Yshield: New scam artist flogging ‘EMR shielding paint’
Tuesday April 10th 2012, 6:15 pm

For as long as there’s been new technologies, there’s been scam artists ready to take money from people who have irrational fears about them. This phenomenon dates at least back to the introduction of home electrification, which was quite mysterious to many at the time.

More recently, scammers have flogged fears about mobile phones purportedly causing cancer- and it’s been investigated over and over and over, with sample sizes in the tens of thousands and sampling periods of more than a decade. Not a single proven case of radio signal induced illness- of ANY kind, cancer included- has ever been recorded.

With the introduction of ‘smart’ power meters, the ignorant are again being exploited:

HAVE YOUR SAY: Just not what an Ormond doctor ordered

9 Apr 12 @ 12:01am by Jesse Wray-McCann

AN Ormond doctor has had her home painted with electromagnetic shielding paint because she says smart meters in her street are making her ill.

Federica Lamech said she could not work due to debilitating health problems caused by smart meters – even through she did not have one in her own home.

Dr Lamech said she had suffered continuous palpitations, chest pain, lethargy, dizziness, fainting and insomnia since the meters were rolled out in her area in February.

“I am not able to function,” Dr Lamech said.

YShield Electromagnetic Radiation Shielding general manager David Mould said it had painted hundreds of houses since the smart meter rollout began.

“We’ve done four houses this week, in Ormond, East Bentleigh and St Kilda,” Mr Mould said last week.

“Demand is so high we’re having to book jobs weeks in advance.”

She has taken sick leave from her Aspendale Gardens GP practice.

“I can’t work, I can’t look after my family and I need my husband, now the only breadwinner, to take care of me,” Dr Lamech said.

Stop Smart Meters Australia spokesman Marc Florio demanded the State Government follow the lead of the UK Government, which was reportedly planning to make smart meters voluntary.

Government spokeswoman Emily Broadbent said the meters were safe and their radiofrequency emissions were weaker than many other household devices.

Ms Broadbent said the World Health Organisation determined electromagnetic hypersensitivity was not a medical diagnosis.

Wow. A GP, no less, has been conned by an outfit called ‘Yshield Electromagnetic Shielding Technologies‘ into painting her home with ‘electromagnetic shielding paint,’ which Yshield claims has only carbon and no metallic matter in it.

First of all, any device with a microprocessor in it will have a circuit called a ‘clock oscillator’ in it. Clock oscillators generate extremely low level electrical pulses in the radio frequency range.  These pulses are used by the microprocessor to time the execution of lines of code which make digital widgets do what they do. Everything from pocket calculators and digital watches/clocks to TV sets as well as desktop, laptop and tablet computers have clock oscillators. ‘Smart meters’ are no different. Even with highly sensitive receiving equipment, the radio emissions from a clock oscillator are difficult to detect from more than a few centrimetres away.

Second, there’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that radio signals- including extremely weak clock oscillator signals from calculators, watches and WiFi, to the very weak signals from mobile phones, the much stronger signals from microwave ovens to the very strongest RF sources you’re likely to find on earth, those being megawatt-level TV transmitters- cause ANY malady. ‘Electrosensitivity’ is completely imaginary, despite the hordes of unscrupulous ratbags (often on the internet) trying to sell cures and/or mitigations to salve this imaginary malady.

If you REALLY want to block radio signals- and there’s good reasons to do so, particularly if you are working with  sensitive electronic equipment that may not function correctly in the presence of stray RF fields (such as when performing an alignment on a radio receiver), you need what’s known as a ‘Faraday cage.’ A Faraday cage is normally made from brass screening or other highly conductive material that is connected to an earth ground.  There are paints around that will, to some degree, limit passage of radio signals, but all of them have highly conductive metals in them- but none of them will reduce RF field strengths unless connected to ground via a low-impedance path.

The nonsense being sold by Yshield is highly likely to do nothing at all, and worse, to solve  a problem that doesn’t exist.

If you believe you need RF shielding paint, could I interest you in my tiger-repelling rocks? See any tigers? Of course you don’t!

If someone wants your hard-earned dough to ward off those scary radio signals, they’re a scammer, plain and simple.



