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Q: Brief synthesis/analysis of "EMF protection" technology ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Brief synthesis/analysis of "EMF protection" technology
Category: Health > Alternative
Asked by: donphiltrodt-ga
List Price: $45.00
Posted: 19 May 2003 19:11 PDT
Expires: 18 Jun 2003 19:11 PDT
Question ID: 206116
Since I spend nearly all of my waking hours in front of two 19"
monitors, I'm seriously considering reducing my exposure to "harmful
EMF" by either a) purchasing two LCD monitors or b) purchasing some
sort of pendant, clock or other object designed to "absorb" "harmful

The problem is, I have no basis for evaluating claims made by vendors
of "EMF protection" devices.  That's where you, dear researcher, come

Please do some internet searching, reading, studying and learning
about EMF devices and their hopefully scientific premise.  Then,
summarize your findings in a succinct analysis and synthesis of your
research.  Please also include a roadmap for further research, given
that I will be posting follow-up questions to GA.

Here are the thoughts swirling in my head.

   --Do they work?
   --How do they work?
   --Is there clinical (not anecdotal) evidence to support the concept
of an EMF absorbtion or protection device?

   --Which products/vendors substantiate their claims with reasonably
good science?

Pursuant to GA's pricing guidelines, please spend an hour in this

Thank you.
Subject: Re: Brief synthesis/analysis of "EMF protection" technology
Answered By: ragingacademic-ga on 22 May 2003 15:39 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear donphiltrodt,

Thanks for your question.  First, let me request that if any of the
following is unclear or if you require any further research – please
don’t hesitate to ask me for a clarification.

You requested information regarding whether EMF absorption devices
work, how they work, if there is any scientific evidence supporting
the notion that they do work – and whether there are any vendors who
can substantiate their claims with good science.

The whole arena of EMF protection smacks something of the medicine man
of bygone days.  A quick search elicits hundreds of vendors offering
everything from amulets to bracelets to sophisticated devices.  The
big question, however, remains – does EMF cause any harm, and are such
devices even needed?

There is a significant amount of research being conducted in this area
ever since the government decided to take it seriously and budget for
it in 1992 –

“In 1992, the U.S. Congress authorized the Electric and Magnetic
Fields Research and Public
Information Dissemination Program (EMF-RAPID Program) in the Energy
Policy Act.”

According to this report, 

“The scientific evidence suggesting that ELF-EMF exposures pose any
health risk is weak.
The strongest evidence for health effects comes from associations
observed in human
populations with two forms of cancer: childhood leukemia and chronic
leukemia in occupationally exposed adults.”


“The human data are
in the "right" species, are tied to "real life" exposures and show
some consistency that is
difficult to ignore. This assessment is tempered by the observation
that given the weak
magnitude of these increased risks, some other factor or common source
of error could
explain these findings. However, no consistent explanation other than
exposure to ELF-EMF
has been identified.”

In general, however -

“Wherever electricity is generated, transmitted or used, electric
fields and magnetic fields are created. These fields are a direct
consequence of the presence and/or motion of electric charges. It is
impossible to generate and use electrical energy without creating
these fields; hence they are an inevitable consequence of our reliance
on this form
of energy.”

Therefore, I guess it’s better to play it safe and employ such
absorption and protection devices if at all possible and practical.

How powerful is the magnetic field created by a video display monitor?

The NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Science)
provides a wealth of statistics concerning the magnetic fields emitted
by a variety of devices in the home or office.  For a video display
monitor, the data is as follows –

VIDEO DISPLAY TERMINALS(PCs with color monitors)
Lowest 7 2 1
Median 14 5 2
Highest	20 6 3

The first number in each row is the strength of the magnetic field in
mG (milliGauss) at a distance of 6”; the second is measured at a
distance of 1’ and the third at 2’.  You can view comparables at –

And you can read a tutorial on EMF basics at –

Unless you are sitting very close to your monitor (I am over 2’ away
from mine most of the time), even if your monitors emit the highest
levels of radiation, it is comparable to that which an average cashier
would encounter, as an example.

The NIEHS addresses the problem of personal computers directly – 

“Personal computers themselves produce very little EMF. However, the
video display terminal (VDT) or monitor provides some magnetic field
exposure unless it is of the new flat-panel design. Conventional VDTs
containing cathode ray tubes use magnetic fields to produce the image
on the screen, and some emission of those magnetic fields is
unavoidable. Unlike most other appliances that produce predominantly
60-Hz magnetic fields, VDTs emit magnetic fields in both the extremely
low frequency (ELF) and very low frequency (VLF) frequency ranges.
Many newer VDTs have been designed to minimize magnetic field
emissions, and those identified as "TCO'99 compliant" meet a standard
for low emissions.”

