'Radiation from electrical wiring, equipment, power lines and substations has been found to affect our biophysical and biological bodies, to damage our DNA and leads to illness and disease.'
(World Health Organisation Workshop on Electrical Hypersensitivity, 25 - 26 October, 2004)
Electrical/Electromagnetic pollution or Electrosmog are terms used to refer to a mix of low-level electromagnetic fields that exist in the modern environment. This "smog" is not just generated by mobile phones, but also by Wi-Fi routers, tablets, laptops, power lines and cell towers. Even domestic appliances in the modern world create electromagnetic fields. You are never far away from a manmade electromagnetic field.
Put simply this is pollution from electrical sources. We are surrounded by electricity and radio waves in our homes, offices, and schools all the time. The use of electricity produces both an electric and magnetic field, commonly referred to as electromagnetic fields (EMF's).
Typical dangers from various types of electrical pollution are:
Electromagnetic Fields these are possibly the most dangerous. They weaken the immune system and can make you susceptible to chronic illness. It is documented that they can lead to certain cancers and childhood leukaemia.
Electric Fields these wear the body down. If you sleep in a bedroom with high electric fields, your sleep may be disturbed and your health may slowly diminish.
Microwave Radiation WiFi, DECT and Mobile phone technologies have all been shown to have detrimental effects on human and animal health and wellbeing. People often begin to feel the effects of microwave radiation once their body has been weakened by magnetic and electric fields. Mobile phones and their higher powered masts have been designated by the WHO as a Class 2B Carcinogen, remember many cancers take 10 to 20 years or more to develop.
Dirty Electricity This is basically electrical noise that is superimposed upon the 50/60Hz sine wave of the mains electricity. It can be caused by a range of household objects ranging from low energy lights such as CFL bulbs or those small black wall chargers that utilise switched mode technology, smart meters or the Inverter attached to your Solar Panels. They all produce vast amounts of electrical noise or interference (EMI) called by some dirty electricity. This has been found to be associated with a host of illness. People with dirty electricity in their home often complain of headaches and insomnia. Neurological issues and cancer have also been associated with dirty electricity.
All of the above create an environment of stress for our bodies, which is responsible in some people for a condition known as electro-sensitivity (ES) or electro-hypersensitivity (EHS) the common symptoms include:
- Disruptive sleep patterns, Chronic fatigue, Depression
- Cardiac palpitations and erratic blood pressure
- Behavioural patterns in children
- Skin complaints and or a warm or burning sensation in the face somewhat like feeling sunburnt
- A tingling or prickling sensation across the face or other parts of the body
- Extreme dryness of mucus membranes such as the back of the throat and eyes
- A of the mucus membranes such as nose, throat, ears, and sinuses without any infectious cause
- Problems with concentration, loss of memory and dizziness
- A feeling of impending influenza (flu) that somehow never quite breaks out
- Aches and pains in muscles and joints, headaches and nausea, teeth and jaw pains
What causes electromagnetic stress?
It must be remembered that ALL items connected to the mains electricity supply will give off both electric and magnetic fields when working. The frequency of our mains electricity supply in the UK is 50Hz/ USA 60Hz (this is created by an electricity generator rotating at 50 or 60 cycles every second), the electric and magnetic components of the fields are not related mathematically to each other and so it is necessary to think about them separately. When an electrical appliance is plugged into a wall socket, it will give off an electric field. If it has a motor or transformer in, it will give off an electromagnetic field. The further you are away from an appliance, the weaker the field will be, as these fields decrease with distance. (Remember from physics that the intensity of the field diminishes with the inverse square of the distance - so an appliance 1cm away has a field 10,000 times stronger than when it is a meter away.)
This means that although most people are completely unaware of it, the stress on the body has become normalized as we constantly pass through radio, electrical and magnetic fields during our day. For some people this causes no noticeable physical symptoms that they are aware of, indeed these changes may be at a subclinical level. However, it is not good for anybody to be exposing themselves to this kind of constant low level stress. It is important that you do not keep your mobile phone or iPad near the bed while you sleep or you will be subjecting yourself to the microwave emanations and small electromagnetic signals that have a detrimental effect on the human body. A mains bedside radio can also have some very strong fields around it.
We present here a list of the generalized symptoms of stress, not just from electromagnetic sources but also from the effects of our diet and lifestyle. Note: not everyone's experiences are the same:
- General irritability, hyper-excitation or depression
- Pounding of the heart
- Dryness of the throat and mouth
- Impulsive behaviour, emotional instability
- The overpowering urge to cry or run and hide
- Inability to concentrate
- Feeling of unreality, weakness or dizziness
- Predilection to become fatigued and loss of joie do vivre
- 'Floating anxiety' - afraid but not knowing what causes the fear
- Emotional tension and alertness, feelings of being 'keyed up'
- Trembling, nervous tics
- Tendency to be easily startled by small sounds, etc.
