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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Electromagnetic Fields as Home Health Hazards: Is it time for an EMF assessment?

GMOs, Red Dye #40, glyphosate, asbestos, mold—and now EMFs? Like these other environmental toxins, electromagnetic fields negatively affect our health if we are exposed to too much for too long. Levels of EMFs in our homes are rapidly rising, and protective laws and public policy will take time to catch up with the science, as they did for cigarette smoking.
Meanwhile, it’s up to us to protect ourselves and our families. EMF assessments give you the essential information you need to do so. They entail measuring levels of EMFs, determining their source and helping you decide whether and how to mitigate them.

What are electromagnetic fields?
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are waves of energy that radiate into the air around us. Unlike other toxins (for example, factory smoke-stack pollution), they are invisible and odorless, which is one reason why many people are not aware of them.

We humans have lived in harmony with natural EMFs from the earth and sun for over 200,000 years. Artificial EMFs came into our lives 150 years ago following the invention of electricity. More recently, with the digital revolution has come an explosion of radio frequency (or “microwave”) radiation that has greatly increased with the 5G rollout. Along with our fellow plants and animals, we are now exposed to this radiation from hundreds of devices—from cell towers and smart meters outside of buildings to Wi-Fi routers, cordless phones and even baby diapers and “smart” toys within.

There are four types of artificial (human-made) EMFs: electric fields, magnetic fields, radio frequency (RF) radiation and Dirty Electricity. Electric and magnetic fields are emitted from wired sources such as power lines and electronic devices and appliances—anything that can be plugged into an outlet. In contrast, RF radiation is emitted from wireless sources of EMFs. The radiation is used to move information from one place to another through the air. Lastly, Dirty Electricity is electric fields contaminated with RF radiation frequencies. Examples of sources are dimmer switches, compact florescent light bulbs and solar power inverters.

Why do an EMF assessment?
Despite the telecommunication industry’s efforts to inform the public otherwise, the science is abundantly clear that overexposure to EMFs puts stress on our bodies at the cellular level. It thus increases our risks of a wide range of diseases ranging from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to cancer and, additionally, to DNA damage and reproductive harm (see
Common symptoms of exposure to unsafe levels of EMFs are headaches, sleep disturbances, skin rashes, heart palpitations, ringing in the ears, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, depression and anxiety. The symptoms are alleviated with distance or elimination of the source. As much as 30 percent of the U.S. population suffers from electromagnetic sensitivity (EMS), with 5 percent experiencing severe symptoms. These percentages will only increase as the amounts of EMF-emitting devices and infrastructure increase.

Here are some reasons why people have EMF assessments of their homes:  
  • As a preventative measure: to maintain a toxin-free lifestyle for long-term health and longevity of family members.
  • They or a family member suffers from electromagnetic sensitivity (or associated environmental illnesses like mold sensitivity, Lyme disease or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) and want to stop debilitating symptoms.
  • They have existing chronic illnesses that can be exacerbated by EMFs and need a healing environment.
  • To protect children, who are more vulnerable to EMFs than adults due to their smaller heads, thinner skulls, higher brain water content and far longer lifetime exposure.

Let’s get practical. How are they done?
Home EMF assessments differ depending on the consultant. The lead assessor at EMF Wellness Tucson here in the Old Pueblo is Lisa Smith, a Building Biology certified Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist. Here’s how she conducts her “Whole Home” assessments.

Preliminaries. The assessment starts before she even gets to your house with an online search for nearby cell towers, including “5G” small cells that can be very close to homes. After greeting family members, including pets, and getting a tour of the home, she gives a short education session. She goes over what EMFs are, their health effects and how the assessment will proceed. Since cell phones emit strong RF radiation, Smith makes sure everyone knows how to turn off the RF antennas on their phones and that these are off during the assessment.

Exterior. Next comes measurement of EMFs to the exterior of the home. Smith conducts a thorough check for RF radiation on all sides of the house, measuring any radiation from cell towers and neighbor’s devices like routers. She carefully measures radiation emitted by your own and neighbors’ electric utility meters, which is becoming even more important as TEP pushes to install “smart” meters (which emit frequent pulses of radiation 24/7) across the Tucson area. She also checks for RF emissions from gas and water meters and from solar data monitoring systems. Finally, she assesses magnetic fields from nearby powerlines and home electrical equipment. All of these exterior readings help to understand the sources of EMFs you are exposed to on the interior of your home.

Interior. Moving inside, Smith checks for RF radiation, magnetic fields and Dirty Electricity in all high-use rooms—rooms where people sit, stand or sleep for many hours a day. She starts with the bedrooms, the most important when it comes to EMF safety. EMF-free sleep is vital to peoples’ resilience to daily toxin exposures and thriving health-wise. Exposure to electric fields from live wiring in walls and nearby electronic devices like lamps, clocks and CPAP machines when sleeping disrupts melatonin production. She thus puts a strong emphasis on accurately measuring your bed Body Voltage (electricity on your body). Next, she turns to assessment of RF radiation and electric fields in home offices, a place where people often spend time in close proximity to EMF-emitting devices like computers, printers, wireless phones and lamps. The assessment rounds up with scans of your living and dining rooms, kitchen and laundry appliances.

In each area, exterior or interior, Smith documents the levels of EMFs found and their sources, in some cases helping to mitigate them on the spot. After comparing the levels found with science-based Building Biology safety guidelines, she gives you recommendations for mitigating any unsafe EMFs, making every effort to meet you where you are regarding your use of electronic devices. Upon request, she writes a report detailing the findings and provides follow-up assistance.

The cost of a Whole Home EMF assessment depends on the square footage of your home, the number of bedrooms and offices, the presence of solar power and other particulars of the home. The typical range is from $400 to $700. Shorter assessments focused on one room (bedroom, office) or EMF source (cell tower, smart meter, power lines, smart refrigerator) cost less, from $150 to $300.

Contact Lisa Smith, PhD, EMRS, Certified Building Biology Electromagnetic Radiation Specialist at EMF Wellness Tucson at 520-248-0461 or [email protected].

EMF WELLNESS TUCSON - 149 N Stone Ave 3rd Floor Tucson AZ

EMF WELLNESS TUCSON - 149 N Stone Ave 3rd Floor, Tucson, AZ

EMF Wellness helps keep Tucson’s homes, schools and workplaces safe from unhealthy levels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs). We offer professional EMF assessments using the most advanced,... Read More » 


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