Thursday, July 3, 2008

Worried About Electrosmog. What Can You Do?

Firstly, DON'T PANIC! Whatever's out there, you are probably not at much greater risk today than you were yesterday. So take a couple of deep breaths and decide if you are really ready to look at your relationship with electromagnetism and the technologies that produce the toxic cloud of Electrosmog in which we all now live.
The planet cannot support upwards of 7 billion people without the power of electricity. Every time you turn on the tap, the water has to have been pumped from somewhere, never mind what happens to it afterwards. Every time you turn on a light, the power has had to come from somewhere. Of course greener ways of generating electricity are emerging but not very much is being done about the pollution caused by electromagnetism at its point of use. Whenever a household appliance is used, a cloud of Electrosmog is produced around it. Whenever a mobile or cordless is used, it manufactures Electrosmog which people then immerse their heads in!
Electrosmog is produced by; power devices - food processors, washing machines, power tools; communications devices - mobile & cordless phones and their base stations and infrastructure - overhead and underground cables and pylons and from household wiring. It is also found in vehicles and in practical terms there are very few occasions where the average person is not subjected to exposure from Electrosmog.
So here's what you can actually do right now:
1. TURN OFF ALL THE POWER AT NIGHT. Where you sleep should be as electromagnetically benign as possible. Electrosmog is TOXIC just like any other environmental pollutant with which we come into daily contact. Think of it like exhaust fumes.
2. REDUCE YOUR TOTAL TOXIC BURDEN. Look at your lifestyle and eating habits and seek ways to improve your health by reducing the total number of toxins and their amounts (i.e. the number and strengths of exposures) that your body has to deal with.
3. ELIMINATE WIRELESS/CORDLESS DEVICES - You may not be able to control your exposure outside, but you can not add to it inside. Ditch the DECT, throw away the microwave.
4. ADD DISTANCE BETWEEN YOU AND ANY OPERATING ELECTRICAL DEVICES - Magnetic flux is a form of Electrosmog for which there is little protection other than distance. Turn on household appliances and move away. Don't stay in the kitchen when devices are on. Keep as far away from computers/screens/keyboards etc as you are able.
5. EDUCATE YOURSELF - search the Internet, join groups such as eSens on Yahoo. Read The Powerwatch Handbook - Piatkus Publishing.
6. TALK TO YOUR NEIGHBOURS - and try to get them to reduce their wireless use and thus the amount of Electrosmog they are effectively lobbing over the fence at you. If you need to buy them a new corded phone to get them to give up their DECT cordless, then consider it money well spent. If they simply won't give up their cordless phone convenience, buy them a new Orchid LR which switches off when not in use.
... and finally, checkout blogs like this one aimed at safer relationships with electromagnetism, relationships that support healthy and productive lives.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Worried by Your Children’s Ever Increasing Electrosmog Exposure?

The last few years have seen tremendous rises in the levels of man-made electrical pollution (Electrosmog). From mobile phones to WiFi, from games consoles to medical and dental x-rays, all are sources of electromagnetic exposure. Like sunshine, it is now becoming clear that our bodies are only able to tolerate so much of it over our lifetimes. The younger exposure starts, the sooner adverse side effects are likely to become apparent. From sleeplessness to depression, tinnitus to diabetes, an increasing number of medical conditions are now being linked to electromagnetic pollution exposure (Electrosmog). Digital TV and radio, microwave ovens, Bluetooth devices, mobile phones, DECT cordless phones, WiFi, WLAN, WiMAX and on and on. One thing you can do to limit your children’s exposure, especially at night when it is the body’s time to rest and repair, is to “Ditch the DECT” and never use a wireless baby monitor.

Sentient Creatures and Aversion

Sentient creatures generally give attention to things that a.) may threaten them harm, b.) they can eat and c.) that they can mate with. It is to the first of these three basic natural traits that this article is addressed.

Take a hypothetical example of a man on the street who is attacked by a group of youths all wearing green baseball caps. The next day he is again attacked by a man wearing a green hat. On the third day our man encounters a woman wearing a green hat and crosses the street to avoid her. Based on what we know of the events of the previous two days, the man’s actions are entirely understandable. So is it with electromagnetism. Some people (the EHS) have developed the ability to detect some of those things, visible and invisible (take gravity for example) that may cause them harm. It is by associating physical sensations with a particular stimulus that experience tells them the presence of a potential threat can be detected - in advance.

An example of how such mechanisms might be under ‘software’ or experiential control is the effect of the sound of a baby’s cries on a new mother. Similarly, an example perhaps easier for men to relate to is that of the new car owner. There are two types of car owners; those whose cars have an alarm, and those whose cars don’t. In the middle of the night the former have to ask themselves the question “Is that my alarm that’s waking the whole neighbourhood?” The latter know for sure it’s not theirs and can return to the sleep of the righteous. What makes these two examples remarkable is that the programming, the linking of the stimulus with the response can occur almost instantaneously. Other associations may take time. For example, a baby takes time to associate the unique sensation of a full bladder with the practical and social implications of ignoring it. The sensation may be different within each of us but for all practical purposes, the effects of assimilating such a sensation into one’s control systems are the same for us all.

