How to protect oneself from the effects of electrosmog is one of the most discussed topics nowadays. A quick search on the internet brings up a huge amount of scientific studies, reports and opinions around this topic. Whilst half of these articles proclaim the negative health implications of electromagnetic radiation, the other half deems it safe. We are wallpaper experts, not healthcare professionals, which is why we prefer to abstain from subscribing to either of these standpoints. However, to put it in simple terms, what we do know is that electrosmog is definitely not promoting health.
For this reason, we have developed GUARDIA, a sophisticated wallpaper able to block up to 99% of electromagnetic radiation in your environment. In this article, we will detail two different uses for our wallpaper GUARDIA - Electromagnetic Shield:
- protection from electromagnetic radiation in private homes
- prevention of RFID interferences between storage and sales in retail spaces
We are exposed to artificially produced electromagnetic fields (also known as electrosmog) almost everywhere we go. It begins with our own mobile phones and the Wi-Fi router in our home, office or school. The transmission towers of mobile network operators frequently create a sense of unease. Also standard power lines within buildings contribute to electrosmog. For those suffering from electromagnetic hypersensitivity, this can lead to headaches, sleep disorders, or skin issues.
The majority of people do not notice any negative effects in their everyday life. As yet there are no reliable long-time studies regarding the effects on the body over a lifetime. For those who worry about electrosmog and wish to protect themselves, there are measures that can be taken against it, while waiting for the the potential results of continuous long-term studies on this subject.
The idea behind our wallpaper GUARDIA is to offer your body some relief against EMF radiation for at least a few hours every day, especially during sleep, when the organism regenerates. Bedrooms and especially children's rooms are at the top of the list as they are the most obvious spaces where electromagnetic radiation should be reduced to the absolute minimum. Please note that it is only possible to highly reduce the impact of electrosmog, as a complete protection is nearly impossible.
Which types of electromagnetic radiation does our wallpaper GUARDIA offer protection from?
This includes mobile communications waves, such as those from Wi-Fi networks, cordless phones, and wireless accessories, but also radar, military surveillance, amateur radio, TV and radio, as well as RFID labels in retail.
These are live cables in walls, electric devices connected to them, transformer stations or high-voltage lines.
What technical expertise is the design and production of this type of wallpaper based on?
Our production partner for GUARDIA has been producing special protective wallpapers for hospitals for over 15 years. These are predominantly used to shield rooms from electromagnetic radiation where electroencephalography and magnetic resonance tomography procedures take place. They also focused in the field of "eavesdropping protection" in embassy buildings and research facilities, which can also be achieved with this special wallpaper. Its reference list includes many well-known German industry names as well as nearly all of the large university medical centres throughout Europe.
How does the wallpaper work, how does it shield from electromagnetic radiation?
GUARDIA looks like a regular non-woven wallpaper in grey. It is neither especially thick nor particularly heavy. The radiation-shielding characteristics of this non-woven wallpaper is the result of adding carbon fibres to the material during the production process. In simple terms, the wallpaper turns high-frequency radiation into heat. The shielding capacity does not decrease over time, as it is based on a merely physical effect.
Does wallpaper GUARDIA contain any harmful components?
No! The carbon fibres included in the wallpaper are especially designed to be of a large size and thus do not pose a risk for the room air. Furthermore, the wallpaper is neither metallic nor ferromagnetic. The non-woven carrier material of GUARDIA is as breathable as any other non-woven wallpaper. GUARDIA is ecologically safe and meets the "low flammability" standard, which means it is also suitable for public buildings subject to fire protection requirements.
Which walls of a room is GUARDIA suitable for?
In theory, Guardia could be used on all walls as well as for floor and ceiling. If windows and doors were also protected by shielding textiles or foils, this would create a so-called Faraday cage. In practical terms this is not practical - and very rarely necessary. Generally speaking, partial shielding is sufficient to shield the living space from most EMF radiations and solves the problem with minimal effort. Later additions are possible at any given time.
In order to decide on which wall GUARDIA should be applied, you should, first of all, identify where the electromagnetic radiation originates. If your Wi-Fi router is in the adjacent room, the wall facing it is the right place for GUARDIA. If you wish to block the radio waves of your neighbour upstairs, simply wallpaper the ceiling. If there is a mobile phone provider's transmitter mast on the other side of the street, the wall in its direction should be shielded with GUARDIA. Even the floor can be protected with GUARDIA, for instance if you live above a doctor's surgery with radiation equipment. The wallpaper material can be applied underneath "floating" flooring like laminate, parquet, or carpet.
What about windows and doors within a room?
As mentioned above, windows and doors should also be shielded if you aim to protect yourself from EMF radiation originating from outside. Unfortunately, wallpaper is not suitable for these areas. However, there are textiles with shielding materials available on the market, like curtains for windows and doors. Alternatively, foils with special coating can be glued to windows and doors. These, too, are available in specialised shops.
How do I apply this type of wallpaper?
Generally speaking, GUARDIA is applied on walls just like any other wallpaper. Wallpapering paste needs to be put directly on the wall and the dry length of wallpaper should then be pressed onto the "paste bed". We recommend adding about 20% dispersion glue to your regular wallpapering paste. This prevents the wallpaper from detaching from the wall at a later point in time, for instance when you apply paint or add a decorative pattern wallpaper. Please remember that you are not in any way stuck with GUARDIA's grey colour. Instead, you can decorate the wall to your heart's delight.
