Electrosmog: twelve ways of avoiding it
Last December 12, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) made history. The non-profit group representing more than 60 000 physicians supported H.R. 6358, the Cell Phone Right to Know Act, introduced by Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). It hence became the first major American medical body to state : “It is essential that any new standards for cell phones or other wireless devices be based on protecting the youngest and most vulnerable populations to ensure they are safeguarded through their lifetimes.’’ While the Republican-dominated Congress probably will not adopt the bill, it reflects a growing view in scientific circles that exposure standards for electromagnetic fields (EMF) such as radiofrequencies (RFs) emitted by wireless devices should be reexamined to consider non-thermal effects such as cancer. The law would also require warning labels applied on cell phones to indicate the amount of radiation they emit and financing a national research program to examine their health consequences, especially on children, pregnant women and other vulnerable populations. New standards, AAP president Dr Thomas K. McInerny wrote Rep. Kucinich, “will enable parents to better understand the potential dangers of RF energy exposure and protect their children”. McInerny’s letter gives additional credence to the growing number of studies indicating the exponential increase in RF exposure in recent years may be a major public health threat. And it is powerful counterweight to industry’s and mainstream media’s attacks on the credibility of these studies and their authors.
Up until recently, governments were wary about erring on the side of caution, and most physicians have steered away from the EMF issue, saying results are contradictory and inconclusive. What’s little known, however, is that Washington professor of bioengineering Henry Lai discovered that 70% of independent scientific studies have shown that low-level exposure to RFs can indeed present mid- or long-term health risks, notably of cerebral cancers, while the same proportion of industry-funded studies have found no link, or even a protective effect from RFs.
Health Canada downplays ELF risks
Consumers are often confused by the contradictory information circulating about the safety or risks of EMFs generated by various sources : extremely low frequency (60 Hertz ELF) electric and magnetic fields from powerlines and home wiring and appliances and which are linked notably to higher risk of childhood leukemia, as well as RF/microwave radiation such as ultra high frequency (300 megahertz to 3 gigahertz UHF) radiation from satellites, TV, radio and cellular antennas, cordless and mobile (cell) phones, walkie-talkies, baby monitors, Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies, linked to brain cancer.
Our Federal Health Department’s website states : “Health Canada does not consider that any precautionary measures are needed regarding daily exposures to EMFs at ELFs. There is no conclusive evidence of any harm caused by exposures at levels found in Canadian homes and schools, including those located just outside the boundaries of power line corridors.’’
More prudent towards wireless radiation However, in Oct. 2011, after RF was classified as a “possible carcinogen’’ by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Health Canada encouraged “parents to reduce their children's RF exposure from cell phones since children are typically more sensitive to a variety of environmental agents’’. If they choose to reduce their RF exposure, Health Canada reminds consumers that they can : “* Limit the length of cell phone calls ; * Replace cell phone calls with text messages or use "hands-free" devices ; * Encourage children under the age of 18 to limit their cell phone usage.’’
“With regard to Wi-Fi, however, Health Canada claims in fall 2011 that no precautionary measures are needed”, deplores Canadian Building Biologist Katharina Gustavs. Health Canada says “unlike cellular phones where the transmitter is in close proximity to the head and much of the RF energy that is absorbed is deposited in a highly localized area, RF energy from Wi-Fi devices is typically transmitted at a much greater distance from the human body.” Gustavs notes, however: “A quick look at Apple’s Important Product Information Guide for the iPad WiFi + 3G reveals that the highest SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) value for the WiFi 2.4 GHz is 1.19 W/kg and for the 1800/1900 MHz cell phone network is 1.18 W/kg, which is typical for SAR values of cell phones.”
BioInitiative Report recommendations
Dr David O. Carpenter, a professor of Public Health at State University of New York at Albany, goes even further and echoes AAP’s call for stricter exposure limits. “There is now much more evidence of risks to health affecting billions of people worldwide“, said the co-editor of the famous 2007 BioInitiative Report and its recent 2012 update. The status quo is not acceptable in light of the evidence for harm.”
