One of the most dangerous types of EMF pollution is so-called “Dirty Electricity”. This is when the electrical power lines and wiring within your home contain frequencies other than the normal 60 Hz electrical current (50 Hz in Europe). These additional frequencies piggyback on the electrical wiring and radiate into your living environment. These frequencies then interact with your body, causing the following health effects:
- Sleep Disturbances
- Cognitive Impairment
- Heart Arrhythmia
- Mood Swings
- Weakening of the nervous, endocrine and immune systems
- Increased risk of serious chronic illnesses such as cancer
Typical causes of “Dirty Electricity” include:
- Solar System Inverters (converting DC power to AC power)
- EV chargers (SMPS converting high current AC power to DC power)
- PLC Smart Meters (sending data over the powerlines by adding additional frequencies)
- Wireless Smart Meters that add pulsed frequencies to the powerlines
- CFL and some LED lightbulbs
- Light Dimmer Switches
- Electrical devices in your home and on the grid that have a switch mode power supply (SMPS)
- Wireless technology (all wireless frequencies conduct along copper wiring to some extent)
There are several methods available to reduce dirty electricity, such as filters from Stetzer or Greenwave. However, these are often not adequate to properly filter the dirty electricity coming into a home and many EMF consultants advise against using them (read this article and this article for a technical description of why).
Special whole-house filters can do a better job, but even they will not completely reduce these frequencies. The best method is to find the sources (either in your home or from the grid) and try to eliminate them (contact me to learn how to do this). Installing solar power on your home is definitely not a good idea if you are concerned about EMI/”dirty electricity” issues (unless you only use DC and forgo the DC to AC inverter).
For more information on dirty electricity, read Dr. Sam Milham’s book “Dirty Electricity” and watch the following two videos. There are four common ways (with various meters) to measure dirty electricity that can be found here.
The following videos shows EMI/DE that is on the neutral/ground wire of a home’s electrical wiring. The Stetzer/Greenwave capacitive filters don’t address this (and can actually add to it).
Thank you. These videos are very helpful for understanding about dirty electricity and filtering.
Curious about the more expensive filters that dissipate DE (to heat) rather than the Stetzer or Greenwave filters. Are these filters a valid option if they are plugged in at the panel in two separate outlets, one for each phase of the electricity rather than plugged in throughout the house?
I understand how you can eliminate dirty electricity causes if the source is from inside your home, eg a computer, but how on earth do you eliminate it if it’s from the power grid? The energy companies don’t care and cannot be forced to comply with the safety and well being of customers regardless of what you do, including taking legal action.
You are partially correct. A few areas where this isn’t true:
1.) If the source (perhaps a motor or inverter) is coming from a nearby neighbor, you could possibly work with them to reduce or eliminate the source. It is highly unlikely they would be open to this, but some might be willing if you can explain the issue and offer to help fix/pay for it.
2.) If the EMI source is a arcing on the utility line, the power companies actually want to know about this (it is very common in older rural lines as the equipment ages). This arcing is costing them money.
Marv Loftness has a an excellent book that will teach you how to identify these sources of arcing:
3.) In places like Silicon Valley or areas where there is expensive, sensitive machinery, they need clean electricity. Otherwise, the million-dollar equipment wears out quickly. In these areas, the utility companies try to provide relatively clean electricity. The corporations can also create their own low-EMI electricity or employee military grade EMI filtering systems.
4.) You can filter the electricity coming into your home from the grid. Contact me if you want to learn more about this. This Japanese audiophile also implemented his own (quite expensive) solution:
I need electricity in my tiny house van for my power scooter, cooking, with induction, c-pat, oxygen, HEPA air filter exhaust fresh air exchange as well as my industrial OZONator to deep clean living area. I had planned to use solar panels on the roof . How would I eliminate EMF’s In getting ready to do a van build if I can raise funds vs on Find me! I am EMF Sensitive! I could create a swing away utility box or a utiity trailer for propane generator batteries and solar panels.
If you are EMF sensitive, you don’t want a tiny home or a solar system. This will greatly exacerbate things. Distance is important from EMF sources and solar creates DE.
Incorrect!! Solar can actually be cleaner than the electricity you receive from the power company!
Incorrect!!! Only when you use DC from solar batteries, because ALL inverters to AC live voltages are extremely ‘dirty’.
Thank you for spelling it out. I just rented a tiny home with solar power in the middle of no where, and I’m having worse troubles than when I lived near a cell tower in the city. I am emf sensitive.
First let me say I’ve really enjoyed the article and the videos, they’ve been very helpful.
So I have the same question as MET, and I’m hoping you can address precautions that people building tiny homes or trailers might take in order to run the electric appliances they need. While I appreciate that all else being equal a larger house is better for the EMF sensitive I also know that there are many people who live in small homes or trailers for very practical reasons, such as finances or environmental sensitivities. For myself EMF sensitivity is not my primary health concern, yet as I begin designing a trailer I can live in I absolutely want to find ways of reducing EMF radiation while also allowing myself to use essentials like a phone or a computer when I’m living away from civilization.
