Rear-seat EMF below 2mG to reduce risk of childhood leukemia?

Rear-seat EMF below 2mG to reduce risk of childhood leukemia?

Hello all,

As many of you know, EMF is generally considered safe, even at high exposures. Nevertheless, studies have found a link between high power lines (which emit EMF) and childhood leukemia [1], and possibly some forms of brain cancer. While statistically significant, the risk is modest, and there is no known mechanism of action. Attempts to reproduce the findings in animal models have failed.

While there is no proven causative link (and, in fact, this leukemia could be explained by other factors, such as high pesticide use around high power lines), prudence dictates that I limit my children's exposure to EMF to a level below 2 mG. That would include the rear seats of a Tesla, in which my children might be sitting for hours a day in car seats, unable to shift their position, for years.

Has anyone measured AC magnetic fields in the rear seat of a Tesla with a tri-axis gaussmeter? What were the readings at cruise and under hard acceleration? Has anyone attempted to redirect the fields using a nickel-iron based alloy like mu-metal?



P.S. The following responses are not helpful:
a) Mockery.
b) Statements that EMF is non-ionizing (noted, but ionizing radiation is not the only cancer promoting agent).
c) Links to research on EMF in animal models (noted).
d) Statements that much higher exposures to EMF exist elsewhere in a household (yes, but not for hours at a time, every day of the week for years, and not to infants).
e) Links to other threads, unless the linked-to thread answers my question specifically.

DBT | 4 March, 2013

Yes that pure clean car exhaust. Stick your face in the tailpipe and breath in deeply for gentle cleansing of your lungs with pure healing dinosaur extract.

Brian H | 4 March, 2013

Did I say it was "clean"? Stop changing the subject. I said there is normally little CO, unless run in a confined space.

penguin_brian | 5 March, 2013

While lead my no longer be used in cars (or paints), its usage in cars may affect us for a long time in the future. Lead doesn't break down and will stay around for ever. Unlike EMF which will stop as soon as the electrical current stops. Also EMF only affects people in the immediate vicinity, where as car exhausts go everywhere.

The local media ran a story on the lead issue last night.

danielccc | 6 March, 2013

I had no idea Australia was so late phasing out leaded gasoline. 2002? That's even later than Europe and much of Latin America, and even neighboring New Zealand.

Somebody should be mad about that.

av | 25 July, 2013

I realize this is an old thread. Thought this may be of interest ...

I agree with the original poster that ELF/EMF is a concern.
I had the same question for Toyota's hybrid models. My Toyota Echo emits 2-3mG at the driver's right leg location when the engine is running.

I was concerned enough about the ELF/EMF from the distribution line across the street that I developed and deployed an EMF cancellation system for my house.

If interested the details are here:


KayaSoze | 8 October, 2013

I recently test drove a Model S and measured EMF levels in the backseat using a Bell-4180 Triple-Axis Gaussmeter. A Tesla rep. had mentioned that I was not the first person to do this, and claimed that the EMF levels in a Model S are "below that of a gas-powered car." I did not find that to be true, but the levels are not the worst I have measured.

I found EMF in the Model S to be below an ICE-powered car (nominally 2 mG) at idle and when coasting, but spike to around 15 mG when accelerating. This is actually much better than measured hybrids--the CMax Energi emits 15 mG simply by turning on the car, and a Prius is around 6 mG. Still, it is higher than a LEAF, which never goes above 2 mG. I wonder if this EMF is generated when modulating power to the traction control system, in which case it should be lower when in an eco mode, or with traction control disabled.

15 mG is roughly comparable to standing about a foot from an active microwave, though, to be clear, we are not measuring microwave radiation (what actually cooks your food), but rather EMF, which will be emitted from any electrical device, such as a mobile phone, which will emit much more.

I look forward to measuring the Model X. I would be happier if levels could be kept below 2mG at all times given that my children will likely spend a thousand hours in the car. As it stands now, the LEAF is preferable from an EMF standpoint.

