Reducing EMR

Minimise all exposure and usage of wireless communication, such as mobile phones, cordless phones, baby monitors, 3G mobile internet and WiFi devices. Many scientists believe that health effects due to EMR are caused by cumulative long term exposure. See ARPANSA fact sheet 14.

Mobile phones
  • Use mobile phones infrequently and keep calls short
  • When buying a phone, you can check its SAR rating, by buying a phone with a low SAR you can reduce your EMR exposure.
  • Use the speaker phone option to keep the device further away from your head
  • Text rather than calling as it limits the duration of your exposure and keeps the phone farther away from your head and body
  • Don’t place the phone on your ear while your call is connecting as that’s the time the phone is sending out its strongest signal
  • Use headphones to keep the phone's transmitter away from your head (non-bluetooth head sets)
  • Don’t use Bluetooth head sets, while they usually emit less radiation than mobile phones, people tend to wear them much longer and may be exposed to more radiation as a result.
  • Don’t put the phone in your pocket. If you must, keep the phone’s antenna (usually on the back of the phone) facing away from your body.
  • Switch to airplane mode when playing games or watching videos on a phone.
  • Don't sleep with your phone turned on. If you must have it turned on, keep the phone away from your bed. Sleeping with the phone exposes you to radiation for long periods of time. You may be asleep, but your phone is not.
  • You can also minimise the radiation emitted by your mobile phone by ensuring that you have the best signal possible each time that you use it. The better the coverage, the less power your phone will use, and the less radiation it will emit.
  • Don't make a call in the car, bus, train or an elevator as the phone has to increase the power level to get a signal out through metal.

Cordless home phones
  • Revert back to a wired home phone
  • If you must have a cordless phone, buy one that stops transmitting EMR when the phone is placed back into the base station
  • If you use a normal cordless phone place the base station away from sleeping areas and turn off at night.  Situate it away from areas that you spend the most time.

Mobile Internet - 3G USB devices
  • Use wired connections whenever practically possible
  • Use an extension cable for the 3G USB device to keep it as far from your body as possible
  • Disconnect the 3G USB device as soon as practically possible

WiFi Internet
  • Evaluate what devices are connected using WiFi. Any devices that don't move (ie computers on your desk) can be connected using network cables.  Most WiFi modems have network ports in the back.
  • Disable the wireless part of the router once the network cables are attached.  All wireless modems allow access via a web page (something like - check your manual). You can turn the wireless on and off using the web page controls.
  • Don't sit near the WiFi modem, especially when people are using it to access the internet.
  • Turn off the wireless on your laptop when you are not using it.  Some laptops have a button on the keyboard, others via the software (Windows = network settings, Mac = Airport)
  • Turn off WiFi on your smart phone and tablet when you're not surfing the web, this is very easy to do on Android devices.
  • Switch tablets to airplane mode to play games or watch videos stored on the device.
  • Avoid placing a WiFi laptop computer or tablet on your lap. Use a desk, table or tablet holder.
  • Turn off all devices when you are not using them, especially at night (including the WiFi modem). 
  • Don't sleep with your wireless devices turned on. You may be sleeping, but they aren’t!

WiFi enabled games consoles
  • Determine if your games console is enabled with WiFi or 3G internet connectivity
  • Keep the games console as far away from players as physically possible when you are using it
  • Turn off and unplug the games console when not in use as some are still transmitting EMR when they are in standby mode
  • Research games consoles before buying, choose ones that can be wired to the internet rather than using wireless

Wireless baby monitors
  • Keep the baby monitor as far away as possible from the baby 
  • Restrict and reduce the use of the baby monitor
  • Turn off both parts of the baby monitor when you are not using them

Wireless Sensor Technology

BAN (Body Area Network) and  BSN (Body Sensor Network) wireless sensor technology - such as ANT+ used in fitness equipment to transmit heart-rate information, glucose levels and body motion data. These gadgets include wireless chips that transmit to your smart phone.
  • Reduce EMR by limiting the time you wear wireless sensors to when you actually need this information

WiFi networks in Schools:

Simple steps to reduce health risks (from
  • Avoid using WiFi if it isn't necessary for connectivity. Where classrooms already have wired network access, use these instead.
  • Where classrooms are powered, but without wired access to the school networks, a centralised switch and dLAN units can provide a reliable and secure form of networking for as many laptops as necessary without any microwave electromagnetic field exposure.
  • If a new classroom is to be built, or electrical work is to be carried out in an existing classroom, network cables can be added at the same time, providing wired network access with minimal extra cost and time.
  • Turn off wireless access points and wirelessly enabled laptops when not in use – school policy can ensure this is done consistently.
  • Situate access points as far away from child sitting areas as possible.
  • Locate laptops in the classroom in a way that keeps pupil heads at least a metre from the laptop screens (where the antennas are).
iPad RF exposure SAR values:,3/en/

iPad product information guide:

iPad safety and handling information from the manual:
  • “For optimal mobile device performance and to be sure that human exposure to RF energy does not exceed the FCC, IC, and European Union guidelines, always follow these instructions and precautions: Orient the device in portrait mode with the Home button at the bottom of the display, or in landscape mode with the cellular antenna (located under the black edge at the top of the device) away from your body or other objects.”
  • “If you are still concerned about exposure to RF energy, you can further limit your exposure by limiting the amount of time using iPad Wi-Fi + 3G in wireless mode, since time is a factor in how much exposure a person receives, and by placing more distance between your body and iPad Wi-Fi + 3G, since exposure level drops off dramatically with distance.”

Key safety measures for other devices in Schools:
  • 3G Mobile internet USB sticks - these use the mobile phone 3G network, it's like putting a mobile phone into your lap.  Follow the advice for WiFi as above.
  • Interactive white boards – only use wireless if essential. Switch off the systems when not in active use.
  • Mobile phones - limit or restrict use of mobile phones by children and staff in school buildings during the school day.
  • Laptops should be earthed when being used while powered by their mainsadapter/charger unit. This is to greatly reduce electric fields at the keyboard.