Some EMF sources are easy to recognize and identify and others can only be detected by taking actual measurements. Use the checklist below to find a low-EMF home.

The distances given are meant as a general guideline only and should be verified by measurements. Low-cost RF and EMF detectors are great tools to indicate the presence or absence of potential RF/EMF sources. Prior to purchasing or renting a home, a professional EMF assessment is recommended for accurate readings and to have peace of mind.

Contact Katharina at 250 642 2774 for more information.

Top 10 EMF sources to look out for

  1. Small cell antenna in front of the house at utility/light poles

  2. Cell tower in clear line of sight from the bedroom window

  3. Smart meter close to the bedroom

  4. Electrical room in the immediate vicinity of the apartment

  5. Power lines right outside the bedroom window

  6. Electric baseboard heaters and electric floor heating

  7. Fluorescent lighting and dimmer switches

  8. Wi-Fi modem/router

  9. Cordless phone base station

  10. Knob-and-tube wiring and tow-pin outlets in homes built prior to 1960

Keep your distance to

  • Radar stations from airports and marine navigation

  • Broadcast or TV stations

  • Military facilities, police stations, hospitals

  • Airports, ferry terminals, marinas

  • Electric railway, subway, tramway

What about power lines?

Keep ambient levels below 100 nT (1 mG), preferably below 50 nT (0.5 mG).

Keep ambient levels below 10 V/m, preferably below 5 V/m.

To know your actual exposure, measurements must be taken.
Contact Katharina at 250 642 2774 for more information.

ELF magnetic fields have been classified as possibly carcinogenic
by the International Agency on Research for Cancer (WHO) since 2002.

Across the field: high-voltage overhead transmission lines

  • Keep a minimum distance of 100—500 m.

  • As a rule of thumb, keep 1 m distance for each kV.

  • For example, keep a minimum distance of 230 m to a 230 kV transmission line.

    BC Hydro: Power line infographic

    BC Hydro: EMF calculator

Along the street: medium-voltage overhead distribution lines

  • Keep a minimum distance of 30—100 m.

  • Choose the side of the street without the overhead power line.

  • Avoid streets with power lines that have three lines next to each other on the topmost crossbar.

  • Avoid apartment with overhead power lines right outside the window.

  • Avoid corner lots with overhead power lines on two sides.

Underground power lines

  • Prefer neighborhoods with underground power lines.

  • Avoid the home right next to the pad-mounted transformer or substation.

Transformers

  • Keep a minimum distance of 10—30 m to a pole- or ground-mounted transformer.

  • Do not choose an apartment above, below, or next to the electrical room.

What about wireless transmitters?

Keep ambient levels below 10–100 µW/m2, preferably below 1–10 µW/m2.

To know your actual exposure, measurements must be taken.
Contact Katharina at 250 642 2774 for more information.

As a rule of thumb, if you have a clear, unobstructed view of a wireless transmitter from a bedroom window and the home is located at a higher elevation/floor, the RF radiation exposure tends to be higher. In comparison, the RF exposure at a location closer to the wireless transmitter, but at a lower elevation/floor and without a clear view of the wireless transmitter, may be lower.

RF radiation has been classified as possibly carcinogenic
by the International Agency on Research for Cancer (WHO) since 2011.

Cell antennas

  • Check the location of cell antennas in your neighborhood.

    Canadian Cellular Towers Map

  • Keep a minimum distance of 300–500 m to cell antennas mounted on cell towers or rooftops (macrocells).

  • Keep a minimum distance of 100–200 m to cell sites mounted at utility and light poles (small cells).

Smart meters

  • The electricity meter – smart, digital, or analog – should not be mounted to a bedroom wall, but should be located away from sleeping and rest areas.

  • Smart meters can be fitted with a shield made from metal mesh or moved to the far end of a garage or to the last utility pole before the electrical service entrance.

  • At close range of less than 10 m, also check if any smart meter from a neighboring house points toward the residence.

What about the home wiring system?

Electrical service entrance

  • Check that the feeder cable does not run along a bedroom wall, certainly not along the wall where a bed would go.

  • The electrical panel should not be located in the bedroom or right below it.

Two-pin outlets

  • With only two holes, two-pin outlets are easy to spot. These ungrounded electrical circuits make for elevated ELF electric fields.

  • Include rewiring these electrical circuits into your budget.

Knob-and-tube wiring

  • If the home was built prior to 1960, it may still contain knob-and-tube wiring.
    The associated elevated ELF electric and magnetic fields can be measured without having to open walls.

  • Include rewiring knob-and-tube wiring into your budget.

Electric baseboard heaters and electric floor heating

  • Keep a minimum distance of ca. 1–2 m between any electric baseboard heater and a sleeping or rest area. Prefer hydronic heating systems.

Fluorescent lighting and dimmer switches

  • They are a source of dirty power.

  • They are best replaced with incandescent or good-quality LED lighting and standard light switches.

Metal lines entering the house

  • They are a source of dirty power.

  • They are best replaced with incandescent or flicker-free LED lighting and standard light switches.

Are there options for a hardwired phone and Internet access?

  • Copper phone line

  • TV coaxial cable

  • Fiber-optic cable

  • Data cabling