EMF levels of Apple devices


Over the past few weeks I’ve measured the EMF levels of various Apple devices using a hand-held RF field strength meter. (It measures frequencies from 50MHz to 3.5GHz). I measured EMF levels of an Apple iPhone, iPad, Mac Mini, iMac, Apple Airport Base station, Apple LCD display, and Apple bluetooth keyboard and mouse.


Electro magnetic fields (EMF) are a form of energy. Light is part of the EMF spectrum, so are radio waves, X-rays and microwaves.

There’s a long standing debate about whether EMF radiation emitted from mobile phones and other electronic devices is dangerous or not. It’s not the aim of this article to enter into that debate, but rather to provide some information about EMF levels from various pieces of Macintosh hardware. If you want to consider how EMF affects your body I have written an article on the health impacts of EMF here.

This article contains the measurements of the EMF levels of various Macintosh devices.

I’ve split them up into various graphs below.

Low EMF producers.

‘background’ is the background EMF level at out house which is 7km out of town.  It is very low at 3mV/m. The closest city to where we live, Dubbo (population 40,000)  has a background EMF level between 50 and 150 mV/m.

The EMF measurements above were all taken at the position of the user’s head in normal use, with the computer or portable device at a comfortable distance away.

For the ‘Macbook @ user’s head’ a macbook was sitting on a stand on a desk at a comfortable position and the head was approx 0.4m away from the screen. WiFi was turned on. In most of these tests WiFi is on. You can see there is a big difference between iMac – idle and iMac – wifi.

‘handsfree’ means that  I’m holding the phone away from my head in speakerphone mode.

The iPad was being held by hand about the same distance from the head, with WiFi on.

The iMac was at a desk and I was sitting in front of it with my head 0.5m from the screen, with WiFi on.

For “Airport Extreme @ 0.5m”  the WiFi base station was sitting on the side of my desk and the measurements were also taken at a distance of 0.5m.

‘iMac idle’ is the EMF output of the iMac when WiFi and Bluetooth are both turned off. The computer is still on. Macbook idle and Mac-Mini idle are just as  low but I have not put them on the graph.

‘driving in car’ is the EMF inside our Toyota Corolla when the engine is running – for the sake of comparison.

Summary. Mac computers do not emit a lot of MEF unless WiFi or Bluetooth is turned on. Once WiFi is on the levels of a computer are of the same order of magnitude as a wireless base station.

Now, let’s put the above measurements into perspective.

High EMF producers.

Here is a graph of the EMF levels measured near a Uniden DECT phone  (a normal cordless phone), an iPhone 5, and a Bose bluetooth headset. They are way above the levels above.


The first measurement here is from a Uniden DECT cordless phone. When the phone was in use the output was 20,000 mV/m. That is huge!

Step one in lowering your EMF exposure would be to stop using a Cordless DECT phone if you have one.

The next highest is the iPhone 5. This was measured at the ear during a cellular mobile phone voice call with wifi on.

The EMF from a Bose bluetooth in-ear headset was 2500 mV/m measured at the earpiece. This was surprising given that bluetooth is meant to have lower range and lower power.  The output from an Apple bluetooth mouse and keyboard was similarly high. (not shown on graph).

This shows that a bluetooth device at very close range can have higher EMF levels than a WiFi device at medium range.

The EMF from a Macbook measured 5cm above the keyboard with WiFi on was 2000. This is not normally where you would put your head or body, but I included this measurement for the sake of a comparison.

Lowering the EMF exposure from your iPhone

The major cause of EMF emissions in these devices is not the device itself, but the cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth radios.  DECT phones and cellular mobile phones emit high levels of EMF. But this decreases with distance.

The EMF from an iPhone was significantly lower at the user’s head (200 times less) when using either the Apple wired earbud headphones or using the Phone in speakerphone mode to put some distance between it and your head.  The EMF levels drop dramatically with distance as the graph below shows.