43 Comments so far
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I have been working with RF since I was a child.
My Grandfather was the design engineer for Radio Australia in Shepparton, my father did Radio Australia in Carnarvon WA after cyclone tracey made short work of the Darwin one.
My Family for generations have worked with RF at levels up to 100 Mega Watts, transmitting 1/2 way around the world.
My Grandfather died in his late 80’s, my Dad is a very fit and healthy man in his late 70’s now and all of us have been exposed to RF radio signals that make Flourescent lights glow without power applied.

The levels coming out of devices like mobile phones and smart meters is tiny compared to that of a two way CB radio in a car or house that many RF enthusiasts use, let alone the Radio and TV stations that transmit across the country.

The RF radiation is everywhere, even in the far outback of Australia, you can listen to the radio.

LIVE WITH IT, the rest of us do.

Comment by Lindsey Hatfield 04.11.12 @ 10:53 am

Thanks for that, Lindsay.

There’s a number of scaremongers driving fears of mobile phones, baby monitors etc. and now ‘smart’ power meters. I have a couple of objections to smart meters, mainly regarding privacy and artificially raising electricity costs, particularly for pensioners and disabled people who are home at all hours, but quite clearly, I don’t have any objections to radio emsissions from the things.

It’s one thing for people to have valid concerns and to have questions answered. It’s quite another when imaginary medical conditions with no basis in scientific evidence are blamed on some sort of unprovable corporate or government conspiracy.

You and I both have been involved with high-strength RF fields for decades. I got my amateur radio licence when I was about 14 and worked as a radio broadcast engineer for yonks. I worked with shortwave transmitters up to 150kW, broadcast band FM transmitters in the 50kW class and broadcast band AM transmitters in the 10-25kW neighborhood- and like you, your father and grandfather, am cancer-free. However, all our experiences still are only classifiable as anecdotes. Finding out whether there’s any sort of hazard from RF takes serious epidemiological and statistical studies- and there have been a couple of very large ones done, accounting for tens of thousands of people over decades of RF exposure- and no statistically significant relationship has yet been found.

Merits mention that there are now some 6 BILLION mobile phones in service- but no correlating increase in cancers. In fact, the coy wag who draws the nerd-comic xkcd even surmises that cancer causes cell phones!

The whole ‘electromagnetic radiation!!!’ scare hinges upon the public perception that there’s only one sort of ‘radiation’ and it’s all the sort that you get from radionuclear materials like uranium and plutonium. The ‘true believers’ and scaremongers refuse to accept that non-ionising radiation is not a hazard. Mind, these are the same goobers who think fluoridated water is some sort of gubmint mind-control plot…

This all would be hilarious if there were not scammers like Yshield & Lyn McLean beating up irrational fears so they can make a profit by selling RF field strength meters and so-called RF-shielding paint to the people whom they’ve scared witless. This is pure con artistry and ought to be illegal. At very least, when you search Ye Goog for ‘Lyn McLean,’ the top ranked result is a post right here on mgk.

I’ve been hoping for some years that McLean would arc up and sue me for calling her a charlatan and a scammer. No such luck- yet, anyway, though I’m quite sure she & her flying monkeys have seen my comments. I would dearly love to get her into a courtroom and make her prove her utterly specious claims. However, like any smart con-artist, she’s avoided such a confrontation, simply because she knows damned well that it would put her right out of business.

Thanks for stopping by!

Comment by weez 04.11.12 @ 12:08 pm

Y-Shield’s web site has some pics of their EMR readings they say are “high” at 146 milliwatts per sq metre. But the standards specify milliwatts per sq CENTImetre. So a reading of 146/m2 = 0.0146 milliwatts per sq m. Doesn’t seem so high now!

I think this guy is a crook preying on the ignorant.

Comment by Jim MacConnell 06.04.12 @ 3:30 pm

Good point Jim. However, since there’s no evidence that RF/EMR at typical levels is in any way harmful to humans, what Yshield measures (or erroneously measures) doesn’t matter one iota. Mr Mould was a crook preying on the ignorant before he put a single “measurement” on his website.

At this moment, I think it’s appropriate to direct gentle readers to the ACCC’s Scamwatch website.

Comment by weez 06.04.12 @ 4:33 pm

Wackoliar of the moment:

The WHO has classed Smart Meters as carcinogenic


studies show that people who live near or under power lines are affected

Total bullshit.

Two lies in one comment? BAM! Bitbucket.

Comment by weez 08.02.12 @ 1:11 pm

oh, and- Wackoliar insists that if there’s a lot of crazy people who post something about their imaginary symptoms on the internet, those symptoms suddenly are provably linked to radio signals.

