What are EMF Emissions?

Electromagnetic fields are formed wherever electricity flows. The greater the current or voltage, the stronger the field. Household electronic devices such as cordless phones and microwaves all emit low doses of EMF. Now consider how many of these devices you have around you at all times — computers, cell phones, even your car — you are constantly bombarded by EMFs.


“Low-frequency magnetic fields induce circulating currents within the human body.


The strength of these currents depends on the intensity of the outside magnetic field. If sufficiently large, these currents could cause stimulation of nerves and muscles or affect other biological processes.”


— World Health Organization


Right, but are they dangerous?


Small electrical currents exist in the human body as part of the natural chemical reactions that take place, such as brain activity, digestion, and your pumping heart.


Although your daily exposure to EMF isn’t like sitting inside a microwave oven, the long-term effects of such exposure can have damaging effects at a cellular level. Dr. David Carpenter, MD and Director of the Institute for Health & the Environment at the University at Albany, believes it is likely that up to 30% of all childhood cancers come from exposure to EMFs. In 1997 the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine of powerline frequency EMFs and childhood leukemia which found a statistically significant increase in childhood cancer in children exposed to magnetic fields in excess of 3 mG.


A committee from the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) produced a report indicating that problematic sources of EMFs include local electrical distribution systems as well as high voltage power transmission systems. Particular appliances, including electric blankets and video display units also rate highly as problem sources along with “various occupational environments”. It also stated that the evidence points to human health hazards in everyday exposures to EMFs, particularly magnetic fields exceeding 2 mG


Numerous worldwide studies link EMFs to serious health problems such as leukemia, miscarriages, chronic fatigue, weakened immune system, forgetfulness, depression and nausea. Even the EPA once recommended in March 1990 that EMFs be classified as a Class B carcinogen alongside formaldehyde, DDT and PCBs. (Subsequent protests from utility, military and computer lobbyists resulted in EMFs remaining unclassified.) Below is a chart listing common household sources of EMF emissions. Note how the strength of the emissions drop dramatically with more distance.


Distance from Source (Average strength in mG) 6 in 1 ft 2 ft 4 ft
Can opener 600 150 20 2
Vacuum cleaner 300 60 10 1
Hair dryer 300
Microwave oven 200 40 10 2
Power saw 200 40 5
Drill 150 30 4
Electric shaver 100 20
Blender 70 10 2
Electric range 30 8 2
Washing machine 20 7 1
Toaster 10 3
TV 7 2
Electric blanket 3
Fluorescent lighting 6 2 2 1
Refrigerator 2 2 1