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Is WiFi Dangerous? What's the Safest Distance From WiFi? Here's How Far You Should Be From Your Router For Less
Today, WiFi Is everywhere--and much stronger than it's ever been.
(In fact, chances are you're within ten feet of one right now!) We're getting lots of questions about WiFi Radiation Safety these days.
- What Is WiFi Radiation?
- Is WiFi Safe?
- How Should I Turn Off My WiFi?
- How Far Should I Be From the WiFi?
- Is There a Safe Distance?
- Is There a Low Radiation WiFi Router?
What kind of energy is a WiFi network putting out? WiFi Radiation Explained
Your wireless WiFi router uses RF (radio frequency) energy to connect you to the internet. Whether you have the new 5G router or a high powered WiFi or our favorite Eco- Low Power router, all routers emit High Frequency Radio Waves or non-ionizing radiation.
This is exactly the same type of "information-carrying radio wave" that comes from cell phones and smart meters, laptops, baby monitors, tablets, and computers - a type of electromagnetic field, or EMF.
MEASURE THE RADIATION COMING FROM
YOUR WIFI WITH YOUR VERY OWN EMF METER
Does WiFi Radiation Do Anything To My Body? Isn't It Harmless?
WiFi routers and the energy they use to function may not come to mind as a "danger.” But research counters that reputation. It shows if we care about our health, we will re-think our exposure to WiFi and the location of the WiFi in our homes and living spaces.
Wireless routers give off electromagnetic radiation (EMR) in the low-gigahertz frequency. This man-made, artificial energy is considered potentially dangerous to people by the World Health Organization.
Can WiFi Radiation really make people sick?
The answer is yes, it can. Will it always make people sick? No. Dr. George Carlo explains that there is most definitely a biological response to what he calls Information Carrying Radio Waves (ICRW) - energy fields coming from all our wireless devices. When you're exposed to ICRW, a process of adaptation and compensation occurs in your body. You actually change. Dr. Carlo has put together a great program to help people who are sensitive to EMF to better adapt to it. We'll have more information on that soon!
Meanwhile, install a hard wired system in your home if you can.
We've put together everything you need to have wired connections to WiFi, cellphone, computer, laptops and all devices in your home. No More WiFi!
Do People Report Physical Symptoms From WiFi?
Yes. Here's just a sample:
- Insomnia and sleep issues
- Headaches and head pain
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- Lethargy and extreme tiredness
- Memory, fog, cognitive issues
- Burning, tingling, numbness
Here's a podcast with an amazing Mom and daughter team who proved that WiFi is harmful. Give it a listen!
TECH WELLNESS TIP Turn WiFi OFF at night! Minimize your exposure to the harmful EMF coming from your WiFi by turning it off with this easy WiFi Kill Switch when you're not using it!
WiFi Radiation and Fertility: A New Study
Uh-Oh men: a new study from the Reproductive Medicine Research Centre at Yamashita Shonan Yume Clinic, in Japan, found that WiFi exposure killed sperm.
This 2018 Japanese study of 51 men showed that prolonged exposure to the waves from Wi-Fi devices lowered male fertility.
Sperm samples were taken from them and split into three groups: one whose samples were not exposed to electromagnetic waves from a Wi-Fi router, one whose sperm were protected by a small shield that intercepted the waves, and one whose sperm were fully exposed to the waves.
The researchers said the sperm samples were placed near a pocket Wi-Fi router in a similar the way that a mobile phone would be carried in a man's trousers.
". . .There is mounting evidence that the effects of electromagnetic waves on sperm may be having a significant effect on human reproduction."
States researcher Kumiko Nakata from the Reproductive Medicine Research Centre at Yamashita Shonan Yume Clinic.
The interesting, but not surprising, thing here is that the study found that the longer the exposure to radiation, the lower the sperm motility rate and the higher the sperm death rate. In 30-60 minutes there was no impact. Between 2 and 24 hours, the exposure really had an impact.
Does It Matter Where My WiFi Is Located? How Far Should You Be From The WiFi?
Yes it does as you'll see in our video. Distance is important when it comes to WiFi safety. The distance a WiFi signal travels is dependent upon the signal strength. The more powerful the router, the further the signal can travel and the stronger the signal will be at the antenna.
