FAQs – Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF)

Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF) Information

Is a WiFi the same as microwave and a Radio Frequency (RF) radiation?

A WiFi signal transmits and receives information between your your electronic device and router to connect to the internet. WiFi, short for wireless fidelity, refers to a signal which operated at a few different frequencies.

Generally speaking WiFi is typically used as a standalone term. The term microwave is a reference to a class of waves, referenced as a microwave range or spectrum of frequencies that the WiFi signal operates. For example, the WiFi signal from your laptop is often transmitted at 2.4 GHz, a frequency found within the microwave range, or spectrum of 300 MHz to 300 GHz. This 2.4 GHz frequency is also within the same spectrum of what is called the Radio Frequency (RF) range, 3 KHz – 300 GHz. As you may notice, the RF is simply a slightly more broad frequency spectrum than the microwave range. All of the terms are often used interchangeably.

What are low frequency magnetic fields?

Electric fields occur when positive or negative electrical charges are present and apply forces on other charges within the fields. The fields and their strength are measured in volts per meter (V/m). Active electrical wires produce electric fields, as do almost all electric powered devices. The field exists even when there is no current flowing. When the voltage increases, so does electric field surrounding the device. When moving away from the source of the field, the field strength is reduced.

Magnetic fields are created from electric charges. Their strength is measured in amperes per meter (A/m). Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) also have related measurements which identify the flux density, expressed in microtesla, µT. When current is increased, the strength of the magnetic field increases. Magnetic fields are not commonly blocked with everyday materials.

What is an Electromagnetic Field (EMF)?

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) are omni-directional (moves in all directions) waves generated from electrically powered devices in the form of an electrical energy with a magnetic field. EMFs are also known as Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR).

Moving closer to the source of the waves increases the magnetic field intensity. A magnetic field cannot be felt, seen, or heard. Although the earth creates a magnetic field, EMFs also emanate from electrical devices such as computers, tablets, cellphones, radios, motors, home appliances, transformers, and electric power lines etc.

What is the difference between Non-Ionizing and Ionizing radiation?

Non-Ionizing radiation does not carry enough energy to break molecular bonds and ionize atoms. Example of non-ionizing are Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) and Radio Frequency (RF) radiation.

Ionizing radiation is the type of radiation that carries enough energy to break bonds between molecules and ionize atoms. Examples of Ionizing radiation are the gamma rays emitted by radioactive materials, cosmic rays, and X-rays.

Read more about Non-Ionizing radiation and Ionizing Radiation.

Watch Below to Learn More About Non-Ionizing vs Ionizing Radiation

What is the difference between Radio Frequency (RF) versus Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) shielding?

Radio Frequency (RF) shielding is the reduction or elimination of high frequency signals up to 5 GHz. Materials shield RF frequencies by creating high conductivity with little or no magnetic permeability.

Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) shields are highly permeable. ELF shields attract magnetic fields and divert the energy through them.

How Do Electronic Devices Produce Electromagnetic Radiation (EMFs)?

Types of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMFs) & How They are Created

Electronics all fundamentally work the same way. They use an electric current passing through a circuit to perform a function.

Electricity is an energy which must be harnessed to make it do what we want it to do. The electronic circuit is the basic unit through which electricity is transmitted. Scientists and engineers developed various ways to harness the power of electricity for humanity.

Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) EMFs

Electronic devices offer computing functions, phone calls, Internet connections, light up panels, and so many more capabilities.

As a by-product of these functions operating, an electric current is generated that flows within and between components creating EMFs. This type of radiation is also known as Extremely Low Frequency (ELF).

Radio Frequency (RF) EMFs

Many electronic devices also communicate outside the device, transmitting communication signals from your device to other devices so you can talk on the phone or connect to the Internet via WiFi. These signals are called Radio Frequency (RF) signals or Microwave (MW) signals.

RF signals can be transmitted at many different frequencies and power levels. A cell phone signal, for example, can travel several miles, while a WiFi signal transmits less than 100 feet.

These varying distance capabilities require the electronics to generate differing power levels in order to accommodate the distances.

What Does an Electromagnetic Field Look Like?

As a result of electrons moving, electricity is generated in one direction and magnetism in another. This results in energy moving in two directions.

The energy of the electricity moves on an x-axis, and perpendicularly at a 90 degree angle, a magnetic field is generated alongside it.

Learn more about Electromagnetic Radiation (EMFs) in our Learn Section.