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Danger lurking in our every day household appliances.

THE PowerWatch Network, which is an independent research group, has assessed a wide range of electrical goods that could be potentially hazardous to health because of the electro- magnetic fields they give off.

Identifying danger zones in your home or office could be the first step to solving problems of stress and fatigue before you consider forking out on a pendant.

These are some of PowerWatch's most recent findings and guidelines:


ALARMS and clock radios plugged into the mains should be at least one metre away from the bedhead. Battery- operated alarms and clocks give off virtually no electric waves.


MOST modern computers give off quite low levels, but it is best to keep the computer as far away from your body as possible.


OLD screens can give off high fields. Newer, low radiation screens can give off far lower fields, but all VDUs give off higher fields at the back. Nobody should sit less than one metre from the rear of a VDU - and magnetic fields can travel through walls.


ELECTRIC ovens and hobs give off high magnetic fields when in use. Try to keep as much distance as reasonable while cooking.


UNDERBLANKETS give off high fields. They should be switched off at the wall before getting into bed.


MANY give off high fields - and high magnetic fields near the head in the evening are known to interfere with the production of melatonin by the pineal gland. This is the hormone responsible for cell regeneration and mood swings.


THESE can give off high electric fields. Make sure the system has a decent electrical earth connection to the mains supply, as this will remove most of the problem.


THEY can leak microwave radiation. Always stand at least a metre away and, if the kitchen is small, encourage children to stay out while the food is cooking. Leave food to stand for 2- 3 minutes to enable the cells to "re-normalise" after microwave cooking.


THESE can give off very high magnetic fields. Stand at least half a metre back and make sure ventilation is good, as the ozone given off by the copier is affected by the surrounding electric fields.


THEY vary according to makes and models, so be cautious and always sit at least a metre away from all sides of the TV


THE cylinder type is better than the upright as the motor and wires are further away.


THEY give off high fields and it's best to avoid them while they are in use.


THE motors give off high magnetic fields. Some statistics have shown an increase in breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease in industrial machinists.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 10, 1999
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