WiFi EMF (actually all EMF) is measured in terms of power density. Think about power density as representing the energy over the surface area. When you see me using a meter to detect the invisible WiFi EMF, it's picking up the level of the energy over a certain area. The power density levels will be strongest directly over the surface area of the antenna and then as we detect the energy further and further and further away from the antenna, the strength of the energy dissipates as the energy "spreads out" and eventually lessens enough that it can't be detected at all.
The way I like to visualize it is like the smoke plume coming form the end of a cigarette. It's dense right at tip, then you can watch as it "spreads out" in the air, getting lighter and lighter but filling more and more space. Finally it floats so far away, you might not even be able to detect it all.
DISTANCE IS YOUR FRIEND--WHEN IT COMES TO THE SMOKE COMING FROM A CIGARETTE AND THE EMF COMING FROM YOUR WIFI
The first time I used the "Distance Is Your Friend" idea was on a video in 2008. It's really caught on because it cements the concept of how EMF dissipates with distance so beautifully. There's actually a law in science that works to explain how much the EMF lessens as you get away from it.
The Inverse Square Law Is A Lovely Scientific Fact
It's called the inverse-square law and it states that a physical quantity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source. What that means to you and me is this: If you double the distance from your WiFi antenna, you'll be exposed to 75% less radiation. Same goes for any wireless device. Double the distance, 75% less radiation exposure as the signal dissipates.
Keep in mind, the opposite is true as well: exposure increases quickly with proximity. The distance a WiFi signal travels depends on the signal strength of the router, so power matters too.
So please, put space between you and your WiFi router. Watch this video to see what happens when you get close to the WiFi Router:
Where Is the Best Place to Put the WiFi?
Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) are invisible. You can’t see, touch, or feel them, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there. As awareness about possible negative effects of wireless energy grows, curiosity simultaneously rises. More and more people ask me about how far away they need to be and where the optimal router placement is for their health and safety.
As I demonstrate in the above video, you can see that with this router I am exposed to about 100 times more radio frequency (RF) energy when I’m next to the router versus standing 20 feet away. This measurement video, like the others in our Video Library, provide an example of the varying levels of energy coming from our WiFi routers. If I was using the same meter on say, your WiFi, the measurements could vary widely.
The point is to demonstrate that there is RF radiation being emitted and the meters allow you to see, and in some cases hear, the energy. Pretty cool!
WiFi Radiation Dissipates With Distance, Making Your WiFi Safer
Think of it this way: A mobile phone tower only 150 meters (approximately 500 feet) away emits similar levels of radiation as a WiFi router at a distance of 5 meters (approximately 15 feet). So, would you be comfortable sleeping 500 feet away from a cell tower?
The minimum safe distance as shown in our video is between 15 to 20 feet. The Austrian Medical Association, The International Institute of Building Biologists, The BioInitiative Report and The FCC all have exposure guidelines. Since WiFi power levels can vary dramatically, we recommend measuring your environment with a meter. If that's not practical, both myself and several of the EMF home consultants I work with agree that no one should ever be closer than 10 feet to a WiFi antenna. I feel best with a minimum of 20 feet between me and a router. If you have young children, it's best to keep them 30 or 40 feet away.
If we can create a safe distance from our WiFi routers with correct placement in our living space, we are less likely to have physical impacts from the non-ionizing radiation. Let’s make this a win-win - you can get WiFi coverage and be mindful of your health.
Studies show that radio frequency (RF) radiation can pass through walls, and so it’s important to be mindful that we are not only exposed to the signal from our routers but from the wireless networks of neighbors and local businesses.
Wireless EMF Energy vs. Body Energy
I have been doing EMF detection videos on cell phones and mobile phones since 2006 because I wanted to make the invisible wireless energy waves visible. Otherwise they can't be seen, smelled, touched, or felt (unless you're sensitive to the EMF as I am).
In many of the videos, I've pointed out that the energy coming from a Smartphone or a Bluetooth speaker, negatively affected the energy of my body. I've always felt that the wireless energy wasn't interacting with my body's energy in a good way. About 12 years ago, I found Dr. Carlo's book about cellphone radiation, contacted him and explained my symptoms and realized I have electromagnetic sensitivity.