- High-pitched, nervous laughter
- Stuttering and other speech difficulties which are frequently stress-induced
- Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth
- Insomnia, usually a consequence of being 'keyed up'
- Hypermobility (technically known as hyperkinesia), the inability to relax
- The frequent need to urinate
- Disturbed gastrointestinal function - diarrhoea, indigestion, queasiness in the stomach and sometimes even vomiting, irritable bowel
- Migraine headaches
- Premenstrual tension or missed menstrual cycles
- Pain in the neck or lower back
- Loss of or excessive appetite
- Desire for foods with high sugar content
- Increased smoking
- Increased use of legally prescribed drugs, such as tranquilizers or amphetamines
- Alcohol and drug addiction
- Neurotic behaviour
- Hearing voices and anomalous experiences
- Accident proneness
Dr. Hans Selye, a Viennese doctor living in Canada, began with the observation that many people who are ill from different causes had similar symptoms. These were general symptoms, which seemed common to all afflictions, such as pallor, fatigue, loss of appetite, vague pains and a coated tongue. Likened this to the 'syndrome of being ill' and he couldn't' understand why other doctors didn't pay more attention to these symptoms: they were obviously important, since everybody got them, no matter the illness.
Selye eventually pursued his interest to the point of describing a mechanism of stress and adaptation that seems to be universal. It is not just applicable to humans but to all life: any organism, any stress - from an amoeba crawling into tainted water to a busy executive having a tough time at board meetings. The stages of 'adaptation' to outside stress he called the General Adaptation Syndrome, or GAS for short.
Briefly, stage one (Alarm) is the first encounter, when the body reacts and alarm signals herald the onset of some adversity (a stressor). These signals we know as symptoms: pain, discomfort, etc., some unpleasant response that entails a desire to limit the exposure by escaping from whatever is causing the symptoms.
Avoidance brings the reaction to an end and the symptoms go away. But if the individual does not desist and instead keeps on, eventually he or she might learn to tolerate the stressor and find it doesn't worry him or her too much. For example, someone moving to a much hotter climate might feel very unwell at first, but with persistence learns to tolerate heat at a level that would have been dangerous to him or her on first arrival. We call this adaptation process stage two (Resistance).
It might be possible to go on coping with a stressor to which we are adapted for a long time, perhaps indefinitely. But circumstances may come about where there is too much load at one time, or something might cause resistance to run down (a virus infection, too many late nights, intemperate drinking, shock or even the gradual process of ageing). The adaptation is then lost and the stressor begins to produce symptoms once again. This is stage three (Exhaustion).
But this time, the consequences are more serious. The individual concerned no longer has any powers of resistance. His or her body has run out of fight and the stress can become overwhelming. This is the stuff of coronary heart disease, perforated ulcers, type 2 diabetes, cancer and strokes. When the effect is less threatening to life, increased allergies can certainly be a possible outcome. If stage two is 'adaptation', this stage could be termed maladaptation.
To illustrate this with an example from an allergy doctors' experience: If an individual, such as a child, is allergic to milk, he or she will experience unpleasant symptoms when ingesting it, such as mood changes, rashes, hyperactivity, catarrh or whatever (stage one).
If their parents insist that the child must continue to drink milk 'because it is good for you', not knowing that is the cause of the condition affecting the youngster, then the child may get used it and learn to tolerate it. The rash or other symptoms may even clear up. Doctors often say that a patient can 'outgrow' an allergy this way. He or she is now adapted to the milk allergen (stage two) it has in fact gone sub clinical.
As the years go by, little of note may be observed; perhaps just the occasional bout of illness or digestive disorder, probably made worse at examination times and other periods of stress. But gradually the clock is running down. That individual's intolerance of milk is slowly wearing out the body's resistance. Trouble will inevitably follow.
Either because of ageing or due to a specific trigger such as a shock to the system, the milk allergy will return again but the symptoms may be worse. This time it could be asthma, migraine, arthritis or any one of dozens of conditions. The patient may be quite unwell and yet never suspect milk - because he or she has always drunk it and has never had any previous trouble.
In fact patients often become addicted to their allergy food and may find that avoiding it for any period results in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. This encourages further ingestion of the food; the patient may even feel it 'does me good' since it tends to relieve the symptoms. At this stage eating the food 'masks' unwanted symptoms; it keeps them at bay. Providing he or she eats the food regularly, ill effects are kept at a minimum. This is what we mean by a masked allergy.
You probably know that milk is often said to soothe stomach ulcers; patients who suffer this complaint are encouraged by their surgeon to drink it in great quantities. It does sometimes appear to work - you now know why!
One other example might serve, and that is smoking. Those who smoke will doubtless remember that their first attempt was accompanied by unpleasant consequences: headache, dizziness and nauseas are not uncommon (stage one). But by persisting, the would-be smoker gets used to tobacco and the symptoms are no longer experienced (stage two). Finally, as the addiction takes hold, the individual will find that unpleasant symptoms come on with a vengeance when going too long without a 'fix' for the nicotine craving. This is stage three and one of the hardest of all addictions to break.
If you are affected by any of the above issues and would like to discuss with us or to arrange for a survey to be undertaken of your property then give us a call for a quote. We can measure the problem and give you advice and provide assistance in tracking down and protecting you from the problem. Speak to Chris or Helena on 01597 810168.