Electromagnetic radiation from electrical equipment is often known as electrosmog. The terms suggests that electromagnetic fields can have a negative effect on your body. But the way each person reacts to the radiation produced by different technical devices will vary. Many people complain of headaches, nervousness and problems sleeping or concentrating in places where there’s a lot of electrosmog, for example next to railway tracks or close to high-voltage power lines.
But scientific opinion is divided on the question of whether and how electromagnetic radiation has a detrimental effect on our bodies. So far the research suggests that weak radiation is unlikely to damage your health in the short to medium term. But there aren’t yet any clear-cut findings on the long-term effects. Here are a few simple steps you can take if you want to generally avoid electrosmog.
In the living room
If you still have a television with a cathode ray tube (CRT) you should watch from a distance of two or three metres. Older CRT sets even give off minimal amounts of X-ray radiation, although not enough to be a threat to your health. New flat-screen TVs hardly emit any radiation at all. It’s a different matter for landline phones; here the amount of electrosmog depends on the model. Before you buy, find out how much radiation the device emits. WLAN is also a source of radiation, so it’s better to use a cable to connect your computer to the internet. You can also switch off the router overnight – that way it won’t generate any electrosmog at all.
In the kitchen
Make sure that your microwave door closes tightly. This is particularly important for older ovens, which can leak radiation if there’s a defect in the locking mechanism. Normally new devices should be so well shielded that hardly any radiation can get out. If you have an induction hob you should always make sure that the cookware you use completely covers the cooking zone.
In the bedroom
If possible you should avoid having a computer or TV set in your bedroom, as these devices can produce strong electromagnetic fields that may cause sleep problems. If you can’t do without, you should switch the device off completely overnight rather than leaving it in standby mode. Clock radios also give off radiation, so you should place them as far from your head as possible. This also applies to mobile phones. Generally it’s best to have as little electrical equipment in your bedroom as possible.
On the moveMobile phones emit a lot of radiation, especially if the reception’s poor. For this reason you should go outside to phone and use a headset to keep the device as far as possible from your head. It’s also best to avoid phoning on the train, since the magnetic fields produced by the power lines can be very strong. Not only that, but mobile reception can often vary in the course of your journey, meaning strong variations in the amount of radiation your phone gives off as well. If you phone in the car you should use a hands-free device with an external aerial.
12 October 2016