What Is A High or Low EMF Reading?


With the proliferation of wireless devices in our homes and the increase of multiple electronic devices that we spend our days using, EMF radiation has been hitting the headlines more often. While many believe that EMF radiation is entirely safe, other studies have shown links between EMF radiation and several health conditions, including cancers, sleep issues, headaches and fatigue. Therefore, more and more people are measuring the EMF levels in their home to identify and rectify hotspots to protect their family. But how much radiation is too much? This can be a difficult question to answer, so here at EMF solutions, we have done the hard work for you. Keep reading to find out more.

Measuring EMF Radiation

The best way to measure EMF radiation is with an EMF meter. If you are looking to buy an EMF meter, it can be hard to decide on what to purchase as there are many different kinds on the market. Check out our blog post on the best emf meters, which will explain how to use an EMF meter correctly and give you some recommendations. Our top pick is the Acoustimeter RF Meter Model AM-11, as it is easy to use and can pick up a variety of EMF frequencies. 

Once you have selected your EMF meter and you begin to use it around your home, you will be presented with a variety of different levels. These levels can be hard to interpret to determine whether your home has dangerous readings or not. To put it simply, if your EMF meter reading is above the numbers below, this would be a high reading.

Magnetic Field: over 1 mG (milliGauss)

Electric Field: over 10 V/m (Volts per meter

Radio Frequency: over 1 mW/m²

What is a High EMF Reading?

So, what do we mean by a high EMF reading? The problem with many EMF meters on the market today is that they max out at a certain number, so even if the EMF levels are higher, you will not know this. Another problem is that different meters will use different measurements, making it hard to compare readings with ones found online. To help out, we have looked at readings for high levels of magnetic field, electric field and radiofrequency radiation. Having these readings will mean that you will be able to gauge the exposure levels in your home more effectively, targeting any rooms with higher readings to try and reduce the levels. It is important to note that it is difficult to find an exact measurement for EMF radiation that is too high as many scientists, regulatory agencies, and governments have different ‘safe levels’. 

High Magnetic Field Readings

Magnetic Field Safety has been studied by a number of different agencies. Including the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, whose guidelines determine that the maximum exposure is around 2000mG. However, there is a growing argument that these levels are too high. 

One of the strongest pieces of evidence is The Bioinitiative Report which was compiled by 14 different scientists from various countries. This report summarised a multitude of scientific studies focusing on the biological impact of EMF radiation and included a report on the dangers to the body. The report came to many conclusions, including the recommendation that magnetic fields in living spaces such as the home should be around 1 mG – significantly lower than the recommended safe levels. Now, although this seems very low, it is not unusual to find these levels in our homes. 

With at home EMF readers, it is common to see levels between 0.1mG and 1mG however, if you live in a flat, these may be higher as you may be being exposed to radiation from other apartments as well as your own. As you move towards the electronics in your home, you will notice that the magnetic field radiation increases, sometimes above the 1mG safety level however, you may not usually sit directly next to these devices, or you can position them further away. Electronic devices with motors are the most likely to produce higher amounts of this radiation, such as your computer, so try and distance yourself from it as much as possible as readings could just to over 100mG, over 100 times the amount recommended in the Bioinitiative Report. 

The Bioinitiative report includes over 2000 studies of EMF radiation and is written by many experts, so the information is highly likely to be accurate and have evidence to back it up. The 1mG recommended levels are for the ambient levels of your home – meaning the place that you spend the majority of your time. If your readings are higher than this, then the issue may need to be addressed. 

High Electric Field Readings

One type of EMF radiation not commonly discussed is Electric Field Radiation. This is a less common type of radiation compared to magnetic radiation however, it can still have negative implications on the health of you and your family. Due to magnetic radiation being more popular, there is more information and scientific studies on this compared to electric field radiation, where the data pool is smaller. If you are using an EMF reader in your home that measures this kind of radiation, you are likely to find background levels of between 1 and 5 V/m in rooms where you are not directly next to an electronic device such as a TV or computer. 

There are some research groups that have investigated electric field radiation and analysed the impact of different levels of it. The German Building Biology Group studied this in relation to sleeping areas and split up Electric Field Levels into four different measurement levels as detailed below. 

Levels < 1 V/m – No Concern

Readings in this area are deemed to be the safest and are most likely to be found in natural conditions or as background levels in our homes.

Levels between 1 and 5 V/m – Slight Concern

While not very high, these levels can still have an impact on the body – especially if absorbed by those who are ill or sensitive to EMF radiation. These levels should also be concerning if you have babies and young children at home as children and young people are more likely to be negatively affected by EMF radiation as it is more easily absorbed. 