The BioInitiative Working Group is comprised of 29 independent experts who studied 1,800 new EMF/health studies published since 2007. They say the weight of evidence indicates EMF exposures well below public safety standards can increase the risk of many diseases and conditions, from brain cancer and leukemia to heart and neurological diseases as well as infertility, autism and electrosensitivity, especially among people who often use wireless devices. For example, the standards are 1,000 to 10,000 or more times higher than levels now commonly reported to cause bioeffects, according to the BioInitiative Group including electrical engineer Yury Grigoriev, Chair of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.
Modern medicine is still debating the origins of electrosensitivity symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, skin rashes and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). The World Health Organization says it’s not proven that these are caused by exposure to EMFs and does not rule out the possibility that they may be psychosomatic. Some studies, many of which were industry-financed, have come to that conclusion. But a few studies, for example by cardiac surgeon Dr William J. Rea, of Texas, environmental toxicologist Magda Havas PhD, associate professor at Trent University, and biophysicist Andrew Marino PhD, professor of neurology, orthopaedic surgery as well as cellular biology and anatomy at Louisiana State University, have concluded EMFs are indeed the triggers. Electrosensitivity “is not a phobia”, says gastroenterologist Dr Roy Fox, a professor of geriatrics and expert in environmental medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “When the nervous system is in a high state of arousal where you react to the environment, it’s interpreted as being anxious“, Dr Fox, Medical Director of the Integrated Chronic Care Service, a publicly-funded centre specializing in the treatment of individuals with complex chronic conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and environmental sensitivities, said in an interview. “But when you become ill and everything you are exposed to makes it worse, you have to reduce your exposure so the body can focus on healing. We teach people how to reduce chemical and electromagnetic exposure. And our patients improve.’’
Quebec doctors are increasingly aware of these bioeffects. “One of my patients recently had severe rosacea, the skin of her face burned and peeled outright without improvement with pills and creams that I prescribed, Pointe-Claire dermatologist June Irwin said in an interview. Finally, she discovered it was because she read a lot of books on an iPad tablet [online via Wi-Fi], combined with cortisone cream she had bought. Finally, five to six days after ceasing to use the iPad, her condition improved 90%.”
The BioInitiative 2012 Report is unequivocal: “Strong precautionary action and clear public health warnings are warranted immediately to help prevent a global epidemic of brain tumors resulting from the use of wireless devices,” concludes the Report.
In fact, the epidemic may already have begun, the London Daily Mail reported on April 24 2012 : the incidence rate of temporal and frontal lobe tumors has risen by 50 % (from two to three per 100,000 people) between 1999 and 2009, according to the British Office of National Statistics, and “figures from Bordeaux Segalen University show a one to two per cent annual increase in brain cancers in children”.
The BioInitiative Working Group recommends limiting 60-Hz magnetic field average 24-hour exposure to 1 milligauss (mG) — or 0.1 microtesla in the metric scale — to protect fetuses, children and pregnant women. Health Canada goes by the international guidance level of 1,000 mG which only considers acute effects but not long-term effects such as cancer. This despite the fact that ELF magnetic fields are also classified as “possible carcinogens’’, as chronic average daily exposures of at least 2 mG increase childhood leukemia risks. They are also suspected of causing neurological and other diseases such as brain and breast cancer, as they stop the pineal gland’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin, a very potent antioxydant halting tumor growth.
No limit has been set for ELF electric fields as they have been rarely studied, but overexposure to them has also been linked to health effects such as greater risk of leukemia in children and electrical workers, infections (also caused by static electricity), mutations, etc.
For wireless, the BioInitiative Working Group’s 2012 report concludes that for cumulative outdoor exposure, recent mobile phone base station studies show that an outdoor cumulative level of three nanowatts per square centimenter is the lowest observed level causing biological effects. The report concludes that new exposure limits are justified on a precautionary public healht basis: “Applying a tenfold reduction to compensate for the lack of long-term exposure (to provide a safety buffer for chronic exposure, if needed) or for children as a sensitive subpopulation yields a 300 to 600 picowatts per square centimeter precautionary action level. This equates to a 0.3 nanowatts to 0.6 nanowatts per square centimeter as a reasonable, precautionary action level for chronic exposure to pulsed RFR. These levels may need to change in the future, as new and better studies are completed.”
