Now that I have my very own microwave (RF) radiation testing meter (it also tests magnetic and electrical activity), I can actually do my own testing on the various devices in my and my neighbour’s houses. I got an email from a reader asking me:

I have a question regarding laptops. Does keeping a laptop plugged in while using it, reduce the radiation emitted? (would it be like using a regular personal computer?) And if so, would it be safer to have a laptop plugged in, while the laptop was sitting on your lap? I also have a question regarding cordless phones. While the cordless phone is sitting on the base, not in use, is it still unsafe?

I know that Dr. Mercola recently ran a video series with an electromagnetic radiation expert and one of his headlines in his newsletter was to make sure you always had your laptop plugged in, since they emit way more radiation when running on battery power. Now, I don’t  know if they were referring to the millivolts (electricity) the laptop was giving off, or if they were referring to the microwave radiation from the laptop’s WiFi (wireless internet) connection.

This is why it helps to have your own meter, so you can test these things. Fortunately, I do not have any wireless internet in my house. So I couldn’t test for WiFi radiation when plugged vs. battery. But I did test my Apple laptop for electric fields in both millivolts and microamps per meter and it was the same whether the laptop was plugged in or running on battery power: 4.2 mV/m (millivolts per meter) at 1 foot away from screen and 9.8 uA/m (microamps per meter).

Caveat: You would need to test your particular brand of laptop to really know what’s going on though, since they vary widely between brands. Even within the same brand, different sized screens or models will give off different levels of radiation. For example, most of the 20″ – 21.5″ iMacs in my office run about 5.1 mV/m (millivolts per meter) at 6″ away from the screen, but the new 27″ iMac clocked in at 84 mV/m at 6″ away from the screen – I tested it because I noticed I didn’t feel very good after 4 or 5 hours working on it (fatigue, little bit of a headache). Even though 84 mV/m only falls under the “Slight Concern” column in the Institute for Baubiologie guidelines. By the time I pulled about 2′ away from the screen, the 27″ was down to only 9.2 mV/m. But still, I decided to listen to my gut and I sent it back and got a 21.5″ instead!

Cordless Phone Radiation

I don’t have a cordless phone in my house either, so I borrowed my neighbour’s to test it. Theirs is a Panasonic 5.8 GHz phone. Much to my surprise, when the phone is on the base (and there are no extensions around the house that are off the base), the EMR is only .1 – 3.2 uW/m2 (microwatts per square meter), which is in the “No” to “Slight Concern” range.

However, when in operation, the radiation jumped to 900 uW/m2 when dialing and 300 uW/m2 when talking. Even when you were 50 feet away from the handset or the base, you were still getting 250-300 uW/m2 of microwave radiation! This is in the “Severe Concern” range – above 1000 is “Extreme Concern”.

My Dad has fought me hard to keep a cordless phone in his house, so it was a relief to have this data to know that, when my kids are in his house, we do not have to actually unplug the cordless, as long as no one uses it. And knowing the data, he has said he will only use it for short periods or in very specific situations – most of the time he will use the corded phones. I got him a top of the line Panasonic corded phone with a powerful speakerphone, so he can still be hands-free if he wishes.

Anyway, hope this info helps those of you who were wondering the same things! And remember that if you are suffering from chronic illness, have young children, or elderly in the house, you really should avoid microwave radiation in your home, for the sake of your health.

Radiation Testing for Laptops and Cordless Phones

14 thoughts on “Radiation Testing for Laptops and Cordless Phones

  • I had to grin at your struggle with your dad – as I have similar clashes (except mine is in regards to his diet and exercise habits given that he is a heart patient). For parents, they sure make tough love hard to dole out.

    How do you control for all the WiFi that is constantly around you despite the fact that you did not subscribe to it? Hot spots are everywhere – literally. At the airport, coffee shops – whole cities, universities and neighbourhoods are now connected continuously by WiFi.

