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Building Biology


Since 1993

EMF and Body Voltage in Your Bedroom

At this point there is over 25 years of research and scientific observation by Bau-biologists and doctors in Germany and the US. This work has shown that pollution in the home can have significant implications for people who are ill and not responding to treatment and by extension to the health of every individual.

When inspections were made of homes at the request of doctors, the Building Biologists found that 90% of the time the trail led to the sleeping area and that 90% of the time the major pollutant in the sleeping area was the excessive man-made AC electric fields.

When these fields were reduced or eliminated most patients responded to treatment and recovered. For patients with well spouses, the spouses often reported that they saw beneficial changes in soundness of sleep and how they felt during the day. Our work associates high electric fields with sleep disturbance, increased allergy response, muscle pain, heart palpitations, day time tiredness, day time irritability and childhood bed wetting to name a few.

This should not be surprising. AC Fields are wholly unnatural and did not exist in the human environment until the late 1800's. Recently, some research has focused on electric fields and cancer. Before this, the focus was exclusively on AC magnetic fields. AC electric fields were found to be more strongly associated with cancer risk — than magnetic fields

Electricity powering our homes produces both alternating magnetic and alternating electric fields. These together are termed AC electromagnetic fields or EMF. Magnetic fields are present when current flows to power appliances and lights. More often then not, magnetic fields are not a sleeping place problem. However, Electric fields are present at all times and are emitted by the type of electrical cable used in residential power distribution systems and found in the walls, floors and ceilings and wires to appliances, lamps, etc. Such fields cannot be directly sensed by most people, hence, measurements must be made.

We can conveniently measure electric field exposure by using a surrogate measurement. This is the AC voltage produced on a person's body in bed by the electric field. This is called Body Voltage (BV). BV is measured using a volt meter. A meter kit is available for about $170 from Safe Living Technologies.

The Institute for Building Biology has standards for rating your sleeping situation as to the level of biological concern. These standards have been developed from 25 years of experience.

In most cases we find that certain non-essential circuits must be turn off ONLY at night when you are sleeping. Normally these circuits are not the ones powering refrigerators, freezers or heating and air conditioning. Typically, the circuits with the greatest effect are the ones powering the outlets in the bedroom and any outlets in other rooms having common walls as well as circuits that are in the floor or over head. See the test protocol for the procedure.

We also find that field shielding material often helps to further reduce fields particularly in second floor sleeping areas where there are power cables in the floor. This is requires more professional help, so please consult with a Building Biologist for help. You can find a trained Building Biologist at:

Building Biology Sleeping Room Standards

Level of Concern
Meter Display None Slight Strong Extreme
Reading in Volts Under 0.010 V 0.010 to 0.1 V 0.1 to 1.0 V Over 1.0 V
Reading in milliVolts (mV) 10 mV 10 to 100 mV 100 to 1000 mV Over 1000 mV

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