Wrong again! Thanks for playing.

Comment by weez 08.02.12 @ 1:21 pm

Does the Y-Shield paint actually work to block electromagnetic interference?
I only ask because when I moved into my new apartment, my electric guitars are picking up a loud buzzing noise. Stew Mac sells shielding paint for the electronic cavity area’s, so obviously that works. But at $60 a pint, it is not economical to paint the floor with.

Comment by survivor030406 11.13.12 @ 12:50 pm

Nevermind, a guitar guy on amazon confirms that the product does indeed work.

Comment by survivor030406 11.13.12 @ 1:38 pm

Y-Shield claims that their paint contains carbon particles, which will not reduce RF field strengths. As you note, there are paints that will provide RF shielding, but they contain conductive material like copper and/or zinc. You wouldn’t just have to paint the floor with it, you’d have to paint every interior surface, including windows.

Your ‘guitar guy on Amazon’ is having you on.

Comment by weez 11.13.12 @ 2:29 pm

I’m sure the noise is 60hz, from power mains. Guitars are notorious for picking up 60 cycle hum, especially where the ground is bad. I’m not getting any radio noise here.
So this paint will not block 60 cycle hum from old electric house wiring? I will test the outlet on Wednesday.

Comment by survivor030406 11.13.12 @ 5:21 pm

Nope, Y-Shield won’t block any electromagnetic or radio frequency interference, let alone 60hz.

Check your amplifier for poor solder connections or bad power supply filter capacitors. The cord which connects your guitar to your amp may have poor shielding or a broken shield to ground connection. Try a different cord. You can isolate where the problem might be with a spare 1/4″ plug with all conductors shorted to ground plugged into the amp input. If you still have hum, the problem is in the amp or its power supply, may even be in the house wiring (poor ground connection).

Comment by weez 11.13.12 @ 5:32 pm

I think it’s the house wiring. I will get an outlet tester. I’m predicting some type of fault will be found. One outlet doesn’t even work. I’ve tried 3 amps, 3 guitars, 2 cables. Same buzzing no matter what. But there is no doubt that an electromagnetic field also has a lot to do with it because a guitar near the floor, the buzzing is LOUD, holding a guitar over my head, the buzzing is quieter. Hence picking up noise not from any amp itself. Maybe a faulty ground at the outlet is compounding the problem. At this point I am wondering what an electrician would charge to fix the house wires. There’s no way the landlord will pay for it. And I don’t want to be stuck here and not be able to enjoy some music practice. I will get the shielding paint from Stew Mac and shield inside the guitar cavities. I will post what the results are tomorrow from the outlet test. I am not going to mess with outlet wires myself. Getting an electrician for hopefully a simple affordable fix, I should be good to go.

Comment by survivor030406 11.14.12 @ 10:19 am

I think you’re right about the house wiring. 60Hz intrusion into amplifiers means that the filtering built into the power supply is either not working or can’t discharge the 60Hz energy to ground.

You can paint the guitar cavities with all the shielding paint you like but if there is not a good, low-impedance path to ground, the hum will remain.

The landlord is foolish if s/he doesn’t sort out grounding problems- that’s a liability issue that can very easily come back to bite them. If there’s a poor ground connection in the house wiring, you will find that there’s about 60VAC on metal chassis of appliances with more than enough current to present a nasty, if not lethal shock hazard. If the landlord refuses to repair, you’re within your rights to abandon the lease as the landlord has failed to provide a safely habitable premises.

Comment by weez 11.14.12 @ 10:29 am

Fault isolation in 60Hz buzz problems can be challenging given the nature of VLF signals. One thing I might suggest before you go calling in electricians is to test the guitar & amp in another premises. If the problem disappears in another premises, then I’d consider bringing in the sparkies.

Comment by weez 11.14.12 @ 10:45 am

Hey, would you know, how hard is it to install a new ground?

Comment by survivor030406 11.14.12 @ 11:27 am

wait.. the date shows as tomorrow, so 16 hours ahead? strange.

Comment by survivor030406 11.14.12 @ 11:40 am

Not particularly difficult to add a new ground connection, but the existing one should be made to work properly.

The timestamp is set for the location of this blog’s author- eastern Australia.

Comment by weez 11.14.12 @ 12:19 pm

I tested the outlet today using GB GRT-3500.
It said the outlet is correct.
But something isn’t right with this much noise.
My guess is that the wires are not run through metal conduit. I won’t be ripping out the floor to install that. I’m not sure what I can do now.

