Electro Magnetic Radiation
Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR) outside of, but near to the body can interfere with the natural electrical impulses taking place in the body. This in turn can disrupt "normal" bodily functions, and contribute toward ill health.
Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR) occurs everywhere, both in natural environments, and in human-made or engineered environments. A healthy building should aim to minimise the effects of EMR by:
- Avoiding building in places where EMR levels are (or are likely to become) unacceptable;
- Minimising the creation of EMR through use of appliances, electrical wiring, etc.
Radiation is energy that travels and spreads out as it goes - visible light that comes from a lamp in your house or radio waves that come from a radio station are two types of electromagnetic radiation. Other examples of EM radiation are microwaves, infrared and ultraviolet light, X-rays and gamma-rays. Hotter, more energetic objects and events create higher energy radiation than cool objects. Only extremely hot objects or particles moving at very high velocities can create high-energy radiation like X-rays and gamma-rays
Natural sources of EMR may include:
- Radiation from the ground
- Deposits of magnetic, radioactive materials
Human-made sources of EMR can include:
- Electrical wiring in buildings (particularly around the fuse box).
- Wiring in the home.
- Water pipes near electrical wiring.
- Electrical appliances.
- Power lines (overhead, underground, railway, etc.).
Types of radiation in the Electromagnetic spectrum
Lowest energy comes from -Long Wavelength, low frequency, low Energy to Highest energy: short wavelength, high frequency, high energy.
This is the same kind of energy that radio stations emit into the air for your stereo to capture and turn into music. Radio waves are also emitted by other things such as stars and gases in space.
Microwaves are used in ovens to warm up your food in seconds. In space, microwaves are used by astronomers to learn about the structure of nearby galaxies.
We often think of Infrared as being the same thing as 'heat', because it makes our skin feel warm. In space, IR light maps the dust between stars.
Visible radiation is emitted by everything from fireflies to light bulbs to stars.
We know that the Sun is a source of ultraviolet (or UV) radiation, because it is the UV rays that cause our skin to burn. Stars and other "hot" objects in space emit UV radiation.
Your doctor uses X-rays to look at your bones, and your dentist to look at your teeth. Hot gases in the Universe also emit X-rays.
Radioactive materials can emit gamma-rays. Some are natural and others made by man like nuclear power plants. Big particle accelerators that scientists use to help them understand what matter is made of can sometimes generate gamma-rays.
Creation of Electrical Fields
Electromagnetic waves are produced by the motion of electrically charged particles. These waves are also called "electromagnetic radiation" because they radiate from the electrically charged particles. They travel through empty space as well as through air and other substances. If electricity is flowing along a conductor (e.g. wiring) and changes direction (i.e. moves through an angle) EMR will be created across the angle which is created.
For example, electric wiring is laid inside a wall vertically to the roof, then horizontally to the centre of a room to supply a light fitting. An electric field or an area of EMR is created between the vertical wire and the horizontal wire. A person should avoid sitting in that position for any period of time.
Think about it this way:
- The more length of wire and electrical cord which is "live", at any point in time, the more unhealthy the building is.
- The more twists and turns which electricity takes as it moves, the unhealthier the building is.
- The more electrical currents penetrate beyond the exterior walls, the greater the likelihood of increased EMR.
Think about the areas you most use - avoid EMR in parts of a building where you spend most time. For example:
- A desk.
- Work bench.
- Counter (in a shop).
- Chair in front of television.
- Dining table chair.
The existence of EMR in the home does not necessarily need to be totally avoided. Most people can tolerate some EMR without ill affects; but if the cumulative affect becomes too great, it can have serious consequences (e.g. cancer).
No one can avoid EMR, it is everywhere. However, EMR can be managed by giving proper consideration to all of the following:
- Identify all sources of EMR.
- Identify relative intensity of EMR from each source.
- Relocate source (or rearrange building interior) to minimise EMR exposure.
- Arrange electrical wiring to minimise EMR creation.
- Do not leave appliances plugged in and switched on if not in use.
- Minimise use of electricity.
- Use short electrical chords and locate permanent/frequent use appliances close to the power point.
- Avoid standing too close to microwave ovens when they are in use move about 3 metres away.
- Move electric clocks away from your head - at least 1 metre. Keep other electrical appliances, such as telephones, answering machines and stereos, well away from your head.
- Avoid using cordless electronic devices, such as electric toothbrushes, cordless phones (especially digital ones) and razors, all of which use magnetic induction to charge the battery. Such devices create large magnetic fields.
Using these simple suggestions will help you minimise your exposure to electromagnetic fields. Unfortunately, they won't stop your exposure altogether.
Electricity is a powerful source of energy, but must be treated with care and respect. Always turn off appliances or equipment before attempting to fix it.
- Pools of water, wet hands, wet equipment increase conductivity and the danger
- Wearing gloves and rubber-soled shoes can be helpful.
- Be aware of over-head power lines
- Don't use too many double-adaptors and multi-boards off a single power outlet
- Damaged or frayed (appliance or extension) cords should be thrown out
Here are some facts:
- Of thirty five international research studies on EMR, thirty three made a conclusive link between brain tumours, leukaemia, and other forms of cancer and electromagnetic stress.
- Workers with moderate to high exposure to electromagnetic radiation were three to four times as likely to develop degenerative brain disease, such as Alzheimer's disease, as those who did not work around strong electromagnetic fields.
- A growing number of people who live near high voltage power lines are developing life-threatening illnesses. Some have even died. Some of these people have taken their local power companies to court, claiming the companies had information on the harmful health effects of EMFs for years, but deliberately withheld that information from their customers.
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