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EMF Field Guides: The Beginner’s Guide to

 

Common EMF Sources in
Living Rooms and Family Rooms

In this EMF field guide, we’re going to tell you about common EMF sources in living rooms, tv rooms and family rooms.

We suspect some of these will be news to you.

Let’s begin:

18 Common EMF Sources Found in
Living Rooms, Family Rooms & Home Offices

This section covers common EMF sources found in living rooms, TV rooms and family rooms.

These are areas where people spend a lot of time, especially in the evenings, and can be littered with many different RF producing tech devices.

With all our sections, we’ve included a recommended solution for most of these. Some of these outbound links may be affiliate links to help fund our mission of public EMF education.

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01

Smart TVs

Generally speaking, Smart TVs have RF chips that can connect directly to a home’s wireless router and other peripherals via Wi-fi and sometimes bluetooth.

This adds radio frequency radiation to your indoor environment.

With some TVs you can turn this functionality off and then either not use it at all or connect with hardwired ethernet cable.

It’s worth checking with the television manufacturer to see if it’s possible.

A more drastic step, if you don’t mind voiding the warranty on your television, would be to contact a certified television repair technician and see if they can remove or disconnect the wireless chip entirely.

IMPORTANT: Don’t do this on your own as there is can be an electrocution risk with opening up your television. 

A Low EMF Solution

The simplest solution is to purchase a TV that doesn’t have this functionality. Here are some “dumb” TVs on Amazon and that can be found on eBay.

Craig’s List is another good option for finding these.

02

Gaming Consoles

Gaming systems (Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo) commonly use Wi-fi to connect to the internet and bluetooth to connect to wireless controllers and other peripherals.

This can be a significant source of RF radiation as people often play video games for long periods of time.

These long gaming sessions mean sizeable wi-fi and bluetooth exposure. The exposure areas can also be problematic.

The bluetooth controllers will be in close proximity to players’ torsos and crotches. If the players are wearing wireless headphones their heads and brains will be exposed, too.

Many game systems can be hooked up to ethernet connections and wired controllers. This will lower the RF exposure, but not remove it entirely.

A Low EMF Solution

We recommend using hardwired, ethernet connections for internet connectivity (our guide is coming soon on how to do this). For controllers, we recommend using wired game controllers.

If the game systems allow you to turn off the wireless chip in the console or controllers, please consider doing so.

Our Guide to Low EMF Gaming will be coming soon.

03

Media Devices

Media streaming devices (Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku) are commonplace in homes now due to the popularity of on-demand streaming media services like Netflix and Amazon.

All these have wireless chips and will produce RF fields to communicate with the wireless router.

We recommend using a hardwired internet connection with these, so you don’t need your wireless router.

Unfortunately, with many of these models you can’t turn off the wi-fi functionality entirely, though you may be able to turn off the bluetooth functionality. As a result, we recommend cutting the power to these when not in use.

We’ll have a media device buyer’s guide out soon to address these issues.

A Low EMF Solution

Before buying the latest models of these streaming media players check with the manufacturers and see if you can turn off the wi-fi functionality.

If that’s not possible, hardwire these with ethernet cable and plug the unit into a power strip that can be powered off when not in use.

04

Smart Speakers & Voice Assistants

Smart speakers and voice assistants (Amazon Echo, Apple Homepod, Google Nest Mini) use wi-fi and bluetooth for connectivity. Wi-fi is often required and therefore the RF chips can’t be turned off.

Unfortunately, this type of technology (as novel as it may be) isn’t compatible with low EMF homes.

A Low EMF Solution

The simplest solution, for a low RF environment, is to remove these from your home.

If we learn of a model that can work with ethernet connections and where the wi-fi chip can be turned off, we’ll update this space.

05

Wireless Headphones

These subject the user to both radio frequency fields (bluetooth) and magnetic fields (from the speakers). Both types of fields are directly adjacent to the user’s brain.

Headphones can be used for long periods of time, so the duration of exposure can be significant.

Instead we recommend using wired, airtube headphones that will eliminate the need for bluetooth and keep the speakers at a safer distance from the user’s head.

A Low EMF Solution

Airtube headphones are our current recommendation for low EMF headphones.

06

VR Headsets

Due to the wireless connectivity, these products will produce RF radiation directly adjacent to the user’s brain and eyes.

We haven’t tested these for magnetic fields yet, but having the screen this close could possibly be an issue, too.

Our recommendation is to game with traditional TV and console setups where distance can be achieved by the user.

A Low EMF Solution

We recommend gaming with old school, non wi-fi consoles. Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis consoles come to mind.

07

DVRs & Tivo

Many digital video recorders will have wireless and bluetooth RF chips which will produce radio frequency fields.

There may be options to turn off these chips and use a wired, ethernet connection for internet connectivity and an IR remote control instead of a bluetooth version.

Contact the DVR manufacturers to learn if this is possible with their new products coming out.

A Low EMF Solution

We recommend using a wired, ethernet connection and using an IR remote. Contact the device manufacturers to see if you can turn off the RF chips in the recorders.

08

Wireless TV Receivers

These are being promoted heavily by cable and satellite providers. Having no cables is an alluring prospect for many people, but in reality you’re effectively adding another, dedicated router, and the RF exposure that comes with it, to your living space.

These 2nd routers will often be next to bedrooms or other frequented living spaces.

As, you may guess, we would recommend going old school and sticking with cables and non-transmitting receivers.

A Low EMF Solution

Wires aren’t a bad thing. Stick with them.

Double check with your cable or satellite provider that the TV receivers don’t have wireless chips that can’t be turned off.

