My results using a Trifield EMF meter
I'm uneducated on EMF issues, but after reading the experience of my online pal Sean Bissell finding off-the-charts EMF levels in his house due to something wrong with his light fixtures, I figured I'd give my place a once-over. I rented an AlphaLabs Trifield from this company, and fortunately didn't find any crazy EMF sources. But people have been curious about my results testing various items throughout the house, so I figured I'd list them out here.
If the Trifield's magnetic field meter accurately reflects biological activity, I think the "gadgetey" devices people are the most worried about probably aren't as much of an issue compared to background levels, cars, appliances, etc.
How to interpret the numbers:
- The primary numbers are from the "magnetic" meter (with the appropriate scale selected), with values in milligauss. The background levels in my house were around 2-2.5 milligauss, but I subtracted out the background levels from these results. I also included a few numbers from the electric meter on the device, which I only tested when I suspected it'd show something. Those values are in volts/meter, so 10x what is shown on the meter.
- Unless otherwise noted, I held the meter directly up against the object being tested. I'd usually back it off to observe the levels decreasing with distance, and I never observed an exception to the "fields drop off very rapidly with distance" principle.
- Anything listed as 100+ or 1000+ for the electric were values that pegged the meter.
- 9.5 watt LED bulb in a mostly-open glass-and-metal light fixture: 15 (500 electric)
- 13 watt CFL bulb in a deep (but open) metal fixture: 6 (1000+ electric)
- Large tube fluorescent light fixture (plastic): 100+ (1000+ electric)
- 200 watt incandescent: 0
- Devices from my red light page all read close to 0.
- SAD lamp (Sphere brand): 28, although it's running on a random power supply (switching and adequately-rated)
- Reptile UVB bulbs: 4
- iMac (2011 21.5" model): upper screen: 2, mid-chin: 23, back: 1. Drops to 0.5 or lower at a 1.5-2 foot typical usage distance. CPU/GPU use didn't seem to change anything, nor did having Bluetooth on (and in-use) or off.
- Tested in a location with high background levels: MacBook (2016 12" fanless model): 0 even in worst-case scenarios (playing a video on wifi) or location on the device. There were spikes when the speakers played sounds.
- iPhone SE: browsing wifi: 5, browsing on LTE: 30. There were spikes when the speakers played sounds.
- Bluetooth mouse (Apple), in use: 1.5
- Bluetooth keyboard (Zagg brand), in use: 0
- Computer speakers with small subwoofer (Logitech S220 2.1), actively playing sound: 0.5 at a 1ft distance.
- Laser printer (HP LaserJet P1505): 6 (0 electric).
- Wifi router / DSL modem (Actiontec C1000A): 0!, though I have the radio set to 10% power.
- USB headphones, playing sound: 0
- Fully loaded old power strip: 75+
- Refrigerator (Whirlpool 2011 18 cu ft model), compressor running, 2-3 (0 electric). Didn't check the back or the base where it's probably higher.
- Electric pressure cooker (InstantPot IP-LUX50), heating/pressurizing stage: 13 at the highest point, the base (500 electric)
- Electric stove burner (just starting to heat up): 100+ (0 electric)
- Microwave (Panasonic NN-SA6515 inverter-based), 2 feet away: 4
- Battery operated drill: 100+ (20 electric).
- Bathroom exhaust fan: 28 at 2ft (0 electric).
- 20" box fan: 0
- Leaf blower (electric): 100+ even at a ~1ft distance.
- Vacuum cleaner: 30 at a 1ft distance
- Car (2007 Hyundai Elantra), driver's seat, running but with radio in aux mode: 7
- "Smart" utility meter: 0 (I'm not sure how often these send out a signal, but I hung out for a minute or so).
- No noticeable change inside the house when turning on furnace fan + central air. The central air unit itself was about a 7 at 1 ft away (0 electric).
- Giant roof-sized swamp cooler, pump and fan running: 5
- Smaller room-sized swamp cooler: 0
- Turning off the circuit breaker to my bedroom didn't drop background levels.
- Electric blanket: 100+
- Paper shredder: 100+ (300 electric)
- Beard trimmer: 50