I Am an EMF Refugee….

I can feel Wi-Fi.

And power lines. And smart phones. And electric heat. And LED lights. But, before you get too excited about my real-life “Spidey sense,” let me warn you, it does not feel good. And I didn’t always possess this extrasensory perceptive power.

I was a New York City media maven for 15 years. I strode into dazzling skyscrapers with Don Draper and Peggy Olson wannabes. I clinked glasses of dirty vodka martinis with beat reporters and fedora-wearing publishers. I dwelled in an overpriced studio on Manhattan’s sublime West 57th Street. I stressed over deadlines, sipped wine on rooftops and hopped subways in heels — all with a sparkling, enchanting metropolis of international envy to call my home.

And of course, I had all the digital toys to accompany this persona: A creative director’s dream of a Mac computer system, the smartest smart phone of the moment, the fastest of the fast wireless networks, the streaming tunes, the apps for that, the iEverythings and the incessant surge of digital pings directing and announcing my every move.

That was my life until a few years ago. And now, I am an EMF Refugee.

I wander in exodus seeking asylum from a fierce and escalating worldwide storm of artificial and damaging electromagnetic fields (EMFs). I’m a fugitive on the run from wireless frequencies. I’m an émigré fleeing persecution from dirty electricity. I have relinquished any concept of possession, ownership or permanent residence, ready to pack up and escape for my safety on a moment’s notice. But in a world now filled with overlapping, omnipresent radiofrequency and pulsed microwave technologies, where exactly should I flee? Where is it safe? That is always the question. And there isn’t always an answer.

With my bank account drained from decades of undiagnosed illness and failed medical intervention, I must rely on the kindness of friends and strangers to grant me temporary safe haven — to disable their Wi-Fi, to unplug their cordless phones, even sometimes to shut down their energy-efficient electronics or entire circuit systems — just so I can sleep, so I can eat, so I can rest, so I can work, so I can think, so I might possibly heal. And then, inevitably, energy forces me to move again.

So how does a Notre Dame alumna, the editor-in-chief of the 2000 Dome, who graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with an astounding network of friends and loved ones, wind up as an EMF refugee? Quite simply: It is estimated that 3 to 5 percent of the world’s population suffers from a very modern, very real, yet controversial physiological condition known as electro-hypersensitivity (EHS). I am now one of them.

People always want to prove me wrong. Some have covertly turned on their Wi-Fi routers in my presence, just to see if I can feel it, when I don’t know it’s transmitting. Guess what? I can feel it. I always do. And they’re always astonished. But that’s not a fun parlor game for me.

People like to prove the science wrong, too. They call out “non-specific symptoms.” They cherry-pick the data. They call EHS a “nocebo” that is leading people to feel ill because they think they have been exposed to something that might sicken them. But I challenge those doubters to delve into the published research.

“But what does it feel like?” This is the most popular question I’ve been asked in the last three years. In a nutshell — it feels like unremitting, wired, electrified torture. It feels like I am fused with a force field, that I’m no longer human but part of a circuit. It feels like my body is pulsating to an artificial frequency. If I were to check off some boxes in a physician’s waiting room, my symptom list would include numbness, tingling, muscle twitching, vertigo, loss of balance, pressurized headaches, spinal pain, rashes, insomnia, memory lapses, cognitive dysfunction, altered heart rate, tinnitus, fatigue, gastrointestinal distress and urological spasms — just for starters.

Alison Main

See full article at: Notre Dame Magazine

This entry was posted in Smart Meter and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to I Am an EMF Refugee….

  1. Let's get real about RF says:

    Fantastic to see the following comment from the phenomenal singer-songwriter, Adele, in the February 18-19 edition of the Weekend Australian magazine re wifi: “Also, this Wi-Fi – you watch, it’s going to f..kin’ kill our insides… it’s just floating around. I’m telling you, we’ll find out in 25 years.” If only our government had as much common sense!

  2. Allan says:

    Where do I sign, I havent received an answer yet?

  3. anonymous says:

    I know how this lady feels. I live in a house with metal cladding and it seems to pick up and magnify the effects of wireless signals ( they may not be coming through as an RF signal but they are coming through the walls in some electromagnetic form). I can feel wireless signals coming from 2 to 3 houses away. I am dependent on my neighbours to turn their wireless devices off so that I can go to sleep, otherwise I will feel burning and crawling sensations throughout my body and stabbing pains, especially in my spine.
    I have already had to move in a failed attempt to escape wireless and will have to spend this Christmas trying to find a new house that isn’t exposed to wireless, which is an almost impossible task.
    We constantly hear the Green Party talking about refugees but do they care about the refugees that are created in this country by wireless exposure? I have voted for this party in the past but I never would in the future because I don’t think it’s a good thing when a party spends so much time on the problems of foreigners that they are not even aware of what is going on in their own country. When I wrote to them, the self-proclaimed caring party really didn’t seem to care and just gave me hollow assurances that everything was fine. Hollow assurances aren’t very helpful.

  4. Andrea says:

    I hear you, and I concur. WHY, when you have these strange symptoms, do “friends” have to try to disprove them?? I’ve had worse comments from former friends than I have from enemies! And they call this “progress”!

  5. Tom Whitney says:

    Like you, many individuals have made anecdotal reports of a variety of health problems which they attribute to exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from various sources. However, at levels normally encountered in our daily lives, EMFs are largely unperceived by our senses. Of course, biological effects can sometimes be detected – but only within the compensation limits of human homeostasis mechanisms – and provided that regulatory limits are not exceeded!

    While the symptoms attributed to EHS conditions are real, numerous scientific studies to date have failed to demonstrate that these health effects are actually associated with EMF exposure. In studies where subjects were intentionally exposed to EMFs, there was no evidence that individuals were able to detect whether EMFs were present or not, or showed symptoms which correlated with their actual exposure condition.

    The causes of these symptoms are unclear. But, there are plausible suggestions that they might arise from other environmental factors, or from pre-existing medical or psychological conditions.
    In summary, there is no scientific evidence that the symptoms attributed to EHS are actually caused by exposure to EMFs.

    This conclusion will only be changed through the scientific method:
    1. Observation
    2. Hypothesis
    3. Experiments
    4. Peer review
    5. Publication
    6. Replication

    http://www.ices-emfsafety.org/expert-reviews/

    http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs/31625/InTech-Evaluations_of_international_expert_group_reports_on_the_biological_effects_of_radiofrequency_fields.pdf

    • anonymous says:

      ‘In studies where subjects were intentionally exposed to EMFs, there was no evidence that individuals were able to detect whether EMFs were present or not’ – these studies were not properly constructed and suffered from small sample sizes
      ‘The causes of these symptoms are unclear’- Mechanisms have been proposed but it is likely that microwaves effect the body on such a fundamental level that thousands of different processes are being interfered with so it may be hard to disentangle the exact mechanism for every symptom microwaves can cause, especially when doctors have no training in physics. Absence of a proven mechanism is not evidence that microwaves are not causing effects – we still don’t know what it is about smoking that causes cancer but it is accepted that smoking does cause cancer.
      ‘This conclusion will only be changed through the scientific method…’- We’ll all have cancer by then and we’ll have lots of deformed babies. What is wrong with taking a precautionary approach and reducing exposure levels to the minimum needed to work these devices?

      ‘there is no scientific evidence that the symptoms attributed to EHS are actually caused by exposure to EMFs’- Look at US National Toxicology Program study which showed a link between cancer and wireless. Cancer is a symptom, isn’t it?

