A reader recently emailed to say, ‘I run my own business and in the interest of keeping my costs down only have one phone line. This happens to be a cell phone. I’m starting to do more work on the phone and am very aware of the problem cell phone energies create. I’m wondering if you have any experience or words of wisdom about using VoIP?’
Well, yes. I use VoIP all the time, and have done for many years.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for “voice over Internet Protocol” and refers to voice, fax and SMS communications that are sent over the internet instead of over a telephone network. The most popular of these is Skype, which you can download to your computer or laptop and use for free to call anyone in the world and talk for as long as you want, computer to computer. For a small charge you can also call to a landline phone, and for a larger charge, to a cell phone.
Providing you use a cabled ethernet connection and have disabled the WiFi on your router and computer or laptop, you will not be exposed to WiFi radiation (except if you have neighbours who use WiFi, of course, which you can do nothing about, but at least that will be some distance away from you so won’t affect you as much).
However I don’t recommend you use a headset that is plugged into your computer or laptop because there can be very high levels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that travel down the wire and straight into your head. The best way to use Skype is to get a high quality microphone and some speakers. Most computer webcams have built-in microphones these days that do the job very well.
Avoid high levels of EMFs
Of course, WiFi is only part of the problem. You need to also check that you are not being exposed to high levels of EMFs from your computer and other office equipment while working. If you feel fatigued or dizzy when sitting at your computer or get aches in your fingers after typing, you are probably sitting in much higher fields than are good for your health. But even without these tell-tale signs, it is wise to check.
The only sure way to do this is by using a good quality EMF meter. The best I have found for this purpose is the EMFields Pro meter. It’s is a little pricier than some other meters but is much more accurate, reliable and robust. I’ve had mine for over 20 years and it has travelled more than 20 times around the world with me during that period and still works fine. I’ve done experiments where I’ve lined up 10 EMFields Pro meters and they all gave the same reading, but when I tried this with cheaper meters, the readings varied so widely I could hardly believe it. I sent them all back and asked for a refund.
Another good feature of the meter I use is that it measures both magnetic and electric fields, and has a digital readout as well as a beeper that starts as a low buzz and rises to an alarming wail when exposed to unsafe levels of EMFs. I find this buzzer especially useful when showing kids the extent to which all their combined electronic gadgets affect them. They generally yawn and tune out when I suggest there might be a problem, but when I give the meter to them to hold and they see the readings and hear the sounds it makes, they get it.
If they care about their health at all, they usually want to unplug everything in their room immediately and then work with me to plug each gadget in one by one to find out which give out the highest fields and which the least. Then I help them work out the best way to minimize EMF exposure, and which things it is most important to turn off while they sleep. It only takes a few days of waking up not feeling as exhausted as they used to for them to realise how much they were zapping themselves 24/7 before.
How to use the EMFields Pro meter
To use the meter, you need to sit where you normally sit with all the equipment you normally use switched on, and see what reading you get. Check the electric field first. Anything up to 5 volts per meter (V/m) is very good. Some people can tolerate up to 10 V/m. Anything above that can have health effects over time. I have measured fields of 700 V/m or more on some computers and laptops, and it’s not that some brands are OK and some are not. Each model of each brand is different, so the only way to know for sure is to test. After checking the electric field, click the button on the side of the meter to test for magnetic fields. A reading of 0.02 microtesla or less is ideal.
Many people avoid checking EMF levels in their home or office because they are concerned they will discover something that worries them. I must say I’ve never understood this approach. Surely it’s better to know as soon as possible that you have a problem rather than after irreversible harm has been done. In many cases, there are simple solutions such as unplugging some pieces of equipment that don’t need to be left turned on all the time, earthing equipment that isn’t earthed, installing a mains conditioner that filters out radio frequency interference, and so on. You can find a wide range of solutions in Powerwatch’s extensive online article library.
Update in Sep 2017
The EMFields Pro meter has now been replaced by the PF5 Pocket Power Frequencies Meter, which is more affordable.
How to shield your home from neighbourhood WiFi
Copyright © Karen Kingston 2013