Minimize radiation from driving

Healthy HouseTM TechTip

Chances are you are getting exposed to a large amount of EMF while driving. Most vehicles emit significant levels themselves. The process of traveling down a road, in and of itself, also increases your exposure from sources external to your vehicle. Cell towers are strategically placed near interstate corridors and populous areas. Power lines also typically follow and cross major roads. There are some simple steps that you can take to find a low-EMF vehicle and reduce your exposure while driving.

Wireless Radiation

First off, many cars produce radio frequency radiation. This wireless radiation is most commonly in the form of Bluetooth radiation. This is the protocol used for "hands-free" communication with your cell phone. Even if you don't use your "hands-free" feature on your car, chances are that it is still emitting radiation.

Some cars, like Fords have a disable option in the menu system to stop Bluetooth radiation. Other car manufacturers like Toyota don’t have a disable option, but they do not radiate when there are no mobile devices are paired with the system. Other manufacturers like some of the General Motors and Chrysler vehicles continuously radiate even when no devices are paired. Some of the more recent General Motors vehicles that have the most recent firmware do not radiate Bluetooth when no devices are paired. If your GM vehicle is radiating, try having an authorized service shop update the firmware.

More and more cars are now equipped with WiFi. General Motors was one of the first car companies to offer in-vehicle WiFi. Currently, it is impossible for a consumer to disable WiFi in their vehicle. Even when calling GM and OnStar to find out how to turn it off, they sound baffled and tell you that if you are not using it, it is off. This is not true. Other car manufacturers like Ford offer a disable button for their in-vehicle WiFi.

Shielding Characteristics

Also test the cars RF-blocking capability by testing wireless radiation outside the car and inside the car. Cars are made of varying amounts of metal, so some cars will perform better than others. Take a reading in the foot region away from the windows to get a better idea of the performance of the car body. You might also consider shielding the windows with EMF-blocking window film to cut down on the radiation coming from the cellular, broadcast towers, and other cars.

Magnetic Fields

Cars produce magnetic fields. The fields can vary greatly. Different trim packages of the same model of car can also vary greatly. As a whole, Fords and Toyotas seem to be the lowest. This is a generalization though based upon testing many vehicles. It is recommended to test individual cars to find one with low magnetic fields.

When testing a car, take magnetic field measurements on each of the seats, foot regions, and head regions. It is also recommended to take measurements with the vehicle off, with the accessory on, with the engine started, and while driving. Cars produce a lot of high-frequency magnetic fields, so it is ideal to have a gaussmeter with a large dynamic range spanning low to high frequencies. It is important to get a baseline with the car off since many car lots are surrounded by powerlines. While driving, you will notice that fields increase as you travel near and under powerlines. The expressway is often a good spot to get decent stretch of road that is away from powerlines. This will allow you to see how much is coming from the car. Work with someone to write down values so you can keep a good eye on the road.

Power seats often create a constant magnetic field on the seat that will deviate the earth's natural magnetic field due to the motor. Heated seats produce high magnetic fields when in use. The foot region is often where you find the strongest magnetic fields. Hybrid cars typically have high magnetic fields. However, hybrids also vary, so it is best to test.

What is a good level to try to achieve when looking for a car? Well, the lowest that I have measured is .15 mG (milliGauss) on the seat and 1-3 mG in the foot region. This was on a Ford F-150 with basic trim level package. There are many other vehicles that come close to this range. There are also many other vehicles that exceed these levels and average 5-10 mG in the seat and 15-100 mG in the foot region. This are in the extreme level of concern range according to Building Biology Standards.

Electric Fields

Avoid cars with 110 volt outlets as they will have higher electric fields which will increase your body voltage.

Cell Phone Use

It is best to avoid cell phone use in a car. The phone typically has to transmit at a higher power density because of the metal in the body of the car. If you do need to talk on the cell phone, make it brief and use an airtube headset with the phone at a distance from your body. But aside from EMF, put your phone down to focus on safe driving.

