Sal La Duca – Environmental Assay, Inc. – Electricity, EMF’s & IEQ, Part 2; How to assess issues!

Air Date: 2-23-2018|Episode 495

This week we are bringing back Sal La Duca for part 2 of our discussion on electricity, EMF’s & IEQ. Electricity and electric fields are all around us we keep adding them yet we do not know much about how they affect the health of occupants or if they affect health. Is it possible that they have affects we don’t understand? We do know that when installed improperly electric systems can cause a variety of issues. We also know how to find improper installations and to how to reduce the potential for exposure. In Part 1 Mr. La Duca walked us through the basics from the generating facility to the wiring in our home. Part 2 will focus on how to evaluate the issues and what equipment is used to help determine if we have issues.

Full Description:

This week we are bringing back Sal La Duca for part 2 of our discussion on electricity, EMF’s & IEQ. Electricity and electric fields are all around us we keep adding them yet we do not know much about how they affect the health of occupants or if they affect health. Is it possible that they have affects we don’t understand? We do know that when installed improperly electric systems can cause a variety of issues. We also know how to find improper installations and to how to reduce the potential for exposure. In Part 1 Mr. La Duca walked us through the basics from the generating facility to the wiring in our home. Part 2 will focus on how to evaluate the issues and what equipment is used to help determine if we have issues.

Sal La Duca is an Environmental Consultant specializing in the built environment, with over 40 years’ experience in instrumentation and controls. Mr. La Duca started out as a Nuclear Reactor Operator / Reactor Technician (Instrumentation and Control Technician – Nuclear) on the USS Mississippi . After discharge, he was offered employment by Jersey Central Power and Light to help built a Radiological Survey instrument repair facility at their Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant in Forked River, NJ. From there he migrated to the Communications department, where he performed installation, calibration, and repairs of various generations of remote-control supervisory equipment for power system control. In 1994 he incorporated and began offering Electromagnetic Field services to clients. In 1999 he sought and acquired additional training with the Institute of Building Biology and Ecology, and expanded service offerings to include Indoor Air Quality. Since then he has added IAQ certifications through IAQA and ACAC. Most importantly he has real world experience on residential, commercial and industrial projects and takes a practical approach to the topic. LEARN MORE this week on IAQ Radio!

Z-Man’s Blog:

“What you didn’t know about Electricity, EMFs & IEQ, Part 2”  
Sal La Duca joined us on today’s episode of IAQradio to continue our discussion of electricity, EMFs and IEQ. Sal discussed the tools needed to evaluate the issues. Sal is an environmental consultant with over 40 years of real world experience in Electric Power Systems and Electronic Controls. The latest 18 years of that has also included IAQ services.
Nuggets mined from today’s episode:
3 types of electrical exposures commonly occur at home: electric fields, magnetic fields and radio frequency. The power cord of a desk lamp emits an electrical field. Blenders and washing machines can emit magnetic fields. Radio frequencies have various intensity and modulation. Some radio frequencies (i.e. cell phones and routers) are pulsed. An AM radio can be used to demonstrate the presence of electronic noise.

Landline phones have better audio and are safer to use. The fine print in the cell phone instruction book warns not to put next to your ear. Cell phone manufacturers don’t discuss the potential ramifications of cell phone use. The safest way to use a cell phone is on speakerphone setting. Radio frequencies travel into free space. Anything conductive can attract lightning, several incidents with earphone cord injuries: scorched skin and exploded eardrums. Air tube listening elements without wires are available for some brands of cell phones.

Notes on PowerPoint:
Many of Sal’s consultations begin with a phone inquiry something like this: “I just bought a meter, it measures something, we got a reading of 2, what does it mean, is that bad, and how can it be fixed? Electrical exposures aren’t limited to only magnetic fields and may come from other sources. How much detail does the client want or need to know? Motors with brushes add to the background of 60 Hertz.
In IAQ air samples are numbers based. Particle size, velocity, geometry, abundant or intermittent. Sal’s site inspections and the information gathered are similar. Some electrical fields may be constant, magnetic fields and harmonics may be intermittent, radio frequencies are found “when devices seem to do things magically”. Harmonics are higher frequency echoes of (or multiples of) the input of 60 Hertz. Only odd harmonics show up. Harmonics can be biologically irritating and complex. Fluorescent lighting is the first harmonic source to look for. Fluorescent lights of all types: compact, loops, use Current in an non-smooth / nonlinear fashion. LEDs do the same thing but with less electrical current. All digital devices (cell phones, computers, etc.) are also nonlinear. Power Quality Meter measures harmonic intensity relation to 60 Hertz/120 volts. Cause, intensity and relevance.
First check- Non-contact voltage probe sensitive enough to measure 12 Volt lighting and controls. Determines if Romex wire is present? Armored wire reduces 99% of emission, only background measurement is found. E Field Meter which costs $2K doesn’t tell cause or polarities, isn’t intuitive and isn’t needed.

