Why do you think electromagnetic fields matter?

When I was studying at university, I lived in a very old apartment building where you would get zapped from touching the walls. Back then, we thought this was funny. Today I know that, besides the fire and electrical hazards, frayed wires cause high magnetic fields and moist walls support excessive mold growth, which is a devastating combination. My health quickly deteriorated. There was only one option – moving out.

When I started using a computer with a CRT monitor, it gave me stomach cramps. Many Swedish office workers had been similarly affected and developed skin rashes and headaches. The practical Swedes introduced the first certification for low-EMF computer monitors (MPR/TCO). Why build high-emission monitors when you can build low-emission ones? I was glad to find a laptop with an LCD screen my stomach agreed with.

Then there was my son when he was only two years old. No matter how nutritious the food, how perfect the day, or how comfortable the bed, he would not sleep through the night and I would always find him pressed with his forehead against the opposite corner of the bed as if he had tried to crawl away from something. This, I thought, is how people come to believe in haunted places. Though my options were limited, I followed my instincts and placed the bed literally in the middle of the room. Without realizing it at the time, I had pulled him out of the magnetic field generated by the refrigerator on the other side of the wall. From then on, he always slept through. A low-EMF sleep environment can work wonders.

Researchers measure the electrical activity inside the brain to diagnose sleep and mental disorders. I came to wonder how much the ever-increasing levels of electromagnetic fields from the outside affect the inner workings of our mind–body.

What training do you have?

As I was looking for an EMF consultant on the West Coast of Canada (and couldn’t find one), I discovered that a German group of environmental experts had issued the first comprehensive precautionary guidelines on electromagnetic fields for sleeping areas in 1992. Therefore, I went back to Germany to take courses with Wolfgang Maes and the Institute of Building Biology and Sustainability (IBN), the initiators of the Building Biology Evaluation Guidelines for Sleeping Areas. This was an eye-opening learning experience. Testing equipment was moved into bedrooms to monitor which exposure ranges are best for healthy sleep. In addition to well-known indoor air pollutants such as radon, formaldehyde, and mold, the holistic approach of building biology also addresses a broad range of electromagnetic fields.

Later I translated the original Building Biology Course IBN into English, which has been available online since 2016. As a professional translator, I specialize in EMF research, environmental and occupational health, as well as medical sciences and nutrition. Translating the book Building Biology – Criteria and Architectural Design (2018) took me on a journey through Europe to explore unique building projects with both aesthetic appeal and exceptionally high indoor environmental quality. I also translated the 2016 EUROPAEM EMF Guideline for the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of EMF-related Health Problems and Illnesses, which includes a major section on EMF testing and precautionary levels. This guideline of the European Academy for Environmental Medicine (EUROPAEM) is based on the understanding that exposure to electromagnetic fields can trigger health symptoms – even at low exposure levels. The environmental physicians and scientists recommend preventing or reducing your exposure to electromagnetic fields.

During my continuing studies in Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Victoria, deeply knowledgeable and inspiring instructors expanded my horizon on the complexity of environmental health hazards. Besides all the horror stories of high-exposure accidents, the good news is that cleaning up the environment and creating safer work environments do improve human health.

I also dug deeper into the hotly debated nonionizing portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. In my final paper on low-EMF office environments, I show that users of phones, computers, and other office equipment are commonly exposed to many different types of electromagnetic fields, not just the ones most extensively studied like ELF magnetic fields or microwave radiation. Even low-level exposures can lead to adverse health symptoms, especially if the exposure accumulates regularly and over a long period. As explained in my paper, many of these exposures are unnecessary and avoidable.


Institute of Building Biology and Sustainability (IBN)

Building Biology Association (VB)

German Association of Building Biology Professionals (VDB)

Competence Initiative for the Protection of Humanity, the Environment and Democracy kompetenzinitiative.net

Diagnose Funk – An environmental and consumer protection association dedicated to raising awareness about EMFs and providing practical solutions for the safe use of technology

European Academy for Environmental Medicine (EUROPAEM)

Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC)

Society of Translators and Interpreters of British Columbia (STIBC)

International Organization of Nutritional Consultants (IONC)