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Detection

 
lighthouse 

A lot can be done to eliminate EMFs with some
knowledge and common sense, (see page on
strategies), but it helps to be able to detect and measure this invisible pollution.

 

Choosing a meter

Using meters

Safe levels of EMF?

Mains-power fields

Electric fields

Microwaves

Dirty electricity

 EMF detection
     
 

Choosing a meter

      There are dozens of meters available, each with pros and cons, frequency ranges, sensitivities, and price tags. Owning one or two is a long-term health investment for family and friends, so it is worth spending a little more money on one that does a good job. Unfortunately, no single meter is effective for all field types and there is a large range of meters available, so here we’ve narrowed the choice down to two recommended meters, selected for cost effective home use.

        If your budget extends to one meter only, and you don’t suspect particular issues with external powerlines or internal wiring faults where you live, we suggest the Cornet meter, which does the best job on microwave surveys. It also has a (single axis only) magnetic field detector, and using a multi-meter (as described below) will provide good information on electric fields.
        Conversely, if your home is relatively microwave free, the Trifield meter would be more useful to examine mains-power fields, and can also detect microwaves.

Using meters

The sources and strengths of fields can be identified, the effectiveness of reduction strategies tested, and spending time about the house with a meter teaches us about field ranges, giving a sense of safer distances. Once a period of detection and reduction is completed, we can rest easier knowing we are safer, and get the meter out occasionally to check new technologies and changing circumstances.

         Using them is an exercise in detective work. Cut power inside the building to evaluate external sources, and try switching on and off each appliance in turn. Pass systematically through rooms, including floor level and head height, paying particular attention to walls, known EMF sources, and places (e.g. beds and workstations) you and your family spend most time. There will be variations over time, with higher magnetic field levels on winter evenings, for example. Alternatively, it is worth considering getting a professional survey done, with specific advice on solutions.

 
Using EMF meters
 

An exercise in detection 
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Safe levels of EMF ?

Using a meter, we may well ask ‘what is a safe level’..? and get a wide range of responses! By way of illustration, lets look at upper levels for microwave exposure set in different parts of the world, and imagine that cigarette smoking levels were being set rather than microwave levels.

The City of Salzburg would decree (in this analogy) that 1 cigarette a week is the maximum allowed. Russia and China would allow 15 packs of 20 per week, while the UK government would find 140 packs a week acceptable!

As with smoking, there is no ‘safe’ level of EMF exposure, but greater risk with greater exposure, and we should endeavor to achieve the lowest levels possible within reason.

Another useful analogy is with car travel - the more we drive, the more likely an accident. Car travel (like electricity) has major benefits, so we drive carefully and wear a seatbelt. Manufacturer guidance on levels comes with the meter instructions.

 

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 Safe levels
     
   

Mains electric and magnetic fields in the home can be monitored with the Trifield 100XE.

         This is the least expensive meter on the market able to measure mains-power fields in three axis simultaneously. Other less expensive meters work in one axis only, and must be continually re-orientated in three dimensions to find the highest reading. This is a much slower, less accurate, procedure, and in practice we just will not be sure what the actual field strengths are.

         For mains-power fields the Trifield 100XE is reasonably sensitive, easy to use, and gives fast clear readings. It can also detect microwaves, but not digital signals, and lacks the sensitivity and display data to do a good home microwave survey.

         The ‘flat frequency’ model is recommended, which indicates the actual magnetic field strength whatever the frequency. The 50Hz version is also fine, but gives deliberately higher readings above 50HZ, to reflect the theoretically greater biological risk of higher frequencies.

  

Mains electric fields can be detected inexpensively, but effectively, using a voltmeter or multimeter.

         The black (COM) lead is connected to an earth, and when holding the red lead the body acts as an antenna. Our body is a useful antenna in that it is large, and because it is the body voltage induced by AC electric fields that we are seeking to detect and reduce. A demonstration can be seen on YouTube : ‘David Wolfe iPad vrs Kindle’, (he is entertaining, but uses the term ‘dirty electricity’ rather loosely).

         To get an earth connection we can use a wire to a metal rod pushed into the garden soil, or to a clip on metal pipework. Multi-meters are readily available from DIY stores, but they need a setting for AC voltage, preferably with a range setting of 20V or less.

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Microwaves are best investigated with the Cornet ED78G.

         Microwaves may be from multiple sources - modems, cordless phones, or mobile phone masts - they have a long range, and can penetrate walls. Monitoring them is a tricky business, but this inexpensive meter is up to the job. It is sensitive, and covers a broad frequency range, but its strongest point is in the display of data, needed to effectively track down and control microwaves.

  • The LED light scale, green to red, gives dramatic and simple feedback. Readings in red co-respond to exceeding Russian safety levels, for example, although any implication that green = safe is debatable.
  • The audio feedback on this model provides for sensitive and intuitive detective work, and there is an adjustable audio alarm.
  • The histogram is a great visual display for tracking down microwaves, and for testing efforts at shielding.
  • The numeric display allows for more detailed work, with a backlight and choice of units.

Making use of all this data, and operating the modes, can take a while to learn, and a careful reading of the instructions is needed. It can also detect mains magnetic fields, but is single axis, and so less useful than the Trifield meter.

         Cornet also make cheaper ‘electrosmog detectors’, but with higher frequencies being exploited over the years, the extended upper range of the ED78 model is recommended for future proofing, and the audio functionon this model is also worth the few extra pounds.

 

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 Trifield 100XE

Using a multimeter to detect electric fields 
 Cornet ED78G
 Cornet ED78G screen

 
     
 

 

Microwaves and magnetism can be detected by the Osun E-Alert

         Many budget detectors don’t provide useful information, but Osun have managed to get the sensitivity of their E-Alert (EU) about right. It responds to mains-magnetic and MW fields, showing results in a simple traffic light display.

 

  • Green is labeled ‘safe’, amber for ‘caution’, and red ‘warning’. These are crude categories, but are fairly well calibrated – green shows in low EMF spaces, and amber/red call for further investigation and action.
  • With just an on/off switch it is quick and simple to use.
  • A switch between MWs and magnetic function would have been useful, to be sure which was being detected. Permanent magnets are also detected, including hard-drives in computers, and magnetized cars. In practice it is usual possible to deduce the source of radiation, but a better meter may be needed for more detailed work.
  • The compact size and ease of use make it ideal to put in a pocket and explore the wider EMF world.

 

 E-Alert and mobile phone
 E-Alert
 


 

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Dirty Electricity can be measured with a specially designed meter that plugs into mains wall sockets.

         As well as identifying the sources, a meter is needed to test the results of using DE filters, (several of which may be needed to cover all circuits in the home), by trial and error. This is well worth doing, as DE is becoming increasingly common. Although initialy expensive, the control of this EMF source is relatively straightforward and lasts indefinitely. DE monitors and filters are available to rent or buy from wireless-protection.org , or from EMFields.org, who both propose good rental/return deals.

 

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Dirty electricity meter