Laptop computers, tablet computers and other electronic devices that rest on our laps all emit two forms of potentially harmful radiation: Heat radiation and Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs). Heat radiation can be tested for by measuring the heat emanating from the bottom of the electronic device using a thermometer.
On the other hand, Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) are a bit more difficult to measure. These radiations actually come in two forms: Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) radiation and higher frequency Radio Frequency (RF) radiation. Both are differing emissions, requiring two different testing devices.
Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Radiation
Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) radiation is a byproduct of electronic devices that use electricity to operate. When microprocessors, hard drives and other electronic device components operate, they emit radiating fields, just like those generated by overhead power lines or for that matter, identical to fields emitted from our TVs. At a distance these fields tend to be potentially less harmful. However, when these fields are at a zero distance from our bodies, they tend to be more dangerous to our health. The way you can determine the strength of the field is by measuring the gauss. The gauss, abbreviated as G, is the unit of measurement of a magnetic field also known as the “magnetic flux density” or the “magnetic induction.”
Recommended ELF EMR Measurement Tool
- Extech 480826 Triple Axis EMF Tester
Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation
What is higher frequency, Radio Frequency (RF) radiation? For laptop computers, tablets like iPads and other electronic devices, it is the transmitting radiation generated by the device communicating to the internet via a WiFi and/or a cellular connection. Transmitters emit Radio Frequency (RF) signals to your WiFi home base or a cellular tower. These transmissions are measured in volts/meter, abbreviated a V/m. A volt/meter is the measured unit of the signal strength, electric potential or electromotive force. Experts recommend that higher frequency, Radio Frequency (RF) radiation exposure should be limited to below .6 V/m.
Recommended RF Measurement Tool
- Extech RF/EMF Strength Meter 480846 10 MHz to 8GHz, a non-directional (isotropic) measurement with three-channel measurement tool.