• I AM HOME Building Biology

Hardwiring is the key to reducing your exposure to RF EME (radio-frequency electromagnetic energy)

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

Recently, I had an interesting situation at a home of a client who had a ‘tech cabinet’. That ‘tech cabinet’ had a dual function router, repeater, the main unit for the sound system, apple TV and a couple of other gadgets that I have’t see before. The client had everything hardwired (through Ethernet cables) and claimed that wireless and Bluetooth functions were turned off on all of these devices. Meanwhile I was measuring up to 1500 microwatts per square meter about a meter away from this 'tech cabinet’ in his daughter’s bedroom. As building biologists we recommend no more than 10 microwatts per square meter in the living areas and even less than that in the bedrooms.

After having eliminated all other possible sources like the external wifi from neighbours and mobile phone towers, it became clear that the ‘tech cabinet’ was the source. Once we turned everything that was in that cabinet OFF at the power point, the readings dropped to a 0 microwatts per square meter.

One by one we turned the devices back on, and found out the the culprit was the sound system (its main unit located in that ‘tech cabinet’) that was transmitting to the speakers throughout the home. While the system was, in fact, hardwired though the Ethernet cable, I found out later (doing a bit of research) that this sound system creates its own wireless network once connected to the router and each speaker that’s connected acts as its own wireless repeater. So essentially, the whole home was bathed in the wireless radiofrequencies from the sound system. And we couldn’t find out in the settings of the system if it was possible to turn this wireless function off.

So, the takeaway is, even if it is hardwired through the Ethernet cable, make sure the wireless and Bluetooth functions are turned off through the settings in the device itself. And before buying, make sure that you can actually do that because some devices (like the sound system in question or latest routers) might not allow you to turn their wireless function off at all.

Here are some general recommendations for reducing exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy (wireless):

  • To enable internet connectivity in multiple areas throughout the home (without the wireless router), powerline Ethernet adapters may be utilised. Alternatively, you may consult an electrician to enable the Ethernet connection straight from the wall.

  • After connecting the computer to the modem/router via an Ethernet cable, disable the modem’s wireless function. To do this, you will need to switch it off in two places: the wireless ‘Off/On’ button on the modem/router itself and, in some models, you will also be required to get on the internet and access the modem’s software (use gate number specifically assigned to that modem) to shut down the internal base transceiving function. Also check if there is a Bluetooth option through the modem software and disable that as well.

  • Keep the wireless modem/router away from areas where people spend time such as bedrooms and living areas.

  • Power the wireless router down by 95%. This can be done by logging into the modem’s settings on the computer.

  • Switch the modem/router off at the power socket in the wall when it is not in use especially at night.

  • To enable laptops, iPads and iPhones to connect to the internet without wireless connection, use the Ethernet cable/home network and USB-/Ethernet adaptors to do this. Then turn the default wireless option off on the devices (flight mode).

  • Ban all transmitting devices from bedrooms and turn wireless off at night.

  • Evaluate all devices and equipment you have around the home and unplug or remove those you don’t use. Appliances should be at least one meter away from the desk, couch and chair or other area where you spend time.

  • Turn Bluetooth and wireless function ‘off’ on all wireless devices, including printers and photocopiers. Avoid wireless mice and keyboards.

  • When using mobile phones, try to keep the calls short and make sure you use the loud-speaker or text instead, so your head is at least 50 cm away from the phone. Alternatively use an air tube ear piece (not Bluetooth). Do not use hands-free device with a Bluetooth connection because these emit radiation too. Turn off the Bluetooth function on the cell phone.

  • Do not carry mobile phone against your body (for example, in your shirt or trouser pocket) when it is turned on. If you do place the phone in a pocket, make sure the back, where the antenna is usually located, is away from the body. Keep it away from the waist and chest areas. If you insist on carrying the phone in a pocket, put it in flight mode or in a shielded pouch (however, you will not be able to send or receive calls).

  • Do not use your phone in a poor signal area because it will need to work at higher power to connect. Make sure you have the maximum number of bars on the screen.

  • Charge mobile phones at night well away from the bedrooms and put them on flight mode as much as possible. Do not use it as an alarm clock! Use a blue light filter (available as an App) if using the phone at night.

  • Do not use mobile phones or iPADs to watch films, play games, browse the internet or listen to music which requires Wi-Fi connectivity. If you need to download an application using wireless connection, do so and then put the mobile phone on flight mode.

  • Wireless printers are not recommended, inkjet printers that do not have wireless feature are preferred.

  • Get the power company to power down the smart meter so that it only transmits at the lowest capacity possible.

Exposure to electromagnetic fields decreases with DISTANCE from transmitting devices! If you double the distance - your exposure decreases by 75%.

If you would like help identifying sources of wireless radiofrequency electromagnetic energy in your home and ensure that you are not exposed to high levels of this energy, don't hesitate to contact me and book in for an Electromagnetic Field Testing.

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