Living Smart amidst Electric Pollution “dirty electric smog”

See “solutions”
The only known cure for Radio Wave Sickness
is to stop being exposed to high frequencies.

    • Neurological: headaches, dizziness, nausea, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, weakness, tremors, muscle spasms, numbness, tingling, altered reflexes, muscle and joint paint, leg/foot pain, “Flu-like” symptoms, fever. More severe reactions can include seizures, paralysis, psychosis and stroke.
    • Cardiac: palpitations, arrhythmias, pain or pressure in the chest, low or high blood pressure, slow or fast heart rate, shortness of breath.
    • Respiratory: sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma.
    • Dermatological: skin rash, itching, burning, facial flushing.
    • Ophthalmologic: pain or burning in the eyes, pressure in/behind the eyes, deteriorating vision, floaters, cataracts.
    • Others: digestive problems; abdominal pain; enlarged thyroid, testicular/ovarian pain; dryness of lips, tongue, mouth, eyes; great thirst; dehydration; nosebleeds; internal bleeding; altered sugar metabolism; immune abnormalities; redistribution of metals within the body; hair loss; pain in the teeth; deteriorating fillings; impaired sense of smell; ringing in the ears.

    • Have an electrician remove dimmer switches and halogen lights. If you want mood lighting, use three-way lights. Unlike with dimmer switches, you will save electricity on the low settings.
    • Have an electrician bypass or remove variable speed frequency drives (VSFD) where possible. Without appropriate filters they are very bad sources of high frequencies. If you have a VSFD on your motors in your heating and/or cooling system, it can easily be bypassed by the service person. The motor would then just run at high speed. Little efficiency is lost when this is done on a heating or cooling system. Energy efficient washing machines often have variable speed motors and thus require at least one filter.
    • Touch lamps, plasma TVs, most compact fluorescent bulbs, fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts, some full-spectrum lights, and wireless plug-in telephone jacks are very bad sources of high frequencies and are best removed.
    • Remove flashers from decorative lighting. Each on or off event results in a high frequency transient.
    • Check if you have the new or old style microwave. The old style turned the microwave signal on and off in order to reduce the power. The new style essentially has a dimmer switch on the microwave beam turning the power down. It causes tremendously dirty power. If you have a new style microwave, getting rid of it is the best solution. Next best is to get a number of filters to be used right at the microwave and in outlets on that circuit, so the high frequencies do not get onto the wiring all over the house.
    • Only use laptops on battery. Recharge them when you are not around. They generate a large amount of “dirty” power and the transformer on the charging cord generates a very large field.
    • Use a Graham/Stetzer Microsurge Meter to check for other polluting or malfunctioning electrical devices. (While checking readings, keep in mind that readings which change quickly are worse than steady readings. The faster and greater the change, the worse they are.)
      • Be sure to check high speed internet routers. (A handful of malfunctioning routers have been found that caused incredibly bad electrical pollution levels.)
    • Eliminate sources of arcing (a source of very high frequencies):
      • Have an electrician inspect for and eliminate loose or poor connections;
      • Have the utility or a professional trim branches bumping or touching overhead wires (Alliant Energy even states in their leaflet entitled “Energy Basics: Power Surges” that “An external power surge, stemming from outside your home, is most commonly caused by a tree limb touching a power line…”);
      • Have your electrician replace poorly made switches, fixtures, and appliances.
      • Have your utility replace split-bolt connectors with crimp-on connectors, if they have split-bolt connectors on your line. (If you have split-bolt connectors on line you own, you should have an electrician replace those as well.) Utilities have not installed split-bolt connectors in quite awhile because they have a tendency to loosen up and arc as time passes. Even crimp-on connectors in high stress areas may need periodic re-crimping.
    • Have your electrician make sure the wire between the meter and your electrical box is large enough and in good shape. If it is too small, it is a bottleneck for high frequencies and a fire hazard.
    • Plug in high frequency filters. (Such as those available from Stetzer Electric email Dave at
      Approximately 20 Graham/Stetzer filters are needed for the average house. They should be plugged in near sources of high frequencies, as well as, frequently used electrical appliances. (Some devices generate pollution that the capacitor will lower at the receptical, but will not lower at the device. This is a particular concern when people are close to the device, as they are with hairdryers, sewing machines, and low voltage halogen desk and reading lamps.) A couple should be plugged into outlets installed off of both A and B phases next to the main service box. (Have your electrician use properly rated stranded wire to wire the outlets for maximal filter effectiveness.) The rest should be scattered throughout the house. If improvement occurs only slowly, more filters may be necessary. If way too few are installed initially, no difference may be observed, so it is very important to put in sufficient quantity from the start.
      For specific directions on installation which will help you maximize the filtering effect, as well as help you get a good idea of how many you will need, go to
      See the picture Dr. Graham provided of the response of electrical pollution to a 20 mF capacitor, which was documented with a spectrum analyzer.
    • Have a plumber install a PVC pipe between the house pipes and the water/sewer system, which has become an alternate return path for electricity.
    • Have the phone company install an Radio Frequency (RF) Filter on your phone line. The phone line can conduct the electric utilities ground currents, including high frequencies, since they are both grounded to the same earth.
    • Some people have found installing shielded phone wire to be helpful.
    • Make sure new electronics come with appropriate harmonic noise filters already installed.
    • A caution on old wiring, particularly knob and tube and cloth insulated wiring: This wiring was designed long before modern electronic loads, non-linear loads, were even conceived of. It is not, therefore, designed to be used by them. The high frequencies generated by them can cause overheating, resulting in a fire hazard. (Blown-in insulation touching knob and tube wiring is inherently a fire hazard.) It is important to have an electrician check that the fuses/circuit breakers on old wiring are the appropriate size. People have been known to tire of constantly tripping fuses/breakers and replace them with larger ones instead of re-distributing loads or re-wiring. This is a fire hazard and should be corrected.
    • Convince your neighbors to do the same.

