RFR Radiofrequency radiation
The most famous EMF… If someone is talking about EMFs, they are generally referring to radiofrequency (RF) radiation. Radiofrequency radiation comes from all wireless devices. Depending on the signal strength, the fields will penetrate walls and people. Check here to see if you are near a cell tower or an antenna.
Very important – even if the device is not actually connected to WiFi but the WiFi is not ‘disabled’, that device IS most likely constantly sending out a signal looking to connect. All ‘smart’ devices need to have the WiFi manually ‘disabled’. I purchased Acoustimeter Am 10 to help me determine which hidden devices emit RF radiation and help me decide which to keep, which to hard-wire and which we could live without.
Items that may emit radiofrequency or WiFi radiation:
- WiFi Router and your neighbors WiFi Router
- Wireless Modems
- DECT technology cordless phone (I now have this phone. I have tested it with my meter, it does not transmit any RF)
- Baby monitor
- Smart TV (Apple TV and others)
- Smart/Wireless Thermostat
- Smart/Wireless Security System
- Wireless Printers
- Digital alarm clocks (if it automatically updates to daylight savings time, it is a ‘smart’ device)
- Bluetooth devices (keyboards, speakers, computer mouse)
- Smart Meter and your neighbor’s smart meter
- Cell Phones
- Wired and Wireless video game consoles
In my home, some things like WiFi router, ‘smart’ electronics emitting radiofrequency made sense. Other things like the disconnected thermostat, our seemingly wired television sound system or the extent of ‘smart’ components of our security system were surprising. We do not have a smart meter, however the meter we do have does emit a signal – not as strong as an actual smart meter but that was a big surprise.
Building Biology, an excellent organization that focuses on creating safer environments in homes, provides useful guidelines for safe EMF levels in sleeping areas.
A while ago I bought a corded phone that had a main corded unit and a few cordless stations. I never used the cordless stations as I knew that they emit radiation but I did not realize that the main corded base unit emits extreme radiofrequencies even when not in use. This phone was sitting within 3 feet of me every day as I work in my office and emitted 18,000 µW/m2 of radiation. The lowest reading was in my dining room at 170 µW/m2. This should give you an idea of typical suburban home levels. This chart is an excellent comparison that Ray Pealer of EMR Safety shared with me showing different levels of WiFi radiation and its effects on humans.
What we did and some interesting observations
With zero additional dollars spent, we brought the highest levels of 18,000 µW/m2 down to 1.4 µW/m2. That is a 40,000 reduction by simply eliminating all wireless devices!
We no longer have WiFi. Everything is now hard wired. The security system was probably the toughest to hard-wire but everything else was a very small sacrifice, even for my husband who is constantly connected. Our internet is on a simple Ethernet cable (15 feet or 25 feet), and we have a special Ethernet port in the living room for our IPad (see here how to connect your iPad to Ethernet). Another option was to turn off WiFi at night so a router like this would suit the purpose (the reason I like this one is because it will not turn itself back on with an update).
I now have this corded phone in my office and these corded phones in my kitchen and another room. Both I checked many times and both do not emit any RF radiation. Although not tested by me, these cordless phones (made in Germany, big plus) and this one are mentioned by EMF experts and only emit radiation when in use and none while sitting on the base. Note, look for a phone with ECO DECT technology – you must make sure it is in this mode for the phone to not emit any RF fields.
I threw out my digital baby monitor. With a clear conscience I could not sell or give the baby monitor to anyone.
|Motorola Baby Monitor
|Right next to monitor
|3 feet away
|5,000 – 2,500
|5 feet away
|500 – 1,000
My baby monitor emitted unacceptable levels. Take a look at that chart above to see what kind of damage these baby monitors can do with being ‘On’ all night, every night. This baby monitor RF radiation bounces off objects in the room and the fields keep hitting our babies’ innocent bodies over and over again. Baby monitors should be illegal.
I went through all of our ‘smart’ devices and disabled the WiFi capability. Some things like TV and the sound system we manually unplug and only plug those in when we are watching TV. Surprisingly the DVR is wired and does not emit RF fields so it stays plugged in and records the shows we like.