Any insight would be appreciated!
Thanks for writing. Important questions.
There are some very specific things that you can do to make your new tiny home better off from an EMF point of view. If you do these right, a tiny home could be very low-EMF.
I would read the section in my book about building a low-EMF home.
We could also have a 30-min call where I can coach you on what others are doing with their Tiny homes and go over your questions as you design and build.
In general, you want your home to be able to be disconnected from the grid (especially while you sleep), you don’t want AC solar and you should use shielded wiring.
Keep me posted if you want to chat.
All my best
Hi Jeromy, I recently had solar panels installed not knowing about the EMF. . . Of course now I’m driving myself nuts on how to protect my family from it. We just out put the smart meter but they we will need a net meter…
I’m not sure if there is another option. Also would it be better to sell the electricity back to the grid or would that cause more dirty electricity…. How can I protect my family 🙁
Not buying it….. I take autoimmune drugs for 10 years now. I’m retired spend most of my time at home in the winter stuck in the house. If “dirty electricity” is suppose to effect your immune system, why haven’t I gotten sick over these past 10 years since getting a smart meter on the house and/or any of the other devices that are to cause dirty electricity. I don’t have mood swings, headaches, heart arrhythmia and/or problems sleeping.
Pete I would have totally agreed with you until last year. I live in the countryside now but I travelled for many years around the world in big cities with no effects since the 90’s.
Last year I worked in a pub that had commercial Wi-Fi and solar panels. Over several weeks I started to get dizzy and loss of concentration in ways I had never experienced before in my life which brain fog is a perfect description only when working in that location.
At the Beginning it just took 30-minutes after leaving work for me to settle back to normal but this increased to a longer period over time.
Ps, I forgot to mention that the reason I worked out it was the solar panel system or the inverter is that when I was working a long shift and it got dark outside my brain fog and dizziness would start to subside and towards the end of the night would be almost gone.
I just want to add that I have had so many people/clients (hundreds) say the exact same thing.
Author lost all credibility after telling people to avoid solar power. If you’ve done everything possible to avoid dirty electricity and failed than solar may be you best option for pure clean power. Inverters come in two forms, sine wave and modified sine wave. You need a sine wave inverter with a solar system for a variety of reasons. These reasons very from operating sensitive equipment to powering a simple led light bulb. Sine wave inverters produce clean power in the 60Hz range to mimic power coming from the grid and also allow you to sell power back to the grid. Power co’s will not allow you to sell back dirty electricity. Not all inverters or converters are bad!! Cheap one typically are the ones to avoid! If your in the market for an inverter make sure that is a sine wave or pure sine wave inverter and you will be enjoying electricity cleaner and more stable than what the electric company can provide.
It appears that you have never actually measured the EMI from a common sine wave inverter used on most homes (SMA, Outback, Fronius, Solar Edge, etc.). Instead, you are repeating marketing hype that says sine wave inverters do not create EMI. This is bogus information.
If you can provide us with independent spectrum analysis showing input/output from a “clean inverter,” I would welcome it (I actually want to see solar succeed, but not in its current dirty form).
As for the EMI (dirty electricity) created by a solar system even a few doors down the street, here is just one example:
Finally, what you write simply does not fit with the dozens of families who have contacted me with health problems AFTER installing a new solar system (with sine wave inverters).
Many inverters (even sine wave inverters) use strange methods to turn DC into AC. Most circuits I have seen the DC-AC conversion happens more in the output side. In the input side, a lot of them use occilators to drive the transitors to run inductors. Then the outputs are turned into a sine wave from some conversions of square wave pulses through a coil and other drive circuitry.
Some of the cheaper inverters even use strange output schemes that the neutral cannot be grounded, due to sending half voltage out of phase to the two output lines and the load you connect to the inverter connects them in series somehow.
Modified Sine Wave inverters output a three strep waveform of Positive, zero, negative, zero, with no in-between steps. This is much more like a square wave than a sine wave. These put a lot of harmonics on the power as well are not suitable for some types of loads such as certain types of motors.
I recently had solar panels installed not knowing about the EMF. . . Of course now I’m driving myself nuts on how to protect my family from it. We just out put the smart meter but they we will need a net meter. I’m not sure if there is another option also would it be better to sell the electricity back to the grid or would that cause more dirty electricity. How can I protect my family?
How about we shut everything down and go back to the 1800’s? Send me a pigeon telling me how that’s working for you!
Haha, Mel. If EMF pollution isn’t an issue for lucky you, why not move along now?
I do so love pigeons, though.
Live in PA among the Amish who do manage without electric.
Apropos, I recently heard from someone (in PA) who said many Amish deal with electrical sensitivity when they go to places like the doctor’s office or Wal-Mart to get prescriptions filled. Interesting that they react like that when being exposed for short periods of time.
