We are surrounded by it - cellphones, cell towers, powerlines, smartmeters, wifi, you name it. We are swimming in what we can call now "electrosmog" and we feel we have no control over it. But there are practical steps we can take to reduce our exposure to radiation starting from our most immediate environment - our home. Ask the right questions and the answers will come!

 

Yes we are surrounded by it - cellphones, cell towers, powerlines, smartmeters, wifi, you name it. And yes, we are swimming in what we can call now "electrosmog". And we question whether the amount of radiation we are being exposed to on a daily basis is safe for our bodies. At the same time we feel overwhelmed by the thought of trying to reduce our exposure to 'electrosmog' because we feel we don't have any control over it. It's out there, it's everywhere, what are we supposed to do about it? And what can we do that is actually effective?

My take on it, first of all, is we need to get out of this 'helpless' kind of mentality and the belief that there is nothing we can do about the situation so why do anything? That's just a thought that keeps us from taking action. Ask the right questions and the answers will come! There are very practical things we can do to reduce our exposure to electrosmog, which are under our control and which can have benefits to our health in the long term. Having said that, we may not be able to completely eliminate 'electrosmog' pollution from our environment, but I do believe we can take steps to reduce it to a level that is safe for us and learn to use it wisely. Let's start with our immediate environment - our home - and what we can control.

Here's my list of practical tips to help limit or reduce those waves around us for a healthier lifestyle:

1) Get a radiation meter.

It's impossible to limit your exposure to something you can't see and can't measure. I'm a highly sensitive person but I cannot "see" radiation, so I need a meter to know where it's coming from, how much it is, and how it changes as I make changes to my environment. It's like shining the light on the 'smog', why shoot in the dark? Owning a radiation meter has been a huge eye opener for me.

There is an infinite amount of radiation meters available on the market today and it can be overwhelming when you first try to buy one. So you need to know what you are trying to measure.

From my research you should be measuring:

1) High Frequency EM Radiation (the stuff that comes from wifi, cellphones, etc.) 900Mhz to 5000Mhz should cover most common frequencies.

2) Low Frequency Alternating MF and EF (that's powerlines, electrical wiring, appliances etc.) Range 5Hz to 2 Hz.

I haven't found a perfect meter out there for all of these frequencies yet, but I have a found a good value combined RF and LF meter with a decent range for around $150 that I am happy with for now. (My meter is the Cornet ED-78S, if you need something to go by.)

2) Start with the spaces you spend the most time in.

 The Bedroom -  where you sleep is where your body has a chance to regenerate from all the radiation you have received during the day. Try to make this space absolutely electrosmog free! Things like not putting a cellphone under your pillow or a wifi router under your bed should go without saying, but also things like electric alarm clocks - get rid of it, or get a small battery operated one if you really need one, or try to wake up with the sun, it's better for you anyways. Pull your bed away from plugs, heaters etc. especially around your head. Do you really need to watch TV in your bedroom? Remember, you want this space to be 100% 'electrosmog' free. Think of your bedroom as your regeneration chamber, you're in charge here.

The Office - This may be the place you spend most of your day. If you have any say on this, get cable not wifi internet. It's faster, more secure, more reliable anyways.

Try to get that computer as far away from your body as possible. If you have a laptop, you can connect it to a monitor and a keyboard (not wireless) and that will reduce your direct exposure.

Don't forget to turn the wifi off on your computer whenever you are not using it.

Get a landline and a regular corded phone, or even better a speaker phone. (Cordless phones emit very high levels of radiation, stay away from those. The handset of a corded phone will still emit low levels of LF to your ear. Speaker phone is the best option if you can.)

Don't rely on cellphones as you main mode of communication. Put those cellphones on airplane mode when you don't need to use them.

Get those power bars and transformer boxes from any plugged in devices as far away from you as you can. Distance does make exponential difference here.

The Kitchen - here the appliances is what you mostly need to worry about. Try to set your dining table as far as possible from fridges, microwaves etc. Here is something I was unaware of that I found out by using the meter - microwaves (yes they are bad and we don't even use ours anymore but we have one) - behind the display panel on a microwave there is a transformer that emits a massive LF field - all the time - even when the microwave is off! It's the transformer that powers the display panel and can only be turned off by unplugging the microwave completely. As the microwave is positioned right in front of our faces (as in most kitchens), we have now unplugged ours completely, we only plug it in if and when we need to use it.

The House overall - If you have a smartmeter, check the location of it - hopefully it's in an area of the house that you don't use very much and not outside the wall of a bedroom. Check the location of your neighbours' smartmeters too, hopefully they are not facing your bedroom.

