What is Dirty Electricity?

Dirty electricity is a term coined by the electrical utility industry to describe electromagnetic interference (EMI) caused by plugging incompatible electronics into the electric grid, or outlets in your home or at work. A series of health effects, associated with dirty electricity (power line EMI), has been recognized in several scientific studies.

Dirty electricity exists everywhere. Some levels of dirty electricity are found in almost every building. Wherever electronics like computers, battery chargers, Wi-Fi, TVs, game consoles, compact fluorescent lighting or solar panels operate the electrical circuits are likely radiating dirty electricity.

What Causes dirty electricity?

Dirty electricity is an erratic form of electromagnetic interference (EMI), which is generated by electronic devices, as they operate. The problem is that most modern electronics operate on direct current (DC) at around 12 volts, while electrical circuits convey electrical energy, using alternating current (AC) at 120, or 240 volts. Modern electronics convert the AC power to DC, and in so doing, create ‘dirty power’ in the form of electromagnetic interference. Imagine that crackly sound when AM/ FM radio is tuned between stations.

Electromagnetic interference circulates through a building’s electrical system and radiates into the environment through wiring, outlets, power strips, and electronics and efficiency lighting, contaminating the environment with electropollution. This becomes a form of man-made electromagnetic radiation that we have to adapt to in our environment.

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Potential causes of dirty electricity and electropollution

  • Computers and laptops
  • Variable speed motors

  • Televisions

  • Entertainment units

  • Energy efficient lighting

  • Energy efficient appliances

  • SMART Meters Dimmer switches

  • Fluorescent light bulbs and tubes

  • Power tools

  • Neighbors

  • Cell phone antennas
  • Broadcast antennas

  • Solar Power panels

  • Cordless phone systems

  • Video game consoles

  • Wi-Fi routers and modems

  • Microwave Ovens

  • Kitchen appliances

  • Hair Dryers

More on how electronic devices contribute to dirty electricity?


Many modern electronics and appliances include transformers that convert the AC power in a building’s wiring to the DC power needed to run electronics and appliances. During this conversion process, interruptions in electrical current flow occur. In addition, many modern electronic devices (e.g., light dimmer switches, compact fluorescent light bulbs, equipment that use switching mode power supplies) utilize power in a more complicated way than more “old-fashioned” electronics and equipment. These devices are actually designed to operate with interrupted electric current flow. Rather than draw power continuously, they do so intermittently in variable amounts at a high frequency, primarily for efficiency. While this can save energy, it involves frequent interruptions in electric current flow. For example, a compact fluorescent light bulb saves energy by turning itself on and off repeatedly, thousands of times per second. Regular interruptions like these create transients (i.e., voltage spikes/surges and frequency variations) that “dirty” the normal electricity flowing along wires.

What happens to dirty electricity once it is generated?  The dirty electricity created by electrical devices within a building is radiated into the living environment and then circulated throughout the building, and even to other buildings in the neighborhood, via wiring. Dirty electricity (EMI) radiates into the immediate living environment via outlets, power strips, electronic devices, and cords/wires, exposing the humans inside to electromagnetic pollution.

What are the Health and Biologic Effects?