Electromagnetic fields at home

Finding out which sources are present in our homes is essential if we want to become involved in our own electromagnetic environment.

EMF at home

In recent years, the proliferation of connected applications has led to changes in our electromagnetic environment. The emergence of wireless devices using radio frequencies has helped to increase the level of waves that have long been present in our homes through the use of domestic appliances such as induction hobs and irons.

In our homes, we are exposed to two major families of electromagnetic fields, high frequencies and low frequencies. Although they result from the same physical phenomenon, they are subject to very different exposure limits because of their specific characteristics. Find out more about these two major families and the exposure levels of the equipment they represent.

Groupe de pictogrammes avec une borne Wi-Fi, un téléphone portable, une ligne haute tension et une imprimante Wi-Fi

Also known as radio frequencies, high frequencies are used for their ability to propagate in our atmosphere. Practical when you want to communicate with someone far away.

In the early 20th century, the French navy used telegraphy to communicate with ships at sea. There were no radio waves in our homes back then. Today, things are different! Technological developments mean that we can transmit phenomenal quantities of data using the same waves, thanks to tiny devices that are within everyone’s reach.

That’s how radio waves found their way into our homes.

Regulatory limit of 61 V/m

5G mobile phone – It uses the 3400 – 3800 MHz frequency band.

Regulatory limit of 59 V/m

Cordless telephone (DECT) – It uses the 1800 – 1900 MHz frequency band.

Regulatory limit of 61 V/m

Wi-Fi Router – It uses the frequency band 2400-2483.5 MHz and 5150 – 5350 MHz.

Regulatory limit of 61 V/m

Bluetooth Headphones – It uses the Bluetooth frequency band, 2402 – 2480 MHz.

Unlike radio frequencies, low frequencies propagate very poorly in the air.

However, they have the ability to transport large quantities of energy when they propagate in electrical cables. This is how RTE transports electricity from the power station to the entrance of the city and ENEDIS distributes it from the entrance of the city to your home.

Once at home, electricity is used by many domestic devices which radiate low frequency waves in their very close environment.

Pictogramme de plaque à induction

Regulatory limit of 87 V/m

Induction hob – It uses the 1.2-100 kHz frequency band.

Pictogramme d'un sèche-cheveux

Regulatory limit of 100 μT

Hair dryer – Electromagnetic field around 50 Hz.

Pictogramme de cafetière

Regulatory limit of 100 μT

Coffee maker – Electromagnetic field around 50 Hz.

Pictogramme d'un rasoir électrique

Regulatory limit of 100 μT

Electric shaver – Electromagnetic field around 50 Hz.

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How do I know what level of electromagnetic field I'm exposed to in my home?

Be reassured, there is a legislative framework in place to regulate the launch on the market of all the devices in our homes so that they comply with the limits set by decree. France also has a unique monitoring and measurement system, managed by the French National Frequencies Agency (ANFR), to control public exposure to radio frequencies emitted by fixed radio stations.

As you may have gathered, the electromagnetic environment in your home is under control, but given the lack of hindsight, there are still questions about the possible long-term effects of radio frequency waves. So it’s vital to be aware of what’s at stake and to follow the recommendations for use and sobriety to limit your electromagnetic exposure.

To find out about your exposure, ask for an electromagnetic field measurement in your home.

How can I limit my exposure to electromagnetic fields?

As far as long-term effects are concerned, some publications point to a possible increase in the risk of brain tumours in intensive users of mobile phones, the majority of whom are young people. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified radio frequencies as a possible carcinogen. As a precautionary measure, the government has issued a number of recommendations on the use of mobile phones, which can be supplemented by common sense advice on how to reduce exposure at home.


Connect to wifi

when you use a mobile device to go online.

Plus la source à laquelle votre terminal se connecte est éloignée et plus sa puissance d’émission doit être élevée. Votre box internet est donc préférable à une connexion sur le réseau de téléphonie mobile dont l’antenne relais se trouve nécessairement plus loin que votre box. Cela à également l’avantage de préserver votre batterie et de désengorger le réseau de téléphonie mobile.


Use a hands-free kit

or speakerphone to keep the phone away from your head.

The best way to reduce your exposure to a source of electromagnetic field is to move away from it. Using a hands-free kit or speakerphone is a very good way of doing this.


Choose the right operator

i.e. one that offers good network coverage inside your home.

Depending on the coverage conditions, your phone automatically adjusts its transmitting power. The better the coverage, the less your phone will transmit.


Limit the length of conversations

Duration is an important factor in assessing exposure.

Limiting the duration of your calls is therefore a good way of reducing your exposure, especially if you are telephoning without a hands-free kit.


Favour wired cables

rather than Wi-Fi whenever possible.

For devices that require an Internet connection, opt for wired Ethernet connections or PLC adapters to transmit data. You can also use a traditional wired telephone rather than a mobile phone.


Disable Wi-Fi

when you don’t need it.

Especially at night, if your box is close to your bed.


What does the law say?

France is ahead of the game when it comes to regulating exposure to electromagnetic fields. Its standards are defined by decree 2002-775, in line with the recommendations of the European Union and ICNIRP. ANFR has been monitoring these standards since 2001.

In 2013, the French government introduced a system for monitoring electromagnetic fields in public places and homes. In 2015, the Abeille law was enacted, creating a national dialogue committee and putting in place measures to protect people sensitive to these electromagnetic fields.

In this way, France stands out for its commitment to regulating and protecting against electromagnetic fields.

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