Electricity and Health
Electricity's role in cancer an eye opener
Do electromagnetic fields affect human health?
This question has been the center
of a debate that has been raging among the scientific community ever since Nancy
Wertheimer and her colleague Ed Leeper reported an increased incidence of
childhood leukemia, lymphomas, and nervous system tumours in Denver Colorado in
1979. The scientific community didn't pay much attention to this report until a
journalist, Paul Brodeur, brought it to the publics attention. Ever since then
scientists have been trying to determine whether electromagnetic fields from
power lines are harmful to human health.
To date there have been more than a dozen studies from Canada, the United
States, England, Sweden, Finland, Germany addressing this important issue and
more than half of them have found an increased association of magnetic fields
with childhood leukemia.
What this means is that children, under the age of 14, who live near high
voltage power lines and are exposed to magnetic fields above 2.5 milli Gauss,
have a greater risk of dying from leukemia than children who are not exposed to
high electromagnetic fields. This increased risk is smaller than the risk of
getting lung cancer from tobacco but is statistically significant and very few
scientists still question this association.
If this is the case then why would two scientific studies, coming out in Europe
this week, be so important?
One of the studies, conducted by the eminent epidemiologist Sir Richard Doll,
who was the epidemiologist linking lung cancer with cigarette smoking in the
1960s and who has been critical of the findings of power line studies, now
admits an association of increased risk of childhood leukemia with elevated
magnetic fields. This study is important because it is the first official
statement from a major health organization in the UK, the National Radiation
Protection Board, associating childhood cancer and magnetic fields. The report
is carefully worded and is intended to minimize concern. It down plays the
number of children who are likely to die from leukemia because of their exposure
to power lines.
The second study, from Germany by Joachim Schuz and colleagues, has gone even
further. In this study they report a statistically significant association, with
an odds ratio of 3.2, (3.2 fold increased risk) between childhood leukemia and
magnetic field exposure during the night. Since children spend 8 or more hours
each day sleeping, the bedroom becomes a very important environment in terms of
electromagnetic hygiene. Reducing electromagnetic fields in the bedroom reduces
the overall exposure and thus the risk of leukemia.
Bedroom electromagnetic fields can be reduced in a number of ways. Electric
alarm clocks and baby monitors can be moved away from the bed, electric blankets
can be unplugged once they warm up a bed. Beds can be moved away from panel or
fuse boxes and electric heaters. Electric heating coils in ceilings and floors
generate high magnetic fields. These fields can be reduced by turning down the
night-time thermostat. Some older homes have knob and tube wiring that can also
generate high magnetic fields. Although costly, an electrician can update the
wiring to current wire codes and thus reduce magnetic fields in individual
rooms. So there is much that individuals can do to reduce their exposure.
The problem is that individuals have no way of reducing electromagnetic fields
in a home if the primary source is from power lines run by public utilities.
Recently the Peterborough Utility Commission installed higher voltage power
lines on London Street in Peterborough, against the wishes of the residents who
were concerned about their health and reduced property values. The houses are
within a few meters of the power lines and exposure in these neighbourhoods is
likely to exceed the 2.5 mG limit associated with childhood leukemia. So the
residents' concerns are warranted.
Peterborough is not unique. This conflict between residents and utility
companies is being waged in many communities that are moving to higher voltages
power lines in residential neighbourhoods.
The health risk from electromagnetic fields is small but significant, small in
terms of the population but not small for the parents who lose a child to
leukemia. My concern is that since electromagnetic fields are ubiquitous in
urban centres very large populations are exposed and unlike cigarette smoking,
where you have a choice of smoking or not, you do not have a choice regarding
your exposure to magnetic fields if they are coming from the power line outside
The two studies released this week may help to convince the power utilities to
take the health concerns of citizens into account in their planning of future
Magda Havas is a Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent
University. Her research is on electromagnetic fields generated by power lines
and wireless telecommunication antennas. She can be reached by email at
DOES POWER CORRUPT?
POSTED ON 28/03/06 Globe and Mail
MARTIN MITTELSTAEDT writes:
Scientists suspect an
overabundance of gadgets is degrading the quality of electricity and could pose
a pressing health risk to Canadians.
Kevin Byrne is a man in the prime
of his life who feared he had an old man's problems. Last summer, he was
devastated by chronic back pain and thought his hips were about to give out.
"I'm thinking, gee, I'm 47 years old and I'm going to need hip replacements
already," he said.
The hip pain was the beginning of a strange personal odyssey for Mr. Byrne, a
technical writer who lives in Newcastle, a bedroom community east of Toronto. He
is now convinced his ailment wasn't a sign of premature aging, but an allergy to
one of modern society's ubiquitous substances: electricity.
No one knows how many people are sensitive to electricity. Scientific debate is
intense over whether the condition exists or is a figment of people's
imagination. Some estimates place the number afflicted at a handful out of every
million. Others view it as more common but still a tad unusual, perhaps a few
individuals out of every thousand.
Mr. Byrne counts himself among those unlucky few. He began researching the topic
when a neighbour expressed the belief that electricity was dangerous. In an act
of desperation brought on by constant pain, he did something he initially
thought was off-the-wall. He spent $1,000 on filters that, much like surge
protectors on a computer, clean up fluctuations and surges in the electricity
flowing in the wires around his home.
"When you're in a lot of pain, you'll do just about anything. So I was sort of
grasping at non-medical straws," he said. "I didn't think they would work, to
tell you the truth. I thought I was probably wasting my money."
But within a couple of days, after months of pain for which his doctor could
find no cause, he started feeling fine again. "I said to my wife, 'This has got
to be the placebo effect,' " he said, referring to the well-known medical
phenomenon of patients reporting that they are cured of illnesses after being
given a sugar pill doctors suggest will help them.
Mr. Byrne also noticed another odd health effect after he cleaned up his power,
convincing him that electricity was at the root of his problems. Both he and his
wife suddenly began to sleep more soundly and his dreams became "incredibly real
and very vivid."
Stories such as Mr. Byrne's are not isolated tales. In fact, they're becoming
increasingly common, rising in lockstep with homes filled to the brim with
electronic gadgets and the proliferation of wireless technologies.
Symptoms of electrical sensitivity include the joint pain Mr. Byrne experienced,
but also a bewildering array of other common problems most everyone feels at one
time or another, such as fatigue, headaches, poor sleep quality with frequent
wakefulness, ringing in the ears, depression, difficulty remembering things, and
skin rashes. The list of symptoms has created speculation that some cases of
sick building syndrome, where people working in buildings complain of nausea and
headaches, might be due to electrical sensitivities.
Madga Havas, an associate professor at the Environmental Studies Department of
Trent University who is an expert on the health claims about electricity, says
she receives "almost a call a day" from people who say electricity is making
them ill and they can't find help in the medical system. "It's not just from
Canada. It's usually from the States as well," she says.
She thinks the condition is more widespread than commonly thought, and
speculates that for some people, exposure to electricity causes physiological
stress, producing symptoms of tiredness, difficulty concentrating and poor
The possibility of such a widespread health impact from electricity is greeted
with skepticism in the electricity industry, where such an effect would have
"We don't have support to suggest that there is electro sensitivity in members
of the population," says Jack Sahl, a manager of safety and environmental issues
at Southern California Edison, a large U.S. electricity provider.
The industry position has been bolstered by studies showing that most of those
who say they have allergies to electricity are unable consistently to detect the
presence of electric currents in laboratory experiments.
Medical authorities and scientific researchers have consequently been baffled
over these wide-ranging claims of ill health, not only in Canada and the United
States but in Britain and other European countries. In Sweden, the electrically
sensitive are so numerous they have established their own self-help and lobby
Those with the condition bristle at suggestions their symptoms are imaginary.
