Scott: We talk a lot about wireless devices. Are corded devices such as, I mean, there's millions of them that we have in our own home. Lamps, and clocks and things like that. Just the wiring in our walls. Is that an issue as well?
Oram Miller: Yes, it can be. It turns out that, the other EMFs that you just mentioned, which are electric fields from house wiring and magnetic fields from house wiring, are the most common, actually electric fields are the most common types EMFs we've had our whole lives. Radio frequencies are coming up now because everyone has one of these devices. But still to this day, in your sleeping area, everyone is exposed to electric fields to some degree. Now I need to explain or define the difference between electric fields and magnetic fields.
It turns out when you have electricity running through a wire, the fields that are generated by the flow of that electricity through the wire, are both an electric field and a magnetic field, at right angles to each other. And they can be coupled, as is the case at the frequencies of radio waves, or they can be uncoupled where you have one or the other, or both, or neither, at the frequency of house wiring. It has to do with the near field versus far field. So the near field says... in the near field, these are uncoupled. And the near field is three wavelengths. And the wavelengths, at 60 cycles per second is 3 thousand miles, for one wave. So it's 9 thousand miles for.. until you get into the far field. So you're always going to be in the near field. Which means you need a different meter to measure electric fields than magnetic fields. And they're both EMFs and they both have impact on health. Magnetic fields are the carcinogenic EMF. They're the most harmful, they're not the most common. And their are four sources of magnetic fields. Magnetic fields are created when current flows through a line source, like a wire, or a pipe. And when that happens, we know from physics, the electrons in the molecules in the air, circulate in a clockwise fashion, if you look from behind, in the direction that the current is going out to. And the return path, wich is the neutral wire coming back from the load where you also have current... so it loops out and back. On the return path, the magnetic field circles the other way, it's counter clockwise. OK? It's called the right hand rule, we knew that from high school and college physics, Kirchhoff's law.
So it turns out that in a circuit, in a house or building, if you have three amps of current on the hot and three amps coming back on the neutral, then the magnetic field around the one is clockwise and the magnetic field around the other is counter clockwise and they're side by side, they're together in that circuit and they're equal, balanced, and they cancel. The magnetic fields that are produced by that current load, cancels. But what if you have a situation where you have a wiring error in the junction box which could be in an outlet or a switch box for the lights. Where the electrician miswired the... like he'll have two circuits in there with separate hot conductors going to different lights, but the neutrals are all ganged together under the same wire nut. Now you have two ways for that neutral current to get back. On the current it's supposed to come back on, and it will take that, primarily. Because it's the path of least resistance. But it will take the other path too, because you're giving it a second path. To a lesser degree, but now we have unbalanced loads. So now, the net current is three amps out, and two point two coming back. And I put my clamp around that when we open it up with an electrician and we get point eight, as the difference, instead of zero. It's not three minus three, it's three minus 2 point 2. And point 8's going on this path. So now you have a magnetic field in the room, when you turn on the light. And this is true in half the houses in America, because of sloppy wiring practices.
And this is actually covered by an electrician named Karl Riley, Karl with a 'K'. Who is in North Carolina and he wrote a book called Tracing EMFs and Building Wiring. And he did a video for Southern California Edison, the electric utility here in Southern California, teaching electricians how to fix this. So when the EMF person comes to the house, and I've had clients who say, by the way the EMF lady is coming at 1 o'clock, from Edison, I say 'great'. So I ask her a lot of questions, I learn a lot in terms of how they manage EMFs. And we don't talk about what is considered a safe level, we have different opinions about that. We agree to disagree. We don't even bring it up. But I really want to know how they handle this. And she said to this customer, my client, you know, we're there at the same time. She said, I measured, I saw her do it, I did the same measurement. You, your EMFs in your house are not from our substation across the ally there. And I knew that too. Because my gauss meter showed that the magnetic field at the fence diminished by the time it go to the ally, then in her back yard, not a problem. But then we get in her house, she has high magnetic fields when you turn the lights on. When you turn the off, they're gone. She noticed the same thing. She said, you have wiring errors. I knew that too. And then she said, I have something for you. I have have this DVD from Karl Riley. She went and got it from the trunk. I said, Karl Riley, we use his material in our courses! And so she gave me a copy and I brought that to our seminar and we played it last, our advanced seminar last December in Santa Fe.
So the point is, they know this. And Karl says in the second edition of his book, when I started this in the 1990's, no one payed attention to this. It's an obscure part of the code, which says you cannot have current returning on another path. It has to be in the neutral, in the same raceway or circuit. But it's violated all the time for, because of convenience, and no one thinks that there's a problem with this. There's an obscure possibility for fire, and you might also, it will, the magnetic field will harm the operation of sensitive electronic equipment like computer servers and that sort of thing. And there are health issues. There's one paragraph in their article, you know, about that. Otherwise they don't go into it. But it is a part of the code. But it's not followed by the code inspectors.
So Karl said 20 years ago they need to carry gauss meters with them. Well, I've heard, the rumor is that the in the latest upgrade of the code, which they revise every three years, the national electric code. The talk is that they're going to require code inspectors to carry gauss meters with them. And they'll see these and they so they won't issue a certificate of occupancy until they get rid of that. And arc fault breakers, which are now code required on all circuits for parts of the house that people occupy, for safety's sake. Arc fault breakers trip the first time an electrician turns on that circuit if he has a wiring error in the circuit, on the neutrals. So they're learning about this. I talked to electricians just yesterday, as the latest time. And they say, yeah we know about this now because, if the circuit doesn't work, we have to fix it before we're done. So they housing stock that's coming online now, meaning it's being wired up now or a house that's being remodeled, where you have a permit and you have to have the arc fault breakers, you're not going to have wiring errors, because the breakers don't work. So we're moving in a positive direction.
You can also have current on water pipes, the water service supply pipe. And the TV cable, because these are parallel paths for current to get out of the house, off the property and back to the transformer. Because they connect the ground and the neutral at the point of egress of the electricity from the house, at the breaker panel, at the meter. So I don't want to get too technical here, but these are the issues we work with in the building biology profession. We work with electricians, we actually train electricians who go through our training program. But we work with electricians, all of us do, where ever we practice. And they say, yeah, I understand what you're saying. They don't see the significance of it, because they don't think magnetic fields are a problem. We do. And we see every day in our practices how people feel better, their health improves, when we find and reduce these fields.
So I tell my clients, whatever symptoms you have, and that's between you and your doctor, but we, and we make no guarantees as to any claim of efficacy or improvement in your symptoms from what we do. But what we can say is, to the degree that your symptoms and disease process is due to the EMFs that we measure, that are elevated, and to the degree that you can follow through on the recommendations that we make, that's the degree to which you can expect improvement. So, that's magnetic fields.
Oram Miller is an expert in home biology and toxins in the home. Here, he discusses a common one that many people might not think about, electromagnetic frequencies. Learn about the different kinds and ones that might be all around you without you even knowing it!
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