I have heard the question many times. I have no answers. I would like to hear from experts.
One good source is the Environmental Health Trust,https://ehtrust.org/
EMF is one of the most-researched topics in the history of public health. The World Health Organization has a lot of info:
Like visible light, EMF (and other radiation) follows the inverse-square law, so moving away from the source rapidly reduces the field strength. An everyday example would be the difference between looking at a camera flash close to your face vs. at a flash from across a room.
EMFs are everywhere and in varying strengths and frequencies. In my experience a small percentage of the population report that they are very sensitive to EMFs (I have a few such clients). This may be similar to some who are very sensitive to air pollutants such s VOCs, mold and other allergens. What we do know it that the effects of electromagnetic radiation varies with the frequency and distance from the source. The frequencies of the microwave region can cook food from the inside out. Frequencies of the mid-infrared band will transfer a lot of thermal energy (such as from the sun) and of course there is the visible light band. EMFs are generally not considered a health risk, unless you spend any significant time close to a source, such as living next to a high voltage power line or (transformer) substation or talking on your cellphone with it next to your ear for extended periods.
We are occasionally requested to test for EMF's in the course of our home inspections. I use a reasonably priced gauss meter and I walk from an area of near-zero reading toward the suspected source/s. I make no interpretation of readings but I have shared pdf research articles with clients who request them. Several of those clients have walked away from their proposed home purchase after seeing the meter max out when it nears the cell tower, high tension lines, transformer, or other EMF source. Being a big believer in the precautionary principle I would do the same thing were I in their situation.
Which brand did you go with and would you mind sharing one of the articles you would share with a client? We have only been asked once or twice if we test for EMF's and I doubt we are going to go in that direction but am always looking to learn as much as I can and might grab a meter just to start playing with one.
Mike Pagozalski Certified Home InspectorHI9519
I've had one client that was very sensitive and ultimately moved to get away from an unknown source that caused extreme reactions to it.
Coming from an electrical engineering back ground, I am thinking here about the effect of currents on surfaces, electrical currents travels only on the outside of tubular conductors, however if wires are shielded inside such tubular conductors such as metal conduit this offers some shielding since induced currents will not travel the inside of the tube. To make this more practical and guard against conditions that would defeat the purpose of this concept, the conduit needs to be grounded along its path at various points, connecting it to an earth ground outside the building. Better still would be the idea of having the conduit in the ground, coming up to various tie points to wall sockets, in which case the in ground conduit can be PVC since the ground is the shield and absorbent. These ideas add extra labor and expense to the cost of construction so that has to be considered also. One thing I would say also is that electrical wires inside a metal building or mobile home fill the interior of the structure with electromagnetic radiation whereas buildings made of wood and brick would allow some of this energy to pass through the walls to the outside and lessen it inside the structure. Conduit with such wood and brick structures would be a good idea.
I have heard some concern about it, and expect interest to grow as more research connects EMF exposure to health impacts. You can't do much about a building located near a cell tower (although I have heard of people retrofitting buildings to provide additional shielding), but people can take steps to reduce local sources (use speakerphone and/or air tube headsets instead of holding mobile phones to your head, use wired internet instead of WiFi and/or turn off WiFi routers when not in use, locate beds away from smart meters, etc.). We are in something of a large experiment with humans being exposed to so many more sources of EM radiation than ever before in the history of our species. Unfortunately, the fact that there are very few people NOT exposed to these sources makes some types of research studies difficult since we lack a proper control group.
Regarding measurement, a friend of mine has the Trifield meter and seems to like it.
I am quite interested in how EMF can cause health issues.
There is no question that too much exposure to high frequency radiation can create health problems. If we stay out in the sun too long, we get sunburned from prolonged UV exposure. Every time we get X-Rays, the technician will ask if we are pregnant because X-Rays can cause harm to the growing baby.
Health effects of low frequency EMF radiation are more controversial for many reasons:
First, symptoms due to use of microwave ovens, smart meters, WiFi, cell phones, etc. can be inconspicuous at first, but they may become noticeable over time rather than immediately.
Second, the electronic and telecommunication industries have strong financial interests in consumers not being aware of potential harm from using their products.
We have long known that the human body is a sophisticated electromagnetic system. Now once we learn machine learning we see how things can change in the long run. Our nervous system and our heart run on electricity, which explains why we can shock a dead heart into life using an electric shock machine called a defibrillator.