Keep Hardware safe for human health

Dear friends,
I bought an emonPi mainly because was one of the few system out there where I could connect an RJ45 cable for accessing it.

Tech innovation is pushing forward and going super fast but I think we need to keep in mind that all of this means quite nothing if we don’t care about human health risk.

Please when you create new hardware leave a chance to connect easily (and cleanly) to it via cable.
We need to have the choice to not use radio signals (included wifi).

My reasons stays with several papers I read and several suggestions published by the major (clean*) institutions.

Just few links to give you the ground of what I’m talking about:

Thank you very much for what you are doing

*without conflicts of interest

Thanks Simone for the pdfs, a very interesting read.
However, having the choice not to use WiFi, is not the same as not being bathed in WiFi (and 2G/3G/4G/5G, digital TV and digital/analogue radio).
From where I am sat right now I can see 12 WiFi access points, I can pick up 3G & 4G on my phone, and a 1.2 MegaWatt TV transmitter is only 20 miles away.

If the WHO’s research turns out to be true, a Raspberry Pi’s WiFi is the least of our problems…

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Since researching this a couple of months ago I prefer cable connections over wireless. I haven’t read properly those links you’ve posted, it’s great to see real press release material on this though. After the reading I’ve done before I very rarely use mobile phones for calls now. I was very far down the road of designing my board based on ESP8266 WiFi, but at least did what I could and bought some ethernet modules and created a plan for cable connections, which reminds me I need to document it! So thanks for the reminder.
The film Generation Zapped is a good summary of the issues surrounding EM radiation effecting health. Also, the Bio-Initiative report is exhaustive and backed by hundreds of scientists around the globe, I only read the conclusions! Interestingly, France has also banned WiFi from schools for health reasons, at least that’s what’s said! No doubt helps with concentration too.

I wonder if there are any benefits to living in a Faraday cage :grin:

I too prefer wired connections, although for different reasons. That cat5 cable not only provides far more reliable comms, it’s also a very safe and easy way to distribute UPS power to your IoT devices. PoE switches are quite affordable these days and if you plug that and your other comms gear and servers into a UPS, then everything keeps monitoring during a blackout.

Now if your monitor only monitors electrical energy you could argue it doesn’t much matter if it goes out when the lights go out, just like your revenue meter does. But if it’s also counting water meter pulses people still flush the toilet during blackouts. You might also want your temperature monitoring/logging to continue during blackouts. And if your energy monitor has any power quality monitoring facilities, that stuff is often at its most interesting just before a blackout, so keeping the device powered long enough to allow it to observe and log the blackout is helpful if you want to see the blackout in action.

In a manner of speaking, you already do. Although they don’t shield one completely from RF energy, common building construction materials attenuate RF signals.
The higher the frequency, the greater the attenuation.

In addition to the building attenuation, the free space path loss at 20 Miles, for a signal at 470 Mhz
is 116.6 dB. At 855 Mhz, it’s 121.2 dB.
(lower and upper end of the UK broadcast TV band, according to Wikipedia)

1.2 MW = 90.79 dBm.
Drop that by 116.6 dB and the resultant power level is -25.81 dBm or ~0.0000026242 Watts. (2.6 µW)

At the upper end of the band, i.e. 855 MHz, the resultant power level would be a bit less than 1.3 µW.

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No then :slight_smile:

The science is mostly focussed on mobile phones for good reason, because they’re emitters carried close to the body, and typically used against the head in calls. The WiFi and RF devices sold here are likely very safe. There are points about frequency and power in the research, the frequency is important, low power levels can be picked up by the human body and registered as a stress response by looking at hormone levels. I don’t know how low a power level, there are some EU guidelines on this, but the place to look is Russia where very low safe limits were set following their research in the early 1900’s. More modern research also suggests the body has an EM immune system, and similar frequencies are essentially adapted to and become not stressful.

Aluminium layered foils and insulation boards are used a lot in timber frame construction, which would make more of an effect than masonry for example. Even in modern cavity wall, thin boards of aluminium faced board are used.

If we’re living in a kind of Faraday cage, unfortunately the potential problems are the emitters within the home. Like I say, I don’t use a mobile phone for calls hardly ever, I use WiFi for calling alot and the Three network has an app which allows calls and sms through WiFi. This is possibly financially motivated by skipping out the mobile towers or something, but convenient where I live, in a thick-walled house, mostly avoidant to using typical mobile phone EM anyway. Remember when people were complaining of headaches with mobile in the 90s? The tech has come along way since then… Regardless, when I last went 6 months without using mobiles, about 3 years ago this was, and I started making calls again, I noticed very strongly the sensation of a modern phone during a call, a Samsung S4 I think it was. The sensation went away with more use, so it became normal again.

5G will fry our brains, maaan.

I thought higher frequencies had more energy? How is the power halved?

Also worth noting is that, quite likely contrary to popular conceptions, you are likely to be subject to less radiation the closer you are to the mobile mast.

This is because you get far more RF power dissipated in your person from the phone than from the base. (Remember the inverse square law that Bill alludes to, though he didn’t mention it by name?) Phone and base negotiate the transmitter power required by your phone, and the closer you are, the more it turns the power down. It’s all about battery life, when all’s said and done.

At 855 MHz, the path loss is 121.2 dB vice a loss of 116.6 at 455 MHz. The difference between the two
is 4.6 dB in the negative direction. Every 3 dB is an increase or decrease by a factor of two, depending
on the sign, in this case, negative.

The difference between the two power levels is 4.6 dB. I rounded 4.6 to 3. Half of 2.6 µW is 1.3 µW.
As the difference is greater than 3 db, the actual result is less than 1.3 µW.

I remember the inverse square law worked out in physics class. It applies to all sorts of radiation and magnetic fields.

Higher frequency path loss must be the reason transmitter power is designed greater for higher frequencies, its the fight against atmosphere and obstacles…
The higher frequencies have more energy per wave-packet and supposedly more damaging. But path loss (through air?) attenuates them more, I didn’t know that.

I have made some observations on EMF when I’d borrowed an EMF meter recently.
The meter was uncalibrated, only factory set-up.
Regardless, I’ve chosen to consider it worthful what I saw.
I had the thing emulating my head against the phone and made a call, so it was transmitting as continuously as I could make it.
The first phone was an S5, and it broke the EU EMF directive by a factor of about 30, it jumped higher but settled at around 30 times.
The second phone was a cheap Nokia copy called Zanco or something, it broke the directive by a factor of around 150 consistently.

The nearest mobile mast was 500m away.

This was a rough look, like I say with an uncalibrated meter.
What was fun was putting it against people’s heads, the meter could register brain power it seems :grin:

. EUR-Lex - 32013L0035 - EN - EUR-Lex
Annex III Section B for the levels.
It would be interesting to me if someone could try repeat what I saw.
I’ve just had an idea for some day in the future, with the same meter and a different one if I can get hold of one, I’m going to take another look at this when it’s convenient, for a personal confirmation.

This weekend there was a campaign stand in the center of Liverpool against 5G, never knew it got such a lot of attention! Who needs 5G anyway? 4G seems to be able to stream a couple of HD videos, why would anyone want to stream two HD videos at the some time?!

The atmosphere does indeed attenuate the signal, but the amount of attenuation at UHF is small
compared to the path loss itself. e.g. the Earth-Moon-Earth path loss for a 1296 MHz signal is
~271 dB, and most of that path is in a vacuum, or very nearly so.

One example of significant atmospheric attenuation is terrestrial operaton at 60 GHz.
Oxygen’s resonant frequency is 60 GHz. As a result, path loss can be as high as 10 dB per