Electricity Allergy Sufferers Find Modern Society Tough

from the geodesic-dome dept

It's pretty common for people to deride modern technologies as being harmful to the health, like "iPods can damage your ears", or "text messaging hurts your thumbs". Some are taking this to a whole new level, claiming that the existence of electric fields, made more abundant by numerous gadgets, are damaging to the health, with sufferers claiming hip pains, bad sleep, and rashes, among other things. Sufferers back up their point by claiming to have been relieved by installing expensive electricity filters, and by the fact that nerves in the human body do respond to electrical impulses. Of course, some will say that this is merely the placebo effect, and it does sound like something out of the movie Safe, but the emergence of people who are allergic to modern society is a real trend, whether psychosomatic or not. Until science can definitively support or debunk their claims, they probably won't get much help from modern society; then again it's not uncommon for people to want to ban things, just because the long-term consequences aren't known.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 5:46pm

    in that case, you are harmful to yourself!

    since your heart generates electricity when it beats, according to this article, if electric and electromagnetic fields are harmful to people, you are harmful to yourself!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    corvus, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 5:54pm


    So, I shouldn't be sleeping in with my arc welder running next to me? Who knew?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Robert, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 6:03pm

    Baby Steps!

    Baby Step through the electrical fields.
    keep stepping Bob.
    Dr. Leo Marvin

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Josh, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:03pm

    Talk about pseudo-science.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Kevin, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:22pm

    Brilliant analyses guys

    Did any of you read the actual article?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    F. Psychologist, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:26pm

    What does this mean?

    Those people need therapy.
    It's psychosomatic, purely psychosomatic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    1.21 Gigawatts, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:37pm

    Electrical fields

    I am an electrician, and have worked with the local utility before on electrical fields in homes, for people with 'really' sensitive electronics, etc. The utility has a meter that will measure the amount of electrical fields inside the house, and we went through and re-worked some of the circuits to try to minimize it. However Moron Homeowner asked: Since your measuring electricity, will it come out of the walls and shock me? People don't completly understand electricity, and are too quick to judge.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Corey, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:38pm

    I have the answer

    Wear your aluminum foil helmet and everything will be OK

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    discojohnson, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 7:42pm

    Re: Brilliant analyses guys

    "Symptoms of electrical sensitivity include the joint pain Mr. Byrne experienced, but also a bewildering array of other common problems most everyone feels at one time or another, such as fatigue, headaches, poor sleep quality with frequent wakefulness, ringing in the ears, depression, difficulty remembering things, and skin rashes"

    yeah some of us did. and, well, this same list is that of common symptoms to being a parent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Byron Smart, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 9:28pm

    Natural VS Synthetic

    The problem with people wanting to ban devices is of their misunderstanding of what these devices cause harm to. If you have a negative ION field with some electronics turned on and some turned off you are creating a sub-atomic electromagentic distrubance and that could be harmful depending on your Central Nervous System weaknesses. So one person might gravitate toward cancer from certain analog cell phones, and another not.

    But the area for reasearch should be the testing of how your 90 IR devices, 27 computers, 5 televisons, Bluetooth, cordless phones,cell phones, pda's, hygenic disposition, health cleansing products,diet, mental state of mind ,etc all co-habitate and then change the arrangement of all these things or merely take objects out of the equation.

    USE THE HYPOTHESIS OF the possibility that all these devices could be creating health problems by attaching the ION,electro-magnetic fields, enviroment into creating disease.. Just a theory nothing to be hung up on the self-gratifaction of winning forum/peer recognition.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    dorpus, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 10:23pm

    Physiology 101

    I see we have a techie who believes the negative ion theory. Who was it that was talking about tin hats?

    If you've had an introductory course in physiology, you'll have learned the difference between a specific and non-specific immune response. From this, you'll know it is impossible to have an "allergy" to electricity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Aaron Friel, Mar 28th, 2006 @ 10:23pm

    I have the solution!

    It's called a Faraday cage. What you do is, instead of spending thousands of dollars on filters and equipment that will ultimately be innefectual and useless...

    You take apart your appliances, and you wrap them in a conductive foil!

    You then proceed to wrap living spaces, again, in a solid conductive mesh or foil.

    And ta-da! No more electrical fields to worry about.

    If you need to go outside, make a hazmat suit out of foil.

    This solution is cheap, cost effective, and long-term.

    The only problem is the victim, who will be soothed by the placebo effect of these items, and infer any good occurances afterwards (My dreams have improved, they're more vivid and real!) are the result of the foil. They will be delusional, and resistant to claims otherwise. Even the act of suggesting it is a placebo will do nothing make them believe otherwise, and they will go crazy, suggesting all their friends do likewise.

    Pretty soon, the fashion of the day is to wear full body suits... for everyone to be a walking faraday cage.

