Having a smart home is a dream for almost everyone. Who doesn’t need a Wi-Fi thermostat that adjusts to desirable temperatures when it senses a cold snap? Or monitors your babysitter at home while you’re at the office? It sounds cool, right? But is it worth the danger?
The implementation of 5th generation cellular network technologies results in the emission of RF radiation. Tech manufacturers are pushing for more wireless technologies that emit tons of RF radiation and Wi-Fi radiation.
These modern technologies expose you to high levels of EMF radiation. Continuous exposure to high levels of electromagnetic radiation from these smart devices is linked to various health risks such as cancer, brain tumors, and leukemia in children.
Smart homes are designed to connect to multiple devices wirelessly. The devices communicate with each other through the Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi signals from these 5G technologies emit Radio Frequency (RF) radiation that is linked to DNA damage, cancer, and infertility. The RF signals expose you to microwave radiation similar to that used by a microwave to cook.
Even the wired smart systems in your house emit dirty electricity that is associated with other health risks.
There are a lot of health risks associated with smart homes. In this article, you will learn about EMF emission from smart devices and how to protect yourself from these emissions.
How Smart Devices Work
As people turn to the Internet for all their daily tasks, more and more smart devices have emerged in the market. This has prompted the growth of smart homes since all the smart devices are connected via the Internet.
With a smart home system, you would be able to control and automate almost all of your electronic devices in your home at a central point. This can easily be done through a central control panel, your cell phone, or a tablet.
Software is installed in the control panel to allow you to automate tasks or manually control all the devices connected to your home network.
For example, a Wi-Fi thermostat allows you to set different temperature ranges within a specific time. Some thermostats have vacation mode to allow you to schedule temperatures based on the days you will be away. These devices continuously emit high RF radiation that increases your risk of electromagnetic dangers.
The more smart appliances you can control from a remote place, the more you will increase the RF radiation in your home.
Most manufacturers of these appliances allow you to control the devices via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or plugging them directly to a smart network. As a result, the devices will emit significant levels of RF radiation.
Radiation from Smart Devices
Radiation is all over, from smart home devices, 5G towers, power lines, and even cell phone towers. Your Wi-Fi enabled devices do emit low-energy radiation which is harmful to your health.
Watch this YouTube video below to know how much radiation you are getting from your phone:
If your home has smart devices like those advertised by Haier, then your living room will be full of wireless devices such as:
- Smart TVs
- Smart air conditioner
- Smart touch panels
- Smart light bulbs
- Door and window sensors
- Smart sockets
These smart devices will expose you to a lot of electromagnetic radiation. Their EMF emission is much higher than that of your cell phone device. Since we all know the dangers of exposure to cell phone radiation, the smart device will put you at higher health risk.
This is because the smart gadgets are designed to operate 24/7. This exposes you to a lot of radiation, unlike your cellphones which emit high radiation when making and receiving a call.
Therefore, the future of technology around your home will exceed the EMF safety standards designed to protect you from EMF exposure. Each day, you will be exposed to high levels of EMF radiation equivalent to radiation from multiple cell phone devices.
Smart Home Implementation
Newly built homes do have smart infrastructure installed in them, but if you already have an old home, you can redesign it with smart technologies.
The majority of smart home systems use Zigbee and Z-Wave communication protocols. The devices are connected to each other through mesh network technology and use short-range low-power radio signals to transmit data.
Z-Wave protocol has a transmission range of 30 meters while Zigbee has a transmission range of 10 meters. Although Z-Wave has a higher transmission range, Zigbee is the most notable because it is more complex and the chips are widely available. The Z-Wave chips, on the other hand, can only be bought from Sigma Designs.
Having a remote connection of various controlled devices forms a smart system. All the devices are controlled by a home automation controller, the ‘smart home hub’.
The smart home hub acts as the central processing system capable of sensing, processing data, and wireless communication. A smart home hub hardware combines several apps into a single smart hub controlled remotely.
You can use Raspberry Pi to build a smart home system from scratch. Alternatively, you can buy a smart home kit that has all the pieces you need for your smart home automation.