"This is not psychosomatic at all. . . . We're not delusional," says Susan
Stankavich, who lives near Albany, N.Y., and says her problems developed after a
large cell phone tower was erected near her home. She's had debilitating
headaches, among other symptoms, and can barely tolerate being under fluorescent
Reacting to this rising tide of claims of a new illness, the World Health
Organization issued a fact sheet in December on the allergies, which it dubbed
"electromagnetic hypersensitivity" and likened it to multiple chemical
The WHO says the "symptoms are certainly real" and "can be a disabling problem
for the affected individual."
Reports about sensitivity to electricity began with the introduction of
computers, predating the recent spread of Wi-Fi and cell phone towers, which
release a related but more powerful type of electromagnetic energy than that
produced around electric wires.
There have been long-running concerns about the possible health effects of
electricity because it is a source of both electric and magnetic fields,
invisible lines of force that surround all power lines and any power-consuming
device, from the lowly kitchen toaster to a computer. Electric fields are always
present near power wires and appliances, even when devices are turned off, but
magnetic fields are generated only when devices are on.
The nerves in living things work on electrical impulses. So do other biological
processes, such as the voltages in hearts detected using electrocardiographs.
This has given rise to worries that man-made electricity fields, to which humans
were never exposed before the modern era, might be biologically active, just
like chemical pollutants.
The WHO has been looking at electrical sensitivity as one aspect of a larger
investigation into the health effects of the cocktail of electromagnetic fields
enveloping people in modern societies via everything from power lines to cell
phones. It says that exposure to electromagnetic fields represents "one of the
most common and fastest growing environmental influences, about which there is
anxiety and speculation spreading."
Until now, most of the medical researchers looking at electricity and health
have searched for links to cancer, rather than the fatigue-related symptoms the
electrically sensitive claim.
The cancer research has linked childhood leukemia to power-line magnetic fields.
About 5 per cent of the U.S. population is regularly exposed to fields of the
strength associated with leukemia in children, a percentage that is probably
similar in Canada. For adult leukemia and brain tumours, some studies have found
links to electricity, as they have with Lou Gehrig's disease, but the research
is less conclusive than that for childhood leukemia.
Richard Stevens, an epidemiologist at the University of Connecticut Health
Center, has been studying electricity for nearly two decades, and first advanced
the hypothesis that the use of electricity is a factor behind the rise in some
cancer rates in developed countries. He says there is strong evidence linking
the use of night lighting to cancer because exposure to light at night disrupts
people's production of the hormone melatonin.
But he's unsure what impact the fields around electric wiring and devices might
be having. Some studies have found that magnetic fields suppress melatonin in
animals, something that might explain the allergy-like symptoms, but this effect
hasn't been observed in humans. "Whether or not magnetic fields have any effect
at all, I do not know," Dr. Stevens says.
The allergy-like symptoms are a far different medical condition than the cancers
Dr. Stevens studies, and some researchers are speculating that a possible
culprit is the recent deterioration in the quality of electricity flowing in
Power quality is a well-known problem in the utility business, caused by the
proliferation of computers, lighting dimmer switches, energy efficient bulbs,
and other modern electronic gadgets. These new devices cause a more complicated
use pattern for electricity than old-fashioned items such as incandescent bulbs,
producing negative feedback involving high-frequency peaks, harmonics and other
noise on electric wiring.
The way to picture the quality effect is to imagine that electricity is like
water flowing in a pipe. An incandescent bulb uses electricity steadily, just
like an open tap allows a constant flow into the sink. Computers and other
modern devices use power in variable amounts, similar to turning the tap on and
off, or any setting in between, causing water pipes to clang.
This deterioration in power quality has been going on for years and would have
likely escaped public notice, except that when home computers became popular in
the 1990s they would frequently crash or malfunction because of it.
The change in power quality means more variable electromagnetic fields, and
possibly more biologically active ones, are associated with electricity than
there used to be. This is a possible explanation for the rise in electro
sensitivity complaints in the view of Denis Henshaw, a professor at the
University of Bristol in Britain, who is an international authority on the
health effects of power transmission lines.
He says that if electricity were flowing in a constant way, most people's bodies
would likely adapt, but with all the interference from modern devices, the
resulting fields are too variable for people to get used to. "We just don't get
to adapt to these because they don't have any special pattern to them," he said.
