Up to 60 percent of our electromagnetic exposure at home comes from incorrect electrical wiring and being near electrical appliances. Below, we've grouped these appliances into risk categories—very high to very low—based on the milligauss units at 1 foot. Generally, electromagnetic fields drop to naturally occurring levels within 3 to 4 feet from each appliance. The length of exposure time must also be considered, because it can dramatically alter the overall effect of the magnetic field.

Units at 1 foot

Units at 3 feet

VERY HIGH RISK

can opener

7.19-163.02

1.30-6.44

computer monitor

0.20-134.7

0.01-9.37

electric razor*

100 (at 6 inches)

20 (at 1 foot)

HIGH RISK

desktop light

32.81

1.21

desktop light

32.81

1.21

hair dryer

0.1-70

0.1-2.8

microwave oven

0.59-54.33

0.11-4.66

portable fan

0.04-85.64

0.03-3.12

MODERATE RISK

drill press

0.21-33.33

0.03-8.35

mixer

0.49-41.21

0.09-3.93

printer

0.74-43.11

0.18-2.45

range

0.60-35.93

0.05-2.83

scanner

2.18-26.91

0.09-3.48

vacuum cleaner

7.06-22.62

0.51-1.28

LOW RISK

aquarium pump

0.35-18.21

0.01-1.17

band saw

0.51-14.24

0.05-0.75

clock

0.34-13.18

0.03-0.68

clothes iron

1.66-2.93

0.25-0.37

coffee machine

0.09-7.30

0-0.61

copier

0.05-18.38

0-2.39

dishwasher

4.98-8.91

0.84-1.63

food processor

6.19

0.35

garbage disposal

2.72-7.79

0.19-1.51

portable heater

0.11-19.60

0-1.38

radio

0.43-4.07

0.03-0.98

sewing machine

3.79-7.70

0.35-0.45

tape player

0.13-6.01

0.01-1.66

television

1.80-12.99

0.07-1.11

toaster

0.29-4.63

0.01-0.47

VERY LOW RISK

fax machine

0.16

0.03

refrigerator

0.12-2.99

0.01-0.60

VCR

0.19-4.63

0.01-0.41

vending machine

0.46-5.05

0.02-0.59

Source for milligauss amounts: School Exposure Assessment Survey by L. Zaffanella (California Electric and Magnetic Fields Program, November 1997), interim results.

*Source for milligauss amounts: Consumer's Guide (Environmental Protection Agency), which reported that electric razors at 6 inches emit an EM reading anywhere from 4 milligauss to 600 milligauss with a median of 100 milligauss, and, at 1 foot, emit up to 100 milligauss with a median of 20 milligauss.