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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 your home.
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 power delivery.

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 mhavas@trentu.ca.

POSTED ON 28/03/06 Globe and Mail


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 sleep.
The possibility of such a widespread health impact from electricity is greeted with skepticism in the electricity industry, where such an effect would have wide-ranging consequences.

"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 group.

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 lights.

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 sensitivities.
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 wires.

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 exposure."

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 property devaluation.
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 harmful.

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 weighted".

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.

Power Lines

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, usually cylindrical.

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.

Home Wiring

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 the consequences.

Electric Clocks

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 bed.

Fluorescent Lights

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 carcinogenic substances.

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.

Prudent Avoidance

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 morning.

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 electric field.

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 3-way switches.

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 0.5 mG.

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 1 mG.

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 below.

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.

Recommended Reading

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.


Filtering EMI

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.

Epidemiological research
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.

Swiss study
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, Geneva
correspondence with Peter Achermann of the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Zürich
'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 info@stopumts.nl)
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


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