Right & wrong EMF safety instruments

It’s bad enough that concerned members of the public are duped (often by those causing the concern in the first place) into parting with money for highly inaccurate or misleading EMF measurement ‘instruments’. But when use of those ‘instruments’ creeps into an occupational context the net result for a business is undue concern and wasted time and money spent addressing phantom problems.

Measurement standards exist but they’re not law as such so it’s a case of buyer beware, unscrupulous or at best ill-informed sellers will make all sorts of claims about measurement equipment that are a very long way from reality.

The below device was used by a member of staff in a large UK organisation and it caused significant disruption. At best it’s wildly inaccurate. Here it’s indicating a WiFi router is producing a massive field, many times over any permissible exposure level, physically impossible (more power would be coming out than is going into the router) but obviously concerning for anyone with no technical knowledge.

Another example is taken from the website of a major electronic/electrical trade distributor, really an organisation that should know better, but easy to see how these then creep into professional use. There will be many hidden failings but even the ‘specification’ is flawed, the measurement ranges are nowhere near what is required for an occupational assessment e.g. 14 V/m is listed as the max RF field strength. At best that’s only 5% of the occupational Action Level, it’s like having a speedometer on a car that only goes to 3.5 mph. Also it won’t have a suitable calibration, that would cost more than the price of the unit, so your 3.5 mph could be closer to standing still (or worse it could be >70mph and you wouldn’t know). 

The bottom line is that suitable measurement equipment will cost a few thousand pounds, definitely not the £200 or less of the ’instruments’ mentioned here. If that’s too much for your budget, equipment hire is an option, or it might be that you don’t need to perform measurements at all. We understand EMF safety is a niche subject and if you have any questions we’re always happy to help.

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