Most electromagnetic waves people encounter in their daily lives are benign to humans, a group of international experts said yesterday at a conference in Taipei. The groups said that those concerned with radiation should avoid prolonged contact with electronic devices to reduce electromagnetic exposure.
As more and more home appliances and electronic devices — including wireless Internet, cell phones, computers and even hair dryers — permeate people’s daily lives, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday hosted a conference to discuss the impacts of non-ionizing radiation to human health.
EPA Department of Supervision, Evaluation and Dispute Resolution Director-General Yang Ching-shi (楊慶熙) said: “While many appliances emit electromagnetic waves, the radiation levels are so far below the international safety standard of 833 milligauss [mG] that people should not be overly concerned with their affects on health.”
“For example, washers and refrigerators emit a very low level of electromagnetic wave [20mG to 30mG], but most people would not put their heads close to these appliances for a long time,” he said.
Though hairdryers can emit radiation up to 300mG during use, Yang said that most people’s limited contact with the dryers would cause no adverse health effects.
In addition to the duration of exposure, Yang said that because distance to the radiation source drastically affected its exposure level, rearranging home furnishings could reduce one’s exposure to the waves.
“For example, though stereo systems may emit up to 35mG of radiation, it would pose little threat to people if they were far enough from the system,” he said.
Based on this practice — which the EPA nicknames “electromagnetic wave feng-shui” — Yang said that as a rule of thumb people should place their beds and sofas away from radiation sources.
Electromagnetic feng-shui techniques may come in handy for people who are concerned about non-ionizing radiation in their lives.
“While some people are allergic to electromagnetic waves and therefore may be more sensitive, others may feel that they are affected more because of psychological reasons,” Yang said.
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