The electrical household wiring in our homes is used to power our lighting, all electrical appliances (such as washing machines, hair dryers, electric blankets, TVs, vacuum cleaners) and also electrical heating. Electricity produces both electric and magnetic fields (also known as EMFs).
The strength of electricity is measured in volts. Volts measure electrical pressure in a wire similar to water pressure in a pipe. The higher the voltage, the higher the electrical pressure is in the wire.
Electrical fields are produced by the pressure in the wire trying to equalise with the electrical pressure in the surrounding area. As the voltage increases the electrical field in the surrounding area increases. Electrical fieldsradiate from the wires and can be screened by shielding material and to a certain extent by walls and trees.
Magnetic fields are produced where electric current flows along a wire like water flowing through a pipe. The stronger the current, the higher the level of the magnetic field. It is harder to shield against magnetic fields. The strength of both the electric and magnetic fields decreases the further you get from the source.
Electric and magnetic fields are present within the human body, occurring naturally in association with nerve and muscle activity. The influence of EMFs outside the body can cause physical effects inside the body. Therefore it is important to measure both the electric and magnetic fields in areas where you spend most of your time (e.g. in bed or at your desk). You can then either move the furniture further away from the areas where the fields are high or move the source far enough away for the fields to drop to a safe level.
Typical sources of electric and magnetic fields: