Health is one of the quality of life factors that are measured regularly in the Happiness Index, and part of the definition is a balance between mind and body and between people and the environment.

We know sleep, exercise and eating well are important, but what we often haven’t paid enough attention to is the role our environment plays in our own and our family’s health.

We cannot always control our external world, but now a growing body of research is focused on what is happening inside our homes, and a major concern is increasing radiation exposure.

Radiation is everywhere of course. Natural sources, including the sun, have been present since the earth was formed. But in the last 200 years, industrial and building technologies have increased the artificial human-produced sources of radiation.

Exposure to radiation, even at only a fraction of the ‘safe’ limits set by governments have links to cancer, fertility issues, blood pressure problems, leukaemia and lowered immunity, compromising our overall health and well being.

Patrick van der Burght – director of Geovital Academy Australia, a company that advises people on building strategies to minimise radiation in the home says, “What is becoming much clearer is the role that radiation exposure in our own living and sleeping spaces plays on our health. After all, if we think about it our home is where we spend most of our time and the bedroom is where we are supposed to rest and regenerate.”

Mr Van der Burght says. “Most people would be very surprised to know that simple electrical wiring inside the walls of their home produces off the scale electric field exposure in about 95 per cent of people when we measure their body whilst lying in bed. Power cables along the street, even if underground, can produce low level radiation which can have many negative health effects.”

Mr Van der Burght became interested in this work after a family health scare encouraged him to make lifestyle changes and learn about natural and complementary therapies. His research led him to Germany and to Geovital in Austria, a naturopathic health clinic involved in natural therapies for 30 years. Geovital is now a worldwide authority on radiation protection in the home. Its continuing research confirms co-relations between this constant exposure and ill health, and documents a significant improvement in many clients’ health after intervention.

Although Geovital can implement strategies to minimise radiation exposure in existing homes, an optimum time to consider solutions is when a house is being built.

Mr Van der Burght explains Geovital’s consultative role in the building process: “What we do is analyse the building plans and identify weaknesses in the design that may expose occupants to unnecessary levels of radiation. The changes we suggest essentially occur behind the scenes and have no visible impact in the home. As an example we may ask the electrician to run the wiring a little differently or install switches which will essentially cut power to an entire circuit when the use of electricity stops. This eliminates radiation that would normally be present in areas like bedrooms when you are sleeping. When, let’s say a bedside light, is switched on, power is instantly returned.”

In addition to modifications to the electrical wiring design, other solutions that may be recommended by Geovital if the situation calls for it include a shielding mesh which is used inside the wall cavity. The mesh minimises the exposure from transmitters such as mobile towers, smart meters, and internal wiring. Alternatively a shielding paint can be used on the wall which can be painted and wallpapered over with similar effect.

They say you can’t put a price on health, and yet surprisingly the cost to protect yourself and your family from excessive radiation exposure is relatively minimal in your overall building budget. It is in the bedroom where we all spend eight hours or more a night to rest and regenerate that protection is most important and protection of a single bedroom costs on average around $3500 – not a lot to pay for that healthy and happy balance between mind, body and the environment.

In an ideal scenario however, the consultation process should start some time prior to the commencement of building, in fact prior to choosing your building site.

“We can help people who have not bought land as yet to measure for radiation exposure on a potential site”, says Mr Van der Burght.

“Unfortunately there is a type of radiation that cannot be shielded against which affects as many as one in 25 homes. Getting us involved early in the process could prevent potential disaster by avoiding the purchase of a site with serious and unfixable problems.”

And as for how the builders an architects view Geovital strategies? “To date no one we have worked with has had a problem implementing these changes. In fact most architects and tradespeople find it fascinating and are interested in learning more on the subject”. Says Van der Burght

We all want to live a happy and healthy life filled with vitality. We also want to enjoy the benefits of modern design and technological development.

Making our homes environmentally safer and free from invisible radiation contributes to this, and lays the foundation for a happy, healthy future.

Geovital has an Australia-wide network of trained professionals who can offer home assessments to detect how much radiation is in your current living environment and if needed recommend solutions.

Geovital also runs workshops and training for builders, architects, and other professionals to educate them about radiation, and available solutions.

Mr Van der Burght is a popular speaker on the subject of radiation exposure and the effects on your health.