"There is no proof of this, it's just an opinion."
In Canada, Dr. Havas has been investigating whether the deterioration in power
quality has led to sensitivity. To this end, she's been installing filters that
clean up the interference on electrical wires to see if people notice.
In 2003, she installed filters in a Toronto private school where a student was
electrically sensitive for a six-week test, three weeks with the devices and
three weeks without them. Half of the teachers who responded to her
questionnaire said they felt health improvements, such as being able to
concentrate better and feeling less tired, when the filters were in place. Even
more unusual, the teachers, who were not told what the research was about,
reported that 60 per cent of their classes showed improvements in student
behaviour when the filters were installed.
Based on this finding, Dr. Havas estimates that perhaps half of the population
may have some sensitivity to electricity.
In another test, she installed filters in the homes of people with multiple
sclerosis, a disease that might be reactive to electricity because it is
associated with poor sheathing on nerves. Brad Blumbergs, 29, says his MS
improved so much last year that he could walk without shaking and could even run
again. "It allows me to retire my cane," he said. "It hasn't cured me, but my
symptoms are a percentage of what they used to be," Mr. Blumbergs said.
Dr. Havas has presented some of these findings at scientific conferences on
electro sensitivity, but the work hasn't appeared in the gold standard of
research, the peer-reviewed scientific journals that would confer more
legitimacy on the results.
The utility industry's Mr. Sahl is skeptical about efforts to improve power
quality, which generally cost about $1,000 to handle one home, and calls them a
"waste of money."
He agrees that the action may make some people feel better, but only because
they're affected by the power of suggestion and not by the power of electricity.
"I hate to be blunt about it, but there is this well-established effect in
science and we've studied it over and over and it's called the placebo effect."
That doesn't ring true to Mr. Byrne. He says his sensitivity might have been
prompted by his decision last year to conserve energy by replacing much of his
home's simple incandescent lighting with high-efficiency compact fluorescent
bulbs, some brands of which cause the power-quality problem.
He's become so convinced that electricity can make people sick that he's set up
a website, offering tips to fellow sufferers on how to alleviate their symptoms,
such as urging them to throw out their dimmer switches and limiting exposures to
electronic gadgets. When it comes to electricity, Mr. Byrne says, "I think
people should automatically begin changing their lifestyles."
Are EMFs Hazardous to Our Health?
Can electromagnetic fields (EMF)
from power lines, home wiring, airport and military radar, substations,
transformers, computers and appliances cause brain tumours, leukemia, birth
defects, miscarriages, chronic fatigue, headaches, cataracts, heart problems,
stress. nausea, chest pain, forgetfulness, cancer and other health problems?
Numerous studies have produced contradictory results, yet some experts are
convinced that the threat is real.
Dr. David Carpenter, Dean at the School of Public Health, State University of
New York believes it is likely that up to 30% of all childhood cancers come from
exposure to EMFs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns "There is
reason for concern" and advises prudent avoidance".
Martin Halper, the EPA's Director of Analysis and Support says "I have never
seen a set of epidemiological studies that remotely approached the weight of
evidence that we're seeing with EMFs. Clearly there is something here."
Concern over EMFs exploded after Paul Brodeur wrote a series of articles in the
New Yorker Magazine in June 1989. Because of Paul Brodeur's reputation. his
articles had a catalytic effect on scientists, reporters and concerned people
throughout the world.
In November 1989, the Department of Energy reported that "It has now become
generally accepted that there are, indeed, biological effects due to field
The EMF issue gained more publicity in 1990 when alarming reports appeared in
Time, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week and popular computer publications.
ABC's Ted Koppel and CBS's Dan Rather both aired special segments on EMFs.
In addition to the long-term health concerns, buying a house with high fields
will be an economic disaster. In a few years, when power line radiation is as
well known as asbestos and radon, a house with high fields will be practically
impossible to sell. Already there are hundreds of lawsuits regarding EMFs and
EPA Says the Threat Is Real
By 1990, over one hundred studies had been conducted worldwide. Of these, at
least two dozen epidemiological studies on humans indicated a link between EMFs
and serious health problems. In response to public pressure, the Environmental
Protection Agency IEPA) began reviewing and evaluating the available literature.
In a draft report issued in March 1990, the EPA recommended that EMFs be
classified as a Class B carcinogen -- -a "probable human carcinogen and joined
the ranks of formaldehyde, DDT, dioxins and PCBs.
After the EPA draft report was released, utility, military and computer
lobbyists came down hard on the EPA. The EPA's final revision did NOT classify
EMFs as a Class B carcinogen Rather, the following explanation was added:"
At this time such a characterization regarding the link between cancer and
exposure to EMFs is not appropriate because the basic nature of the interaction
between EMFs and biological processes leading to cancer is not understood."
Curiously, this rather unusual logic appears on the same page as the following:
"In conclusion, several studies showing leukemia, lymphoma and cancer of the
nervous system in children exposed to supported by similar findings in adults in
several/ occupational studies also involving electrical power frequency
exposures, show a consistent pattern of response that suggest a causal link. "
When questioned about the contradictory nature of these statements, the EPA
responded that it was "not appropriate" to use the probable carcinogen label
until it could demonstrate how EMFs caused cancer and exactly how much EMF is
This explanation does not satisfy many critics who claim that the EPAs upper
management was influenced by political and economic considerations exerted by
utility, computer and military lobbyists.
How Do I Measure EMFs?
A Gauss is a common unit of
measurement of magnetic field strength. A Gauss meter is an instrument which
measures the strength of magnetic fields. Inside a Gauss meter there is a coil
of thin wire, typically with hundreds of turns. As a magnetic field radiates
through the coil, it induces a current, which is amplified by the circuitry
inside the Gauss meter.
Gauss meters may vary in the strength of the magnetic field they are capable of
measuring. A meter used for measuring EMFs from power lines, transformers,
substations and appliances around the home, for example, should be able to
measure as low as .1 mg.
Gauss meters vary widely in price and accuracy. Meters have either a single axis
coil or a triple axis coil. Single axis meters are much simpler than triple axis
meters to manufacture and thus, are less expensive.
To use a single axis meter you must point the meter's one sensor in three
directions -- -the x, y and z axis. Then, you combine the three readings in a
mathematical equation to calculate the combined field strength. Obviously, its
far easier and more accurate to use a 3-axis meter. Triple axis Gauss meters are
quite accurate, but they are also more expensive.
Another thing to watch out for when purchasing or renting a Gauss meter is
whether or not it is frequency weighted. Most meters will read the same EMF
strength no mater what the frequency.
As the human body appears to be sensitive to both the field strength AND the
frequency, Gauss meters used for biological purposes should be "frequency
This means that if the field is different than 60 Hz the meter will consider the
frequency and use it in calculating and displaying the EMF's strength. This
feature is why frequency weighted meters will show a higher EMF reading than
those meters typically used by electricians and engineers.
An enormous amount of electricity
is created at power generating stations and sent across the country through
wires that carry high voltages. All power lines radiate electromagnetic fields.
The question is: how much are the
power lines near YOUR home radiating? The amount of EMFs coming from a power
line depends on its particular configuration. Power companies know which power
line configurations are best for reducing EMFs but most don't feel the evidence
supports costly changes in the way they deliver electricity.
A substation is an assemblage of
circuit breakers, disconnecting switches and transformers designed to
substations have been blamed for causing cancer clusters among nearby residents.
Paul Brodeur wrote about several such cancer clusters in the July 9, 1990 issue
of the New Yorker Magazine.
A key component of a utility's
electrical distribution network depends upon numerous, small transformers
mounted on power poles. A transformer looks like a small metal trash can,
Even when the electrical service is underground, you will often see a metal box
(usually square} located on the ground near the street. Many people don't
realize that when they see a transformer, the power line feeding the transformer
is 4000 to 13,800 volts.
