The Basics of EMFs and Red Light Therapy

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In this article we explain what EMFs are, how they should be measured, and why electrical devices, including light therapy products, all have them.

What Are EMFs? 

The abbreviation “EMF” stands for Electromagnetic Field. This is a form of energy created from sources along the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from low sources of energy, like AC power, to high sources, like Gamma rays. [1]

The two common forms of EMFs generated from AC powered sources (like a Joovv) are Electric and Magnetic fields. These fields are generated through the use of electricity and are greatest at the surface of the source, decreasing exponentially by distance. Below are the technical definitions of each field type.  

  • Electric fields: An electric field is the physical field that surrounds electrically charged particles and exerts force on all other charged particles in the field, either attracting or repelling them. It also refers to the physical field for a system of charged particles. [2]
  • Magnetic fields: A magnetic field is a vector field that describes the magnetic influence on moving electric charges, electric currents, and magnetic materials. A moving charge in a magnetic field experiences a force perpendicular to its own velocity and to the magnetic field. [3] 

Another very common source of EMF are Radio Frequencies (RF). Radio frequencies are a step higher in energy and are represented by a shorter wavelength in form. The most common applications of RF in today’s world is the use of Mobile phones, WiFi routers, and Bluetooth devices.   

How Are EMFs Measured?

There are two main factors to understand when measuring EMFs:

  • The importance of a controlled environment and standardized testing methods
  • The common units of measurement. 

To accurately measure and evaluate Electric fields, Magnetic fields, and Radio frequencies requires the use of an EMC Chamber. This type of chamber provides a controlled environment and prevents unwanted electromagnetic signals and reflections from interfering during testing. In addition to a proper test environment, it is also essential to follow standardized testing methods, performed by a trained professional. [4]

**It is important to note that manufacturers and companies who advertise and promote the use of consumer grade, handheld EMF meters, to measure and demonstrate safety, should be cause for concern (big red flag!).

Although handheld electrosmog meters can be useful in helping to understand EMFs in your environment, they should not be used to evaluate the safety of an electronic product, let alone a Red and Near-infrared light therapy device.

Are EMFs in Everyday Life?

For most of us, evaluating EMFs by their units of measurement is not an everyday activity; there is definitely a technical background required. However, when it comes to understanding the common units of measurement, it can be helpful to compare everyday household appliances. Below are some examples of Electric and Magnetic field levels you probably didn’t realize are around us on a daily basis. 

Units of Measurement

  • For Electric fields the common unit of measurement is Volt per meter [V/m]
  • For Magnetic fields the common unit of measurement is Microtesla [uT] or Milligauss (mG) 
  • Radio Frequency (RF) the common unit of measurement is Microwatts per square meter (uW/m2), microwatts per square centimeter uW/cm2 and Volts per meter (V/m). 

Exposure Guidelines

In the area of studying low frequency (1 Hz-100 kHz) non-ionizing radiation, which includes fields generated from AC power sources and RF emitting products, approximately 25,000 articles have been published over the past 30 years with very little evidence to conclude that EMFs pose harm to human health. [5] As part of conclusions from these studies, guidelines have been established by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing radiation protection (ICNIRP) for safe exposure levels. Below are some key numbers for exposure limits.

Key Numbers

  • Maximum exposure levels to electric & magnetic fields in everyday life are typically far below guideline limits. Here are the exposure limits for public areas. [6]
    • Public exposure limit for electric fields is 5000 [V/m]
    • Public exposure limit for magnetic fields is 100 [uT]
  • Not all EMFs originate from man made sources. Natural EMFs sources can range up to. [5]
    • Electric fields up to 200 [V/m]
    • Magnetic fields up to 70 [uT]
  • Long-term exposure to high levels (> than 10000 [V/m] or > than 500 [uT]) of EMF contributes significantly to when and how EMFs can be harmful to human health [5]

Do Joovv Devices Emit EMFs and Are They Safe?

Yes. Like all electrical devices, Joovv devices emit levels of EMF. The levels emitted are low and compare to many common household appliances. In fact, Joovv’s devices have been designed for hospitals and clinical environments, where EMF levels need to be reduced to a minimum to avoid interference with other sensitive and essential equipment. Joovv devices pose no electromagnetic health risks to the human body.

Joovv products have been designed for in-home use, which implies a higher standard of safety requirements, as users are assumed to be untrained and unsupervised when operating the equipment. In-home medical devices also require Class II protection from electrical shock, which is why all Joovv products are double insulated, and do not require an earth ground pin on the power cord. Additionally, these medical devices are required to have an Ingress protection rating of 21 or better. Joovv products are listed with Intertek and include a Classified ETL mark for the United States and Canada that proves conformity to all applicable standards for their intended use. You can check out Joovv’s product listing by clicking here.

Below are the EMC standards that Joovv Products conform to: 

  • IEC 60601-1-2 ed 4.0 (2014-02)
  • ETSI EN 301 489-1 V2.2.3 (2019-11)
  • ETSI EN 301 489-17 V3.2.3 (2020-07)

In addition to being safe, Joovv provides an option to reduce your RF (radio frequency) exposure when using our products with the ability to turn Bluetooth on and off. Our modular kits (Elite, Quad, Max, Duo and Half-Max) pair together using LEAD and FOLLOW mode logic with the provided hardwire pairing kit. You can also use your Go without Bluetooth by simply pressing the pairing button, although please know that Bluetooth is required when connecting to the Joovv Mobile App.  

Summary

After reading this article, we hope you feel more informed on the basics of EMFs. Walking away, you should know that Joovv products are safe and pose no human harm in regards to Electromagnetic fields. Measuring electromagnetic fields is complicated and should only be done in a controlled environment, following industry standards, by trained personnel.

The use of consumer grade electrosmog meters can be useful in understanding EMF levels in one's environment, but should be limited as a reference tool only and not used to determine if a device is safe or unsafe. When determining if a device is safe or unsafe, ask the manufacturer for proof of conformity to the applicable standards for its intended use. A Red and Infrared light therapy device is considered a medical device and should be tested following medical standards. 

  

Sources and References:


[1]  Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "electromagnetic spectrum". Encyclopedia Britannica, 11 Mar. 2019, Accessed 21 February 2022.

[2Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "electric field". Encyclopedia Britannica, 7 Jan. 2019, Accessed 14 March 2022.

[3Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "magnetic field". Encyclopedia Britannica, 26 May. 2020. Accessed 14 March 2022.

[4]  Eadie, A. 29 June, 2016. The Anechoic Chamber Guide For EMC and RF (Wireless) Testing.

[5] “Radiation: Electromagnetic fields.” World Health Organization Questions and Answers, 4 August 2016, 

[6] “ICNIRP Guidelines For Limiting Exposure to Time-varying electric and magnetic fields (1Hz-100 kHz)” International Commission on Non-Ionizing radiation protection, ICNIRP Publication -2010.