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Discussion Starter #1
I was very excited about my new Honda hybrid, which drives great and is so much better for the environment than my old SUV. But, now my concern is the EMF in the back seat, behind the passenger. It is 40 to 50 milligauss. I've searched the web trying to find a definitive govt. report on what safe levels of EMFs are, but I can't seem to find a conclusive answer. If anyone knows about this, I'd sure appreciate feedback. Is there a way to lower that EMF, to what it is in a "normal" car? :?
 

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Herman, welcome to the forum.

Did you measure this yourself? If so were you reading a stationary field such as that produced by a speaker magnet or something cyclical such as the field from 60 Hz house wiring? Magnetic field strength decreases rapidly with distance from the source, so can you be more specific as to the source. Personally I'm not even slightly concerned, but if you do want to pursue a shielding option it is important to locate the source and install shielding such as Mu-metal, a soft and heavy steel alloy, as close to the source as possible.

Finding any studies that suggest health effects from EMF exposure is difficult. Generally these studies have been irreproducible. However, as it is impossible to prove that there is no health hazard, so some groups have decided to err on the side of caution when making regulations. Germany for example regulates exposure to less than 1,000 milligauss.

Meanwhile air pollution is killing tens of thousands of children and seniors and degrading health for everyone. Sadly the very act of driving a vehicle or riding a bicycle is hazardous. We accept these risks as well as risks posed by second hand smoke, fatty foods, pesticides, and thousands of other real and measurable dangers every day. If like myself you are hoping to live a long, healthy and productive life, may I suggest that your best bang for the buck will come from dealing with well known risk factors.
 

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A very recent news item (6 weeks ago?) reported cell phone users with more than 1 hr./day of use had a 240% greater likelihood of brain tumor on the side of the head where they held the phone.
 

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And there are "news" reports every few months of Elvis sightings too :!: :p

What paper :?: Who did the study :?: Are they credible news / research sources :?: If JAMA or the Lancet published such then I'd think the hand held cell phone industry is dead.

Compairing cellphones to IMA systems is apples to oranges. IT ain't the same stuff or intensity. And such topic "debate" has nothing to do with Hybrid's so lets try to stay on topic. Please :?:
 

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Origiinally at:
http://today.reuters.com/news/....

Archived at:
http://www.healthsentinel.com/news.php? ... _list_item

Swedish National Institute for Working Life
http://www.arbetslivsinstitutet.se/about/default.asp

This was the largest study yet to look at LONG-TERM effects of cell phone use.
( In Scandanavia, cellphones were widely popular earlier than anywhere )

EXCERPT from Reuters:

... researchers at the Swedish National Institute for Working Life said they looked at the mobile phone use of 905 people between the age of 20 and 80 who had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and found a link.

"A total 85 of these 905 cases were so-called high users of mobile phones, that is they began early to use mobile and/or wireless telephones and used them a lot," the study said.

"The study also shows that the rise in risk is noticeable for tumors on the side of the head where the phone was said to be used," it added.

Kjell Mild, who led the study, said the figures meant that heavy users of mobile phones, for instance of who make mobile phone calls for 2,000 hours or more in their life, had a 240 percent increased risk for a malignant tumor on the side of the head the phone is used.

"The way to get the risk down is to use hands-free," he told Reuters.

He said his study was the biggest yet to look at long-term users of the wireless phone, which has been around in Sweden in a portable form since 1984, longer than in many other countries.
 

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That is what I was talking about when I suggested paying attention to known ( and likely) risk factors.

The Swedish results do not surprise me at all as cell phones and modern cordless phones use similar frequencies to a microwave oven.

Without getting too technical, the frequency of a cell phone is about 100,000,000 times higher than any frequency that could be produced by the Insight and penetrate through the distance and the aluminum shielding of the Insight. As the wavelength is correspondingly 100,000,000 longer it could be postulated that the effect on a cellular level would be correspondingly reduced for an equivalent intensity of field. This is what various studies have been trying to determine. Evidently the effect is so small that it is difficult to measure on any reasonable case size, therefore the best we can say is that the outcome is inconclusive.

My paranoid side says: Ditch the cell phone, keep the Insight!

