Earth Energy / David Cowan "Safe As Houses?"

Click on Following Chapters to Read or Download:-

Chapter 01 Disease
Chapter 02 Vibrations
Chapter 03 Facts and Figures
Chapter 04 Bedtime Story
Chapter 05 Around the House
Chapter 06 Power Lines
Chapter 07 Computers
Chapter 08 Microwaves
Chapter 09 Some Solutions
Chapter 10 The Positive Side?

11  Earth Stress, Earthquakes, Earth Sensitives

12 History of Ley Lines, Ionization Under Cancer Beds, Scientific Measurements
13 How to Use Divining Rods, Protect Yourself, Allergies
14 Unhealthy Earth Energies, The Hartmann Net and Curry Grid
 15 Black Spirals, Crop Circles, Demons, Oscilloscope Measurement
16 Crossing Leys, Ion Effect, Allergic to Microwave Ovens, Graveyards, Quarries
17 Natural and Man-made Sources of Unhealthy Energies
18 Imprinting Your Own Energy
19 Eliminating Unhealthy Earth Energy
20 Cup-marked Stones or Petroglyphs
21 Human disease and Mother Earth

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Increase in Ailments and 20th Century Diseases

The history of Geopathic Stress is a long one. The unhealthy spirals which dowsers detect above subterranean water have probably always been with us and the energy leys are believed to have existed for thousands of years. By comparison, electro-stress is the merest newcomer, with a history measured in decades. In the context of the length of time that humans have inhabited the earth, that is almost insignificant. There is consequently still much to be learned about electro-stress, but especially about the ways in which geopathic and electro-stress are related. It is already clear that the two have many similar characteristics and can cause similar diseases. Where they combine, as when a sub-station or television 'earths' itself into a spiral in the home as described later, the result can be especially dangerous. This part of the book will concentrate on electro-stress, but the interrelation should not be forgotten.

        It seems very much that the pattern of disease has markedly shifted in this century. The most threatening diseases up to the 1950s were diphtheria, tuberculosis, influenza, polio, heart disease and some forms of cancer. Since then there has been a great increase in the immune deficiency diseases such as allergies, asthma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (M.E.), AIDS, arthritis, and cancers linked to the immune system like leukemia, lymphatic, liver and intestinal.

        No conventional authority has given a satisfactory explanation for this remarkable change, or for the enormous scale and rapidity of immune system vulnerability, but it has to be a large and widespread source. Candidates such as vehicle emissions, chemicals in water supplies and food, acid rain, urban stress — though all of them might be contributory — none stands out as an obvious trigger.

        One has to look for a source that was not threatening 50 years ago, but which has grown very rapidly and universally. Unnatural electromagnetic fields fulfil all the criteria. In 50 years radio has increased ten thousandfold, TV more than a millionfold, and the uses which are part of our contemporary way of life, such as microwave communications, radar, low-frequency fields (VLF& . ELF) and the many devices for transforming and transporting electric currents have spread rapidly everywhere without thought of the consequences. This has immersed us in an ever denser and more complex electromagnetic 'soup' that is quite unnatural. Because electric fields cannot be sensed and are hard to measure, ordinary people are generally unaware of their dangers.

        Our bodies need centuries to start to adapt to critical environmental change. The most immediate reaction in the short term (that is decades}, is to cause widespread sicloiess and extreme psychological stress. We are so caught up in the glamour of new technologies and by the riches that have accompanied them, that we have become blind to the possible effects of this technological assault on our bodies. However, the combined weight of independent research studies and clinical experience is already enough to convince many researchers that electro-stress is a key factor in the creation of the physical and psychological stresses from which so many people suffer — and which in many cases lead on to acute and chronic disease.


It is hard to say just when it was that members of the scientific and medical community first began to suspect that the electrical revolution may not have produced totally unqualified benefits, but there has certainly been a growing number of books and papers on the subject since the 1950s- I shall not attempt a comprehensive history of the subject in this book, but if you want to research it in greater detail, the bibliography lists some sources of further information. The discussion here will be limited to a selection of some of the major landmarks and to the practical implications for everyone alive today.

        As early as 1964 a Russian researcher called Kholodov found that rabbits exposed to relatively strong, but steady electromagnetic fields (100 to 200 gauss), suffered increased stress levels. Autopsies showed that cells had died in some areas of the rabbits' brains. Friedmann duplicated this experiment and found that most of the rabbits had suffered a weakening of their immune system that led to parts of their brain being destroyed by a parasite which had previously been under control1. Further experiments by Friedmann showed that when rabbits and, later, monkeys were exposed to similar fields, they developed elevated levels of cortisone, an adrenal-cortical hormone, which is an accepted indicator of stress.

        Scientists working in Eastern Europe in the 1970s recorded similar signs of stress when rats were exposed even briefly to both microwave and 50Hz fields. An American researcher, Noval, discovered in 1976 that rats exposed to very weak electromagnetic fields (at the background level found in modern offices) also exhibited a typical stress response, judged by levels of a neuro-transmitter called acetylcholine.

        In fact, the U.S. Navy unintentionally proved the stress connection in the 1970s with what was known as Project Sanguine. As a small-scale trial for a new type of long-range military communications system, 28 miles (45km) of cable, powered with 76Hz current, were buried in a loop near Clam Lake, Wisconsin. Many people living in the area suffered unexpected shocks from taps, wire fences and many other metal objects. More importantly, it was discovered that workers on the project showed higher than normal levels of serum triglycerides, another indicator of stress. That this was a result of exposure to the AC fields was confirmed by separate laboratory trials with human volunteers. Fortunately for everyone, the project was eventually shelved, as was a much larger design that would have involved 6000 miles of buried cable, with the Earth itself being used as part of the circuit!

        Probably the most important indication of the potential hazards to human health in the everyday world, as opposed to the laboratory, came in 1975. A researcher called Nancy Wertheimer, looking for possible causes of childhood leukaemia in Denver, accidentally discovered that children living in houses nearest to 13kV (kilo-volt) power lines had a two or three times greater chance of contracting the disease2. It eventually emerged that the key was to be found not in the voltage but rather in the current and the resultant magnetic fields. Although her experimental methods were criticised, later and better designed studies by Wertheimer herself and by other workers have come to similar conclusions.

        For instance, in the 1980s, Tomenius surveyed 2000 houses in Sweden near ZOOkV power lines, and found childhood cancer rates double the norm. He measured magnetic fields of at least 3mG (milli-gauss) in affected houses. (It is worth noting, as you will read later, that field strengths of the order of 3mG are quite common, even in the normal domestic environment.)

        In 1986 Savitz found that 20% of childhood cancers in North Caro--Hfia-xould be linked to exposure to 3mG fields. In the same year a study in Texas found thirteen times the normal level of brain cancer amongst power line workers—who would be exposed to rather higher field levels during their working hours.

        In 1979 Milham published an analysis of the causes of death of 300,000 workers. He claimed that those in occupations involving exposure to high electrical or magnetic fields had double the 'normal' rate of death from leukaemia. Workers in aluminium smelters (where a very high level of electrical power is used) were particularly susceptible. Other higher risk occupations included power and telephone Linesmen,  power station workers and motion picture projectionists (see Table 1). Although there was again criticism of Milham's research, other studies have come to broadly similar conclussions.

Relative Field/Intensity/Frequency
Reported Effects
Milham 1979
Aluminium workers
Over 100 gauss
Lung Cancer, Lymphatic Cancer,
Blood Cancer, Benign Brain Tumours
US Marines
Service Personnel
Increase in serum triglycerides
Electronic Assembly Workers
-75 Hz
Increase in serum triglycerides
Milham 1982
Various Electrical  Workers
Weak to strong 60 Hz (and Others)
Wright et al, 1982
Various Electrical Workers
Weak 60 Hz. (and others)
McDowall, 1983
Electrical Workers
Weak 50 Hz (and others)
Coleman 1983
Electrical Workers
Weak 50 Hz (and others)
Nordstom et al, 1983
Control-room operators
Abnormal Pregnancies, Congenital Deformities
Electronic Assembly Workers
50 Hz (and others)
Congenital Deformities
    Dr Delgado et al found that chick embryos in eggs exposed to electromagnetic fields often failed to develop or else exhibited various deformities. More recently, Dr.Jocelyn Leal has carried out trials with incubating eggs and has shown that effects can occur at low exposure levels. One of her most interesting discoveries showed that very specific active 'windows' of frequency and field strength exist, above and below which the chick embryos are apparently not affected. Such findings raise the possibility of congenital defects being caused in human babies if pregnant women are exposed to hazardous fields.
        You will gather from all of this that much of the research into the possible ill-effects of exposure to electromagnetic radiations has concentrated on cancers, often leukaemia, and other fatal outcomes. This is understandable enough as epidemiological studies based on death certificates are a well-recognised research method when investigating environmental factors. However, an unfortunate result has been to limit most of the debate to the potentially life-threatening effects of chronic exposure to  high power fields.

        While this is clearly important if proven, we may still be talking only of an increase in deaths from one in 10,000 to 2 or 3 in 10,000. Tragic though this is, and although we should certainly not reduce our efforts to discover the truth of the matter and what may be done to combat the dangers, we may be in danger of overlooking the lesser health problems caused to much greater numbers of people. For every person who may die of leukaemia as a result of living near a power line or working on an aluminium smelter, thousands may suffer from stress and related problems, rheumatism or allergies, because of the electrical conditions inside their homes and factories.