The increasing popularity of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence in the smart home system provides a comprehensive environment that easily adapts to the needs of your family, such as having an Amazon Echo virtual assistant that can easily adapt to your surrounding environment.
A good smart home system should be able to allow you to personalize your smart home based on your preferences and your home patterns.
Radiation from Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri
The advent of artificial intelligence and voice computing has brought the use of interactive voice-based virtual assistants in the form of Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa.
Siri acts as a digital assistant in an Apple ecosystem, especially iPhones, while Alexa is a home assistant for Amazon’s smart home Echo devices.
These virtual assistant devices have become a staple in every modern smart home. Amazon Alexa (Echo speakers) and Apple Siri devices are commonly found in living areas and dining rooms.
The Apple Home Pod devices are smart speakers developed as a direct competitor for Amazon Echo speakers.
Amazon Echo and Apple Home Pod speakers use a wireless network to connect and communicate.
Both devices are controlled through voice commands. You can ask Alexa about the weather patterns, latest trends, give you directions, or search for information on the web. Apple Siri integrates with third-party apps for extended capabilities.
Siri responds to personal queries and commands using the natural language. For example, it can schedule a meeting for you, check your email, call your mom, find restaurants for you, etc.
The popularity of these devices in almost every smart home has brought concerns about the health risks associated with them.
Do Siri and Alexa Emit EMF Radiation?
Absolutely! Amazon Alexa and other smart virtual assistant devices like the Apple Siri or Airpod and Google Home do emit a lot of electromagnetic radiation. These devices use a wireless connection that causes them to emit Radio Frequency radiation when sending and receiving data.
In addition, they also emit electric field and magnetic field radiation from the electrical components installed inside.
Even when not using the devices, they still emit radiation due to the Wi-Fi connection. Connecting your devices to the Internet via the Wi-Fi feature keeps them in constant communication with each other. As a result, more EMF radiation is emitted that opens doors to a lot of health concerns.
Let’s have a look at the harmful effects of radiation from Amazon Echo and Apple Home Pod and how you can protect, not only yourself, but also your family.
How Do Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Apple Siri Devices Emit Radiation?
Amazon Echo and Apple Siri emit small amounts of electric and magnetic field radiation. So unless you place the device close to your body, you will not feel any effect.
However, when the devices are connected to the Wi-Fi system in your home, they emit high levels of RF radiation in the form of microwave radiation. This type of radiation emitted is similar to that emitted by your cell phone when making or receiving a call.
As the devices communicate wirelessly, they use radio waves to send and receive data packets. Most of these devices use 2.4 to 5 GHz radio frequency signals similar to those used by Wi-Fi routers. Other devices use Bluetooth signals to communicate with each other. The RF and Bluetooth signals emitted are very dangerous to the human body.
Read my detailed article on the effects of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radiation.
The compliance Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) levels for Amazon Echo and other smart home assistants are set to be eight inches away from your body. But children would love to hold the devices and sing along or ask them questions. This leaves them more vulnerable to Radio Frequency radiation.
If a child holds the virtual assistant devices or is closer than the recommended eight inches, then they’re absorbing high levels of radiation.
The World Health Organization classifies the RF radiation emitted by these devices as carcinogenic. Continuous exposure to high levels will result in long-term health hazards.
That’s why manufacturers for Amazon Echo state the device should be installed within a distance of 20cm away from your body.
Health risks Associated with Smart Homes
If you have a smart home with wireless devices all over, you’re exposing your family to carcinogenic Radio Frequency radiation. Some of the health risks you may experience when living in a smart home include;
1. Lack of enough sleep
According to a study on the effects of the RF radiation, the low-frequency signals emitted by Wi-Fi routers and cell phone devices impact your sleep. When controlling the wireless devices in your smart home you expose yourself to a lot of electromagnetic signals.
Continuous exposure to EMF radiation interferes with the quality of your sleep. You will find it difficult to fall asleep.
Sleep deprivation over a long period will lead to other health issues such as depression and hypertension.