There have been all sorts of weird and wonderful devices to reduce iPhone EMF exposure – shielding cases, aluminium caps and so on, but the EMF exposure can be reduced very easily by not holding the iPhone directly on your ear.


‘on ear’ is using the iPhone 5 with the iPhone held against the ear.

‘headphones’  is the EMF level measured at the earbud with the iPhone the full headphone cord length away.

‘handsfree’ is the same as headphones but using the phone in speakerphone mode instead of with headphones.

Handsfree and headphones don’t appear any different in terms of EMF levels. (So I assume that no EMF travels down the headphone cable, or at least no detectable levels. The headphone cable does not appear to be used as an antenna.)

The ‘idle’ measurement is made when the iPhone is in flight mode but still turned on.

It’s disappointing that Apple don’t make these EMF levels available. In fact, they actively try to suppress such information. There is an Android/iPhone app called tawkon that monitors the EMF output of your phone.  Tawkon let’s you see the EMF output of your phone and it can even alert you when it gets too high. According to this c-net article Apple banned the App from iPhone users.


Here is a graph showing how the WiFi output of various Macintosh computers and iOS devices compare.


The variations in the above graph are mainly due to the position of the computer in relation to your head. The power allowed in a WiFi network is limited by law so that means the power is fairly constant across devices. This means the distance you are away is the main factor. The closer you are, the more EMF. The iMac has a large screen so you tend to sit further back – less EMF exposure. The Macbook has a smaller screen so you tend to sit closer – more EMF exposure.

The EMF from my Mac-Mini was noticeably lower than other devices. This is not because the Mac Mini was emitting any less EMF. (The measurements up close to it were very similar to the iMac.) The results were lower because it sits down at the back of the desk with a cable connecting it to the display, rather than being raised and in front of the user.


This article is a good reminder that EMF levels are mainly dependant on the distance of the user from the device.

If  you have a WiFi network, you will get better speeds at closer range. If you are having speed or connectivity issues with your WiFi network the first thing to try would be to put your computer closer to your base station.

If you are interested in reducing your exposure to EMF, it’s the old 20/80 rule. 20% of the work will result in 80% result. Some very small changes can have a major impact on your EMF exposure.

By a very simple change – using your phone handsfree (or earbud) and swapping your cordless (DECT) phone for a landline, you will dramatically reduce your EMF exposure.

The next step would be to turn off your WiFi network overnight.

The next step is getting much harder:  turn off WiFi altogether and turn off Bluetooth. This will reduce your EMF to almost background levels but this will be quite a commitment.

When your WiFi and Bluetooth are turned off, and you iPhone is in flight mode, the EMF output of your computer is so low as to almost match background levels. If you live in a city, you will probably not even be able to detect the EMF levels of your computer or display when WiFi and bluetooth are turned off.

Here is an article by someone else who has done some measurements.


Apple are making it harder and harder to lower your EMF exposure by reducing the users choice to disable WiFi.

For example:

  • In the latest release of iOS 11 you can no longer turn off WiFi or Bluetooth from the iPhone Control Centre.
  • The new Apple Home Pod does not have an Ethernet port. It only works with wifi. (Google Home can be used with an Ethernet cable  using the Chrome Ethernet adapter)
  • The Apple AirPods have extremely high EMF levels – see this article.


104 responses to “EMF levels of Apple devices”

  1. Martin

    Hi All,

    Which has greater EMF emission from an iPhone 7, cellular or WiFi network? In other words, which one is the lesser of two evils?


    1. Can’t really say because… 1. They are different frequencies so would impact the body in different ways. 2. WiFi is a consistent level, cellular network changes level- the further away you are from the tower the higher the signal needed. Wifi is just full level all the time. 3. WiFi transmits all the time, it never turns off. Cellular only transmits when it’s transferring data. So overall Wifi is on more, but cellular reaches higher levels. What I do is use phone responsibly so I turn on wifi only when I need to browse the web or transfer large files. I turn it off overnight and when close to the phone. I leave cellular on all the time, but don’t hold phone to ear when on cellular calls.

  2. Martin

    This is very helpful information, Wayne! Thank you very much for your beneficence!

  3. Jane

    If turning off wifi from router at night (if I can just figure out how to turn off my comcast wifi router) lets say its off at my home. I notice there are like 10 other routers/networks available my wifi picks up from the neighbors…does it make a difference in exposure (to me) if I turn my wifi off but the whole neighborhood doesn’t? Just curious. Thanks.

    1. Yes it will make a very dramatic and significant difference to your exposure to turn off your own Wi-Fi router at night. My guess is in the order of 100 times difference or more. EMF is in proportion to the square of the distance you are from the source. So even the difference between being 1m away or 2m away or 10m away from a router is massive. Those other routers may be 10m away or even 100m away. They will be way less EMF than one that is in your room. The easiest way to do this is just to grab a little $40 timer off ebay and plug your router into it. I have a HPM one. Set it to turn off at 11 PM and turn on at 7 AM or whatever times you need your Wi-Fi on.

      1. Zal

        On my iMac I never ever use WiFi nor Bluetooth. No need. What for ?
        I’ll never ever use iPhone because of Apple’s total disregard for their customers well beings. iPhone is one of the worst in SAR.
        Samsung is one of the best, it has a whole department dealing with reducing radiation. As a matter of fact, I’ll never use any US or western made smartphone.
        And I have no router, only the modem. One computer only, and I totally shut it down around 5pm, and disconnect internet cable from the modem.
        Not only that, I also disconnect internet cable when I’m even 5 minutes off my computer.

  4. Linette Vik

    Thanks for the info. I have an iMac late 2009 and I do not use WiFi og Bluetooth, but still I get really sick almost every time I use it now. The machine gets really warm and I get a terrible headache that last for 3 days. I can only use the iMac for small amounts of time, and I think that the iMac design with all of the tech inside the screen is not the best solution for us that are very emf sensitive. I am also blue light and led flicker sensitive and can not use a lot of LED monitors. But iPhone and iPad works fine for me. I am thinking about replacing the iMac with a Mac mini and an apple Thunderbolt Display and was wondering about the measurements for that display. Was the monitor active when it was measured that low? Have you testet the iMac active without WiFi and Bluetooth? I am just looking to learn more before I spend more mone :-) Thanks!

  5. Juliana

    I have an older ipod, clickwheel, before the ipod touch. Does this ipod radiate emfs? I keep it on a clip on my body a lot of the time. Thanks for your excellent help.

    1. No they do not have bluetooth or wifi.

  6. Paul Cronin

    We have recently purchased an electronic scooter for the purpose of transporting patients within the hospital. In reading the documentation it states that the scooter has an immunity level of 20 V/m and anything higher could cause damage to the unit or cause it to react in an erratic manner. I will be the primary driver of the scooter and will be receiving requests for patient pickup/dropoff via cell phone. Do you know the V/m of an iPhone? Thank you for your time.

    1. All the measurements below are in millivolts per meter but you are talking about 1000 times that when you measure in Volts per meter. If you look at the graphs below, the only thing that comes near 20V/m is the DECT cordless phone which does output 20V/m. (It’s 20,000mV/m). The iPhone and everything else below come way under what you are talking about.

      1. Paul Cronin

        Thanks Wayne ….. that’s what I thought but just wanted to confirm. Since the documentation that came with the scooter recommended not using cell phones I was concerned and wanted to make sure my understanding of the numbers you were posting were correct.

        I appreciate you responding so quickly.


  7. WP Sim

    Hello, I thought your article was very useful in providing the numbers of electric field strength for various Apple products. I think your article focuses on electric fields rather than magnetic fields? I own a home EMF measuring device and found that the magnetic field strength for my Macbook does not go down to background levels when Wifi and Bluetooth is switched off. Magnetic fields also causes health risks. It would be useful to clarify in the article that the electric field strength goes to background levels but magnetic field strength does not. The term EMF refers to electro-magnetic fields, therefore to say that EMF levels goes down to background levels when the wifi and bluetooth is switched off is not accurate.