TECH WELLNESS TIP Find the safe levels in your environment for better sleep and healthier down time. This easy meter allows you to "see" the invisible EMF energy (from all your smart-stuff and wireless devices) and determine if you want to make changes. It is our favorite simple and easy to use RF radiation detector. Read outs and sound identify Slight, Moderate, High and Extreme levels.
So How Much Wireless Energy or WiFi Radiation is Too Much?
Well let's start here: the Environmental Health Trust points out, "Science has not yet determined a safe level of wireless radiation."
Our recommendation is to reduce your exposure from all wireless sources. We advocate what’s referred to as the Precautionary Principle. Basically, this means that because there’s research, lots of it actually, saying the energy that powers our cellphones (RF radiation) could be causing health concerns such as tumors and cancer. We ought to take care when using our cell phones and all devices that emit RF (radio frequency) radiation, using them mindfully.
Below is a chart with various recommendation levels from various sources: a government regulatory agency, various research groups, a medical association and me. When asked "How Much Radiation is Safe?" different experts gauge it in different ways
Is There a Safe WiFi Exposure Level?
So, we know science has not established a safe level of WiFi exposure, yet our exposure to WiFI is growing because we are all being exposed to more WiFi energy as a result of WiFi boosters, higher powered WiFi and more WiFi-enabled smart products. Here's a summary of all the recommended EMF exposure levels as established by the FCC to The Building Biology Institute in our Safe EMF Levels Guide.
8 Easy Solutions To Help With WiFi Exposure
- Turn Devices Off - You can lower the levels by powering OFF WiFi, BlueTooth, printers, Smart Meters, etc. on your cellphone and any wireless devices.
- Hard Wire the Internet - The truth is that giving up WiFi is the best option. Though this may take some effort, you can protect yourself and your family at home by using Ethernet cables that hard wire in.
- Bonus: They also provide faster and more reliable internet connection. You can purchase a non-wireless router as the base for your wired internet. We wired up our whole house and are so obsessed with it that we've put together a Hard Wire Kit with everything you need to get started!
- Turn Off WiFi Before Bed - This is one of our favorites in our Tech Wellness "Top 10 Easy Ways to Make Wireless Safer." We call it our WiFi Kill Switch so you don't have to get close the router. It's as important as WiFi Router placement. The simple step of hitting the OFF switch can lead to a better night’s sleep. When ON, a WiFi signal may interfere with our brains during sleep. By turning it off, we reduce exposure and hopefully rest more deeply.
Try A Low EMF Radiation WiFI
- Do Not Get A WiFi booster or High Power WiFi - We love this Low EMF Radiation WiFi. There are WiFi's and WiFi boosters that claim to increase coverage of 500 feet! Really? Is that fair to the neighbors? And please, resist a mesh network or WiFi repeaters. What you're doing is creating a thick, toxic blanket of radiation throughout your home.
Set Devices to Airplane Mode - Don't forget to turn Off WiFi and Bluetooth from all your devices! Cell phones, laptops, computers, and tablets emit EMF when our receivers are turned on. Setting our devices to Airplane Mode reduces the exposure dramatically as these devices tend to remain close to our bodies. Don't forget all your wireless appliances! Even your Roomba or auto vacuum need WiFi turned off.
How Do I Turn Off the WiFi From Roomba?
If you’ve already set up your Roomba's WiFi connection and wish to turn it off, you can do an entire factory reset by pressing down on all three buttons on the vacuum cleaner a the same time. Hold Clean, Spot Clean, and Home for about 15 seconds or so and you''ll here a tone.
- Ground Your Ethernet For More EMF Protection - We love this great Ethernet grounding adapter to use if your source of the Ethernet is not grounded. Add grounded and shielded Ethernet cables for ultimate EMF protection from WiFi.
- Fortify Your Body - Good nutrition, good sleep, healthy habits and adding negative ions could help. Exposure to WiFi can result in the build-up of positive ions that can have negative effects on our bodies. We can neutralize this by adding negative ions to our lifestyle. Negative ions are highest after a thunderstorm and are present from the energy caused by the crashing waves on the beach
- Avoid Other Wireless Energy - There's a contingent of researchers and scientists who believe that EMF exposure's damage is cumulative. There's RF radiation coming from your cell phone. You can avoid a lot of it by using an air tube headset and by carrying your phone using a Faraday bag to eliminate EMF.
