Safety Advice for Electromagnetic Fields (PDF)
Language: English | Chinese(中文)
Safety Advice(PDF)
English | (中文)



EMF Blog Archive — 2011

Archives: 2021 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Magnetic Fields that Can Be Easily Fixed - December 29, 2011

Acupuncture, Acupressure, and the Body Electric - December 20, 2011

Electrosensitivity/MCS Pitfalls: Optimizing One Health Factor at the Expense of Another - November 30, 2011

Connecting the Dots: Asthma and EMF? - November 25, 2011

Deception, Denial, and the Industry of Doubt - November 21, 2011

Magnetic Fields that Can Be Easily Fixed - December 29, 2011

Light switch with Ganged Neutrals

Light switch Miswired with Ganged Neutrals

For many years since I bought my first gaussmeter, I knew there was one light switch that would activate a magnetic field throughout my home.  As a result, we left that particular light switch off.  It was not until years later that I learned of a solution, and I had the error corrected by an EMF expert.  Amazingly, it was fixed right behind the light switch plate itself!  Finally, we could turn on the light switch without creating high magnetic fields.  The magnetic fields had “magically” disappeared.

It turns out that my home had a classic example of a wiring error called “ganged neutrals”  or “paralleled neutrals” as Karl Riley of the California EMF program would call it.  Here is a miniature model to demonstrate this type of wiring error and how to fix it. 

Note: Newer versions of Firefox no longer support Vimeo videos. If you have trouble viewing a video listed below, you can try using a different browser, such as Internet Explorer.

The concept is actually rather simple.  The magnetic fields from wiring errors are related to “net current”.  Normally the hot (supply) and neutral (return) currents are equal and cancel each other out.  However, by tying together the neutrals of more than one circuit, this creates multiple return paths for the return current.  When the return current splits along two cables, it results in a deficit of return current on the original circuit, and a surplus on the parallel circuit.  The hot current remains the same.  Since now the hot and neutral currents no longer balance, a net current results, and along with it comes magnetic fields.

All along, my home’s magnetic field turned out to be a magnetic field that COULD be fixed!  I’ve been to open houses with a gaussmeter, and have seen another house with magnetic fields that I suspect were also caused by a wiring error behind a light switch.  How many more cases of magnetic fields are there like this, which could be fixed, if only people knew?

For more information on magnetic fields, see See Powerline Magnetic Fields.

Acupuncture, Acupressure, and the Body Electric - December 20, 2011

An acupuncturist once shared with me about a conference he attended in which one speaker mentioned her difficulty with EMF’s.  I learned that this individual had to reduce the electricity in her room and had concerns about sitting under the fluorescent lights in the conference room.   However, thanks to acupuncture, she was better able to tolerate the conference room’s fluorescent lights.  Apparently, there may be some trigger points in the head/neck area, which may be beneficial to those with electrosensitivity.


Does acupuncture really work?

A recent study on acupuncture has found some scientific evidence that acupuncture is for real and that its benefits are  not merely a placebo effect.  Is the science really new, however?  Dr. Robert Becker writes in his 1990s books about his experimental studies on acupuncture as far back as the 1970s.  He found that the real acupuncture points did indeed produce DC potentials.  These output DC signals, as “signals of injury,” could cause “the cells and chemical mechanisms at the site of injury to produce repair.” Furthermore, he found that the acupuncture points and meridians really existed.  He writes that “these meridians had the electrical characteristics of transmission lines, while nonmeridian skin did not.”  Robert Becker also reports that acupuncture had been used on the battlefield as an anesthetic. (Robert Becker, Cross Currents: The Perils of Electropollution, The Promise of Electromedicine).

What is Acupressure and How Can I Use It?

Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, except that instead of inserting a needle, you apply pressure on the trigger points with your fingers, oftentimes your thumb.  I’ve heard about stories of healing, for people who use acupressure.  I’ve even experienced myself the opening of congested airways when an acupressure expert found just the right trigger points.  What’s great about it is that it’s free.  However, it takes time and practice to find the right point at which pain can usually be felt.  Acupressure videos can be helpful for instruction.  For example, a search on acupressure for the head and neck region finds us the following website:  There are also exercises designed to work on trigger points without requiring the use of the finger and the beginner’s guesswork.  You can try following along with this helpful (foreign language) video, which someone has kindly shared with me:

Electrosensitivity/MCS Pitfalls: Optimizing One Health Factor at the Expense of Another - November 30, 2011

Learning about the dangers of EMF’s and chemicals, and how to reduce them, could potentially be life-saving.  However, partial knowledge can sometimes lead us to optimize  one health factor, at the expense of others.  Thus, a potential pitfall for those with electrosensitivity (EHS) and/or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is to escape one danger only to run into another.

