One of the key challenges to understanding electromagnetic radiation (EMF/EMR) is that it is invisible and odorless. So how do you know how much there is around you? By using specific meters that are designed to measure this invisible force. Using an EMF meter (or EM meter) is the only way to know how strong an electromagnetic field is. And once you know where the strong fields are, you can remove the source of the EMF, or avoid the radiation. This is how to use an EMF meter.
Different Types of EMF Meters
There are different kind of EM meters, to measure different types of electromagnetic radiation, based on the frequency (or, amount of energy) of the field. There are meters that measure ELF radiation (Extremely Low Frequency, such as is emitted from powerlines and appliances that run on AC power). And there are meters that measure RF/MW radiation (Radio Frequency & Microwave radiation, such as is emitted by wireless devices like cell phones & WiFi).
All meters are designed to measure the amount of power in the electromagnetic field. The stronger the level of power, the more risk there is.
To measure ELF (so-called powerline) radiation, you will want a gaussmeter, which translates ELF radiation into gauss readings (G).
To measure RF/MW (so-called wireless) radiation, you will want what is known as a power-density meter, which measure power over a given area. These translate the power levels of wireless radiation in units such as volts-per-meter (V/m), or watts-per-centimeter-squared (W/cm^2).
Some of these meters can get very expensive. Others are more affordable, but sacrifice precision and other features. (A relatively useful and inexpensive one, that measures both ELF and RF/MW, is the TriField.)
How to Use EMF Meters to Take Measurements
Once you have your meter, you should turn it on, and start taking measurements. Because the power of electromagnetic radiation diminishes exponentially with distance, you will want to take many measurements, in different locations.
Obviously, you should start in those places where you spend the most time— for instance, around your bed, or near your living room couch. You should also perform tests at different times of day; for example, there may be higher levels in the evening than during the afternoon (if, for example, your neighbor, with whom you share a wall, turns on his TV when he gets home at night).
One of the difficulties with using an EM meter, is that there are different units of measurement— all of which are generally quite confusing for most average consumers. So, rather than trying to understand the measurements, instead you will want to make note of any measurements that are high. What does “high” mean? Well, that depends whose recommendations you accept.
Recommended Exposure Limits
The BioInitiative Report (BIR) recommends a maximum exposure to ELF of 1 mG— so per their recommendations measurements above one milligauss should be avoided. As for RF/MW, the 2007 edition of the BIR recommends exposures above 0.1 uW/cm2 be avoided; the 2012 edition lowered this by 3-orders of magnitude. In any event, with most of the less expensive meters on the market, 0.1 uW/cm2 is the lowest measurement that can be made.
Once you know where your high readings are coming from, you can make adjustments. For example, if your living room couch is exposed to relatively-high levels of power, then consider moving your couch; alternatively, find the source of the emissions (perhaps a nearby WiFi router) and find a new location for that.
If moving your furniture or your appliances and wireless devices is not a viable option, then consider investing in some shielding products that can deflect the higher-powered fields.
This is what our Flex Shields do— simply apply them on almost any surface (for example, the wall behind your couch, or next to your bed) to provide a layer of shielding that will deflect EMF away from your body.
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