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Electromagnetic Field Protection
for the Electrically Sensitive (ES)
1 EMF General Information
2 EMF Newsletter
3 Equipment
4 EMF Control for Homes
Top 15 Checklist for EMF Housing
5 EMF Control for Computers
6 Computer Tips
7 Pneumatic Sewing Machine Protection from EMF
8 EMF Control for Cars
9 EMF Control for Refrigerators
10 EMF Control for TV
11 EMF Control For Washers
12 Heaters
13 Hypersensitivity to Sound - Hyperacusis

1 EMF General Information

EMF Basics. Electromagnetic Spectrum and Biologic Effects.

Electromagnetic Field Exposures and Health Problems. "I have been researching the effects of EMF on health" . . .See MCS/EI News

Six papers on electrical sensitivities. ACN Online. Association for Comprehensive Neuropathy.

Latitudes. Publication of the Association for Comprehensive Neurotherapy (ACN) Editor:  Sheila Rogers. 1128 Royal Palm Beach Blvd., #283, Royal Palm Beach, FL  33411 Phone: (561) 798-0472 Fax: (561) 798-9820
E-mail: Website:  
1. What Americans Need to Know about Radiation (or EMR) from Wireless Communications. Margaret Meade Glaser. The author contends that Europeons and Russians know more than Americans about this important issue-and she tells you where you can find the facts you need. Consumer Reports on Cell Phone Safety: February 2003 issue. One of the first mainstream publications to question cell phone safety - read the article!
2. The Dark Side of Wireless Technology. Sheila Rogers, editor of Latitudes. A heartbreaking account of how a cell phone tower placed next to a family's farm devastated the health of a Midwest family and their farm animals.
3 & 4. A Possible Association Between Fetal/neonatal Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation and the Increased Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Robert C. Kane, Ph.D, of The Associated Bioelectromagnetics Technologists, Blanchardville, Wisconsin, presents a theory that developmental exposures to electromagnetic radiation may help explain the dramatic recent increase in autism.
5. A Physician Petition: the Freiburger Appeal. Doctors unite to express concern for health effects of mobile phone technology.
6. Electrical Sensitivity. Arthur Firstenberg and Susan Molloy. The founder and director of the Cellular Phone Taskforce (Firstenberg) and cofounder of the Environmental Health Network (Molloy) provide a concise, referenced article on this emerging condition. (From Latitudes, Volume 5 #4)
Electromagnetic Field Exposures and Health Problems
Robert Riedlinger
Sunday, 10/21/01

I have been researching the effects of EMF on health for the past five years, and I will send information to anyone that asks. I firmly believe that many of our health problems are directly related to EMF in our atmosphere by radio, TV and cell phone towers. There are many scientific studies that support my theory. I say this from a personal experience of living close to a cell phone TV, and FM radio tower.

Regards Robert Riedlinger
2 Newsletter
"No Pace to Hide" Newsletter. Published bi-annually. $25.00 for subscription and membership with Cellular Phone Task Force. Information on health and environmental effects of wireless technology. Advocacy and support for electrically sensitive individuals. Arthur Firstenberg, Cellular Phone Task Force, P. O. Box 1337, Mendocino, CA 95460
Phone: 707-937-3990

3 Equipment

Trifield meter with 100x external probe: Alphalab. 801-487-9492. Salt Lake City, Utah.

4 EMF Control for Homes

Q I just talked to an MCS/EMS in my area.  She has noticed that she's been getting more electrically sensitive (ES) in the past year, and is wondering if her house is contributing.  She' has just moved into the house last year.  She does well in this area with her multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), but complains that the hot dry winds here, bother her electrical sensitivity. She's plans to ground her new metal roof and bed. She's waiting for further instructions from an electrician about the size of the wire needed to ground the roof.   She cannot use a computer anymore, or watch TV, as of just a few months ago. She's going to ground her bed with some type of material that seems like vinyl that she sends away for.  That's all I know about that. Do you have any suggestions for her? 
A The grounding of the roof and bed will do nothing. If there is not a transmitter (cell phone or radio) near her, I'd guess that she has some wiring errors in the house or a very bad ground current problem. This is the cause of electro magnetic field (EMF) sensitivities more often than any other cause.

