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Electromagnetic Radiation: Types, Effects, Solutions
By Lawrence J. Gust, EE, BBEC, CERSA


The Electromagnetic Spectrum and Evolution
New York Upstate Medical Center
Bedroom a Healing Place
What's a "Safe Bedroom"?
What's Primary Irritant in the Bedroom
House Electrical System Radiations
Voltage on Your Body at Night is Bad
Sleeping Room Guidelines for Body Voltage
Dirty Electricity
Radiations from Communications Devices
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Sickness is Growing
What is to be Done?

Ever since Edison threw the switch on the first commercial power plant in 1882, mankind has been increasing the use of electric energy. Today we live in a sea of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) that did not exist during our biological development.

Work done by Robert. O. Becker, MD, research professor at the Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, NY, suggests that this enormous sea of EMR may be producing stress and disease by interfering at the most basic levels of body functioning.


The Electromagnetic Spectrum and Evolution
The electromagnetic spectrum consists of energy vibrating at various rates from a single vibration per second to billions of vibrations per second. The term frequency is used to describe this vibration and is measured in cycles per second or Hertz. The frequency of electricity used for lights and power is 60 Hertz. AM radio frequencies are 55,000 to 160,000 Hertz. FM radio runs from 88 million (mega) Hertz to 180 mega Hertz. Television is higher. Cellular phones are 900 million to 1.9 billion Hertz. Microwave ovens are 2.5 Billion Hertz.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum and Evolution

Before man, the electromagnetic spectrum was nearly empty of energy. The Extra Low Frequencies (ELF) part of the electromagnetic spectrum was filled by resonant vibrations between the Earth's surface, its magnetic field and the ionosphere (1 to 30 Hertz). The only other energy in this low range of the spectrum was produced by lightning (1000 Hertz).

All life began and evolved in this relatively constant and low level radiation environment over the past 3 billion years. It is significant that major body organs and brain wave vibration patterns of all animals and humans lie in the 1 to 30 Hertz ELF range, as do the resonant frequencies of the Earth.

It seems reasonable to assume that basic body and brain functions are likely regulated by naturally occurring ELF radiations. How might these functions be affected by man's more re-cent introduction of much stronger ELF energies?
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New York Upstate Medical Center
The New York Upstate Medical Center where Robert O. Becker did his research has concentrated research on the effect of man-made 60 Hertz EMR using field strengths similar to those found near high voltage transmission lines, in buildings with wiring errors, and near many appliances.

This work with mice has shown a pattern of changes in hormones, body weight, and blood chemistry similar to those found in animals under stress. Three generations of mice were raised with similar results. Additionally, the infant mortality rate in the third generation was 50% greater than the expected 5%.

A recent pilot study into the effects of grounding humans showed that most subjects produced too much cortisol at night and too little during the day. It also showed that in most subjects the sympathetic nervous system was over energized and para-sympathetic nervous system was under-energized. Normalization of cortisol production and balancing of the nervous system occurred after sleeping grounded for 60 days.

The stress adaptation mechanism described by stress authority Hans Selye activates certain brain areas in preparation for maximum effort to meet the challenge at hand. This is designed to be temporary. If it is constant, the body's defense mechanisms become exhaust-ed. The body is less able to defend against disease and less able to heal itself.

In mice or humans the continuation of such stress could be expected to yield an increase in conditions like hypertension and behavioral abnormalities. The degenerative diseases related to poorer immune function (cancer) would steadily increase. Previously non-pathogenic organisms would begin to produce new maladies- Legionnaire's Disease and Reye's Syndrome maybe examples.

The pragmatic response to these and other findings should be to methodically search for and re-duce sources of stress. Likely sources are polluted indoor air due to chemicals and molds, polluted drinking, cooking and bathing water, processed and other devitalized foods and electromagnetic radiation particularly in the bedroom.
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Bedroom a Healing Place
The bedroom should designed to be a healing place because sleep is when the greatest healing and rejuvenation of the body takes place. Over a period of years, allowing your immune system to repair the body at night keeps you healthier, and helps you fight off problems. However, if your bedroom interferes with your immune system's repair and rebuilding process, sooner or later it will catch up with you. If you want to have a healthier immune system, your bedroom needs to be safe.
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What's a "Safe Bedroom"?
A safe bedroom is a room that does not have major environmental irritants. There are numerous studies on how these interfere with the immune system -- from chemicals, to molds, to electric fields. If you are exposed to any of these (and you probably are), your immune system is affected at some level — particularly at times of personal stress, environmental stress, or illness.
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What is the Primary Irritant in the Bedroom
Building Biologists in the US and Europe have been investigating homes for environmental health problems for over the last 30 years. Over 90% of the time, the investigation leads to the bedroom. In the bedroom over 90% of the time the investigators find that the house electrical system is the primary environmental irritant. In 95% of the cases the Electric Field component of the radiation from the house electrical system is the most important factor.
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House Electrical System Radiations
TransformersThe house electrical system vibrates at 60 cycles per second in the Extra Low Frequency (ELF) part of the electromagnetic spectrum. We describe house electricity as being AC (alternating Current). Electricity produces both an AC Magnetic and an AC Electric field. These together are termed electromagnetic radiation or EMR (sometimes referred to as EMF). Since EMR cannot be sensed by most people, instruments must be used to find and reduce the fields.

