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EMF Basics – Measurement & Mitigation Methods

Updated: Jun 20

EMF measurement methods get placed into high and low-frequency categories, as measuring radiating waves as small as a few centimeters (Wi-Fi) and waves thousands of miles in length (Electricity) are each unique in how they are detected and quantified. This is why professional EMF meters & spectrum analysers are either purpose-built low or high-frequency devices.

The MITO/RD10[AU] has three basic modes to select from to simplify your property screening. RF - Radio Frequency / LFM - Low Frequency Magnetic / LFE - Low Frequency Electric.

The low-frequency electromagnetic fields get separated into magnetic and electric field measurements. The low-frequency waves are so long in scale that you can be affected by one type of field and not necessarily the other, as the waves propagate on a plane perpendicular to each other. 3-in-1 meters combine all the above measurement methods into one device.

When you switch between LFM and LFE Modes, you will notice how much the two field types vary in comparison with each other as far as their field strength and coverage go.
Switch the meter to RF Mode and you are now measuring frequencies cycling millions of times faster and smaller than electricity. These RF or microwave radiating wavelengths are so small that the electromagnetic force is measured as one field. For this reason, we only have one mode for measuring RF.

RF MODE – Measurement & Mitigation Methods

Below is an overview of our RF checklist for measuring all things wireless including 5G microwave radiation.

1/ The MITO/RD10[AU] has a single axis antenna so its important to move around the meter to find the highest reading. Wave in the air in a figure eight motion.

2/ You see it all the time on YouTube, people measuring smart meters, phones and Wi-Fi access points with their meters almost sitting against the unit or device in which they are measuring. This is the wrong approach and can potentially damage the meter. In order to measure that close, a special near field antenna is required. To get what is called a far-field RF reading you need to be at least one to three meters back from the device or source you are measuring. (When you measure to close all RF meters will over-read the field strength, as the microwaves/radiofrequency wave/field hasn’t formed.)

3/ Measure the places you spend time in. If you get high readings around a room at your feet level and also above your head, that generally means it will be difficult or expensive to shield, especially if the readings are in the red. If you only have green or orange readings above your head or only at your feet, this can be easier to mitigate. You can also use the MITO/RD10[AU] RF-X Sound Mode (See below) to determine where and what the signal/source is by the signals sound signature.

4/ Turn all your wireless devices off before taking a reading at home so you can determine what your background RF levels are. Recommend turning off the power at the mains so you don’t miss anything.

5/ Take measurements at different times of the day and night. Sometimes random transmissions can seemingly appear out of nowhere and the cell tower transmissions can vary in power density throughout the day. The MITO/RD10[AU] can be set to log or record events using its onboard hardware or by using an Android device/Mac/PC plugged into the Mito Meter. (This will be covered in another post.)

6/ Find out what side of your property is being affected the most by microwaves by measuring around the house or building at the North, East, South and West sides, noting the readings. In a perfect world, you should be able to stand on top of your roof and not get a reading with the MITO/RD10[AU] meters, which is under 0.0005 mW/m2 (0.5uW/m2) or at least, one light. However, this is now hard to find in both populated and rural areas. (Contact us if you want help finding a location.)

7/ By holding the meter tight into your chest and slowly turning around you can find the direction of the signal(s) as your body will absorb the microwaves behind you. You can also place the meter in the middle of a large pot or wok using blue tack or double-sided tape to hold the meter in place which creates a makeshift high gain parabolic receiver/antenna for a more directional and sensitive detection method if needed. This can be handy for locating a tricky to find source.

8/ The RF antenna for the MITO/RD10[AU] is on the left side so hold the meter at the lower section of the meter case so your fingers don't block any signals. It’s just something you need to be aware of, as holding the meter in the palm of your hand will cause it to under-read.

9/ For optimal results you don’t want any LED lights flashing or solid lights on RF Mode, especially for sleeping areas. Most homes now will have two or more LED lights showing in bedrooms. Two or three green LED lights are not of much concern short term. Some sensitive people with compromised immune systems really need to stay well below two LED lights as much as possible.
RF MEASUREMENT NOTES

You should always check your area on an antenna location map to check for radio station antennas, Ham radio operators, as well as point to point links that maybe crossing over your environment as some of these signals are outside of the meters detection range. In most cases, the MITO/RD10[AU] will detect the main offenders. (100MHz to 8+GHz)

The Australian antenna site map is at www.acma.gov.au. In order to access the site map, type in “acma location map” on your search engine. (Any direct links to this site map will not work.) Also check out Maprad which has point to point locations and directions.