In order to fix these problems, she mist have a cooperating electrician who will read a small paperback book on correcting wiring problems. Tracing EMFs in Building Wiring and Grounding, by Carl Riley, TRACING EMFs (Cat. #A530) can be purchased at Click on "How to Guides." This does not imply that other products or advice at lessemf are appropriate.

The electrician does not have to be a licensed electrician, but must be very familiar with residential house wiring. Someone can check the place for bad wiring problems by turning on something on every circuit, and taking magnetic field readings in the house. These should be corrected urgently. Temporarily, some circuits can be not used to immediately reduce her daily exposures. Isolating the problem circuits is fairly fast, finding the box with the error can take longer.

To correct ground current problems, the Trifield meter with 100x external probe is the only instrument sensitive enough to work. These are the magnetic fields left when the power panel is off, caused by bad neutral quality from the power company, and their Wye power distribution system grounding practice.

To obtain a Trifield meter with 100x external probe: Alphalab. 801-487-9492. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ground current problems can be corrected, often, if the home is near the end of the power grid. In suburban settings, it usually cannot be corrected, since it would require a complete grounding system change for all the homes in that vicinity.

Most of the time, a fairly rapid onset of Electrical Sensitivity (ES) is due to a house where the living areas and bedroom are at or above 2 milligaus. If the problem isn't resolved in time, the ES is permanent. Recovery will take place slowly over 1-3 months. How much depends on how long the high level exposure went on, and the condition of the individual. She needs to do this.

This might be very useful for your friend, too. Karl is very good. This is excellent.

Top 15 Checklist for EMF Housing

1. Locate power panel at least 10 feet from living/sleeping areas. The best solution is to use a pedestal type panel located 8 feet from the house.

2. Locate hot water heater (electric) at least 10 feet from living/sleeping areas. Make sure the wires between the upper and lower elements are not spread apart. Pull a new pair through the insulation if they are.

3. Locate clothes dryer 14 feet from living/sleeping areas.

4. Use a ceramic top electric range (lower EMF and less burnt oils) and locate it 14 feet from a living/sleeping area, exempting the kitchen, of course. An electric oven will be unusable due to the element configuration. (25 foot radius impacted). A toaster oven is bad but less so, an outdoor gas oven would be ideal.

5. If there is no aluminum foil vapor barrier which can be used as an electrostatic shield, wiring should be in EMT conduit, a thin walled, galvanized steel tubing that is used in commercial electrical wiring.Wires should be cut to length 25% longer than needed, twisted with a drill before being pulled. The individual circuit pairs are twisted if larger conduits with multiple circuits are used. Ground wires should be used, don't use EMT as the sole ground conductor.

6. If a foil barrier is present which can be used as an electrostatic shield, use 12-3 Romex (lazy twist) and don't use the extra wire and make sure that the wire to the clothes dryer, oven and hot water heater has a lazy twist (round not flat).

7. Have a dedicated circuit to any electronics, such as computers. This should be in conduit or at least metal clad. Keep the routing of this circuit away from critical areas like the bedroom of someone with ES, if this is a family dwelling.

8. Use no dimmers, no fluorescent, High Intensity Lighting (HID), Metal Halide, arc lamps, or any other lighting besides conventional line voltage incandescents.

9. Most new Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI)'s are now constant Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) generators. Cooper brand GFI units are EMI free and should be used for anyone with MCS/ES.

10. All water pipes extended through the house wall must be PVC to prevent stray ground current paths on water pipes. A short section of PVC is sufficient in retrofits, as close to the house as practical.