This is three orders of magnitude lower than its 2007 recommendation of 0.1 microwatt per squared centimeter (μW/cm2) or 0.614 Volts per meter limit for cumulative (24-hour) exposure. The indoor exposure limit of 0.01 μW/cm2 is maintained. To achieve these levels of cumulative exposure, one needs to avoid wireless devices as much as possible, certainly at night when the body needs to rest and repair itself.
Hence consumers should try to reduce their EMF exposure to levels as low as reasonably achievable with simple and affordable measures, as many countries have recommended. For example, Great Britain, Austria and Germany have recommended using wired internet connections instead of Wi-Fi and limiting cell phone use by teens only to emergencies and avoiding its use by children.
We thus asked a Canadian expert to tell us what common sense precautionary measures should be prioritized. Magda Havas is Associate Professor of Environmental & Resource Studies at Trent University in
Peterborough, Ontario, where she teaches and does research on the biological effects of environmental contaminants.
1. Measure Start with 60-Hertz ELF fields. “First “, said Havas, “you need to find out what you’re exposed to at home, especially in the bedroom and other rooms where you spend the most time, as well as at either work or school.” To do so, you need either to hire an EMF investigator or to buy a meter to measure EMFs. Havas recommends for example the TriField Meter which can be bought on the Internet for about $200. “It’s a good tool, but I wouldn’t go cheaper. It is moderately good for ELF magnetic fields and not sensitive enough for most ELF electric fields and RF fields you’ll be exposed to.”
There are four sources of ELF fields : external distribution or transmission lines and underground wiring (“you can do little about these except move into a bedroom that is as far away as possible”) and indoor wiring and appliances. Magnetic fields (MFs) are created by current when power is consumed. Since their levels vary according to the amount of electrical energy (amperage) that is flowing to appliances, the more energy you save the less you’re exposed. To measure peak MF levels, turn on your electrical heating and major appliances.
2. Fix wiring errors
Unless a powerline is very close to your house, beside the service drop (electrical entry), the sources of strongest residential magnetic fields are typically wiring errors and grounding of the electrical box on metal plumbing which conducts these fields. “That’s the first thing you fix, any electrician can do that”, Havas said. If the ground is the problem, it can be transferred to buried metal rods and a section of the metal plumbing should be replaced by a plastic pipe to halt magnetic fields entering from the municipal water main.
3. Back off
Magnetic fields (MFs) penetrate most materials and shielding them is very expensive. MµMetal industrial shielding is useful for small areas such as under a motorcycle seat, as long-term exposure to its battery is suspected of contributing to prostate cancer. Its manufacturer MuShield Company, of New Hampshire, couldn’t quote a price over the phone because the product is custom-made. The material itself is five times more expensive than steel.
Your best bet to reduce your MF exposure is to avoid spending a lot of time close to sources. MF strength diminishes inversely proportional to the square of the distance. It generally drops to background levels a few inches to six feet from interior sources. “If magnetic fields are high in the middle of a room“, Havas said. “you may have wiring problems.” They may be due to old knob and tube wiring : it generates high fields much like metal plumbing as both are single conductors — when current flows in opposite directions in parallel or twisted pair conductors, the two fields cancel each other out.
It’s also important to know that MFs travel through building materials. Thus you’ll want to avoid putting your bed or workstation near major sources, such as 240-volt heating cables, the main electric panel or fluorescent lighting installed in walls, ceilings and floors. Backing off six feet from these powerful sources is generally plenty. “An electric panel should be on an opposite wall from the bed. In some cases 3 to 4 feet can make a big difference”, Havas said.
Some electrical appliances emit higher MFs than others, especially stoves, microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners, old cathode ray tube (CRT) computer monitors and televisions, hair dryers and electric shavers. Start with appliances you are most often exposed to : “The amount of time you shave your face is limited and you’re whole body is not exposed“, Havas said. “But if you’re already reacting adversely you may want to avoid an electric shaver.”
