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We are surrounded by electrical sources in our daily lives – power lines, substations, household electrical appliances and wiring. Electricity is an integral part of modern life.
However, you may not be aware that researchers have demonstrated that radiation from electricity can affect our health. Electrical sources are known to emit low frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields (EMF).
The EMF frequency bands that are generated in connection with the production, transmission, distribution and use of electrical power usually have a frequency of 50–60 Hz. Our devices are designed to run on this frequency.
But TVs, computers, dimmer switches, compact fluorescent bulbs, motors and many other devices don’t use this power cleanly. Modern devices are designed to save energy, and they do this by turning on and off rapidly – thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of times per second.
These high-frequency deviations caused by the arcing and sparking of electrical devices is also known as dirty electricity.
Dirty electricity is said to be stressful for the body and can wreak havoc on our health. For example, studies have linked dirty electricity to cancer, diabetes, asthma, and even behavioural and learning problems in children. 1,2,3,4,5,
By reducing as many EMFs as possible you lessen the load of electrostress on your body. This enables your body to do what it is supposed to do – repair and recover, rather than constantly combating environmental stressors.
Tips to reduce your exposure to dirty electricity
- Keep appliances as close to the power point as possible – this reduces the EMF.
- Keep a distance from all appliances when in use such as the toaster, kettle, blender, etc. as they will have high EMFs.
- When buying new appliances choose appliances such as dishwashers and ovens with analogue dials (if you can still find them). If you get digital appliances the transformer should be located at the back of the unit otherwise they tend to have very high magnetic fields.
- Unplugging appliances when not in use is a good way to reduce electric fields and DE.
- When buying LEDs make sure they do not carry a warning such as: “This product may cause interference with radios, televisions, telephones or remote controllers.” Don’t purchase an LED light fixture that has a transformer. The transformer is likely to have a large electromagnetic field polluted with high frequencies.
- Consider using an earthing mat to ground your laptop.
For more information on this topic or to have an audit done on your home, I highly recommend Jo from NoToxRox.
- Havas M (2002) Intensity of electric and magnetic fields from power lines within the business district of 60 Ontario communities. Sci Total Environ 298(1–3): 183–206.
- Havas M (2006) Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: biological effects of dirty electricity with emphasis on diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Electromagn Biol Med 25(4): 259–268.
- Havas M (2008) Dirty electricity elevates blood sugar among electrically sensitive diabetics and may explain brittle diabetes. Electromagn Biol Med 27(2): 135–146.
- Havas M, and Olstad A (2008) Power quality affects teacher wellbeing and student behavior in three Minnesota Schools. Sci Total Environ 402(2–3): 157–162
- Milham S, and Morgan LL (2008) A new electromagnetic exposure metric: high frequency voltage transients associated with increased cancer incidence in teachers in a California school. Am J Ind Med 51(8): 579–586.