    • Walls do not stop electromagnetic fields. Be aware of this when arranging furniture. Sources of electromagnetic fields (EMF) to be aware of as you place your furniture include transformers for electronic gadgets (the box at the end of the cord), televisions, computers, electric clocks (don’t put them right next to the head of your bed), fluorescent lights, and your electrical service panel and electrical meter, as well as wires feeding them. You will also want to be aware of where major wire bundles run in the walls of your house and keep the time you spend near them to a minimum. Be aware that televisions and computer screens with cathode ray tubes (CRT) frequently have electromagnetic fields around the sides and back that are as high, or higher, than those in the front. Electric blankets and heating pads should also be avoided, particularly old models. Any electric device will have an electromagnetic field. Both Warning: The Electricity Around You May Be Hazardous to Your Health. How to protect yourself from electromagnetic fields by Ellen Sugarman and Crosscurrents by Robert O. Becker, M.D. have sections discussing risks posed by specific household appliances. Crosscurrents by Robert O. Becker, M.D. also discusses mechanism of action and sundry other interesting items that relate to electromagnetic fields and health. I suggest that you read one of them or one of the other references found on the reference sheet in the Further Info section for a more in depth discussion.
    • The frequencies on electrical wiring are now high enough that they radiate. This can be measured using a Multidetector II Plus/Profi meter. Lamps and other ungrounded items radiate the worst. Putting a cord with a grounded plug on helps. Lamps and items with the least amount of metal seem to radiate least. Metal shades and reflectors seem to direct and concentrate the radiation.
    • Use rubber gloves when washing dishes or working in the sink. Also stand on a non-conductive mat. Both increase the resistance of the path through your body.
    • For computers, put aluminum flashing on desktop and connect it to aluminum flashing under chair with a width of aluminum flashing. If there are different pieces, they need to have a good connection such as aluminum rivets between them. The aluminum flashing can be under a plastic mat like ones used to protect the floor from desk chairs. This creates a path to the floor for the contact current to take that is lower resistance than your body.
    • Wear conductive socks or copper insoles (at least 2″ wide by 16/1000″ thick) connected with stranded wire (at least a single 10 gauge wire or 16 gauge lamp cord with both wires connected in parallel). sells the socks. Electricity travels through the more conductive pathway this provides, instead of through your body from one foot to the other.
    • Shut off non-essential circuits especially while sleeping. This should help you sleep and feel better. (You will get the best results if all circuits in your bedroom or the room you are in are off, including circuits in the walls and floors that may service other rooms. If this is not possible for whatever reason, being aware of where the live wires are and keeping your distance is also effective.)
    • Sleep on a wood-framed bed.
    • Sleep on a mattress without springs e.g. futon with no box springs.
      • Less EMF sells conductive cloth that can be put under the mattress pad to reduce the amount of current the bedsprings induce into your body. It should be as wide as a fitted sheet and touch the floor at the head end of the bed.
      • Sleeping in a Faraday cage may also be helpful. Less EMF sells a conductive cloth version.

