EMF Sources: Understanding Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF)

Electromagnetic Spectrum

The Electromagnetic Spectrum (EM) is energy that travels and spreads out as it goes, covering the range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Visible light that comes from a lamp in a house and radio waves that come from a radio station are two types. Other examples of EM radiation are microwaves, infrared and ultraviolet light, X-rays and gamma-rays. 

Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

The following table gives approximate wavelengths, frequencies, and energies for selected regions of the
Electromagnetic Spectrum.

Spectrum of Electromagnetic Radiation
Region Wavelength
Radio > 109 > 10 < 3 x 109 < 10-5
Microwave 109 - 106 10 - 0.01 3 x 109 - 3 x 1012 10-5 - 0.01
Infrared 106 - 7000 0.01 - 7 x 10-5 3 x 1012 - 4.3 x 1014 0.01 - 2
Visible 7000 - 4000 7 x 10-5 - 4 x 10-5 4.3 x 1014 - 7.5 x 1014 2 - 3
Ultraviolet 4000 - 10 4 x 10-5 - 10-7 7.5 x 1014 - 3 x 1017 3 - 103
X-Rays 10 - 0.1 10-7 - 10-9 3 x 1017 - 3 x 1019 103 - 105
Gamma Rays < 0.1 < 10-9 > 3 x 1019 > 105

Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

AC Electric and AC Magnetic Fields (EMF) are invisible lines of force that surround any electrical device. A "field" is the area in which charges interact with other charges. Electromagnetic fields consist of electric (E) and magnetic (H) waves traveling together. They travel at the speed of light and are characterized by a frequency and a wavelength. At higher frequencies the electric and magnetic fields combine and form electromagnetic radiation.
Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF)

Here is a list of common EMF Sources found in Today's Homes:

AC Magnetic Field Exposure Points

  •     All power lines (especially high voltage power lines)
  •     Electrical transformers (both large and small)
  •     Plumbing Current (entering your home through your ground to the city water
  •     Net Current (wiring problems)
  •     Faulty electrical wiring and grounding
  •     Outdated Knob and Tube wiring
  •     High current appliances such as hair dryers, stoves, space heaters and ovens
  •     Microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners, old cathode ray tube (CRT) computer
        monitors and televisions, electric toothbrushes, electric shavers and TVs
AC Magnetic Fields are measured in milligauss (mG.) and are created when electric current flows. If current does flow, the strength of the magnetic field will vary depending upon the amount of current (amps) drawn through the conductor.
Magnetic Field

AC Electric Field Exposure Points

  •     Electrical wiring and power cords
  •     Fluorescent/Compact Fluorescent
  •     Poorly grounded electrical system
  •     Bedside AC lamps, clocks and electrical cords
  •     Laptop computers
AC Electric Fields are measured in Volts per meter (V/M) and are always present on charged electrical wires and devices plugged into live outlets; this type of field is created by differences in voltage. The higher the voltage, the stronger will be the resultant field.
Electric Field

Devices that contribute to 'Dirty Electricity'

  •     Fluorescent/Compact Fluorescent / 12-Volt halogen lighting
  •     Dimmer switches
  •     Computers/laptops
  •     Television sets
  •     Microwave ovens
  •     Most Treadmills and furnaces that have variable speed motors
  •     Some UV filters and ionizers
  •     Anything with a motor
  •     Inverters
  •     Nearby neighbours' activities can be a huge influence

'Dirty Electricty' Sources

'Dirty Electricity' is measured in Graham-Stetzer Units (GSU). Our electrical power supply has become increasing contaminated with invisible microsurges of dangerous electric field radiation called "dirty" electricity. Dirty electricity has become a steadily growing problem in recent years due to our increased use of energy efficient CFL bulbs, dimmer switches, modern low-voltage lighting, electronic devices and computers that produce high frequency electrical feedback.

Radio Frequency (RF) / Microwave Sources

  •     Wireless Networks and wireless security systems
  •     DECT (digital) cordless phones, and baby monitors
  •     Cellular phones and PDAs
  •     Cell towers and microwave transmitters
  •     Walkie-talkies
  •     Gaming systems
  •     eReaders
  •     Home automation systems
  •     Nearby neighbours wireless activities
  •     Radar and radio station transmitters
Radio Frquency/Microwave Sources

Radio Frequency Microwave Radiation fields are measured in microwatts per square centimetre (µWatt/cm2). If a current flowing through the wire is made to oscillate at a very rapid rate (3 KHz or greater), the floating electromagnetic field will break free and be launched into space. At the speed of light, the energy will radiate outward in a pulsating pattern, much like the waves in the pond. Mankind has harnessed much of the radio spectrum for communication purposes such as Wi-Fi, cell phone, radio, satellite TV and radar.

Cell Towers Radiofrequency RF Microwave Radiation and Related Problems

Compilation of sources related to cell tower RF microwave radiation problems.

Best quote? It's from a cell tower worker, "It's like being cooked. It's like laying on the beach for too long; that feeling that your eyes are dried out, your ears ring. If you got metal fillings you can actually taste the RF. It tastes metallic."

Dianne Knight

This information has been provided to you by

Dianne Knight, B.A.
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