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Life Arts    H4'ed 1/25/15

EMF Exposure in Cars

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An Electronic Silent Spring
An Electronic Silent Spring
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A Question from a Concerned Citizen

An Answer from Dr. Gary Olhoeft

"Within an electric or hybrid (gasoline + electric) powered automobile, what is the irradiation level one encounters? What is the Gauss reading (if that is the appropriate measurement scale)? How hazardous is this exposure?"

"Thank you for considering this question. I am particularly concerned about the radiation exposure of children and pregnant women riding in these new vehicle types."

Dr. Gary Olhoeft, professor emeritus of geophysics at The Colorado School of Mines and an electrical engineer, answered the question this way:

"Not an easy question to answer. Older cars had a lot of RFI (radiofrequency interference) that was suppressed or filtered so you could hear the radio and not the spark plugs. Diesel vehicles are better (no spark plugs). Newer hybrid or electric cars have charging systems, and newer cars of any kind have multiple computers, autobraking, collision avoidance systems, WiFi, Bluetooth, cell phones, and many more sources of EMI/RFI, that depend on the car. It also depends on where you sit in the car or walk around the outside of it, what you're exposed to. Most of these new car systems also cannot be disabled or turned off. A GPS receiver or a radar speed detector are ok, but the rest include transmitters with varying EM issues. Because of the many options available in cars, the EMI/RFI problems have to be measured for each car."

Posted by Katie Singer


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Katie Singer writes about nature and technology in Letters to Greta. She spoke about the Internet's footprint in 2018, at the United Nations' Forum on Science, Technology & Innovation, and, in 2019, on a panel with the climatologist Dr. (more...)

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