    1. A Magnetic field is what a magnet produces just sitting there. So a magnet on a lid of a macbook will produce a magnetic field. I’ve not heard of bad health effects from that but I guess there could be. A static electric field exists around an electric charge, think of a battery, or static electricity. EMF tends to refer to the electro-magnetic field (an electric and magnetic field travelling in a direction) of various frequencies and includes X-rays, UV rays, light, microwaves, radio waves etc. So EMF refers to transmission of these radio waves either leaking from a processor (small amounts) or deliberately being sent out an antenna (eg wifi and bluetooth). How they impact the human body depends on the frequency and intensity and duration. So my article was about EMF.

    2. luke

      What measuring device do you use?

    3. Gail Gardner

      Physical products with moving parts even just a fan are likely to produce a magnetic field. Examples of devices with higher magnetic fields are the compressor in your refrigerator, an air conditioner, ice machine.

      Breaker boxes also put out high magnetic fields for up to ten feet. The “m” in “EMF” is for magnetic and that can be measured with a gauss meter or an EMF meter like the Cornett ED88T Plus, Safe and Sound Pro, or many others.

      Power lines are another major source of magnetic fields. Unlike RF, they are extremely tricky to almost impossible to shield. You can put special metal over the breaker box, but it is pretty pricey.

      The same as RF, distance is your friend. Personally, I do not spend time anywhere near high sources of EMF of any kind. There is nothing cordless, wireless or “smart” in or on my house.

      You can measure both electric fields and magnetic fields at any outlet, light switch, power cord or electrically powered device. I keep all of these several feet away except when walking up to turn something on/off or use the stove.

      All EMF can be reduced by simple awareness of where it is very high and minimizing the time you spend there. Most computing devices can be hardwired using adapters if they don’t already have an ethernet port.

      Blue light and flicker are other issues. They are why fluorescent lighting makes many people feel bad. CFLs lighting gives me headaches and CFL bulbs contain mercury.

      To reduce flicker, buy better devices. Reducing blue light can be done by wearing blueblocker glasses, putting shields over monitors and screens and running apps or browser add-ons like Color Temperature (Change Lux), FireLux and Iris among others.

  8. S Lloyd


    Thank you very much for your article.

    My wife developed EHS two years ago and we are in the process of adapting our new apartment as best as we can. We recently purchased a Mac Mini that we keep in a cupboard lined with aluminium matting and use a projector (LED), in front of which we have put a bamboo screen covered with aluminium blankets. The computer is several meters away from where we sit to use it. However, after several hours of use, my wife’s symptoms become worse. We were considering trying to make an aluminium case to fit around both the computer and projector to lower the levels of EMF. Would you have any advice on this or any other suggestions on how to limit her exposure?
    Many thanks!

  9. Gerard

    can you give us the model of the RF measuring device. Is it from jaycar? Thanks.

  10. Nan

    Thank you Wayne, for all of the great information. My iPad crashed and I need to buy a new one since I’m finishing up an Ibook Author book to be published. After reading articles about all of the terrible radiation coming off of these devices, do you know which current iPad is the best or worse, in terms of EMFs? The newest iPad pro has a synced keyboard (attached magnetically) so doesn’t use bluetooth. However I wonder if it emits more EMFs than the iPad, non pro version. I’m an illustrator, but it looks like the Apple pencil emits a lot of EMFs so will forgo drawing not eh device unless there is a safe way to do it. I really appreciate advice on which iPad is safest, if you know. Thanks!!

    1. morgan

      hi nan! I am in the same boat ie the iPad Pro and trying to figure out whether the keyboard cases are bad because of the bluetooth/ the pen. have you come to any conclusions on this?