And, as relates to monitors directly, 

“The U.S. government has set no standards for magnetic fields from
computer monitors or video display terminals (VDTs). The Swedish
Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO) established in 1992 a
standard recommending strict limits on the EMF emissions of computer
monitors. The VDTs should produce magnetic fields of no more than 2 mG
at a distance of 30 cm (about 1 ft) from the front surface of the
monitor and 50 cm (about 1 ft 8 in) from the sides and back of the
monitor. The TCO'92 standard has become a de facto standard in the VDT
industry worldwide. A 1999 standard, promulgated by the Swedish TCO
(known as the TCO'99 standard), provides for international and
environmental labeling of personal computers. Many computer monitors
marketed in the U.S. are certified as compliant with TCO'99 and are
thereby assured to produce low magnetic fields.”

Also see WHO fact sheet on EMF related to video displays –

The following page contains EMF exposure standards – while there is no
federal standard as yet, several states have set levels that can be
used as proxies –

How can one protect themselves from EMF?
Basically, the NIEHS suggests the following pointers for individuals
concerned about EMF exposure –

1)	Find major sources of EMF to which you are exposed and move away
from them or limit your exposure to them; note that exposure decreases
exponentially as you move away from a device, so that at arm’s length
exposure is typically already minimal
2)	Purchase equipment designed to have low EMF emissions
3)	Check for incorrect wiring, which is a common cause of
higher-than-usual EMF
4)	More expensive options include burying or compacting power lines

There is no information on EMF protection devices on the NIEHS site –
not a good sign…

The NIOSH recommends the following –

“The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and
other government agencies do not consider EMFs a proven health hazard.
Because some studies have associated high magnetic field exposures
with increased cancer risks, the government will continue studying
EMFs. While research continues, concerned workers and employers might
consider the following simple, inexpensive measures for reducing EMF
+ Inform workers and employers about possible hazards of magnetic
+ Increase the worker's distance from the EMF source. Since magnetic
fields often drop off dramatically within about 3 feet of the source,
workers can stand back from electrical equipment, and workstations can
be moved out of the 3-ft range of stronger EMF sources.
+ Use low-EMF designs wherever possible (for the layout of office
power supplies, for example).
+ Reduce EMF exposure times. No action should be taken to reduce EMF
exposure if it increases the risk of a known safety or health hazard
such as electrocution”

Great article on EMF sources and how to avoid them –

And the WHO offers its own “cautionary policies” –

Yet, the question remains – what about those devices???

An article by Don Maisch claims the following –

“Though there is a wide range of devices being advertised that make
all kinds of unsubstantiated claims, they all have several features in
a) They neither attempt to reduce nor remove electromagnetic fields:
Using a suitable meter to measure either 50-60 Hz, radiofrequency or
microwave fields, no reduction will be found with, or without, the
b) they do not have any working limits: A blanket claim is usually
given with no restrictions as to what is the maximum level of EMF/EMR
exposure that the device can provide protection against.
c) the science that they quote is very speculative and arbitrarily
applied to some simple device without any scientifically acceptable
evidence of the truth of the claims.”

The complete article is at –

And the WHO (World Health Organization), backed by a battery of
researchers, writes –

“Fear of adverse health effects from EMF emitted by VDUs has led to a
proliferation of products supposedly offering protection from any
adverse effects of these fields and radiation. These include special
aprons, screen shields or "radiation absorbing" devices for use with
VDUs. These items have no protective effect whatsoever on VDU
emissions. Even those that do reduce emissions are of no practical
value, since the EMF fields and radiation are only a very small
fraction of exposure limits permitted in national and international
standards. Except for screens that reduce glare (causing eyestrain),
protective devices are not recommended by WHO. Use of protective
devices to reduce EMF emissions is also not recommended by the ILO.”

The WHO has published an excellent (and very pretty…) handbook on EMF
available here –

I think we can therefore come to some serious conclusions regarding
these devices –
1)	They don’t work
2)	There is, therefore, no way to explain how they do work, and…
3)	There is no scientific evidence proving that they do work

For some excellent correspondence on the subject, please see –

Apparently, there’s a discussion group on Yahoo that you could
subscribe to in order to be apprised of any developments – here’s one
link to a Maisch note in said group, from which you will be able to
navigate to the subscription page –

Since there are a variety of devices on the market that can measure
EMF – and such inspections are now routinely done for homebuyers for
around $150 – it is a simple matter to test such devices.  If they
were effective – and they are not – you can be sure that scientific
evidence would have flooded the pages of the World Wide Web long ago…

