The world has seen lots of changes in the past three years. The pandemic forced most of us to work from home, resulting in increased EMF pollution in our home-office spaces.
But that’s not all. Because we couldn’t get out, our tech use also increased heavily, further exacerbating EMF pollution in our homes.
Now, despite the situation calming down significantly, many people continue to work from home. And experts predict that “25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022.”
So, work from home seems to be here to stay. And, if this is our reality in the near future, we really need to start thinking about getting rid of those increased EMF emissions in our homes.
And that’s what this post is all about. Here, you’ll learn ways to reduce the EMF levels in your home-office without eliminating the use of your gadgets. So, let’s begin.
Common Types of EMF
Before moving forward and learning more about reducing your EMF exposure, let’s take a moment to understand the types of EMFs you’re being exposed to in your home.
There are many types of electromagnetic fields (EMF). But here are the most common ones you can find in your home.
- Electric fields
- Magnetic fields
- Radiofrequency (RF)
- Dirty electricity
- Ground Current Pollution
Besides these, there’s static electricity and blue light. They’re slightly different from the EMFs above but are also harmful.I have a separate post explaining most of these EMF types in detail, which I recommend you go through once. Regardless, here’s a short overview of these EMF types.
Electricity generates electric fields. So, if you have wires running through the walls, power cords plugged into outlets, or anything that uses electricity, there will be electric fields present in your space.
Magnetic fields often come from overhead or buried power lines. It’s also common to find magnetic fields near breaker panels, large appliances, outlets, and motors like blenders, hairdryers, electric toothbrushes, computer chargers, and toasters.
Wireless devices like cell phones, WiFi routers, laptops, and tablets emit radio frequency or RF-EMF. Radio waves transfer information from one place to another through the air.
Other common sources of RF-EMF are cell towers, fitness trackers, smart speakers, anything with Bluetooth, and modern gaming systems.
Electricity usually flows in a 50 to 60 Hz sine wave, depending on where you live. If something disturbs its standard flow, it creates micro-surge electrical pollution, commonly known as dirty electricity.
Some tech products that cause a disturbance in electricity flow are CFL lightbulbs, LED lightbulbs, fluorescent lights, solar panels, computer chargers, energy-saving devices, and utility meters.
Ground Current Pollution
Despite the significant achievements in modern technology, a massive part of the electrical infrastructure in the United States has remained the same for a long time.
Even today, utility companies are using the same infrastructure from decades ago to cope with the increased demand resulting from a massive population increase. And this has been causing some major problems, one of which is ground current pollution.
Ground current literally means “electrical current flowing through the ground.”
See, the nature of electricity is that if it comes from a source, it has to return to the same source through the neutral wire. I’ve explained this in-depth in my “Grounding Myths” post.
The neutral wires in our outdated electrical infrastructure aren’t robust enough to handle the heavy energy return. So, these companies had to find a cheap way to dump the returning electricity. And the ground was the cheapest and the easiest method available.
The current from the dumped electricity travels through the earth, electrifying it, to return to the source, which causes tons of problems for the plants, animals, and humans living in that location.
Read my post “Ground Current Pollution” for more information.
Static Electricity and Blue Light
Besides these five major EMF types, other slightly different EMF sources exist. These include static electricity and blue light. But the fact they’re different doesn’t mean that they’re safe.
Static electricity is not an electrical current. It is a weaker form of energy that forms when an atom’s positive and negative charges are out of balance.
When two objects like wool, glass, human skin, or hair rub together, it creates static electricity.
You may have noticed tiny sparks and an audible noise when taking off your woolen clothes in the winter. That’s static electricity generated by your woolen clothes rubbing against your body.
Another form of unconventional EMF is blue light. LED screens, like those on your computer, TV, and cell phone, produce blue light.
Blue light mimics natural sunlight, so it suppresses your body’s ability to determine if it’s nighttime. Because of this, your pineal gland lowers melatonin production, which results in you not getting enough of the REM sleep that’s crucial for your good health.
