What Are EMFs?

What Are EMFs?

Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) are the fields of radiation energy emitted from all electrical (”power frequency” EMFs) and wireless communications (“radio frequency” or RF EMFs) equipment.

The magnetic fields and pulsing signals from electrical and wireless communications sources interfere with the regular electro-chemical and electrical signalling systems of our body.

Studies have linked EMF exposures to various health symptoms from headaches, migraines, dizziness, loss of memory, concentration, behavioural disorders, sleeping disorders, depression, fatigue, nausea, irritability through to more significant health concerns including hearing disruption, cardiovascular impacts, miscarriage, low male fertility, birth defects, brain tumour, leukaemia, breast cancer and compromised immune systems.

Electric and Magnetic Fields

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are fields of energy arising from electric charges. Electric fields and magnetic fields are different physical entities. Electric fields are produced by voltages, irrespective of how much current is flowing, if at all. Magnetic fields are produced by currents, irrespective of the voltage.

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are a broad term which includes electric fields, magnetic fields and combined electric/magnetic fields which are coupled together as radiation as is the case in radiofrequency EMFs (see table below).

The Differences Between Powerfrequency (“Electrical”) and Radiofrequency (“Wireless”) EMFs

Typical powerfrequency EMFs in the home/workplace arise from mains power related sources (eg. electrical wiring in your home) and appliances (eg. electrical alarm clock). Typical radiofrequency EMFs in the home/workplace arise from telecommunications devices (eg. mobile phones, baby monitors, cordless phones), broadcasting antennas (TV/radio) as well microwave oven usage.

A summary of Powerfrequency (scientifically referred to as “Extremely Low Frequency (ELF)”) EMFs and Radiofrequency EMFs are as follows. EMF Safe hire DIY Detection Kits that are easy to use and can detect both powerfrequency and radiofrequency EMFs.

Powerfrequency EMFs Radiofrequency EMFs
Mains frequency is 50 hertz in Australia 300kHz-300GHz
Up to tens of millions of times higher than power frequencies
Produced by mains electricity: substations, power lines, electrical wiring & appliances in the home They are produced by many different technologies – mobile phones/base stations, WiFi, cordless phones, Bluetooth, baby monitors, game consoles (Xbox, Playstation, Wii etc), wireless mice/keyboards etc
No major changes in the technologies producing them for many decades Technologies are changing all the time
The electric and magnetic field coupling is so weak that radiation is negligible and may be effectively treated as separate phenomena. Magnetic fields from main electricity and related appliances are often more the concern in building environments as electrical fields are more easily shielded (eg. screened by building materials such as brickwork), whilst magnetic fields only reduce with distance and more the subject of proven health dangers. The electric and
magnetic fields are
coupled together as
radiation. Their fixed
(perpendicular to one
another) is shown in
the adjacent diagram
Can induce currents in the body but do not cause heating Can cause heating in the body
Tend to be relatively straightforward waveforms (a sine wave) Modulations used to transmit signals mean the waveform are highly complex
Unit of Measure (magnetic fields): flux densities are measured in microtesla (µT) or milligauss (mG) as in the case of our gauss meters. Unit of Measure (RF radiation): power densities are measured in watts per square meter (W/m2) or milliwatts per square meter (mW/m2) in the case of our high-sensitivity RF meters which can measure down to 0.001mW/m2.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

The electromagnetic spectrum is the group of possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic radiation is energy that travels and spreads out as it goes. These include visible light that comes from a lamp, radio waves that come from your cordless phone and extremely low frequency waves that come from your electrical devices.

Do EMFs Occur Naturally?

The earth and sun produce natural levels of EMFs that we have evolved with over thousands of years. The earth’s magnetic fields are static fields in the atmosphere (to which a magnetic compass responds), unlike man-made oscillating powerfrequency magnetic fields (50Hz in Australia) produced by alternating current (AC) used in our electrical supply and appliances does not exist in nature.

Radio/microwave frequency exposure is a modern phenomenon. Natural background radio/microwave radiation are millions of times lower than they are now. The relatively recent introduction of mobile phones, TV/radio broadcasting, satellite, wireless internet, cordless phones, baby monitors etc emit digitally-pulsed signals that are now common place in the western world.

Ionising vs Non-Ionising Radiation

EMFs are a form of non-ionising radiation which refers to radiative energy that, instead of producing charged ions when passing through matter (such as radiation from nuclear power stations, X-rays etc) has sufficient energy only for excitation. Nevertheless non-ionising radiation is known to cause biological effects that can be harmful to organisms and the natural environment.