I hope this response adequately addresses your request.  Please let me
know if you are in need of additional information concerning this



NIEHS REPORT on Health Effects from Exposure to Power-Line Frequency
Electric and Magnetic Fields

(other references in text above)

Additional Links:

Electric and Magnetic Fields Research and Public Information and
Dissemination Program

EMF Guru

Emfacts Consultancy

World Health Organization (WHO) International EMF Project

Search Strategy:

"emf protective devices"
"emf protection" .edu "emf absorption"
"emf protection" .edu
"emf protection"

Request for Answer Clarification by donphiltrodt-ga on 22 May 2003 16:54 PDT
Excellent work... Great balance of brevity vs. elucidation, quoting
vs. linking... Structure also very clear.  Thanks.

My next step is to purchase one of the measurement devices you mention
here toward the end of the answer...

       "Since there are a variety of devices on the
        market that can measure EMF..."

To whatever extent you feel comfortable, please provide either a) some
search terms, b) URLs or c) recommendations.

On the other hand, if you'd prefer I post another question for
measure-device-purchase assistance, just let me know.  (Your answer is
already fully satisfactory.)

Thanks for an excellent answer.

Clarification of Answer by ragingacademic-ga on 22 May 2003 17:06 PDT
Dear donphiltrodt, 

Thanks so much for the wonderful rating and your kind words, I'm glad
you are satisfied with my reply to such an extent.

Not that I'm greedy (well, not THAT greedy, anyway... ;-), but I did
spend far more than an hour (about two, in fact) on your question, and
answering the follow-up would require 30-45 minutes (rough estimate)
in order to provide you with the same quality of research.

So - would it be ok to ask you to post the follow-up question for,
say, $25 or so, and to designate it specifically to my attention?  For
example, try a subject line such as - "Follow-up on EMF Measurement
Devices - for ragingacademic-ga"

I'd be super-grateful!!!

thanks again -

Clarification of Answer by ragingacademic-ga on 22 May 2003 21:13 PDT
Dear donphiltrodt,

Hi.  Thanks for posting another question.
In what I believe is an unprecedented first, someone else is
attempting to answer your question even though it is designated for

I have written the editors to request help - will keep you updated; I
can't even comment on it at this stage, because I am locked out.

Perhaps he/she will reply appropriately and it will all end well.
In any event, I hope you will be satisfied with the follow-up!
(perhaps they'll give up and I'll be able to get to it later...)

donphiltrodt-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Excellent work... Great balance of brevity vs. elucidation, quoting
vs. linking... Structure also very clear.  Thanks.

Subject: Re: Brief synthesis/analysis of "EMF protection" technology
From: jackburton-ga on 20 May 2003 09:41 PDT
I would recommend the "Grander" products from Austria
( The technology is based around water which
has a very high degree of immunity that makes it resistant to external
influences. Grander make a large range of water revitalisation
equipment - they also have a range of other products, including a
pendant filled with "Grander Information Water", and Revitalising
Plates which build up a natural force field, and can be placed
anywhere where there is unnatural energy. Click on "Additional
Products" or go to:
Also there is the "Sanomag", which consists of steel and soft iron
elements and of natural magnetic material capable of reconstituting a
natural flow of the earth's gravitational force and of the north &
south poles. Click on "Natural Magnet" or go to:
There has been considerable scientific research on this technology -
some of it can be found on their website, but if you contact the
distributor in your country they should be able to send you a full
information pack including scientific information and news reports.
International offices:
Subject: Re: Brief synthesis/analysis of "EMF protection" technology
From: donphiltrodt-ga on 22 May 2003 02:13 PDT
Raised price to induce an answer.
Subject: Re: Brief synthesis/analysis of "EMF protection" technology
From: donphiltrodt-ga on 22 May 2003 22:08 PDT
> someone else is attempting to answer your 
> question even though it is designated for me.

It LOOKS that way, but REALLY doubt it is: it was locked *immediately*
after I posted the question because the question includes the string
"g.o.o.g.l.e." (in the URL, but without the periods).

Apparently, that string is a magic word that makes a question
immediately locked.

I think they do a huge disservice when simply posting a hyperlink to a
GA question causes the question to be locked.  The search algorithm
should be improved to allow URLs to include the magic "g.o.o.g.l.e."
string.  Perhaps you'll make that request in your email conversation. 
Subject: Re: Brief synthesis/analysis of "EMF protection" technology
From: ragingacademic-ga on 23 May 2003 16:58 PDT
donphiltrodt-ga -

Interesting.  Thanks for pointing that out, it finally came unglued...

You should have my reply shortly.


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