11. Any cable lines within the house should be in EMT or preferably rigid conduit. Minimize these. Digital cable has become a big problem for ES folks and areas with same are poor sites for those with ES.

12. Phone lines should be either double shielded cable (heavy braid over foil) or run in EMT conduit. DSL introduces much the same problem as digital cable as far as site selection.

13. Site selection: 5 miles from nearest cell phone or other radio, TV, etc. transmitter. Background magnetic field levels should be tested with power off. Shared transformers should be avoided, due to net neutral current problems between homes.

14. Wiring must be tested for net current: Each neutral conductor in the panel must be disconnected, and then continuity tested against the remaining bussed neutrals. Any shorts (common neutral connections) must be located and corrected. Common neutral connections between circuits will not trip the breakers. Each 120v hot breaker must be continuity tested (all breakers switched open) against all others for a common hot connection. Same phase common hot errors will not trip the breakers.

15. Check and correct wiring errors to dual 220/110v devices: stove and dryer. Stove and dryer must be configured to have a separate ground, and isolation between ground (chassis) and neutral.

Fixing Electric Wiring in Schools: A Video. California EMF Program.
Due to public concern regarding electric and magnetic field (EMF) exposure and children's health, the California EMF Program has focused attention on EMF in schools. To determine EMF levels and sources in California public schools, the California EMF Program conducted the California School Magnetic Field Exposure Assessment Survey. While collecting EMF measurements for this survey, it was discovered that many of the 89 schools surveyed had improperly connected electrical wiring. Not only are these wiring errors the most common source of elevated magnetic fields in schools, but they may violate state and local electrical codes and could be a potential fire hazard.

It is currently unknown whether EMF is a health hazard. However, by evaluating electrical breaker boxes, schools can determine whether their wiring violates electrical codes, and should, therefore, be corrected.

Suggested Protocol for School Electricians for Correcting Wiring Errors C
ausing Net Current Magnetic Fields Wiring Protocol
To obtain a wiring video:
Karl Riley, RR-1, Box 361A, Edgartown, MA 02539. Phone: (508) 627-4719

5 EMF Control for Computers

6 Computer Tips

7 Pneumatic Sewing Machine Protected from EMF
The sewing machine is another of my pneumatic conversions. All my shop is air motors, as I get seizures and quite ill around electric motors or other magnetic field sources.

8 EMF Control for Cars
An emf sensitive lady has written to me, who has also found new freedom with an older Mercedes.  She could only use a bicycle before!
Why You Want to Be Inside an Older Diesel Car,
Though Not Behind One

by an ES Engineer

I used to be sick for a week from riding in a car. I never knew how much was "road fumes" or EMF.  Now I'm getting around much better, even driving to our ski area, 1.5 hours away.  I'm not a wreck afterwards, as long as I avoid nasty places.  Soon the ice will melt and I'll be a regular commuter to the mountain lakes for kayaking.  I can't tell you how wonderful this new freedom with my diesel car is.

The gasoline-ignition engine has spark plugs to ignite the fuel-air mixture.  The ignition (spark) system is a tremedous source of broad spectrum (across many different frequencies) radio frequency noise, as well as lower frequency magnetics.  Because of the grounding of the car body, and the use of the car body as part of the electrical system, considerable electrical emissions exist inside the car.  The alternator is a strong source of emissions also, both low frequency magnetics and up to 1 megahertz from the diode (rectification of AC to DC) noise, when charging.  The alternator must be used for normal operations, as the ignition (spark) system requires constant current.  (And frankly, with all that electrical noise from the ingnition system, why not have it on.)

The diesel engine with mechanical fuel injection has no spark plugs at all.  The fuel-air mixture is self igniting (chemical reaction, no electrical spark) from the very high compression.  Thus, the normal operation of the engine does not generate electric or magnetic emissions, and it does not require any electrical energy to maintain it's operation.

