19 Oct What is Building Biology and Reducing EMR Exposure
“Building biology is the evaluation of health hazards like allergens, toxicants and electromagnetic fields in the built environment, and provides strategies to address exposure and/or source control and abatement”.
A Building Biologist is essentially a GP for the indoor health of your home or the indoor spaces in which you spend time. We help you to identify and quantify hazards and provide recommendations in order to reduce the impact those hazards may have on your health.
One such potential hazard is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) which occupies the radiofrequency (RF) part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
RF is used for telecommunications and in wireless devices. For a device to emit and receive RF waves it must be fitted with an antenna.
Radiofrequencies are ubiquitous in today’s modern lifestyle. It’s not uncommon for mobile phones and Bluetooth devices to be attached to people 24/7 and from an increasingly younger age. Common sources of RF include mobile phone towers, digital cordless (DECT) phones and baby monitors, wireless laptops, iPads, smart meters and smart appliances.
RF is measured in microwatts per meter square (μW/m²) and is done so using a high frequency meter.
There is a great deal of conflicting information in the media regarding RF and safety. There are also concerns about exposure to RF and possible health effects, particularly for children.
In 2011 the World Health Organisation classified radiofrequency radiation as a Group 2B carcinogen, that is, possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Building Biologists follow the precautionary principle, meaning until such a time that no risk of harm exists, caution should be taken.
Some simple steps you can take to reduce your exposure to RF include:
- Turn off the Wi-fi router at night (get a timer switch so you can ‘set and forget’)
- Avoid sleeping with the head of your bed on the opposite side of the wall to the smart meter
- Turn off the Bluetooth and Mobile data functions on your mobile phone and then place it into airplane mode at night
- Avoid holding a mobile phone to your head during calls – use speaker phone or an air-tube hands-free headset
- Limit children’s use of wi-fi enabled devices
For an EMR assessment of your home or workplace and a more comprehensive list of strategies unique to your situation, please get in touch.