For what it's worth, in a study of Locomotive engineers, who daily ride in some of the largest Diesel electric hybrid engines on the planet, there was an increased incidence of one specific cancer, but the overall cancer rate of this test group was lower than the national average rate. It has been proved that exposure to used oil on the skin causes cancer and breathing Diesel fumes causes lung cancer. I would assume that something other than exposure to EMF was responsible for the results.
 

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Hi, and thanks for the feedbacks. I really am grateful for all feedback I get, and I know that this is a very controversial concern. However, there are many different studies to be found on the web, linking high EMF to cancers. Now, how many of these studies are flawed and bogus I don't know, but I can safely assume that some of them are. BUT that's what folks thought when asbestos became a suspicious substance, and now we know how that is regulated and avoided if at all possible, as far as direct contact with breathing goes. I also agree that there are many health hazards that are real, and it's my job as a parent to minimize those risks for my children. That's what's so frustrating about the EMF thing; no one can agree!
I have a gauss meter and I measured the interiour of the car while the car was one. The front seat sections measured at about 1, 2, or even .5 milligauss. ( A lot of the articles I read reccommended keeping to those levels, trying to avoid living in fields stronger than that ). But the seat in the back, behind the passenger seat, reads 40 or 50 mg, while the car is moving. THat's right where my daughter would sit.
I plan on calling the Honda dealership today. The salesman who sold me the car was great, I have nothing but high ratings for him. I can't say the same thing for another worker there, who basically treated me like a fool when I asked the question about EMF. It's not an easy subject to bring up, as you need a disclaimer that you're not an idiot. I hope they can have patience with me today. Either I can get a modification, as one poster suggested, or I will sell the car :(
 

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I believe that 1 Gauss = 0.0001 Tesla, so 50 mG = 5 uT. Is that right?

If so, and if you decide to return your car, then the replacement car had better not have tires, as the field inside the car from radial tires can exceed 2 uT.
http://www.feb.se/EMFguru/Current-Messa ... -auto.html

You will also want to avoid electric trains, which can expose you to an alternating field with an average of 32 mG.
http://phys4.harvard.edu/~wilson/public ... NIEHS.html

And of course you will want your daughter to avoid games in which she spins around to get dizzy, as the static field at the earth's surface is about 30 uT (300 mG!)--and spinning around in it means you're exposing yourself to an 300 mG alternating field at around 1 Hz.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Dougie, that's all?? I thought for sure you could think of some more hilarious quips :D
 

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I probably could, but seriously, this EMF thing is a non-issue.

There's a whole industry out there trying to disuade people from buying hybrid cars, and this is just one of their approaches. There are lots of sources of magnetic and electric fields, including, seriously, your toaster, your car tires, power lines, railroad wheels, computers... The whole discussion is sort of like the global warming "issue" where a handful of "doubters" are out there making more noise than thousands of "conventional wisdom-ers."

If you are worried about your daughter's safety, which is perfectly understandable--I have a daughter, too--then the things to worry about are car accidents, accidental poisoning, and other accidents at home. The extremely marginal possibilities, including EMF exposure from hybrid cars are tiny in comparison. For example, about 50 children per year die from drowning in buckets in the U.S. Are we to outlaw buckets?

There needs to be a sense of proportion...
 

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A few weeks ago I tripped while going downstairs, sprained my ankle, and was laid up for a week. Thus I'm quite sure that going downstairs to get into my car is far more dangerous than any EMF emmisions.

:)

James
 

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I would think the chemical outgassing of all new cars are far more dangerous than any EMF issue. If you're going to get a car, make sure never to get a new one. The outgassing can be proven to have much more clear cut dangers than the EMF issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
People choose to deal with the frustration of "everything in the world is bad for you" in different ways. Some folk like to say, "everything is cool, because I'm sick of hearing otherwise". That is fine. I don't look at things that way. I also don't believe every study that comes out. If you read my first post you may get an idea of the position that I take. I don't believe everything is going to kill me so I'm going to hide from the world, and I also don't believe that because so many things are bad I might as well give up and take my kids skydiving ( even though I have no idea what I'm doing ).
And, this has been a question of mine before I even bought a hybrid. So that point about forces against hybrids cooking up this question sounds a little paranoid. ( Also, let's not give them any ideas! ) If YOU don't have a concern that is fine, but the feedback I asked for was about EMFs, not more examples of the string of dangers in the world. I'm not talking about the dangers of using a blowdryer, however if my kid were to hold a blowdryer on full blast for an hour every day then I would want to find out if that was safe. So sorry if that rubs anyone the wrong way :D
 

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Indeed, hairdryers give off terrific RF EMF, ozone, plastic out gassing, and as well have the potential to catch fire or electrocute...... but I digress.