Comment by survivor030406 11.15.12 @ 10:01 am

Full conduit is not required for hum-free operation, just a solid ground connection (aside from properly operating equipment).

Need to isolate where the hum is entering the amplifier. Have you tried shorting the amp input to ground? Different cord? Tried using the guitar/cord/amp in another premises?

Comment by weez 11.15.12 @ 10:19 am

I touch a piece of metal (trem bar)to the input end of the cord and the noise goes away, touch to the tip (hot) the noise gets louder.
I’m pretty sure that is normal, as the strings on a guitar with passive electronics are connected to ground.
I have a guitar with active EMG 81/85 pickups. There is no ground according to EMG. Should I do some wort of test with that too?

Comment by survivor030406 11.15.12 @ 10:31 am

You need to be methodical in testing to isolate the entry path of the hum.

1) Take an old 1/4″ plug (or one end of an old patch cord with an inch or so of cable left on it), short all conductors together as shown:

and plug it into the amp input. The amp should be free from hum even with gain all the way up. If you get hum, the problem is either bad power supply filter capacitors inside the amp, a poor connection somewhere inside the amp or a poor connection from the amp chassis to ground. All 3 pins should be present on the wall connector of your amp’s AC line cord- sometimes the gnd pin gets cut off (by silly people) to suit older ungrounded AC mains wall sockets in the US. If the gnd pin has been cut off, replace the AC mains power cord on the amplifier.

2) If you get hum with the input shorted to gnd, try the amp, with the input shorting plug installed, in another premises. This will isolate the cause to either some fault inside the amplifier or to the AC mains wiring in your rental property.

3) If you get no hum with the shorted 1/4″ connector plugged into the amp’s input, plug your usual guitar patch cord into the amp input and short the conductors on the 1/4″ plug on the other end of the cord together. A wrap of copper wire (or aluminium foil) connecting the tip to the ‘ring’ as shown will do:

If you get hum with this arrangement, the patch cord is faulty. Replace the patch cord.

4) If you get no hum with your patch cord which has had one end shorted, but you do get hum when the patch cord is plugged into the guitar, the fault is in the guitar pickups or wiring inside the guitar. Try a different guitar. If a different guitar produces no hum, then investigate the wiring in your usual guitar. Resolder any dodgy connections. If that doesn’t fix it, you may need to replace the pickups.

Comment by weez 11.15.12 @ 12:43 pm

The “Biosafety Report by Cindy Sage” is a bucket of bullshit. Reading pseudoscientific nonsense on Google for a few hours is NOT ‘research.’

Comment by weez 12.24.12 @ 10:45 pm

I know I’m very late into the discussion, but one thing has truck me in weez’s discourse (and I had to get it off my chest): you need to block radio signals when working with very sensitive electronic equipment, but not for a human body…? (only the most sensitive piece of equipment known on this planet!)

Comment by Gosia 08.29.13 @ 4:40 pm

You do have to use a Faraday cage when calibrating radio receivers- but the human body is all but completely insensitive to radio signals. There’s no evidence whatsoever that human “electrosensitivity” exists. No person claiming the affliction has ever been able to accurately determine when a radio signal generating device is turned on or off.

The only effect from human exposure to radio signals is heating- and exposure to radio signals at the levels used for communications produces tissue heating so minimal that it’s indistinguishable from statistical noise. You get an awful lot more heating effect from standing near a wood stove. In fact, the amount of heating you experience from infrared emissions from a 100W incandescent light bulb at 100m away is comparable to the heating you experience from a mobile phone at 1cm away. If you’re worried about 100W incandescent light bulbs 100m away, then by all means- go ahead & panic about mobile phones.

Comment by weez 09.07.13 @ 10:51 am

Crank du Jour:

Author : William Whittingham (IP: , bas1-ottawa08-1176109748.dsl.bell.ca)
E-mail : WilliamW@magma.ca
You’re all so smart. But as a very smart physicist told me once – how much “power”, is in a thought. NOT MUCH. THOUSANDS of times – less – than the measurable power levels of the current emf environment. So, the power levels being blasted about, could EASILY, be affecting and overwhelming the thought, of anyone.

Crime of the century

William, not only are you a credulous moron who cites unnamed ‘experts,’ your computer is emitting GIGAHERTZ worth of mind-altering POISON RAYS. Get away from it NOW! It’s obviously fucked you up beyond repair.


