Electro Magnetic Fields (EMFs) and Your Health

It’s a tricky topic this one because opinions are deeply held and polarised. Let’s start with a quick summary of the facts and issues and then I will try to choose my words carefully: #healthyhousedesign

Electromagnetic fields are generated by
1. Power lines
2. Electrical wiring in buildings
3. Electrical devices

Normal bodily function includes miniscule electrical currents as part of the chemical reactions in the body. The question is:

“Is our biology affected by the kind of electromagnetic fields we might normally be exposed to in a modern home?”

Health concerns have been raised over the years over the effect of power lines, mobile phones and their base stations, TV screens, microwaves, computer screens and so on.

Scientific research is very extensive and includes studies into childhood leukaemia, cancer, miscarriages, suicide, depression, immune disorders, and allergy effects.

The World Health Organisation has concluded that the current evidence does not suggest there are adverse health effects from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields. Low levels include most domestic appliances.

Many people believe that further research is necessary especially into the long term effects of low level exposure.

Many people report headaches anxiety, nausea, fatigue, loss of libido as a result of exposure to electro magnetic fields.

So………what should we do?…………….

Power Lines and mobile phone base stations

This is my personal approach:

If you can hear any kind of humming then it’s too close. You can discount the house or the plot simply because of the noise problem regardless of any EMFs.

Similarly if a power line disrupts the view I would avoid that property for reasons other than the possibility of EMFs.

If it encroaches onto your land you need to investigate the easements in place, maintenance rights of the national grid, and possible disruption of your peace and quiet because of that.

If there are power lines that are not that close and do not disrupt the view or encroach on your land then I would look at it in the round taking into account chiefly distance, price and the other qualities of the plot of house you are considering.

Electrical Underfloor Heating
Personally I would avoid electrical underfloor heating in favour of water based underfloor heating. The question of EMFs arising from electrical underfloor heating is unresolved, or rather there are opinions on both sides of the debate but, independently of that, water based systems are better in my opinion especially for new builds. They have lower running costs and they are straightforward to install.