While EMF has been shown to be non-ionizing, the link to childhood leukemia remains statistically significant, albeit weak. One theory supposes that EMF interferes with DNA repair, which could indirectly increase cancer incidence by interfering with natural repair mechanisms in those with particular genes (XRCC1). See

P.S. Reading this thread saddens me. I was hoping for more helpful responses, but the majority of posts serve no purpose, except perhaps to embarrass mankind forever. You are not as clever as you think you are; please refrain.

Brian H | 8 October, 2013

Why not worry about the far more potent and generally distributed "threat", the mobile phone? As you admit, it "will emit much more", and much closer than 1 foot! And for much more, lifetime, than a thousand hours. Most users will exceed that in a year or two.

jstack6 | 8 October, 2013

the Swedish TOC standard is 2 MG or less for 1 hour or less.

It's very distance limited so only small children with their feet down on the area very close to the motor would be affected. I used my meter in hybrids and pure electrics. The EV1 was quite bad with 10-40 MG right in the front seats.
The Tesla Roadster is high right behind the seats which is where the AC motor is. My Nissan LEAF and Ford Focus 100% pure electric are very clean with only a small reading in the Focus near the drivers right knee.

Small children are affected the most. High power lines are very bad and some schools near them had high cancer rates. In our area the utility lets people walk and bicycle below the 750 Kw lines. I measured 20-100 MG. It's a true hazard but no one cares.

Timo | 8 October, 2013

Megagauss is a bit rough magnetic field. I seriously doubt you measured that anywhere. Kw is not a unit of anything that I know of.

Earth magnetic field strength is 250-600mG at ground level.

Jclee | 12 October, 2013

@ Kaiser

Thank you for measuring the EMF in the Model S, and compare it to other EVs.

In the case of CMax Energi, the source of the EMF is not from the actively running electric motor, since it is measure idle. While for Model S, it seems related to acceleration (spike of current in the wires, inverter/regulator, and the spinning motor).

According to this study, many ICE cars that have much higher EMF. Some BMWs, MBs and Audis have up to 100 mG. What car are you driving now? Please see the list in the site:

It seems that luxury cars with more electronic gadgets have high EMF.

If we are measuring the same thing, then EMF from EVs are the same as ICE cars, and are much lower than those new luxury brands.

Brian H | 12 October, 2013

How strong is the EMF 18" in front of your computer screen?

jstack6 | 13 October, 2013

I have measured EMP in every vehicle. I also check under power lines and power boxes and transformers where I work. The Swedish have the TOC 2 MG or less standard and have done many tests. Read about the Great Power line cover up.

Line splicers at the telephone company where I worked as an engineer where getting breast cancer. We traced it to 4-6 hours working very close to high power lines.

The EV1 was very bad with 5 to 30 MG right in the front seats (they have no back seats). It would rise as you accelerated. The Tesla Roadster has the same high levels right behind the seats at the driver and passengers back. It would really rise as the do a fast acceleration start up.

My LEAF and Focus are very clean with almost zero readings of EMF. The Focus just has 2-6 MG near the drivers right knee. In Europe it would be the drivers left knee.

The Swedish TOC standards say it only affects you blood corpuscles and sexual organs! Children are the most affected. google it if you dare.

Timo | 13 October, 2013

Again Mega Gauss is something you definitely wont see anywhere in normal environment. Get your units right. If you are talking about milligauss then use mG. 30MG would rip any metal out of your clothing, shred your cellphone and mangle your car into unrecognizable pile of twisted metal.

28 MG: strongest (pulsed) magnetic field ever obtained (with explosives) in a laboratory (VNIIEF in Sarov, Russia, 1998)

Jolinar | 13 October, 2013

Timo, not all people appreciate units (kW, kWh, mG, MG...) as we do.

jstack6, what EMF can you measure next to the mobile phone while talking?

CalDreamin | 13 October, 2013

For some perspective, some might believe that EMF is correlated with a cancer risk, but benzene which is in gasoline is classified as a known human carcinogen for leukemia. Don't breathe gasoline fumes, or let it contact your skin.

Jclee | 13 October, 2013

jstack6, did you measure Model S EMF? What are the readings beside the back seat? (Kaizer measured it, less than 2 mG when idle or cruising, 15 mG during hard acceleration).

Kaizer, you mentioned less than 2 mG at cruising, what does cruising mean? Foot off accelerator, or foot on the accelerator and keep motor actively running to keep the car at a constant speed?