LFM MODE – Measurement & Mitigation Methods

Below is a quick checklist for measuring LFM, Low-Frequency Magnetic Field’s.

1/ The Mito Meter is a single-axis gauss meter. This means its sensor is directional and needs to be moved around, just like in RF mode, to find the axis with the highest reading. Always note the highest reading. To measure the three-axis (xyz) angles, hold the meter upright, then facing north, then east and note the highest value. Power lines can be detected anywhere from 10 meters/yards to 1 km/mile away in LFM Mode, and the readings vary over a 24-hour period as demand on the grid changes. Hold it in an upright position to measure power lines.

2/ Do not measure too close to the source, as it could potentially damage the sensors when measuring strong fields. If the meter’s LED lights turn red, there is no need to move the meter closer to the source. Similar to RF measurements, special ‘near-field’ kits are required to measure electronics in close proximity. Generally, you shouldn’t need to measure any closer than 30 centimeters/12 inches, as measurements taken at such proximity are often greatly exaggerated, as frequently observed in YouTube videos.”
3/ Measure the places where you spend time, and remember to move the meter around to cover all three axes. In LFM Mode, you can hold the meter wherever you want, as the magnetic fields pass straight through your hand.
4/ Measure the background magnetic field from the power grid. It’s important to know the A/C (Alternating Current) dynamic field of the power grid on your property, as this type of EMF can not be mitigated. You can create a grid layout of 3 square meters and take measurements every three meters around your property to identify any problematic areas that may require attention. Alternatively, focus on measuring the areas where you spend the most time. Hold the meter in an upright position.
5/ Measure the A/C dynamic magnetic field of your electrical grid on your property using the LFM-X Mode over a 12-hour period. This will allow you to capture peak demand field activity, such as around 11 am in the morning and 11 pm at night. Note atmospheric conditions and solar activity can increase the load on the power grid, resulting in significantly higher power levels. Hot days will generally have higher readings, while cloudy days may have lower readings.
6/ Check your walls, floors, and ceiling for strong magnetic fields. Ensure that no ovens or appliances are placed against walls that may have occupants on the other side.
7/ Check the incoming underground cables, as well as the area around the ground stake of the electrical system and the plumbing/water pipes, to ensure they are free from any A/C magnetic fields. If you detect readings on pipes, taps, or the ground stake, it is crucial to promptly engage the services of an electrician.
8/ Measure the electromagnetic fields emitted by electronics that you spend extended periods of time around, such as your phone, laptop, MacBook, or PC. Note that laptops should not be placed on your lap, as they all produce magnetic fields. This is why manufacturers are legally prohibited from using the term ‘laptop.’ Ensure that your bedhead is not near your power distribution board or located near any live electrical infrastructure. Measure the electromagnetic fields emitted by electronics that you spend extended periods of time around, such as your phone, laptop, MacBook, or PC. Note that laptops should not be placed on your lap, as they all produce magnetic fields. This is why manufacturers are legally prohibited from using the term ‘laptop.’ Ensure that your bedhead is not in contact with your power distribution board or located near any live electrical infrastructure.
9/ For optimal results, it is preferable to have no lights displayed in LFM Mode, particularly in sleeping areas. Most city homes will have one or two LED lights. The Mito Meter LED display measures down to 0.2 mG (20 nanoTeslas), which is the Building Biology guidelines ‘no concern‘ level for sleeping areas. Note that when the Mito Meter is connected to a PC/Mac or Android device, you can measure the A/C power grid with high accuracy down to 0.05 mG (5 nanoTesla). For instructions on how to measure electric fields, please refer to the provided resource.See how to measure electric fields here.Note that erratic fluctuations in the electrical grid dynamic A/C field is biological disruptive at both low and high levels. You can’t shield these far-reaching types of dynamic A/C fields, they go through everything and this is why it’s the most important aspect to look at before considering a property.


LFE MODE – Measurement & Mitigation Methods

Here is a quick checklist for measuring electric fields in the LFE Mode. Low-Frequency Electric fields are also called E-Field’s in the world of electronics.


Out of the three field types we can measure, ‘RF, LFM and LFE,’ the LFE E-Fields can be quite a menace indoors unless you live in Chicago or New York where they have a code of practice which states all A/C electrical wiring and fit offs are shielded in both residential and commercial buildings.

