What is dirty electricity and is it harmful to our health?

Many of us invest a lot of our time, money, and effort into making our homes pleasant and enriching spaces. This often looks like expensive interior designing, open floor plans, elegant floral arrangements and comfortable throw cushions.

While all of this is well and good, they are not all it takes to ensure that your home is a healthy space.

Of late, dirty electricity has become a concern for the clients I work with, not least because our homes rely so heavily on electricity. From charging our phones to doing our laundry and preparing our meals, electricity is at the heart of everything.

Dirty electricity, or electromagnetic interference as it is better described, refers to the harmful electrical energy that radiates into our living environments as a result of electrical wiring and the electromagnetic interference caused by a slew of plug-in devices—including solar systems—that are now irreplaceable parts of life.

Many homeowners are unaware of the effect dirty electricity has on their wellbeing.

How is dirty electricity generated?

Dirty electricity is produced by your standard range of household electrical devices including light bulbs and handheld electronics. It is created from voltage fluctuations from zero to thousands of volts, and back, in a fraction of a second.

Internal sources include any device with an electronic transformer and include everyday devices like energy-saving lights (fluorescent light bulbs), solar inverters, computers and their peripherals such as printers, fax machines, and photocopiers.

What are the health effects of dirty electricity?

While dirty electricity is known to damage sensitive electronic equipment, there are also concerns that it may affect animal and human health. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, issues with the ears such as tinnitus or earache, insomnia, heart palpitations and increased blood pressure (Havas and Colling, 2011). Researchers have found that even animal health and behaviour changed close to wind turbines including increased infertility and stillbirths and reduced milk production.

In humans, dirty electricity can impact a range of health issues, which span both physical and mental ailments. According to a study titled, “Power quality affects teacher wellbeing and student behavior in three Minnesota Schools; Science Total Environment” in 2008, researchers discovered that dirty electricity is associated with:

  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Concentration issues
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Mood
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pain
  • Sleep issues

Dr Olle Johansson has even demonstrated that electrical fields can disrupt our immune system by triggering a response reserved for when the body is affected by a virus or bacteria.

If left unaddressed and untreated, this can lead to chronic inflammation, which, in turn, can exhaust the adrenal glands, affect your cognitive abilities, and lead to mood changes, anxiety, and memory loss.

How can you prevent dirty electricity in your home?

If you want to clean up your living environment and reduce the impact of dirty electricity, here are a few things you can do.

• Be mindful about the appliances you add to your home

When you’re buying new electronic items, choose brands that use electricity more efficiently and are of higher quality.

If this is not an option, simply try and reduce the number of electronic items you use in your home. You may be surprised by how many items produce dirty electricity including printers, gaming consoles, and even Wi-Fi devices!

• Get into the habit of turning off every appliance that you aren’t using

If you want to reduce dirty electricity and create a healthier space at home with the side benefit of saving money from the energy you save, turning off electrical appliances and devices can reduce the scale of this problem.

Really consider what light bulbs you are putting up. In order of preference, to reduce the likelihood of dirty electricity, you should use:

Incandescent bulbs (Yes, the ones your parents used before we became fixated with the longevity of light bulbs and their energy savings!).

Light Emitting Diode (LED bulbs), which, depending on the brand, can still produce dirty electricity.

Compact Fluorescent light (CFL bulbs) are the least favourable and are the worst for dirty electricity.

If you come across incandescent bulbs, stock up! I get mine from Op shops.

Have your home assessed for to improve your wellbeing

It’s important that you have your home assessed for all types of electromagnetic fields including dirty electricity to make sure you’re living in a safe and healthy environment.

At Building Harmony, I support you with Healthy Home Assessments that explore the effect of electromagnetic fields in your home. Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any concerns or require any guidance.