Many sensitive individuals report feeling less tired and less depleted when driving a low-EMF vehicle.



Clean your air ducts.

Healthy HouseTM CleanAir Tip

Consider having your air ducts cleaned to improve indoor air quality. Air ducts can harbor all kinds of dust and debris. Ducts and HVAC systems are common breeding grounds for mold and bacteria.

You should ideally have your ducts cleaned every five years. If air ducts are not cleaned in a proper manner, new health problems can arise.

Air ducts should be visually inspected prior to cleaning with a camera scope. If there is an accumulation of visible mold is found, proper remediation techniques should be conducted prior to cleaning. This may include the use of air scrubbers, negative air pressure and the possible removal of portions of the air ducts.

Air ducts should be cleaned by a reputable company that uses a truck-mounted cleaning unit. This will help prevent your house from becoming cross-contaminated, since the air is pulled straight to the outdoors before being filtered and expelled.

Many air duct cleaning crews include vacuuming as part of the service to clean up before around vents and registers. Opt to use your own vacuum since their equipment may be contaminated with mold. It is best to vacuum with a HEPA filter.

Biocides are commonly used to kill mold and/or bacteria. Chemically-based biocides are toxic. Request that biocides are avoided in your house.

Many crews use rotating brush attachments to clean the inside of your duct work. Request the cleaning crew to do a thorough cleaning of the attachments using non-toxic cleaners prior to servicing your house.

If you have a whole house air conditioning system, it is also recommended to have your evaporator coil inspected an cleaned. Humidifier pads should also be inspected and replaced if needed. Replace your furnace filter right after your air ducts are cleaned.


Minimize EMF exposure from personal grooming appliances.

Healthy HouseTM TechTip

Hair dryers, curling irons, and electric razors produce considerably high EMF (ElectroMagnetic Fields). It is best to test your electrically-powered personal care products, minimize the use of them, or better yet follow a few simple tips to reduce your EMF exposure.

Hair dryers typically create high magnetic fields often approaching or exceeding 20 mG near your head. Most hair dryers will produce less EMF when set to the lowest speed and to the lowest heat. Exposure can also be minimized by holding the dryer at a distance from your head. Hair dryers with ceramic core heating elements usually produce less EMF than traditional ones. Consider replacing yours with a ceramic core model.

Curling irons create high electric fields often exceeding 150 V/m near your head. When using a curling iron, hold it as far away from your head as possible.

Electric razors create significant magnetic fields, typically around 5mG near the tip of the blade. Consider using a manual one or minimizing it's use. All of these aforementioned readings are at or beyond the extreme level of concern according to Building Biology standards.


Avoid conventional dry cleaning.

Healthy HouseTM CleanAir Tip

Clothes from conventional dry cleaners are cleaned with chemicals that shouldn’t come into contact with your skin. These chemicals also contaminate indoor air quality. If you find it necessary to use dry cleaning, hang recently dry cleaned clothes on a clothes line outside in the sun for several hours to lessen the amount of chemicals brought into your home.


Don't use electric blankets or heating pads.

Healthy HouseTM TechTip

The majority of electric blankets and heating pads create high EMF. Even when electric blankets and heating pads are just plugged into the wall and not turned on, they are likely emanating a electric and magnetic field. Due to the way these products are designed, EMF measurements are typically in the Extreme Level of concern according to Building Biology Standards.


Monitor the humidity in your home.

HealthyHouseTM CleanAir Tip

The humidity in your home should be between 40% and 60% relative humidity. Humidity, the amount of water vapor in the air, is measured with a humidity gauge known as a hygrometer. Above this range, mold can thrive easily. Below this range, bacteria and dust mites will tend to thrive. Basements are an important area to keep the humidity level in check. Basements tend to be damp and typically do not have a lot of air flow. Mold will thrive in humid environment and can grow on almost anything including dust and cardboard. A dehumidifier can be used to remove moisture from the air. It should be set at 40 - 45% relative humidity.