4. Check ground currents
Outdoor EMFs may be entering your home in an unsuspected way : from ground currents because utilities often use the earth to return current to substations. Few experts know how to measure these currents, Havas said. “You need fairly sophisticated equipment, namely an oscilloscope meter measuring high frequencies between two metal rods. Another way is to measure on metal plumbing which is often connected to the ground or a metal sink. David Colling of Ripley, Ontario, is knowledgeable in this area.”
5. Reduce and shield electric fields
As for residential ELF electric fields, their intensity is stable because they are created by tension (voltage) which is always either 110 to 120 volts or 220 to 240 volts. They are eliminated by unplugging power cords or by shutting off tension in a circuit via an electric circuit breaker. They can also be captured and eliminated by a metal screen (like window screen) that is grounded. Electric fields also drop quickly inches or feet away. While they are a bigger problem in Europe where only 220/240 V power is used, they can also be a problem in North America, Havas said.
“Levels should also be low in the middle of rooms unless you have a wiring problem. Shielded cables [AC, sheathed with metal blocking electric fields] are the ideal way to go if you’re very sensitive, for example to protect children.” If you’re renovating, you may want to consider replacing old BX or more recent Romex non-metallic sheathed cables, especially where you spend the most time : around your bed and work station.
6. Install a demand switch
Havas recommends Safe Living Technologies, an Ontario firm headed by EMF consultant Rob Metzinger. He supplies various protective products such as shielded power cords for computers and other equipment, as well as demand switches which shut off power in wiring after the last lamp or appliance has been turned off in an electrical circuit. Especially recommended for children and other electrosensitive people, the demand switch allows you to sleep in an environment free from any ELF electric and magnetic fields, allowing the body to recover by maximizing its production of melatonin (as long as you sleep in the dark because light also suppresses its secretion by the pineal gland). “Lamps are not grounded so they are notorious for bad electric fields.”
A demand switch costs $270 and is installed by an electrician in the main electric panel. If rooms below or adjacent to your bed are on different circuits, Havas explained that you’ll need to install a demand switch for those areas as well.
She also advises to avoid having metal around beds as much as possible : “It’s very important because metal such as bedsprings are going to act like an antenna and reradiate high frequencies.” The ideal bed is made of wood holding a natural rubber (latex) non-toxic mattress.
Havas also advises you make sure the head of your bed is not against a wall with a lot of wiring, especially 240-volt heating cables. “Ensure you don’t put your bed over a light fixture installed on the ceiling below, that there’s not an electric clock by your bed — it should be further than arm’s reach, such as six feet away. And make sure you don’t sleep on a water bed (it has a heating element) or under an electric blanket. At the least, it’s really important to unplug these once the bed is warm to eliminate all EMFs, but there will still be the problem of the metal reradiating radiofrequencies.”
7. Consider ionisation and grounding
British architect and environmental scientist Isaac Jamieson adds : “50/60 Hz alternating curring (AC) electric fields can increase local concentrations of airborne contaminants (including pathogens) and their deposition on nearby surfaces and in the lungs.” These fields are higher and there are greater rates of infections in hospitals and other buildings in the presence of electric devices, relative humidity (RH) below 20-30% as well as synthetic materials and metals accumulating electrostatic charges. In his paper Building health: The need for electromagnetic hygiene?, he also recommends bipolar ionisation, use of natural materials (concrete and steel buildings block natural “vertical electric field regimes” which benefit the immune system and grounding conductive objects and humans to help neutralise excess charge and contaminant deposition.
Scientists from the California-based Earthing Institute have written a dozen papers published in scientific journals showing that grounding can reduce chronic inflammation leading to many diseases and other health problems. “It’s important to ground yourself“, said Magda Havas. One reason some people become electrosensitive is that electrons accumulate in the body which picks up a charge when exposed to electricity, for example typing on a computer. In the electrical industry, it is recommended that workers stand on a metal sheet in bare feet for 2 to 5 minutes when they arrive home in order to drain those excess electrons. ”
Even more effective, according to Earthing Institute research, is work with your feet on an earthing mat or to sleep on cotton sheets made with fine silver threads, both of them connected to earth with a grounding wire. Besides draining excess electric charges, grounding the body allows it to receive anti-inflammatory free electrons from the earth.
The ideal, natural way of grounding is to walk barefoot in the morning dew or in the sea as salt and other minerals combined with moisture help conduct these free electrons to your soles. “Magnesium epsom salt makes bath water more conductive and also help discharge excess electrons”, Havas explained.
How beneficial are earthing/grounding mats to human health? “Some people have improved dramatically and others became quite ill, it depends on where they plug them in”, Havas said. Indeed, grounding devices (sold for example by earthing.com) are connected to earth either by being plugged into the ground of an electical wall outlet or outdoors directly into the ground. Before doing so, however, make sure there is no current circulating on the wall or exterior ground which could charge your body with subtle but damaging micro-currents. That can happen if you have a problem with your home’s electrical wiring (if the ground wire was improperly installed and it actually conducts electricity) or if you live near an electrical substation or a factory (utilities use the earth to return currents to the grid). “I normally recommend plugging them outside but first you have to make sure you don’t have ground current problems “, Havas said. “You almost have to test your ground randomly, during the day and at night. ” Use a circuit tester to confirm your ground is safe. If you notice microcurrents (high frequency harmonics and transients on the wire) at 10 mV or higher, then don’t connect yourself to ground.
For his part, American epidemiologist Sam Milham, a pioneer in EMF health effects, is wary of using earthing mats. “Most of the electricity delivered in North America now returns to the substations via the ground. Anyone using an earthing mat as directed is therefore being connected to the utility's primary neutral return current. With an electrically clean ground, I’d be happy to use a mat, but I’m very reluctant to connect my body to the utility's neutral return current.”
Another option is the ADR Mat(or Advanced Dielectric Radiation Trap), which has won nine international invention awards. This non-metallic mat does not require grounding. It protects from static and
low-frequency (mainly 1 Hz to 100 kHz) electric fields by trapping them in water encapsulated in a polymer matrix. It can be placed on a seat or under a mattress. It is especially beneficial at night, when they body performs most of its DNA repair. It comes in different sizes and costs $32 to $224. Sold notably by Ottawa-based supplier Essentia.
To protect yourself and your appliances from lightning strikes, you should also test your electrical system to make sure its main ground’s resistance is under 500 ohms or ideally under 100 ohms. But to neutralize electric fields and ground currents, the resistance should be no more than 50 ohms, recommends French electrician and EMF expert Claude Bossard in his book Le Guide de l’électricité biocompatible (Biocompatible Electricity Guide), published by Editions Des Dessins et des Mots.
8. Reduce dirty electricity
While 60-Hertz ELFs should be minimized because they are linked to high risks of leukemia and other health problems, Havas said you should especially reduce your exposure to RF/microwave radiation used by wireless devices and antennas. “I think higher frequencies are potentially more damaging.”
One form of RF, so-called dirty electricity, is what’s making many people and even animals sick because it’s circulating in the ground outdoors and also on home wiring. Dirty electricity (DE) consists of high frequency interference (measured mainly in kilohertz) due to non-linear current consumption. American epidemiologist Sam Milham calls DE a “universal carcinogen” because he has linked it to very high rates of different cancers (skin, uterus and thyroïd) in California teachers who were highly exposed to it. Havas also found that it affects notably blood sugar levels and the quality of life of people with neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
DE is caused by electronic devices using switch-mode power supplies which pulse electricity as well as tree branches touching powerlines (sparking generates high frequency discharges). Fluorescent lighting as well as dimmers and electronic motors are typical sources of DE. “Some LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are terrible and generate really high levels DE, it depends on how they were manufactured. If they have a transformer they are likely to generate dirty electricity. The same with halogens,” Havas said.
9. Filter dirty electricity
It’s impossible to totally eliminate sources of DE (your home wires are even carrying DE created in neighboring businesses and factories and delivered by the electric grid). Thus you may want to filter it, as some manufacturers are doing to eliminate interference in TVs, stereos and other electronic devices. We’re recommending governments enforce interference regulations, but until that’s done, there are filters you can install in your home“, Havas said. “The only ones I tested were Graham-Stetzer (GS) Filters because I expected they had no effect. I was stunned because they improved the health of teachers and student behavior in a study I conducted. I was convinced it was a mistake! I couldn’t believe plugging them [in wall outlets] helped, but then I discovered they reduced tremors in about a third of the 30 MS patients I studied. They even reduce the symptoms of electrosensitivity. I’m now totally convinced DE is harmful. MRI scans have shown that people with MS living in homes where EMFs and especially DE have been reduced have seen a huge reduction in their symptoms over a 7-year period. Unfortunately, not all MS patients are helped by filtering DE.” Brad Blumbergs, who has MS, told us in 2006 that GS Filters allowed him to walk in his house without using canes. He still recommends them “very
much” today, he told us recently. He is so sensitive to EMFs that when he drives under a power line, his whole body trembles.
Graham-Stetzer filters are capacitors which reduce power frequencies between 4 to 100 kHz. “Research done in Russia as well as Dr Milham and myself on farms showed that if you filter 10 kHz frequencies, cows will produce more milk within 24 hours.”
These filters cost $40 each and just a few to more than a dozen may be needed in a home. They are sold in Canada notably by Pure Power Solutions along with a GS Microsurge Meter required to measure DE levels. While she is a great promoter of these products, for the record Havas denies she is in any conflict of interest with their manufacturer Dave Stetzer of Wisconsin-based Stetzer Electric. “Stetzer never gave me kickbacks nor funded my research and I don’t sell nor do I benefit from the sale of these filters.”
Havas adds that “if you fix wiring problems, you’ll get lower ELF magnetic fields but you won’t change DE generated by electronic devices.” But you do need to fix wiring errors first because if you plug a filter in a faulty circuit, it can generate high magnetic fields throughout this circuit delivering power to one or several rooms. Note also that if you install a Demand Switch on a circuit, you don’t need to install a Graham-Stetzer filter on it because the Demand Switch will eliminate DE by shutting off power when all appliances are turned off. And besides, the Demand Switch wouldn’t work because a Graham-Stetzer filter can’t be deactivated without unplugging it. The demand switch works well for the bedroom and the filters for the rest of the house.
Inverters are another source of DE that needs to be filtered. They convert to alternating current (AC) direct current (DC) produced by solar panels and windmills. If possible, use 12-volt appliances and lights that can use DC power which produces minimal EMFs.
An important note : improper use of capacitive filters can cause fires due to harmonic resonance, writes New Jersey Building Biologist Sal La Duca on his EMF Relief website : “As a general rule capacitive filter installation is NOT recommended without a thorough evaluation of the electrical system to: 1) identify and eliminate any wiring errors, and 2) NOT recommended if the neutral current takes many divergent paths as [in a] house with the electrical service at one end of the house and the water pipe at the other end, and 3) NOT recommended if there are any other options (like removing dimmer switches, replacing compact fluorescents or fluorescents in general with standard lamps, reducing the number of digital devices, etc.) available to eliminate the problem.”
Havas comments : ‘’While you can reduce the dirty electricity in your home by avoiding electronic devices, you cannot eleminate dirty electricity since some of it is coming into your home from your neighbours and the grid. So filters are a good choice for those practicing electromagnetic hygiene. Since the filters generate a magnetic field immediately around them, they should be at least 2 feet from your bed. »
10. Go easy on wireless
“The best thing you can do to reduce your exposure to RFs“, according to Havas, “is to replace your wireless devices as much as possible with wired technology.’’ The sources of RFs are countless : external cell (masts) and broadcast antennas, many of which are on top of apartment buildings, cordless and cell phones, Wi-Fi, baby monitors, wireless games, printers, etc. After recent testimony at a trial in Montreal, Havas reported that Health Canada admitted that its Safety Code 6 guideline for RF exposure only takes into consideration acute health effects resulting from heating of human tissues. Long-term impacts such as brain cancer, fertility problems and neurological and cardiac diseases are not considered. Tests done to establish the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of RFs from cell phones are done with an artificial head, assuming a 200-pound, 6-foot tall man, for six minutes of use. Most remote controls for televisions emit infrared waves rather than RFs. “They emit heat for a split second, they’re no big deal’’, Havas explained.