In addition to the better documented research regarding the effects of electromagnetic fields of various types, some of which has been referred to above, a whole spectrum of different health-related factors have at some time been laid at the door of electro-stress. You will find in Table 2 a summary of some of the suggested links which have been made. This is presented not as an authoritative statement of proven effects, but rather to give the reader some idea of just how much about this topic still remains to be researched.

            One question that the idea of electro-stress may help to answer is why there are today so many people who are permanently stressed and tense, who are apparently unable to relax, who do not sleep well or who wake up tired or aching (or both) morning after morning. Or why so many feel eternally run down or that they 'cannot cope1, although their diets and genera! life-style show no obvious reason why this should be so. Eventually such people may become depressed, even suicidal.

        The link with suicide was demonstrated in England in the early 1980s by Dr.Perry, a physician whose practice was in the Midlands of England. He found a significant correlation between suicides and attempted suicides in his locality and the proximity of patients' homes not only to overhead, but also to the underground high-tension power distribution lines of whose existence they must have been as unaware as he originally was — so a psychosomatic effect seems unlikely). A later study gave similar results.

        In 1988 he published a study showing a correlation between illnesses of people living in a tower block and whether they lived near to the high-voltage supply cables which rise up the side of such buildings. Those in apartments near to the supply lines accounted for 62% of the hospital admissions from the block for heart attacks and ischaemic heart disease and 71% of those admitted with depressive illness. Drs. Dowson &. Lewith have also showed that headaches and depression could be linked to power lines.

Dizziness or Faintness
Bloated feeling
Swimming vision
Disturbed or light superficial sleep
Loss of potency
Functional disturbance of the central nervous system    Functional disturbance of the sympathetic nervous system    Neuro-dynamic events in the cerebral cortex 
 Loss of concentration                                                                  EEG changes 
Reduction of sensitivity and function in the neuromuscular system of the hand
Symptoms of neurasthenia 
Tendency to perspire 
Slight tremor of the fingers 
Weak pulse 
Low blood pressure 
Cardiovascular disturbances
ECG changes
Qualitative and quantitative changes in peripheral blood system Various changes in composition of blood components
Changes in reaction time
Stimulation affect
Disturbances in temperature regulation

Table 2: Health problems which have been linked to electro-stress

        Allergies have also become much more common, almost epidemic, especially amongst children. Allergy seems very much a classic twentieth century ailment. Asthma, hay fever and skin problems such as eczema have all escalated alarmingly in the last twenty years.
        It is just possible that the upsurge in skin problems might be explained by the increasing use of new and aggressive chemicals in cosmetics and toilet products, cleaning materials and just about everything else. (As just one example, consider how carbon paper has been largely superseded by carbonless duplicate sets, replacing a simple substance [lamp-black] with complex encapsulated chemicals.)

        However, this explanation fails to convince when we consider the growth of allergies causing respiratory problems, which abound even in infants. Various sources suggest that between one in ten and one third of school age children suffer to some extent. It is surely highly unlikely that there are more pollen granules or house dust mites in the air than there were previously, and thanks to clean air laws, levels of most industrial pollutants in the air have actually diminished. It's likely that the significant increase in air pollution from vehicle exhaust emissions is at least partly to blame, but increasing numbers of asthmatic children are found in rural areas as well as in traffic-clogged cities.

        Dietary allergy is also alarmingly common and although there is no doubt that improved public awareness may have led to a higher level of diagnosis, the increase cannot be explained away by this factor alone. Children in particular are not likely to develop asthma or hives after eating particular foods, just because there has been press publicity!

        Another intriguing puzzle is the typical response to treatment. There are effective techniques in both allopathic and homeopathic medicine by which the sufferer's sensitivity to an allergen can be reduced or even removed. Another approach is to design strict exclusion diets so that all traces of irritant foods are avoided. The problem is that in many cases no matter how many allergens are identified and cleared, the general level of sensitivity is apparently not diminished. The sufferer's body simply seems to move from one irritant to another, in the worst cases eventually ending up reacting to almost every substance in the environment. In other words, it is as if some other factor has made the sufferer hypersensitive and that almost everything has become a potential allergen for these unfortunate individuals. Could this sensitising factor be exposure to a variety of electromagnetic fields?

        Dr. Jean Monro, together with Dr.Cyril Smith, did much work at the Breakspear Hospital in Kings Langley, England, during the 1980s to investigate the connection between allergy and electrical sensitivity. They showed that severely allergic patients can react violently to minute electrical fields. Most strikingly, they could produce reactions just like those produced by allergens by generating weak but specific radio-frequency signals near to the patient. Work like this suggests that electro-stress may well be at least a part of the story.

        There are some who argue that the widespread use of vaccination is another sensitising factor. Vaccines are intended to increase the efficiency of the immune system by using a supposedly harmless form of a disease to stimulate the production of appropriate protective antibodies in the blood. Statistics seem to support the effectiveness of vaccination, but it is also true that a significant number of those treated suffer definite if apparently short-lived adverse responses to the vaccine. The suggestion is that the vaccines may also produce an unwanted long-term response, causing the body to make antibodies for anything that it does not immediately recognise. These may be not just bacteria or viruses, but also new foods, unfamiliar air-borne substances and so on. If this is so, the scope for adverse reactions has certainly increased as genetic engineering produces new forms of staple foods and the food industry processes ingredients in many new ways. It would certainly be interesting to see research into the relative levels of allergy in those who have and have not been vaccinated — or whether allergic responses are seen to increase in Third World countries where vaccination is introduced for the first time.

        In parallel with allergy, many apparently unrelated illnesses have also been more prevalent, some of them seeming to appear 'out of the blue'. Tinnitus, myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.), multiple sclerosis (M.S.) and glandular fever are just a few of this mixed bag. Could electro-stress, with or without geopathic stress, provide a clue to some or all of these? It certainly appears highly likely that many such sufferers have in fact become sensitive to exposure to geopathic, electrical or magnetic fields.

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (otherwise known as M.E.) is a good example. Many attempts have been made to track down the causative agent which was originally widely suspected to be of a viral nature (it was often called Post-viral Syndrome in the early days of investigation). This research has ruled out mononucleosis or Epstein-Barr virus and in fact potent anti-viral drugs generally do not work with people diagnosed as having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Many doctors dealing with M.E. or C.F.S. patients suspect sensitivities to electromagnetic fields and of course this ties in with one of the original large outbreaks of the disease in the computerised dealing rooms of the financial markets in the City of London. Some support for this thesis is found in the fact that many Chronic Fatigue patients feel much better if they take holidays in the country or even move there permanently away from the cities, offices or factories where they have lived and worked.

        Conventional ideas on the mechanism leading to AIDS have also been questioned. Some researchers have expressed doubts as to whether the HIV virus in itself inevitably leads on to full-blown AIDS. It certainly seems likely that there must be other immune system factors that are playing a part. It is interesting that in experiments in California, Dr.Daniel B.Lyall6 showed that if human T-celfs (lymphocytes which are important in the human immune system) were exposed while in culture to a low strength electromagnetic field for 48 hours their ability to deal with invading cells was significantly reduced. If there is a similar mechanism taking place in human beings exposed to electrical fields then of course their immune systems would be much less able to cope with a serious infection such as HIV.

        Roger Coghill, who has conducted a great deal of research into the effects of electromagnetic fields on people in this country has shown that 11 of 12 American cities with the highest incidence of AIDS also have the highest general level of electromagnetic 'traffic' of all kinds. He believes firmly that the huge growth in electromagnetic pollution (especially radio, TV and microwave communications traffic) is a major, if not the, root cause of the AIDS epidemic7.

        At the moment the mechanisms causing sensitivity to normal electromagnetic fields are unknown. However it would appear that there is a direct effect upon the nervous system and that the immune system is very probably also involved. It has been shown that electromagnetic radiations can disrupt the flow of calcium through the walls of cells in the body — and this can affect a number of important cellular functions, including cell division. If it is correct that certain electromagnetic radiations can promote the proliferation of cancerous cells, as has been suggested, then this could explain how it happens. Another theory is that the effect on calcium flow changes in some way the cell's ability to fight cancer.

        Recently-published research at Bristol University has put forward the suggestion that the cancer-producing effects of mains electricity may be due to the fact that it seems to bring about a localised increase in the concentration of radon gas, which is known to be carcinogenous. Much scepticism has greeted this suggestion, but it does interestingly echo the theory which Tom Williamson advances regarding radon gas a/d unhealthy energy lines (see chapter 17). It also has some parallels with the observation of the German researcher Dr D AschofF that he detects higher than usual levels of slow-moving neutrons above areas of unhealthy earth energies.

        People can suffer for 'conventional' reasons many of the ailments discused above, such as allergy and M.E.. Perhaps they do not sleep because they are worried or weighed down by work or family problems. They develop rheumatism because of heredity or poor living or working conditions or viruses, or one of the many other accepted causes. They may also be reacting to poor diet or polluted air and water. But the case can be made that many of these factors have become less severe in the recent past. In this country, living and working conditions have improved in some ways, reducing some physical and mental stresses. Many epidemic diseases have been virtually eliminated and yet so many immune-related health problems are increasing rather than fading away.