      Other potential grid-related sources of exposure to high frequencies:

    • Equipment running at cell towers and strobing lights that are installed without an RF Choke. Information about eliminating this cause of electrical pollution
    • Alternative energy systems installed without filters to clean up the waveform the inverter generates. Consult a power quality specialist.
    • Work or school. A specialist should evaluate the power quality and recommend appropriate remediation measures. If that is not a possibility, the portable high frequency filters may be able to provide some relief. (I carry eight and a meter with me whenever I leave the house. I find plugging them in at meetings, friends homes, etc. to be a tremendous help.)
    • New watt-hour meters (your electrical rate meter) may include modern circuitry which generates pollution right at the meter. This especially likely if your meter is one that is designed to be read remotely. If you notice a change in your health after the meter has been changed, check the meter with an AM radio (as described in “Mitigation of Electrical Pollution in the Home”).
      What can your utilities do locally to reduce your exposure to “dirty” power?
    • First and most important: enforce the section of the IEEE 519-1992 that specifies allowable distortion of current and voltage on return current. In other words, the largest polluters will have to clean up their power to certain specifications before returning it to the primary neutral. The utilities would still have to “clean” up after the individual polluters who already meet the specifications, but it would significantly reduce the overloading of the system.
    • Make sure that wires at your house and your neighbor’s house are connected with crimp-on connectors instead of split-bolt connectors. Split-bolt connectors can be a source of arcing and, therefore, high frequencies.
    • Make sure that tree branches are trimmed so they are not touching the wires. Branches rubbing or bumping the wires can cause arcing. (With a little care trees can actually be trimmed away from wires without being mutilated.) Bare wires are more likely to arc, causing high frequencies, than insulated wires.
    • Install a primary neutral wire that is 225% the size of the phase wires and/or filters on the utility side to filter the high frequencies.
    • Install transformers with filters built in.
    • Make sure that the wires are in good shape. In some areas the wires have overheated so much from being overloaded with high frequencies that the insulation is hanging off in shreds.
    • The Solution: Both the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) have identified remedies for “dirty” power and electrical ground currents.
    • Non-Grid Sources of Exposure to High Frequencies
    • Spark plugs are a source of exposure to high frequencies in gas cars. The high frequencies from the arcing transmit directly and travel on the car wiring. The firing of the spark plugs can be heard on a properly tuned AM radio. Filters used by audiophiles are helpful for filtering them off. We have a stripped down model truck and disconnected the unnecessary wires. (The wires had been run and connected for all the options we did not get.) We also got a diesel for our primary vehicle. Diesels do not have spark plugs.
    • Speakers generate high frequency electromagnetic fields. The high frequency electromagnetic fields are generated by the electromagnet used to move a diapham that creates the sound waves we enjoy listening to. Speakers are usually only a problem when close by, as in vehicles.
    • Computer monitors or TVs that have cathode ray tubes emit ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, primarily toward the front of the screen. Maintaining sufficient distance and being off to the side can help. I find I have trouble getting meaningful work done on a computer with a CRT monitor because of the forced close proximity. I have switched to a flat screen (LCD) and find I have no trouble unless the power quality is really bad. A word on transmitters: Safety standards in the United States are based on tissue heating. The strength of signal required to cause tissue heating was calculated and then a safety factor of 100 was taken. No account was taken for other more subtle biological effects of exposure to high frequencies. Thus, transmitters in the United States (I believe Canada is the same.) transmit at strengths far higher than permitted in countries where the health effects (other than tissue heating) of high frequencies are used as the basis for regulation of signal strength. The Salzburg Standards recommend no more the 1 microwatts per meter squared. The Russians recommend no more than 10 microwatts per meter squared. The U.S. allows 1,000 microwatts per meter squared. (Cell phones taking a call have been measured transmitting over 2,000 microwatts per meter squared at 10 feet away.)
