Electric appliances make our life easier and simple. 50 years ago there was a saying "more electricity less work to do". Electric home appliances do our hard work, entertain us, heat our food, heat the house at winter and cool it in the summer. Electric home appliances help us do every task and chore very easily and faster. But all electric appliances emit electromagnetic radiation in low frequency (eclectic network frequency) and some also in high frequency (cordless phones, Wi-Fi router, laptop, microwave ovens). We need to know when and why these appliances emit electromagnetic radiation. We need to keep safe distance and to find ways to limit and to avoid unnecessary exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
Electromagnetic field is created around every electric conductor (a metallic wire for example) when an electric current is running through it. As higher the current is the higher the electromagnetic radiation will be. The frequency of the electric current will be the frequency of the electromagnetic radiation, usually at the same frequency of the electric network at around 50 or 60 Hrz. The levels of electromagnetic radiation in low frequencies drops as you move away from the source.
In electric appliances, there are a lot of wires, electronic components, electronic board and power converters When the device is turned on, and in some of the cases even when turned off, those components and wires emit electromagnetic radiation in the frequency of the electric network (mainly).
It is important to remember that low frequency radiation passes easily thought walls. Therefore the location of the home appliances in the house is very important. If located wrongly people living in the house can be exposed to high levels of electromagnetic radiation.
Most home appliances emit electromagnetic radiation in low frequencies and uses electricity even when they are connected to the electricity network and turned off (standby mode). The way to reduce the electromagnetic radiation and the electric waist is to cut the power supply off. In order to do that you need to unplug your devices from the electric socket when not in use. This operation is both not easy and can be dangerous since you increase your chances of getting electrified. A multi socket with a power switch allows you to switch off the power supply to all the devices connected to it, easily and with no risk. A multi socket with a power switch is not very expensive (~US$10) and installing it is very easy. In this way you can easily save some electricity and also reduce the electromagnetic radiation emitted from the home appliances while in standby mode. Cutting off the power supply of home appliances in standby mode can also protect them from power bursts and lightning strikes.
Video link: ELF EMR from electric appliances in standby mode
Two types of voltage transformers are available today in the market, classic and electronic. The classic voltage transformer is based on two coils raped against a magnetic core. The ratio between the two coils is the ratio between the input voltage and the output voltage. The electronic voltage transformer consists on several small coils, capacitors, electronic parts and an electronic board.
The classical voltage transformer way of work is fully based on electromagnetic fields and while operating it emits high levels of electromagnetic radiation in the frequency of the input voltage. In most cases an electric voltage transformer emits less electromagnetic radiation than a classical voltage transformer.
The higher the current that flows via the voltage transformer wires, the higher the radiation it emits. It is recommended to keep a safe distance of one meter away from a classical voltage transformer and a half meter away from an electronic voltage transformer.
An electric motor is based on the principle of magnetic fields. In all electric motors you will find magnetic core and coils. Every Electric motor emits electromagnetic radiation. The radiation levels are higher when the motor power and load are higher. You can find electric motors in every home, office and factory. You can find electric motors in a refrigerator, air-conditioning systems, an aquarium and ponds filters, air pumps, fans, washing machines, sewing machines and lots of other every day home appliances.
You can find a small electric motor even in clocks (analog), and around it you there will be an electromagnetic radiation field that can be measured by a very simple meter.
From a home used electric motor it is best to
keep one meter of safety distance. In industrial motors you better keep more
safety distance, or try to install some electromagnetic radiation shielding
since their working current and the radiation they emit can be a very high
(much higher than most home electric motors).
There is a wide variety of television in today market and households. Televisions and screens that are based on Cathode-ray Tube (CRT), the big, clumsy round and heavy devices, are the oldest type of TVs and they emit the highest levels of electromagnetic radiation (compared to other types of TVs and to other radiation sources in the house). The reason is that these TVs work on the principle of a variable electromagnetic field generated around the screen used to change the projection of the electrons making their way from the electronic booster/canon on the back of the tube to the Fluorescent screen. This field surrounds the screen on all sides. At the front of an old CRT screen there is a protective layer that blocks some of the radiation. Therefore on the back and sides (where there is no protection) the radiation levels are the highest. Since the low frequency electromagnetic radiation can pass through walls, a common mistake is to place a bed next to the other side of that wall where a CRT-TV is placed at. In a CRT TV some levels of electromagnetic radiation will be emitted even on standby mode.
In order to save office space, many businesses and offices, place computer tables against each other, back to back, which means that also the computer screens are placed back to back. In this situation, workers are exposed to high levels of electromagnetic radiation from the rear and sides of the CRT screens.
Safety distance from a 29" CRT TVs is at least 2 meters from all sides. A safety distance from a 19" CRT PC screen should be around half a meter in any direction.
LCD, plasma and LED screens and televisions work in a digital method and are not based on a magnetic principle. Therefore the radiation levels that are emitted from all sides, are very low compared to a CRT TV or screen. The sources of radiation in these monitors are computerized circuits, microprocessors and power supplies that are located on the electronic circuit board on the back on the screen. Since the radiation levels from LCD/LED and plasma screens are usually very low, the safety distance from LCD/LED and plasma screens is only half a meter.
Plasma screens and TV are also a source of electric pollution (it produces an electrical noise that is added on to the electrical grid at home) but the levels of low frequency electromagnetic radiation emitted from the plasma screens are similar to the levels emitted from LCD and LED screens.
Safety distance from LCD screens, plasma TV LED is half a meter in any direction
The microwave oven can be found in almost every kitchen in the modern world. Microwave ovens use the heating effect of electromagnetic radiation (in the frequency of water molecules) to heat the fluid in the food and, by that, to heat the food itself. The frequency used in microwave is around 2.4 GHz and it is similar to the frequencies used for communication, cellular and DECT phone. When a microwave oven is on, part of the radiation goes through the protection shield-filter, that is part of the microwave oven door, and spread into the room. The part of the radiation that escapes from the oven is relatively small, and can't cook our body during the short time it is on, but it is definitely not recommended to look into the oven for several seconds (possible damage to the eye protein) or even stay in the kitchen when the microwave oven is on.
Just for comparison, In Israel when a radiation tester tests a microwave oven, the oven will be considered "safe to use" if at a distance of five centimeters from the door the tester will measure radiation level of 5000 micro watts per square centimeters (the Israeli standard, which is very high, for cellular antenna radiation level is about 40-100 micro watts square centimeters.
In addition, microwave oven, like most electrical appliances, emits low frequency electromagnetic radiation in the electrical network frequency of 50 Hz. This low frequency radiation is emitted all the time the microwave oven is connected to the electricity network. The microwave oven, low and high frequency, electromagnetic radiation emission must be taken into account when deciding about the device location in the house (not near people) and it is recommended to pull it out of the electric supply when not in use.
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