The most convincing conclusion I have come to in the face of the evidence is that no matter how much many individual sources of stress may have diminished, the total stress load has steadily increased.

        To the body, the precise source of stress is not so important and you have already read how researchers have shown that exposure to quite moderate electromagnetic fields can cause typical stress responses. Any stress has a similar effect on the body. Most crucially it causes the adrenals to respond by pumping adrenaline (more correctly called epinephrine) and other hormones into the bloodstream.

Adrenaline is sometimes referred to as the 'fight or flight' hormone and its production is in fact a very primitive response. Man, like any other animal when faced with danger from a predator has two choices: turn and fight, or run. In either case the need is for a sudden burst of energy, and so the adrenal glands spring into action.

        We have two adrenals, one sitting on top of each kidney. Like all glands, their role is to supply hormones to the body for particular purposes. The adrenals have two parts, an outer portion called the cortex and an inner core called the medulla. It is from the medulla that adrenaline comes, one of a total of around thirty two different hormones produced by the adrenals.

        So. faced with danger, the adrenals start to pump adrenaline and other hormones into the body. The heart rate increases, sending more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, respiratory rate goes up, blood pressure rises, and all this provides the energy needed for whichever course of action is chosen. There is one problem. The adrenal response is intended to cope with occasional crises. Once primitive man had fought and won, or had fled to safety, he could normally count on a rest period before the next crisis arrived, giving his body time to recover. Specifically, his adrenals had time to recharge themselves with the necessary hormones.

        Unfortunately, the types of modern stress described above, including electro-stress and geopathic stress, are not occasional crises. They all tend to be more or less continuous and in the end the adrenals simply cannot cope. Gradually they become more and more depleted. Energy levels fall, the body responds ever less effectively to stressful situations and, perhaps most importantly of all, the body's immune response system ceases to be effective.

A useful way of visualising how electro-stress, geopathic stress and other environmental stresses combine to provide a challenge to health is to think of a water-butt into which water flows through a number of pipes coming from different gutters. The water can be safely drained from the bottom by a tap. If the rate at which water fills the butt from all sources is less than the rate at which it discharges through the tap (or at least is no more) then the butt will not overflow. The situation remains under control. If, however, water starts to flow from one or more of the pipes at a higher and higher rate, the time will eventually come when the total inflow is greater than the total outflow. At this stage the water level in the butt will begin to rise. Even then we may not be aware of the situation, particularly if we do not often lift the butt lid to look inside. For weeks, months, or even years, the water level could be rising without us knowing. But one day the butt will finally overflow and flood the surrounding area.

Geopathic stress

Fig 1: The water butt of life experiences
Now, substitute the body for the butt. Stresses are represented by the water flowing in and the body's various ways of coping with stress are the water flowing out. This shows how life's problems can have a steadily increasing effect over a long period without us being aware of it.

        If we do not lift the lid of our personal water-butt (review our dietary and other habits, have health checks, etc.), we will never be sure whether our system is in balance or perilously near to disaster. This is why so many people delude themselves by protesting that they are never ill, that they are unaffected by a lifestyle that militates against long-term health. However, the day will arrive when the cumulative effect all becomes too much. The tragedy is that when the personal water-butt overflows it can be too late ever to return to ideal conditions.

        There are only two basic ways to tackle the problem: either you can cut down the rate at which the water flows in, or you can increase the rate at which it discharges. In bodily terms, you can either try to reduce the stress overload or you can increase the body's capacity to cope with it and discharge it.

You will note that it i the total amount of stress which (inflow of water) which is critical. Which source provides most water does not really matter On the other hand, if one pipe regularly produced more than the others, then logically that would be the one to concentrate on. Substantially reducing that one flow could probably eliminate the likelihood of an overflow occurring. Since it is now believed that for many people in the modern world, geopathic and electro-stress account for probably more than half of all stresses, the importance of dealing with these two sources is obvious.

This is not to suggest that other factors should be overlooked. You should try to identify and tackle anything that causes stress. Work pressures, travel, living conditions, relationships, diet, smoking and drinking and general lifestyle, these are all areas where changes could help to reduce the inflow. You should also think seriously about learning relaxation techniques, meditation, gentle exercises, massage, aromatherapy, etc., ail of which can help reduce the stress level.

        Nutritional supplements that help to boost the adrenals are valuable. Vitamins C and B are particularly helpful and including a good adrenal extract will give even better results. All of these subjects are covered in other widely available books and you will probably find local classes in meditation, yoga and similar practices which have been shown to have beneficial effects on bodily health.

        For now, the objective is to help you to identify and cope with the unnecessary stress load that typically comes from the influence of electromagnetic fields on you, which is what we will discuss from now on.


Light, Sounds and EMF Fields

Our main concern is with vibrations and oscillations of a particular kind, the type we call electromagnetic. The difficulty is that very few of us are familiar with electromagnetic radiations, mainly because we have no direct means of sensing most of them. Because of this, it will be easier and useful to think first about some other, better known, kinds of vibration and the effects that they can have upon us.

        Einstein showed us that all matter is energy and vice versa which has helped us come to understand much about the world in general and life in particular. A key outcome of Einstein's insight is the notion that nothing is still — everything is vibration. Vibrations or oscillations come in many forms and at many frequencies and are very much part of life. For instance, both sound and light are particular kinds of oscillations and there is no doubt that the human body is sensitive to them. They also have enough similarities in their nature and their effects for us to start by thinking about sound, which has the advantage of being more familiar to most of us.

We all know how significant the effects of sounds can be. Soundwaves are compressions of the air at frequencies which cause the ear drum to vibrate, and so we 'hear' them. Two aspects of sound can be particularly important — pitch and rhythm. Thus a high-pitched sound (a whine or screech) which goes on and on may be particularly annoying and disturbing. A persistent low rumble can be equally upsetting. People who suffer from tinnitus, a sound heard only by them and which persists day and night, can be driven to despair. (As you will read later, a specific type of electro-stress may well be the cause of many cases of tinnitus and allied problems such as 'the hum').

        Now, it is also true that much more complex sounds such as music, which is a product of very many different notes and rhythms, can please or infuriate, soothe or distress. Most people will have particular pieces of music that they find soothing, relaxing or invigorating. In extreme cases music can have an almost narcotic-like effect.   Indeed, there is evidence that many young people listening to rock music experience a pattern of mood swings, of 'highs' followed by depressions in a way that has striking similarities to the effects of stimulant drugs. However, for the time being we will limit our attention to simpler sounds, and two examples will illustrate the point.
Anyone who has tried to sleep in a room with a dripping tap knows just how disturbing it can be. Although the sound may not be very loud, the relentless drip, drip, drip, can be extremely distracting, making it virtually impossible to relax or concentrate. This effect has been used as the basis of water torture (adding the physical drip of water on to the head) which has driven people mad.

        Before battle, many primitive cultures have used the beat of drums in regularly repeated and quite simple rhythms to stimulate the tribe into feats of heroism and daring. The rhythmic sound is commonly accompanied by dancing which serves to reinforce the effect. The end result of this preparation can be to put warriors into a semi-hypnotic state in which thoughts of fear recede and pain and even injury are scarcely recognised. The ancestry of military bands playing their more complex march tunes may be traced straight back to the tom-tom.

               In both of these examples, the key factor is persistence and the repetition of a simple rhythm. Additionally, there is only a very simple frequency pattern, using one or at most a few beats. This has been a noticeable feature of some types of popular music over the last couple of decades.

If we turn our attention to light, we can find some similar examples. Light is a particular type of electromagnetic radiation (see later) vibrating at frequencies thousands of times higher than audible sound. It is known that epileptics and some other people can be especially sensitive to a regular 'on-off pattern of light of particular frequencies. For instance it has been observed that driving through woodland on a sunny day, which produces a flickering effect as the car passes from patches of bright sunlight into shadow and back again, at certain speeds (i.e. frequencies or rhythms) cause an epileptic fit in a susceptible person.

        Similar reactions have been observed in cinemas, where the appearance of a moving picture is achieved by changing the image on the screen many times a second, the light being effectively turned off at each change. Because the retina retains an image for a short period after the source is removed, the eye is fooled into not seeing this on-off pattern, but the brain can sense it. Apart from its effects on epileptics, such flickering has been shown to affect certain mentally disturbed people as well.

        Fluorescent tubes also flicker, although at much higher rates. Many people suffer headaches and eye strain when working under fluorescent light for prolonged periods. There are many other problems with such lights, including the production of large numbers of positive ions (see glossary), poor colour rendition and so on. However, tests with alternative types of fluorescent tubes with different electrical control systems have indicated that the frequency of the flicker is indeed an important factor in the production of headaches and visual problems.

        As with our examples of sound, a key factor with disturbances caused by light is that they typically involve steady (if greatly different) frequencies. For some reason in all these cases specific frequencies (or bands of frequencies) can cause a very clear reaction in the body.

interestingly, not all regular repetitions are negative in their effects, although their impact on the mind may be just as dramatic even if apparently benign or even beneficial.

