EMF Exposure in Cars

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.”

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