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GeoPathfinder.com has moved to new addresses!

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Biologically Alien Electromagnetic Energies and EMF Pollution (Electrosmog)

"Truth goes through three stages.
First it is ridiculed.
Then it is violently opposed.
Finally it is accepted as patently obvious."
Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher, 1788-1860


THE LATEST SITE NEWS - June 1, 2014:
We are working to expand into a second website called GeoPathfinder.net. This site will focus and expand on only two areas, Electromagnetic Fields and Earth Energies. Instead of a page each, each main topic is now divided into five topics. Check it out!



EMF, Electromagnetic Fields  - The invisible "second-hand smoke" of the digital age - What are they?                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

  • They are commonly experienced as heat, light, magnetic attraction/repulsion, and of course, electricity
  • They are a type of FORCE, or "that which changes either the state of rest or motion in matter"
  • They are one of the 4 elemental forces: gravity, strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and electromagnetic 
  • They are the basis of all chemical and biochemical reactions
  • They exist everywhere, in various types and intensities, and a huge range of frequencies
  • They can be dangerous or healthful, depending on their intensity, type, frequency, and dosage
  • They can only be seen if their frequency is in the "visible range", red through violet
  • They are invisible above and below that range, but can still have major impacts on health and well-being
  • They can easily be detected, located, and quantified with the right equipment
  • They can be made less harmful through avoidance, type-substitution, "grounding", and shielding
  • EMF has a cumulative effect on humans, and does not care whether you "believe in it" or don't
  • It has been estimated that about 3% of the general population is highly sensitive to EMF; about 30% is moderately sensitive, with the percentage rising over time
  • Exposure can be direct through conduction (touching a wire or other conductive path), more indirect through convection (breathing in ionized particles), or from radiation (close-up magnetic fields or more distant electric fields from wiring, antennas, metal surfaces, etc.)
  • Some types have irreversible effects while others abate with reduced exposure
  • High frequencies (cellphone, WiFi, "smart meters", power-line harmonics, etc.) can directly and indirectly, through both physical and chemical means, cause DNA and other protein malformations along with other changes in cellular processes which can, most commonly in individuals with other risk factors, initiate cancer
  • Low (power-line) frequencies at best just keep you from getting a good night's sleep, increasing your stress hormone levels, but at their worst accelerate tumor growth, making them a cancer promoter                      
  • "Stray voltage" pathways, more precisely called "returning neutral ground currents", can cause a range of problems, from EMF exposure symptoms to instant death, depending on the situation.

         

The Digital Age: Power, Convenience, and Safety; Pick from Any Two!

If an electronic device (like a cellphone/smartphone) is powerful and convenient, you can bet it won't be completely safe. If it's safe and powerful, it won't be as convenient (you'll have to use a radiation shield, a wired ear bud, etc.). And if it's safe and convenient it will lack power (range).



How we got to this point:

If you're skeptical about all the claims made regarding bad health effects of electromagnetic fields (especially wireless devices), try reading the recent book by George Carlo, Ph.D. and Martin Schram, "Cell Phones - Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age". George was an "industry insider" and chairman of the WTR, LLC (Wireless Technology Research), funded by the CTIA (Cellular Technology Industry Association, a lobbying firm) whose researchers began finding very specific negative effects of cell phone and PCS phone frequencies. Their $25 million in funding was subsequently cut off, and the CTIA made a deal with the FDA to cooperate in all further research.

This put the fox firmly in the hen-house!
No further negative findings have occurred using industry funding now that, if you want research funds, you have to find what the industry wants you to find. That's the sad state of science in this country; you "discover" whatever your employer/financier is paying for. You've heard of logical deduction (testing a theory) and induction (record observations and allow a theory to emerge)? Try "Corporate Deduction"; A) adopt a convenient and lucrative theory, B) pay someone to prove it, C) lobby to make it a law, and D) sue anyone who tries to stop you! This is the "violent opposition" referred to by Schopenhauer, above.

If you'd prefer a succinct summary of the latest science, along with details and references from over 200 peer-reviewed sources, just Click Here for a free PDF of the Environmental Working Group's 10-month meta-analysis of long-term cellphone use.

Or you could read the latest in pseudo-scientific certainty from the publisher of Skeptic magazine who claims with naive certainty that "physics" proves cellphones can't cause cancer, and more than 50 comments from various sources blasting him for his poor attempt at science, incorrect math, and other fallacies.



More of the Brave New World of Electricity:

On a related note, the State of Minnesota's Department of Commerce is working with a large group of regional electric utilities to enlarge and increase the voltages of our local grid transmission towers, called CapX2020. For those unfamiliar with the possible health effects of 345-kilovolt towers in the neighborhood, try reading Dr. Robert O. Becker's book, "Crosscurrents, Promise of Electromagnetism, Perils of Electropollution". My comments to the State can be found by Clicking Here to read a .doc (Microsoft Word) file, or Click Here for an Adobe PDF file.
While many scientists disagree with his conclusions, the science on these matters is still very much in process. Some studies show significant human effects and others do not, so it seems most prudent to cut your exposures to avoidable health risks as much as possible, whether in terms of what you eat, drink, breathe, or utilize. EMF exposure may not be the "smoking gun" behind the risk of leukemia, but cancer risk is seldom a one-component process.