Comment by weez 02.05.14 @ 5:56 pm

Le Cranque Du Jour:

Author : Mike (IP: , ppp121-45-196-232.lns20.cbr1.internode.on.net)
E-mail : mike@wow.com
Whois : http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/
They are not talking about high RF analogue, they are talking about the effects of Digital RF pulsed, there’s a big difference in biological non-thermal effect.

Utter nonsense. The modulation mode makes no difference whatsoever. Stop reading bullshit on kooky websites.

Comment by weez 03.23.14 @ 2:25 pm


Author : PT (IP: ,
E-mail : edgeplasterlinings@gmail.com
Whois : http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/
No doubt you guys are all geniuses, but tell me this, how come in the 50’s cancer was around one in 50 people but now it’s one in 3 people will get cancer in there life. I’m not suggesting that EMR is the only thing to blame but you shouldn’t be so closed minded to think you know everything.

1) Your “1 in 3 cancer” figures are wrong
2) If you live long enough, you will develop some kind of cancer
3) Non-ionising radiation is not mutagenic. Minimum particle energy for mutagenic effects is 1eV. Non-ionising radiation (eg radio signals) is maximum .000001eV or 10^-06 the energy level required for mutagenic effects.
4) Man-made radio signals have been emitted since the 1880s
5) Brain cancer levels have remained stubbornly flat despite the introduction of 6 BILLION mobile phones into the environment since the early 1990s. No correlation at all. Why?
6) The earth has been bathed in both ionising & non-ionising radiation from the sun for about 4 billion years.
7) Go away and play with your conspiracy theory loving mates, I’m not interested.


Comment by weez 05.01.14 @ 2:05 pm

Knuttebagge du jour

Author : mick (IP: , 175.208-26-211.dynamic.dsl.mel.iprimus.net.au)
E-mail : tyrell1@iprimus.com.au
Whois : http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/
Agree the paint merchants are less than ethical BUT the bottom line is ( I’m delighted to stand corrected ) is that you, or no one knows the precise effect of waves on atomic ‘communication’ waves in DNA replication. After all the bottom line is cancer is nothing more than polluted atomic sequence caused by corrupt ‘wave’ ( bonding ) communication. So I’d keep and open mind until it’s proven these DNA frequencies are known and proven 100% not to be influence by larger wave frequencies.

‘DNA frequencies’?! ‘DNA communication waves’?! Hilarious!

6 billion mobile phones introduced into the environment since 1993 and no even remotely corresponding health effects. No lines out the door at cancer clinics, no mass graves filling up with ‘victims’ of radio signals.

No one’s else DNA appears to be as sensitive as yours. What makes yours so special?

My strong advice to you is that you wrap your entire body in silver-plated brass screening, silver soldered at all joins, and connect it with 25mm welding cable to a 2.5 metre long copper rod driven into moist earth.

Then, and only then, will your ‘atomic DNA frequencies’ go unmolested by the barrage of radio signals in which this planet has been bathed for lo these last 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years from our local star and the billions of others in all our neighbouring galaxies.

Would like to take this opportunity to mention that the computing device you’ve used today to decry the effects of ‘frequencies’ on DNA is happily percolating away with its clock oscillator, CPU, GPU & other associated widgetry emitting a steady stream of non-ionising radiation. I will see to it that you are granted a VC for braving the DNA corrupting hazards of said device to warn me and everyone else of the corruptive effects of ‘frequencies’ on DNA. Il est donc très courageux de ta part!


Comment by weez 07.01.14 @ 9:12 am

Author : George (IP: , no-reverse-dns.metronet-uk.com)
E-mail : G30rg3Haslam9402@aol.uk
Surely tests must have been carried out before the seller could start selling RF shielding paint? Either that, or the GP should have thought about asking first!

Considering there is no evidence for health hazards from radio signals, be they from mobile phones or any other source, it doesn’t really matter whether efficacy is tested or not, does it?

‘EMR shielding paint’ is snake oil. It is sold by con artists who first scare the wits out of underinformed people. The hucksters usually also sell radio frequency field strength meters which may indeed show the presence of a radio signal, but if there’s no evidence there’s any harm from said signals- what’s the point? It’s a scam, no more, no less.

I have for many years been daring con artists to sue me for calling them con artists but I’ve had no takers. There’s a very good reason for this- in a courtroom, the huckster would be compelled to produce scientific evidence of the harm their product is supposed to protect against- and quite obviously, none can do so.

