Using Power Strips to Lower EMF Exposures
 
by Andrew Eriksen
 
 
Power strips can be used to lower exposures to a lot of EMF sources in the home.
 
  The freezer and refrigerator can be turned off from a distance, before approaching, by connecting them to a power strip. Just remember to turn them back on again.
 
  Instead of cooking with an electric stove, use a set of portable hot plates on a power strip. Turn them off before tending the pots, and on again when stepping back.
 
  Most electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, satellite receivers and stereos are not completely off, even with the power button in the off position. To eliminate these EMF sources, put all electronics on power strips.
 
  Electric space heaters can also be turned on remotely, using a power strip.
 
  Electric water heaters typically cannot be controlled by a power strip, as they run mostly on 220 volt. An electrician can install a special switch. Using a timer is another option.
 
Be aware that some surge protectors radiate high-frequency EMF. Put an AM radio next to one to find out. Choose a power strip with metal housing. This avoids another piece of plastic in the house, and the metal also shields some of the EMF from the wires inside. (In a cable, the two wires run next to each other and largely cancel each other's EMF fields. Inside a power strip, they run about 1/2 inch from each other.)
 
Metal power strips can often be found at hardware stores and building supply centers. One brand is Tripp-Lite, which also is available by mail order (such as Digi-Key, 1-800-344-4539, www.digikey.com).