09

DVD Players

Modern DVD players are starting to be turned into media hubs with wireless and bluetooth capabilities.

We recommend going with the non-smart varieties of these devices.

A Low EMF Solution

A quick check on Amazon, eBay or Craig’s List will provide a list of DVD and Blu-Ray players that don’t have RF chips.

Double check the listings and with the manufacturer to make sure the models don’t have RF chips.

10

Wireless Speakers & Sound Systems

Wireless speakers, wireless soundbars and sound systems all use wi-fi and/or bluetooth.

We recommend going with wired versions of these and making sure these aren’t directly adjacent to where people sleep or frequently spend a lot of time.

A Low EMF Solution

When purchasing a wired soundbar, double check with the manufacturer that there isn’t a wireless or bluetooth chip in the device.

11

Remote Controls

Many remote controls use either infrared (IR) or bluetooth connectivity. If you have a choice, go with an IR remote control.

If you have a bluetooth remote and you aren’t hyper-sensitive to radio frequency fields, you can put the remote in a faraday cage and turn off the power completely to the TV or media device the remote is used for. This will eliminate the bluetooth sources when the device isn’t in use.

A Low EMF Solution

Using a faraday cage or fardaday box will block the remote control from transmitting outside of the container.

These can be used for phones and other RF transmitting devices, as well.

12

Exercise Bike & Equipment

Exercise bikes (Peleton), treadmills and step-machines are being released with more wireless functionality.

Before purchasing one of these machines, double check if the have wireless functionality and if the chips can be turned off if you were to use a wired, ethernet connection.

We’ll have a guide on these devices soon.

A Low EMF Solution

Check with the manufacturer to see what RF transmitting chips have been installed and whether the chips can be turned off.

13

Electric Furniture

These are most commonly electric recliners or electric massage type furniture.

These are neat in theory, but can produce sizeable AC electric fields throughout the piece of furniture and surrounding areas.

Electric Reclining and Heated Couches

These couches will have AC electric fields from the wiring within and AC magnetic fields when the heating or massage elements are operating.

This can be significant exposure due to the duration of time people spend on these.

At a minimum, we recommend unplugging these when not in use. A IR remote on/off plug would work well and not be inconveniencing.

Electric Recliners and Heated Recliners

These products have the same exposure issues as the couches and sofas above. The IR on/off plug is a good solution if you currently have one of these models.

Massage Chairs

As with the furniture above, these will have AC electric and magnetic field exposure. The on/off plug will lower the exposure when not in use.

A Low EMF Solution

The important thing to remember with these is to cut the electricity in between use. Ideally, you don’t want to be immersed in electric fields the entirety of the time you’re sitting on the furniture.

14

Wireless Chargers

Wireless or inductive charging can have some elevated magnetic fields when in close proximity to the chargers.

These are currently not a massive concern with the models we’ve seen (unless you’re sleeping directly next to a charger), but we recommend using standard plug chargers as this technology is only going to be ramped up in the future.

Some projected uses include full garage charging for electric cars and having entire kitchen counters be able to charge devices.

A Low EMF Solution

Standard plug chargers are more efficient and faster than wireless, inductive chargers.

15

Smart Power Strips & Plugs

Smart plugs and power strips are a component of Smart Homes and use wi-fi to communciate with the smart home hubs. Each of these used will produce RF radiation.

If you want a low-EMF home, it’s best not to use these.

A Low EMF Solution

Use an IR on/off plug instead if you need some control of a remote outlet.

16

Fireplaces

These can produce magnetic fields (electric) and many have bluetooth remotes. The bluetooth remotes can be placed in faraday boxes, but there may still be some RF fields coming from the fireplace itself if the function can’t be turned off.

We recommend checking with the manufacturer to see if bluetooth or IR remotes are used with the heating devices.

A Low EMF Solution

Our guides on hardwiring your internet, making sure your laptops are properly grounded, and putting your computer into airplane mode correctly are coming soon.

17

Vacuums

Regular Vacuums

Vacuums can be sources of both AC magnetic fields (from the motor) and AC electric fields from an unshielded and ungrounded cord.

A cordless, battery powered vacuum should have significantly lower electric fields, but both will have AC magnetic fields due to the vacuum motor.

These exposures aren’t excessive in duration, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re sensitive to these types of EMFs.

The best low-EMF solution would be to get rid of the carpets that necessitate the use of the vacuum in the first place.

Before purchasing a new vacuum, it’s a good idea to test it for both excessive magnetic and electric fields.

Roombas and Smart Vacuums

The main concern with these is the RF radiation produced from the necessary wi-fi connectivity.

This isn’t a product you can realistically hardwire, so the wi-fi exposure will be present if this product is in use.

It’s a novel idea, but one that doesn’t have a place in a low-EMF home.

If you do use it, make sure you and your pets are out of the home to ensure the lowest man-made EMF exposure possible.

A Low EMF Solution

If you need a vacuum, using a cordless vacuum should at least reduce some of your exposure from the electric fields emanating from the cord.

18

Wireless Microphones & Karoake Machines

Wired Microphones

These are very similar to the karaoke machines and should be fully powered down when not in use.

We recommend simply using a wired microphone instead.

Karaoke Machines

Many of these machines will have wireless or bluetooth functionality built in to the machines.

Before purchasing contact the manufacturers and see if you can both hardwire the machines and turn off the wireless and bluetooth functions.

If not, make sure these are fully unplugged when not in use.

A Low EMF Solution

As with most RF transmitting devices, make sure these are unplugged or on a power strip that is powered down when not in use.

EMF FIELD GUIDES
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The Beginner's Guide to EMFs

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