I hope you haven’t been taken in by the scammers. If you have, I hope you can get your money back.

Comment by weez 07.04.14 @ 9:51 pm

TANYA: Your smart meter didn’t make you sick. They’ve never made ANYONE sick. Nobody has an ‘EMR/RF tolerance threshhold.’ Humans can not sense the presence of radio signals. Anyone who says they can is at best mistaken or at worst is lying… and may be doing so in order to sell you rubbish like ‘EMR shielding paint,’ field strength meters or other crap which is only capable of curing you of a heavy wallet.

Comment by weez 01.29.15 @ 12:06 pm

My disclaimer: I have a hard time believing that the electromagnetic fields in a home have any effect on the body and I am not endorsing the preying on hysterical people. I am not in the business of painting people’s houses with this coating material (Yshield). I do not sell it.

But I have used it. I am in the business of applying EMI shielding materials to plastic enclosures to prevent EMI/RFI from screwing up the equipment inside. We coat the insides of everything from IV pumps to agricultural irrigation controllers and our clients specify the coating materials per their RF engineers.

One client that manufactures arc welding equipment in the US was having trouble with interference from the arcs (very strong EMI) affecting its own controllers. They tried copper and nickel shielding coatings to no avail. This YShield stuff worked for them when nothing else would, much to my surprise. It’s really quite conductive, so it does make a reasonable facsimile of a Faraday cage when used properly (on an enclosure that completely surrounds the electronics inside).

Again, not saying this “paint your house” use is appropriate, because of all the reasons you’ve pointed out, but at least the stuff does physically work as a shielding coating. My $0.02

Comment by Mike Moninger 03.06.15 @ 12:17 am

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your comment.

RF shielding paint in and of itself is not new. It’s been used in test bench, broadcast and amateur radio equipment for yonks. Mind you, I’m very surprised to hear that copper/nickel plating didn’t do a good job in the arc welding application. I would be doubtful of such a claim of a failure of copper/nickel vs conductive paint until I saw a proper test from a qualified lab. My doubts remain simply because there’s simply no way a conductive/semiconductive material suspended in a solvent solution would be as low impedance a conductor as metallic copper. If a conductive paint worked better than copper foil, there was a problem with how the copper was connected to ground or a problem with the ground connection or technique (eg daisy-chain rather than star ground).

If indeed your comments are true, my strong suspicion is that Yshield are buying an already commercially available product which is effective for electronics applications, relabelling it and selling it for the ‘off-label’ purpose of protecting people from a threat that doesn’t exist.

Even if the Yshield product were effective in an electronics application, I would not purchase it if but for the fact that it is being promoted as a cure for the non-existent ‘electrosensitivity’ health issue.

Comment by weez 03.06.15 @ 5:58 am

Hi, Just wanted to post an update on things here.
I moved out of that house. The amp I was using, Behringer V5, eventially earned a reputation for this noise problem. I bought a newer/better amp. I traded sold the V5. Problem solved. I have a 1 watt Blackstar amp. Love it.
Thank you for trying to help.

Comment by survivor030406 03.06.15 @ 11:33 am

Oh good! Thanks for the followup. :)

Comment by weez 03.06.15 @ 12:05 pm

wow, that was a fast response. thanks.
I’m curious, how do you run a blog like this and keep it updated so quick? Do you work from a tablet with a notification plugin on the browser?

Comment by survivor030406 03.06.15 @ 1:10 pm

The tiger repelling rocks don’t work if you cover them with shielding paint.

Comment by averald 04.02.15 @ 4:04 pm

The blog notifies me of comments… sometimes.

Strangely, I still haven’t seen any tigers despite rolling my tiger-detecting rock thoroughly in faerie poo.

Comment by weez 04.02.15 @ 4:42 pm

okay, so I am a complete novice, and maybe then you can advise… I have an electrical, and cell, cable closet for my entire building just the other side of my bathroom in my apartment. It serves a 46 story building. And I bought an emf reader since i am having a baby who will be living right next to this electrical closet. The reader goes literally off the charts in this area of my apt from a reading of 3 or 5 to way past the top reading of 120. What should I do to block this EMF from my apt. Both me and my spouse have severe sleep apnea and dont know what if any relationship this all has. HELP! any suggestions would be welcome, we were considering buying the paint to sheild the wall the EMFs are coming thru… thanks in advance. Bob in NYC.