Turn on your exhaust fan while cooking on the stove.

Healthy HouseTM CleanAir Tip

When the stove burner is on, a variety of pollutants are released into the air. These pollutants mainly consist of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

Carbon monoxide is a deadly toxin. Carbon monoxide from kitchen ranges is a common reason for elevated concentrations of CO in homes. Carbon monoxide can lead to dizziness, headaches, rapid heart rate, brain damage and even death from high exposure. Orange, yellow flames, or sooty flames, is a good indication of incomplete combustion, which could lead to carbon monoxide buildup in your home.

Carbon dioxide is produced during the combustion. At higher concentrations, CO2 can cause drowsiness, headache, reduced cognition and lead to a “stuffy” feeling in a home.

Nitrogen dioxide is a respiratory irritant produced when nitrogen from the air encounters oxygen from the burner. NO2 affects the mucosa of the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract. Continued exposure to high NO2 levels can contribute to development of acute or chronic bronchitis. Low level exposure to NO2 may cause decreased lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and increase risk of respiratory infections, especially in young children.

Exhaust fans should be vented to the outdoors. They should also be properly sized for your stove. Always use your exhaust fan while cooking on a gas range. It will help draw the combustion pollutants out of the home.

Most exhaust fans will emirate a magnetic field when turned on. Because of this, it is good practice to step away from the stove during cooking while keeping an eye on it.

If your stove is electric, combustion pollutants are not released into the air. However, many electric stoves produce a high magnetic field when the heating element cooktop surface is turned on.


Avoid using wrinkle-free clothing and bedding sheets.

Healthy HouseTM CleanAir Tip

There are many wrinkle-free products, everything from shirts to bedding sheets. In order to make something wrinkle-free you have to bring in the reinforcements: chemicals to strengthen the fabric. The fabric is given a bath in resins to strengthen it and then saturated in formaldehyde to further resist wrinkles.

Formaldehyde is a human carcinogen as declared by the National Cancer Institute. In 1987, the EPA declared formaldehyde as a probable carcinogen. And in 2011, the National Toxicology Program, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, classified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen.

Exposure to formaldehyde produces a laundry list of possible health hazards including irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, nausea, and skin irritation.

Unfortunately, there is no law or regulation to disclose to the consumer when formaldehyde is used. The best way to protect yourself is to not use or own wrinkle-free products.

Wrinkle-free bedding may look nice, but don't sacrifice your health for the wrinkle-free look.

Wrinkle-free bedding may look nice, but don't sacrifice your health for the wrinkle-free look.


Don't use scented products with synthetic fragrance or perfumes.

Healthy HouseTM CleanAir Tip

Many people think fragrance is a good thing. Most of us don’t stop and think that there are two kinds of fragrances, natural and synthetic. Synthetic scents are man-made and are a complex concoction of chemicals.

Fragrance chemicals are organic compounds that volatilize into the air, which is why we can smell them. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by fragrances are big offenders of polluted air.

There is an onslaught of fragrance products that have appeared on the market. They are wreaking havoc for the chemically sensitive and effecting the health of the non-sensitive. Laundry detergent, fabric softener, “air fresheners”, dryer sheets, scented plugins, candles, perfumes, colognes and body sprays are just some of the commonly scented products.

Many laundry detergents are scented themselves. Now there are more long-lasting scents that are applied to the laundry in granular form. These will pollute the indoor air, outdoor air through the dryer vent, your clothing and water.

Many laundry detergents are scented themselves. Now there are more long-lasting scents that are applied to the laundry in granular form. These will pollute the indoor air, outdoor air through the dryer vent, your clothing and water.

Now nearly every manufacturer of garbage bags has scented versions.

Now nearly every manufacturer of garbage bags has scented versions.

Exposure to fragrance chemicals can cause a wide-variety of health effects including headaches, eye, nose, throat irritation, respiratory stress, nausea, forgetfulness, anger, depression and other neurotoxic symptoms.

