Is an electrical outlet a source of EMF radiation? Yes, all the electrical wiring in your home emits radiation. And power outlets can act as a more concentrated source of this radiation—especially when they have something plugged into them. And so we arrive at Healthy Living Tip #59: Move Your Furniture Away From Outlets.
To better understand why this works, let’s take a quick look at the type of radiation we’re talking about here. Power lines, household wiring and any electronic devices (be it your fridge, TV, lamp, or anything else) emit what’s called Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) radiation.
ELF radiation is a type of EMF with less energy than radio frequency or microwaves (which are the types of EMF radiation used for wireless communication, and emitted by devices like cell phones and wifi). But just because it has less energy does not mean it has less power (EMF energy and power are two different things).
How much EMF comes from your power outlets? Well, it’s very difficult to say, because the actual amount of EMF radiation can vary widely depending on how your home is wired. Many electricians don’t think about EMF exposure when they are installing your wiring, and so certain wiring patterns can lead to much higher levels of EMF. (This is also why it’s important to keep your extension cords organized.)
If you really want to know how much EMF radiation is coming from your outlets, you have to test for yourself.
Your electrical wiring and power outlets are yet another source of EMF that adds to the cumulative amount that we’re exposed to on a day to day basis. And it’s one we’re frequently exposed to without even thinking about it.
As the American Cancer Society notes:
“How much electromagnetic radiation you are exposed to depends on the strength of the electromagnetic field, your distance from the source of the field, and the length of time you are exposed. The highest exposure occurs when the person is very close to a source putting out a strong field and stays there for a long period.”
And where might you stay for a long period? At your work desk, on the couch, in your bed… The latter is a particularly important one given we’re likely to spend 6-8 hours or more in bed each night.
What about the evidence on ELF radiation and health?
In a time where our exposure to electromagnetic radiation is increasing at an alarming rate, the burden on the proverbial camel’s back is getting heavier—and ELF from power outlets is yet another straw.
Exposure to ELF EMF radiation is linked to negative health outcomes including leukemia, and like radio frequency, ELF is designated by the World Health Organization as a Class 2B Carcinogen.
Keep Your Furniture Away from Outlets
It’s a minor effort to make, but moving your furniture a little further away from power outlets can reduce the amount of ELF radiation you and your family are exposed to—in turn reducing your cumulative lifetime exposure to EMF.
This simple tip is one example of why we always say the best EMF protection is free.