Electricity can be a subtle health risk! The human body creates and uses electrical impulses in its normal functioning. Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR) outside of, but near to, the body can interfere with the natural electrical impulses causing ill health.

EMR occurs everywhere, both in natural environments, and in man-made environments. A healthy building should aim to minimise the effects of EMR by:
1. Avoiding building in places where EMR levels are (or are likely to become) unacceptable;
2. Minimising the creation of EMR from the use of appliances, electrical wiring, etc.

Natural sources of EMR may include:
  • Lightning
  • Radiation from the ground
  • Deposits of magnetic, radioactive materials.

Man Made sources of EMR can include:
  • Electrical wiring in houses (particularly around the fuse box)
  • Water pipes near electrical wiring
  • Electrical appliances
  • Office machines (e.g. computers, photocopiers)
  • Power lines (overhead, underground, railway)
  • Machinery
  • Batteries
Creation of Electrical Fields
If electricity is flowing along a conductor (e.g. wiring) and changes direction (i.e. moves through an angle), EMR will be created across the angle which is created.

Electric wiring is laid inside a wall vertically to the roof, then horizontally to the centre of a room to supply a light fitting. An electric field or an area of EMR is created between the vertical wire and the horizontal wire. Obviously, a person should avoid sitting in that position for any period of time.

The existence of EMR in the home or office does not necessarily need to be totally avoided. Most people can tolerate some EMR without ill affects, but if the cumulative affect becomes too great, it can have serious consequences (e.g. cancer).
EMR needs to be managed by giving proper consideration to all of the following:
  • Identify all sources of EMR.
  • Identify the relative intensity of EMR from each source.
  • Relocate the source (or rearrange the building interior) to minimise EMR exposure.
  • Arrange electrical wiring to minimise EMR creation.
  • Do not leave appliances plugged in and switched on if not in use.
  • Minimise the use of electricity.
  • Use short electrical chords and locate permanent/frequent use appliances close to the power point.
  • *Use energy efficient appliances or office machines (e.g. low radiation computer screens reduce the amount of EMR created).

The greater the length of wire and electrical cord which is "live", at any point in time,
  • the more unhealthy the building is....the more twists and turns electricity takes as it moves,
  • the more unhealthy the building is....the more electrical currents penetrating beyond the exterior walls, the greater the likelihood of increased EMR
Learn More
about how the environment affects your health with these courses:

Healthy Buildings I   -click here

Healthy Buildings II   -click here