Since Leaf can achieve the feat of less than 2 mG, there likely a mitigation that can be applied to the Model S or future Model X, like install additional shields. Does anyone have any ideas?

Where is the source of the spike of EMF during acceleration? Battery, cable, inverter, or the motor?

Pungoteague_Dave | 13 October, 2013

People who are oblivious to their own mortality tend to spend their time focusing on this kind of claptrap. Average life expectancy has doubled in the past 100 years yet I am still planning to be dead for a very long time. How we choose to spend the few moments we have with our eyes open says a lot about our values and practical view on our own existence. I choose to live life rather than live in the fantasy that we can take actions that will make us immortal. Short version: get a life.

RanjitC | 13 October, 2013

Go live with the Amish if you are so worried about new technologies.

Jclee | 13 October, 2013

Human history is shaped by few inquisitive minds. How many people cared what causes an apple to fall to the ground before Newton? How can we live twice as long as 100 years ago without many discoveries starting with questioning the conventional wisdom? I certainly don’t expect you to have the same mindset; if you don’t care, go somewhere and have fun.

Timo | 14 October, 2013

2mG reading as health risk doesn't make any sense. Earth magnetic field strength at ground level is (several) hundred times stronger. Ordinary fridge door magnet magnetic field is tens of thousands times stronger. Even magnetic tape in ordinary c-cassette has hundred times stronger magnetic field than 2mG. I'm pretty sure your own skin produces stronger magnetic field than 2mG.

I'm not sure what these people are really measuring.

I don't think they know what they are talking about. This unit mess is just indicator of that.

derek.philip | 19 October, 2013

I would suggest don't take the car and walk, but with all these Tesla owners trying out there 0-60 that wouldn't be any safer.

Stay at home

dollardragon | 21 October, 2013

There is a simple way to shield people and things using certain types of fabric. See link:

Brian H | 21 October, 2013

Perfect for the fearful confused paranoid.

Timo | 22 October, 2013

I thought tin foil hats are just a joke. Apparently not for some people.

Timo | 22 October, 2013

If there are people making measurements in the car I would like to know about sounds in it. I just recently had wall neighbor doing something that caused a very low and steady rumble, so low that I didn't recognize it until it stopped. It clearly affected my mood, entire day felt like under thunderstorm (until it stopped).

Note that not all sounds are bad, but I hate those near-infrasounds. I can't tell if actual infrasounds cause same reaction, but I would like to know about them if there are any in Tesla cars. Very high pitch from engine/transmission/whatever can be equally bad.

Roamer@AZ USA | 23 October, 2013

I don't know how many mG or MG I am getting fried with but when I floor the accelerator it seems to cure ED.

Timo | 23 October, 2013

Made me google :-D

Brian H | 24 October, 2013

Beep, beep?

Toby | 22 February, 2014

Here is my EMF - EHS experience:
I bought a Tesla roadster in 2009 which I drove as my every day car pretty much every day until I bought a Tesla Model S in 2013. I couldn't believe the acceleration and drove it every day like a ferrari. Two months later I drove it like a fiat and two days ago I put it on craigslist. Don't get me wrong. I still believe the Model S is the best car ever built and I hope that Tesla will be the dominant car brand soon with such an amazing disruptive new car. But it's just not for me or for people who know what EMF and EHS is and how it feels.

A few weeks after buying the Model S I noticed that my EMF symptoms, which I already once had encountered for a period of about 18 months 15 years ago, had fully returned. You can read about EMF on wiki and most people like to consider it a hoax unless or until they personally encounter it.

At first, I was in denial as I loved everything about the Model S and just could not believe that this car would make me feel sick. "Sick" is perhaps also the wrong term as EMF gives me short term effects such as my face feeling sunburned and my skin tingling, my attention drifting, my mind getting blurry, effects that appear while driving and remain for a few hours after driving. Those effects can be perpetuated when working a lot on a computer, having long calls on a cell phone, basically exposing yourself to too much electricity which makes some people's body react in "allergic" ways.