2. Lack of concentration/focus
Research on the effects of Wi-Fi radiation indicates that those exposed to constant Wi-Fi radiation experience reduced concentration as well as reduced brain activity. Your smartphone or tablet connects to the Internet through a Wi-Fi router.
With the implementation of 5G Wi-Fi routers in the next 3-5 years’ time, the frequency spectrum will be higher than the current 2.4 GHz. It poses more health risks to individuals.
3. Heart problems
Research conducted to determine heart rate variability to 69 individuals exposed to EMF radiation from 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi routers found an increased risk of heart diseases. From the research, more individuals experienced increased heart rate just like someone under stress.
Having a smart home system will increase the risk of developing a heart problem because of the increased exposure to high levels of EMF radiation.
4. Infertility issues
Constant exposure to RF radiation from smart home appliances will lead to reduced sperm production. It also leads to DNA fragmentation according to a study done on both humans and animals.
Another study indicated that frequent exposure to wireless frequencies from your smart home network prevents egg implantation. Continuous exposure to electromagnetic waves radiation increases oxidative stress levels. As a result, you may experience abnormal pregnancy or prevent the implantation of the egg.
If you want to learn more about how EMF affects male fertility, then check out my article here.
5. Affects your child’s development
Exposure to high radiation levels while pregnant can affect fetus development. Your child may experience poor cellular development. For example, a study done on a fetus exposed to non-thermal RF radiation indicated delayed kidney development.
The EMF radiation from these smart appliances disrupts the protein synthesis process, a tissue needed for the growth and development of children in the womb.
How to Protect Yourself against EMF Exposure from Smart Home Devices
The best ways to protect yourself against any electromagnetic waves exposure is through;
- Minimizing the use of smart devices
- Keeping distance from these EMF emitting devices.
Our homes are surrounding by EMF sources from these smart devices and this puts us at a very high risk of electromagnetic radiation. Your smart fridge, vacuum cleaner, thermostats, and other smart gadgets increase your exposure.
If you want to have these smart devices, then you need to maximize your distance from them. This might be very difficult for you because the EMF sources are everywhere in your home.
So in order for you to maximize the distance, then you need to minimize the use of these smart devices around your home.
Smart technology brings a lot of benefits but you have to pay the ultimate cost of these benefits through your health. Continuous exposure to high levels of EMF may result in damage to DNA cells, cause cancer, and other health risks.
That’s why in my previous article on how to protect yourself from cellphone radiation I recommend putting your phone in airplane mode if not in use and sleeping away from your phone.
Your phone still emits EMF radiation even when not in use because it keeps on searching for the nearest cell tower network to connect to. Therefore, keeping the phone away from you when you sleep minimizes your exposure risk. Read my detailed article on how to protect yourself from 5G towers.
You should always do a cost-benefit analysis before buying any smart device for your home. Though they offer numerous benefits and joy, we expose ourselves to a lot of radiation on a daily basis.
Due to the rising health risk associated with smart homes and other wireless technologies, be careful about how you use them.
It is good to enjoy modern tech devices but you should take some precautions. Be smart about what kind of smart devices you buy.
Questions to Ask Yourself before Buying the Smart Devices
1. Do I really need this device?
With more tech devices being launched each day, you may end up being wooed by the cool things you can easily do with the device. This may prompt you to buy the new tech device, but do you really need it?
You should evaluate how the device will improve your life. Be careful not to buy a new smart device that will act as a toy in your house.
Sometimes, the smart devices can be very alluring but once you buy them, you only use it for a few days and get bored with it.
2. Is the device worthy of the health risk it exposes you to?
Whenever you add a new smart device to your home, it comes with an added cost to your health. The more EMF radiation you get exposed to, the higher the health risk.
There are no specific safe levels of EMF exposure; each additional smart device in your home adds to your EMF cumulative exposure.
Therefore, each time you consider buying the device or using the smart device you have to ask yourself: is it worth the danger?
Most of the smart device manufacturers do not provide information on EMF emission levels. Some do, but they don’t give the right information on EMF Levels.
So you have to do the test yourself to know how much you’re exposed to. This is the only way you can evaluate the risk involved in using the new technology.