Since the diesel engine does not require electrical power to operate, the alternator is not required, and can be disconnected for normal daily use.  Over 2 hours of headlight operation off the battery is possible, safely, as diesels normally have enormous batteries for cold weather cranking.  Now the only other electrical emissions are the intermittent use of electrical systems such as window motors, etc.  Avoid the use of the air/ fan motors.  Any brushed DC motor is a terrible source of broad sprectrum RF as well as low frequency magnetics.

Mercedes diesel sedans up to 1985 have mechanical fuel injection and are resonably affordable since diesels are not as popular now.  I have a 1985 300D model, with turbocharger.  Turboed engines are often good for 300,000 miles.  Non turbo engines up to 500,000.  The alternator can be disconnected at the passenger side front fender well junction block. Also disconnect the power to the radio, they are a bad source of emissions from the digital display, even when "off."   Either pull the fuse, or unplug the connection at the radio itself.

YES, I still dread diesel exhaust, and can't stay behind one on the road.  I keep the engine very clean, repair all leaks in the engine compartment, and keep the windows up until I'm under way.  I've read about conversions for running on used fry oil, they say you then smell like a McDonalds! (I've no plans for such a conversion.)

9 EMF Control for Refrigerators

Low EMF Appliances:

The Well Behaved Refrigerator

For People with Electrical Sensitivity

By an ES Engineer

The refrigerator is a surprisingly bad source of AC magnetic fields. The source of the problem is not the fractional horsepower compressor motor, which is an efficient capacitor start induction motor, and has a well contained field that falls off very quickly with distance.

The problem is the dreaded, inefficient, magnetic field spewing “open frame” motor, which is used to move cold air from the freezer compartment to the refrigerator. I have attempted to replace this motor, but no fan motor I’ve been able to find can handle the very sub zero (Fahrenheit) temperatures coming from the cooling coils once the freezer is below zero. In some refrigerators, limited shielding of this open frame fan motor (50 to 75%) is sometimes possible, depending on the location and orientation of the open frame fan motor. Respectable shielding (90% or better) is not possible, as the open frame motors will growl and overheat with mu-metal or 5% silicon steel around and close to the motor. Making a bad problem worse, the shape of the magnetic field waveform generated by an open frame fan motor is very jagged and irregular, not just 60 Hz. These higher frequencies seem to bother me more than a clean 60 Hz magnetic field.

I also found that my memory and distractibility make turning the refrigerator off during loading with supplies a dangerous proposition; more than half the time I would forget to turn it on and would find thawed, spoiled food the next day. Instead of risking spoiling my food, I would “tough it out”, and get wiped out.

Since adequate shielding is not possible, and turning the refrigerator on and off was perilous, my solution was to add a motion detector and circuit to turn off the refrigerator when I enter the kitchen; thus making my refrigerator well behaved and the emissions zero when I approach. I still recommend partial shielding with 5% silicon steel or mu metal when possible to reduce the area of the home affected during operation.

I was pleasantly pleased to find that at least one brand of passive infrared motion detector is not digital and has virtually no emissions. I have added circuitry that opens a normally closed relay for 10 minutes after motion is no longer detected.

I have found it a great relief to have a well-behaved refrigerator which turns it self off as I enter the kitchen, and keeps itself off as I wash dishes or put food in and out or it. I feel much better in my kitchen now.


Circuit Design

A simple one integrated circuit timer circuit takes the signal from the motion detector and turns off the refrigerator for the selected time interval. Subsequent movement detections restart the delay interval so that as you are working in the protected area the refrigerator will stay off. A ten minute interval is about right.

Toroidal transformers in low power sizes are fantastic in eliminating stray magnetic fields. If an E core transformer is used, it must be shielded or located remotely.

Schematic Diagram

Circuit Notes:

Build a regulated 12 volt power supply using Digikey TE70002-ND toroidal transformer for low stray AC magnetic emissions. This tiny transformer under load puts out a magnetic field less than 0.002 milligaus in about 3 feet. Fantastic!

