What’s the ambient electromagnetic field of your home?

Electrical wiring

Something that’s both amazed and concerned me as we’ve continued our house hunting here in the UK is the high levels of ambient electromagnetic fields (EMFs) that so many people live with these days. They are substantially higher than 20 years ago when I last lived in this country.

What’s changed?

From what I’ve seen so far, one of the main reasons for this is the development of plastic-coated wiring, which has generally replaced metal conduits that used to be used in residential house wiring. It’s cheaper, of course, which is why it’s become so popular, but it results in much higher levels of EMFs.

As an example, we’re living in a rented house at the moment that was built in the 1960’s and has the old metal conduit wiring system. The ambient electric field is a mere 3 volts per meter (V/m) and the magnetic field just 0.01 microtesla (µT). It feels fantastic. We sleep so well here!

This level of EMFs is unusual, though, I know. The recommended level that most people can comfortably tolerate is about three times higher at 10 V/m electric field and 0.025 (µT) magnetic field. So that’s what we’ve been looking for as a minimum requirement in our house hunting. But we’ve viewed over 40 houses so far and it’s very rare to find.

As well as plastic-coated house wiring, the trend for halogen ceiling lights is another common problem we’re encountering, and faulty lighting circuits generally. EMF readings at floor level on the ground floor may be fine, but at head height and above the readings increase to 40 – 60 V/m. That’s two to three times the level that’s likely to cause health problems with chronic exposure. My husband is taller than me, so it’s even worse for him.

What’s the solution?

We could attempt to live at floor level, of course. We could saw the legs off our furniture and live Bali style, without chairs, and only stand up and move around when it’s absolutely necessary. Or perhaps crawl from place to place.

But then we go upstairs and take readings at floor level there. Guess what? They are as high as the ceiling readings downstairs. And if halogen ceiling lights have been fitted on that level too, you can’t sit or stand without exposure to high EMFs. What are you supposed to do – float in mid-air?

We realize we’re more sensitive to energies than most people and therefore more sensitive to EMFs too, but when we look at the people who live in these houses and see how tired and energetically bashed they are because of the constant bombardment they don’t even know they’re being subjected to, this is not the quality of life we want for ourselves.

The search continues

When we buy a new home, we’ll invest in rewiring if we have to, replacing any plastic-coated wiring with earthed metal conduits or screened cabling, earthing the metal mountings of any halogen lights, and doing whatever it takes to reduce EMF levels to acceptable levels. But we haven’t found a place to buy yet, and the rental period on our current home is coming to a close. So now we’re searching, EMF meter in hand, for either a property to buy or one to rent. Estate agents are generally fascinated to know what readings we’re taking, but I guess they’re also secretly glad none of their other clients do likewise. It would make some properties almost impossible to sell.

If you’re interested to know what I use, I’ve tested many EMF meters over the years, all the way up to models that cost thousands of dollars or pounds. The best I’ve found is the EMFields Pro. There are cheaper ones available, but the readings they give are not so reliable or easy to understand, and they don’t usually give both electric and magentic readings as these do (you need to test both). We’ve decided to start selling them on our online store in the Healthy Homes section.

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2011

More information about EMF meters
More information about house wiring


About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fourth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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One Response to What’s the ambient electromagnetic field of your home?

  1. Anna says:

    Thanks for writing about this! We had around 300 V/m in a big part of our house, and 400-500 V/m in our beds due to lamps at the side of our beds. With smart meters it must have been a lot worse than that during the night. These levels are quite common in Sweden. I became really sick. As soon as we turned off electricity I got better and now we have replaced the cables in our house for wired cables. I stopped using a cell phone as well.

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