3. Will the new technology make you happier?
Some of the tech devices we buy make our lives much easier. However, you’re living well without this device, so just because it is the latest gadget in the market doesn’t mean you need it.
Before buying the device, ask yourself whether it is important and a must-have. It’s only when you can be able to answer that that you will get clarity on what’s important for you and get smarter about using the new technological devices.
The Risks of Smart Homes
The risk of radiation from EMF-emitting devices will not go away anytime soon since each day there are developments of new technological tools. It is up to you to make smart decisions regarding the devices. Is the new smart device worth the health risk?
When you really want to buy a new smart device, take your time to ask: do I really need it? And will the device add value to my life? If your answer is not an immediate “yes”, then you should consider skipping it.
How to Reduce RF Exposure from Smart Homes
You should be careful when setting up a smart network system at your home. If you want to reduce exposure from these EMF emitting devices, you should consider having a wired system instead of relying on Wi-Fi for connection.
If you’re using smart lighting bulbs, you can reduce exposure by using a hard-wired or low EMF light system instead of relying on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features to operate the lights. In this case, you will only have to deal with dirty electricity emissions.
Steps you take on reducing EMF exposure from cell phones, Wi-Fi devices, and other smart home devices will be a great step to a healthy life.
It is also advisable to go through your entire house and test to see if there is any device emitting higher RF radiation than the recommended SAR levels.
Watch this video on how to test your home for RF radiation from Wi-Fi Router:
From the video, as you get near the Wi-Fi router, the radiation exposure increases. With an EMF meter, you can go room by room testing radiation from the various EMF emitting sources.
These 5GHz frequencies expose you to high radiation levels. To minimize the risk associated with the Wi-Fi router, you can invest in a Wi-Fi router guard. A Wi-Fi router guard is made of steel mesh box that blocks about 95% of RF radiation. You can read my detailed article on how router guards minimize radiation from your Wi-Fi router and steps on how to EMF proof your home.
Limit the use of Amazon Alexa and Siri devices around your home. Ensure your child doesn’t use the Echo more frequently. It should also be kept away from the sitting area or in your bedroom.
Reducing Dirty Electricity in Your Home
By having a smart home, you will surely have a bunch of dirty electricity in your home. If you already have a smart meter device, there are high levels of dirty electricity coming from every circuit. This is the reason why you should have a smart home with everything hard-wired.
Having the entire house with devices connected to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth makes it hard for you to reduce EMF exposure.
As I said, you can’t have your Wi-Fi thermostat connected to your Wi-Fi router guard and expect it to protect you against the RF emissions.
But you can protect your home against dirty electricity unless you have electrical wiring problems. Installing the Graham-Stetzer filter in your home will help reduce dirty electricity generated into safe levels. Consider using a shield for your smart meter.
Smart devices give off a small amount of electric and magnetic field radiation. When the devices connect wirelessly to transfer data, they do emit Radio Frequency radiation which is dangerous for your health.
Due to the radiation emitted by these devices, it is recommended to keep away from the EMF emitting device. Some smart devices like Amazon Echo recommend keeping a 20cm distance.
Since almost all smart devices in your home connect via the Internet, it is not easy to maintain distance from the EMF emitting source. The only way you can reduce the exposure to RF radiation emitted by these devices is to minimize their use.
It’s good to have these modern devices at your home but not at the expense of your health.
Apple Siri is one of Apple’s ecosystems that get things done more easily on your Apple devices. When responding to your queries and commands, Apple Siri uses natural language processing. On the other hand, Amazon Alexa uses conversational artificial intelligence that is activated by simply saying ‘Alexa’.
Alexa supports a variety of smart home devices like smart locks, smart thermostats, Echo devices, Android devices, and it is ideal for online shopping. Whereas Siri is great for travel and entertainment categories. Since it’s not easy to connect to Ethernet cables, you will expose yourself to a lot of RF radiation.
The more wireless connectivity required to keep controlling these devices remotely, the more radiation you’re exposed to. The risk of exposure can be reduced by hardwiring all your smart home devices.