To put it on chemical terms, it’s like trading BPA’s in plastic for a lesser-known hazard called PVC plastic.  Another example is trading mercury in vaccines for aluminum in vaccines (see Dr. Mercola on the hazards), or perhaps, trading fluoride-free toothpaste for toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate.  Sometimes, that unknown hazard is actually a lesser hazard, but other times it is a greater hazard than the one we set out to avoid in the first place.  Unfortunately, not everyone has the time and energy to research into all the known and lesser known dangers of the products we buy.

The electrosensitive individual can especially experience life “between a rock and a hard place”.  There are so many different types of EMF’s, and it’s very easy to optimize one at the expense of another.  For example, I was so thrilled for some time with my computer setup because I had optimized it for low magnetic and RF exposures, but little did I realize that my body voltage and intermediate frequencies were high.  My stories of trading one EMF for another are numerous.  The lesson I learned is that it is useful to always keep in mind all types of EMF’s, such as microwave, electric/body voltage, magnetic, and intermediate radio-frequencies.

Another unfortunate situation that may occur is that an MCS individual with no prior electrosensitivity may end up home-bound because of the toxic chemicals in fragrances and dry-cleaned clothing that he or she cannot tolerate.  With limited social encounters, he or she may become a heavy computer user, and consequently may develop electrosensitivity if not properly remediating various computer EMF’s through simple precautionary measures.  It appears that all people may have some level of susceptibility to both EMF’s and chemicals, either when the exposures are extreme, or else when they are chronic.  See Prescriptions for a Healthy House for a few case studies for both EMF’s and chemicals.  We ought to therefore keep in mind both EMF’s and chemicals.

Perhaps the more difficult issue is how to spread the word.  Perhaps what we need to do is to take up the motto of Healthy Child Healthy World—that once we do have a good grasp of the issues, we can spread the word to our friends, families, and neighborhoods of simple non-toxic alternatives, and together, change the world one home at a time.

Connecting the Dots: Asthma and EMF? - November 25, 2011

To most people, the hypothesis of a connection between asthma and EMF’s, raised by Samuel Milham and others, probably sounds  speculative.  The usual suspect, of course, is poor air quality.

However, a recent 2011 scientific paper by Li et al. has identified a possible link between asthma and fetal exposure to EMF.  Check out the news article in US News & World Report and the actual report by De-Kun Li itself.  According to De-Kun Li et al, even very low levels of maternal exposure to magnetic fields at only 2 milligauss appear to increase the risk for asthma in offspring.  A dose-response was also found, suggesting the higher the magnetic field, the higher the risk.

How can this be?  An earlier article by NZine New Zealand, explains one possible scientific mechanism by which this can occur, based on a 2003 study by Rajkovic et al.:

“Extremely Low-Frequency electromagnetic fields (ELFs) such as those from powerlines, domestic wiring and electrical appliances have also been shown to increase the number of mast cells in the body that are implicated in asthma

Former Anecdotes on Asthma and Powerline EMF

Although this would come as a surprise to most people, there are a number of people who have already previously connected the dots.  In light of the De-Kun Li study, we ought to take their suggestions more seriously.  Take for example, the following anecdote from Harper’s magazine in 2010:

He started working on the power lines before he conceived children,” Kelley told me. [...] She can’t prove anything, but her three siblings suffered from asthma, her father had abnormally high blood pressure, and she is infertile—all conditions that she believes may be connected to EMF exposure.

- Nathaniel Rich, “For Whom the Cell Tolls”, Harper’s Magazine, May 2010

Another recent article in the guardian (UK) tells the story of Yasuyuki Fujimura, a Japanese engineer inventor, who also suspected that his electromagnetic exposures had something to do with his child’s asthma:

“Fujimura has a Ph.D. in physics and originally got a job at a major equipment manufacturer. He was an elite engineer involved in the development of advanced technologies including plasma processing machines, cogeneration systems and gas heat pumps. His turning point was when his newborn son was diagnosed with allergic asthma. As he found out, at that time, in the 1980s, there was a surprising increase in the number of children with allergies. As he continued his research, he learned about environmental problems. He realized that the environment was deteriorating and harming the health of children as one of the down sides of rapid economic growth fuelled by the vigorous promotion of scientific and technological advancement and the pursuit of more and more convenience and comfort.”

“The Japanese engineer calling for a life without electricity.”  the guardian, November 4, 2011

Consequently, Fujimura has been working on developing “non-electric” technology of the Atelier Non-Electric company, including non-electric refrigerators and dehumidifiers.  This is not a throw-back to the pre-industrial age, nor the branding of what used to be commonplace as “organic”, but rather a very innovative effort to develop technology without electricity.  Perhaps future generations will need this.