And if you need a current copy of Adobe Reader to see the PDF files, just Click Here for a free download.




The Overview

Electromagnetic energy fields (EMF's) permeate our entire planet. Some can actually bolster and maintain our health but many can damage or destroy it. The factors that make the difference are the Type of energy, its Frequency, Proximity, Intensity, Duration of exposure, and your inherent Sensitivity. If you live in a grid-connected home, chances are VERY HIGH that you will be dealing with the symptoms of EMF exposure at some point. And even if you live in a home with low-voltage DC appliances and a battery bank for electrical storage (an increasing rarity) you still may be getting excessive magnetic field exposure. And to top this off many homes now have multiple wireless devices radiating high-frequency, pulsed, electric fields, To make sense of this stuff you need to know the basics of electricity.



Basic Electrical Terms

At the beginning of the 20th Century physicists thought of the world mainly in terms of particles. If you think of how very small things are much like very big things, think of ATOMS, the stable building block of all matter, as planets. Electricity is related to either the movement of the outermost orbiting "moons" of these atoms, or to the energy that flows between them. In this model the center of the atom is the nucleus. The "moons" are called ELECTRONS.

This model has been replaced by the Theory of Quantum Mechanics and the Theory of Relativity, where energy is passed from one area of non-linear Space to another via waves in a medium. Electrons are now more commonly visualized as rapidly vibrating standing waves in a background of sizzling quantum foam, passing energy to each other as "photons" - "particles" with no mass! Don't fret if this sounds pretty fantastic. Most physicists only understand it in terms of math.

The force, or pressure, that causes electrons to pass energy along is called VOLTAGE, measured in VOLTS. The volume, or mass of electrons moving or exchanging energy in a given time is called AMPERAGE, measured in AMPS (more exactly, coulombs - a fixed number of electrons - per second). The power of electricity is the product of the pressure times the volume, or VOLTS times AMPS. It's called WATTAGE, and it's measured in WATTS.

There are three things in the realm of physics that are pretty much equivalent, energy, frequency,  and matter; 3 sides of the same coin, so to speak. Although they may seem like separate things there are simple mathematical formulas that show them to be closely related and easily converted into each other. In relativity, E=mc squared (Energy is equivalent to mass times the speed of light {about 300,000,000 meters per second} squared - a very large number!). In Quantum Mechanics, E=hf (Energy is equivalent to Planck's Constant {6.6 x 10 to the minus 34th joule-seconds} times frequency). Another related Quantum formula is p=h/wavelength (momentum is equivalent to Planck's Constant divided by wavelength). So the higher the frequency, the more momentum a particle has, the greater its apparent mass, and the greater its energy.

And this affects you through 3 channels, conduction, convection, and radiation. When a bunch of electrons, or the force pushing them, strikes you directly by contact you get a shock (conduction). When electrons or ionized atoms/molecules (stripped of their electrons) waft through the air deep into your lungs from a crackling high-voltage power-line that's convection. When it beams outward as energy fields from antennas and other types of wiring, that's radiation.

At the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair, held each year at the Solstice in Custer, Wisconsin, a friend of mine teaches courses covering proper home wiring to reduce or eliminate unintended electric/magnetic fields. And while this is important, even correctly wired homes can produce dangerous EMFs. To deal with them you need to understand where they'll occur and why. (If you'd like a copy of the latest workshop handout I've presented on the topic, just Click Here for a 278 kB download of an Adobe .pdf file).

The mechanics of avoiding them, shielding yourself from them, and directing them into safer paths is relatively easy. This stuff wasn't a problem in the U.S. until the early 1930's, when the electrical power "grid" started to branch out throughout the nation. Before then, the only electromagnetic fields that existed outside huge cities were ones that humans and other animals had lived with and thrived on for thousands to millions of years.

Then humans started to fill the entire "electromagnetic spectrum" with new frequencies whose effects have yet to be fully researched. I call them biologically alien. But to understand how all of this affects the biosphere you'll need to know some more terms.


Electromagnetic Fields - some definitions

The energy that builds up the electrical pressure that boosts voltage also builds an ELECTRIC FIELD around any CONDUCTOR (like copper, aluminum, or steel wire) that carries electricity. The higher the voltage, the stronger the electric field.

The movement of electrons, or their energy, through the conductor cause the build-up of a MAGNETIC FIELD around that conductor. Since both electrical pressure and a volume of electrons flow through the wires when a device is turned on, we're usually talking about ELECTRO-MAGNETIC FIELDS, not just electric or magnetic fields.

Picturing these fields can be a challenge, but the most succinct description I've seen goes as follows:

Electric Fields and Magnetic Fields are perpendicular to each other and to the conductor generating them.
In other words, if you're dealing with a straight wire, picture the wire as the axle of a wheel. Electric fields extend straight outward (like spokes around an axle) down the entire length of wire, while magnetic fields rotate around the entire length of wire, like the rim of the wheel.