Here are the various levels of WiFi radiation measured at various distances:
- WiFi Off: 0.090
- WiFi On 20' away from the router: 0.402
- WiFi On 2' away from the router: Over 10.0
Electromagnetic energy and how it affects our body's energy is a complicated subject. Please read our Complete EMF & Wellness Guide. The average level of RF radiation energy in your home depends on how many devices, the type of devices, proximity to cell phone towers and of course whether your devices are powered on. You can determine how much radiation is currently in your living spaces with one of these EMF radiation meters.
Who Established Recommended Levels of Radiation Exposure?
For details about the various sources of recommended safe levels of exposure, we've got a description below, including whether they're regulators or concerned organizations and how they came up with their recommended safety level.
The Recommended FCC Safety Level is Over 50 Times the Highest Level on the LED Meter.The Federal Communication Commission based their recommendations on the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines from 1998. The ICNIRP standards are mainly based on acute warming effects. Based in Munich, it claims it's all about protecting us from non-ionizing radiation. They are in the process of reviewing their standards, but even so, they continue to be all about the heating effect... meaning how hot our body tissue gets when in the path of wireless radiation and even saying this,
"The critical effect of HF exposure relevant to human health and safety is heating of exposed tissue. HF fields can penetrate into the body (the higher the frequency, the lower the penetration depth) and cause vibration of charged or polar molecules inside. This results in friction and thus heat."
But wait! What about the thousands of studies linking biological effects from DNA damage to lower fertility (less and less energetic sperm) to wireless, non-ionizing radiation? This level would be indicated as Flashing Red or Extremely, Extreme as shown on this meter:
Tech Wellness Says: TOO HIGH FOR AMBIENT EMF LEVELS! Step Away And Create Distance
Tech Wellness advises that when you detect this level, distance yourself from the device or the environment that's emitting the radiation.
It is much, much lower than the FCC, but higher than the other recommended levels. This is based on the real-world levels most of us encounter now. When this level is observed, it's important to reduce exposure with distance.
Levels this high are commonly observed when under 8 to 12 inches from a wireless phone or closer than 15 to 20 feet to a WiFi router.
Having electromagnetic sensitivity myself, but with a family and co-workers who don't have the same palpable reaction that I do to electromagnetic radiation, my hope (for the people I love, for my family and friends, and for anyone practicing mindfulness) is that by trying to control their exposures, the levels in their environments will be kept to a minimum - to a level that is good for people not experiencing symptoms of electromagnetic sensitivity. Just my personal recommendation based on my own personal experiences as I've learned about wireless radiation.
The reading on this meter would go between flashing orange and solid red or extreme if it detected this level of radiation. When this level is indicated, I strongly advise that you STEP AWAY FROM or TURN OFF THE WIFI.
The BioInitiative Report Cumulative Exposure Level
A group of 14 scientists, public health, and public policy experts wrote the BioInitiative Report in 2007. The report was a summary of research, health impacts and recommendations for dealing with electromagnetic radiation. After reviewing scientific evidence showing health of effects of wireless electromagnetic radiation covering maladies from sleep issues to brain tumors, they said, "A precautionary limit of 0.1 µW/cm2 (which is also 0.614 Volts per meter) should be adopted for outdoor, cumulative RF exposure."
Honestly, we've surpassed that level in way too many outdoor and public places where we're exposed to environmental wireless energy or cumulative RF exposure. This is the energy that's floating in the air as it dissipates from the stronger levels that come directly from the antennas in all devices. It's what I called (still call) "ambient energy" in my videos starting in 2015.
"This reflects the current RF science and prudent public health response that would reasonably be set for pulsed RF (ambient) exposures where people live, work and go to school. This level of RF is experienced as whole-body exposure, and can be a chronic exposure where there is wireless coverage present for voice and data transmission for cell phones, pagers and PDAs and other sources of radio frequency radiation.
Some studies and many anecdotal reports on ill health have been reported at lower levels than this; however, for the present time, it could prevent some of the most disproportionate burdens placed on the public nearest to such installations. Although this RF target level does not preclude further rollout of WI-FI technologies, we also recommend that wired alternatives to WI-FI be implemented, particularly in schools and libraries so that children are not subjected to elevated RF levels until more is understood about possible health impacts. This recommendation should be seen as an interim precautionary limit that is intended to guide preventative actions."