Comment by bob 04.03.15 @ 4:59 am

The classic modus operandi of con artists is to convince underinformed people that there’s something to be afraid of and then sell them a solution to allay their fears. Sorry to say it but you’ve been fooled. You’ve wasted your money on the ‘emf reader.’ It doesn’t give you any useful information. ‘3 or 5 to 120’? 120 what? Unicorns? Get a refund if you can, but I strongly suspect you can’t.

There’s been more than 25,000 peer reviewed research papers published over the last 30 years looking at biological effects of EMR on human health. No effects, positive or negative, have been found.

Radio signals and electromagnetic fields are a form of non-ionising radiation. Non-ionising radiation is harmless to living tissue as long as the field strength is not high enough to induce heating. As long as you don’t defeat the safety interlock on your microwave oven or touch an energised radio transmitting antenna, radio signals cannot hurt you.

You don’t need to worry about shielding yourself or your baby from EMF since it has no effect on human health.

There’s certainly no connection with sleep apnoea. Please consult a reputable GP and get a referral to a sleep specialist.

Good luck getting your money back for the ‘emf meter’ from the con artist.

Comment by weez 04.03.15 @ 8:05 am

Seriously though… Smart meters are less efficient than that of their analog counterparts. Analog meters are 99.97% accurate for their lifespan of about 80 years vs. that of a smart meter that are projected at 94.68% accurate over 5 years. This seems to be that there is something else at work here. Setting aside that cell phones are a choice vs. a smart meter which has become non optional if you want electricity. (Land lines still exist). All that aside radar towers and microwave ovens can kill people and they operate in the RF spectrum. Any licensed HAM operator will tell you that severe radoation burns and even death can result from being an idiot around any high output RF tower. Forgive me should I not want an 800w transmitter on the back of my house. Let alone next to my head every night for 8 hours. Sure antifreeze won’t kill in small enough quantities that doesn’t mean I’ll add a drop of it to my coffee every morning. That said will this paint be effective likely not based on these charts. Should we not be concerned by the alarming rise in RF…? One cell phone by itself is nearly harmless. But factoring in that each one has a 25w multiband transmitter multiplied by how many people around you at any given time also have one. Sure out here in Idaho I don’t have to worry but say in New York City. ‘Twould be a shame if the effects were cumulative. ‘Specially after all that math.

Comment by Jason 04.07.15 @ 5:55 am

Faraday cages don’t need to be connected to any ground to work. You linked to the Wikipedia page, it’s all described there. Especially read the “Adaptations” setion. Lining a room with conductive paint (and covering all the windows and doors) should work just fine to block RF.

FYI I found this page because I work with RF not because I am afraid of it. Also someday I’d love to tell people I have a Faraday cage instead of a Man Cave. Currently I call that room “the e-lab”.

Comment by Brian Wilson 04.07.15 @ 8:48 am

Oh boy, Jason, where do I start?

Wherever you are getting your data from is a very poor quality source of information. Your data is so bad that it’s not even wrong.

Smart meters are no less accurate than electromechanical meters. I used to work for a company in Lafayette Indiana which built equipment to calibrate power meters at their point of manufacture, notably Landis & Gyr, also in Lafayette. Smart meters are a fair bit MORE accurate than electromechanical types, and over a wider range of temperatures. Typical accuracy of a kWh power meter is .05ppm (eg 99.999995% accurate).

Properly operating radar installations and microwave ovens are harmless to health, full stop.

I AM a licensed ham radio operator and have been one for nearly 40 years! The only way you will ever get an RF burn is by touching an energised antenna. While I’m pleased that you consider licensed hams expert enough to use them in an example defending your point (although it appears you don’t know any nor have asked their opinion), hams don’t actually have to have much of an electronics education to pass a license exam. The exams for the Foundation class license in Australia and Technician class license in the US can be passed with nothing more than rote memorisation of Ohm’s Law and a few permutations. You won’t find anything in either exam regarding RF exposure, yet once having passed the exams, the candidates are ‘licensed ham radio operators’! While there are a few such RF safety questions in the Australian Advanced Class (top class) exam (yep, that’s me, along with an FCC 1st Class radiotelephone ticket from 1980, later known as General Radiotelephone license- with radar endorsement), the premises for the questions are wrong. And by the way, ‘ham’ is not an acronym and is never capitalised!