The relay is Digikey #PB 337-ND for ample contact rating and low coil current. Note regulated DC to drive DC relay coil in order to reduce stray AC magnetic emissions. Solid state relays are unacceptably electrically noisy.

The Motion Detector has normally closed (NC) relay, opens briefly on motion detection. Source: Marlin P Jones,

More Photos

This is my kitchen, now with a well-behaved refrigerator that turns itself off when I enter the room.

The Medusa motion detector is just right of the refrigerator handle.

More than one motion detector can be used if the area behind the refrigerator is also used regularly. The relay of the second is wired in series with the first.

Here’s an installed unit behind my refrigerator.

The aluminum shield enclosure hangs on a single nail or screw, and plugs in nearby outlet. There are cooling holes in top and bottom panels.

The refrigerator plugs into female plug from control box.

The motion detector can be anywhere, but needs a three wire cable. A second motion detector must have a 4 wire cable.

In this installation, shielded cables and power cords are used, but this is usually not necessary.

Here’s a complete system with the lid off.

The motion detector is a Texecom Medusa passive IR unit, the white box on the right.

A tiny toroidal transformer fits in low profile box. (Upper square object). Very low magnetic field.

The construction is a one IC, hand soldered proto board.

Regulated 12 VDC is used with a DC relay to reduce magnetic emissions.

This is a hand built prototype, no printed circuit board is available at this time.

10 EMF Control for TV
Q I live in a small apartment and I have a neighbor who has placed a TV against our common wall and leaves it on 100% of the time. I'm concerned about low level radiation and am wondering what materials I can use to shield the wall. Some people have suggested mild steel while others Mu metal. I've also read that if shielding is placed could actually increase the magnetic I am at a loss of what to do. Even the gaussmeter...I've read that most won't give proper readings...can you suggest one that does...that's reasonable. ...Would a single axis gaussmeter do?

My couch is about 5 ft. away but I work from home so am constantly exposed. It has been suggested to me to use a pocket compass to see if a significant magnetic field exists, but it does not show anything. However, in other parts of my apartment it can show 30 degrees from north...which to say the least has alarmed me. Comments and advice would be much appreciated! Answer:

A compass does not show AC magnetic fields, so who ever recommended using it to detect magnetic fields from a TV set is sorely mistaken.

A A compass does not show AC magnetic fields, so who ever recommended using it to detect magnetic fields from a TV set is sorely mistaken.

Relatively new TV's will have a variety of emission sources.  The typical low frequency magnetics from the yoke and flyback transformer which control the steering of the electron beam which "paints" the picture on the phosphor is the most commonly recognized one.  This will generate magnetic fields at both 60 Hz (the vertical retrace frequency), and something near 40K Hz from the horizontal refresh rate. (The beam is steered back and forth at that rate)  The horizontal refresh rate magnetic field can be reduced by a large plate of mild steel of preferably 16 gauge (22 or less) on the wall behind the TV.  A 90% reduction at any given distance is likely. (This is a significant but not enormous reduction- the effects are logarithmic, not linear, in my opinion.)  The vertical refresh rate (60 Hz) is so low in frequency that 5% silicon steel would be more effective.  Only a 50-75% reduction is likely.

Greater shielding of these low frequency magnetics is possible using one of the mu metal enclosures around the TV. One company building such a device:

Warning - there are some bogus outfits who make technically misleading claims and recommendations that are not legit. Most of their products will not appreciably improve emissions for someone that is EMF sensitive, as opposed to the EMF anxious.  For the EMF anxious, religion, meditation, or other legitimate anxiety reduction methods will have a more lasting and widespread benefit.