        For instance, certain sounds seem to be universally soothing. Studies have shown that the most fractious babies tend to fall asleep rapidly when they hear recorded womb music. This is the sound produced in the womb of a pregnant woman and is dominated by the regular noise of the heartbeat. Experiments have also shown that some other low frequencies can have a calming effect on people of all ages.

        However, here the plot thickens, because in the womb the sound of the heartbeat is mixed with a 'watery' sound similar to 'white noise'. White noise is an artificially produced sound that is deliberately without any trace of regular form or pattern and somewhat reminiscent of gentle wind and water waves at the seaside. Could these observations be the true secret of the benefits of seaside holidays, or the instinct of many people to seek mountain streams when they need to relax? Certainly most people find sitting by a stream or fountain and listening to the sounds of moving water very soothing. White noise has been used for some time as an aid to relaxation and an experiment has shown it to have a similar effect on babies to the womb sounds.

        Here we have (apparently) the direct opposite of the earlier examples. While certain persistent regular rhythms stimulate us in certain ways, totally unstructured sounds tend to relax and even sedate.

        Coming back to light, we also know that specific colours can have very different psychological effects. While detailed reactions can vary from one person to another there are general ground rules. It is no coincidence, for instance, that so many fast food restaurants use red, orange and other 'warm* colours in their decor. For these colours are known not only to increase appetite, but are also generally stimulating, encouragingyou to order plenty, eat it and move on rapidly, leaving space for the next hungry customer. Cooler colours such as blues and greens tend to be more relaxing.

        These are only simplified examples from a complex subject but the important fact to note is that every colour has its own frequency. For instance, red has a higher frequency than blue, and so on. The observed psychological effects must surely be because of the subtle effects of these different frequencies on the brain of the observer.

We have less detailed knowledge about all of the effects of many other electromagnetic radiations, which is not really surprising when we often have only a few decades instead of several millennia of experience of them. However, there can be no doubt that we are sensitive to electromagnetic fields, even relatively weak ones. Just consider.that almost everything in the body (the brain, nerve signals, biochemical processes, and so on) has an electrical basis. We even generate our own weak electromagnetic field, which may be what a dowser 'tunes' into, (see Chapter 14).

        Work done by Davis and Rawls' amongst others indicates that people who have healing powers in their hands are capable of generating electro-magnetic fields which are slightly stronger than usual, and it is believed that it is these fields which have the beneficial effect on the patient. Kirlian photography also shows distinctive patterns generated by the hands of the healers.

        There is no doubt that people do respond well to the techniques variously described as 'healing', 'the laying-on of hands' or 'therapeutic touch — indeed such techniques are sometimes used nowadays by nurses in hospitals. If this effect is indeed due to the increased, but still very tiny, electro-magnetic fields from the hands of the healer, then it is a dramatic illustration of just how strong our body's response can be to tiny EMFs.

        Further confirmation of our sensitivity has come from the relatively recent scientific discovery of just how dependent we are for our well-being on the weak magnetic fields of the Earth (terrestrial magnetism), and the low frequency Schumann  waves (around 7.8 Hz.) which are found in between the Earth and the ionosphere.  This became apparent during investigation of the causes of the variety of symptoms suffered by early astronauts while in space for even relatively short periods. An orbiting spacecraft is of course outside the influence of all natural terrestrial magnetic fields and generating these artificially solved the astronauts' problems.

        Also, we should not overlook the fact that electromagnetic fields are also successfully used therapeutically in a scientific manner. Techniques like the German Mora Therapy have been used for some decades now, and systems like Vega, EAR and others also use measurements of the body's natural electrical characteristics as the basis for diagnosis. Physiotherapists use intense low-frequency treatments to treat muscular injuries. Magnetic field therapies at various frequencies and with a variety of wave forms are increasingly used in hospitals and elsewhere for purposes which range from relieving muscular pain and repairing damaged muscles, to acceleration of wound healing and promoting knitting of broken bones. We will take a closer look at some of these beneficial applications of electrical and magnetic fields later (Chapter 10).

        While these applications undoubtedly have good effects, the key question is whether there are unwanted side-effects to such therapies and, even if not, whether unintentional and uncontrolled exposure to fields at a huge range of frequencies (see Chapter 4) may have injurious effects. From the latest research, it seems clear that the danger of damage to health exists. There are pronounced frequency-dependent effects on the human brain and body. Professor Smith in his book Electromagnetic Man suggests that it is coherent waves (broadly, those which persist in a regular pattern for long periods, perhaps like the earth energies and energy leys discussed in Part Two) which are likely to have biological effects2.

        Specifically, we seem to be much affected by some extremely low frequencies (ELFs) in the band up to 300 cycles per second (or Hertz). Of course the most important source in this band, because it is so universal, is mains frequency (50 or 60Hz) though there are some others of interest. It is lust about impossible to escape the influence of man-made electricity anywhere in the world.

        Incidentally, some researchers suggest that we would have fewer problems if the frequency chosen for mains electricity had been higher — 200 or 300Hz rather than 50 or 60Hz. There is no technical reason why this could not have been so, as it was largely an arbitrary engineering decision. Certainly we do seem to have ended up with a very unfortunate choice. There is even a suggestion that the 50 Hz supply used in most of the world is, on balance, worse for us than the 60 Hz found in America and a few other countries. It seems possible that some of the harmonics of 50Hz resonate with the body in a particularly unfortunate way. However, speculating on the benefits of change, with so much committed to the existing system, is not really realistic.

        At the other end of the scale, extremely high frequencies of many thousands of millions of Hertz can also affect us, although in different ways. Typical examples here are microwaves, which are produced by television sets, computers, communication transmissions and radar as well as the ovens we probably think of first. Higher still, we move into the realms of ionising radiations (X-rays, gamma rays, etc.).

        In between these extremes there is a huge band that includes all radio frequencies. While there is less indication of specific effects from these we do need to consider, in view of the amazing permanent smog of radio waves mentioned earlier, whether this may be contributing to the general stress overload.

        The analogy with smog is appropriate. Although that sometimes choking product of general pollution of the atmosphere is probably most recalled for the number of the sickly and elderly killed by it in particularly bad winters, it was much more important as a general factor undermining public health through long-term exposure, causing chronic diseases like bronchitis. We may well discover that the situation is similar in the case of electro-stress. So far most attention has been paid to specific reactions to sources of electromagnetic fields. It is highly likely that in the long term we will come to realise that the most important consideration is the generally debilitating effect on health — the extent to which exposure contributes to our stress level long before this turns into a physical or mental disease.

When we assess the risk from anything that can affect us, whether a chemical pollutant or a dangerous radiation, we have to consider two key factors: the first is quantity, that is to say, what is the level of our exposure and at what point does a harmful factor start to pose a significant risk? We have to recognise that there is never a simple answer to this question as personal variations such as individual sensitivity, body size, age and general level of health will all have a bearing on the outcome. If the substance in question is something for which benefits are claimed, such as a drug, then we may need to balance the adverse effects against the potential gain —what is called the risk/benefit analysis.

        One complication when considering dose (and one which may have great significance when dealing with electromagnetic fields) is the dilution effect, familiar to users of homeopathy. Put simply, tiny concentrations of a substance can often have even greater effects than much larger chemical doses. This can sometimes be used in a protective way; classical homeopathy is based on the fact that many highly poisonous substances, when potentised {diluted in a special way) become positive or protective in their effect on the patient, their properties having been effectively inverted.

        However it is now also realised that not all substances behave in this way. For reasons that are not yet fully understood, in some cases the effect is not inverted, and high dilutions will have an even greater effect than the crude substance. The implication of this is to question the frequent assertion of those who defend the electrical industry that low field strengths must by definition pose little risk. It is possible that low field strengths may in some cases be more potent than high ones. We will consider later the question of what constitutes a low' field strength when we are dealing with biological systems. A similar debate is under way concerning official assurances that we need not be concerned about possible dangers from the 'insignificant' amounts of pesticide residues and additives in foods and pollutants in drinking water.

        The second factor in our equation is exposure. Someone who smokes one high tar cigarette in his entire life — or even someone who regularly smokes one a month is highly unlikely to die of a smoking related disease. But someone who smokes daily ten of even the lowest tar cigarettes available is clearly at risk.

        Similarly, with any environmental factor, including electromagnetic fields, we must always consider the duration and regularity of exposure. Someone who has an occasional dental X-ray has little need to fear for his long-term health, but it would not be a good idea to have this done every month. Because of this you will find that there are often references to length and frequency of exposure, as well as absolute field strengths, when the possible hazards of electro-stress are discussed. If these are not understood then unnecessary alarm may sometimes be felt about relatively harmless field sources, or serious hazards may be overlooked.

An idea that arises from several research reports (including that by Dr. Leal referred to in Chapter 1} is that there may be another very important factor to bear in mind when looking at hazards. This is the concept of specific narrow bands, or windows of frequency and power, within and only within which hazards may be present. If correct, it could at least partly account for the suggestions, referred to above, that 50Hz mains are worse for us than 60Hz — or that some weak    fields do more damage than stronger ones.
        It could also help to explain why some apparently well-founded research findings have later been contradicted by other workers. If the researchers did not realise the crucial significance of defining the precise frequency, power and even waveform of the electromagnetic fields used then it may indeed be impossible to replicate results.
One of our key themes in examining electro-stress is the importance of both frequency and power level in determining whether a particular electromagnetic field is potentially harmful to us. The other factor which needs to be considered is that of waveform. The effect of the shape of the electromagnetic waves — the way in which the output rises and falls with time is a fairly technical subject, but it will help if you understand some basic facts.

