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Overview of how to measure EMF exposure levels & field strengths: this paper provides an overview of the recommended procedure for performing electromagnetic field (EMF) or electro-magnetic radiation EMR measurements either by engaging a professional or by consumers using low-cost instruments which measure EMF exposure levels in gauss or milligauss.
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Because RF and EMF measurement tools need to be properly chosen to measure the particular type and frequency of RF or EMF signal that is of interest, be sure to also see EMF RF FIELD & FREQUENCY DEFINITIONS for a simple explanation of different types of radio frequency (RF) and electromagnetic frequency (EMF) types and where they are found. Also see Definitions of Gauss vs Milligauss for details about gauss and milligauss and definitions of these terms.
See ENVIRO-SCARE, EMF & Property Values if you don't know what EMF, ELF, or electromagnetic fields are or if you want a summary of the possible health effects of EMF exposure and the more likely effect on the property value of homes located very close to power transmission lines. Readers who intend to make their own EMF measurements should be sure to also see EMF MEASUREMENT WORKSHEET and also WORKSHEET for EMF MEASUREMENTS - Example.
Magnetic fields are directional; measurements are affected by position as well as location of the instrument within the area being examined, and by the distance of the instrument from the field source. Our field experience strongly suggests that results are quite variable depending on the particular direction aimed and positions held when using the measuring instrument.
Therefore, and consonant with recommendations from the manufacturers, each of our "measurements" is derived from at least three instrument readings, holding the instrument pointed at a suspected field source (e.g. nearby power line), pointed straight up, and held horizontally. Horizontal and vertical measurements are recorded as the highest obtained following a 360 degree scan of the area with the instrument held in that position.
During such a rotation in the presence of a strong magnetic field we find reading levels ranging widely. We warn you that measurements made by another professional will not duplicate our results unless our exact procedure is used with an instrument of similar performance at the identical locations. However our experience is that measurements with similar instruments in approximately the same locations and circumstances, produce results which are quite close.
For each instrument reading we record location, position, meter sensitivity settings, meter readings, and estimated distance to the suspected field source, if any. We also record observations of devices such as TV's or computers if they are seen operating nearby.
For the analog device measurements, actual meter readings are converted to milli/microgauss using tables provided by the instrument manufacturer based on the sensitivity range to which the instrument was set at time of use. A range of sensitivity settings are required to protect this very delicate instrument from being damaged by the fields being measured. The manufacturer describes a mathematical procedure which we follow to combine these data into a single field level number for an area being measured.
For the digital device measurements, actual measurements are read on the instrument in gauss or milligauss, depending on a field strength sensitivity selection on the meter.
Please do not contact us with a request buy EMF or RF measuring equipment. We do not sell anything. To do so would be a conflict of interest for this website.
These EMF measuring and survey devices are readily available from many electrical equipment and home inspection equipment suppliers.
See Evaluation of Low-Cost EMF Instruments This article describes several low-cost and reasonably accurate EMF measurement devices that are readily available.
See Radio Frequency RF Detection Meters This article describes several low-cost and accurate radio frequency or RF detection and measurement devices suitable for radio, TV, cellphone, microwave, and similar signals.
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