Honda is unlikely to do anything to reduce the field you have measured. I'm sure they have made their own measurements and are satisfied that they are safe. If the frequency is low it will likely be difficult or impractical to shield them. Eg. high power Ultra Low Frequency EMF is used to communicate with submarines on the other side of the world by passing the signal straight through the earths core!

Before selling your hybrid Civic, please consider the following:
Our bodies radiate light in the infra red spectrum. We "glow in the dark" to certain forms of surveillance equipment. Certain other species give off visible light. The only difference between these forms of light and harmful UV radiation from the sun is frequency and intensity. Clearly we do not give ourselves cancer. Furthermore, if you spin the needle of a compass you are generating EMF. The only difference between this and the microwaves that cook your dinner is intensity and frequency. Similarly our bodies and brains need small electric currents to function, but too much is deadly. The preceding facts demonstrate that risk of EMF damage to our bodies is clearly dependant on frequency and field strength. In truth everything our bodies need to live with the exception of love is harmful in excess. I believe that the fields from the Insight represent no harmful potential, but you must come to your own conclusion or you will be at the mercy of every pundit.

Presently the excessive use of fossil fuel represents a clear and present danger to all life on the planet. Hopefully your daughter will grow up to realise that you took what steps you could to minimise this problem for her generation and those to come.
 

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Kip, I agree with everything you said. The question is at what level of frequency and field strength does EMF start to harmfully impact our bodies. This is the answer that I can't find anywhere. Believe me, I want to keep that car more than you know. I wasn't going to buy it until I could measure it, the emf, but I knew I'd have to wait another few months to find a car like that because they are SO hot right now. And my daughter talked me into it. So I was hoping that when I measured it, it would be pretty much like other cars. Well, in that way it is not like other cars. Now I have to say this: I am truly grateful to Honda for being a leader in this hybrid movement. I think it's great. They are very very smart to capitalize on something that is good for the planet, and good for the budget of many people. But, I, unlike most people, do have this concern. And, it makes sense that Honda would keep the EMF level in what most people are comfortable with, or happily unaware of. I wish I fit into that category ( and you can bet that my kids do too!!)
But, I'm old enough to know that the threat cigarettes pose to us was once highly poo-pood, the same with x rays, DDT, etc. These dangers are now acknowledged. Also, some threats never come to fruition; the fear of coffee, or asparitime, etc. I really hope that EMF falls into that category. But I can't be sure right now, and I also know the medical waste that comes from treating cancer is no picnic for the earth, either. Here's to hoping that I am just making a huge mistake by selling it, and in the years to come I will know that I was just being over-cautious. Next question:
What's the Next Best Thing to a hybrid?? A normal civic?
 

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herman said:
Here's to hoping that I am just making a huge mistake by selling it, and in the years to come I will know that I was just being over-cautious. Next question:
What's the Next Best Thing to a hybrid?? A normal civic?
:lol: A "normal" Civic will have "dangerously" high EMF readings too :!:

Here's to calling this what this thread is: spam. Such an EMF reading is possible before purchase. Its unfathomable that someone with the professed technical knowledge and paranoia wouldn't take that precaution.

IMO you can't sell something that you didn't even buy.

This whole thread is simply to stir the pot again. Anyone knowledgeable enough to understand these technical issues could easily have performed the forum search function and found the threads I gave links to in the first reply. Questions answered.

Believe what you want its a free country. Put your faith in junk science too :?: OK with me. But waste the groups time to put forth some type of EMF agenda :?: Sorry nope, locking.

Further discussion on this topic needs to be taken to PM or email.

New posts with such questions will be deleted and the newbie may be PM'd with links to this thread.
 
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