Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sat-Navs For The EHS ?

As one of the very few independent surveyors performing electromagnetic investigations across Britain, I frequently have to navigate to new client locations. The early Christmas present I gave myself, now four years ago, has proven to be one of the best things I’ve ever bought.

In a previous life I had run a number of courier companies so when Sat-Navs first came out I realised instantly how indispensable an innovation they were to become. Available in recent years at a reasonable price, the cost had become low enough for me to take the chance. Price was however not my first consideration. Would I be able to tolerate the elctrosmog they would inevitably give off?

The first thing I did when I got mine home was to disable the Bluetooth. Nevertheless, as I practiced with all its neat features, I must have spent a couple of hours with it in my hand. It made me nauseas.

Was it the fire retardants, the 2.4 GHz processor, the 1.2 or the 1.5 GHz satellite decoders, the touch screen? I did not know. What I did know was its ability to help me carry out my work made it indispensable and I had to find a way to tolerate it.

I persisted. The answers were as simple as they were obvious. By only having it on when I needed it, my exposure was reduced. By sticking it to the windscreen as far as I could safely reach, I also reduced my exposure. By programming in the destination and calculating the route the day before I set off, I could minimise the effect it had on me on the day. Does it still consume my EMR tolerance? Yes, surely. Do I still struggle to cope with the mobile masts and other microwave sources along the way, as indeed I do with the car itself? Yes, but would I be without my Sat-Nav?

If I had a navigator with me, I think I would still use the Sat-Nav because it does things like post-code lookup, time to destination and a whole lot more besides. If I could no longer tolerate it and had no navigator to guide me, I think I would go back to the simple digital car compass I used before. It is not nearly as good but with its small LCD screen and lower emissions, at roughly a third the price, for self navigation it remains a useful tool that produces significantly less emissions.


No comments: