EMR Spring Cleaning

Take simple steps to safer EMR levels around the home. This is the kind of spring clean we can do anytime of the year.

Many of us take home-time as an opportunity to give our homes a good spring clean. Along with cleaning those dusty, hard-to-reach spots and ensuring our home is free of mould and other toxins, it’s the perfect time to deal with another invisible nasty: electromagnetic frequencies, and most specifically electromagnetic radiation (EMR).

EMR is emitted from all wireless and smart devices and these days our homes are increasingly full of them. The WiFi router, smart meter, smart TV, mobile phones, laptops and smart appliances, including voice controlled 'assistants' (yes Alexa, we're looking at you!) 

There is much research to show that prolonged exposure to EMR can be detrimental to our health. Indeed, many people are extremely sensitive to the increasing amount of EMR in our environment, so it is important to reduce our everyday exposure to it and the best place to start is in our own homes.

Measuring EMR in our homes

A good first step for an EMR Spring clean is to gain an understanding of the current levels of EMR in our home, particularly those areas in which we spend the most time. EMR can be measured using an RF (radiofrequency) meter and is measured in µW/m².

Experts recommend that a typical home should keep levels low i.e.: <10µW/m² for living spaces and <5µW/m² for sleeping areas.

It is worth measuring other types of EMF alongside electromagnetic radiation, such as magnetic fields, from household wiring and nearby powerlines, and electric fields from household appliances.  Approximately one-third of our background exposure at home is sourced from household wiring, electrical equipment and appliances. As these levels are of concern, it is important to consider this alongside any EMR reduction strategies.

The next step is to identify the sources of EMR in the home. The most obvious emitters in our homes are WiFi routers, smart meters and smart devices but there are also some unexpected sources of EMR to be aware of, such as baby monitors, cordless phones, smart fridges and even smart LED lightbulbs.

5 Top Tips to reduce EMR exposure in your home

1. Distance yourself from the source of EMR

Thanks to the Inverse Square Law of physics, distance is a key factor when trying to reduce exposure to EMF. The further away we are from the source of EMR, the better protected we are from it (worth remembering next time we put our phone in our pocket!)

Consider ways to increase our distance from EMR emitting devices. For example, if the bed is against the opposite side of the wall from a smart meter or a high emitting appliance, can the bedroom furniture be re-arranged to increase distance from the source of EMR? Could the WiFi router be relocated away from the main living area or sleeping areas of the home?

2. Switch devices off

All smart devices emit electromagnetic radiation when in use so consider powering them off when they're not needed. We tend to be in the habit of leaving our WiFi router on 24/7 but  a great tip to reduce EMR exposure is to turn off the WiFi router when it’s not in use, particularly in the evenings and during the night to safeguard our sleep. A simple Christmas lights timer can be used to switch the router off at the same time each night and back on again each morning. 

3. Get hard-wired instead of Wifi and Bluetooth

An EMR Spring Clean is also the ideal opportunity to consider swapping out WiFi for hard-wired ethernet cables on computers, printers and other wireless tech. Limit your wiring to service the select few devices you need, for example, opting for an old-fashioned wired phone is predominantly free of radiofrequency radiation. There are many online resources to show you how to effectively hard-wire your house and turn off the need for WiFi. 

4. Create a 'no tech'  zone

Nominate a 'no tech' zone. We recommend the bedrooms. Clear out any tech and set up a landing site, device hub or electronics zone, away from bedrooms where phones and other smart devices can be stored and charged on airplane mode overnight. For those in the habit of using a phone as an alarm clock, now is the perfect time to purchase a good old-fashioned, non-EMR emitting, alarm clock instead. 

5. Check your lighting

Increasingly, new homes are installed with smart lighting linked to an app on the phone and can be controlled wirelessly. This kind of lighting increases the EMR exposure in the home.

Even if we're not exposed to smart lighting, modern lighting has seen the switchover from incandescent bulbs to energy-saving fluorescent bulbs which are high emitters of other types of EMF, as well as high levels of blue light. Artificial lighting affects not only our eye health, but also disrupts our circadian rhythm leading to poor sleep. 

Make the swap to healthier lighting such as the BioLight range from Block Blue Light. With three settings for dawn, daytime and dusk, the BioLight is a full spectrum lighting solution that replicates the natural light of the sun at different times of the day, creating a healthier lighting environment within the home. 

Visit our Reducing Exposure page for other ways to reduce your exposure to EMR. Happy Spring Cleaning!