6 Steps to Reduce EMF Exposure

man lying in bed looking at computer screen

Working from home, as our “new normal,” has favorable and unfavorable characteristics. One unfavorable characteristic is the increase in clinical complaints of fatigue. This new fatigue from videoconferencing has been discussed in media and become collectively known as “Zoom Fatigue.” Experts say this is due to a combination of mentally taxing variables such as unnatural close ups with prolonged eye contact, strain of visual self-auditing, prolonged immobility and work/home boundary issues.1–3 

Yet, could there be more to this?  

Increased Electric and Magnetic Field Exposures with Pandemic Teleconferencing  

It has been demonstrated that electric and magnetic field (EMF) from radio frequency (RF) sources results in currents that permeate into tissues of the body from the surrounding areas.4 Furthermore, increased exposure to currents of nonionizing radiation from RF sources is associated with physical and emotional harms,5–7 including potential carcinogenic effects.4,5,8,9 

Decreased Distance to the RF Power Source 

Many remote workers unwittingly work within proximity to their portable devices during teleconference streaming. As radiation is highest next to the emitting source, this proximity for long durations can significantly increase daily RF radiation exposures. 

Equally concerning is that many remote workers work in proximity to wireless routers, a source of exponentially higher radiation emissions than portable computers. When questioned about proximity to wireless routers, it was found that they worked within 1–2 feet of their routers. In each case, when distancing from these devices was employed, the symptoms were markedly reduced. 

Symptoms to Look out For 

Symptoms that characterize electromagnetic hypersensitivity are headache, fatigue, ocular symptoms, tinnitus, dizziness, sensory abnormalities, memory and concentration loss, depression, emotional lability, suicidal ideation and temporospatial confusion.  

How Much EMF Is Too Much? 

The question of “what is a safe level for use” has been repeatedly asked. However, it has markedly different answers depending on who you ask, who they work for, and from which country it originated.18 The United States technically has no federally developed safety standards regarding wireless radiation exposure levels that companies or manufacturers have to adhere to.19  

Here are some steps to take to decrease the amount of EMF exposure.  

  • Take notice of high emitting EMF from RF emitting devices in the proximity of the workspace. The highest levels inside the house would be from Wi-Fi routers or router extenders, and cordless phone base stations. Move these devices, or the work space, until the device is a minimum of 15–20 feet away. 
  • In addition to distancing, reduce the power output on the Wi-Fi router. Instructions are usually in the manual for how to access. Factory settings are at the maximum power output, which are often greater than the need and extend the range of the Wi-Fi to areas outside the home, which is also a security risk. 
  • Shield the router. This can be done with commercially available wireless router guards, which create a modified Faraday Cage. These are made of a metal mesh material that enclose the device and markedly attenuate output, but do not eliminate it. 
  • Turn off the router at night. Many routers have built-in settings that can be programmed to have the Wi-Fi to shut off at a desired time, and turn on at a desired time.
  • Avoid use of unnecessary Bluetooth devices such as a wireless keyboard, mouse, microphones and speakers. Obtain wired versions instead. Place cell phones outside of the immediate workspace by 3 feet or more.

Ready to give natural health care a try? Schedule an appointment at Bastyr Center for Natural Health or Bastyr University Clinic today.  

To cite this article: 

Deb Harding.Alternative and Complementary Therapies.Aug 2021.171-175.http://doi.org.buproxy.bastyr.edu:2048/10.1089/act.2021.29339.dha 

Published in Volume: 27 Issue 4: August 17, 2021