We are getting a shield for our radiating ‘non-smart meter’ and our neighbors meter. Our neighbors meter is pointing straight at our house so the signal is coming in through the wall. The key with smart meter is to shield the area behind it so the signal does not penetrate the wall and into the house. In a perfect scenario, you would shield the whole wall on the inside of the room next to the smart meter. You would also shield its sides with an opening facing the road (not your neighbor’s house). The easiest fix is to call the utility company and demand to be switched to analog. It may cost you more but according to some moms they have been successful with their requests. However, if you have a meter that is similar to mine – partially smart, partially analog, shielding is your only option.
Update 2018: I just learned of a grounded, yes, grounded smart meter guard. Once mounted onto your utility box, it is ‘grounded’ along with the utility box. Therefore, the emf is not radiated into the interior of the house. Do not buy the cheap knock-off version – it shields the signal outside, and intensifies the signal into the inside of the home.
If you live in a multi-unit building, your choices may be limited. One of the options, while very pricey may be a bed canopy. An alternative is to buy special fabric and make a canopy yourself. Be careful, not all fabrics are made the same – I would speak with an EMF expert to determine which will actually work. And I would rent a meter once installed to make sure it actually does offer protection.
Interestingly, the microwave, when ‘On’ emits about 1,000 µW/m2 with no safe distance.
The biggest and best EMF protection superstore is LessEMF.com. If you are pregnant, belly band is a must or a maternity camisole . I bought these stickers for my husband as he insists on carrying his cell phone in his pocket.
Let’s talk about cell phones.
My husband and I are both iPhone people. When an iPhone is connected to WiFi and is connected to a Bluetooth OR both of those options are enabled but not actually ‘connected’ – the RF radiation is very high. However, when the WiFi is disabled, the Bluetooth is disabled and all windows and apps are closed or ‘minimized’, the phone is fairly benign. It does not much unless you receive a phone call or a text message.
|Off (all windows minimized, no WiFi or Bluetooth)
|0 but jumps to 5 – 1,000 on occasion
|Surfing the internet (not connected to WiFi)
|25,000 – 50,000 when loading the page
10,000 – 5,000 once page is loaded
|Talking on phone with phone against face/brain
|10,000 – 25,000 with jumps to 50,000
|1’ – 2’ away (speaker phone)
|1,000 – 5,000
Airplane mode kills all signal; so on a long road trip or a plane ride, I am comfortable letting my kids play with my phone or IPad. I am not proud, but sometimes a mama has to do what she has to do… I do not however let my children handle any wireless devices when they are on. A child’s brain is so easily penetrated by RF radiation, it is scary.
At the time of writing this blog, I had a Cruz IPhone case, although it worked, I am very dissapointed with quality; it has completely fallen apart in the course of a year. I now have Vest Anti-Radiation Wallet/Case (buy it on Amazon or direct from Vest here). It is quality built and has internal compartment for credit cards and cash. My husband is using an RF safe case. The Vest is slightly bigger; the front flap stays put but is not attached to the back so it is easy to open and close. RF Safe case is slimmer and and does have a (what looks to be a magnet) closure mechanism. With all the meter testing I have done, I am a firm believe that in order for the case to be truly effective, there needs to be something between your face and the phone – it is the only thing that will protect your head. I also have a BlocSock. While not glamorous, I actually like it. A quick note, with the case – your face/brain are protected but whoever is standing next to you is not, so be careful not to have your child next to you while you talk on the phone.
I LOVE this handset for any smart phone – love the retro feel and I use it all the time while talking on my smart phone. I also have this handset for my parents to use at home; it is slightly more modern and much slimmer. Other times I set my phone on call-forwarding to my land line and that also works well. Text messages are another alternataive.
Ray shared with me that IPads emit much more radiation than cell phones so be especially careful with those when giving to a child. Again, airplane mode makes it safe.
Cell phones emit stronger signals while in the car – looking to connect to closest tower. WiFi in the car and talking on your phone is not only distracting but is dangerous too. Imagine a large metal can. You are in it and the radiofrequency is bouncing all inside, with little escaping. At the very least crack the window open to give an ‘easy’ way out.
Finally, we keep our phones on airplane mode at night.
Mitigating RFR Radiofrequency radiation on a budget
Eliminate anything and everything wireless. If you must keep it, manually disable the wireless capability.
Anything ‘smart’. Anything that ‘knows’ or updates itself automatically… Adjusts for day light savings time. Gets any information from somewhere with no wires attached – eliminate or hardwire it. At the very least, unplug for the night.
Unplug the television set and any TV component – speaker system, gaming console, Apple TV, etc.
At night keep your phone on airplane mode.