The transformer then reduces the voltage to the 120/240 volts needed by nearby
homes. Since these transformers can be seen in almost every neighbourhood, they
are a source of concern.
EMFs near a transformer can be quite high, but due to its small structure, the
field strength diminishes rapidly with distance, as it does from any point
source. For this reason, having a transformer located near your home is usually
not a major source of concern, although just to make sure, everyone should
measure the field strength around it.
If your home has high EMF
readings, it is important to determine the sources of the EMF so that remedial
action can be taken, if possible. Many times a particular room will have a
higher EMF reading. Check to see if the electricity is coming into the house on
the wall outside that room. When this is the case, it is usually a good idea to
block off that room and only use it for storage purposes.
Sometimes, the source of a high magnetic field is incorrect wiring. If you
suspect that your home is wired improperly, obtain the services of a licensed
electrician. Warning: Do not touch electric wires, even if you think the current
is turned off. If you need to disconnect electrical circuits to determine the
source of magnetic fields, you should call a licensed electrician.
Computers are a complicated
subject. Know this: EMFs radiate from all sides of the computer. Thus, you must
not only be concerned with sitting in front of the monitor but also if you are
sitting near a computer or if a computer is operating in a nearby room.
The Swedish safety standard, effective 711/90, specifies a maximum of 0.25 mG at
50 cm from the display. Many US manufactured computers have EMFs of 5 - 100 mG
at this distance. And know this too: the screens placed over monitors do NOT
block EMFs. Not even a lead screen will block ELF and VLF magnetic fields.
Space does not permit a more thorough discussion of computers. If you use a
computer, it is important that you
measure your EMF exposure with a Gauss meter and review the literature
concerning the health impacts of computer use.
Electric Blankets and Waterbeds
Electric blankets create a
magnetic field that penetrates about 6-7 inches into the body. Thus it is not
surprising that an epidemiological study has linked electric blankets with
miscarriages and childhood leukemia.
This pioneering work was performed by Dr. Nancy Wertheimer and Ed Leeper, who
originally discovered that magnetic fields were linked to childhood leukemia.
Similar health effects have been noted with users of many electric blankets and
waterbed heaters will emit EMFs even when turned off.
The devices must be unplugged to delete the EMF exposure Additionally, there is
the issue regarding the vibrations that are generated by sleeping on standing
water. There is less hard data in this area but some experts are concerned about
Electric clocks have a very high
magnetic field, as much as 5 to 10 mG up to three feet away. If you are using a
bedside clock, you are probably sleeping in an EMF equivalent to that of a
powerline Studies have linked high rates of brain tumours with chronic exposure
to magnetic fields, so it is wise to place all clocks and other electrical
devices (such as telephones and answering devices) at least 6 feet from your
Fluorescent lights produce much
more EMFs than incandescent bulbs. A typical fluorescent lamp of a office
ceiling have readings of 160 to
200 mg 1 inch away.
Microwave Ovens and Radar
Microwave ovens and radar from
military installations and airports emit two types of radiation -- microwave and
ELF. Microwaves are measured in milliwatt per centimeter squared (mW/cm2) As of
1/1/93, the U.S. safety limit for microwave exposure is 1 mW/cm2, down from a
previous 10 mW/cm2. The Russian safety limit is .01 mW/cm2. All microwave ovens
leak and exceed the Russian safety limit. In addition, recent Russian studies
have shown that normal microwave cooking coverts food protein molecules into
When measuring microwaves from military and airport radar sources, 100% accurate
readings can only be found with extremely expensive digital peak-hold meters.
Why? Because analog devices begin to drop their reading immediately after the
radar sweep passes. Thus, while an analog meter can show whether or not you are
being exposed to radar EMFs, analog meters can't show your true exposure.
Although thousands of dollars to purchase, digital-hold meters capable of
accurately detecting radar EMFs can be rented for several hundred to over a
thousand dollars per month.
Telephones and Answering Machines
Telephones can emit surprisingly strong EMFs, especially from the handset. This
is a problem because we hold the telephone so close to our head. Place the Gauss
meter right against the ear piece and the mouth piece before buying a phone.
