WELCOME TO OUR HEALTH SERIES BLOGS. ONCE A MONTH WE WILL BE FEATURING LOCAL HEALTH, WELLNESS AND ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS TO GIVE YOU THE BEST ADVICE TO MAKE YOUR HOME HEALTHIER.
Meet Mark Graham, a local Perth Building Biologist from ENVIRODETOX. We asked him about THE common PROBLEMS HE SEES IN OUR HOMES and what he suggests we can do to make our homes healthier.
Over the past six years, I have audited hundreds of homes as a Building Biology Consultant. Over that time, I’ve come across a wide range of people with different health effects from their home and I wanted to share some of the common issues that have the easiest solutions to ensuring a healthier home.
One of the main issues arise from electromagnetic fields (EMF), both high and low frequency, and the quality of the indoor air. EMF includes high frequency, such as wifi and mobile phone towers, and low frequency, which relates to electrical cables and appliances, high voltage power lines and the like. Indoor air is a complex science but the main areas of concern in homes are mould, moisture, fine particles, combustion gases and volatile organic gases.
Think of high frequency waves like sunlight. They are like beams of light that can travel long distances and bounce around the inside of a home. The most common source of external EMF is from mobile phone towers that easily enter through windows and are difficult to stop unless you have plenty of trees and foliage around your home or some kind of shielding protection in place, like heavy curtain fabric or window film.
You should find out what mobile phone towers are around you, especially if looking to buy or rent a home, via https://oztowers.com. It locates mobile phone towers around your suburb and I’m sure you’ll receive quite a shock at the actual number of towers around, pulsing invisible high frequency EMF right into your home. Sure we have great phone coverage but be mindful of the orientation of your bed and these towers, especially for children who have weaker immune systems and are more susceptible to biological effects of high frequency EMF.
With mobile phone towers surrounding us like never before, the highest sources of high frequency EMF typically come wireless devices inside the home. My advice here is to use cable internet where possible. If the thought of this is too hard, then switch modems and routers off when you don’t need them, especially at night when you’re sleeping. This is the time the body needs to be at rest and not bombarded by pulsing frequency waves.
Mobile phones themselves have been linked with various biological responses in the human body and should be treated with a precautionary approach. Mobile phones are essential in today’s world but a couple of easy tips can drastically reduce the potential over exposure from the high frequency radiation that these technological marvels create.
Try to use the loudspeaker option whenever possible and limit the time that the phone is pushed up against one side of the head. The mobile phone microwaves penetrate deeply into the brain, which has an even higher impact to children. Also, it’s a great idea to get into the habit of switching the phone to Airplane Mode when your children are using phones or tablets to play games. Airplane Mode is really useful in limiting exposure, so use this option if carrying your phone in your pocket for a long period of time.
Do not leave your mobile phone on your bedside table charging overnight as the phone will be pulsing high frequency EMF into your body. This is not conducive to the body healing and achieving peaceful sleep. The same applies to the low frequency EMF when sleeping. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for rest, which means no electronic devices, alarm clocks or phones charging on bedside tables. It’s amazing the amount people who can’t sleep at night but don’t realise it’s due to the huge array of electrical devices sitting right next to them when they’re in bed.
Another thing to be mindful of is what’s behind your bedroom wall. Meter boxes, solar power inverters or fridges, for example, emit a high magnetic field that penetrates straight through your wall. Imagine how that magnetic field is impacting on the fine electrical nature of the human body as it tries to heal during the hours of sleep.
The impact of EMF is barely noticed by the majority of the population but consistent exposure over long periods of time can increase an individual’s sensitivity to EMF. The Australian Standards on EMF exposure advise to use the precautionary approach whenever feasible as there are many global studies that indicate EMF, both low and high frequency, can have an impact at much lower levels than the standards suggest. Apply the precautionary approach to your children as their immune systems and protective mechanisms aren't nearly as advanced as yours.
There's no need to be fearful of EMF but just follow some of these tips for peace of mind and to achieve the best health for you and your family.
By Mark Graham, a Building Biology Consultant with ENVIRODETOX, a company that provides consultation in the residential market for indoor air quality, mould and bacteria, electromagnetic fields, water and green buildings.