When you switch on a household appliance, also known generally as a LOAD, voltage causes amps to flow through ALL of the conductors leading from the power source to that device. This means all the way from the device, through its power cord, through the wiring in your walls, floors, ceilings, to the breaker/fuse box, etc. While the switch is ON there are BOTH electric and magnetic fields surrounding the load and all of the wires leading to it. When you turn off the switch there is still an electric field in all of these wires and, quite often, in the device itself. So what does this mean for us?



Some more terms!

Electricity comes to us in various types, or what I call its FLAVORS. One of them is STATIC ELECTRICITY, or an ELECTROSTATIC FIELD, which is another term for the build-up of electrical pressure, or voltage. When the static electricity grows strong enough to jump from a doorknob to our fingers we call it a spark. When it jumps from a cloud to a tree we call it lightning. In either case it's no longer static; it moves. Since it moves in one direction it's called DIRECT CURRENT (DC). The most familiar form of DC comes from an ordinary BATTERY, which is a combination of metals and chemicals that react to build voltage and store a fixed number of AMP-HOURS (amps times the time in hours that they'll continue to flow).

If this DC current is turned on and off we encounter PULSED DC. This is most commonly found in the ubiquitous switching power supplies found in computers, DC-DC converters, variable speed motors, dimmer switches, etc. And even lightning usually flashes more than once along an ionized air pathway. All forms of pulsed DC produce HARMONIC frequencies (like octaves in a musical scale) because electrical current reacts rather violently to being suddenly started and stopped.

And if we actually reverse the flow of electrical current (polarity) when turning it on and off we encounter ALTERNATING CURRENT (AC). The most common form, called a "sine-wave" is found in any grid-connected home's wiring. A less common form comes from a low-cost DC-to-AC "inverter". It is called the "modified sine-wave" or "square-wave", where the polarity switching is far less smooth, producing much more "harmonic distortion" of the sine-wave, although almost any AC source will have some higher frequency distortion riding along with it.

            

The Problem for us:

Some flavors and frequencies of electricity are compatible with humans and other life forms, while some are not. Earthly animals have evolved within a weak soup of EMF ranging from DC to the AC range of 8 Hz - 40 Hz, called micropulsations, Schumann waves, Tesla waves, etc. All other frequencies are biologically alien to our bodies.

To see some diagrams and further information describing the entire Electromagnetic Spectrum from DC all the way past microwaves, Click here.

The big problem with transient, pulsed and alternating fields is this: If a magnetically susceptible metal like iron is nearby, A CHANGING ELECTRIC FIELD GENERATES A MAGNETIC FIELD, AND A CHANGING MAGNETIC FIELD GENERATES AN ELECTRIC FIELD. For example, if your metal-framed or metal-sprung bed is shoved up tight against a wall that has AC electrical outlets (with "unshielded" plastic-covered wiring supplying them) on it, even if nothing is plugged into the outlets or turned on, your bed is bathed in both magnetic and electric fields caused by the wiring in the wall!

The other big problem with electricity in general is that it takes every path it can, not just the ones that we want it to take! For more information on this, scroll down to the note on stray voltage near the bottom of this page.



The Health Effects on Humans

The human body has plenty of electrical circuitry inside. Nerves are highly complex combinations of electro-chemical batteries, conductors, and "relays" that both send and receive tiny electrical impulses. The more evolved system uses pulsed DC signals at specific frequencies to operate all of our conscious sensory and muscular machinery, while a "perineural system" existing in even the most primitive creatures uses a steady DC signal for detecting injury and activating the healing process. And these weak signals can easily be overwhelmed by outside interference of the wrong flavor, frequency, or strength. The electrical engineers have agreed that a "frequency window" exists for humans that ranges from about 2,000 Hz. to well over 100,000 Hz. Among practitioners who work with electrically-sensitized clients, below 2,000 Hz. the maximum recommended electrical field level is 20 Volts per meter (V/m). But within the biological "window" the recommendation drops to 2.0 V/m or less.

The Earth's magnetic field (or magnetostatic field) is caused by DC electrical energy flowing deep in its interior. And some naturally occurring AC electrical energy (Schumann/Tesla waves) is generated both by the Earth's spin through the Sun's "solar wind" of electrically-charged particles, and by the grand display of lightning flashes happening each minute all over the planet. Our bodies don't mind these flavors and frequencies since we've had loads of time to adapt to their rhythms. They're actually good for us, and without them we can become disoriented and sick.

