EMF surrounds us. Because of this, education on it is incredibly important. For this reason, we will be doing our best to cover all the important points of measuring EMF from power lines. Finally, we will discuss what the related health risks are. Let’s get right to it so you can learn how to measure EMF.
How to Measure EMF from Power Lines
Before we can get to calculating the radiation, it is essential to explain electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic radiation comes in the form of waves that move together. Your best visual explanation would be the light that is emitted from common lamps, chandeliers, and all other artificial light sources.
The most important term that is related to EMF is wavelength. Wavelength represents the space measured between the two waves. When it comes to calculating how powerful radiation is, you will want to take a few measurements into consideration.
The first one is expressed in hertz. That is the frequency of radiation that can go from low to high. When it comes to power, it is measured in electron volts and, once again, can go from low to high. Low-frequency radiation doesn’t necessarily have to mean that it is of low energy. Additionally, you should know to distinguish between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.
The first one holds extreme power, and in most cases, it knocks electrons out of the molecule. On the other hand, non-ionizing radiation also has huge potential. However, it moves and vibrates the atoms around without putting them out of the molecule. For this reason, the latter is considered to be less harmful. The reason is because of the fact that the process of ionization is known to damage body cells.
We are all surrounded by a huge magnetic field that is emitted from the Earth’s core. Many animals use it for navigation, such as fish and birds. The EMF from power lines is low-frequency non-ionizing radiation. It comes in the form of electricity, around which is a magnetic field. The best example of how EMF and currents are related is by analyzing the process and the radiation that is emitted when a lightning bolt hits the ground.
The Types of EMF
To calculate the electromagnetic fields from power lines, there are a couple of things you should know. First, EMF radiation is much lower in frequency than the radiation from other technological appliances that emit radio waves, microwaves, and gamma rays. However, this doesn’t mean that power line EMF can’t generate a lot of power. We must be aware of the fact that low frequency isn’t equal to low energy.
In this case, flow of electricity produces the magnetic fields. Moreover, the electrical fields are directly linked to electric charges. With this in mind, it is safe to conclude that the closer you are to the source, the more powerful the EMF will be. It is equal to the amount of current that is currently going through the wires.
Many people are concerned about the ill effect that EMF can have on their body. And it isn’t without reason, given the aforementioned studies. What you can do to limit the potential damage is decrease the time that you spend by any source of radiation. When it is inevitable that you will be by a power line, make sure that it is at a good distance.
Calculating the EMF From Power Lines: How to Measure It
The first step for measuring the EMF around power lines is to know the geometry of current lines. This means that you would be putting them as long, balanced, straight lines. However, that may not always be the case. When you aren’t sure whether modeling electric currents as straight lines will work for the calculation (for example, when you are analyzing a power line with overhead currents), then you can take the model of unbalanced lines.
One of the best products for measuring EMF and radiation is the EMF meter. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and power companies recommend this device. The gauss meters are the most accurate. They will give you an idea of whether the radiation around you is ionizing or non-ionizing. In conclusion, they will help you conclude what your next action should be.
Using an EMF Meter For Measuring Radiation
First of all, you need to stand near a power line. Secondly, you need to point the top of the EMF meter directly at it. The front should face away from you because your body can block a certain amount of radiation, which would lead to inaccurate calculations. When you have done that, you should use the buttons that are mostly below the LCD screen to adjust the settings and make sure that the meter is using measurements that you can read.
On any high-quality EMF meter, there should be a couple of different modes available. The one that you should be looking for when measuring the radiation from power lines is the AC Magnetic Mode. By using this mode, you should get accurate results in a matter of seconds regarding the amount of electric and magnetic fields surrounding you.
While you are at it, if you are looking to have some fun, then we would suggest that you turn on the weighted mode. It should give you an idea of how much EMF emits your body. This can vary depending on your size, as well as factors like previous exposure to ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.
You can also use this meter to figure out how much radiation is in the space that you live in. You will want to find a number that is below 1 milligauss. Anything above that is considered to be quite harmful.
Keep in mind that there are a few products that you can use to block EMF radiation. Some of them include radiation shielding paint and radiation shielding fabrics (36 dB attenuation). Additionally, if you want to prevent damage done by technological appliances, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, we would suggest investing in shielding/blocking pads and stickers.
Pros of Living Near Power Lines
Before we get into why you should reconsider living close to power lines, we wanted to discuss a couple of pros of doing so. The first one is that you will be able to find a house that is much more affordable than if you were to buy a house in an urban, high-demand area. Along with that, the signal should be much more powerful. As a result, you shouldn’t have that many issues related to electrical circuits, etc.
Additionally, if you are someone who enjoys being out of the city and away from all the noise, then investing in a property near power lines is a fantastic idea. However, there are a couple of precautions that you will need to take.
Cons and Risks of Living Near Power Lines
As we have discussed through our step-by-step EMF calculating guide, the first thing that you will want to do is measure the amount of radiation that surrounds that area. Don’t fool yourself by thinking that you can determine the EMF just by looking at the size of the power line, as that sort of calculation is completely inaccurate.
Yes, non-ionizing radiation is low-frequency, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any health risks. In fact, constant exposure can lead to fatigue, depression, breast cancer, ALS, reproductive problems, as well as leukemia (according to studies).
If you were hoping to eliminate any risks that are related to living by power lines, you would have to move quite a distance away, as studies suggest that even living within 2,000 meters of power lines can play an essential role in stunted growth. Anything above 2 milligauss is considered to be bad for our health, with the effects varying depending on the EMF power.
Yes, the radiation that comes from power lines is different from the radiation that is emitted by smartphones, laptops, and tablets. However, that doesn’t mean it is 100% safe or that you want to leave yourself unprotected if there is something you can do to keep yourself and your family safe when living near power lines.
We have done our best to guide you through the risks and potential advantages of living near power lines, as well as explain effective methods for measuring radiation. It is your turn to sit down, write facts in favor/against, and make the best decision!