The higher frequency emissions from the TV digital tuner and switching power supply can be reduced by a combination of aluminum foil (1 mil thickness- heavy duty Reynolds Aluminum household foil) and mild steel ( or galvanized steel). As large an area (8x8 foot minimum) on the adjacent wall to the TV is recommended.  Both materials should have seams lapped by about 3 inches and foil taped.  Ace brand foil tape is recommended.  It may help to provide a ground connection to the surface- but this is a matter of "tuning"- some frequencies will be lessened more than others.  Grounding is not required but is often helpful.  Ideally the shield material would be earth grounded via a very short, very large (000) welding cable to an "earth rod farm"- a group of rods tied together.  This is not likely to be possible in an apartment.  Try hooking the shield material instead to the nearest electrical outlet "ground". This will sometimes improve low frequency electric field shielding performance.

The Trifield meter with 100x external probe is still my recommended meter for magnetic fields.  This must be special ordered from Dr Lee at Alpha Labs, Utah.  The external probe allows measurements to .002 milligaus.  The standard meter is calibrated for 60 hz, and Dr. Lee can provide a frequency responce plot for the meter.  He offers a flat frequency response version, which will give a more accurate but less sensitive response for higher frequency sources. I don't recommend it as accuracy for this application is less important that sensitivity, and since biological effects do seem to increase frequency, I'd rather have a more sensitive meter that reads accordingly.  (I myself react similarly- increasing frequency magnetic fields are more problematic.)

If the person is mostly electric field sensitive, she could try just a foil layer on the adjacent wall first to see if that provides significant relief.  After that I'd try adding a couple sheets (4x8') of 18- 22 gauge galvanized steel, before going to silicon steel or a box around the offending TV (which is the most effective).

11 EMF Control for Washers

Q A member has lived near some overland line for mobile telephones and got horribly electro sensitive. Heartattacks and all. She moved flat, got better - but now she gets sick when her neighbor puts on his washing machine the floor below hers. She wants to know if this condition stays the way it is - or if this can still be a result from the big exposure before and will wear off after time: Can anybody answer that? Any literature or homepages known?

A It's hard to say what the problem is with the washing machine. It could be a wiring error in the lower apt., which would cause an unusually large magnetic field when it is on, or wire is routed overhead, close to the upper apartment living space. A sensitive meter (Alphalabs Trifield with 100x external probe) would locate the problem. If any person is even slightly EMF sensitive, it is important to have one of these to locate problems and reduce daily exposure. The person may also have acquired sound senstivity, which many MCS'ers have. Certain types of sounds will then induce complex partial seizure type responces which may be indistiguishable from EMF or chemical exposures.

EMF sensitivities are often like MCS - once aquired, it may vary but will never go totally away. If one's exposure to a bad situation was brief (only a few months), it is possible that over 3 months a slow recovery will be made. Sometimes the EMF problem is then permanent. Regardless, avoidance should then be used to avoid a future accute episode. The same spreading phenominon that occurs in chemicals is common in EMF sensitivity - an increasing range of frequencies will cause problems. The only reliable treatment at present (besides general supportive therapies and stress avoidance) is avoidance.

To obtain a Trifield meter with 100x external probe: Alphalab. 801-487-9492. Salt Lake City, Utah.

12 Heaters
Heaters for Electromagnetic Field Sensitivities.
Intertherm. Dale Electric 800-462-7733 NY. Best tolerated by the electromagnetically sensitive, Intertherm heaters can be found at some hardware and building supply stores. It is recommended that the heaters are baked out at the highest heat setting for at least 24 hours before using indoors. A foil tent over the heater during the outside bake-out, facilitates the outgassing of the paint.

13 Hypersensitivity to Sound - Hyperacusis

Some EMF sensitive persons are also sensitive to sound. Earsaf Hearing Protectors cup over the ear to allows you to hear sound, but screens out harsh noise. Developed for use by the Swedish Army and made in Sweden. Peltor Model HY6N.

Hyperacusis Network. 444 Edgewood Drive, Greenbay, Wisconsin 54302. No phone. Hyperacusis Network Newsletter. E-mail: