What is it doing to you and yours?
Electrical pollution is a major cause of health problems in the modern world. Electrical pollution, invisible, silent, odorless, and tasteless is the perfect pollutant. We have not evolved any methods of sensing its presence. A few people, like me, have become "electrically sensitive" and are able to know when we are being exposed due to the symptoms we experience. Most people, even when exposed to levels and wavelengths that are literally killing them, never notice a thing.
Everyone living in areas of the world with electricity is being negatively affected. It is only a question of degree. [Dr. Neil Cherry, Evidence That Electromagnetic Radiation Is Genotoxic: the implications for the epidemiology of cancer and cardiac, neurological and reproductive effects. His presentation to New Zealand Parliament in May 2000, European Parliament in June 2000. Look for a link at www.electricalpollution.com/Monumental.]
Combine this with the fact that the electric utility companies have chosen the path of cover-up rather than remediation, and are supported in this by their state Public Service Commissions, and you begin to get an inkling of the situation. As one PSC official said in private conversation, "This will make the tobacco industry cover-up look like a gnat on a cow's ass."
Letís start at the beginning. What is electrical pollution and what causes it?
If you look at the waveform of clean 60-cycle electricity on an oscilloscope, you see a normal sine wave. An ongoing series of gentle, very symmetrical wave forms: a hill, a valley, a hill, a valley appear on the screen. We pay for and assume we are getting this clean 60-cycle electricity delivered to our homes, workplaces, schools, everywhere. However, electronic gizmos such as computers that use direct current dump high frequency harmonics back into the circuits when they convert the AC to DC. Also, several very common things such as fluorescent lights, dimmer switches and variable speed motors distort the 60 Hz wave and create high frequency currents. As this occurs in homes, offices, factories, schools, etcetera, along the way, the power gets more and more polluted as it goes along. (Each piece of electrical equipment that uses electricity non-linearly in this fashion should have its own filter built into it at the factory. Europe has much higher standards in this regard than we do. American computer manufactures have to put an inexpensive RF filter in the computers they export to Europe.)
In the old days before electronics, electrical power was polluted at the source, by brushes in the generators. A monumental epidemiological study using childhood leukemia as a marker found an absolutely correlating increase in this disease in areas of the USA, Africa and Europe as they sequentially became electrified. [Samuel Milham &E.M. Ossiander, Historical evidence that residential electrification caused the emergence of childhood leukemia peak, Medical Hypotheses, vol. 56, #3, 2001, pp. 290-295] Generators now produce clean power but modern pollution levels are much higher due to electronics.
It is possible to flick a switch on an oscilloscope that takes the regular clean 60-cycle out of the picture. Theoretically, when you plug into your household current and do this, you should now see nothing on the screen. No wave form. But you will. You will see, depending on how polluted your power is, ugly jagged lines that jerk up and down and very likely pretty much fill the entire window. This is electrical pollution, radio frequencies (RF) that are extremely harmful to sensitive electronics and living beings. Industry and large corporations spend billions to protect their electronic equipment from this, but nobody is looking out for humans. To the contrary, we are assured by the utilities and the agencies that supposedly regulate them, who know it is not true, that there is not a thing to be concerned about.
Perhaps you have heard of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and that it is good to avoid them. You may have read that strong EMFs are created by your refrigerator, hair dryer, and all electrical appliances. This is true, but what is not commonly known even by those who write on this subject is that the RF accompanying our incoming power from the utility is the real culprit. (Electric-utility-sponsored studies use clean electricity.)
Therefore, the electronics in your house are really a very small part of the picture. Your electricity is already extremely polluted when it enters your home from everybody "upstream," and it is mainly this RF pollution that is really affecting you. If you are hooked up to electrical service, high frequency "toxins" can flow through your house, through YOU, 24 hours a day, whether or not you yourself have anything in the house turned on.
