around you.
Wi-Fi in Schools and Work
Wi-Fi in schools lately has become a subject of controversy. A child’s brain is more susceptible to the damaging effects of EMF radiation since their sculls are thinner than that of an adult. Plus their whole body is still developing!
Thus, EMFs can create problems in learning, productivity, behavior, and overall health of children. American Academy of Pediatrics article.
Because of this, certain health conscious, forward thinking schools such as Waldorf, Montessori, and many others have eliminated their school’s Wi-Fi use. Since our choices of schools are limited and the number of Wi-Fi free schools is very low we can only try to petition our local schools to at least reduce the number of Wi-Fi routers and instead use Ethernet cables to connect other devices.
At work this could be challenging too, so working as far as possible from a Wi-Fi router would be the simplest and quickest solution to reduce exposure.
Global Deployment of 5G
With the global rollout of 5G in urban areas it may be especially prudent to think ahead in terms of location of proposed and existing 5G towers. This map by Stop 5G Hawaii. shows 5G towers already in place in Hawaii!
Although 5G is a very high frequency microwave signal, 5G signals don’t travel as far as standard mobile network signals like 3G, 4G, and LTE.
Of course, this doesn’t make 5G towers any safer since they are a much higher microwave frequency. Furthermore, 5G towers are placed closer together, and closer to the ground than the traditional cell phone tower.
If Moving is Not an Option
If moving to a location that’s lower in EMF radiation is not feasible, then there are things you can do to reduce your EMF exposure from cell phone towers and neighbors’ Wi-Fi nevertheless.
You can implementing a Faraday cage type of shield design using EMF blocking materials on the walls, ceilings, roofs, and floors such as fine metal wire mesh, EMF blocking fabrics such as curtains for windows, and EMF blocking paints. These special materials can help reduce external sources of EMFs you would otherwise have no control over since they all come from the outside.
Picking a low EMF location in the city can be one of the hardest, but effective in the long term ways of reducing EMF exposure. From cell phone towers, “smart” meters, Wi-Fi signals, to high magnetic fields from poor electrical wiring.
There are more steps you can take to reduce harmful EMFs around you. For example, you can escape to a EMF-Free zone. And in our next article we will list 11 ways EMFs can be reduced or even eliminated in your immediate environment.
Header photo: Casey Horner / Unsplash