The world has seen lots of changes in the past eight months. Economist Nicholas Bloom from Stanford University says that 42 percent of the U.S. labor force is now working from home. In addition, our children are also learning from home, at least part-time. This means that the level of tech usage in our homes has increased dramatically, resulting in enormous EMF pollution in our home–office spaces.
Computers are only part of the problem. Our usage of cell phones and smart-watches has also increased, not to mention other EMF-emitting devices like printers, wireless keyboards, Bluetooth headsets, tablets, and more.
All of these devices contribute to turning your home into a highly EMF-infused zone.
But here’s the good news: there are many easy steps you can take right away to dramatically reduce your EMF exposure without eliminating the use of your devices – some of which I’ll discuss in this post.
But before that, let’s understand the types of EMF that surrounds your home office space.
Common Types of EMF
There are four main electromagnetic fields (EMF) that you can find in your home. These are electric fields, magnetic fields, radiofrequency (RF), and dirty electricity. Apart from these, there are static electricity and blue light, which are also types of EMF, but not similar to the four fields above.
We have another post explaining all of these electromagnetic fields in detail. But let’s look at a short overview to understand how they work.
Electricity generates electric fields. So, if you have wires running through 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 see magnetic fields near breaker panels, large appliances, outlets, and things with different speeds or motors like blenders, hairdryers, electric toothbrushes, computer chargers, and toasters.
Wireless devices like cell phones, WiFi routers, laptops, and tablets emit radio frequencies 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. When 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.
Static Electricity and Blue Light
Apart from these four major EMF types, there are other slightly different EMF sources, but they’re equally responsible for increasing your overall EMF exposure. These sources are static electricity and blue light.
Static electricity is not an electrical current. It is a weaker form of energy that forms when the positive and negative charges of an atom are out of balance.
When two objects like wool, glass, human skin, or hair rub together, it creates static electricity.
For example, 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 the ones 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 night time. 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 has different types of EMF-emitting devices in large numbers. If you test the ambient EMF level in modern workplaces using an EMF meter, you will often find very high readings– much higher than levels you can consider safe.
When working from home, you will obviously have fewer EMF-emitting devices, but your exposure level will still remain high.
This is because your home office still has many EMF-emitting devices that stay close to your body for a long period.
So, we’ve identified a few items that are most likely to be present in a home office. We’ll look at those things together and break down measures that you can take to lessen EMF pollution in your space.
Look at this picture of a typical home–office set up. 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 come with a feature that allows you to lower or raise the desk’s height, per your comfort.
These desks use electricity to activate this feature, due to which there will be an electric field surrounding the desk at all times.
Thankfully, you can easily cut down electric fields from these desks. To do that, you can just set the desk to where you want it and then unplug it from the wall. Doing this will eliminate all that voltage that would otherwise be adding to the EMF pollution in your home office.
On the right-hand side, I see a wireless speaker.
Speakers like this generally use Bluetooth. And, just like your WiFi or cell phone signal, Bluetooth is another way of sending information through the air using radiofrequency, or RF-EMF.
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.
And if you use external speakers with your phone, opt for ones with auxiliary 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 eliminating your speakers.
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.
Here is a fact: There is absolutely no need for a computer mouse to be wireless. Their function is to stay at the same place and work as a pointer for your computer screen.
But when you use a wireless mouse, every time you click on it, there is a big spike of RF-EMF. And this is the kind of unnecessary exposure that we are trying to avoid.
The solution here is simple. Get a wired mouse, and you will eliminate one more EMF-emitting device unnecessarily populating 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 themselves 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.
Another way to mitigate electric fields from your keyboard is to get an infrared keyboard. Infrared is perfectly safe, and keyboards that use infrared 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 that produces a massive amount of EMF.
Most people just don’t think about this and leave their printer turned on 24/7, which is not a good idea. The majority of printer owners don’t print so frequently that it becomes necessary to keep their device on at all times.
The solution here is to turn off your printer when not in use and plug it in only when you need to.
USB Charging Station
If you give it a careful look, you will see a USB charging station right under the computer.
The problem with USB charging stations is that they produce electric fields every time you plug in something.
It’s also common to see chargers plugged into these stations without any device to receive the charge, and this is a problem. When you do this, you are unnecessarily sending voltage through that wire, adding EMF to your already dense space.
Besides electric fields, these plugged-in cables causes 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. The changes you need to make are as follows:
1) Keep it at a safe distance from you. You can plug it into an outlet on the other side of the room or desk.
2) 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, cell phones placed on the table in home offices are a common sight.
We heavily rely on our cell phones today, and this reliance is not without harm. Cell phones produce heavy RF radiation, and keeping them close to your body for a prolonged period creates adverse health effects.
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.
You can switch off airplane mode when you have to do things like making calls. Or better yet, you can route your cell phone number to your landline. This way you won’t have to miss any calls.
It’s also understandable that some of you reading this may not be in a position to just put the cell phone into airplane mode for a major part of the day. In this case, you can use the SYB Phone Pouch, which will reduce your EMF exposure without you having to disconnect from the network altogether.
You can also try using wired forms of communication. There are plenty of free apps like Skype and Google Voice, which allows you to make phone calls through your computer.
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 does, 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 give dirty electricity a boost.
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 workspace to a place in the house with a lot of natural light.
If you don’t have windows near your workspace, and you 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 changes in your eyes, nervous system, and in your 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 is what connects to the ground wire in the outlet reducing your electric field exposure.
In the entire image, the biggest of all EMF sources I see is the computer. Computers are a source of all types of EM fields that I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
When you connect your computer to a WiFi network, it produces RF-EMF and infuses your entire space with its radiation. To avoid this, you can hardwire your internet connection.
Hardwiring your computer makes a significant reduction in your EMF exposure. This is because when you hardwire your connection, the EMF will travel through the ethernet cable instead of air.
Besides this, you’ll see improvements in your internet speed because of the reduced disturbance in the connection.
That takes care of the RF radiation; but RF isn’t the only type of EMF computers produce.
They produce electric fields too. The level of electric fields they produce depends on multiple factors. So, the best way to understand the levels in your home office is to test using an EMF meter.
Also, if you’re reading this on a desktop computer, look beneath you and check if any cables are lying near your feet. If yes, push those cables away from your feet, as far as you can.
Now, if you’re not on a computer but on a laptop, you need to follow a different set of habits. Of those habits, the most important one is never to use your laptop on your lap. Instead, place it on the table and sit on a chair.
Laptops produce high magnetic fields, electric fields, radiofrequency radiation, and, if plugged in, even dirty electricity. So, the farther it is from your body, the better.
If you’re in a situation where you have to use your laptop on your lap, get an SYB Laptop Pad. You can simply place it on your lap beneath the laptop. Doing this is important because the EMF otherwise goes directly to your sensitive reproductive organs. The SYB Laptop Pad will deflect EMF from your laptop away from your body, allowing you to safely use your device close to your body.
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 that you should be trying 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 inside your home.
Electrical Wires and Appliances
Besides all these visible EMF sources, there are quite probably wires running through the wall producing high-level electric fields, which you can’t see in the image.
If you do a random test in your home office using an EMF meter, there’s a high chance that you will find magnetic fields in the room. They may be coming from sources like overhead power lines or wiring errors or appliances on the other side of the wall.
The main goal of this post is to make you aware of your surroundings. If you take a look around, you’ll find several sources where you can make changes without affecting your daily routines. And those changes will help you a lot in improving your health and well-being.
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 use 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 towards a healthier life.