Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Much Ado Over EMF Levels

Some folks at work have become somewhat paranoid over the EMF levels in their workspace. Apparently, they have found levels to be “unsafe” for prolonged continuous exposure, according to some literature that they’ve dug out. It has spun off many activities, including professional EMF testing by an independent company, call for action by relevant departments within the organization, etc.

Yet, unsurprisingly, the official interim standing on the matter is that, according to in-house EMF experts, there is no cause for concern.

This reminds me a lot about GSM antennas. Some people protest about the presence of GSM antennas, and call on the telcos to provide official statements on the health impact and safety of such transmitters. But of course, they will just refer to information published by equipment manufacturers, regulatory bodies, etc… all of them would definitely have concurred that they are harmless, otherwise there wouldn’t have been GSM antennas anywhere in the first place.

Well, the blessing is that the EMF paranoia has resulted in an EMF meter becoming available, and which I could borrow. How fun. So I started going around measuring everything… work table, monitor, notebook, handphone, speakers, etc. Surprisingly the biggest culprit was the transformer for the speakers. Apple things are pretty EMF-free… practically none detected from their power adapters.

Handphones are often prime suspects. Well, the Nexus One fared pretty well. None detected except from the top-left corner… where the reading was just around 2 – 3 mG. That seems pretty okay. I was just thinking about the iPhone 4 antenna saga. You know, about the problems with their bottom-left corner. I wonder if that’s why other phones are better than the iPhone 4, but perhaps this is just totally unrelated… EMF vs signal reception.

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