        The waves produced by electricity flowing in wires and cables or generated by electrical equipment can be examined using an oscilloscope, a device which displays on its screen a graph of the way that the waves rise and fall, as well as providing numerical information. Looking at the screen will give an idea of frequency (thexhigher this is — the more pulses per second — the closer the waves-will be together) and how regular (coherent) or random the pattern is. As you have seen, we believe that these are both important considerations. However, the oscilloscope will also show what type of waveform we are dealing with.

        Any rotating generator, such as those used in power stations, tends to produce a field which rises and falls smoothly and regularly. This will typically appear as what is called a 'sine wave' like that shown in fig.2a below:

EMF field

It is unlikely that the wiring in our homes or offices will produce such a clean-cut trace, because the mains electricity supply, as it travels to us, tends to pick up all sorts of extra wave patterns feeding back from the apparatus which it supplies, but the general pattern will be maintained.

        It is also possible to generate a square wave which rises almost instantaneously from zero to maximum, holds the peak for a period and then falls just as sharply back to zero or even to a negative value.


Fig.2b: Square Waves

Finally, fields wiil often be found similar to that shown in fig.2c below. These also rise very sharply to a maximum value, but then tail off rather more gradually to zero before repeating the cycle. Because of their appearance on an oscilloscope, these are often called 'saw-tooth' waves. You will read in Chapter 10 that magnetic fields used therapeutically often have square or saw-tooth waveforms because they are found to produce the best response, perhaps because they more closely approximate the wave forms generated by the body itself. It seems a reasonable assumption that if a particular shape of wave has a stronger beneficial influence when used therapeutically, then the same shape must also have the potential to produce the most marked adverse effect when used at the 'wrong' frequency or strength. Dr Cyril Smith's work (referred to earlier) suggests that continuous exposure to a steady wave form of whatever shape is more likely to have a deleterious effect, whereas intermittent exposure to a pattern of changing frequencies and waveforms is considerably more friendly to the body. It is interesting to note that most therapeutic devices follow the latter rather than the former pattern.

Saw Tooth Wave

Fig. 2c

You should by now realise that several different characteristics of electromagnetic fields play a part in determining whether they are likely to affect us in some way.

        Frequency is certainly important. It seems that relatively low and very high frequencies are the most hazardous, with the additional thought that we may only need to concern ourselves with quite narrow bands or windows where hazard exists (once we know where these lie). It also seems likely that persistence or coherence may be as crucial as the precise frequency.

        Power is another factor to take into account, though we may well need to question the automatic assumption that stronger fields are necessarily the most dangerous in all cases. The homeopathic analogy and the concept of windows of hazard both merit further investigation.

        Finally, the type of wave — sine, square or saw-tooth — is also likely to prove important.

Chapter 3


The Electromagnetic Explosion

It is important to stress how recent is the advent of man-made electricity. It was a very unfamiliar phenomenon at the start of the 20th Century. Indeed electric power was first generated commercially only a little over a century ago and it was decades before it became universally available in even the most technologically advanced and affluent countries. Yet within a few generations electricity has become a central, indispensable part of modern life.

        Mains electricity was introduced in 1882. For a brief period Direct Current (DC) was the favoured source, but for technical reasons that need not concern us here, DC has severe limitations if you want to generate electricity in power stations and send it around the country to the ultimate user. So before long. Alternating Current (AC) arrived and this is now the universal power source.

        Alternating Current, as its name indicates, does not flow steadily in one direction, but oscillates to and fro. In Europe and much of the world it does this fifty times every second, which is normally indicated as 50Hz, but America and some other countries use 60Hz. It is the electromagnetic fields produced by AC current that are now becoming recognised as a key contributory factor to many of our health problems.

        Until the mains supply arrived, muscles rather than electricity supplied the power to wash the clothes and clean the floors. Radios, when they appeared, were powered by cumbersome accumulators that had to be taken to the shop to be re-charged at regular intervals. Even as recently as the mid 1950s many rural areas of Britain still depended on gas or paraffin for lighting and heating.
It is increasingly hard to imagine such a life. Certainly, there are today few homes in the developed world and indeed ever fewer places anywhere on Earth without mains electricity. Indeed it is almost impossible to find somewhere out of range of the oscillations of mains fields.

        Because electricity provides the power source for so much of modern life, the electromagnetic picture is extremely complex. Lighting, heating, computers, domestic and electrical equipment, electrified railways, radar, television and communications, all use AC current as their power source. These work at every imaginable frequency up to several million million Hertz (10lzHz) or more — and they in their turn radiate these frequencies into the environment.

Broadcasting figures for the USA provides a graphic illustration of the explosive growth of the uses of electricity. Figures for the U.S.A. graphically illustrate the scale of growth. The first commercial radio station started transmission in 1920 and there were only a few thousand broadcast sources in 1939. This had risen to 30 million stations by 1979 and the total today is around 50 million. Radio and television waves fill the ether so that transmissions can be picked up in the most remote places on Earth. A leading U.S. expert, Dr.Robert Becker, has written that the total density of radio frequency waves penetrating every corner of the planet (and every person on it) is now 100 to 200 million times the level reaching us naturally from the Sun.1 As we have evolved to tolerate only the natural level it is hard to imagine that we can not be affected by an increase of such gargantuan proportions over so short a time span.

        Britain's first public radio station appeared less than 70 years ago, and well into the 1950s there were only three stations broadcasting in the UK (Home, Light and Third), with crackly Radio Luxembourg providing the thrills of advertisements on the air waves. Other countries had a similarly limited choice.

        Today there is simply no more room in the radio frequency spectrum. If you want a new national station, you have to give up an existing one. Even low powered stations with limited operating areas are subject to strict controls to stop the transmissions of one station interfering with another. This is necessary even though a very wide range of frequencies is now in use for radio broadcasting and despite the sophistication of modern receivers which can distinguish accurately transmitters operating only a few Hertz apart.

        Communications transmissions use the upper end of the radio frequency band and range from the emergency services and aircraft control to telecommunications and cell-phones. There has been rapid expansion of many such applications in the last couple of decades and the frequencies reserved for them are similarly crowded (as many cellphone users will tell you) and ever more uses for the air-waves appear every year.

This is an appropriate point to take a look at just what we mean by electromagnetic fields (EMF) and the different forms they can take. A simple way to picture them is to think what happens when we drop a pebble into a pond. A series of concentric ripples spreads out from the point of disturbance, weakening (becoming smaller) the further they travel.

        Electrons vibrating backwards and forwards 50 times every second in a wire connected to the mains produce a similar disturbance in space, except, that in this case, the 'ripples' are the lines of force of the EMF. As with the pond, the field weakens as it moves out from the conductor, (fig,3) In the case of EMFs there are two types of 'ripples', the electrical and magnetic parts of the field and they radiate at right angles to both each other and to the conductor carrying the current. To visualise this, hold out your right hand in front of you, point forward with your index finger, then stick your thumb up vertically and your second finger at right angles to your palm, if the index finger represents the wire carrying the current, then the thumb and second finger show the direction of the electrical and magnetic parts of the radiating field.

Electrical and Magnetic Fields

Fig 3: Electrical and magnetic fields

        Electromagnetic radiations of many kinds occur in nature, although at very much lower intensities than most man-made fields. Indeed, daylight, produced by the Sun, is such a radiation. There are other sources of light in nature; glow worms and certain fish can produce dim light for instance and radioactive substances glow in the dark too.

        Visible licht lies within a narrow band from 4 x 1014 to 7.7 x 10'4Hz and every colour in the spectrum has its own specific frequency. 1 m sorry if the notation puts you off, but you must admit that 1O14 (which simply means '1 with 14 zeros after it') is neater and easier to read than 100 000 000,000,000. Light (which we can see) and infra-red (which is' felt as warmth) are the only parts of the electromagnetic spectrum for which we have specific sense organs. This is what makes all other electromagnetic radiations both rather mysterious and, in many cases, so potentially dangerous.

        Probably the most important fact about light in the context of this book is that even though it is a natural EMF we all know it can be unpleasant or even dangerous in excess. Stay out too long in strong sunlight and you will get sunburn. Do it too often, and there is a risk of skin cancer. With the much publicised 'holes' in the ozone layer increasing the amount of ultra-violet light that reaches Earth, this latter risk has significantly increased in many places. Many Australians for instance are now pale-skinned rather than the bronzed stereotype, staying indoors or wearing protective hats and clothing when outdoors, so worried have they become. Similarly, excessive exposure to infrared can be harmful, which incidentally raises questions about the long-term health prospects of supermarket check-out operators using scanning equipment on modern EPOS till systems.

        The Sun produces other EMFs in the radio-frequency range — you will have heard of sun-spots and probably know that they can interfere with radio and television reception.

        If we look at a chart of different electromagnetic frequencies (fig.4), we see that light is somewhere in the middle, with mains electricity at one end and ionising radiation at the other. Working up from the lowest frequencies, we have the following picture:
— certain specialised frequencies such as electric fences — I Hz; and electric railways in some countries (not Britain) — 16 2/3 z.
— mains electricity — 50Hz (or 60Hz in U.S.A. and some other countries).
— radio, television and radar — a very wide band from 3 x 104 to 3 x 10l2Hz. At the upper end of this range are so-called microwaves, used for communications (telecommunications, military, etc.) as well as microwave ovens.
— infra-red radiation — from 3 x 1011 to 3 x 10l4Hz.— visible light — a narrow band from 4 x 1014 to 7.7 x 10l4Hz.
— ultra-violet radiation from 7.7 x 1014 to 3 x 1017Hz.
— ionising radiations (neutrons, alpha-, beta-, gamma- and X-rays) — up to 3 x 1022Hz

Electromagnetic Frequency Spectrum

Fig. 4. Electromagnetic frequency spectrum
This is a good point to clarify the matter of ionising and non-ionising radiation. (See also later in the text and the glossary.) As you can see from the outline above and from the chart, what are called ionising radiations occur at the high end of the spectrum. There is no controversy about the hazards which these represent — their name means that they will ionise or change the molecular structure of tissue exposed to them. This is what makes them so dangerous.

        We are concerned here only with the lower frequency, non-ionising waves. But the fact that they do not directly affect molecular structure in the way that a gamma-ray or an X-ray will does not necessarily mean that they pose no threat to living organisms and in particular to us.

There are two possible ways to avoid electromagnetic radiations: try to move far enough from the source so that the field has weakened to an acceptable level; or find some way of shielding ourselves, that is, of stopping the radiation reaching us. When talking about shielding we must distinguish between the two main types of electromagnetic radiation.

        Electrical Fields are produced whenever there is a voltage in a conductor (voltage is the 'pressure' that pushes the electric current around a circuit). These fields will be present even if there is no current flowing. There is no need for anything to be connected to the circuit. (Think of a water-pipe in your house; the water in it is under pressure whether you are using it or not). Electrical fields will be absorbed by any material that conducts electricity — walls, people, trees — and so it is fairly easy to shield against them.

        Magnetic Fields, on the other hand, are produced only when current flows (that is, when the circuit is switched on, just as water flows in a pipe when a tap is opened). These fields pass almost unhindered through people, the ground and many building materials, although concrete and steelwork in buildings will reduce them to some degree. Mains frequency magnetic fields are particularly persistent. Even aluminium sheeting half an inch (12mm.) thick will only be partially effective. As a result, shielding against them is extremely difficult and often, for all practical purposes, impossible. The relatively small shielding effects of common construction material is well illustrated in Table 3.

                                                                Permeability (%) for
                                                     Electrical fields  Magnetic fields
Wire mesh (1 mm) - 3 cm pitch                  0.5              65
Wire mesh (irnrn) - 0.3 cm pitch                0.I               10
Iron sheet (Zmrn)                                       0.I               50 
Copper foil (0.2mm)                                   0.1              90
Reinforced conrete (60 cm)                       0.1                0.-l
All the above are for 50 Hz fields
        Both electrical and magnetic fields become weaker with distance. For instance, there are very strong fields immediately under a high voltage power line, but they fall away steadily as you move away. It has been suggested that the UK should follow the practice of some other countries and establish a clear zone (which can be 100 yards [91metres] or more) on either side of power lines within which building houses is banned. In America or Russia the debate is whether existing zones are wide enough, whereas in the U.K. there are no regulations at all and power lines often run directly over inhabited areas.

        There is no easy answer to the problem as fields from strong sources can persist over amazing distances; for instance, in Germany the characteristic 16 2AHz waves of the railway system have been detected in the earth 10 miles (16 km) from the nearest line (the operating voltage in this case is up to 110kV, which is far less than most power distribution lines). It is necessary to move fully 3A of a mile (1.2km) from a 500KV overhead power line before field strengths fall off to 'background' levels, and higher voltages than this are increasingly used around the world.

        However, it is not only high voltages which should concern us. Although many people worry about their house being too near a power line, few think about the wiring in their houses. A simple calculation will show that wiring in your bedroom may produce a field in your brain as strong as that from a pylon at the end of the garden. In other words, being close to a weak source can have as much effect as being further away from a strong one. In either case the effective frequency is the same, which is probably the most important characteristic. The results of exposure may be different in the two cases, but it seems likely that both can cause health problems.

To put things into perspective, it will be useful to make some comparisons between the field strengths that are found in nature, especially in the body, and those which are produced by man-made electricity. Don't worry if the actual figures do not make a lot of sense to you; it is the relationship between the strengths which matters.
Natural electrical and magnetic fields are mostly very weak.   The magnetic field of the Earth in Northern Europe is around half a gauss (0.5G), and although there are small variations as you travel around the globe, it is of this order of magnitude wherever you are situated. A Gauss is a well-established measurement of magnetic field density, but nowadays scientists prefer to measure these magnetic fields in units called Tesla (T) which are 10,000 times bigger. The Earth's 0.5G becomes 0.00005T, which makes it seem even tinier.

        However, even this is still massive when compared with the field produced by the human brain, which is around 0.000000000000000 IT. Because of the vast number of zeros, this is usually written as 10"'5T, but either way it is still an extremely weak field! Indeed, instruments capable of measuring it have been developed only fairly recently and in order to use them, special shielding must be used to exclude the much stronger field of the Earth.

        On the other hand, when an electrical engineer talks about weak magnetic fields, he is probably referring to something less than 100G, orO.OOlT, afull 100 billion times stronger than that of the brain. That is 100,000,000,000 or 10" times stronger. Small wonder that biologists and engineers disagree over whether a particular field is weak or strong, as they are talking a different language.

        The situation is similar with electric fields. Those generated by the body are minute compared with even the small fields in electronic circuits such as computers or radios. Of course, the latter are tiny compared to fields emitted by mains circuits used for lighting or heating. The measurement normally used for electrical fields is volts per metre (V/m).

        it is important to keep these relative strengths in mind when reading the rest of the book. The key fact is that man-made fields do not have to be very strong at all to dwarf those found in the body.

        Having discussed some of the background, we will now look at various sources of electromagnetic fields and consider what research has uncovered about their potential effects on humankind.



The electricity which we switch on at home has travelled through many miles of cables to reach us. From the power station it passes along high-tension overhead distribution lines at a potential of several hundred thousand volts. It then travels through sub-stations and into local distribution lines (usually overhead in rural areas or underground in towns) the voltage dropping stage by stage.
Finally, at around a modest 110 volts in the USA (or 220 volts in Europe), it comes into our houses, where a network of cables takes it from room to room and from floor to floor. The way in which power is distributed within the home varies widely from one country to another. However, there are two basic methods.

        The simplest is to use a series of individual cables or 'spurs' radiating from a central distribution board. Each of these spurs will serve one or two rooms in the house and will be equipped with its own individual fuse link. It is not generally possible to supply more than one or two rooms in this way as the maximum potential load must remain within national safety levels for the cable being used. There is a further possible variation in that, whereas in many cases all electrical needs of the rooms in question will be supplied from one circuit (i.e. both power and lighting), in other countries the lighting circuits are separately supplied.

        The second common type of distribution circuit is that known in the UK as the ring main, and in Australia, the USA and some other countries as the ring circuit. This is generally used for power supplies as distinct from lighting. The principle is to link all the power outlets in one area (which may be one floor of a house, or part of a floor, depending on the size of the building) in one continuous circuit, using a loop of cable which runs from the distribution board through all the power points, returning to the same point on the distribution board. A typical arrangement is to provide one ring circuit for the kitchen which is often an area with a relatively high consumption of electrical power, another for the rest of the ground floor, and another for the floor above, making three in all). The advantage from an electrical point of view is that, because each socket is in effect being supplied by two cables, one from each direction, the total number of sockets which can be placed on one circuit is greater than would be allowed on a single spur.

        Matters can be complicated further as it is not uncommon for there to be short spurs off the ring supplying one or two sockets in more remote parts of the house. This is done primarily to save cable. The cabling of the ring may be run around the outer walls of the house, which is the worst possible arrangement from an electro-stress standpoint, or may run around an internal area such as a central stairwell or hallway with rather more spurs. When ring circuits are used, lighting is supplied through a separate network of cable, often run in the ceiling space above the ground floor, with spurs running up and down to supply the lights on the two floors, although a separate circuit may also be placed in the roof space to supply the upper floors.

        Every centimetre of cable on this journey will radiate electrical and magnetic fields at a frequency of 50 or 60Hz. To complicate matters, most appliances and electronic equipment also produce fields, adding their own different frequencies to the electromagnetic mixture. Some of this feeds back into the mains, building up complex frequency patterns, with unpredictable peaks of power.

        As a result, we literally never escape the steady 50/60Hz oscillations (mixed with many additional frequencies) from one day's end to the next. While the field strengths are generally low, as remarked before, 'low' can mean very different things in the contexts of engineering and biology.

Constant exposure to such 'extremely low frequency' (ELF) electrical fields has no history in evolutionary terms. Centuries are needed for organisms to adapt to even simple environmental changes and mains electricity is only four or five generations old. There is still a lot we do not know about its effects on basic body functions, but no-one can claim that it is natural for the body to receive continuous exposure to 50 or 60Hz.

