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Prius III Radiation Risk?

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by Author, May 30, 2010.

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  1. Author

    Author New Member

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    Just curious if anyone has thoughts or concerns about EM and RF radiation while driving a Prius?
  2. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    From what source? As far as I know there is absolutely no evidence of such risk from the Prius or any other car. I suspect the power levels are far to low to be a concern.

    If there is a risk of any kind from RF radiation, which there may not be, I suspect you would be at more risk from your cell phone than you would be from your car.

    Here is a FAQ by the FCC that touches on the topic: http://www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety/rf-faqs.html#Q5
  3. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Do you have AC power in your house? Do you own a cell phone? How about a microwave oven?

    The electronics and motors in the Prius are well shielded. Furthermore, there is no reason to suspect that the low frequency EM fields produced by the Prius are dangerous to humans, even if they were not shielded.

    Tom
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  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    No, although the question comes up about every six months.

    We usually recommend folks buy an EMI meter and do their own studies. If you search the forums, you should find some of those threads. I would avoid EMF meters since they may detect random ghosts . . . (If Ebay is to be believed!)

    GOOD LUCK!
    Bob Wilson
  5. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    I think the WiFi system in my house is slowly killing me, but its just so damn convenient. :madgrin:
  6. socratesthecabdriver

    socratesthecabdriver Member

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    i personaly stoped using gel for my hair since i started driving one!:mod:
  7. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    A previous poster was concerned about the same issue while on PriusChat. They were concerned enough to get a simple EM meter to find out how much EM was coming from their Prius. After getting the meter, the BIG discovery was that the Prius was not any different than any other car, but that the place where they lived had vastly higher fields than the car. The Prius wiring electonics and wiring is heavily EM shielded. The wiring in all homes and apartments is totally unshielded for EM. So they kept the Prius but moved to a new place last I heard.
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  8. Old Drum

    Old Drum New Member

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    In my case the WiFi system is killing my ability to do anything that doesn't require the computer.
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  9. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Newsflash:

    This just in: Life is Killing You.

    Cells replicate and replicate and eventually break down. Live long enough and someday you are old. Once old, sooner or later something unfixable fails. This failure will lead to death.

    Your Prius...not as damaging as simply being alive.

    As carefully a designed instrument of Death as the media would of liked you to believe the Prius was, (Who knew The Grim Reaper had a Smart Key in his Pocket?) turns out it is pretty safe anyway.

    No, it's been debated, discussed before, but I don't think it an issue.
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  10. carz89

    carz89 I study nuclear science...

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    I haven't studied EMI in great detail, but I have a decent understanding of all types of radiation, especially the well-documented types that can damage your cells and possibly cause cancer. Radiation must have the proper energy level and wavelength to have a chance at ionizing the atoms that make up DNA. The odds increase with energy level. Energy levels associated with the EMI we are talking about are extremely low. This includes a broad category of magnetic fields around motors, radiofrequencies, and microwaves -- all which continuously pass through our bodies continuously from the moment we are conceived. The wavelengths with these types of radiation are extremely long compared to the size of an atom, so the odds of these types of radiation doing any damage are minimal. Even for a microwave source, you really have to crank up the power level to have any effect on organic matter (such as a microwave oven -- which deposits a whole lot more heat energy than actual ionization damage of the cells.)

    The only types of EM radiation you need to worry about are UV, X-ray, and Gamma ray. All are short wavelength which can damage your cells and cause cancer. Medical X-rays are well regulated and are relatively low-power. Gamma radiation from man-made sources is also well-regulated and the public dose is kept extremely low. The most ubiquitous UV source is the Sun, of which you are literally millions of times more likely to contract cancer than due to microwave radiation from your household WiFi.

    You are much more at-risk from natural sources of radiation that most people DON'T know about. The dirt & rocks around you. Radioactive potassium found in bananas. Higher levels of cosmic radiation when flying in a commercial airplane. The general public, as well as the media, generally have no understanding of perspective. For example, a couple years ago when a US submarine acknowledged a leak of a few pints of radioactive water which docked in Japan, the media uproar and effect on international relations was substantial. The true danger was less than the actual radiation you would be exposed to while handling a bag of fertilizer!

    Bottom line, if you are any bit concerned about cancer resulting from any type of radiation, GET OUT OF THE SUN!
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  11. 2to4

    2to4 Wherever we end up

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    You are correct. That's one reason I bought a Prius and didn't get the convertible I've always wanted.
  12. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    I live in the city. I take public transportation (a lot). Do you know that subway cars generate huge EM fields (they're driven by high voltage electricity!). My thinking is that if the exposure risk of EM fields due to time spent commuting is harmful, the effects would have shown up by now in major cities.
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    roger that. i'm in the backyard using it, how powerful is that?:eek:
  14. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    I've heard a tin foil hat will help. Double thickness is best. It will stop the voices too. :madgrin:
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    Recently, someone used a spectrum analyzer to look at 2010 Prius radiation:
    [​IMG]
    It looks like you need to call all FM radios stations within 100 mile radius and tell them to stop radiating you. Seriously, that spike is the FM radio band.

    Bob Wilson
  16. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    As you know, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation are entirely different beasts. When we talk about EM exposure due to electrical and electronic devices, we are dealing with only non-ionizing radiation. Obviously this type of radiation can't cause the sort of genetic damage that most people associate with radiation.

    Even so, a considerable amount of time and money has gone into studying the effects of non-ionizing radiation on organic systems. The results have been very mixed, with some studies suggesting an increased risk of brain cancer if you live with a cell phone taped to your skull. Other studies show no correlation. Certainly there has been no causative mechanism shown.

    What we do know for sure is that the risks are very, very small, and certainly not acute in nature.

    Tom
  17. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    If your Flux Capacitor is not properly shielded you will get one nasty sunburn. It made my hair fall out!:eek:
  18. kbeck

    kbeck Active Member

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    Not quite right.

    OK, let's take this from the top.

    All electromagnetic waves have wavelengths. They're also particles (photons). At really high energies, things like gamma rays are more of a ballistic hazard: They come flying through your body, knocking random electrons loose as they fly on by. What's left behind are broken molecules with missing electrons; hence the term "ionizing radiation", since those molecules are ionized.

    Now, the human body is a (relatively poor) conductor. There are electrons and random ions floating around in us; heck, salty water conducts, and we're full of salts.

    So: take some electromagnetic wave with, say, a quarter wavelength that's six feet long. (Min to max E field points are always a quarter wavelength apart). So, when such a wave goes through a human, there will be current flowing from head to toe. The resistance: That of the entire length of the human body. The voltage: a direct function of the power level. The resistance: that of the human body.

    So, halve the quarter wavelength to 3 feet, but keep the power levels the same. The voltage is the same; the distance is half; the resistance is half; the current is doubled; and the power dissipated in a particular volume in the body (I*I*R) is quadrupled.

    This is why it's a really bad idea to stand in front of a microwave (cm-wavelength) radar antenna. The wavelengths are short; the distances likewise; and the current heating can, given the right (easily achieved) power level, can cook one. Places in the body which have poor cooling (eyeballs, the ovaries, and the testes) are particularly affected; places with good cooling (that is, good blood flow) like muscles and the brain, less so.

    On the other hand: at 60 Hz, the power frequency, the quarter wavelength is 12.5 Million Meters. It's not enough to have a big E-field; it's the differential E-field across the volume of flesh that counts.

    So: At the top end, if the differential E field is big enough, electrons get ripped loose, just like with gamma rays. I'm not sure, but I suspect that UV and X rays are in this class.

    In the middle and low end: if the currents are high enough, damaging heating.

    In addition, there are some particular frequencies which are particularly troublesome. For example, the signal used in microwave ovens is right on top of the resonant frequency of water molecules. Makes it useful for cooking.. food and people.

    It's been a while since I looked at the FCC limits. I vaguely remember that at 14 MHz (HF) with a kilowatt on the antenna, it was a good idea to keep a couple of inches away from the radiating elements. At 144 MHz (VHF), with a 100 W transmitter, it was good idea to keep a couple of feet away.

    But these are all intentional transmitters. Believe me, there's nothing like a 100 W RF transmitter anywhere inside a Prius. Further, in order to pass EMI standards, the Prius (like all other cars and random electronic equipment) has to pass standards that prevent the car from interfering with intentional radiators - some of which are tens to hundreds of miles away. Hence, the chances of getting zapped by the radiators in the Prius are just about as good as getting zapped in the privacy of your home.

    KBeck.
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  19. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    1.25 million meters I think :) still pretty long wavelength.
  20. Author

    Author New Member

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    I am constantly amazed by the extensive knowledge and expertise of Prius posters, and appreciate all replies. Thank you all.

    I had originally posed the question because of my increasing interest in possible effects of the stew of radiation we are all exposed to daily, and not just while Priusing, Some of you may be interested in the following by a Trent University (Canada) scientist:

    www.electricalpollution.com/documents/WiFischools09.pdf
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