    • Transmitting high speed internet routers transmit a very strong signal. All the wireless routers tested by Dave Stetzer so far have been over 2000 microwatts per meter squared and that is the highest his meter goes. People suffering from or concerned about radio wave sickness should make sure that their router is hardwired and does not transmit.
    • Baby monitors transmit continuously as long as the transmitting unit, the one right by the baby, is on. Some transmit on the wiring, some through the air, but both transmit at high frequencies. Many transmit well into the megahertz range.
    • Cordless phones transmit at high frequencies. Some cordless phones are particularly bad sources of high frequencies since they either transmit continuously (regardless of whether the phone is hung up or not) or too strongly. This is particularly true of DECT phones. This can be tested using an appropriate meter that detects high frequencies. Cordless phones that transmit continuously have been causing illness.
    • Cell phones transmit periodically continuously unless turned off. (Hence the airport/airplane and hospital requirement for turning them off.) These transmissions are how the phone informs the network where it is and assesses signal strength. Thus, carrying a cell phone, unless it is off, results in continous exposure to high frequencies. Which part of your body is exposed the worst depends on where you carry it.
      Our Volkswagon Jetta handbook actually warns against cellphone use in the car due to the potential for the signal to fry the microprocessor. If the signal has the potential to damage electronics during normal usage, what does it do to sensitive biological systems? Incidentally, the phone does ramp up the signal if it is not getting through to the tower enough and due to the blocking effect of the metal in the vehicle, this often happens in motor vehicles. This results in a greater exposure for you and others when a cellphone is used in a vehicle.
      Antennas transmit in all directions from the antenna. This results in substantial exposure to yourself and others around you (kind of like second hand cigarette smoke) each time you use the phone. There are gadgets being sold that are supposed to shield you or direct the signal. An informal test of one of the signal directors showed it to be useless. Not only that but at 10 feet the signal from the phone was still overloading the meter that read up to 2000 SAR, the highest the phone should output when read directly at the phone. Thus, everyone in the room was exposed to a signal that was stronger than deemed safe.
      Finally, exposure to high frequencies, including from cellphones, decreases melatonin secretion. Melatonin is a hormone that is essential for a good night sleep. It also has antioxidant and cancer fighting properties. Sleeping with a cellphone that is not turned off is therefore not conducive to getting the best night of sleep and has the potential for further health consequences.
    • Miscellaneous other transmitting devices. These devices are multiplying so fast I could not possibly list them all, but the general result is similar.
  • There are many ways to approach the problem of stopping your exposure to high frequencies from electrical pollution. They range from the global to the case specific. Global solutions on the legislative front are discussed on the page entitled Legislation. This page will discuss actions you can take on your own to minimize your exposure to high frequencies due to electrical pollution and then briefly touch on what can be done at the utility level. Clean power enters the home at 60Hz. Electrical Pollution is 60 Hz electricity polluted with high frequency signals or “dirty” power flowing on the wires and through the earth. People exposed to excessively “dirty” power may develop Radio Wave Sickness.

    Symptoms of Radio Wave Sickness
    (excerpted from No Place To Hide April 2001.)

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