So two months ago I gave the car to my wife and just drove it occasionally, thus clearly understanding that the symptoms I felt would disappear when I didn't drive it and return when and after I occasionally drove it again. I was hoping that this was all just in my mind or that it would eventually go away so I could keep this amazing car. I am convinced that most Model S owners don't feel what I feel and will perhaps never have an issue with this, so this information will just be valuable to a few people.

I hope that someone will buy the car, it has 3800 miles and we are asking 20k below purchase price. We are not yet sure how to deal with the rebates, if they get passed on to a new buyer? We have to figure it out.

These days the beautiful red Model S sits unused in the Garage while I am happy again in my Tesla roadster and sometimes in the family Prius. Strangely I never felt any irritation in the roadster, perhaps because it's open and perhaps because it's carbon fiber, perhaps because it's a lot lighter than the modelS and with 3.9 0-60 it's probably also a lot less powerful than the heavy and ridiculously powerful P85.

I perhaps need to add that my wife doesn't feel anything in the model S but she prefers the prius as our family work horse so unfortunately this thing will have to find a new owner.

I do believe that electric cars are the future and I don't think I can ever buy a gasoline car again after having had 4 years in my lovely roadster. I don't like gasoline stations and I don't like Big Oil. The roadster makes me feel good. Guilt free acceleration. After the Model S is gone I'll keep an eye out for another electric car with a roof and room for my surf board and less electric field inside the cabin. Haven't checked the I3 but perhaps it's fun. I once rented a leaf after a bike scratched the carbon fiber door of the roadster and it was in repair for a month ($14k) and even though its an ugly car it is an absolutely amazing car to drive.

enough for now...I hope someone will find this useful and for everyone else, please be kind, I have seen some pretty ignorant responses in this blog already.

Car t man | 22 February, 2014

EMF is relevant. It is why electric drive trains, if they are to pass homologation and be certified, need to pass the EMF tests. At the same
time, those that pass, are within safe margins.

Hard to judge Toby's experience, but it still is highly likely
there is a placebo effect in place, or even a faulty inverter.

But new EVs, pass strict tests, to obtain certification.

While being paranoid about life certainly is a problem many
people have, EMF is an important factor. If it is outside
safe ranges.

Brian H | 22 February, 2014

It wasn't strong enough; the Roadster batteries etc. are much closer to the driver!

(Could be the screen flicker. Different displays use different refresh rates. The symptoms sound like flicker-induced mild/moderate epileptic effects. The refresh rates on monitors can be changed, within a certain range.)

Timo | 22 February, 2014

He mentions "allergic" and can be quite right about that, just not to EMF, but some material related to electronics, like copper. EMF itself is lower in BEV than it is in ICE cars (spark plugs, high voltages related to that).

jkn | 23 February, 2014


Metals are very good at stopping EM radiation. Aluminum body of MS is a good shield. I would worry more about what is inside the car. Cell phones and computer with rather large display.

If you spend time in your MS reading net from display without car moving, do you get symptoms?

Based on what I have read: Roadster has more EMF inside than MS. ICE car might also have more, because of spark plugs.

Perhaps your symptoms are caused by gases evaporating from new materials inside the car. In that case you need to avoid all new cars. Do you get symptoms if your read a book in your MS with car powered off.

DTsea | 23 February, 2014

jkn +1

upwardproductions | 17 March, 2014

So, all this to say somebody measured 2mG at idle/coast and 15mG at acceleration?

So many useless posts in this thread, and completely ignoring the original Kaiser's request to not waste our time with certain responses.

Kaiser, what was your final assessment, then?

Timo | 17 March, 2014

2mG doesn't make sense. It is either faulty reading of the instrument or completely clueless paranoia caused by instrument that is way too sensitive. As I said earth magnetic field is several hundred times stronger. 2mG is background noise at best.

Timo | 18 March, 2014

IOW, if that is the real result it means that BEV *PROTECTS* you from magnetic fields. So if you get sick by it install a few magnetic sources nearby.

Danielthehurricane | 21 March, 2014

Simple: Give the numbers, let those who are concerned decide. It seems that there are folks who are concerned and those who are not. Live life to the fullest but safely. We live by our decisions so what is your next move? It is up to you. Drum roll...and the data is.....

