Some people are also influenced by radiation from high-tension power lines, street transformers, microwave towers and mobile phones.
Any wire conducting electricity has an electric field around it. If the current is steady, there is no problem, but it's the alternating current in wiring, electrical coils and transmitters, that cause problems.
Naturally, the greater the current, the greater will be the seize and intensity of it's magnetic field. Fortunately, the intensity decreases according to the square of the distance. This means that the electromagnetic field at two meters from an appliance is four times less than it is at one meter from the appliance.
However, barriers such as brick, concrete or timber walls or floors provide no protection at all. They are as transparent to EMR as glass is to light.
Our bodies depend on electric currents to function. Very weak currents flow along nerves, conveying messages between various organs and particularly to and from the brain.
However, the electricity in appliances is many thousands of times stronger and its EMR interferes with the body's currents. People who sleep with an electric blanket, bed lamp and radio all turned on, a TV set running for hours on the other side of the wall an an off-peak hot water system overhead can wake up feeling more tired then when they went to bed.
We know that many research has proved that EMR has a variety of biological effects. For example, even very weak fields upset individual nerve cells and affect the rate at which hormones, enzymes and proteins are made.
Epidemiological research has associated the more intense EMR fields with childhood leukaemias and other cancers, immune system deficiencies, colonic complaints, candidiasis, muscular weakness, miscarriage, depression, increased allergies and sleep apnoea.
EMR is also suspected of contributing to cot death, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis and brain tumors.
The US Government's National Council on Radiation Protection acknowledges that household appliances and power lines may increase the risk of leukaemia and other cancers, and degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's.
A New Zealand study found that people living within 20 meters of high tension power lines (which is very close), are three times as likely to suffer asthma, twice as likely to experience deep depression, allergies or dermatitis, and have a higher incidence of diabetes.
Mobile phone safety has been a raging controversy in recent years, because so many people are now using them. It was noted in the Medical Journal of Australia, that the increase in brain tumors may be related to the increased use of analogue mobile phones. The problem with mobile phones is that they put a transmitter close to the brain.
The increased EMR may raise the level of free radicals, which could explain the risk of cancer. Also, CSIRO scientists believe that the blood brain barrier may be affected, allowing substances to enter the brain which otherwise couldn't.
Fortunately, some manufacturers are now taking the danger seriously and redesigning phones to direct the radiation away from the brain. Some are also claiming to have substantially reduced the EMR.
The electromagnetic field strength is measured in the US in gauss and in Europe in tesla, the conversion being: one microtesla = 10 miligauss.
We actually live in a strong electromagnetic field of the earth, the strength of which is approximately 500 milligauss.It doesn't harm us as it is a steady, direct current field in which our body is accustomed and synchronized. In contrast with the man-made alternating currents, which are continuously changing and totally unnatural. This caused the hazard.
In an alternating field, the safe level of long-term exposure to EMR is considered by independent engineers to be approximately 2-3 milligauss. Long term exposure to more than 3 milligauss carries the risk of producing harmful effects.
As an indication of the potential hazards, the fields of a microwave oven, when turned on, is 250 milligauss, and that from an electric blanket: 45 milligauss, and Computers, TVs, stereo 3-5 milligauss.
EMR problems often have very simple solutions. The key is to know about EMR in the first place and then be on the lookout for potential sources that can harm us. Once these are removed, the results will speak for themselves.
John Lincoln reports a remarkable success story in "New Vegetarian and Natural Health".
In a family of three, the parents were always lethargic, the father's hair stood on end when he was in the bedroom and the wife had had two miscarriages. She was not ovulating and was particularly lethargic. Their young son was frequently sick with a variety of illnesses and most mornings was found at the bottom of his bed to where he had wriggled during the night.
The EMR detector found high levels of radiation in the house, around 20 milligauss in the kitchen and 88 milligauss in the main bedroom, when the electric hot water heater was on. In the small kitchen, where the wife spent some time, most of the field was coming from the digital display on the electric stove.
The remedies were to disconnect this digital display, replace the electric hot water with solar, and earth the meter box.
Some months later the changes in the family were quite significant. The wife was ovulating again and had become pregnant. The husband's hair no longer stood on end and the son no longer wriggled to the bottom of his bed. All had recovered their energy and were delighted with the improvement.
In "Natural Health", a number of cases were reported by Richard Watkins, a Blue Mountains, NSW, engineer, who has also used a EMR detector. A young baby frequently cried and had disturbed sleep. On the other side of the wall from the cot was a battery charger for a calculator, that was continuously switched on. EMR was found to be high at the infant's pillow. Once the cot was moved away from the wall, the baby settled down and in a few weeks was contented and sleeping peacefully.
A woman working in an office was experiencing leg cramps. An EMR surveyor found that small transformers for a calculator, computer, radio and an answering machine were located under her desk. Once the transformers were moved away, the symptoms disappeared.
A man's performance at work was being affected by disturbed sleeping patterns. A survey found high levels of EMR at his pillow, emanating from a radio set into the bedhead. Even when it was turned off, the radiation was still high because the internal transformer was continuously energized. Within two weeks after turning the radio off at the power point, the man was sleeping normally.