On the other hand, the higher frequencies of AC power that humans have bathed themselves in more recently can cause major disruptions of many biological entities, not just humans. Once again it's the flavor (AC), frequency (60 Hz+), proximity, intensity, duration, and sensitivity that matter. Alternating electric and/or magnetic fields at a non-biocompatible frequency that are too close, too intense, for too long, near a highly EMF-sensitive individual will cause symptoms of several hard-to-diagnose illnesses. Cell phones, microwave ovens, cordless phones, "smart meters", and wireless networks all operate in the microwave range of 300,000,000 Hz (300 MegaHertz, or MHz) to 5.8 GigaHertz (or GHz; that's 5,800,000,000 Hz). Frequencies this high are very powerful, though not deeply penetrating, and are hard to shield since they readily reflect off many objects (OK, electrical engineers, these electric fields don't really reflect, they take the outermost, "free" electrons in metallic objects up to a higher energy state, then when the electrons fall back to a lower state the electric field is retransmitted in all directions, creating multipath distortion).

Since your exposure is mainly based on proximity, cell towers may be ugly but they aren't even close to being the biggest risk (unless your house is directly in a beam pathway).
 
Wireless computer networks are very hard to shield since, when you are at the computer you are right next to the transmitter.
 
"Smart meters" are becoming a lot more common, and shielding your home from them is discussed in a separate paragraph below.

And cordless/cellular phones need to be placed in a shielded "holster" (check www.LessEMF.com) to reduce YOUR exposure, but you DOUBLE the exposure of anyone on the other side of the antenna's shield!


The best solutions I've seen, from testing various phones, are: 

  • First, don't assume that your land-line phone is safe; the handset sometimes is surrounded by a large, low-frequency electric field. Get a meter and test for this!
  • Use a land-line speakerphone if you want the lowest radiation output, staying a couple of feet away from it
  • If you must use a cordless/cellphone, use a "holster" along with an "air tube" earpiece (LessEMF.com is a source)
  • Make sure your cellular reception (number of "bars") is as high as possible. This reduces your phone's output power and saves battery life while reducing your EMF exposure as well as those around you
  • Turn the cordless/cellphone off when you don't absolutely need to take a call. If you don't the phone periodically checks in with the network, blasting out EMF as it does so. The same applies to home wireless networks for computers.
  • Switch hands occasionally to spread exposure to both brain hemispheres ("lesser of 2 evils", but it helps). If cellphones don't cause brain cancer why is it almost always found on the side that the user placed against their ear?
  • Stay out of or away from signal-reflecting metal walls, like automobile interiors, metal-clad buildings, etc.
  • Don't let kids or pregnant women use them or near them if you care about their health (or fetal health)
  • Try a remediation device such as the Q-Link, which supposedly "jams" the cellular frequencies harmful effects
  • If you have to use a cellphone do texts instead of calling, holding the unit away from your body, and others, when you send the message. The unit still checks in with the network periodically if it's on, but only blasts out a message when you send it. If you are in a spot with poor connection to the network your "sleeping" phone will put out lots more power trying to connect to the network, greatly increasing the energy radiated into the spot on your body nearest the phone. This can quickly negate any benefit from only doing texts!
  • If you live in a large city you may be literally soaked in many frequencies and types of waveforms. Doing EMF remediation in these environments requires lots of money and patience, both for the practitioner and the homeowner (expensive frequency analyzers and expensive conductive shielding paints and cobalt/nickel magnetic plates/films).
    If this is your situation find a "Baubiologie" expert in your area and hang on for a long costly ride. But once you leave your home you are back in the EMF soup so don't expect miracles.
  • You may be asking, "So what do YOU folks do for phone and data connections"? We use standard land-line telephones connected to a Verizon-supplied "fixed wireless terminal". It connects to the cellular phone network via a high-gain, directional "yagi" antenna on the roof and some thick RG-8 coaxial cable. We also use a 12 Mbps (usually 20 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds) satellite internet service called "Exede" from Wild Blue Communications. It too resides outside, sending and receiving signals from 22,000 miles away, and connects via coaxial cable to an indoor modem.

If you'd like a direct link to the two of the studies mentioned on the Q-Link research page, just Click Here for the study of cellphone effects, and Click Here for the study on the effects on blood cells. You can take these for whatever they're worth. The studies look good but offer few clues as to the bio-electrical mechanisms involved, or the long-term effect on humans of transmitting a high-frequency signal so close to you body in order to "jam" the cellphone's effects.

To see an excerpt of a chart prepared by Arthur Firstenberg on the biological effects of high frequencies, just Click Here for a free Adobe .pdf file download.

To see a report researched by Dr. Magda Havas on the effects of Wi-Fi and cellular phone frequencies, with some really helpful graphs, charts, and loads of referenced studies, just Click Here for another .pdf file download.

To see another report that deals specifically with Wi-Fi networks, Click Here for another .pdf file download.

To see a resolution signed by many internationally-renowned scientists which puts the "Precautionary Principle" into the discussion of high-frequency radiation, just Click Here for a free .pdf download of the Benevento Resolution.

To see the PDF file of the press release of the Aug. 31, 2007 "Bioinitiative Report", Click Here. And to see the the entire report (all 610 pages!) in PDF form (3.09 MB), Click Here. Or if you'd like to look just at specific topics within the report, Click Here to get to their website's index.

To see the January 2008 preliminary report on the multi-country European "Interphone" study, on the long-term effects of cellular phone use, from Microwave News, just Click Here for a free PDF download. 