In fact, even if you turn off your power main, RFs can make their way into your home via your water pipes and phone lines. From there, they move through and on the linear metal items in your house, such as electrical wiring, telephone wiring, water pipes, metal ductwork, and might even spread out across objects one usually thinks of as nonconductive, such as woodwork and furniture.
If our water faucet spit out our neighbor's feces and toilet paper when we turned it on, we'd be outraged. But this intangible polluted electricity is causing us as much harm as that would. Symptoms of RF (radio wave) sickness include a wide range of neurological, cardiac, respiratory, ophthalmological, dermatological and other conditions ranging in severity from headaches, fatigue and ADD to pneumonia, psychosis and strokes. (No Place To Hide Volume 3, Number 1, April 2001, Special Issue on Russian and Ukrainian Research Editor Arthur Firstenberg lists proven RF symptoms. Read it at www.electricalpollution.com) Childhood leukemia, a good indicator, is markedly higher in areas with electrical pollution from ground current. [N. Wertheimer, D. Savitz &E. Leeper Childhood cancer In relation to indicators of magnetic fields from ground current sources, Bioelectromagnetics, Vol. 16, pp. 86-96, 1995)]
Doctors are as ignorant of this situation as everyone else, so the best way to determine whether someone's health problems are related to RF is to lower the RF levels and see what happens. In schools where RF remediation has been done, many kids with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) suddenly don't have it any more, and teachers with mysterious maladies that kept them from working a full work week now don't miss a day. Many chronic headaches and complaints of chronic fatigue melted away. Many diabetics find that their need for insulin drops dramatically or even ends when they avoid RF, and conversely that it increases when they are exposed.[Electrical pollution takes its toll on school, Ken Luchterhand, Melrose Chronicle, Thursday, February 12, 2004] [Also see: http://www.nfam.org/2003winternewsletter_electromagnetic_2.html]
Dave Stetzerís, my friend and mentor, blood sugar skyrockets within minutes when he is exposed to RF, which for him has proven to be the sole causative factor. To date, the blood sugar of every person he has tested is affected within minutes.
Cows give about 10 more lbs. of milk a day on the days when the RF in their environment is low. [Donald Hillman et al, Relationship of electric power quality to milk production of dairy herds, Shocking News, 9/11/02 Also avail. at www.electricalpollution.com] They give 20 lbs. a day more when in a permanently clean electrical environment. [Conversation with power quality expert Dave Stetzer of Blair, WI] I myself have needed less thyroid hormone as my electrical environment has been improved, yet notably more on days with more RF exposure. (Since I wrote this my thyroid has recovered and I have been able to discontinue hormone use, after spending some time away from home in a yet-cleaner electrical environment that allowed more healing than possible at home.)
My own story makes a good illustration of both the effects and the challenges of dealing with them in a meaningful way. We live in a Wisconsin Winnie-the-Pooh, three-acre beech and maple woods, surrounded by farms and woodland. Itís not a place where youíd expect to find dangerous environmental pollution, so that was not suspected when I began to have "spells." Although I had always had low blood pressure, I began experiencing terrifying spells of a sudden and sharp rise in blood pressure with skyrocketing pulse rate and wild cardiac arrhythmia. I was taken to the ER by ambulance twice, but by the time I got there was pronounced normal.
$18,000 worth of medical tests, including an electrocardiogram and a MRI of my brain, found nothing to account for these and other bizarre symptoms. Bewildered doctors finally pronounced that I was just having panic attacks. They prescribed beta blockers, which block normal stimulation of many bodily systems including the heart, but these rendered me so zombie-like that I refused them. Insomnia increased to the point where I was sleeping in broken bits, from 3-5 hours a night. I felt as if I was made out of paper. Just breathing and walking felt taxing. My anxiety level was extreme, my adrenals were exhausted and my thyroid needed help from hormone replacement. Already slender, I became a shadow. My husband had to care for me, and I wasn't sure I was going to survive.
