If the drastic lifestyle disruptions of 2020 have taught us anything, it’s that having a healthy home environment is critical to our mental and physical well-being.
People are staying at home more than ever. Families are eating “in” more often than not, and entertainment is occurring in the home too (witness the huge resurgence of board games as one example).
Many of us are working and schooling from home full-time too.
Even without lockdowns, some of us may not leave home at all for days at a time!
When things hopefully start to drift back to semi-normal (?), the forced flexibility of work and schooling from home is likely to remain as options indefinitely.
A Healthy Home is Low EMF
If creating the healthiest home environment possible is something you are working toward, I would encourage you to take a look at the sources of electromagnetic radiation (EMFs) in and around your living areas.
Minimizing this exposure is something that can have an almost immediate and dramatic effect on your sleep and overall sense of well-being.
Reduced anxiety, deeper sleep, and a feeling of optimism and hope are some of the health benefits that make the effort worth it!
How to Minimize Home EMF Exposure (25+ suggestions)
If you’re wondering where to start in this process, below is my personal laundry list of EMF minimizing strategies to consider. I started developing this list decades ago and am constantly adding to it as new technologies emerge.
Don’t feel overwhelmed like you have to implement them all right away.
Do the easy ones first and work toward the rest as you are able.
The goal is to minimize EMFs… you will never rid your life of them entirely unless you live off-grid somewhere in a National Park.
- Get rid of all LED and fluorescent light bulbs (including CFLs) in your home. These types of bulbs emit a large EMF field compared with simple incandescent light bulbs that have none. Halogen bulbs are safe as they are technically incandescent. LED bulbs for outdoor lighting are fine. If you use a few battery backup LED bulbs around your home for power outages, minimize them as much as possible.
- Do not use an infrared sauna that has LED lights. Use only incandescent near infrared saunas.
- Replace all dimmer switches in your home with simple on/off switches. Dimmer switches produce a lot of dirty electricity! This includes ceiling fans. Use the chains to adjust fan level, not dimmer switches.
- Avoid using wireless headsets of any kind. Use an air tube headset like this one instead.
- Consider earthing products like a grounded blanket while you sleep or a mat while you work. This is especially important if you work or sleep on the second (or higher) floor.
- Go barefoot as much as possible especially outside on the grass or use leather soft-soled shoes around the house/patio/porch. This allows your body to release pent-up static electricity harmlessly into the ground. I recommend the book Earthing for more information.
- Turn off your wireless router at night or better, use ethernet cables for your connectivity needs.
- Unplug anything that is within 5 feet of your bed. This includes lamps and alarm clocks. Do the same when you are in hotel rooms. You’ll be surprised how much deeper you sleep!
- If you use an electric adjustable base for your mattress, be sure to unplug it each and every night before going to sleep. I suggest using a power strip to make it easy to accomplish this without moving the bed.
- Do not sleep with your phone near your bed. If you use it as an alarm clock, put it on airplane mode and place it 5 feet or more from the mattress before turning in.
- Do not use the bluetooth enabled speakers in your car if at all possible. If you must take a phone call in the car this way for hands-free safety purposes, be sure to shut off the bluetooth on your phone AND in the car as soon as the call has ended.
- Never use an electric blanket while you sleep. Avoid using an electric heating pad for pain too if at all possible. Use an old fashioned hot water bottle instead.
- Make sure your home does not use a Smart Meter or Smart Water Meter. Call your local power and water company and find out if you have already gotten one and if so, make sure to opt-out and go back to the analog meters. It costs a bit more per month, but it is worth it. If you do not have an option to get rid of your Smart Meter, make or buy an EMF blocking cover for it.
- Flip the circuit breaker to the house or to specific rooms at night. I recommend this over more expensive solutions at the electrical panel because it is literally free. For example, one of my children’s rooms shares a wall with the kitchen. We flip the breakers to the kitchen appliances at night as the bed is right up against that particular shared wall.
- Do not enable the WiFi option for smart appliances, gaming consoles or your TV. This has the added benefit of reducing spying on your home activities.
- If you use WiFi enabled security systems, switch to manual mode at night. It is fine to turn WiFi mode on while you are out of the house, of course.
- Do not use a WiFi enabled personal health device like a Fitbit or at least disable the WiFi functionality.
- Do not use a Wifi enabled smartwatch.
- Never work with your computer directly on your lap or on a table. Always use an EMF blocking pad underneath.
- Never use a cell phone near your head (use the speakerphone or an air tube headset like this one). You’re not still doing this are you?? ?
- Do not carry a cell phone in a pocket of your clothing (your bra is the worst!) or even your handbag while it is turned on. Use an EMF blocking phone case or privacy pouch instead.
- Do not use wireless, digital, or video baby monitors. Use the old fashioned analog monitors instead. You can find them (used) online or at garage sales.
- If you are planning to move soon, check that the home or apartment is one-half mile or further from a cell phone tower or antenna.
- Use an electric stove and avoid induction ovens, which emit a large EMF field.