As a part-time RV’er, I’m half the year using AC, half the year pure DC. I think I’m healthier when on DC.
If you have a Graham-Stetzer meter that shows that you have dirty electricity on your lines, how far does that dirty electricity stretch into the room? Thank you.
I typically use an AM radio to test radiated EMI. It is more indicative than the Graham-Stetzer or Line EMI Meter because it will tell you what is actually radiating into your living space.
If you contact me via email or setup a phone/Skype consult, I can explain how to do this.
Used am radio found my washing machine (new school front loader) in attached garage effects much of my my small house all on same cement slab. Wiring in house is not copper but aluminum. Found seriously buzzing areas from some wall switches as well. Can phone lines in wall near these walls create or exacerbate this issue?
For a situation like this, I would need to see a video and talk with you. If you would like to discuss, you can book a phone/Skype session here:
You list LED lights as a source of EMI. I would assume the LED displays on smartphones (inc iphone), computer monitor displays, and laptop screens also emit EMI. My current computer setup is that I use a 23’ LED display 1m away from me, with my laptop screen 5.5m away. I still experience symptoms with this setup. After reading your article and noticing that you don’t use an external display from your other articles, I’m no longer sure this is a good idea. In your opinion, is it best if I limit my ‘screentime’, or is there a way around this? Eg, turning down brightness, switch to LCD display (?), finding lower EMI-emitting laptops and smartphones. Thanks.
I found myself visiting this page often lately and I was wondering if you know of this product:
Seems like this can be a whole house filter solution, plus 15% on the electrical usage…
On this question, I would read up here:
Hope this helps,
I am electro-sensitive. I have been aware that solar systems are bad. However, I need to move off grid to escape other forms of EMF’s. The DE reading I get at the property is 1750mv with a DeTeckta meter. DE2 filters don’t touch it. Aren’t there any whole house filters available that can neutralise the DE from these inverters? Thank you.
Jeromy has a study posted on this site:
That shows that in at least one solar home, a DNA line filter was effective in eliminating the DE of the solar inverter.
Jeromy, if you’re reading this, could you comment? I, too would like to live off the grid, because that seems to be the only way to really get a distance from the chemical and electromagnetic pollution of modern civilization. Plus, many of us are not wealthy, and off the grid land tends to be dramatically cheaper than grid-connected land.
Unfortunately, there is the inverter problem, and 12 volt DC living is very difficult.
If there is a viable way to filter inverter output and make it reasonably clean, that would be a game changer for many of us.
I would also be interested in your comments on this.. Oram Miller wrote on his page on inverter DE in 2014:
“I am also aware that Sunny Boy brand grid-tied and off grid inverters, made in Germany, do not produce dirty electricity (at least when measuring the electric field component produced by Voltage). Reportedly the engineers at Sunny Boy are aware that PV inverters produce dirty electricity. ”
I have not found any independent verification of this. Everywhere else, the consensus seems to be that ALL inverters produce high levels of DE. It sounds too good to be true that there would just be this one brand that is DE-free. Do you know anything about this?
Thanks for asking.
Yes, all inverters are unwise for ES people. Certain brands like Fronius are a “bit” cleaner, but you are looking at a 10-20% reduction from already very high amounts of EMI.
12V DC solar is ideal, but, indeed, more challenging technically.
For an ES person with off-grid 120VAC solar, I would put the panels/inverter out in the back forty and then employ a commercial grade lower-capacitance (less battery drain) facility filter from a company like Genesco on the line coming into the home. This could get you to decent levels of EMI (a 100 dB reduction, versus 10-20 dB reduction for most “filters” being sold in the EMF field).
Such a multi-stage facility filtering system would be over $5K and would need to be designed by someone with an EMC/electrical engineering background to be done properly. You would also use common mode chokes for some of the higher frequency EMI. This article explains that:
Hope this helps,
If I were to buy a filter to plug in, would I need a filter in every room? In every outlet? Thank you, I am new to this and am buying your book!!
I don’t normally recommend the capacitive plug-in filters. Feel free to reach out to me via email and I’ll explain.
We are trying to go off grid and use a DC system to avoid the dirty electricity issue. Unfortunately, our house is not designed to run on DC. Specifically the sump pump and sewer pump only are made as AC (as far as I can find).
We’d also like to use the washing machine for obvious reasons. Not running these pumps is not an option. Since they do not run often, we are considering buying a generator to run them once or twice a day. Do you know which generators produce the least dirty electricity?
Thanks for writing.
I have not tested many generators. However, I have lived in homes that had them for backup power and I didn’t notice much additional EMI / DE from them when they were on.
Just be sure to not get a generator that is WiFi/Bluetooth connected. Many are now so that you can turn them on remotely.
If the generator is only on an hour or so a day, I can’t see this being a big EMI issue. Many off-grid people do use a generator for their AC needs and then use DC solar for the rest.
Put it far from the home to avoid noise and exhaust issues.
Hope this helps,