Please note: important feature to be considered when applying GUARDIA
GUARDIA's effectiveness requires specific attention regarding one important point: whilst lengths of wallpaper are usually applied to the wall next to each other, this does not work for GUARDIA, as the tiny gap between lengths would function like a slot antenna for electromagnetic radiation. This is not what you want if your aim is to shield the space against EMF radiation.
These are the two options to correctly apply GUARDIA to a wall:
- As shown in the following images, the strips of wallpaper should overlap each other by about 1 cm. Due to the overlapping of the material, the usual gap between lengths is therefore closed. There is a small disadvantage as the material is slightly raised where the two lengths are overlapping, which can impair the visual effect. If the protective effect is more important to you than the look, this is the option for you. Otherwise you should consider option 2.
- Instead of overlapping lengths of wallpaper, you can apply two lengths in a laterally offset manner, one over another. This means that you apply the lengths of wallpaper next to each other in the usual way across the entire wall. Then, you repeat the process, but the intersections are to be hung offset to the first layer. This means that the gaps of the first layer are closed by the second layer, but the wall remains completely smooth and without raised areas (as opposed to option 1). The obvious disadvantage is that you need twice the amount of the GUARDIA wallpaper, doubling the cost. On the plus side, the double-layer approach also adds to the effectiveness of the wallpaper (more in the next section).
What level of electromagnetic radiation can be shielded by GUARDIA?
One layer of GUARDIA protects against 97 - 98% high-frequency radiation (mobile communications, Wi-Fi). If two layers are applied, shielding attenuation levels are increased to approximately 99%. In order to explain this better, let's make a comparison to special wallpapers used in hospitals. There, shielding attenuation levels are about 99.9999%, but the cost is roughly 10 - 20 times higher than it would be for GUARDIA. Even then, mobile phones can send and receive to a certain degree (see next section "Measuring").
Low-frequency radiation (e.g. electric lines in walls) are almost entirely shielded by GUARDIA. To achieve this effect, a special copper strip must be added to the wallpapered area (see images below) and earthed by an electrician. We only recommend this additional installation if you expressively wish/need to protect yourself from electrical lines. Upon request, we can provide you with the adhesive copper band. Generally speaking, our customers usually ask for protection/shielding from mobile phone systems and Wi-Fi, which doesn't require copper bands and earthing.
How can I measure radiation before and after applying GUARDIA?
A common way to test the protective shielding effect of GUARDIA is to look at the bar display of a mobile phone. However, mobile devices are designed to always connect to the closest cell mast, wherever they might be. As a result, mobile phones can adjust their connection performance and receiving sensitivity to their current environment - which includes shielded rooms. The phone will use its maximum capacity to counteract the protective shielding. The bar on a mobile phone does therefore not represent the actual field strength but whether there is a connection to the transmitter mast.
For this reason, we recommend using instead professional measuring devices to gauge the level of shielding. Of course, it doesn't make any sense to buy such an expensive device. However, local consumer organisations often offer a short-term lease for a small fee. Alternatively, a building biologist or geopathologist can be commissioned to conduct electrosmog measuring. Note: ask for a quote beforehand as fees can vary widely.
How can I make the best use of the shielded room?
We recommend not using electronic devices which send or receive radio signals in the room, or to change to wired connections. If there is a router in the room, deactivate the Wi-Fi function and connect to the computer via a LAN cable. Even if your mobile phone still works in the room, you should avoid using it and store it in a different room. Otherwise, the mobile would have to hugely increase its performance in order to establish and maintain the connection (which obviously defeats the entire purpose of the shielding process).
What happens if I put a nail or drill a hole into the wall?
A metal nail closes the hole immediately, i.e. there will be no adverse effect on the shielding performance. Any hole in the wall(paper), e.g. as a result of drilling, will create a gap in the shield. To solve the issue, you can glue a small piece of GUARDIA over the hole to close this gap. Alternatively, put a plastic wall plug in the hole and screw in a metal screw. Please note that the screw head will need to be bigger than the drilled hole.
The following section will explain the commercial use of our electromagnetic shielding wallpaper.
What are RFID interferences in stationary retail spaces?
For some years now, product labels have gradually been converted from traditional bar-codes to modern RFID labels. These communicate actively with the relevant remote station, e.g. the point-of-sale (cash desk) terminal in a shop. Data transfer is conducted via high-frequency fields within a range of a few meters. If the warehouse is situated too close to the POS terminal, it can lead to display errors and technical overlaps which have a negative impact on the checkout process, slowing it down.
How can electromagnetic shielding wallpaper GUARDIA eliminate RFID interferences?
Space in shopping centres is often particularly limited. Storage areas are usually situated directly behind the checkout areas. The resulting RFID interferences were a main issue for one of the most popular US sporting goods manufacturers, amongst many others. To counteract this problem, the storage areas of their retail outlets are currently gradually being equipped with GUARDIA electromagnetic shielding wallpaper. This doesn't just eliminate issues in their own checkout areas, but also inconvenient interference with adjacent shops using RFID labels.