For the EHS, whatever sensations they “feel”, they have learned to associate them with EMF exposure and a forthcoming “attack”. Be the connection conscious or sub-conscious, the result is the same – an aversion to the location, environment or circumstance in which they experience such precursor feelings. The fundamental fight or flight mechanism is automatically engaged, being mediated by conscious control according to the circumstances of the moment. Thus the body can become ‘attuned’ to an outside stimulus which it internalizes and uses to drive behaviour. It should therefore be unsurprising to witness those who are EHS modify their behaviour when exposed to that which their body perceives as causing them harm.

The essential point here is that it is the electromagnetic radiation - EMR that is the protagonist, the influence on the subject, and their reaction to it, perfectly natural consequences by people more sensitive than most.

Perhaps they represent a warning for everyone else…

FAQs 1 - 17

The following list of FAQ’s is compiled from questions raised at various Electric Forester talks, presentations and workshops since 2006.

1. Why do people who are Electromagnetically HyperSensitive go on about mobile phones? After all, practically everyone has one, so what’s the big deal? The emissions from mobile and cordless phones and their associated base stations are a major problem for many EHS. It is because mobile phones and cordless devices are now everywhere that their lives are so restricted. It is not simply about choice. Being within range of mobile phones and base stations makes them ill.

2. But most people aren’t affected, right? Most people (that is more than half) do not seem to be affected, as far as they are aware, but that does not mean that they are entirely unaffected. The more we learn about people who have become EHS, the more it becomes plain that for some people at least, once they have become sensitized by one form of electromagnetism through perhaps heavy or excessive mobile phone use, they become more likely to develop similar symptoms caused by exposure to other forms of electromagnetism, with the consequent disruption to their lives such sensitivities entail.

3. Can’t such people be cured? It’s not so much a question of a cure as that implies an illness and the EHS are not sick. It’s a bit like saying to a person who lives next door to a motorway ‘we can cure the noise in your head if you agree to wear these ear defenders all the time’. Likewise we could say we’ll cure your allergy to cigarette smoke by getting you to wear a respirator whenever you go out in public. Clearly such approaches are disingenuous to those people whose lives are curtailed by the activities of others.

4. How is people’s exposure monitored? How can I find out how exposed I am and make informed judgments about risk? As people go about their daily business, environmental exposure monitoring is extremely difficult. Imagine trying to record a person’s sunshine exposure while they are on holiday. With sunshine, in practice our skin does the job for us and lets us know in no uncertain fashion if we are over-doing it. And its not just overall or average exposure that counts. Anyone who’s ever had the backs of their knees sunburnt will know that some surprisingly small parts of our bodies are highly susceptible to electromagnetic radiation, of which sunshine is but one part.

5. What sort of people develop EHS? Am I at risk? As more and more people discover that they are electrically sensitive (ES), simultaneously the uses to which electromagnetism can be put are proliferating as never before. The result is that unless people who become ES take action to manage their EM exposure, they are at increased risk of developing very much more inconvenient and debilitating EHS. Despite the multi-factorial, multi-disciplinary nature of the problem, some useful deductions can be made by simply listening to EHS sufferer’s stories. Similar themes crop up time and again and it is from these first-hand testimonies (commonly dismissed as anecdotal or hearsay) that the following partial list is drawn: History of:
Electric shock/lightning strike or ‘splash’
Chemical overload, MCS, Allergy, Food/Chemical Intolerance
Non Invasive Brain Trauma/Concussion
Trauma/Limb Fracture implies X-rays

6. Surely, with wireless, WLAN, WiFi, WiMAX, DECT cordless and even low energy bulbs now everywhere, there are many places that EHS cannot go? Yes that is increasingly true. They may be able to tolerate say 20 minutes in a supermarket but have to walk out if someone else in the checkout queue gets on their mobile phone. It is very difficult in practice. If the EHS exceed their tolerance, their health may be compromised for hours, days or even weeks afterwards. Consequently their options are often severely curtailed and this is one of the reasons that EHS people are often not noticed – because they go about their business when there are few people (and mobiles) about.

7. But surely, if they could put up with it, they’d be able to have a much more normal life? It’s a bit like telling a person who is already suffering the effects of sunstroke (nausea, burning red skin, general feeling of being unwell) that a bit longer in the sun can’t hurt them, after all, look at all these other people sunbathing quite happily.

8. Are some people naturally more at risk? It is not surprising that amongst the 6,500 million people on the planet today, some have greater tolerance to environmental stressors than others. Ginger haired people may, for example, be more readily affected by the sun. There is no question of them being ‘cured’, for they are not sick. Nevertheless, they are able to manage their exposure and lead normal lives, unlike the EHS when exposed to man-made electromagnetic radiation (Electrosmog) which they cannot see and cannot control.