        We spend around a third of our lives in bed. Few people spend as many hours in any other place. Even jobs centred on one place, for instance, working at a desk or a work bench, generally involve moving away from time to time. In bed, by contrast, we stay in precisely the same spot for six, seven, or eight hours at a stretch.

Anyone who looks objectively at the clinical evidence has to agree that there is a strong case for concluding that the ELF fields, especially those in the bedroom, help to trigger numerous minor health disturbances, particularly those which are related to that modern bogey — stress. For instance, some abnormally high mains frequency fields are found in the bedrooms of very many insomnia sufferers. My experience has shown that when these fields are eliminated or the sleeper is shielded from them using the methods described later, normal sleep patterns almost always return.
A similar picture will be found in many cases of people who regularly suffer restless, disturbed sleep, or who always wake up tired despite seeming to sleep soundly, or the countless individuals who are used to waking with headaches, stiff muscles or 'rheumatics'. Repeatedly, above average field strengths are found where they sleep and the symptoms improve when the fields are dealt with.

        I must stress that it is the quality of your sleep that should concern you. I find that many, if not most people, when questioned say that they sleep well. By this, apparently they mean that they are not conscious of lying awake for a long time before dropping off; they are not aware of disturbance during the night and they feel that they stay asleep for enough hours. However, if asked how they feel when they wake up, they more often than not admit that they rarely if ever feel really refreshed. If this picture fits you, then you are not sleeping well, whatever you may believe.

        If people who suffer from poor quality sleep are observed during the night they will generally be found to be restless, to show signs of dreaming, to talk in their sleep. If their brainwaves were monitored with an EEC (Electro-encephalogram) then it would be found that their brain activity does not show the necessary periods of relaxation. While there can be physical causes for such a sleep pattern, it is highly likely that at least part of the reason that such people do not relax is because their brains are continuously stimulated by electromagnetic fields in their environment, especially in the bedroom. Tackling these will very often bring about dramatic improvements.

        Allergies, irritability, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, hyper-activity in children are some other modern complaints that have been blamed on stress resulting from sensitivity to mains frequency radiation. Once again, reducing environmental electromagnetic field levels is very often found to be a key factor in bringing about improvements.

Bedrooms are a particularly common source of electro-stress problems because of the layout of the wiring in most houses. Cables for the lights in ground floor rooms run in the ceilings, which are, of course, the floors of the bedrooms above. The cables for the upstairs power supply run in the bedroom walls and wiring for the upstairs lights will be found in the ceilings above. Every appliance has its own flex, which is usually left plugged in and so is live as well. In short, most beds lie within a cocoon of mains wiring, which radiates 50Hz or 60Hz electrical fields, day and night.

        In many cases, strong sources outside the dwelling can be partly to blame. Pylons or other high-tension cables may be close enough to produce a significant effect in the bedroom. A nearby factory or workshop may have electrical equipment producing strong fields. Even if the factory is closed at night, transformers that radiate powerfully are often left on around the clock. Apartment dwellers are subject to radiations from their neighbours' wiring and equipment, which is generally always left plugged in even if turned off, and so on.

        As if all that were not enough, the modern bedroom tends to boast more electrical apparatus than almost any other room in the house. Bedside or bedhead lights, radio alarms, telephones, television sets (often with remote controls), electric blankets or duvets, water beds, all of these produce fields at mains and other frequencies and they all bring their own particular problems.

        For instance, lights, clock radios and telephones are generally close to the bed-head. Although the fields that they produce lose power very rapidly as you move away, the brain of the sleeper is often near enough for there still to be a measurable effect. You should be particularly careful about anything containing a transformer or magnets, including telephones and many clock radios, as these will produce more powerful and persistent radiations.

        Television sets give off strong fields too. Since most viewers sit ten or twelve feet away, the living room TV does not expose most people to high field levels, but they are often more of a problem in the bedroom. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, bedroom televisions are typically placed at the end of the bed, and as the viewer is lying down or stretched out, his or her feet will be close enough to pick up a relatively high field and conduct it into the body. Secondly, the majority of bedroom televisions are, for the sake of convenience, equipped with remote controls. The trouble with remote controlled TV is that it is always 'live' and so electrical fields can remain very high all night, even though the set is apparently turned off. In these ways, sets in the bedroom can cause much electro-pollution and electro-stress.

        There is no doubt that the greatest villains of the modern bedroom are often electric blankets, and especially the electric duvet or water bed, both of which are designed to be left on all night. In these cases the whole bed is criss-crossed with yards of mains cable, giving off a very dense electromagnetic field, close to the body. To make matters worse, loops of wiring produce especially high field levels, far higher than a straight cable. Measurements show that high residual electromagnetic fields can remain, e
ven when blankets are switched off, and if they must be used, the only sensible advice is to unplug         them rather than just switch off before going to bed. Of course this advice negates the whole purpose of electric duvets or water beds and sadly it is better to do without these modern luxuries!

    The use of electric blankets by pregnant women has been linked by Wertheimer to an increased incidence of miscarriages.1 Some doubts have been raised as to whether the miscarriage rate could be linked to increased body heat which would obviously be associated with use of an electric blanket. Wertheimer's later study of the use of electric heating cables in ceilings seem, however, to strengthen her case. As we shall see later, these have a uniform field as high as lOmG on a long-term basis and Wertheimer states that she has found a similar increased incidence of miscarriages amongst women whose homes are heated in this way. In this case a link with body heat cannot be argued since there is no correlation between levels of miscarriage and other forms of domestic heating giving the same temperature levels.

        It is a sad fact that many of the most devoted users of electrical methods of heating the bed are people who suffer from rheumatism and hope that the extra warmth will relieve their aching joints. 1 have found that if asked to analyse how they felt before and after starting to use an electric blanket, many will admit scant improvement and very often will realise that they have in fact got worse. Consistently unplugging their blanket or duvet before going to bed will in such cases generally bring much relief and will avoid the need to discard it altogether. A hot water bottle will provide a sustained source of warmth during the night without unwanted side-effects.

Even accepting that the electromagnetic environment in many bedrooms can be so unfriendly, there must be other considerations to explain why exposure to radiating fields at night should be such a uniquely important health factor. After all, many people also spend their days in highly electrically charged places. The modern office or shopping precinct can be just as bad as a factory and it is quite possible that local field strengths may be even higher than those to be found at home.

        In fact, there are several additional reasons why the origins of electro-stress are so often to be found in the bedroom. As we have noted, we spend a long time in one place at night. Most people move around a lot during the day, so that even though they may encounter some high field strengths, they generally do not stay within range of them for very long. Obviously, there are exceptions linked to particular occupations and we will look later at some of these, such as electrical workers and VDU operators. However, for most of us, spending anything up to eight or nine hours out of every twenty-four in the typical bedroom provides the biggest single source of electro-stress.

    Even more crucial is the role of sleep itself. Although sleep is clearly essential for everyone, its real purpose, as the time when our body repairs and regenerates itself, has only been definitely established fairly recently. Researchers were puzzled when they first examined the pattern of sleep in detail. A key question concerned what is known as 'REM1 or rapid eye movement sleep. It is also sometimes called paradoxical sleep. These names derive from the observation that at the very time when sleep appeared to be at its deepest, as measured by pulse rate, breathing, etc., there was paradoxically a huge amount of brain activity. It was also observed that during this period the eyes of the sleepers moved to and fro very quickly, but with no obvious pattern or purpose. We now believe that all this is a sign that during these periods the brain is busy maintaining and repairing the body.

        Every day, billions of cells in the body die and must be replaced. Some, such as skin cells, last for a few months and even the longest lived have a life span of only seven years, so that none of us has in our body a single cell left which existed seven years ago. The huge job of repair and maintenance is undertaken while we sleep. Information gathered by the brain during the day about which cells need replacement is turned into a rebuilding plan to be carried out at night.

        At least some of the massive amount of information which has to be sent to and from the brain to achieve this travels along the nerve fibres. However, there is a physical limit to the speed with which such messages can pass along nerves, and hence how much 'traffic' can be carried in this way. The sheer volume of information seems just too great for the neural network to be the only route. Coghill believes2 that it is likely that in order to get so much information around the body the brain must be acting like a radio station, sending information directly to the cells. As radio waves travel at the speed of light, this would clearly make things a lot quicker.

        Whichever mechanism is in use, the messages are clearly electrical, and all electrical processes can suffer interference or jamming from external sources, just as television or radio reception can be distorted by sun-spots, atmospheric conditions, or a neighbour's electric drill. It is not really surprising that such interference, regularly experienced by the body at night, can produce stress and the stress-related illness we have described. If the situation persists for long enough the obvious risk is that the immune system becomes weakened, laying the body open to infection or even to the proliferation of 'wrong' cells that may turn out to be malignant.

        In view of all this, anyone investigating possible electro-stress should always look at the electromagnetic conditions in the bedroom. (We must not forget that stressful electro-magnetic fields are amplified by any geopathically stressful lines.) In many cases, clearing up problems here will produce such significant health improvements that very little more will need to be done. Even for those people who suffer significant daytime exposure to electro-stress (for instance, VDU operators), the night time exposure will almost always still prove to be a significant factor.