11. Minimize and shield RFs
To reduce your exposure to cellphone radiation, Havas advises: “The best you can do is use the speaker mode and not hold it in your hand. I don’t recommend wired earpieces as they act as antennas and
radiate all along your body. In addition, their quality is very poor and they break quickly. The next best option is the Bluetube earpiece’’ which delivers the sound by air through a rubber tube. When not using your phone, putting it in airplane mode turns it off and reduces RF emissions to as low as you can get besides removing the battery (which is often impossible). Otherwise, Havas said, a cell phone is “frequently talking to antennas nearby. Never put it in your pocket, on your belt or in your bra. There is evidence of breast tumors in women who keep their phone in their bra.’’
What about chips said to protect users from RFs? “I haven’t tested them and they don’t change the radiation pattern in a way that we can measure. However, I know of doctors who tested them and with some people it makes a difference.’’ However, no protective device is 100% effective, says Claire Gagnon of Bioenergie, who sells the Geobiotel neutralisation plate. “If it blocked the waves completely, you couldn’t receive calls on your cell phone.’’
A number of materials are effective at blocking RF/microwaves emitted by your neighbors and local antennas. Guelph, Ontario-based Safe Living Technologies is a well-known supplier. Yshield paint needs to be grounded and three coats are recommended for it to be an effective shield if you’re surrounded by a lot of radiation. You may want to use it only in your bedroom since it’s expensive : it costs $79 per litre or $340 for five litres. “As you need to let the radiation escape, you shouldn’t paint all walls, ceilings and floors. For example, you may only want to paint two lateral walls if you have neigbors using Wi-Fi to the right and left of your apartment.’’
Many electrosensitive people use a simpler solution to protect themselves at night: a bed canopy hand-made with silver fiber fabric. It costs between $972 and $1,775 depending on its RF shielding caracteristics. Add $152 to $218 for a bed canopy floor mat. “You need to cover the top and bottom and all sides of the bed“, advised Havas. “Some people swear by it and others can’t tolerate it, often because they did not install it properly.’’
Some foil-faced vapor barriers are very good at reflecting RFs from exterior sources such as smart meters she added: “You also need to ground it. I don’t recommend the paint as if you move and the buyer uses a lot of wireless devices, he will be baking in his home as it will reflect and the waves will keep bouncing around. Foil-faced wallpaper can do the same thing, but at least it can be ripped out.’’ Low-emissivity window glazing, which reflects radiant heat, is also an effective RF shield. If you’re building or renovating, I recommend triple glazing with one or two Low-E coatings. Low-E film made by 3M and others, which is transparent and looks like cellophane, can also be applied to existing glazing to block RFs.’’
Several people have seen their electrosensitivity symptoms reduced after covering their RF-emitting “smart’’ meter with up to four layers of foil paper. But Building Biologist Sal La Duca, who is a former nuclear power plant technician and operator, says that solution is risky: “Aluminum is highly conductive. Placing it anywhere within an alternating field (60-Hz electric or magnetic, or RF), the foil will acquire voltages and currents of its own and act like a secondary antenna. So the solution is to ground it. But grounding it needs to have wavelength considerations come into play, because if the grounding cord is any multiple of a quarter (¼) wavelength of the frequency you want to block, the grounding cord may become electrically absent. So the grounding effort fails. So the “expert” calculates the wavelength based on the speed of light in a vacuum (being about 180,000 miles/second) and cuts a cord of the proper length. This effort fails too, because the speed of moving electrons in/on a wire is slower than the speed of light. So “expert” recommendations of 4 layers are not based on fact.”
La Duca recommends using cement or concrete: “Have the meter and the meter housing removed temporarily, install a cement board (such as what is used in baths to install tiles) where the meter housing was attached, and reattach the meter and housing. Cement and concrete are partially conductive, they do not need to be grounded and they will reduce the radiated RF signal greatly. If the meter and housing cannot be removed, then a cement panel installed on the other side of the wall may be helpful, but the added distance between the panel and the meter will shrink the area of reduced intensity. Simpler solutions are largely ineffective for various reasons.’’