Living in larger homes where you are situated further away from walls and ceilings are usually more favorable than being boxed in small roomed homes as long as there are no electrical runs under the floors where you sleep or spend time. Homes or buildings with electrical cabling concealed in concrete walls, floors and ceilings are also effective at eliminating E-Fields if the electrical ground and wiring have no issues.

Below is a brief rundown of the nine basic measurement methods used when using the Mito MITO/RD10[AU] meters for screening properties.

1/ There is no need to move the meter around at different angles when measuring environments for E-Fields, as required when using the LFM & RF Modes. In LFE Mode simply hold the meter towards the direction you want to check. There are no rules to how close you can measure. In fact, sometimes it’s handy to place the meter directly on a device or surface and take your hand off the meter so you get both a body potential E-Field reading as well as a potential free E-Field reading. (See Potential Free vs Body Potential

2/ If you have electrostatic build-up from clothes or carpet while you are taking E-Field readings you will find that since your body acts as an electrical capacitor the meter will fluctuate as you move around and your body discharges excess electric build-up. You shouldn’t use synthetic clothes, carpets, curtains or synthetic flooring unless it is anti-static, as static electricity is equally as problematic as current electricity. If in a situation where you are causing excessive static electricity just keep your body still as you note E-Field strength.

3/ Measure the places you spend time in. Interesting places to measure are earthing sheets or grounding products along with your kitchen sink. You will be surprised how much voltage rides on the grounding of your electrical system. If an A/C electrical system is wired correctly and there are no problems with connected electrical equipment or devices you shouldn’t get any more than a couple of LED lights on the Mito Meter when taking a reading at the kitchen sink, or next to the grounding stake by the power distribution board of your property. Most people will get more than one light as its hard to find well designed and maintained electrical systems without problematic connected equipment. Lighting electrical infrastructure is the most problematic for electric fields in most homes that don’t have high ceilings or shielded electrical runs.

4/ The Mito Meter is calibrated to use your body as a voltage potential to boost its E-Field sensitivity. This is called a body voltage potential reading. When you measure an electric field and sit the meter down next to what you are measuring, and step away from the meter at least one meter, this is a hands-free method called a potential free reading. When new to using the Mito Meter, hold the meter to take LFE measurements. Taking both potential free and body potential readings come in handy when problem-solving and mitigating as the two measurement methods used together tells its own story.

5/ Check walls, floors and ceilings that back on to electrical infrastructure. Make sure you don’t sleep or spend extended periods in close proximity to electrical cable runs concealed behind walls, under floors and within ceiling cavities. Definitely do not sleep anywhere near power distribution boards/smart meters, solar inverters, air-conditioning units, or anywhere near where the power comes into the house.

6/ Check electric field levels/E-Fields around your home or office on LFE Mode and then turn all circuits off at the power distribution board, including the master kill switch. Then measure again in those same places. In most cases, there will be a huge difference in the results. You can then narrow down which circuits are the most problematic by switching back on circuits one at a time and noting which circuits are the most problematic.

7/ Check anything and everything plugged into an electrical socket, as well as any items connected to those plugged-in electronics, like your IP landline that is plugged into your modem/router. Check any conductive structures like metal pylons, kitchen bench, steel-framed beds, spring framed mattresses, pluming/taps/shower heads and aluminum window frames above beds.

8/ Hold the meter in your right hand when taking E-Field/LFE measurements so you don’t block the sensor which is situated in the left side of the meter. This is an easy one to forget. You will still get a result holding the meter in your left hand, but it can potentially under-read the E-Field unless you hold the end of the Mito Meter between your left hand’s finger and thumb when measuring.

9/ For optimal results you don’t want any solid green lights on LFE Mode up to a couple of meters away from your bed. That’s the goal anyway. The Mito Meter display reads down to approximately 2V/m. (Volt per meter) Higher-end professional meters like the top of the range Low-Frequency Gigahertz Solution meters that Building Biologists use for home assessments measure down to 0.2 V/m (200mV/m) and this is why I recommend the above 1 – 2-meter distance rule with no solid green LED lights around sleeping areas, as these fields drop off with distance. It is extremely rare to find a bedroom with less than 0.3V/m. Places like in the kitchen and office you want to aim for no solid green lights where you stand or sit.



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