4

I've been dealing with poor sleep for quite awhile (over a year) and one of my suspicions is EMF interference in my room. I've tried unplugging everything at night, but didn't notice a significant difference, so I suspect it's coming from some other source, perhaps one I'm not aware of (e.g. the wifi router in the other room).

How should I go about testing my suspicion?

For example, is there a device you recommend that will give me useful readings? If you had similar issues, was there a strategy / product / solution that worked well for you?

That's the kind of information I hoped to find here more than in electronics.se. I beg to differ only because while the title mentions electronics (tools), the overall context / concern / application is around health.

I spoke to a specialist in EMF health and asked which of the devices are more useful and tend to help most in detecting potential health issues. The specialist said the voltmeter was less useful than the Gaussmeter, and that some ranges of radio frequencies impact human biology more than others.

  • 6
    Hmmm....I'm not entirely sure that this site is the best for the question. While it may be affecting your sleep, the basic question is "How do I test for EMF interference", which is not a health issue. I'll leave this open to see how the community feels. – JohnP Oct 16 '15 at 17:41
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about health. It would perhaps fit on electronics.SE. – Carey Gregory Oct 16 '15 at 20:54
  • I beg to differ only because while the title mentions electronics (tools), the overall context / concern / application is around health. This may help illustrate: I spoke to a specialist in EMF health and asked which of the devices are more useful and tend to help most in detecting potential health issues. The specialist said the voltmeter was less useful than the gaussmeter, and that some ranges of radio frequencies impact human biology more than others. That's the kind of information I hoped to find here more than in electronics.se. Perhaps I should reword title to "..for sleep impact"? – Gene Oct 18 '15 at 4:47
  • 2
    Then you should probably reword the entire question more to reflect the desired results, something such as "What are the health impacts of EMF interference in a bedroom?", which while possibly broad, is much more on topic than "How do I test for EMF because I think it's causing sleep problems?" The why of wanting to test in that second example is outweighed by the basic "How do I test for EMF?". – JohnP Oct 19 '15 at 21:35
  • By EMF, you mean Electromotive force or electromagnetic field? In any case small devices would not create strong fields that can have if at all any effect on the brain. At least humans are not known to have that keen a sense of electric fields. – WYSIWYG Oct 20 '15 at 8:07
0

Yes, you can measure that. You can consider using EMF Meter Tester (Electromagnetic Radiation Dosimeter) which can detect electromagnetic radiation around the place of interest. The cheapest one which you can get can measure frequency range between low frequency: 50Hz-400KHz and high frequency: 30MHz-2000MHz which should be enough. It can be used in home electrical equipment, measurement of electromagnetic radiation such as: mobile phone, smart devices, computers, televisions, copiers, fax machines, air conditioners and other power sources of test analysis.

I had similar issue where I had a lot of cables and power supplies next to my desk and I had slight headaches because of that. I've purchased EMF Meter (DT-1130, similar to NJ-1130) and it was showing very high reading around that area (up to 1m far away from the corner). So I think my multi socket extension was just faulty (or wrongly shielded) and the reading was perfectly fine (zero) when I've switched it off.

So basically you should test the electric field radiation and if your equipment like computer connect power ground loop well, it would lead electric field radiation to the ground, to shield it, then the test would fail. Besides, metal will shield the radiation.

Such EMF meters can be found on-line. For more details, refer to manual/instructions provided by manufacturer (e.g. EMF819SPEC, EMF-819) where it's stated:

  • Persons with electromagnetic implant (e.g. cardiac-pacemaker) are subject to especial danger in some case.
  • Claims by some scientists that long term exposure to electromagnetic field may be the cause of childhood leukemia & other forms of cancer.
  • Complete answers to any of these and related questions are not currently available. At the present time the most common practice is to avoid excess exposure over long period of time.
  • Complete answers to any of these and related ”Prudent Avoidance“ as stated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) USA is recommended.

Related studies:

  • Sleep EEG alterations: effects of different pulse-modulated radio frequency electromagnetic fields - SCHMID – 2011 – Journal of Sleep Research – Wiley Online Library

    Consistent with previous findings, our results provide further evidence that pulse-modulated RF EMF alter brain physiology, although the time-course of the effect remains variable across studies.

  • Magda Havas, Ph.D., an eminent researcher in this domain, says:

    Symptoms of electrohypersensitivity have been demonstrated at exposures that are a fraction of U.S. exposure guidelines, in part because the guidelines themselves only take into consideration a 30-minute exposure, not chronic exposures.

    Symptoms people experience near cell phone antennas, within a 0.25 mile radius include: fatigue, headaches, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, irritability, dizziness, depression, visual disruptions, hearing disruptions and much more.

    Source: New Report Recommends FCC Require Minimum 1,500 Feet Setbacks for Wireless Infrastructure near Schools [2010]

Related videos:

  • Hi @kenorb, I would be interested of seeing that video. – user100487 Oct 26 '15 at 17:04
  • 2
    I'm extremely skeptical that EMF produced by digital devices has any significant effect on humans because they're just too low power. Changes in an EEG don't necessarily mean there will be health effects. Now, large industrial equipment and high voltage power lines may be a different matter, but the evidence for that is also weak. – Carey Gregory Oct 26 '15 at 18:02
  • However, I don't understand the downvote. – Carey Gregory Oct 26 '15 at 18:02
  • A few watt absorbed per kg is a huge exposure, that alone exceeds the total emitted RF power from a mobile phone by a factor of a few. Exposure of the brain to strongly pulsed fields is known to alter brain function, see e.g. here – Count Iblis Oct 26 '15 at 19:30
  • Note that routers, WIFI etc. operate in the milliwatt range. – Count Iblis Oct 26 '15 at 22:15
2

It has already been tested, see e.g. here. The best thing to do is to accept that EMF interference does not cause health problems other than via the nocebo effect.

  • I'm not convinced, mostly from my own experience and those of people I know. Plus that article is mostly OpEd and doesn't reveal much details. powerwatch.org.uk/science/studies.asp confirmation bias? – Gene Oct 17 '15 at 6:03
  • @GeneZhang Let's assume there is a nontrivial effect. Then consider doing the following experiment. We use two rooms that look identical from the inside, temperature, humidity, etc. controlled via AC is the same. The only difference is that one room is totally free of EMF, while the other room can be controlled to have arbitrary high levels of EMF. Then you do a double blind study with your patients using these rooms. A positive result is in such an experiment a reasonable demand, but such a positive result would also be a groundbreaking result. – Count Iblis Oct 17 '15 at 16:13
  • It would be groundbreaking, because it would imply that there are people who can sense EMF radiation. So, in principle, people who may not necessarily have any complaints, could be trained to sense whether or not their WIFI is switched on or not. With 7 billion people on Earth, it's a big red flag that there haven't already been many reports about people with such capabilities. – Count Iblis Oct 17 '15 at 16:23
  • 1
    Even though EMF fields may not have a direct effect, they may have an effect indirectly by for example affecting the reactivity of chemicals present in a household (this is just a principle however, I am not saying that there definitely is an effect on human biology). About the effect of magnetic fields on chemical reactions, see e.g. this SE question: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/24507/… – user100487 Oct 26 '15 at 17:01
  • 1
    @GeneZhang If one limits this to problems like poor sleep in rooms with a lot of EMF interference then we have the necessary evidence to rule out a link. – Count Iblis Nov 5 '15 at 16:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.