Field Detection & Measurement- Body Voltage Surrogate. A metal rod in ground and long wire to meter. Warning: Do not use ground lug on live outlets, it could have 120 V on it.

The bedroom is a primary area of interest because people spend most of their time there. Turn off all the breakers. Turn them back on one at a time, so that only one is on at any time, and measure for the Body Voltage from each. After determining which outlets are causing the problems, occupants can turn circuits off at night to improve sleeping. Mattresses have metallic springs, echo electric noise so are not electrically quiet.
Case study: Incontinence in a young child cured when electric field sources were identified for the sleep area, and turned off Physicians aren’t trained to consider electrical as a cause for health issues. Doctors don’t accept anecdotal evidence, they want to sacrifice lab animals and people to confirm what is already known.

80%-90% of homes are wired with Romex. It’s generally not worth the cost of removal and replacement with armored wire. If, when the opportunity to open walls and ceilings presents itself, that’s the time to switch out the Romex.

Second check- A 3 coil Gaussmeter (FW Bell 4080 were available from $70-$100 cost, now new replacement model is $400) measures alternating magnetic fields which differ from normal background. This meter can define both the shape of the field and provide info about whether anything can be done about it. Dr Gauss (cost $40) analog meter is more intuitive but must be aligned with the field.
Measurements from a Gaussmeter can be complemented with clamp on Current probe, and Current measurement should read −0-, no matter how much current is used, when you measure Supply and Return wires together. Ohmmeter is used to check materials for shielding, and current probe to identify the source of current. While aluminum window screens provide shielding, many window screens have aluminum frames and plastic screens! Conductive paint needs to be grounded. Some shielding products and devices claiming to clean electricity or improve harmonization actually make matters worse.

Case study: A client bought a Gaussmeter which read every time the HVAC system activated. By taking readings of the cable supplying power to the HVAC unit with a clamp on Current probe and using a 3 Axis Gauss meter, Sal was able to trace the problem to the condensate pump outlet.

Third check- AM radio can be used to identify harmonics. Digital Meters strobe the digits to conserve battery life. AM radio set between stations will pick up strobing as electrical noise.  If detectable- intense on the low end Find silence between stations. Turn up the volume. Approach devices and listen for audible electrical noise. If the source of noise is indoors turn off breakers and panels and noise should go away. Turn back on one-by-one to determine where the problem is. Power Quality Analyzer- is a combination oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer.
Fourth check- Checking Radio Frequency- gets complicated quickly. Is a luxury of time and resources available? New WIFI is 5.8 gigahertz? Do you want what is useful or do you want cosmic background and oddball frequencies? Is RF close to the max permissible exposure regs?

Spectral measurements- OR- RF meter with bulb on it, measures X, Y and Z Axis. Determines whether a problem does or doesn’t exist?  Measures intensity when used indoors also takes outdoor measurements.

Case study:  Identified where radio frequency interference was caused by dimmer switches operating incandescent lights. Used RF meter to identify the uniform source. Once the dimmers were removed, the background was undetectable except where router was.
Summary- EMFs travel at the speed of light. Wavelength can be between 4″ and 3,000 miles. The length of the wavelength comes into play. Are we in the near field or far field? A cell phone held to the ear is near field. Walking through an airport with your phone stowed away, and turned off, is far field relative to everyone else’s phone.
Harmonics are between near and far field. Harmonics ride on something else (electric or magnetic fields). We’re always in the near field of harmonics.
Z-Man signing off
Trivia Question:
The reliability and precision of an ordinary mechanical watch can be affected by magnetic fields. Legendary Swiss watch maker Rolex developed a special model that is resistant to magnetic fields, name it?
Trivia Answer:
Millgauss
Please follow and like us: