Services‎ > ‎

EMFs in the home

Low frequency magnetic fields
House wiring and electrical appliances produce magnetic fields.  The strength of the magnetic field near an appliance, or the fuse board or meter box, decreases quite quickly as you get further away from it.  Typically, the field decreases to the background level found throughout the house within a metre or so.  

If you live near a power line or substation, there is information on the magnetic fields near these elsewhere on this site.

Radiofrequency fields
WiFi routers, cordless phones and smart meters produce radiofrequency fields. These devices use low power radio transmitters. Even close to them exposures are hundreds or thousands of times lower than recommended limits.

There are examples of measurements near a WiFi router and a cordless phone elsewhere on this site.   

There are several types of smart meter used in New Zealand, but they all have common features:
  • They do not transmit continuously - if you add up all the times during a day when they actually transmit it comes to just a few minutes
  • The exposures to someone in a house with a smart meter are very low, because of the intermittent transmissions, the low power transmitters in the meters, and the fact that people not usually very close to the meter for most of the day.  If the meter is mounted outside the house, and especially if it is inside a metal meter box, the walls and meter box reduce the exposures even more.

Living near a cellsite
Measurements around very many cellsites show that radiofrequency fields in a house near a cellsite are usually at least one hundred times lower than the recommended limit for continuous exposures.  In most of the house, they will probably be much lower than this.

Can EMFs in the home be measured?
EMFs in the home can be measured, but in most homes the levels are likely to be very low.  If you are concerned by even very low exposures, the simplest ways to reduce them even further are:
  • Keep a metre or more away from electrical appliances, your fuse board and meter box.
  • Turn off electrical appliances, lights etc which are not being used
  • Put WiFi routers and cordless phones in places where you do not go very often (or just use a wired internet connection and phone).  
If you would still like some measurements , then get in touch.

Last updated: 18 May 2017