9. Why are more people experiencing EHS symptoms now when electricity and wireless have been around for over 100 years? Two things have changed: Firstly, we are all surrounded by more electricity and electrical devices than ever before and for a much greater proportion of our lives; Secondly, much of the Electrosmog which surrounds us is digital. Digital signals are completely unheard of in nature. They are an entirely man-made phenomenon, one which our bodies have not grown up to tolerate.

10. What’s the difference between Analogue and Digital? The old analogue systems used curved (Sine) waves to carry information. There were limits as to how much information could be passed and it was subject to interference. Modern digital systems use stepped (Square) waves which are much easier for electronics to distinguish (partly because there is nothing like them in the natural environment).

11. How is it that digital signals can transmit say speech, which is analogue, using only 0’s and 1’s? Each part of the audio waveform is analyzed and given a numeric value. The number is converted into binary (0’s & 1’s) and transmitted using the 0’s and 1’s of the digital waveform. The higher the frequency used the more information can be carried. That’s why WiFi which started off at 2.4 GHz is now available at 5.8 GHz with consequently higher data rates. At the receiving end, the process is reversed and speech reproduced. Digital allows signals to be chopped up and multiple messages to be sent along the same path at the same time. That’s how broadband and phone lines can share the same path simultaneously.

12. I still don’t understand binary/digital and all those noughts and one’s. For example, a decimal number such as 1152 is made up of 1 x 10^3 + 1 x 10^2 + 5 x 10^1 + 2 x 10^0. The position of each number tells you how many 10’s it needs to be multiplied by: In binary (to the base 2 instead of to the base 10) the position of each digit is likewise important. 1152 would be written: 1 x 2 ^10 (i.e. 1024) + 0 x 2 ^9 + 0 x 2^8 + 1x 2^7 (i.e. 128) + 0 x 2^6 + 0 x 2^5 etc. or 10010000000.

13. Why has this got anything to do with EHS? It seems that some people’s cells are able to perceive these new pulsed digital radio waves - microwaves that penetrate the skin, unlike the older AM/FM frequencies we are familiar with. Because the frequencies, pulses and power densities are similar to those used by the body for self-regulation, cells don’t know how to behave. Any kind of disorder within the body’s cells or their regulatory systems can lead to all manner of unforeseen consequences, not least of them diseases, particularly cancer.

14. Are there other kinds of consequences we should be looking out for? We are only now learning about some of them, and for many the links to electromagnetic exposures have not been universally agreed. Those we have good reason to suspect include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Leukaemia, Diabetes and many others. In time, many of todays poorly understood diseases will be associated with EMF exposure. We do not yet understand the links let alone the mechanisms by which they are connected but it seems the relationship we have enjoyed with electromagnetism has dismissed some of the dangers, dangers that are only now becoming apparent.

15. So what should I do if I am concerned for my own health and that of the people I care about? We now know that for some, electromagnetism (in many of its forms – electric, magnetic, electromagnetic etc.) has dangers of which we have previously been unaware. Given that we are still learning about the whys and the wherefores of ElectroMagnetic Force (EMF)’s amazing capabilities and its biological consequences, it makes sense to minimize EMF exposure wherever it occurs. Thus adopting an ALARA policy – As Low As Reasonably Achievable is consistent with the known science and is in line with the UK Government’s advice to adopt a precautionary approach.

16. Why doesn’t industry make people more aware of the dangers that electromagnetism poses for some people? Despite industry’s encouragement for us to make use of all things electrical, electrical energy inherently produces potentially harmful emissions during transmission and at point of use (Electrosmog). During the course of a normal day we are often subjected to very many EMF sources and there is little desire amongst suppliers and regulators to minimise such emissions or to educate users in minimizing exposure. Because it is society’s collective responsibility, it seems nobody is responsible.

17. Are some types of appliance worse than others? Magnetic field emissions from household appliances are often linked to how much power they use. Thus an immersion heater is likely to produce more Electrosmog than an ordinary light bulb. But its often not that simple. Electrosmog includes radio emissions and Low Energy (LE) light bulbs give off more Electrosmog than ordinary incandescent bulbs. It’s difficult to be truly green.

Don't Panic

As the world awakens to the dangers of mobile phones and wireless radio emissions, it is starting to have a profound effect on people’s relationship with electromagnetism in general.

It is emerging that mankind’s ability to harness the phenomenal and amazing powers of electricity does not come without risk. Of course we’ve known that all along but it has mostly been the consequences of electric shocks that we have been warned about.

Now we are discovering that in normal everyday situations; homes, offices, factories, hospitals, on public transport and in cars that we are subjected to significant amounts of electromagnetic force (EMF) which up to now we have believed to be harmless. As more and more people use more and more electrical devices and thus more electricity, more and more are becoming unwell and realising that electricity is involved somehow.

That knowledge is starting to unsettle people as the come to realise that if they and their loved ones are to have a trouble-free life, their attitude to and relationship with electricity must change. This realisation is often accompanied by a rising panic and a sense of unease as people come to see that the cosy understanding they thought they had with electromagnetism has taken their immunity to Electrosmog for granted.