Some brands emit no measurable fields and others emit strong fields that travel
several inches....right into your brain. Answering machines, particular those
with adapter plugs (mini-transformers), give off high levels of EMFs.
Electric Razors and Hair Dryers
Electric razors and hair dryers emit EMFs as high as 200 to 400 mG. This seems
alarming, but we don't know if this is worse (or better) than a chronic exposure
to a 2-3 mG field. Some EMF consultants recommend that hair dryers not be used
on children as the high fields are held close to their rapidly developing brain
and nervous system.
Electricity is an inseparable part
of our modern day society. This means that EMFs will continue to be all around
us. But as Discover Magazine postulated, aside from making our life easier, is
electricity also making our lives shorter?
Most experts agree that limited, non-chronic exposure to EMFs is not a threat.
For example, it is probably acceptable for a person to be near a toaster in the
BUT, it is not advisable for a person to sleep under an electric blanket, up
close, live near a powerline/substation, and sleep in a room where the power
enters the home. This person is under an extreme case of chronic exposure. This
condition, unfortunately, applies to millions of Americans.
If you wish to follows the EPA's advice and practice "prudent avoidance" then
the following advice is offered:
Measure your home, work and school environments with a Gauss meter Measure EMFs
both inside and outside your home. Don't let your children play near power
lines, transformers, radar domes and microwave towers.
Avoid areas where the field is above 1 mG. Measure the EMFs from appliances both
when they are operating and when they are turned off. Some appliances (like TVs)
are still drawing current even when they are off.
Don't sleep under an electric blanket or on a waterbed. If you insist on using
these, unplug them before going to bed (don't just turn it off). Even though
there is no magnetic field when they are turned off, there may still be a high
Don't sit too close to your TV set. Distance yourself at least 6 feet away. Use
a Gauss meter to help you decide where it is safe to sit.
Rearrange your office and home area so that you are not exposed to EMFs from the
sides/backs of electric appliances and computers. In the home, it is best that
all major electrical appliances, such as computers, TVs, refrigerators etc, be
placed up against outside walls. That way you are not creating an EMF field in
the adjoining room.
Don't sit too close to your computer. Computer monitors vary greatly in the
strength of their EMFs, so you should check yours with a meter. Don't stand
close to your microwave oven. Move all electrical appliances at least 6 feet
from your bed. Eliminate wires running under your bed. Eliminate dimmers and
Be wary of cordless appliances such as electric toothbrushes and razors. You may
choose not to wear a quartz-analog watch because it radiates pulsating EMFs
along your acupuncture meridians.
An older mechanical windup watch would be an acceptable alternative. It is also
recommended to wear as little jewelry as possible and to take it off at night.
Many people have metal sensitivity which can be aggravated by placing it right
on the skin. Measure with a gauss meter to be sure.
And last, but not least, always always always remember that EMFs pass right
through walls. The EMF you are reading on your Gauss meter could be radiating
from the next room...or from outside your home.
Additional Radiation Info:
Eyeglass frames should ideally be
made from plastic with no wires in them, otherwise they can serve as an antenna
to focus the radio and cellular phone waves directly into your brain.
What EMF Level Is Safe?
There's a heated debate as to what
electromagnetic field (EMF) level is considered safe. Since the experts have not
come to an consensus, you'll have to decide for yourself... Many government and
utility documents report the usual ambient level of 60-Hz magnetic field to be
Thus, any reading higher than 0.5 mG is above the "usual" ambient exposure. Many
experts and public officials, as well as the few governments that have made an
effort to offer public protection, have adopted the 3 mG cutoff point. The EPA
has proposed a safety standard of 1 mG. Sweden has set a maximum safety limit of
Dr. Robert Becker, an MD who has been studying the effects of EMFs for 20 years,
states a lmG safety limit in his book Cross Currents. When electricians try to
solve a magnetic field problem they do their best to drop the level to 1 mG or
Dr. Nancy Wertheimer, a Ph.D. epidemiologist who has been studying EMFs for 20
years, has been looking at the epidemiological data in a different way -- she is
trying to associate EMF levels with health rather than disease. The level she is
coming up with is a cut off of 1 mG. Russian researchers claim that 1/1000ths of
a mG should be the standard.