And if you prefer the information in video format instead of print, a number of well-done mpeg4, downloadable videos (also available as DVD's) can be found at EnergyFields.org. Their website's home page is a great place to find the most up-to-date postings on the subject.




The Effects on Children: Gambling With Your DNA

Did you know that:

  • your national government sets the allowable dosage for high-frequency radiation?

  • these standards have been, and continue to be, set at levels that mainly protect the military and industries from prosecution resulting from excessive EM radiation?

  • the FCC's (astronomically high) limit for cellphone radiation dosage is based on an average power level over the course of 30 minutes (even though the power burst levels are much higher)?

  • this so-called SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) only applies to adults?

  • metal structures, such as a car's interior, reflect much of a cellphone's energy back at you?

  • you were notified in your cellular contract that the excessive level emitted by your cellphone is allowable by law since it was your "personal choice" to use it?

  • these "safe levels" were set based only on tissue heating (microwave cooking) and obvious changes in animal behavior?

  • the average SAR for a small bit (1 gram) of tissue is allowed to be 20 times higher than the whole-body dose, just to allow for localized overexposure of your brain, eyes, etc.? (That's an average SAR of 0.08 Watts/kilogram for whole-body exposure, or 1.6 W/kg for 1 gram of tissue).


A little bit of background:

In 1996, Dr. O. Ghandi at the University of Utah did a comparative study of SAR dose response in adults and children. In general brain tissue, at the same power output, the dosage in a 10-year old is over 2.5 times the level for an adult. The level for a 5-year old was over 4 times as high.

Using 3 types of eye tissue (whole eye, lens, and connective tissue), the dose for a 10-year old was over 5 times the adult level. For a 5-year old the level was over 11 times as high. The study was done using cellphone frequencies, but others (such as 2.4 GHz networks) resonate with smaller bodily structures, and at a higher dose since their force is directly related to their frequency.

Based on size-resonance with other kid-sized organs not listed in this study, many other health effects may be found "down the line". So citizens groups in many countries are now using the "Precautionary Principle" to battle with telecommunications companies and school districts that are pushing for more wireless networks. The U.S., the U.K. and Australia have the highest allowable radiation levels. Other countries have set "safe" levels much lower! For more of the latest information about what's going on around the world in terms of research, laws, etc., check out Microwave News.




The bottom line for automotive cellphone users:

Next time you're shuttling your kids around in the automobile and answer a call, you can endanger the future of your DNA both in the short-term (from increased risk of accident) and the long-term (from increased cancer risk and genetic damage carried to future generations)!


To see some early research on SAR levels and how they are calculated and measured, along with some great illustrations, just Click Here for a free .pdf download. This study just deals with the most obvious tissue heating effects, but you'll get an idea of how it affects adults, and can figure out for yourself what the multipliers for children (discussed above) would look like.

And if you'd like to see how your cellphone compares with other models in terms of SAR values (again, figured for adults), www.SARValues.com has the most recent updates and shows how non-human models are used to test for this.




Science Says: "No Mechanism = No Effect", (I Say: "Not So Fast!")

The exact mechanism for the cellular damage caused by high-frequency electric fields has been a mystery for years, leading most authorities on the subject to conclude that no mechanism = no effect! But a recent discovery by a cancer researcher has mistakenly revealed a big clue. The researcher was working on a way to inject metal ions into a tumor (which can be done directly or through the faster uptake of ions in the bloodstream by cancer cells) and use radio frequencies to kill just the metal-saturated cancer cells. By accident, he bumped a test tube containing saline solution which was in a high-frequency field. There was a flash, as hydrogen and oxygen, given off by the saline solution, exploded above the tube. He found that radio frequencies cause electrolysis in saline solutions!

Saline is the salt water flowing throughout your body. And what happens to free mono-molecular oxygen (O instead of O2) in the body? It can kill cells directly (like a hydrogen peroxide disinfectant) or it can form "free radicals" which work in the same way. With all of the frequencies urban humans are exposed to, you'd better be stocking up on anti-oxidants and eating your fruits and veggies!

And this is just one of the many possible routes for over-exposure! Another intriguing problem is the number of weak chemical bonds in cells that keep proteins, such as DNA, folded into the proper configuration. While it takes ionizing radiation (higher frequencies than visible light) to break covalent bonds, these Van der Waals bonds are easily broken by heat, chemicals, and non-ionizing radiation.



The Grid: Cheap, Clean, and Even Green, Can Still Be Dirty

The power coming from your electric utility is a very pure "sine wave", but the purity ends at the first consumer's (or independent power producer's) doorstep. Electronic gadgets and other appliances, along with the "power inverters" that connect wind turbines and solar arrays to the grid, all generate distortions of the utility's pretty, smooth, 60 Hz, sine wave power. The "harmonics" of 60 Hz (120 Hz, 180 Hz, 240 Hz, etc.) and multi-frequency "transient bursts" (caused by switches, relays, dimmers and other switching power supplies) are found at various levels and at a blend of frequencies.

Fields of this type are collectively called Electromagnetic Pollution, and they're often subdivided into EXCESSIVE EMF, DIRTY ELECTRICITY, and ELECTROSMOG, depending on the frequency or mix of frequencies. To see some backround information on these frequencies, including more about the filters designed to remove them, Click Here for a free Adobe PDF file download.

A commercial high-frequency harmonic filter is available for home use. Two of the previous websites I mentioned (LessEMF and Life Energies) offer a power filter called the "Stetzerizer", built by Dave Stetzer of Blair, Wisconsin and designed by Martin Graham of UC Berkeley, in California.

The effect of these filters is documented at www.ElectricalPollution.com, where Dave used them to fix "sick building syndrome" at a Wisconsin school that was making both students and teachers quite ill. Or you can read more at Stetzer Electric's site. Another great site for more reading is Dirty Electricity.ca, in Canada.

The filter in this photo has been altered, by wrapping it in aluminum window screening, to reduce the high-frequency electric fields radiating from its internal capacitor (discussed further below).

The only problem I've run across using these filters is that, as they pass the high frequencies into the neutral wire and grounding cable, they generate an electric field that's unshielded. It can far surpass the intensity of the field from the outlet itself.

One fix is to move the filters to outlets that aren't near your bed, relaxation areas, or workplace. The other fix involves wrapping a 9.25-inch by 6-inch piece of aluminum window screen around the filter, avoiding the area around the plug-in prongs (see photo above). I secure the screen with a couple of 8-inch plastic wire ties bound end-to-end and wrapped around the sides of the filter. I then attach a small piece of green 14-gauge grounding wire to a ring terminal. The center screw of an outlet cover is grounded (if it's on a grounded system!). The ring terminal is attached to this screw and the other end is stripped and woven into a crease in the aluminum screening. This "grounds" the electric field radiated from the filter. If you don't use the ground tab, the fields are still greatly reduced.


And what does this mean for me?

These unwanted energies have been correlated with diabetes (a new variety, caused by EMF is called "Type3"), asthma, and Multiple Sclerosis. The symptoms can range from sore eyes, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and "brain-fog" all the way down to miscarriages, chronic fatigue, Alzheimer's, and cancer, among others. Low-voltage DC electric fields are fairly harmless, but large DC magnetic fields, found around large DC motors or heating elements, can be just as disruptive as their AC cousins.

If these alone weren't bad enough, chemicals contained (poorly) in many high-tech devices react with various electromagnetic frequencies to make folks with chronic exposure to them REALLY ill! It's what is called a "synergistic effect". To find out more, try reading "The Invisible Disease" by Gunni Nordstrom.

To see more about the effects of powerline harmonics, diabetes, MS, and headaches, Click Here for a free Adobe PDF download.

To see more general case studies of the health effects, Click Here for a free PDF.

And to see the handout I give clients on Electrical Sensitivity, along with instructions on how to deal with high-frequency "trash" on the powerline, Click Here for an Adobe .pdf file download (requires Adobe Reader).




So What Can We Do To Detect This Stuff?

How close is too close, how intense is too intense, and how long is too long? A number of websites handle electric and magnetic field meters that can quickly and easily tell you. Although I use a more expensive meter for diagnostic use, my favorite low-cost, multi-function meter is made by a German firm, Aaronia AG. It's called the "Multidetektor", and it's available from www.LessEMF.com and www.LifeEnergies.com, among others. Using this meter for just a few minutes will show you the problem spots. And grid-connected homes and businesses can have a lot of problem spots! This meter has two frequency ranges: 5 Hz. to 500 Hz. and 500 Hz. to 400,000 Hz. The lower range limits your search to the 60 Hz. frequency that should be there (plus a few harmonics that shouldn't be). The upper range detects higher frequency harmonics that can be quite harmful. In my actual work as a consultant I use a Gigahertz Solutions Digital Electrostress Analyzer, model ME3851A, low-frequency meter that cost roughly $650, but they make another model without frequency switching that costs around $140 (also found at LessEMF).

Another meter that can be very educational is the "Zap Checker", model 270, also from LessEMF. This meter ranges from 10MHz. (10 megaHertz, or 10,000,000 Hz.) to 6.4 GHz. (6.4 gigaHertz, or 6,400,000,000 Hz., just above the frequency of many new cordless phones). It shows you where cellular phones and towers, radio and TV stations, microwave relay towers (and ovens), and all of the other myriad high-frequency sources are beaming from. In my actual consulting work, where I need a more exact, calibrated readout of high-frequency power levels, I use the TES-92 Electrosmog Meter (available from LessEMF). While avoiding these RF (radio frequency) fields can be quite difficult, especially near metropolitan areas, it's possible to shield your home and body from them. LessEMF lists books on the subject, or check your local library or library interloan service.

Comparing different manufacturer's specifications can be a daunting task when you are trying to buy a suitable field detection instrument. To see an Adobe PDF file of the formulas I use to convert from one measuring system to another, along with the multi-page spreadsheet of pre-set values generated from these formulas, just click here.


Indoor Grounding and Shielding

Unless your AC-powered home was wired with metal-shielded "BX" or "MC" cable, or EMT metal conduit, and metal boxes with metal covers, every wire in every wall and ceiling, and every junction box, outlet, and switch will be radiating a powerful AC electric field, including the harmonic frequencies that shouldn't be there. If you DO have shielded wires and boxes but DON'T have shielded power cords going to your lights and appliances, every power cord radiates the same field. So what's the next worst offender if you replace all of the cords with shielded ones? We have to deal with all of the magnetic fields that surge outward from any large appliance that's running, like electric stoves, refrigerators/freezers, water heaters, air conditioners, etc.

The solution? Stay as far from them as possible! Or look into MuMetal foil shielding (MuMetal is a trademarked name for annealed, 80% nickel alloy, available from LessEMF). If you find a large magnetic field in a wall, your house wiring may have been done incorrectly. Magnetic fields always spin in one direction based on the direction of current flow. If the house wiring is done so that the outgoing and returning currents on each circuit are in adjacent wires, the magnetic fields from the two wires will be reversed, almost totally canceling each other. If not, there's a magnetic field and it's time to call an electrician. And what about your other exposure sites?



"Smart Meters":


  • Yes, the DSP (digital signal processing) chip in an electrical "smart meter" can indeed tell a refrigerator motor from an electric shaver and a computer from a dimmer switch, so do you really want the utility company to know THAT much about you? The power factor (magnetic-electric phase angle) and harmonics that the chip adds to the watts of power usage to determine what you are using can be disguised. The Stetzer filters mentioned earlier will alter the power factor and greatly dampen the harmonics, making it much harder for the DSP to decode your appliances.

If the meter is already installed you are probably stuck with it. The utility's lawyers got onto this issue WAY before your lawyer will, and they are covered under your "implied consent" to substitute a meter that "essentially duplicates the function" of your previous non-wireless meter.

What to do? Individual sensitivities to high-frequency electric fields vary, but they drop by the square of your distance from them. In other words, double your distance and your exposure is one-fourth of what it was. This is a big factor in neighborhoods where all of your neighbors can have as many as three of these transmitters firing every 15 to 120 seconds. Some of the most sensitive individuals either have to move away or coat their interior/exterior walls with an electric field shielding paint, made form copper or silver (found, among other places, at www.LessEMF.com).

Another option to simply reduce exposure to the meters on your own home is to shield yourself from just those meters using common aluminum window screening. You can mount a 4-by-4 foot piece of screen either behind the meter(s) on the home's exterior or centered on the same spot on the home's interior. This will simply reflect the signal outward and it increases the level outdoors on the meter-side of your home, possibly overexposing your neighbors.

It is best to ground the screen using a simple "alligator clip" on the screen attached to a wire that leads to the nearest ground rod (exterior) or the center screw on the cover-plate of the nearest electrical outlet (interior - but make sure that it is really connected to the home's ground system). The ground rod uses a "ground clamp" while the cover-plate screw needs a "ring terminal" for best electrical contact. This procedure uses the earth itself to absorb and dissipates the signal.

Outdoor EMF Problem Areas

Cars and trucks can have large magnetic fields near the dash and front floor areas. The solution? Limit your time on the road! The other alternatives would be buying a vehicle with fewer digital gauges, or fastening an aluminum window screen (to shield electric fields) and one of the commercial magnetic-shielding fabric or foils over the "hottest" areas of the dashboard.

And is there an overhead powerline near your home? The voltage of typical distribution wires, before they reach the "transformer can" that lowers it to 120/240 volts, is around 7000-14,000 volts. That's a mighty big electric field you're standing under! The solution? Join with your neighbors to lobby the local power company into installing underground wiring. The utility may not be overjoyed at your request, but the Earth is very good at sucking up strong electromagnetic fields (that's where the term grounding comes from!) and the utility will enjoy fewer problems from storm-related power-line damage.

Our local electric co-op just buried a mile of 7000-volt, 3-phase distribution line as part of a wire size upgrade near our home. The electric field at head level, along the lines, dropped from 150 volts/meter (V/m) to less than 0.2 V/m. The magnetic field varies with power transmission at different times of day, but its former level was up to 2 milli-Gauss (mG) and it is now less than .02 mG.


More Grounding and Shielding

There are a number of EMF shielding, filtering, and dissipating products and devices on the market, most of them rather expensive. And although the typical grid-connected home could arguably be greatly improved using any or all of them, simply shutting off the circuit breaker(s) that lead to your bedroom every night is the single most cost-effective solution for eliminating 33% of your electric and magnetic field exposure.

Would you rather wake up to music at your bedside or have a good night's sleep? Your choice! Or putting a shield made from aluminum (or preferably, galvanized steel) window screen on the wall behind your headboard and wiring it to the nearest outlet's ground terminal works well for electric fields (know what you're doing here or find someone who does!). If you don't ground the window screen shield the electric field is reflected at nearly double strength in the opposing direction. If you live in an apartment this could be quite detrimental to your next-door neighbor! And remember that a bedroom above another floor could be getting electric fields through the floor from ceiling lights and their associated wiring downstairs. Use a meter and check in every direction around your bed!

Remember what was said above about electricity taking every path available? Unless all of the potential ways that electricity returns to the power-line transformer are bonded together with low-resistance wire, power will flow back, separately, from the neutral wire (preferred), the ground rod, metal water pipes, metal gas lines, the cable company's ground rod, the phone company's ground rod, metal sewer lines, and even your body if you're standing on a wet floor! Ideally, all grounding possibilities should be bonded into one grounding point!

Check your incoming/outgoing pipes for magnetic fields and, if they're metal, you may find that electricity is flowing from house to house along the water supply mains, gas pipes, etc. It's best to call the "gas man", electrician or plumber at this point, since you'll need to splice a non-conductive section into your supply pipes, and possibly move the main electrical box's ground point along the water pipe, or to a separate ground rod. Doing this by yourself could be dangerous, even lethal! And check your local electrical codes on grounding requirements in your area!

Tearing the walls open to rewire with "BX", or as it's also called, "MC" (spiral-steel conduit, metal-clad) or metal EMT (electrical metal tubing), and putting in metal boxes and cover plates isn't a very savory or low-cost option, but it may make sense for just the bedroom receptacles. Installing MuMetal foil (or one of the other magnetic-shielding fabrics/foils) over high-power electrical cables will contain the magnetic fields.

And don't forget proximity. The intensity of the magnetic field drops with the square of the distance from their source, and the electric field intensity (from a wire) drops linearly with distance. In other words, move your bed twice as far from that wall with the outlets in it and you've got one-fourth the magnetic field intensity and one-half the electric field intensity at night.


A Note on "Stray Voltage"

So-called "stray voltage" isn't really straying at all. It's the predictable result of electric utility bottom-line thinking; in other words, cheapness! The problem with this stuff began in the 1930's when utilities started to connect their inadequately-sized neutral (returning current) wires to the Earth (Ground) at frequent intervals. This was supposedly done to protect wires and transformers from lightning strikes. But it was also a way to cheaply increase powerline capacity by using the Earth itself as an alternate path for current returning to the power plants and electrical substations. This uncontrolled experiment on the entire grid-connected surface of the Earth is the cause of many animal herd health problems. And it's the reason for plenty of frustrating litigation against an entrenched corporate electrical power monopoly. It can even modify the Earth's subtle energy fields, radiating upward from the depths, turning a normally beneficial energy geopathic. For a terrific article explaining more about the problems with grid wiring and stray voltage try this link.


Solutions for EMF Problems, a checklist:

Solutions for:
Magnetic Fields:Have a qualified installer put non-conductive, plastic sections in your incoming water and drain pipes (even skilled plumbers have been electrocuted while attempting this)
Use a separate outdoor grounding rod (other than pipes)
Magnetic shielding (MuMetal, thick steel)
Clustering opposing electrical phases (hot and neutral, or + and -) in metal conduit (EMT or "BX"/ "MC" armored cable)

Turning off the electrical breaker leading to the device that generates the excessive field, especially at night if you sleep near that field
Low-Frequency Electric Fields:"BX' or "MC" cable, or EMT tubing, metal boxes & covers
Replacing unshielded cords with shielded power cords, or surround the unshielded cord in aluminum foil seam-sealing tape, which is used to tape seams of foil-based house insulation  (but not too near the end you plug in, we don't want any sparks!
Reducing proximity and duration of exposure
Best possible grounding (clean and tight connections)
Grounded conductive shields (for large areas like the wall near your bed we use aluminum or steel window screen, grounded to a nearby outlet, either on the cover plate screws or ground socket).

Fluorescent lights, whether tube-type or compact fluorescent (CFL), have a "ballast" transformer or inverter that converts line voltages to 10,000+ volts, creating a huge local electric field. Substitute LED (light emitting diode) bulbs in areas where they are near humans and other animals.
Electrical Noise
(Harmonics and Transients):
Capacitive filters (Stetzerizer), preferably shielded using grounded aluminum or steel screen
Tuned frequency filter from equipment manufacturer (call them)
High-Frequency Electric Fields: Cellular phone base stations: visit your local Verizon outlet and look for their "fixed wireless terminal". Use it with land-line phones and a shielded cable going to an external antenna that connects to cellular networks
Corded phones, or phone "holsters" and "air tube" earpieces
Install wired networks, using readily available Cat-5 cable (if you already have a "wired+wireless" router, just unscrew its antenna and disable your computer's wireless network using its software or use power management to shut it down when not in use - ask a "techie" for help here)
Shield yourself from the sources (both internal & external), with conductive cloth/screens (for you) or conductive paint, grounded foil-based insulation, or full metal shielding (for your home)





Legal Matters: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated any of the information contained herein, and said information is not intended to replace the advice of a physician, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. And if you're unsure about anything related to modifying your electrical system that's discussed herein, call an electrician!