Example of EMF-Infused Home office Environment
A standard office hosts different types of EMF-emitting devices. And in large numbers, too. If you test the ambient EMF level in a modern workplace using an EMF meter, you will often find very high readings – much higher than what many experts consider safe.
When working from home, you will obviously have fewer EMF-emitting devices. But your exposure level will still remain high. And there are two reasons for this.
First, a home-office will also have many devices that emit EMF. And second, the room won’t be as large as a typical workplace floor where you can create a distance with those sources.
Look at this picture of a typical home–office setup. Take a moment to observe and identify items that are EMF concerns.
Did you find any? If yes, then perfect.
Let’s dive deeper into this image, break down what EMF sources are present, and understand what you can do to mitigate EMF levels in your home office.
Electronically Adjustable Desk
The first thing I noticed in this image is the desk.
Now, desks in themselves are not EMF emitters. But many modern desks have a feature that lets you adjust their height per your comfort.
They use electricity for this adjustment feature to function. Because of that, there will always be an electric field surrounding your desk.
Thankfully, you can easily cut down electric fields from these desks by simply unplugging the desk from the wall. Once you do that, it will eliminate all the voltage that would otherwise add to your home office’s EMF pollution.
On the right-hand side, I see a wireless speaker.
Speakers like this generally use Bluetooth. And, just like WiFi and cell phone signals, Bluetooth is another way of sending information through the air.
You should avoid these kinds of wireless speakers as much as you can. Instead, you can use speakers that you can plug into your computer via a cable.
And if you use external speakers with your phone, opt for ones with an AUX function. These devices use AUX cords to connect your phone and your external speaker.
This way, you can mitigate RF radiation in your space without having to go speaker-less.
On the middle right side of the table, there is a wireless mouse. Much like wireless speakers, a wireless mouse uses Bluetooth to connect with your computer.
First, there’s absolutely no point for a computer mouse to be wireless. Their function is to stay stagnant and work as a pointer for your computer screen when you move it.
The second reason you shouldn’t have a wireless mouse is that every time you click on it, there is a big spike of RF-EMF. And this is the kind of unnecessary exposure we are trying to avoid.
The solution here is simple. Get a wired mouse, and you will eliminate one more EMF-emitting device unnecessarily polluting your workspace.
Operating on similar technology as the wireless mouse, we have the wireless keyboard right next to it. The concerns here are identical to those above.
You can fix this by simply getting a wired keyboard. Note that wired keyboards are also not entirely safe, as they also emit electric fields.
One way to reduce electric fields is to ground your computer. And by that, I mean simply plug your computer into an outlet with a grounded cord. But be sure to test the effectiveness of your work using an EMF meter because sometimes grounding is not enough.
If you are unsure about the testing methods or results, you can enlist the help of an EMF consultant.
The best way to mitigate electric fields from your keyboard is to get one that works using infrared radiation. Infrared radiation (IR) is much safer than RF, and keyboards that use IR are also wireless. So, you can enjoy the comfort of a wireless keyboard minus the heavy EMF exposure.
On the left-hand side, we have a printer.
Printers are right in the category of devices producing massive amounts of EMF.
Most people just don’t think about this and leave their printer turned on 24/7— highly NOT recommended.
The majority of printer owners don’t print so frequently that it becomes necessary to keep their devices on at all times.
The solution here is to turn off your printer when not in use and plug it in only when necessary.
USB Charging Station
If you look carefully, you will see a USB charging station under the computer.
The problem with USB charging stations is that they produce electric fields every time you plug something in.
It’s also common to see chargers plugged into these stations without any device to receive the charge, which is a problem. When you do this, you unnecessarily send voltage through that wire, adding EMF to your already dense space.
Besides electric fields, these plugged-in cables cause your electrical wiring to produce dirty electricity.
A remedy here is not necessarily to entirely avoid using USB charging stations. You just need to make minor changes in the way you use this device, like:
- Keep it at a safe distance from you. You can plug it into an outlet on the other side of the room or desk.
- Keep it unplugged when it’s not in use.
Right beneath the computer, there’s a device that looks like a cell phone. Even if it’s not, placing cell phones on the table in home offices is common.
We heavily rely on our cell phones today, and though they’re convenient, doing so is not good for your health.