- If you are especially EMF sensitive (estimates are that at least 3% of us are), consider an attractive shielding canopy over your bed to create an EMF free sleeping environment. This is important if you are in a small apartment and have neighbors who use high-speed WiFi.
- Avoid having any metal in your mouth. This includes metal braces, permanent wire retainers, titanium implants and silver fillings. Gold crowns are problematic too. Any type of metal in your mouth concentrates EMFs toward your head essentially making it an antenna.
- 5G is getting rolled out very quickly, especially in urban areas. Protecting yourself from this technology takes a bit of planning. If you are a member of Healthy Home Plus, here are my strategies for 5G protection at home.
Do you have suggestions for other ways to reduce EMFs? Please share in the comments below!
Do you know if any detox method (epsom salt bath or clay) could reduce harmful effects in the body?
Sarah Pope MGA
Possibly, but radiation exposure is cumulative. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/natural-protection-from-radiation-exposure/
I found a company who sells “Harmonizers”. After reviewing theI’d research I tried it and repeated one of the research experiments. I grew a plant next to a router with and without a EMF Harmonizer. The router killed the plant when the Harmonizer wasn’t on it then the plant grew normally when the Harmonizer was attached. I’m repeating the experiment now. I have also noticed personal health improvements. I’ve taken pictures of all of this.
I haven’t seen anyone discussing these products that talks about EMF protection.
What do you think?
Sarah Pope MGA
I don’t find those products credible in most cases.
What about Himalayan salt lamps? I’ve read they can help absorb toxins and EMFs. Most of them come with dimmer switches but even the ones with basic on/off switches tend to produce a lot of electricity when I’ve tested it with a meter. Are these worth it or does having it plugged in and on all the time negate the positive effects?
Sarah Pope MGA
I would not use one with a dimmer switch and I’ve not seen any convincing evidence that they clean the air or absorb EMFs. If you’ve seen some, can you please share your sources as I would love to know.
That said, salt lamps are lovely and if you have one with a simple on/off switch, no reason not to enjoy them.
You mentioned using a Defender Shield for laptop use on table. I use one for my lap. I usually don’t use it for tabletop use, but I decided to get one anyway. I see this company now has one that blocks 5G and included is an envelope to store one’s laptop as part of the shield. Sarah, have you one of the newer ones?
Sarah, I once heard that toaster ovens emit a lot of EMF. Do you know?
Also, why aren’t microwave ovens on the list?
Sarah Pope MGA
Hi Karen, toasters do emit some EMF as does a regular electric oven, but not excessive amounts like an induction stove does. You can’t eliminate all EMF in the kitchen as there is electricity flowing, but you can minimize it with smart choice of appliances. I feel the low amount of EMF from an electric oven or toaster oven is better than the huge risk of indoor air pollution from gas stoves (occurs even when they are off). https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/gas-stove-dangers-alternatives/
Good question about the microwave. I should add it to the list. I’ve never used one in my entire life and never will. I just assumed that anyone reading this blog would already have the sense to avoid those! Not many people I know use those anymore … they use convection ovens which are almost as fast and much safer.
Can I put a computer on my lap if I use a Defender Shield?
Sarah Pope MGA
Yes, I do it all the time 🙂
Heidi M Loomis
1 – Hire an expert to evaluate your home. We did and he found wildly erratic magnetic fields in our living room. After some exploration, he understood that it was due to our copper water pipes bringing in surges of electricity from our neighborhood. A $35 plastic interrupter piece at the water main in the basement solved the problem 100% (and surely saved so much of our good health.)
2 – Use old-fashioned telephones with cords
3 – Buy dirty electricity plug-ins and place in home outlets strategically or near breaker
4 – Buy a meter to take your own measurements in your home, use it, and adjust
Heidi, what is this kind of expert called? I just got copper pipes and I would like an evaluation. Thanks.
Where do YOU find incandescent light bulbs?
Sarah Pope MGA
Home Depot! They put them on the very bottom shelf though so you will have to look to find them.
Sarah, I am new to this idea. How can you determine if you are one of the 3% who are EMF sensitive?
Sarah Pope MGA
You get symptoms (sleeplessness, irritability, anxiety, headaches, some people get numbness in the arms or legs too) when you are in a high EMF area. You have to get out of EMFs for awhile though to know that EMFs are contributing to the problems. I live in a low EMF home and have for many years…. I always have trouble sleeping in hotels since they started having Wifi. If I stay in hotel in NYC where WIFI is very concentrated, I can’t go to sleep AT ALL. I can actually feel the EMFS tingling on my skin … weird I know, but I am definitely one of the sensitive ones.
Interesting reading. Your articles are always informative and helpful. I was considering purchasing, for my two, expecting daughters-in-law, the new devices that are newborn tranquilizing mats. They gently vibrate and soothe the infant. This device operates on batteries. Safe?
Sarah Pope MGA
I would NOT get something like that for a newborn. Just get the EMFs out of the nursery and preferably out of the house is a better solution.
Patricia — why does an infant need a battery-operated device in order to be soothed? That’s what mothers and other caregivers are for!