Be sure to avoid any products that have perfume or fragrance listed in the ingredient list. If you are looking for a replacement to toxic fragrances, consider using a high-grade essential oil with a naturally occurring scent like rose or peppermint that are found in nature!


Minimize the use of composite boards like particle board and engineered wood.

Healthy HouseTM CleanAir Tip

Particle boards and engineered woods are types of composite board that off-gas toxic chemicals into the air.

That said, composite board is still dominating the market today. Composite board, also commonly referred to as pressed wood or manufactured board, is a cheaper substitute for solid wood.

Composite board is man-made. It is manufactured by pressing and binding the strands, particles, fibers or layers of wood, cellulose, and even plastic together with adhesives to form a composite material.

Composite wood is the most common material used in new home construction. The majority of framing is still done with solid wood, but everything from subfloors, exterior sheathing and kitchen cabinets is made out of composite wood. Even home furnishings like bookshelves and furniture are manufactured with these engineered woods.

Often times it is tough to determine if a product is made out of composite board. It is helpful to look at the interior edge of the board since most of the exterior surfaces will have a veneer applied to disguise the board to look like solid wood.

If you were to saw a piece of composite board in half and look at the cross-section, you’ll notice that they all share one thing in common. They are made by pressing wood fragments together with a glue-like adhesive compound. Composite products mainly differ by the proportion of wood to adhesive used.

Plywood is thin layers of wood pressed and held together by an adhesive.

Plywood is thin layers of wood pressed and held together by an adhesive.

Particle board and fiber board are made out of finely ground cellulose fibers. MDF stands for medium density fiberboard.

MDF is the board on top. Particle board is on bottom.

MDF is the board on top. Particle board is on bottom.

OSB stands for oriented strand board and is commonly used for subfloors and exterior sheathing in new home construction.

OSB is commonly used for exterior sheathing and subfloors.

OSB is commonly used for exterior sheathing and subfloors.

Engineered hardwood flooring is often marketed for it’s moisture resistance and durability, but many of these products are essentially layered plywood and some are backed with particle board.

Engineered floors and laminates are comprised of layers of wood and/or fiberboard.

Engineered floors and laminates are comprised of layers of wood and/or fiberboard.

Composite wood decking is made from wood, plastic, and adhesive material.

Composite board is a very typical source of indoor air pollution. The majority of these pressed wood products, specifically the adhesive glue, off-gases formaldehyde and other VOCs.

Composite board doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If manufacturers came up with less toxic adhesives, they would be less concerning. However, another point worth considering is that composite board is composed of fragmented wood which can make them more susceptible to mold growth unless they are treated with a mold inhibitor.

Indoor air quality can be improved by minimizing the use of composite boards in construction materials and home furnishings.


Analyze your TV and entertainment systems for radiation.

Healthy HouseTM TechTip

Analyze your TV and entertainment systems for wireless radiation. The majority of smart TVs now have embedded WiFi and Bluetooth. If you don't have a smart TV, it may have been equipped into one via a USB WiFi adapter. If you have a gaming system, there is also a good chance that it is equipped with WiFi and Bluetooth. If you are using an Internet streaming device, like AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, or others, they too are designed to communicate via wireless radio frequency radiation. Many TVs, gaming consoles and streaming devices are emitting radiation even when they are not in use. Many remote controls now use Bluetooth or WiFi Direct instead of Infrared that has commonly and more safely been used for many years.

It is best to tackle your TV entertainment area through iterative testing and process of elimination while working to minimize and eliminate the RF radiation. Use a combination of disabling, hardwiring or unplugging to minimize your RF exposure in your living space that is coming from your TV entertainment area. Take it in stride, ever little bit helps.

Don't use a wireless baby monitor.