One way out of this is to keep your phone in airplane mode as much as possible. And if you can, turn off WiFi and Bluetooth as well.
I also understand that not everyone can keep their cell phones in airplane mode for a major part of their day. In that case, I recommend using the SYB Phone Pouch, which will reduce your EMF exposure without you having to disconnect from the network altogether.
And getting a landline is also a good idea. You can route your calls to the landline, and even if your phone is in airplane mode, you won’t miss any calls.
You can also try using other forms of communication through your computer using a wired internet connection. There are plenty of free apps like Skype and Google Voice that allow you to make phone calls right from your desktop.
It’s impossible not to notice the cordless phone right in front of the wireless mouse. Cordless phones give off just as much radio frequency as a cell phone, if not more.
The solution here is to replace the cordless phone with a corded one. If you use a landline in your house, you can do this for all your phones. The amount of EMF reduction in your home just by doing this will be drastic.
Lamps most certainly don’t emit radio frequency, but they do emit electric fields. And, if your lamp has a CFL or LED lightbulb, it will boost dirty electricity.
Besides that, these bulbs can also have lots of flickers, which is disruptive to your eyes and your nervous system.
My recommendation here is to utilize the natural and far less harmful sunlight. Keep shades open whenever possible, and maybe even consider moving your setup to an area in your house with lots of natural light.
If you don’t have windows near your workspace and have to use a lamp, opt for incandescent light bulbs instead of LED or CFL.
Also, make sure to move the lamp slightly away from your body. Once you make these changes, you’ll notice significant improvements in your eyes, nervous system, and circadian rhythm.
To put a cherry on top, you can find a lamp that uses a 3-pronged plug. This is because the third round prong connects to the ground wire in the outlet, reducing your electric field exposure.
The biggest of all EMF sources I see in the whole image is the computer.
When you connect your computer to a WiFi network, it produces RF-EMF. It infuses your entire space with its radiation. However, you can easily avoid this by hardwiring your internet connection.
The best way to reduce the electric fields from your device is to test the levels using an EMF meter first. Once you have the readings, you can start checking where they’re coming from. In most cases, they’re from the cables lying near your feet. Simply push them away from your feet, as far as you can.
This may possibly come as a surprise because chairs don’t produce EMF. But it’s important for me to address this because most chairs out there are made of synthetic materials. And if they are, they’ll generate static electricity, which is also the kind of thing you should try to avoid as much as you can.
Compared to other things mentioned in this post, static electricity isn’t that big of a deal. But when it comes to EMF protection, every decision matters.
So, the next time you go shopping, remember to only bring back natural materials for things you’ll use for a significant chunk of your time. This includes chairs, couches, and even mattresses and pillows.
Electrical Wires and Appliances
Besides all these visible EMF sources, I’m confident that there are wires running through the wall, also producing high levels of electric fields. And if you do a random test in your home office using an EMF meter, you’ll most certainly find magnetic fields coming from sources like overhead power lines or wiring errors, or appliances on the other side of the wall.
But now for the good news: most of the harmful EMF types I mentioned in this post are avoidable. And you can live a safer, healthier life alongside technology.
You just need to do the right things. I have a huge post collection entitled “EMF Healthy Living Tips,” where you can learn more about the things you can start doing today to reduce your EMF exposure. So, give it a visit.
Here’s a quick overview of all the EMF-reducing measures mentioned above.
- Hardwire your internet connection.
- Keep devices unplugged when not in use.
- Get rid of your LED and CFL lightbulbs and get some old-school incandescent light bulbs instead.
- If you have a landline, make sure to use a corded phone.
- Start practicing better cell phone hygiene. Use the airplane mode feature whenever you can.
- Do not use your laptop on your lap. Keep it on a table and sit on a chair. And if you can, use an external (wired) keyboard and mouse.
- Avoid synthetic materials as much as you can and opt for natural materials.
- For tailored advice, consult an EMF expert. You can do so through the EMF Consulting portal on our website.
And finally, take action. Your actions today to reduce EMF pollution in your home office are an investment toward a healthier life.