    *sigh* Nevertheless, I really wish these people would go away. Maybe form a colony that doesn't use electricity. If they don't want to participate in the real world, and they wish to complain of common, typical ailments as being the effect of fantastic or unusual causes, then they should be told that the simplest solution for them is to avoid the real world altogether. As I stand in my room, I sit next to an artificial light, near several electrical appliances running at various frequences, with many wires running through the walls, as well as a few AC outlets and a surge protector. Several wireless signals from within 20 feet pass through my body completely undisturbed, more signals are caused by a wireless phone, a cellphone, and the signals that travel throughout my entire city. My world, it seems, has become one conveyed invisibly, its intricate weave unseen and unheard. Constantly, my body is subjected to 'harsh' radiation, strong signals from many, many frequencies, and I know not the difference. Neither, it seems, do the waves.

    Invisibly entangled,
    Aaron Friel

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    blah, Mar 29th, 2006 @ 3:29am


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    french refugee, Mar 29th, 2006 @ 4:34am


    How long can we bear this situation ?


    The woman allergic to modern life

    BBC Wales news website

    Louise Solomons lives in isolation
    Louise Solomons' instructions were explicit: "Wear no body spray or after shave and leave your mobile phone in your car".
    But as I entered her home in the hills above Builth Wells, she seemed on edge.

    Seemingly unsatisfied that I had not followed her instructions, she sniffed my clothes as I sat in her living room.

    Asking if we could sit further apart as she was affected by my clothes' washing detergent, she told me about life with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).

    The condition has made Ms Solomons, 54, allergic to the things that are part and parcel of the 21st Century.

    Diagnosed in 1988, she suffers with flu-like symptoms if she is exposed to anything chemically-based, from perfume and furniture polish to bathroom cleaner.

    Frail and with delicate balance, I'm ultra-sensitive to heat, cold, light sound, touch and especially smell

    Louise Solomons

    Before her condition became too severe, she enjoyed a full and active life giving talks on music, playing table tennis and working voluntarily with children and blind people, among other things.

    But so debilitating are her allergies, she says, she has been unable to work for 16 years.

    Then three years ago she claimed she started having reactions to electricity too. This is a condition known as electrical sensitivity (ES) which some claim is a result of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) associated with electricity supply and electrical equipment.

    The prevalence of MCS and ES has not been measured in the UK, but sufferers claim both conditions are on the increase.

    In Ms Solomons' case, the combined impact of MCS and ES has caused a major upheaval in her life. She says her illnesses have cost her career, home, looks and faith.

    Her increasingly poor health also led to financial difficulties and in December she left her native London for the Welsh countryside where "the air is cleaner".

    She now resides in a rented home in a remote, hillside hamlet near Builth Wells, Powys, with just sheep for company.

    However, by the beginning of April Ms Solomons will have to find a new home and is searching for some caring and environmentally aware householders who could help.

    Louise Solomons pictured in 1972 before the allergies became too severe

    "Frail and with delicate balance, I'm ultra-sensitive to heat, cold, light sound, touch and especially smell," said Ms Solomons.

    "During my 20s I worked in a medical research laboratory, exposed to chemicals and low-level radiation.

    "After a fortnight in a fume-filled hotel room, I returned with virus-like feelings. A family function in cigar smog was the final straw and I could tolerate less and less afterwards.

    "Anything with a smell was a hazard."

    She added that her life was now "unbearably bleak".

    She claims that sewing too near a bright light led to ES. Symptoms are brought on by radios and televisions, for instance.

    Ignorance of her condition is an extra burden to sufferers, she explained.

    Over the last 30 years and all over the world, no links have been found between these symptoms and any form of exposure

    Dr Michael Clark, Health Protection Agency

    "People like me are treated like pariahs and acceptance of the condition comes hard," she said.

    "But do you think I would have given up a satisfying life to live in the middle of nowhere with ghastly symptoms if I had a choice?"

    Allergy UK said MCS had been described as the 21st Century disease.

    It said the smell from soap powders and fabric conditioners, new carpet or furniture, paints, plastics, air fresheners, deodorants, some people are also affected by certain foods and food additives, and these could trigger a reaction.

    As for ES, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) published a report last year about the condition, but scientists disputed whether it was linked to EMFs.

    Dr Michael Clark, HPA scientific spokesman said about ES: "We don't contest that some people get some disabling symptoms which are very real.

    "Over the last 30 years and all over the world, no links have been found between these symptoms and any form of exposure.

    "For people with MCS it's a different matter. There is evidence that some people are sensitive to some chemicals."

    Dr Peter Kraus, Ms Solomons' GP between 1988 and 2003, confirmed her health problems.

    "There is no NHS facility for patients with the problems of Ms Solomons.

    "I feel that she does not fit into any of the standard medical specialities and as a result is in a very vulnerable state. I am surprised how long she has survived in her current terrible situation."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Chris H, Mar 29th, 2006 @ 6:47am

    I turned off my grandmother's ventilator to protect her from errant electrical fields.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2006 @ 9:45am

    I'm suing the north and south poles and the earths molten core for creating the magnetic field that encompasses the planet. Damn those poles! They are giving me such a rash! And that molten core has me tossing and turning all night!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    txjump, Mar 29th, 2006 @ 10:43am


    I'm suing the north and south poles and the earths molten core for creating the magnetic field that encompasses the planet. Damn those poles! They are giving me such a rash! And that molten core has me tossing and turning all night!

    hehehe...i was wondering when someone was going to bring that up.

    it seams that a portion of the population living closer to the poles would experience this throughout history. . .

    as a severe allergy sufferer...i vote we ban trees, grass, weeds, mold, and dust mites! ;)

    the article was interesting and maybe the studies have some validity, who knows at this point. but if changing your house, style of life or whatever makes you feel better...even if its just the placebo affect...then do it.

    but i dont think you can expect main stream to change.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2006 @ 11:07am

    Re: Natural VS Synthetic

    What the hell is an ion field? I think you've spent too much time listening to "magnetic bracelet" commercials on late night TV.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    If I leave my email would you spam me?, Aug 22nd, 2006 @ 5:14pm

    If a human body generates an electromagnetic field and other types of electrical fields affects the natural field of the body for some few people in a painful way, what's so difficult to understand? All these reactions about how it must be in the mind as long as science has yet to document and investigate it properly.. Tallk about the cult of science. Religion is the opium of the people, and science is modern man's new religion.

    Also, sounds to me like they're just calling it allergy because it's similar to having an allergy. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's grouped together with the type of illness allergies are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    patricia m dube, Jan 29th, 2007 @ 2:59pm

    allergy to ellectricity

    i have a very rare problem which my doctor is looking into. i can not be under a electrical heat for a while i start swealing special my face and i do feel num on my feet and fingers. i thought at first because i come from a hot climate in africa. but no we do have electricity in towns. though our houses are ventilated we do use electricity in offices and everywere. but since i have been here for 6yrs i have suffered a strong allergy to heat. neither in the car or at work, at home i have to keep heaters off lights off light a candle. i do find it difficult to breath, difficult to sleep. very itch face and neck, small rash which expand so quick when scrached or tempered,head aches and hot flashes. well i'm very young early thirties. i can not state if its electricity or what but i am fine when i am out side.my doctor is looking at that so i will let you know the results if its an allergy to ellectricity. i bet it is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Durty Harry, May 24th, 2007 @ 11:01pm

    Electricity Allergy Sufferers Find Modern Society

    You have a nice line on pith dear writer.

    "but the emergence of people who are allergic to modern society is a real trend" - Yes I think they are called Luddites. They been around for a while now guy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Joseph, Jun 3rd, 2007 @ 4:44pm



    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Larry Bridges Studio/Gallery, Jul 23rd, 2007 @ 7:46am

    Re: Electrical fields

    I have a buyer for my house and she had as a stipulation to buying that she be able to come at different times and walk around the house and property to see if her allergies would tolerate living here. She said one time that the television was making her sick. What do I do to keep her from having these symptons? Do I turn off all appliances including stove, microwave and fans and air conditioners? I am at my wits end!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Sara, Jan 23rd, 2008 @ 9:52pm

    Electrical Hyper Sensitivity - EHS or ES

    I happen to suffer severely from Electrical Hyper Sensitivity.
    As a child I was never sick. I couldn't even imagine how anyone could be allergic to anything.
    At the age of 9, I got exposed to undiluted pestisides (this is one of the links associated to EHS). Then later as an adult I would get disfiguring swellings and blisters on my face, mouth or arm as reactions to pesticides on fruits and vegies.
    In my 30s I developed sinus infections followed by Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS.
    In my late 30s I developed Electrical Hyper Sensitivity.
    My 20 year life as a Software Engineer stopped the day I got paralysed from working around a testing room full of elecronics.
    Today 12 years later, my sensitivity to EMFs and radiation has escalated to where I have to live like a hermit. A trip any where can leave me in bed for days or more. I have to constantly be on the look-out for cell towers, power lines, power boxes, transformers, PC's and every kind of electrical thing.
    I found 3 rules apply to my illness:
    The power strenght of the electric device,
    The amount of time exposed, and
    The distance I was from that device.
    I can identify the electrical item that it is bothering me, because I can feel a pulse from it, it feels like a throbing in my muscles, and all I have to do is match it to the sound that the item is making.
    Besides being paralysed, I can lose feeling in any area that has been over exposed, but I mostly get pain of various degrees.
    This illness is very similar to a sun-burn, because it takes time for my body to recover and each exposure afterwards can make the prevous ones worse.
    Electrical Hyper Sensitivity is not imagined, it is not a fake illness. It's for real!
    In Sweden, people with EHS are considered to be handicaped and have to have special rooms in hospitals and hotels to acomindate them, like there are for people in wheelchairs.
    In the US, it is political because of the powerful ulitity companies. Just consider how easy it is for a utility company to put a high power line, or a cell tower over top your house or property, and you can see how helpless we are in this country.
    I am afraid EHS will become more common in the future, with no help or relief, until people honestly look at what we are doing to ourselves in our modern man-made world.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Gareth, Nov 27th, 2009 @ 6:41pm

    Re: I have the solution!

    Excellent comment!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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