When it comes to mitigation of EMFs, we first consider how to eliminate, reduce or create distance from those EMF sources that are within our control. For the EMFs that are not within our control whether they are from your own home, a neighbours home or other outside infrastructure, we need to look at shielding options. Shielding creates a physical barrier that will markedly reduce or block EMFs altogether.
Here, we are looking at shielding from radio frequency or RF. The common types of RF that we are most concerned with are those from cell phone towers, WiFi, cell phones, Bluetooth, cordless phones etc. All this technology producing these RF emissions are very local in our environments which is increasing on a daily basis. Over only a short period of time mainly since the late 1990’s we have changed from having very little RF in our lives to having high levels in just about all parts of our daily activities. Being closer to a source of RF also means being in a stronger RF field. Our exposures have increased in a number of ways including the types of signal (modulated), strength of the signals and length of time exposed to these fields.
Having a cell phone tower in your street beaming into your bedroom means you have a high degree of exposure from multiple transmitters over a long period of time by a frequency that has altered signal characteristics which is essentially unnatural. This scenario is very common for many people as is WiFi in schools, neighbourhood antennas, wireless tech in rest homes, work places, transport, city streets, shops etc. To cover all sources of RF would be a very long list.
Some common wireless devices now actively have stronger signal emissions over different frequencies. In the early days of WiFi and Bluetooth they would only broadcast a short distance, now more modern transmitters can send these signals hundreds of meters. As part of an EMF survey, I once spent two hours searching for a Bluetooth signal in a large remote house and eventually found a Bluetooth speaker still broadcasting even after being turned off. The signal strength from this small device could be measured in all 6 bedrooms and living areas.
It is useful to know that these real world situations are not built into the radio frequency exposure standards that governments have in place. In this country, like many others, the Environmental Protection Authority ceased measuring the increasing footprint of environmental RF since around 1996 which also coincides with the timing of selling off the radio spectrum and setting the standards. NZ standards for RF exposure are old and out of date and do not reflect the current levels of electro pollution.
The other range of radio frequency from TV, radio and other communications are less common for most of us but still notable for many who live near the main transmitters. Radio frequency tends to be a catch-all term but in using the correct terminology, radio frequency turns into microwave radiation from 3GHz. So that means that our cell phone tower transmitters are broadcast in the radio frequency and microwave radiation spectrums. Colloquially we are being ‘microwaved’ as over time the power output from these transmitters has been increasing. To reflect the increasing number of devices connecting to the wireless infrastructure. We are in effect in what is loosely termed the fourth industrial revolution, which should really be renamed to the Massive Wireless Technology Revolution.
That’s quite a lot to get ones head around, but unfortunately the tip of the iceberg has only just been covered. Outside of our distracted day to day lives, if we care to look up, the area above our beloved planet is being covered literally in a blanket of satellites. In just a couple of years the total number of satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) has doubled and will continue to increase in number over a very short time. In progress is a space network programme that will expand satellite numbers to well over 100,000. The principe aim of this is to create global satellite internet coverage which basically means exponential amounts of man made radio frequency trapped in our atmosphere. This grid network will expand to all areas of life from the current domestic internet connections, out to transport of all kinds, industry, medicine, cities, smart networks you name it. The global opportunity boundaries are endless and the radio spectrum is being opened up more and more to technology connectivity and communications.
Bringing this back down to home, what this basically means is a massive increase in exposure to radio frequency and microwave radiation is on its way that will continue to grow on all fronts. Now is the time to recognise this and work through the process of adapting to the changing environment.
Ok, so now we have defined the problem, let’s look at a solution.
Is it possible to shield a home from this increasing footprint of radio frequency? The answer simply is YES. Here as an example is my own home.
SHIELDING THE OUTSIDE OF A HOUSE FROM RADIO FREQUENCY
At our house, we unfortunately have a direct line of sight to a cell phone tower that is positioned high on a hill. There are no other buildings or trees to help break up or block the transmissions from the cell tower. Building a shielded fence is a little impractical, waiting for trees or bushes to grow takes too long, so we decided to shield with protective paint.
To shield from the radio frequency, we have painted the outside in EMF Turtal. This shielding paint is specifically formulated for these modern cell phone frequencies and provides protection from 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G. This paint is tested against a range of frequencies from 500MHz to 40GHz which include the higher frequency mm waves proposed for 5G. This shielding paint is grounded to reduce RF further which also removes any electrical fields. See more information about EMF Turtal at EMShop https://www.emfshop.co.nz/product-page/5g-shielding-paint-emf-turtal-2-5l-powder-outdoor.
The shielding paint is a carbon based powder that is simply mixed with water. It is black in colour as shown in the photos. In the first instance we painted the walls of the house that face the cell tower. With the intention to cover all walls over time as the weather allows. EMF Turtal comes in both indoor and outdoor versions. We chose to use the outdoor paint basically because access was easy and the outside of the house needed a new coat of paint anyway. After the shielding paint was dry, two new layers of our normal house colour paint was applied.
The process of applying shielding paint is quite simple. One layer of paint is applied, then we add earthing straps (copper tape or other conductive tape), an earthing plate to connect the paint earthing straps to ground and then another coat of shielding paint over the top. Shielding paint basically works by creating a large conductive surface to block radio frequency.
Painting our house in EMF Turtal has dropped readings from around 400 μW/m2 (micro watts per meter squared) down to around 2 to 3 μW/m2 in our dining room. Prior to the cell tower being installed we had very low readings of <2 μW/m2 that came from neighbourhood WiFi. Our local cell phone tower is approximately 2km away which even at that distance the RF levels increased substantially.
Of course some radio frequency (RF) from this tower still comes in through the windows and frame, which we will shield at a later date using window film from Solar Gard called LX70 www.emfshop.co.nz/product-page/window-film-rf-protection-by-solar-gard. Glass does not have any RF shielding properties and so provides very little protection. RF is very invasive and will pass through gaps and unshielded areas.
In the meantime, we have placed RF shielding in the curtain lining between the curtain and thermal backing. This shielding material is a special blend of nickel, copper and polyester. Available on EMFShop at www.emfshop.co.nz/product-page/radio-frequency-shielding-material. It is easy to cut and sew if required. Shielding the curtains for us then becomes our night time solution as our lounge and dining area is on the other side of this window. Closing the curtains across the windows, bridges the shielding gap between the painted walls.
HOW TO MEASURE RADIO FREQUENCY
To measure radio frequency and microwave radiation in your home or workplace you need a special meter. We have a number of different options over at EMFShop for you. All easy to use, accurate and sensitive enough for your domestic environment. Simply turn them on and move them slowly around the area you want to measure. For more details click the image.