I had previously read a bit about EMF, and it occurred to me to try some experiments, such as sleeping in different places in the house. (Our bedroom later proved to be an extremely toxic electrical environment.) I noticed immediate symptoms if I went near a TV, a telephone, a car fan, or the water pipes in our house. (Later I would discover I had become electrically sensitive, a sort of walking EMF meter, affected by dimmer switches, electric heating systems, computers in banks and post offices, the chair at the dentistís office, you name it.)
At least now I had a clue. I was very fortunate to be put in touch with Dave Stetzer, a power quality engineer deeply committed to making known both the facts about electrical pollution and the cover-up involved. Dave generously spent a lot of time on the phone teaching me about power quality and what I needed to do to clean up my immediate environment and save my life. We did experiments and took readings with a variety of meters, indoors and out. (I loved the one that has electrodes you tape to yourself, that goes ZZZZ! when you touch things that put current through you, such as the metal parts of our stove and refrigerator, some cabinets, the shower drain and bathroom water faucets, and even the water itself.)
We put in shielded phone lines, moved water pipes, made the first few feet of incoming water pipe nonconductive (Some RF still jumps onto the pipes from house wiring.). We gutted old electric baseboards that though disconnected were broadcasting RF over large areas including our bedroom, and got all metal out of and away from the bed. We installed RF filters, removed dimmer switches and fluorescent lights, sold the aquarium, got me a speaker phone and a laptop computer I use on battery only.
With each of these steps results were immediate and dramatic. The cardiac symptoms ceased altogether, I was able to sleep, and my anxiety level dropped. My recovery has been steady and I am much better. Only, however, to the extent to which I am able to avoid RF. I was exposed to extreme levels of electrical pollution for many months, and remain electrically sensitive to date, with quite-circumscribed activities. Even at home, RF is not totally unavoidable when the power is on. I am markedly better on days spent away from the house in areas free of ground current, and in warm weather when the main can be off at night.
Parts of our yard also have current levels that make them bad places to hang out, which brings me to another part of the story. For every single electron that leaves the substation, an electron must return to the substation. The utilitiesí wiring system is capable of carrying the outgoing power, but most need a major overhaul in order to be capable of carrying the current returning to the substations. With every year, as more and more current is used, and more of the loads are electronic, the utility transmission system can return less and less of the current to the substations via the existing conductors. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the high frequencies in polluted electricity do not like to be crammed back into a wire. They spread out in what is called "the skin effect."
To deal appropriately with the present loads and the present levels of pollution, E.P.R.I. (Electrical Power Research Institute, the advising body for American electrical utilities) says that utility companies should be using a five-wire system including an isolated neutral. How are all those little electrons presently getting home to the substation? Across the surface of the ground, through your home, through you. Most people think the earth soaks up electricity like a sponge. It does not. Most electricity flows across the surface, like water over a brick. Up to 70 -80% of the return current these days is flowing back to the substations over and through the ground.
How have the PSCs responded to this situation? The PSC in our state (WI) has given the utilities the nod to ground each electric pole giving the return currents free access to travel across the ground and through your home. If an industry tried to use channels through peopleís private property to transport their pollution, what an uproar there would be. Right? Apparently not.
These ground currents are called stray voltage by the utilities and PSCs of WI, MI and MN, and defined by them as only affecting livestock. Thus, even if a human being dies due to ground current, the utility is legally protected.
The affects on livestock are horrendous, as they have four uninsulated feet on the often-damp ground or barn floor, and their feet are further apart then those of humans so they take in more current. Many cattle suffer terribly before dying. Autopsy of some of these poor animals reveals that they were essentially microwaved from the inside out. The utility companies have highly trained lawyers who often convince the uninformed jury that the farmer cared for his cattle improperly or had faulty electrical equipment that leaked current onto the ground and barn floor. (Even the cattle of Amish farmers who have no electrical service can suffer, from ground currents that happen to pass through their barnyard on their way back to a substation.)