-Cindy Sage MA for the BioInitiative Working Group.
This radiation level would be indicated by an orange or moderate level on the Safe and Sound II meter.
The Building Biologists
The International Institute of Building Biology has Building Biology Standards for safe and healthy sleeping areas. The IBE has specialized in creating healthy environments for 31 years, and in training consultants in the Bau-biologie, (or building biology as it is known in the US) way to create non-toxic homes, schools and offices. This non-profit institute covers everything from mold and toxic tap water to mitigating EMF.
The guidelines are designed for Electromagnetic Sensitive people and to what degree their exposure should be limited in rooms where they sleep. That's why we emphasize controlling your home environment with a move to fewer and less powerful WiFi and smart devices, especially in the sleeping areas.
Radiation at or just above this level would display a yellow light on our meter. The levels we detected in our anti-radiation cellphone case review were MUCH higher.
The BioInitiative Report 2012
The BioInitiative Working Group, this time with 27 electromagnetic radiation doctors, scientists and public policy experts, released an update in 2012. Headed by Cindy Sage and Dr. David Carpenter, the group refined its recommendations based on more evidence, more studies. The recommendation is lower than before, the authors saying
" The levels of biological responses are extraordinarily low (down to the nanowatt and picowatt power density level). New studies address fertility and reproduction, fetal and neonatal effects, cognitive and behavioral problems in children and neurological damage. There are more mobile phone base station studies with longer testing periods, much more information on genetic damage and confirmation of increased risk of brain cancers from not one or two studies, but from many studies and many authors including the World Health Organization’s massive 13-country INTERPHONE STUDY.
There are many studies reporting effects of cell phone radiation (even on standby mode), wireless laptop exposure, cell phone use by mothers resulting in altered fetal brain development in the offspring, and more evidence that the blood-brain barrier and memory are at risk from cell phone use. There is evidence from human and animal studies that key areas of the brain are negatively affected by RFR at legal levels."
The recommended .034 volts per meter level means you would need to be in the solid green zone of this meter:
The Austrian Medical Association
Also in 2012 The Austrian Medical Association established safety levels as they looked at EMF sensitivity and and health issues that could be actually EMF based.
There has been a sharp rise in unspecific, often stress-associated health problems that increasingly present physicians with the challenge of complex differential diagnosis. A cause that has been accorded little attention so far is increasing electrosmog exposure at home, at work and during leisure activities, occurring in addition to chronic stress in personal and working life. It correlates with an overall situation of chronic stress that can lead to burnout.
This is really a low level, it's the flashing-green on the easy-to-read meter. The AMA pointed out that this was a safe level to be exposed to everyday for a period of 4 hours. They did note that levels above the .5 microwatts per centimeter squared were "very far above normal".
EMF Radiation: Here's The Complete Guide for You and Your Family
If you think EMF Radiation is messing with the energy in your body, please visit our complete EMF Radiation, Wireless Energy and Electrosmog Guide.
It contains a detailed list of symptoms from people who report how they feel when exposed to wireless energy.
But meanwhile, know for certain that research is confirming that exposure to ICRW or "Information Carrying Radio Waves" (also referred to as wireless energy), can do all kinds of things from compromising immunity and causing the body to react by forming tumors to creating symptoms such as headaches, trouble sleeping, anxiety and ringing in the ears. Other common sources of this same type of "non-ionizing radiation" include: cell phones, baby monitors, computers and Smart Meters. Studies of symptoms from exposure to microwave RF (yes this EMF energy goes by many titles!) include heart racing, tingling sensations, numbness, dizziness, and fatigue.
EMF emissions sourced from the various types of wireless devices pose various potential health risks, ranging from fertility to vision problems to headaches and even severe cases such as cancerous tumors. Dr. Carlos' book on the landmark study of wireless energy safety, "Cellphones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age" noted biological damage over 15 years ago.
We have the book as well as a number of solutions in the Shop section of our site, but don't forget at the end of the day there's one simple thing to remember:
Distance Is Your Friend
Whether it's your WiFi or cellphone or cellphone tower or laptop, tablet or smart device, you'll always be safer the further you are from the source of the radiation.
Thank you and please let us know if you have any questions or comments!