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In today's world, the gadgets we use are increasingly enveloping us in electromagnetic radiation (EMR). EMR is used in many different technical applications, from satellite communications to food preparation. This technology is becoming more and more indispensable to our everyday lives. The more we learn, however, the more questions we find ourselves asking. EMR is one of the fundamental forces in nature so how and what are the implications of its use in present day technologies?
Electrical pollution is the result of fields given off by the power that we use. This ranges from the power that is used to run our homes and general appliances at one end of the spectrum to microwaves that power our mobile phones and other communication devices.
At low frequencies, such as the 50Hz we use for our mains electricity, the electric and magnetic components remain as distinct fields. These are known as EMFs (electromagnetic fields). At higher frequencies, such as the microwave frequencies we use for our growing mobile and 'wireless world' (commonly 900 to 3500 million Hertz - MHz), the electric and magnetic fields take the form of self-propagating waves of energy (hence “radiation”, and 'EMR'). EMFs and EMR are now ubiquitous phenomena.
With our increasing use of electrical gadgetry, and debates over the safety of, for example mobile phones, WiFi, the proximity to our homes and schools of mobile phone masts and TETRA to name just a few, it is important to understand a little about electrical pollution (also known as electrostress or electromagnetic pollution), what it is, where it comes from and suggestions as to what one can do about it.