  11. Kasia

    Dear Wayne,
    Thank you for the data! Great to know these values. I have 2015 MacBookPro. I measured EMF when charging the device. I was very surprised to detect 45V. This goes way down when the charging cable is disconnected. Can you comment on that? Why there was not a warning issued regarding this?

    1. You may be measuring low frequency emf (50hz) with a different kind of meter? If so compare it to an electric kettle or other appliances and see what you get. The high frequency EMF from ‘charging’ would be way less than what you have measured so there may be something wrong with the measurement.

  12. Danielle

    Dear Wayne,
    Thanks for this fantastic breakdown of information. I am really hoping to minimize wifi in our home using ethernet adaptors on our computers and iPhones, and your article is motivational! I would absolutely love to read your other article on the impact of EMF on one’s health, but when I tried to use the mentioned link, it didn’t work. Can you help direct me on how to find it? Thank you!

    1. I’ve updated the link for you sorry about that.

  13. Aminah Al-Attas Bradford

    I’ve used macs for years and a working on a dissertation so thought i’d get a new macbook air to replace the old one. The new one after an hour left my hands tingling and numb and inflammed-feeling. I also had a headache. Do you know if there’d be a difference btwn a macbook 2015 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5 vs. a 2019 Intel i7 with way more storage?

    I think i will return it and i bought a TriField EMF Meter Model TF2 to take to best buy and measure readings to figure out which computer is safest. Can you give me any tips about how to take accurate measurements? I study religion and not electric engineering so assume I know nothing! Thanks so much for your incredible work here. Mina

    1. There are other issues that could impact someone apart from EMF. To test if it’s EMF, tuen off wifi and turn off bluetooth, see how that goes.
      Also, you could try using it for a few hours while it’s not plugged into the charger, see how that goes.
      Try using it with gloves on, any difference?
      Try with sunglasses, any difference?
      Try just having it next to you for an hour while you read a book, any difference?
      In other words, try to pinpoint exactly what makes the difference.

  14. Maike

    Hi Wayne,

    Thanks for all of the information you have put together on your website. I am worried sick at the moment because I just recently realised (which was probably stupid and naive) that the RF exposure from wifi does not just come from the router but also from the laptop itself. I have always made sure that I don’t use my phone too much in order to avoid RF exposure. I have been working with my MacBook Air (year 2014 or 2015) on my lap for up to eight hours every day for the last 5 years and am extremely worried that this has caused some permanent damage. In your measurements, have you placed the MacBook on your lap on a table/desk. This would be extremely helpful to know.

    Thanks very much in advance for getting back to me.


    1. David

      Yes Maike, this is extremely serious. ”Laptops” are not made to sit in your lap.
      It would be much less of a problem if say your WIFI and Bluetooth are completely turned off, but still.
      It has been shown to have carcinogenic effects, and especially in the genital region can cause infertility and such.

      But what is done is done. Focus on the now. Use wired internet, no WIFI, and place your computer on a table.

  15. Darius

    Thanks Wayne for your article – very interesting.
    I made myself some measurements using an EMF device (Cornet ED88T – good price/performance by the way) and came to the same conclusion as you : stop DECT, cellular phone away from head, Bluetooth and Wifi are acceptable, cable is best.
    Now, I need to change my old IPad Pro (1st Generation) and wonder about the induction charging of the Pencil #2 on newest IPad Pros (2018 and later). Having a magnetic field on a tablet does not appeal to me. Have you had any chance to look at this? Does anyone know if it is possible to turn this charging mechanism off?
    Best regards,

  16. Rich

    Any info or response to Darius’ post about Apple Pencil 2/iPad Pro inductive charger emissions?