    • Steve says:

      Tom, again you show your lack of scientific knowledge and understanding. Perhaps you are reading the wrong scientific studies such as those created by psychologists i.e. James Rubin. There are a significant number of papers that show RF causes biological effects at a fraction of levels permitted by RF Standards and in some case all 6 points you raise are met. Please do no confuse RF perception/EMR sensibility (i.e. can people feel or perceive EMR) with EMR sensitivity which leads to symptoms.
      Below I have listed some biological effects that can be found when looking at research papers:
      EEG effects – the majority of scientific papers looking at this endpoint show that RF causes changes in brain waves. Therefore this is direct evidence of RF causing physiological changes.
      Endocrine effects – RF has been shown to impact hormone production. Whether this is caused by a direct effect on the hormone producing glands or the result of changes caused by EMR to circadian rhythm is yet to be fully determined.
      Neurotransmitter effects – There are quite a few papers showing RF leads to changes in Neurotransmitter levels. Serotonin level changes (abnormal) can cause many of the symptoms experienced by those who claim to be EHS
      Cardiovascular Effects – RF can cause cause cardiovascular effects – changes to heart rate variability have been noted in some studies. Some EHS people experience Arrhythmia and Tachycardia when they are exposed to RF.
      Haematological Effects – Effects on blood cells have been noted
      Immune System Effects – Mast Cell Degranulation which can make allergies worse. Could possibly explain dermatological effects noted in some EHS patients.
      Oxidative Stress – pathway to disease and cancer. The clear majority of studies looking at oxidative stress as an endpoint find RF is implicated.

      You might also want to do yourself a favour and review papers written by CJ. Schilling or B.Hocking. Both of these gentlemen have written papers on patients. Schilling identified a number of symptoms such as headache, numbness, and parasthesiae, malaise, diarrhoea, and skin erythema in over exposed RF workers. The very same symptoms claimed by those who are EHS and stated “The effects of exposure to radiofrequency radiation, particularly those on the nervous system, appear to be greater than would be expected from tissue heating.” . Hocking found that patients who are EHS c nerve fibres responded differently to EMR than normal people.
      Finally I invite you to read Professor Andrew Marino’s testimony at a recent US smart meter case. http://andrewamarino.com/PDFs/testimony-AAM_Report.pdf

      • Tom Whitney says:

        Steve, again YOU show your lack of scientific knowledge and understanding. There is no question or concern about ‘biological effects’ – the question is – are there any ‘adverse health effects’ from exposure below regulatory limits. Watching a movie or just thinking causes biological effects!

        Regardless of your or Andrew Marino’s scaremongering rants, there are no proven adverse health effects from wireless devices that comply with maximum permissible exposure limits.

        https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/electromagnetic-hypersensitivity-and-wifi-allergies-bogus-diagnoses-with-tragic-real-world-consequences/

        • anonymous says:

          This distinction between biological effects and health effects is just being pushed for propaganda purposes. Do you really want massive amounts of DNA damage in your body? Do you really expect me to believe that there will be no health effects from something that causes massive amounts DNA damage? The statement that ‘there are no proven adverse health effects from wireless devices that comply with maximum permissible exposure limits’ is a carefully crafted propaganda line designed to mislead the public. It is designed to give the public the impression that there is no evidence worth worrying about. What it doesn’t say is that the weight of the evidence leans towards there being health effects. When the most well-constructed studies show health effects we should be worried. It is also true to say that wireless radiation has never been proven to be safe within max. exposure limits and there is absolutely no reason to think that it is. The most rigorous study so far is the US National Toxicology Program Study and that showed health effects.

          • Tom Whitney says:

            A biological effect occurs when a change can be measured in a biological system after the introduction of a stimulus – like a sound, touch or smell – or exposure to RF-EMF. A biological effect, in and of itself, does not necessarily suggest the existence of a health effect. A biological effect only becomes a health effect when it causes detectable impairment of health. This cannot be established through animal studies – which do not account for the protective or adaptive responses of homeostasis operating in living human beings.

            The chemical reactions that keep our cells alive produce about 1 Watt of power for each kilogram of body weight when the body is at rest. Meanwhile, the maximum permitted environmental exposure to RF-EMF is limited to .08 Watts per kilogram of body weight. It is quite implausible that such low levels of power could interfere with body processes operating at much higher energy levels.

            In the NTP study, the exposure levels were 18.75, 37.5 and 75 times the FCC maximum permissible exposure (MPE). A 6 W/kg exposure on a 90 kilogram person requires over 500 Watts, and typical output of a wireless handset is 0.25 Watts. Therefore it would take about 2,000 cellphones transmitting simultaneously to produce the 6 W/kg exposure used in the NTP experiments. This is nothing like real-life exposures from smart meters or cellphones!