Another problem with smart meters is that they generate dirty electricity, which can sometimes be very harmful and brings up the filtering issue mentioned above. That’s why many people simply choose to opt out and have a non-Rf-emitting meter, as is allowed in Quebec for $17 monthly fee (to cover the cost of having a utility employee read your meter).
12. Have amalgam fillings taken out and detoxify
Finally, a growing body of research shows electrosensitivity can be triggered by metal implants and heavy metal poisoning. Dental amalgam illness may be a leading cause of electrosensitivity, says
Australian EMF expert Don Maisch. "It has been hypothesized that mercury fillings act like microantennae, and when the user is sitting in front of a cathode ray screen (CRT) screen, alterations occur in the electric currents in the mouth (electrogalvanism) that may have health effects. The electrogalvanism has been shown to accelerate the mercury release from fillings.’’
“Dental fillings containing [50%] mercury may cause problems due to electrolytic currents between amalgam fillings containing different mixtures of metals or, between fillings and surrounding tissue“, explains British physicist Cyril W. Smith, former Senior Lecturer at the University of Salford. “Patients have been seen with black stains on the palate due to the electrolytic transport of mercury. Amalgam-to-tissue contacts may detect environmental frequencies such as radio transmissions just like a cat’s-whisker crystal set. There has been a case where a dentist heard music coming from a patient’s mouth. The mercury toxicity frequency and a mobile phone frequency unfortunately happen to stress the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system.’’
Thus while minimizing your EMF exposure should be your top priority, besides shielding yourself you should also improve your body’s resistance, Havas said. “You should build up your immune system with whatever your body requires. Detoxifying your body is also essential, such as getting rid of any mercury amalgam fillings, and toxic food or occupational exposure. Much like pesticides, RFs are neurotoxic.’’
A word of caution : to avoid being exposed to dangerous mercury vapors, only have your amalgams removed by a “biological dentist’’ trained and certified by the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT), recommends American physician Joseph Mercola who suffered serious kidney damage by having it done by a non-biological dentist.
“Mercury vapor is continuously emitted from dental fillings and accumulates in the body over time’’, explains the IAOMT website. Numerous studies have shown mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive element on earth and can cause measurable adverse health effects such as learning disabilities. Dentists should only remove amalgam filling using an efficient suction system, to capture amalgam particles and mercury vapors, while providing the patient and dental staff with a mercury-free source of air.
“Chelating agents, sauna and colon flushes are effective in detoxifying the body, but one needs to do it gently with a health practitioner to minimize health risks’’, stresses Magda Havas.
On his emfacts.com website, Don Maisch quotes Swedish psychiatrist Ulrika Åberg who wrote: “During my work with amalgam and electrosensitive patients I have met around 1 200 patients and 300-400 of these patients have electrosensitivity as their main problem. Approximately 50% of my patients become stronger and feel better with injections of vitamin B12 - mercury disturbs the transport of vitamin B12 from the blood to the CNS [Central Nervous System] liquid. Electrosensitive patients who are also sensitive to light, or have been, may have good use of PABA, Para-amino-benzoic-acid. During the last year I have understood the importance of hidden infections and hidden metals in the teeth and the jaws for the health in general for patients of these categories. That these infections are treated and these metals taken away may be necessary for these individuals to recover.’’ And Swedish dentist Karin Öckert found that among 42 electrosensitive patients who had their amalgams removed, “40% are totally recovered, 24% are improved, 26% are unchanged and 10% are worse’’.
For more information :
Revised Protocol for Detoxifying Your Body from Mercury Exposure http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/01/13/mercury-detoxification-protocol.aspx?e_cid=20130113_SNL_Art_1
Dirty Electricity : Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization
Options to minimize RF radiation exposure from wireless area networks or Wi-Fi http://buildingbiology.ca/wd/news/wi-fi-in-schools-no-way/
PowerPoint presentation on Wi-Fi in schools :