Levels between 5 and 50 V/m – Severe Concern

This is the stage where the report recommends that actions be taken to reduce the levels of EMF radiation as studies have shown that EMF radiation in this range can have a significant impact on the body after prolonged exposure. 

Levels < 50 V/m – Extreme Concern

Immediate action should be taken should the levels of EMF radiation in your home be over 50 V/m  – even international guidelines state that exposers of this level are too high. 

If you are taking electric field readings in your home, the positive is that usually, these readings are stable and fluctuate consistently with distance – meaning that the further away you are from the source of Electric Field Radiation, the less exposed you will be. You will therefore be able to gauge effectively what devices are causing the most exposure. This will allow you to adapt your home accordingly to effectively limit your exposure. 

High Radio Frequency Readings

The most damaging and prolific type of EMF radiation is high radiofrequency radiation. This radiation comes from WiFi routers, mobile phones and cell towers. When measuring in your home for this type of radiation, look for the ‘peak’ number. This will be displayed differently on each individual EMF meter, so it is important to consult your manual to find the correct reading. It is important to do this as radio frequency EMF radiation occurs in bursts and is not a consistent level like the other types we have discussed in this article – peak readings, therefore, allow you to see the maximum amount of high radiofrequency radiation you are exposed to, rather than just the current reading. 

The BioInitiative report that we discussed above also has information on radiofrequency radiation. It states that “At least five new cell tower studies are reporting bioeffects in the range of 0.003 to 0.05 μW/cm2 at lower levels than reported in 2007 (0.05 to 0.1 uW/cm2 was the range below which, in 2007, effects were not observed). Researchers report headaches, concentration difficulties and behavioural problems in children and adolescents, and sleep disturbances, headaches and concentration problems in adults. Public safety standards are 1,000 – 10,000 or more times higher than levels now commonly reported in mobile phone base station studies to cause bioeffects.”

To convert this to a reading that you would get on your EMF meter, this equals 0.03 – 0.5 mW/m². The problem with this is that Many agencies that issue regulation on these levels often set safe levels that are far higher than these readings. They are so much higher, in fact, that the recommended levels are between 1000 and 10,000 times higher. 

When it comes to the devices themselves, manufacturers only have to follow government documentation and guidelines on Specific Absorption Rates. The current EU guidelines for this rate are 2W/Kg. This is above the levels suggested in the BioInitiative Report. 

Manufacturers of products such as mobile phones create products with EMF levels that are very close to this maximum level. There is, however, growing evidence that this level is too high and can still cause significant health implications. The Federal Communications Commission in America, for example, recommends limiting the use of handheld phones to reduce exposure. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can EMF radiation impact my health?

EMF radiation has been found to lead to a variety of health problems, some as severe as types of brain cancer, known as glioma. Further studies have shown that EMF radiation is particularly harmful to children whose bodies are still developing and can lead to conditions such as childhood leukaemia.  As well as types of cancer, studies have shown that prolonged exposure to EMF radiation may also cause:

  • Mental health issues such as Depression and Anxiety
  • Problems with disturbed sleep and insomnia
  • Tiredness and chronic fatigue
  • Issues with memory and a lack of concentration
  • Headaches 
  • Dizziness 
  • Mood changes, restlessness and irritability 
  • Nausea and loss of appetite, leading to weight loss
  • And many more health conditions. 

Can I alter my devices to reduce my exposure?

Your mobile phone is the device that will most commonly be using 5G signal and emit EMF radiation in your home, and therefore it is essential that your settings make it as safe as possible. As well as purchasing an EMF blocking case, there are some other things that you can do to minimise the impact of EMF radiation. Keep your distance from your phone if you are not using it and try and answer calls when on speakerphone, so the device is further away from your head. Try and keep phone calls to a minimum and keep them as short as possible to reduce your exposure. Turning your phone on to airplane mode when you can means that your phone will not produce any radiation, but you can’t receive calls when it is in this mode. 

How else can I reduce EMF radiation in my home?

There are two materials that are commonly used in EMF blocking devices are silver and copper. Many EMF blocking bed canopies use silver to reduce the EMF levels that you are exposed to while you are sleeping. If you have insomnia or a night of disrupted sleep, it may be worth checking out our blog on the best emf shielding bed canopies. Copper is often found in EMF clothing, which can help protect your body from harmful EMF radiation – for example, take a look at our blog on the best EMF shielding beanies, which lists the advantages and disadvantages of the best EMF shielding beanies.

Final Thoughts on EMF Meter Readings

The levels in this article are based on our research, having compiled evidence from different sources and scientific studies. It is important to note that these are not the standard measurements as we previously discussed that there is no consensus on this by governments and scientists. 

The key take away is that prolonged exposure to EMF radiation is dangerous, and anything that you can do to limit or reduce your exposure is a benefit. Adapting your home to do this may drastically improve your or your family’s health.