    The type and dose of radiation exposure has fluctuated over time – I kind of liken it to infectious agents. There is probably an optimum level for each of us (as some seem more sensitive to the effects of a given type and level of radiation – as we see with different sensitivies to ultraviolet radiation). There may even be a development of resistance to damage with developmental exposure by modulation of the level of enzymes responsible for DNA damage repair and the stress response.

  • Yeah, that’s the problem and why many liken this radiation to the smoking issue – other’s choice affects my health. I live in a low density area and I want to move to even more land when I can afford it. My theory is that if I can create a place in the home to rejuvenate and repair the damage, that’s our best chance of withstanding the growing onslaught. Along with everything else we do to maintain health. And lots of grounding (bare feet on earth) whenever possible and exercise.

  • HI Jini,
    It would be so helpful for me if you could let me know the model number of the Panasonic corded phone with a powerful speaker phone that you use. I talk on the phone all day for work and need to buy one.
    Thank you, Susan

  • Great article and I think this is a topic that will hopefully soon reach a tipping point as transfats and organic had also taken a decade in “alternative” media.

    I think I finally found a solution for having a cordless inside my Siemens now has a DECT with an “eco” option. In their specs, it explains how the RF can be turned off. The video I saw from another blog even measured it and it tested as stated.

    The model I purchased from Amazon is a Siemens Gigaset dect_6.0 Cordless Phone System C595. However, in order to use it, I assume you need to put “on”.

  • Susan – turns out the phone I got my parents is not Panasonic, it is an AT&T phone CL4939, but there were also some Panasonic phones I looked at with good speakerphones. Either way, if you don’t like them you can always exchange or get a refund.

    Bruce – if the RF is turned off, can the phone receive a call? And that’s something else we didn’t test: we just tested the phone sitting on the base, but we didn’t test it on the base when the phone was ringing…

  • Hi,
    you know that actually 85mV/m is nothing compared to the mobile phone masts? If you have a mast about 1km away from you than that is 100mV/m. In cities masts are about 500meters apart max. Also being near a mains cable might even be 5-10V/m, 50-60 times more than what you measured. The only research that is conclusive regards power frequency radiation around 50Hz, and it is now generally agreed that 10V/m is the boundary when health effects start. Your headache can come from the LED backlight of the display too. It has a low frequency component that strains the eye. Funnily if you turn it up to maximum that will minimize the effect.

  • ROB – Yes, I know and when I looked up the 85 mV/m in the BauBiologie guidelines, it falls under the “Slight Concern” heading. Nevertheless, ‘something’ was not sitting right with me and perhaps as you pointed out, it was the LED screen. And yes, I certainly did turn off wifi and bluetooth (I make sure they’re turned off on all computers in the house all the time anyway). Thanks for sharing the info!

  • David Wolfe actually did a video demonstration on this, but he had exactly the opposite experience. According to him and his little EMF reader, he had a lot more EMFs when the laptop was plugged and less when it wasn’t. Of course this was all to demonstrate the wonders of his grounding pad which showed dramatically reduced the EMFs when his foot was on the grounding pad.

  • The black DECT phone is the most dangerous cordless phone going. I use a Uniden grey phone, that only transmits when you using it, and it has a very low SAR. The DECT phone transmits 24/7 and is basically a minature cell phone tower. People who them in their house usually suffer from extreme restlessness and sleeping disorders, and running legs, and crawling ants up the legs, and heart palpitations, and IBS, and CFS, and ME, and MBS, and FBS. Yep, the syndromes are never-ending.

  • I have a panasonic note book laptop in my work car. 8 hours a day 5 days a week. wireless also and its inches from my body. I have been getting headaches and eye problems since it was place in the vehicle. I tested it with my meter and it was 2,000 mico watts per sq meter…. thats high. job knows nothing about EMF and they think aim crazy. that’s like having a micowave oven sitting in the passenger sit next to you. what you think?

  • Unless you shut wifi ‘off’ on your laptop its microwaving you! even if plugged in to cabled internet! as far as being plugged into electric outlet,yes more emf,so run on battery and never put on your lap unless you want to get cancer?
    Cordless phones emit microwaves even when not in use! re check as i have done 100’s of times! i have all the testing meters etc

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