            As for your concern about DNA damage – single and double strand breaks and other damage of DNA naturally occur around one million times a day! They are routinely repaired by the protective or adaptive responses of homeostasis operating in living human beings.

            • Rennie says:

              Tom, forcing radiation of any amount upon a persons body against their wishes is a violation of that persons body regardless of whether there are biological effects, health effects or no effects. The fact is that many people have been made to suffer greatly in a very real physical way. Even as a perceived thing which it is not, does anyone have the right to inflict that sort of suffering upon another by forcing this stuff upon them against their wishes ? Any person who thinks they do is culpable.

            • anonymous says:

              Can you prove that a mobile phone and other common wireless devices will not damage the eggs of a girl or young woman, later resulting in deformed babies? This is a reasonable question since it does appear that these devices cause DNA damage. Saying it may repair itself is really not good enough. These sort of questions should have been properly settled before exposing the public to microwaves. If not, we need new safety standards based on a cautionary approach. Also, what level of microwave radiation exposure would you say has been proven to be safe to expose children to?

            • Heart broken says:

              Tom,
              You seem to lack any compassion or understanding of what someone who is EHS is experiencing and the pain and isolation they endure every day.
              It is well accepted that some people have ” intolerances” ,eg to peanuts, or shellfish, gluten , lactose, pollen etc, so why is it so hard for you to understand that some people may also be sensitive to artificial sources of EMR in the environment , at levels thousands of times above what they would naturally be.
              When a 26 year old young man is suffering headaches, dizziness , mental fog and heart palpitations only when near sources of EMR ( with no previous knowledge of this condition or the symptoms) and was subsequently medically diagnosed as EHS and if that person was your son and you had to watch him suffer every day and you could not help him because no authority will investigate and then this son felt the only way he could survive was to leave Australia and seek a refuge elsewhere away from smart meters and EMR , then perhaps you might show some empathy. If you could no longer work because you could not tolerate wi-fi , I wonder what you would do.

              • Tom Whitney says:

                The overwhelming evidence supports the conclusion that electromagnetic radiation of the sort produced by smart meters does not cause health issues and that EHS is a psychosomatic disorder.

                However, just because EHS is psychosomatic does not mean that those suffering from EHS are not actually suffering – THEY ARE. I have little doubt that some of the people lobbying to remove smart meters – or prevent their installation on homes – are people who are suffering from real symptoms. Some even experience real symptoms in anticipation of an exposure!

                What I question, based on existing evidence, is a belief that these symptoms are caused by radiation from smart meters, because the evidence simply does not support that belief.
                Unfortunately, it’s hard to overcome the stigma of mental illness. And, people find it easier to accept an external cause of their mysterious maladies than it is to accept an internal one – regardless of the implausibility the supposed cause.

                • Heart broken says:

                  My son does NOT have a mental illness, nor ever did have. Prior to his exposure of a smart meter in his work place , which at the time he did NOT know was there, ( behind a wooden box approximately 2 meters from his desk) he was a perfectly health young man.
                  Nor did he have any preconceived notions about EMR or any symptoms.

                  Perhaps you should have a look at all the trees, ( mainly gum trees and cyprus pines) that are sick and dying . I guarantee there will be a mobile phone tower in line of sight , usually about 250-300m away. Do they have a ” mental ” illness too???”

                  It is blatantly obvious that the ” existing evidence” that you like to perpetuate is pretty much a colluded effort by industry to discredit the reality that EMR at levels well below the Australian “standard” are causing adverse health effects.