Magnetic fields are present when current flows in a wire to power appliances and lights. Magnetic fields are also produced by transformers. The little boxes you plug into the wall to power (or recharge) certain types of electronic equipment is a transformer. All electronic equipment uses a transformer either internally or externally. So long as a transformer or the equipment is plugged in it will radiate a very strong Magnetic Field. This field decreases rapidly as you move away from the transformer so that at four feet the field is 1/16th as strong as it was next to the device.

Electric fields are present at all times so long as a wire is energized. Electric fields are emitted by the wiring in the walls, floors and ceilings and by the cords to appliances, lamps, clocks, and electronic equipment. As soon as the device is unplugged the electric field from the wire disappears. However, for all wiring that is still energized- and this is most of the wiring in the house- the electric field output is continuous.
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Voltage on Your Body at Night is Bad
VoltageThe electric field strength in a room is very difficult to measure. Rather than measure the electric field directly, The International Institute for Baubiologie and Ecology (IBE), educator for U.S. Building Biologists, has another approach. This approach is based on the fact that the electric field generates an AC Voltage on the external and internal parts of the body that vibrates 60 times per second. This condition never existed before electrification of houses.

But is body vlotage interfering with our need to get some well deserved sleep? Yes, Building Biologists have found through thousands of home assessments that this is, unfortuenately, the case. The physical issues found include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Waking up and feeling like you haven't slept
  • Increased daytime allergy response
  • Daytime irritability
  • Muscle tightness
  • Muscle cramping and pain
  • Frequent waking
  • Frequent urination
  • Tossing and turning
  • Bed wetting in children

The thousands of measurements have shown that people are sleeping with a body voltage of 2000 to 10,000 milliVolts AC. A milliVolt is 1/1000 of a volt. The average Body Voltage level is about 3000 milliVolts.
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Sleeping Room Guidelines for Body Voltage
The International Institute for Baubiologie and Ecology (IBE) has developed sleeping room guidelines. These guidelines have been refined over 30 years of work with medical practitioners in Germany and in the US. The guidelines are divided into four concern levels:

No Concern

Less than 10 milliVolts
This category provides the highest degree of precaution. It reflects the unexposed natural conditions or the common and nearly inevitable background level of our modern living environment.

Slight Concern

10 to 100 milliVolts
As a precaution and especially with regard to sensitive and ill people, remediation should be carried out whenever it is possible.

Severe Concern

100 to 1000 milliVolts
Values in this category are not acceptable from a building biology point of view. They call for action. Remediation should be carried out soon. In addition to numerous case histories, scientific studies indicate biological effects and health problems within this range.

Extreme Concern

Over 1000 milliVolts
These values call for immediate and rigorous action. In this category international guidelines and recommendations for public and occupational exposures may be reached or even exceeded.

As you can see in almost all cases people are sleeping with a body voltage above 1000 milliVolts in Extreme Concern range. Such situations require immediate resolution.
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Dirty Electricity
Dirty Electricity is produced by every one of the billions of electronic devices that are plugged into the wall outlets of or homes, offices and factories. Recent studies seem to indicate that this pollution is biologically active and may be causing health issues.
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Radiations from Communications Devices
The principle pollutants of interest here are:

  • Cellular phone system radiation
  • Cordless phone radiation
  • Wireless Internet connection radiation

These pollutants radiate from their source through the air. They are in the frequency range of 800 MHz to 5.8 GHz. These pollutants differ from AM and FM radio and old style analog TV because they all use digital or pulsing signals. The frequency (vibration rate) of these signals is low enough to be sensed by the vibration sensitive proteins on every cell in our body. Unfortunately, these man-made signals are nothing like the electromagnetic radiation from the Cosmos or the Earth. Our cells interpret the radiation as a threat. The evasive action taken by our cells causes many things to happen, but the process starts with compression of the cell membrane. This causes great inefficiency in the transfer of food into the cell and waste products out of the cell. This process has a deleterious effect on all body systems.
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Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Sickness is Growing
One of the unfortunate results of the unprecedented, monumental increase in man-made radiations that surround us is the development of electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome. This terrible affliction is increasing at a disturbing rate and is now responsible for much pain and suffering.
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What is to be Done?
You can take the following steps to reduce your exposure to AC Electric, Magnetic Fields and DE while in bed. See 14 Ways to Better Health.
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