Healthy HouseTM TechTip

Cordless baby monitors emit a very significant amount of wireless radiation that is well into the "extreme concern" range per Building Biology standards. It doesn't matter if the baby monitor is an audio-only unit or also capable of video, these wireless units communicate via RF (radio frequency) and emit radiation. The newer breathing and heart-rate monitors for babies that operate wirelessly are also concerning from an EMF perspective.The easiest way to protect your baby is to avoid the use of wireless monitoring technology.

There have been a number of new wireless monitoring products that have been recently launched to “protect” your vulnerable baby. The only problem with these technologies is the oversight of the health effects due to wireless radiation exposure. Most of these products market signal strength as a good thing.

If you absolutely need to use a wireless monitor, your best solution is to purchase an analog model that transmits at a lower frequency. Position it to be as far away from your baby as possible.


Replace your cordless phone with a regular wired telephone.

Healthy HouseTM TechTip

Many cordless phones continuously emit EMF radiation even when not in use. So if your phone is just sitting there in the base station, there is good chance it is emitting high levels of RF radiation throughout your home.

Your best bet is to replace your cordless phone with a plain old wired telephone. At the very minimum, move it as far from your sleeping area as possible.

Replace your wireless keyboard and mouse with wired ones.

Healthy HouseTM TechTip

Replace your wireless keyboard and mouse with wired ones. The vast majority of wireless keyboards and mice use Bluetooth and emit a lot of EMF radiation. Instead, it is better to use a wired USB mouse and keyboard.

Be sure to turn off Bluetooth on your computer after you you swap them out or you will continue to be exposed to excess radiation. It can be found in “System Preferences” on a Mac. On a PC, look under “PC Settings -> Wireless” on Windows 8 and above.

EMF RadiationMarcusEMF, WiFi, office

Disable wireless on your printer.

Healthy HouseTM TechTip

If your printer is connected to your network via WiFi, turn your printer off when not using it. Most WiFi-compatible printers continuously emit EMF radiation when they are on.

If your WiFi-compatible printer is already hardwired via ethernet, be sure to disable the wireless signal on your printer. This setting can usually be found buried in the configuration menus on the printer. Exact placement varies depending on manufacturer.

Some printers have two means to print wirelessly. For these printers, you will need to disable both WiFi and WiFi direct (Wireless direct).

Disable WiFi and Bluetooth on your devices

Healthy HouseTM TechTip

Manually disable WiFi and Bluetooth on your devices when you are not using them.

Even when you are not using them, your smart phones, tablets and computers are still emitting EMF radiation. Even with your WiFi router off, they will continue to "search for a signal" and emit a large amount of radiation.

Powering off your computer and devices entirely is another option to stop radiation coming from them.

Below are screenshots from an iPhone showing what it looks like to have WiFi and Bluetooth off. On your phone, swipe up from the bottom to make the quick configuration screen appear. The phone radiates the least amount in Airplane Mode, but you cannot receive calls. At least turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when you are not using them.

Turn your WiFi off at night and when you're not using it.

Healthy HouseTM TechTip

A WiFi router continuously beams radiation throughout your home even when you are not using it. The WiFi router or WiFi access point is typically one of the strongest and most constant sources of EMF radiation throughout the home. WiFi routers emit a lot of radiation because they are designed to propogate the signal throughout the whole building including walls and other dense materials.

There are some simple ways to reduced your WiFi radiation exposure.

Good: The easiest way to stop the radiation is to unplug it from the wall before bed.

Better: Another way to accomplish this is to put it on a outlet timer, the same kind you'd use to control your holiday lights. Set it to go off at night and on in the morning.

Best: The best way to accomplish turning off your WiFi at night is to put it on a remote-controlled outlet switch and only turn it on when you absolutely need it.

A+: You get an A+ if you go fully wired and kick your WiFi router to the curb by finding a sustainable way to recycle it.

Having your WiFi router off at night will lessen your toxic body burden and allow you to get more restorative and restful sleep.

The same techniques listed above can be used with other wireless devices in the home like smart TVs, wireless speakers, printers, cordless phones and gaming stations. Many of these devices radiate when off but still plugged into the wall.