Asthma and Wireless Technologies?

Interestingly, a similar link was reported between mobile phones and asthma, making a similar  connection to “mast cells.”

“In 1997 Dr Peter French, whilst conducting experiments on mast cells, discovered that the production of histamine – the chemical responsible for allergic reactions, and which is involved in bronchial spasm - is nearly doubled after exposure to mobile phone frequencies. He predicted that this could result in an increase in illnesses such as asthma and allergies in the years to come.”

-NZine New Zealand

Asthmatic complaints rated fairly high in a Swedish study of self-reported complaints from wireless phones.

Anecdotes on Asthma and Wireless Technologies

Anecdotes have also linked asthma to AM/FM radio towers in Ouhuria, New Zealand,  smart meters, and even Wi-Fi.  One child no longer needed his inhaler after being removed from a Wi-Fi environment.  This suggests that Wi-Fi enabled inhalers could be a contradiction in itself.

Of What Value Are Anecdotes?

It is difficult to prove a connection on a case-by-case basis, which is why studies like those of De-Kun Li et al are so important, because they look at larger populations.  Surely, anecdotes rank low in credibility by the medical and scientific communities.  Yet, later studies may vindicate these claims as being plausible to say the least.   Instead of ignoring anecdotes, or telling people that they are jumping to conclusions, perhaps we should use anecdotes as fuel for ideas for future scientific studies, which may lend credence to their beliefs.  After all, to what benefit is science to human health, if we ignore the human experience?

Read more about the scientific evidence for health symptoms that may be related to EMF’s.

Deception, Denial, and the Industry of Doubt - November 21, 2011

With respect to wireless technologies and health, we are mired in a society of deception, disconnects, denial, and doubt.  Dr. Devra Davis, in her book Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry HasDone to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family uncovers a lot of the behind-the-scenes events that most of the public never realizes is underlying the rampant lack of understanding about the true dangers of cell phones.

From her book, you will learn that things are not as simple as they may seem.  It’s amazing how much intrigue and suspense lies in this book, which reads like a mystery thriller novel, although it is based in reality and not fiction.  For example, a mysterious sentence is added into a scientist’s report against his will, to play down his findings.  A director-general of the WHO is no longer director within 5 months of reporting her sensitivity to cell phones.  One researcher is told to investigate other lines of research after discovering potentially harmful effects of radio frequency radiation.  Another researcher is charged with fraud for finding biological effects, although the charge of fraud is later discovered to be a fraud itself!

With all of these deceptive practices, and the maturation of the industry of doubt generation, it’s no wonder that our society suffers from a disconnect of common opinion from the actual data. The industry strategy is ingenious, to say the least.  Take a look at one such telecom strategy and feel like you are reading something out of the Screwtape Letters!  Most people are too naive to see through it.  I especially find points 4 and 6 of this document to be fascinating:

“4. This special group of experts should preferably be members of the ICNIRP organization. This organization is funded by the mobile phone industry and has become a very important tool since it has defined “safety levels” for radiation so high that they never pose any problems for the mobile phone industry. Mobile phones are safe.”

“6. In order to assure a long available time for developing and introduction of new mobile phone systems it is important to support health study projects that run for decades before any conclusions can be drawn. One example is the Interphone study; another is the COSMOS study. If these studies ever show any health implication, we will by then in any case have new and better mobile systems up and running. Meanwhile, mobile phones are safe.”

If you read also Devra Davis’s other book, The Secret History of the War on Cancer, you can learn more about the industry of doubt generation as it relates to many other industries besides the wireless industry.  You will also learn how the knowledge of health effects is so often kept a secret from those who could most benefit from it.  History does repeat itself, but unfortunately, the deceptive often get more deceptive, learning from the past.  Meanwhile, much of the public, remains naive.  Doubt often results in delayed action, which can work to the benefit of industry but hurt the consumer.

Perhaps it goes beyond naivete, however.  The even more difficult issue, is just how useful and convenient cell phones are (aside from the inconvenient health effects), and just how addicted some people have become to this convenience.   People don’t want to believe it’s dangerous, and much less those who profit from it.  Devra Davis opens her book, saying, “When I first heard this idea about six years ago, I did not believe it and I did not want to believe it.”  However, the truth is what it is, whether or not we want to believe it.

The science about the health effects of wireless radiation is becoming pretty strong, with thousands of studies to back it up, which you can read more about in the Bioinitiative Report of 2007, Pathophysiology journal August 2009, Levitt/Lai article, among others.  Read more about the scientific findings and some common myths about wireless safety.

© 2010-2024 All Rights Reserved | Liability Disclaimer
About | Contact | Links