  17. Nathan

    I had an EMF engineer come to my house – I started getting benign tumours on my upper thighs and the arm in which i use on my tablet.
    I wont bore with the full story, but i tests have come showing my microbiome isn’t functioning as it should – EMF radiation got raised as a possible cause (our bodies natural emf helps tell our bacteria’s how to work in unity with each other – mine isn’t – unnatural emf has been shown to alter the behavior of our natural emf)

    basically what we found was that my tablets use battery free pens – thus the tablets have technology that gives off waves to detect the pen – the readings of the tablet were kinda high – but the main concern was when we switched the router back on – the reading went off the ricta scale – my tablets are acting as a mast almost – i moved my tablet 3 m away and still the same – my tablet is a drawing tablet – it doesn’t have a computer inside – its connected to my PC – So im sat in the most extreme category for human cell deficiency. Im moving to a new house soon and i will be 2 storeys away from the router – distance is your best friend

  18. GG

    Hi Wayne, thank you for your insight here. I currently have an iphone 11 and have severe physical reactions to this phone. I am looking to downgrade it to a lesser phone that would not be this strong, it literally burns my hands and they are starting to feel arthritic. Which iphone out of the most recent in iterations is the less damaging with EMF’s — if you don’t know, can you guide me in direction for my own research ? Thank you. In the reply above, id love more info about working with an emf tech or how to gage my own devices, what do you use and what do you recommend ?

  19. Jo

    Hello, thank you for this very insightful article. Quick question: when you mention the measurements for iPhone headphones or handsfree, was wifi and/or 4G on or off? Neither, both or just one?

    1. WiFi off, 4g cellular data off. Just phone call

      1. Jo

        Thank you. Makes sense. I’m surprised a cellular phone emits while on airplane mode though. I thought airplane mode eradicated all radiations. That’s what many articles tell us but it seems this is not true after all.

      2. Jo

        Thank you. Makes sense. I’m surprised a cellular phone emits while on airplane mode though. I thought flight mode eradicated all radiations. That’s why many articles tell us. Seems this is not true after all.

      3. Jo

        I have another question then. The high EMF rate when iPhone was used near the ear included wifi on. Have you tried iPhone handsfree/headphones with wifi on? I guess the result would have been much more than 50. Any idea how much more? Also in one of the comments, you said that you keep cellular turned on all the time. Do you mean 4G cellular DATA is on all the time? Thanks!

      4. Overall it’s very simple, it’s the distance that makes more difference than anything else. So if you are concerned, just try to minimise the distance between yourself and devices for long periods of time.

  20. Hello, thank you – very interesting. You said in a comment that you keep cellular turned on all the time. Do you mean that you also keep data ON (4G) on all the time? Thanks in advance! Bea

  21. If you are already fighting any kind of cancer in your head or mouth, it is extremely important to minimize time spent in front of mac screen. There is a definite issue.

  22. I am so glad I ‘stumbled’ across this discussion. I had no idea that Wi-Fi/PC emissions are often so very high. I’ve been concerned about our recent purchase of a 65″ SONY Flat screen TV, and have just started to look for a suitable EMF meter to check it out. It is mounted directly to our living room wall with the head of our bed on the other side of the wall !!! …and our router is in the basement about 15 feet away… I’d like to have recommendations for a suitable EMF meter. BTW: I learned decades ago that EMF stands for Electro Motive Force. …Have things changed??? …or perhaps it can refer to either depending on the context…???

  23. Ben

    Hello, first off thank you for your testing.

    I wonder if there’s any new measures for the new line up of latest macs?

    I have both Mac Min and iMac 24″ M1 and even though i’ve disabled all wifi/bluetooth i can still feel some kind of tingling headaches and chest pain sensation. It disappears as soon i leave the room.

    Would appreciate if anyone could give me some clue of what it might possibly be?

  24. IMAC FIX

    Click the displays option is System Preferences, Click colour, Change the colour from Generic RGB Profile to sRGB IEC61966-2.1 and that should fix the radiation issue which is caused by a Auto-Contrast issue!

    1. Color profile makes no difference to wifi or bluetooth EMF but I’ll keep this post here.

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