What is this 800W transmitter that you don’t want in the back of your house? I have a 400W transmitter on my desk and would have a 1500W transmitter if but for the fact that the amateur power limit in Australia is 400W. When I was living in the US, I did have a 1500W PEP power amplifier for 160-10 metres.

Smart meters definitely do not have 800W transmitters in them! The ones I’ve worked with have GSM cellular data communications modules in them which output 1 watt in the 800MHz band. Are you confusing the power output [watts] with the operating frequency [MHz]? And if it was next to your head- no problem!

Not sure what antifreeze has to do with non-ionising radiation, but this quotation is pertinent: “Tout est poison, rien n’est poison, tout est une question de dose.” which means “Everything is poisonous, nothing is poisonous, it is all a matter of dose.“ — Claude Bernard, Pathologie Expérimentale (1872). Drinking 6L of water in a few hours will kill you. The human body naturally contains arsenic and radium in tiny amounts- and it has no health effects in these amounts. The same with ethylene glycol (typical antifreeze). The LD50 for ethylene glycol in humans is 398mg/kg. A daily dose of 1 drop (eg 1mg) would be subclinical, meaning no health effects at all. Of course, that’s the data for ethylene glycol. There’s certainly more poisonous substances which do have cumulative effect with small dosages eg. elemental mercury, plutonium, etc.

No, we should not be concerned with the ‘alarming rise in RF.’ There’s been 6 BILLION mobile phones introduced into the environment since 1993 and there’s been no correlating increase in any health effect- brain cancer rates remain stubbornly flat.

No idea where you got the idea that cellular telephones have 25 watt transmitters in them- that’s completely wrong. Early AMPS cellular phones could put 600mW (0.6 or 6/10 of 1 watt) into a 50 ohm dummy load in the 800MHz band. CDMA phones are limited to 2W at 1800MHz but more typically only generate 250mW (1/4 of one watt). More power isn’t desirable as the phone will have a tendency to try to log in to more than one cell site at a time, which stuffs up the routing.

Regardless, the power output level of any RF source is immaterial given RF is non-ionising radiation and as such not proven to cause any health problems. There has never been a single proven case of any health issue caused by exposure to communications level radio frequency signals.

Whatever RF scaremongering website is supplying you with information is absolutely wrong. RF is harmless as long as the field strength is not sufficient to cause tissue heating. What level causes heating? It’d be about 100x the limit imposed on mobile phones eg 10W/kg to raise tissue 1°C. If you weigh 75kg, to raise the entire body by 1°C, you’d need a 750W transmitter and would have to find a way of containing that signal and coupling it into a human body efficiently, meaning you’d have to find a frequency of operation that would match whatever a human body happens to resonate at. Suffice it to say that you won’t find those conditions in any normally occurring situation, certainly not with a mobile phone, ham radio transmitter nor any TV/radio broadcast facility.

Aside from thermal induction, communications level RF exposure has no human health effects let alone any cumulative effect. And as regards thermal induction, about 10 minutes in front of a typical wood fueled fireplace will give you more thermal induction than a lifetime of exposure to communications level RF energy.

Stop reading nutbag websites. They’re worrying you needlessly. ESPECIALLY stay away from the ones trying to sell you ‘cures’ or mitigations for RF exposure. Nothing but con artists.

Comment by weez 04.07.15 @ 9:49 am

Sorry Brian, that’s not correct. Faraday cages do need to be grounded, else they behave as high pass filters, where the pass freq is any shorter wavelength than the size of the apertures in the screening material. If your ungrounded cage is made from a solid, highly conductive sheet (conductive paint won’t make the ‘highly conductive’ definition), you’ll have a better chance of attentuation in the regions where you are apt to find signal from man made sources but there will still be signal passed.

If your solid walled enclosure is not grounded, signal will still pass through but the frequencies passed will depend upon the size of the walls. If, for example, you have a solid walled cube where the diagonal of each side is 3m, I’d expect transmission of signals in the 100MHz area.

If grounded via a low-Z path to a highly conductive grounding system, you’ll have a good chance of nearly no signal intrusion as the signal will follow the low resistance/impedance path to ground.

If you want radio silence… ground it!

Wikipedia is only as good as its citations. If the sources are not peer reviewed scientific journals nor from authoritative sources eg IEEE et al, then you’re being led down the rosy. FYI, I’ve removed the link to the Wikipedia entry as it appears to be edited frequently by less-than-experts.

Comment by weez 04.07.15 @ 9:58 am

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