From what I see, there are two sides to every coin. There are those who might be overly concerned but who can fault the love of a parent who wants to keep their child safe in every way possible, that is admirable. But then too much stress in over thinking might lead to cancer in itself and less enjoyment in life. And there are those who aren't concerned. Perhaps they want to live life to the fullest without worry or maybe they are not aware of the effects of EMF or perhaps they don't care. In any case, there are two sides of the coin. There will always be two sides of the coin.

Until we really know more about cancer and have hard facts, we are left to make decisions based on what we do know. This is logical.

Homebrook | 21 March, 2014

Your logic, taken to its logical conclusion, would compel me to stay in my home encased in a lead coffin. i.e., if I were to take positive steps to eliminate every possible or imagined danger. I find that a strange 'prudence.' I choose to live a more interesting life.

Timo | 21 March, 2014

Note that I didn't said anything about danger of EMF. Just that those measurements don't make any sense. It's like worrying getting skin cancer from candlelight 10 meters away because you know that strong sunlight can cause skin cancer. Even if there would be any danger *that amount* can't cause anything.

Brian H | 21 March, 2014

The LNT mindset (Linear No Threshold) is an abomination. Up to some reasonable level, the immune system benefits from challenges. See "Bubble Boy Syndrome", etc., for the effects of a flaccid immune response. Some immunologists recommend that young children and babies eat about a teaspoon of yard dirt a day to train their immune responsiveness! Cities and locales with higher than maximum recommended radiation naturally occurring have substantially lower cancer rates. Including areas that outgas radon. Etc.

holidayday | 24 March, 2014

Brian: "The LNT mindset (Linear No Threshold) is an abomination"

The only place it *may* have use is radiation absorption. (and some dermatologists regarding skin exposure to the sun.)

Since radioactive decay is based purely on probabilities, there is no "real safe" dose. And due to the many different types of cancers and causes, radiation is only one statistical probability in a huge mix of statistical probabilities. There is only a "statistically safe" dosage.

Now, that means that just by living on this planet, you are not completely safe.

However, EMF is NOT radiation, so that argument does not extend to this argument.
And even if it did, you'd have to look at EMF from everything around you all day long instead of just the commute times/ travel times in the car.

Brian H | 24 March, 2014

False. DNA repair is like the immune system: it needs exercise. There's an optimum level, far above 0 rads, which shows up in the stats. Moderate exposure results in far fewer cancers than no exposure with occasional doses.

holidayday | 25 March, 2014

Brian: "There's an optimum level, far above 0 rads, "

Have a link?

My experience is with radiation therapist in the medical field, along with oncologists dealing with radiation therapy.

Brian H | 25 March, 2014

Tissue damage occurs at all levels above 0, but repair mechanisms are stimulated and required constantly for natural radiation. People in areas with high natural flux have the lowest cancer rates. QED. YCLIU.

holidayday | 25 March, 2014

Soooo, no link?
No research?
No data that shows "people in areas with high natural flux have lowest cancer rates"?

Just "QED" because I say so?

(and not sure what YCLIU means) :)

Brian H | 25 March, 2014

You Can Look It Up. Which you could have looked up, too. Lots of internet acronym sites available.

You're using Believer Troll Tactic #5: "Demand links and references at every opportunity." Never provide your own, or follow any given. Make someone else do all your research.

Not playing.

Homebrook | 25 March, 2014

@BrianH You've been around this block a few times it seems. ;-)

holidayday | 25 March, 2014

Brian, I am skeptical of your claims, so I requested data. Your claims go against a host of knowledge that I learned over the course of many years. It's an assumption of mine that if you make a claim, you have some sort of proof. I don't have time to look up every little piece of odd claim that I see on the internet. I see too many odd claims. ;)

If you don't have the data, fine. I'm just used to people who make odd claims to at least have some data to back it up.

It's not a game, it's a genuine question for more information.

Brian H | 25 March, 2014

I usta was a liberal till the late '90s, and pro-renewables, etc. Then I got into a forum discussion/argument about relative returns and benefits. I tried to disprove a challenge/claim, and inspired my own first doubts. Almost all sceptics followed this path.

You'll have to cure yourself; it's the only way that works.