There are, then, two main dimensions to the electrical portion of the present situation. One is that the wiring system is in no way capable of carrying the return currents, which then run through places that harm us. The other is that the power quality is terrible in the first place. If either dimension were addressed, the situation would improve dramatically.
So why not address it? Excellent question. The answer is political. The Public Service Commission of each state is supposed to oversee the utilities and look out for the well being of consumers. But the PSCs seem to be serving the utilities, not the public.
The power quality at our home had variants that were 11,000% beyond what is allowable by state code. Yet the PSC said it was fine. In one short phone call, their representative told me three prevarications so outrageous I was utterly flabbergasted at his audacity. The utility company itself, when we requested a power quality test, ran a test that was designed not to look at the variants in question. (Which the PSC then winked at.) This is like going out at noon with a blindfold on, then coming in and saying that you looked all over but didn't see the Sun, so it is not there today.
But WHY are they doing all this? Why won't they just fix it?
The E.P.R.I. document summing up their five-wire system recommendation to the electric utilities is available to the public, but costs $20,000 a copy, to ensure that you and I never read it. (That is not a misprint. It will cost you $20,000 to read that booklet.) My electrical mentor Dave read it, though, so when he was the expert witness for the State of Michigan recently when Michigan sued a large utility for running current on the ground, he had subpoenaed the speech that one of the authors of that document made to a national meeting of the electrical utilities shortly after helping write the document. This man, the chief electrical engineer of WI Electric, on the team that wrote the document advising that all USA utilities go to the five-wire system, did not pass along that advisement to the utilities he addressed. Instead, he said, "Stall as long as possible. Prepare for litigation."
Individuals who try to fight the system by educating and helping others are threatened. Mysterious things happen to them, and to their jobs and finances. Newspapers that dare to publish elucidating articles are bought up by the utility companies. Investigative journalists are fired. Lawyers about to represent clients suffering from electrical pollution suddenly drop the cases and go to work for the electric company.
A gigantic cover-up is in place. Why are they doing this? For the same reason that the tobacco industry maintained a cover-up for so long, because there is going to be hell to pay when the public finds out what electrical pollution has done to them.
Toxic electricity is a chronic, severe stress affecting virtually everyone, and only increases as the pollution proliferates. It is difficult for us to determine just what it might be doing to us, because for most of us it is always there. Individuals who have cleaned up their immediate environments, however, are now reporting dramatic improvement in a wide range of conditions and symptoms, usually of conditions that they had never thought of as related to electrical pollution. If you want to know what it is doing to you, you need to bring the level of it down enough to find out.
I offer the following points and ideas for your further consideration.
Presently, no one is looking out for individuals regarding EMF. Both military and utility establishments exercise their undemocratic freedom in ways very harmful to the citizenry. We must educate ourselves and take protective measures on our own.
After you have discovered what electrical pollution has been doing to you and those you care for, and begun remediation, please go on to educate others and become an activist. There are few industries in this country with more political clout than the electric utilities. They will change their ways only when forced to. We must bring that force to bear.
A good web site is www.electricalpollution.com. You can read about the RF filters there, as well, or at Dave's own site, www.stetzerelectric.com. Click on "power quality." Dave's concise and powerful deposition in the Michigan case is there as well. Also see http://emfacts.com, www.ortho.lsumc.edu/Faculty/Marino/Powerline, and www.emfguru.org.
B. Blake Levitt's book Electromagnetic Fields is a treasure chest of information, including much not elsewhere readily available on the effects of EMFs on animals and plant life.
Dr. Robert O. Becker's book CROSSCURRENTS, is a "must read."
Call C.U.R.E at 715-564-3362 for an information-dense booklet with 200 references. ( I suggest a $5 donation.)
Out of print but still available is Lucinda Grantís HANDBOOK OF ELECTRICAL SENSITIVITY.
Please get in touch with the author for much more information than could be included here, including numerous household remediation techniques.
Copyright ©Shivani Arjuna 2003
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