So how bad are smartmeters? I've only just started experimenting with measuring it. It goes in bursts so you may have to stand in front of it for a couple of minutes to get a reading. So far I have measured 39 mW/m2 in front of mine. On the inside of the wall I have measured as high as 3 mW/m2 so there is a great reduction. However, biologists out there say safe levels for the smartmeter should be no higher than 1 mW/m2 and safe levels of RF in general for daytime should be around 0.1 mW/m2 and 0.01 mW/m2 at night while sleeping. So having a smartmeter in the house is worrisome. Luckily in my house it is outside the bathroom wall and as far as it can be from all the bedrooms. Still, I wish it were not there at all. In other areas of my house I have got RF levels down to 0.006 mW/m2 day and night.

A note about cellphones - This is probably the worst radiation device out there but also the one we have the most control over. We can spend a lot of time and energy fighting smartmeters (and I do believe we should be doing this, they are a health hazard!) but honestly, if you have one or more active cellphones in your house the smartmeters aren't your biggest enemy. According to my measurements that cellphone you hold close to your body can easily emit as much or exponentially more radiation than that smartmeter on the other side of the wall. Think about that!

How attached we have become to cellphones! Looking up SAR ratings for individual phones is at best only a fine tuning method, they are mostly all the same. Turns out what makes a huge exponential difference to how much radiation you are receiving may have to do with your carrier. I had a cellphone with Rogers, due to the low signal strength here in the area my phone was putting out extremely high radiation signals, way beyond safety levels, even just to send out a simple text message! I have measured as high as 280 mW/m2!!! This should be considered criminal in my opinion. I switched to Telus, only because there are a lot of Telus towers in the area and the signal is better, and the radiation levels dropped by as much as 400x to perform the same function!! As low as 0.6 mW/m2 to send a text message. I have seen Telus phones emit 36 mW/m2 without doing very much, same range as the smartmeter, so don't get your hopes up too much. Essentially what the radiation meter has shown me is that the amount of variation on how much radiation a cellphone can emit is huge!! And before we had a meter we were completely unaware of this. I really believe we should be measuring and regulating these radiation levels very closely, but alas, we are not there yet! So I strongly suggest taking your own measurements and protecting yourselves and your families.

Another thing I learned about cellphones is that Rogers is on a GSM system which emits higher radiation levels than others. As far as I am aware, Rogers is the only carrier in Canada on GSM (plus the 'affiliated' ones that use Rogers towers). The other carriers like Telus used to be on CDMA (which was much lower on radiation) but now transitioned to HSPA/LTE, probably not as low as CDMA was but in my experience not as high as GSM.
My #1 tip for reducing cellphone radiation: Check your cellphone carrier (are they GSM, LTE, or what?) and check your signal strength! You can also check what cellphone towers you have around you to see what carrier has the best signal in your area: Canadian Celular Towers Map (yes, scary how many of these towers are out there!)

Another good idea is to leave you cellphone in Airplane mode when not using it and when you sleep, or turning it off completely. Airplane mode will deactivate the connection to the tower so it is effective in reducing your radiation exposure. Also make sure you turn Wifi off when not using it. They are usually separate 'buttons' on the cellphone and work independently.

If you must talk on a cellphone, speaker mode is the best idea. (How much more obnoxious does that make a cellphone to other people around?) We used to think those headsets were protecting us from radation, not so. They can carry the radiation right to your ear! If you must use a headset get an Airtube headset, which stops the radiation at least from reaching your ear.
(For the record, I have a land line. I use cellphone for text messages and for emergency use only, it mostly lives in "Airplane Mode" now. You will get a hold of me faster through email than through my cell, so it is!)

So what's the solution?

I do believe the technologies and conveniences we have today are here to stay and we do benefit from having them. However we must also deal with their consequences and their potential effect on our health. I do believe the solution has to be inherently simple! But it often takes a lot of complexity to get to simplicity. It's certainly like that with design.

I have come across the "Earthing" movement, which suggests that our bodies are electric, and to neutralize all those positive charges that we are picking up daily we need to reconnect with the earth and essentially ground ourselves. That's what the Earth does, neutralize charges, that's why we ground electrical systems afterall. It makes a lot of sense to me! We have become so separate from the earth, the plastic/rubber sole shoes that we wear are constantly isolating us from the ground, and preventing us from 'discharging'. The Earthing movement suggest that all we may need is 30min. of walking barefoot on the earth everyday to regain our balance and neutralize the charges on the body. But who does that nowadays? It becomes even more difficult if you live in a cold country. The proponents of the Earthing movement have come up with an alternative to the barefoot method which is a simple sheet that is placed on the bed and connected to the ground so the body can discharge at night. I am now using it and enjoying the benefits.

The Earthing sheet and other info about the Earthing movement can be found here.

Additional Resources:

Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn't Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution by Ann Louise Gittleman 

Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! by Clinton Ober

Electrosensitivity: Non-ionising Radiation, Practical Solutions by Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe (UK)