EMF’s are all around us, both in nature and man-made. But where do we draw the line when something that’s designed to help is actually harming us? This is why I wanted to learn more about the EMF levels of diabetes devices.

tri-field-meter-emfs-of-diabetes-devices

EMF’s of Diabetes Devices

There is no question that getting almost real time blood sugar readings from CGMs  help with sugar control.

Or that the precision of an insulin pump helps to fine tune insulin delivery, typically leading to tighter blood sugar control.

But knowing that these devices use EMF’s to function I had to wonder if this control was worth the EMF exposure.

Are EMFs Safe?

We know that some EMF’s pose little to no risk (like the sun and the earth ), others pose a very high risk (like 5G, smart meters, power lines, x-rays, etc).

We know that plants that are fed microwaved water die shortly after, that people living near power lines have higher rates of cancer, that we’re not supposed to keep our phones in our pockets (and especially not our bras), and that we should limit x-ray use as much as possible.

But what if the devices that are supposed to help your health are actually harming your health? Where do you draw the line?

This was a concern I had in regards to diabetes devices, which is exactly why I decided to test the EMF’s of diabetes devices that I have.

So I ordered an EMF meter and tested four diabetes devices:

  1. Contour Next One Meter
  2. Dexcom G6 (CGM)
  3. Dexcom G5 (CGM)
  4. Omnipod (Insulin Pump)
  5. Freestyle Libre (CGM)

EMF diabetes devices

1. Contour Next One Meter

This blood sugar meter is bluetooth enabled and can pair with Omnipod Dash. The Contour Next One meter has very low levels of EMF’s. Zero when off, and pulsed to a peak of 0.50 mW/m2 when being used. This is below the recommended 1.0 mW/m2

2. Dexcom G5

Using the receiver from Dexcom (as opposed to your phone) the devices throw off a reading of  0.15 mW/m2 during communication, which is great. This is below the recommended 1.0 mW/m2
HOWEVER, using a phone as a receiver throws of a much higher reading of 6.8 at its peak during communication, and around a 4-5 mW/m2 every few seconds just from the phones bluetooth alone. This is above the recommended 1.0 mW/m2.

3. Dexcom G6

Using your phone as the receiver for Dexcom G6 throws off a reading of 17mW/m2 at its peak.  This peak communication happens every 5 minutes. This is higher than the G5 which has a peak of 6.8 and MUCH higher than the recommended 1.0 mW/m2 .

4. Omnipod

This reading was taken using the EROS pods (not Dash pods). The EROS Pods use Radio Frequency (RF) for communication and the Dash Pods use bluetooth.
During communication, like a pod change or a bolus, levels peak to 4 mW/m2, which is more than the recommended 1.0 mW/m2.
While this level is quite high, I personally feel okay continuing use of the Omnipod because it only throws off EMF’S when directly communicating with the pod (like a bolus, setting a temp basal, changing a pod). The rest of the day the pod is running on a pre-programmed basal meaning there is no continuous communication is taking place.  This is why your PDM doesn’t need to be near your pod to deliver your basal rates.
This is a risk benefit ratio that I am okay with, however, everyone has to determine their own levels of comfort and their own risk/benefit ratio.

5. Freestyle Libre CGM

The Freestyle Libre allows you to use both their receiver or your phone to check your sugar. Both the phone (which is on airplane mode) and receiver don’t emit EMF’s when not actively scanning sensor. When looking for the sensor, the receiver emits over 17 mW/m2 and the phone emits 2 mW/m2. Both are more than the recommended 1.0 mW/m2.

Test YOUR Diabetes Tech

Interested in doing these tests yourself? Maybe you want to see the EMF’s of diabetes devices that you use?  Here is the EMF reader I have, use, and love. It comes with a guide on how to use it and what the readings mean.

If you want to dive into the subject a bit further, the book The Non-Tinfoil Guide to EMFs is an excellent read!

And the Facebook group EMF Warriors is a great community to belong to.

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14 Comments

  1. Rick Phillips February 19, 2020 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    Maybe we need to have some ultra high EMF devices. Like maybe it could be self tanning diabetes items. We might be able to sell those devices to the self tanning market.

    • T1D Living February 20, 2020 at 11:38 am - Reply

      hahaha pretty soon we’ll all be looking like inspector gadget

  2. Katie February 20, 2020 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    This was a concern of mine too so I tested last year. And like you I stopped using my phone as the dex receiver and now use the one that comes with the G5. Like minds, Rachel, like minds! 🙂

    • T1D Living February 27, 2020 at 3:58 pm - Reply

      yes!! like minds <3

  3. Leslie April 9, 2020 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    thanks for sharing this! curious, do you use any EMF protection/ neutralizing stickers on your devices?

    • T1D Living April 18, 2020 at 4:52 pm - Reply

      you’re welcome! no, i do not use any special stickers or covers, but i turn off all antennas unless i need them. and when im done i turn them off. i will also occasionally turn my phone on airplane mode if i’m not using it.

  4. James Cheairs May 18, 2020 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Hmmm…though I understand and appreciate the topic, I think I will take my chances. Just started looping (autobolus branch with Omnipod eros) which one can’t do without an iPhone and the benefits I have received in terms of awesome control, few lows and peace of mind is worth the risk to me. However, I do appreciate the information as well as this site. Being new to this site, I am anxious to read more. Thanks for all that you do!

  5. Gerry December 12, 2020 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel,

    I recently had reason to look into something like this for my daughter. I am curious as to why you looked into this, and if you had any previous symptoms that would lead you to it. My daughter has some EMF symptoms, not life threatening, but raises eyebrows. They started when starting G5 and I believe were enhanced with G6 (using with her phone). Please let me know if you have any input.

    • T1D Living December 28, 2020 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      Hi! I started learning about the effects of radiation and EMF’s after multiple sources kept pointing to them as a possible “pollution”. I do notice some mild symptoms, like my hand tingles if I’m holding my phone when wifi/data/bluetooth is on, sometimes my face will get really hot and red if my phone is by my face, and if I’m using my phone a lot I will get nauseas. We are very careful around wifi/emf’s in the house and make sure wifi is off at bed time, power breakers and smart meters are at least 15ft away from bedrooms/common areas, phones are on airplane mode if they’re going to be in our pocket/purse or if our son is playing with it. I’m not sure what those mild symptoms would look like if we weren’t so careful and if the house was saturated with wifi/5g/emf’s. Have you noticed less symptoms when you use the receiver vs the phone? I’ve been using the Freestyle Libre CGM for a few months now and keep meaning to get a reading on its EMF levels. But I think they are much less since the libre only gives you the data once you scan it and isn’t constantly transmitting in real-time.

      • Sara May 11, 2021 at 3:41 pm - Reply

        Hi! Did you ever get a reading on the Freestyle Libre?

      • Jeff December 2, 2021 at 2:31 pm - Reply

        Hi there, I’d also really love to know if you’ve gotten a reading on the freestyle libre.

  6. Hannah Hamlin February 25, 2021 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    This is a great article! Thank you so much for looking into this and posting it. I’ve been wondering about this for awhile.

    • T1D Living March 4, 2021 at 10:29 am - Reply

      Thank you and you’re welcome!

  7. Cat Alderman July 25, 2022 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Hello,
    I was wondering if you have managed to get readings for the G6 with the receiver instead of the phone. That is what both of my little boys use. We were thinking about switching to phone, but as this is on them 24/7 I wanted to check this information out. I appreciate you looking into this as it’s likely not something that the companies will be willing to share. I wish I had the money to purchase the EMF reader you have. It looks like an awesome tool.
    Thanks again!

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