                • Wilkins Micawber esq. says:

                  the studies cited by this “Tom” person are totally worthless b’cs he cannot demonstrate that they are free of influence and bias from the telecommunications industry and its subsidiaries……he must be living in a time warp….there is no such thing as objective scientific studies any-more b’cs almost ALL so-called “researchers” and “scientists” are under the control of grants committees, tenure and peer pressure….the last time there were free, independent researchers was abt the turn of the twentieth century…..
                  if he wants to convince me, then he would have to cite independent, triple blind studies conducted by laboratories in different countries…those countries being able to clearly demonstrate that there is NO influence from the telcos or any of their subsidiaries or any major company associated with them and those studies would have to be published on independent web-sites NOT filtered through the main-stream media….
                  until then, AFAIMC, he’s got no more credibility than a Donald Duck comic!

                • smart meter sufferer says:

                  Are you a medical doctor able to mass generalise with your ” diagnosis” , or a spin doctor Tom?
                  Many people I have met, including myself, became ill after a smart meter was installed on their home. Most were unaware that the meter was even there. I certainly had no knowledge of its installation, yet had suddenly developed chronic insomnia, head pressure, blurred vision and a burning sensation on my face. It took me more than a month to discover the cause and back track to discover that all symptoms coincided with the smart meter being installed. At the time I also had no understanding of the workings of these meters, nor any knowledge of the symptoms that other people were reporting.
                  Perhaps you should read these two studies, which clearly show that there is a direct causal link between smart meters and health issues.

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25478801

                  http://emfsafetynetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Symptoms-after-Exposure-to-Smart-Meter-Radiation.pdf

                • Steve says:

                  Tom, please site a single piece of evidence that supports your spurious and inaccurate claim “electromagnetic radiation of the sort produced by smart meters does not cause health issues “. There is only one peer review paper on smart meter emissions from Lamech 2014. There are no other health studies and Lamech’s study suggested an association between exposure and many symptoms documented in past US Research (NMRI, USAF, NASA, DIA). I suggest you have a look at http://www.orsaa.org database where they have classified more than 2000 papers not only by effect/no effect/positive effect/uncertain effect but also categorized the type of biological effects being found. Of course I don’t expect an electrical engineer and a mouth piece for the industry to fully understand the implications a particular biological effect has for potential long term harm.
                  You really need to do some research because your groundless statements are not supported by evidence and you are clearly out of your depth.
                  Expect some papers this year to show how our regulatory authorities are failing us, how there is duplicity, shoddy analysis and a lack of medical and biological scientific expertise being bought to bare on available research outcomes. What Dr Starkey recently published https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27902455?dopt=Abstract “Inaccurate official assessment of radiofrequency safety by the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation” is occurring in many western nations including Australia (ARPANSA) with their poorly conducted Technical Report Series 164..

  6. Rik says:

    I feel your pain. I have been in the computer industry for many years (About 20) and I’ve always had the latest in gadgets and devices. Out of all my friends I was the first to get a wireless router, I was the first to get an iPhone,
    These days I still have wireless and smart phones but I also have EHS. I have a permanent tinnitus which keep me awake as all I hear is my heart beat. REALLY LOUD. Been that way for about 6 years when they first put in the neighbours smart meter. My area has a majority of 3 units per house block so that’s 3x the smart meters in this area. I don’t have a smart meter on my unit as I locked up my meterbox and refuse to let them install it. If I’m having this problem with the neighbour’s smart meters there is no way I will get one on my own place.

    Apart from the tinnitus I have insomnia, headaches, migraines, IBS, memory loss, confusion, and a few other smart meter EHS related symptoms I can’t think of at the moment. Tinnitus was the first and the start of it. It’s not fun not sleeping for 6 years, I suggest you don’t try it.

    And what can I do about it? Nothing. The government has forced smart meters into nearly every house and business in Victoria. The only thing I could do is move interstate but I’ve heard they are doing the same thing all over the country now. They are trying to install smart meters Australia wide. They are the new asbestos. When the government wakes up and realises they are a real danger it’s already too late. The sooner they remove them the better but as someone is making lots of money from these cancerous things they don’t want to get rid of them.

    I am forced to live with it. Its a nightmare and I’m always sick because of them. Absolutely no way I can work anymore. I am now a drain on the government as I can’t work so I am stuck on the pension forever or until these meters are removed so my EHS can go away and I finally get better. Till then, the government is paying for me to stay sick instead of paying for me to get better.

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