The BioElectric Body believes that there are several stages of health between
"optimum wellness", "degenerative disease" and "Cancer". Thus, we maintain our
own living and sleeping quarters at 0.5mG and below.
Cross Currents The Perils of
Electropollution. The Promise of Electromedicine Robert 0. Becker, M.D. Jeremy
P. Tarcher, Inc., 1990
Currents of Death The Attempt to Cover Up the Threat to Your Health Paul Brodeur
Simon and Schuster, 1989
Electromagnetic Man Health & Hazard in the Electrical Environment Cyril W. Smith
& Simon Best St. Martin's Press. Inc. 1989.
With the dramatic increase in
usage of electronic equipment, appliances and communications devices over the
past two decades, concerns about the effects of electromagnetic waves within the
home and office environments are gaining attention.
With Graham-Stetzer Filters, you can easily neutralize the high frequency energy
that flows along your electrical wires, improving the safety of your house and
protecting your family from the effects of poor power quality.
While symptoms related to chronic fatigue, depression, insomnia, memory loss and
numerous other health concerns can be attributed to exposure to “dirty
electricity”, the Graham-Stetzer Filters may prove especially practical for
those who suffer from electrical hypersensitivity.
Installation involves simply plugging these filters into any regular outlet. The
reduction in electrical pollution is immediate and the results may make a
significant difference to your life.
Symptoms of electromagnetic
radiation sickness are for example sleep disturbances, dizziness, heart
palpitations, headache, blurry sight, swelling, nausea, a burning skin,
vibrations, electrical currents in the body, pressure on the breast, cramps,
high blood pressure and general unwell-being. According to many testimonies of
victims the symptoms appear in the vicinity of sources of electromagnetic
radiation, like GSM- and 3G (UMTS)-antennas, cell phones, DECT wireless
telephones and WIFI wireless networks. Many times the experiences are blind.
Radiation measurements taken afterwards and investigations show, that the
radiation density indeed is increased. Many sufferers find out the relationship
with the radiation, when they stay for a while elsewhere, where the symptoms
diminish or disappear. When they return home the symptoms immediately appear
again. Many of the patients decide to move to another place. Others try to
shield themselves against the radiation, for example building a Faraday cage of
fine wire mesh.
The scientific foundations of the instructions and the leaflet are weak. Like
with asbestos the only research that can give proof is epidemiological research,
because electromagnetic radiation is a man-made environmental factor. According
to the website http://www.stopumts.nl of Etwald Goes, all epidemiologic research
until now found negative impact on well-being and health, from sleep
disturbances to death. Moreover, it is impossible that the negative impact does
not exist, since more than half of the in vitro and in vivo laboratory and
provocative research finds damage. Such investigations can never fully represent
true life with all the parameters of permanent exposure of living people,
animals and plants. However, if most of these investigations show a negative
impact, something must be the matter. Indeed there is a problem, according to
the lots of reports WHO mentions.
In a report for T-Mobile by the Jülich Institute of May 9 2005, the experts
report effects on the central nervous system, cerebral blood flow, neuronal
activity, EEG, working of the brain and cognitive function. The European Reflex
study found damage to DNA, which is an confirmation of earlier research and has
been confirmed afterwards.
correspondence with Chiyoji Ohkubo, Michael Repacholi of the EMF-project, WHO,
correspondence with Peter Achermann of the Institute of Pharmacology and
'Bobje zingt weer' (canary bird sings again) in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf,
August 19 2005
sauvonsleon.fr (42 testimonies in French around one antenna installation)
stopumts.nl (questions about health and radiation: email firstname.lastname@example.org)
who.int/peh-emf/meetings/hypersens_wgrep_oct04.pdf (page 8)
http://www.feb.se and many other websites, like microwavenews.com
Written by Frans van Velden
Frans is an accredited journalist