        There are various ways of determining whether any area may be a source of electro-stress.

First, simply look! Any electrical apparatus is potentially suspect, although the hazard varies greatly from one device to another (see Table 4). As a general rule, it is sensible at night not to have any of the electrical items we have mentioned too near to you, particularly to your head. Nor should the flexes (cords) attached be forgotten. With modern built-in bedroom furniture, remember that wires are very likely to be hidden in the headboard.

        It is impossible to predict precise 'safe' distances as even different makes of the same sort of appliance can produce very different field levels. However, as a rule, most domestic apparatuses will not disturb people if they are at least 3ft. (91 cm) away from the body. This sort of guidance has to be interpreted carefully if, for instance, there are several devices connected to the mains at night, in which case the separate fields are cumulative.

        Even if all the electrical equipment in the bedroom is moved or unplugged, disturbing field levels may still persist in the bed. These most often come from the mains cables which run in the walls, ceilings and floors of the room. Sometimes this will be because the cables run near the head of the bed, but it may also be because the wiring layout is such that several cables are grouped in one area, resulting in a high total field level. Short of removing floorboards or plaster, you are unlikely to know where the cables run and some sort of detection meter is needed.

High tension power lines - under the lines
                                             - 55 m distant 
Electric shaver - 0.5 in. (12 mm) 
Vacuum cleaner - 10 cm 
Electric blanket 
60 watt  light bulb - 2 in (5 cm) 
                             - 6 in. (15 cm)
10 watt florescent tube (110 volt)  2 in. (5 cm). 
                                                    -  6 in. (15 cm). 
60 watt fluorescent tube (220 V) - ceiling 
Electric hot plate - 0.4 in. (1cm)
                                           - 18 in. (46 cm)
Skirting heater - 6 in. (15 cm) 
                          - 3 ft. (91 cm)
Ceiling heater - entire room
Typical Field Strength
Table 4: Some magnetic field strengths
Simple, relatively cheap, wiring detectors, widely available in DIY shops to help you avoid putting nails through cables, will tell you where the wires are, but will not give any indication of field strength. !t is still worth using one just to check where the wiring is located. More specialist meters are available to measure ELFs (fields up to 10OHz) which, of course, includes mains electricity. They give direct readings of the levels of both electrical and magnetic field components as well as an audible signal and will give clear indications of the 'hot spots' in an area. You can also get meters to measure other bands of interest, such as radio and microwave frequencies. There are even some combination meters available covering all of these bands. Some of the organisations listed in the 'Suppliers' appendix may be able to supply a suitable meter. All of these meters can be relatively expensive, however. There are one or two cheaper if less sophisticated alternatives available, but not all of these may give reliable indications. A few specialist companies offer a consultancy service and it is possible that meters may be offered for hire if you wish to do your own investigation.

        You should not forget  that the problem fields may be originating outside the dwelling. Overhead power-lines are clear to see, but in towns distribution is usually underground, and factories, transformer stations and other sources may be important too. So it cannot be assume that because nothing obvious is visible from the window there is no cause for concern. If you live in anything other than a detached house you must never overlook what may be coming from the adjoining flat or house. For instance, a TV placed against the neighbour's party wall will produce strong fields in your adjoining room (as with computers, fields behind televisions are generally stronger than in front of them). Nor of course should you forget the geopathic hot spots described later in the book.

What none of the meters mentioned so far can do is to predict how an individual will react to any given electric field strength, and this can be very important, as sensitivity is highly personal. A field that is low enough to be insignificant for one person may cause a great deal of disturbance to someone else. (There is an obvious and unsurprising parallel with allergic response). Also, it seems logical that a big person will be a more effective antenna than someone petite. So although direct measurements of field strengths give important information, other tests are also advisable.

        One useful test makes use of the fact that anything that can conduct electricity will have a circulating current and a voltage produced in it when it is placed in an alternating field. This is the principle used in the dynamo and alternator. The human body is a conductor, and so exposure to any mains field will provoke a response in the body. This is not in itself dangerous (we are not likely to give ourselves electrical shocks or produce sparks!), as the total amount of electricity produced is small. It does, however, mean that we will normally have a slightly higher voltage than the Earth, and any increase in that level can disturb the body. The stronger the field in which we find ourselves and the more readily we pick up such radiations, the higher the voltage that will be produced in our bodies. So if we can measure the voltage we will have an indication of both how strong the field is, and how much of it we are picking up. Why spend a lot of money on a sophisticated meter, when if you follow these simple instructions, you can use your own body to amplify a simple DIY meter, rather like a water diviner does with his rods?

        In essence, all you need is a sensitive AC voltmeter (one with a 1 or 2 volts range scale is ideal and need not cost a lot) with one terminal connected to earth and the other to a probe held in the hand. (fig.5) It is important that the meter has a high enough internal resistance — look for one that has 10,000 or 20,000 ohms per volt. The most reliable and convenient earth will generally be the earth pin on a mains plug, by means of a long enough flexible wire to allow movement over a reasonable area. (NOTE: Do be sure that you connect the wire to the earth [ground] connector. If in any doubt, get an electrician or someone who knows about electricity to connect it for you.) The other wire should be connected to a piece of metal tube about half an inch or more in diameter and a few inches long (a scrap piece of copper piping will do and you may be able to beg this from a friendly plumber). Do ensure that there is a good connection by cleaning the pipe with a file, sandpaper or wire wool. If you cannot solder the wire to it, then bare a good length, wind it tightly several times around the cleaned pipe and tape it firmly in place.

Fig. 5: Using a voltmeter to measure voltages included in the body

Equipped with such a meter, you only need to move around the room and other parts of the house holding the hand electrode and observing changes in the readings. As a test, stand over the wire connected to the mains earth (ground). The meter reading should rise - it may need a little practice and experimentation. The actual voltages recorded are not particularly significant, and will, in any case, vary from one meter to another even when used by the same subject in the same room, due to the different electrical characteristics of the meters. The deviation of the reading from the background field, not the actual reading shown, is relevant. (If you stand on a wire, it is likely to affect your reading. It just needs practice and experimentation.) If the value rises markedly in a particular position (such as when the subject is on the bed), then this indicates a place where the body is reacting to a higher radiated field level.

        If the readings are fairly uniform it should not be assumed that no hazard exists until the level has been checked in an area known to be relatively undisturbed. The ground floor is generally best for this purpose (not a kitchen or utility room of course!) provided all televisions, video recorders, etc., are unplugged or well out of range. Try several different locations, to get an idea of what is 'normal' for the particular house, subject and meter. If when you have done this, you find that the bedroom readings are also normal or only slightly higher then all is probably well. If not, you will need to take protective measures.

An alternative to using a meter is kinesiology (often referred to as muscle testing), which can also be used to test areas of geopathic stress.

        Start off in an area which is free of geopathic stress and electro-stress. The subject should stand with the right arm (if the person is right handed), held out to one side, thumb extended at right angles and facing down. Tell the subject that you are going to take the little finger of your weakest hand, normally the left hand, and curl it round the top of the subject's hand. Now tell the subject to push upwards against the pressure of your hand as hard as as possible. (S)he should usually be able to resist your pressure easily. Then try in another area, preferably one which has already been shown to have a stress problem. The difference in ability to resist pressure can be quite startling.

        This is kinesiology and, provided you try not to cheat by assuming that you know the worst areas and applying extra pressure when you expect a positive response, it can be surprisingly effective and accurate if no other means of assessment is available.

Whichever method you use, you will now have a better idea of how to locate 'hot spots' in a bedroom. As well as problems caused by bedroom equipment, old mains cables with porous rubber insulation behind a wall may give rise to high fields which can be transmitted along structures by wooden beams. Another source of trouble is often rising damp. Even if the wall is now dry, the mineral salts that have soaked into the plaster can still carry an electrical current.

        What you do next depends on where the problems are. If the bed stands in a problem area, the first option to consider is moving it to a better spot in the room. The difficulty in most bedrooms is lack of space to move far enough to get the sleeper out of the troubled area. Very often the whole room will give high readings.

        If the bed cannot be moved sufficiently, you will need to consider one or more of the protective methods which are described later. Before deciding which one to use, you must find out just where the problem fields originate. In general terms, you need to decide whether the fields come from inside the home, that is, from the wiring and appliances in the house, or if the principal source is outside, for instance a high-voltage power line, a factory, an electrified railway, or most often, neighbouring dwellings. A detached house is rarely affected by fields from the neighbours, but many semi-detached or terraced houses are. Those living in apartments are even more at risk as problems may exist above and below as well as to the side.

        The quickest way to check on this is to isolate the mains supply to the house, by turning off the main    supply switch at the fuse board, and then testing the problem areas again. If the situation is now acceptable, then intern ally-produced fields are the key consideration and demand switches, earthed conduits and protective undersheets are all worth considering. If the indications are still bad, then isolating your own wiring will not be enough, and since you can rarely do anything to remove external sources, the only alternative to moving house is shielding the bed, most easily with a protective undersheet.

        If affected areas of the house are used a lot during the day, and you find that isolating the mains produces an improved but still less than ideal situation, installing demand switches and conduits may be worthwhile as this will give a generally better daytime environment. At night, you will still be wise to opt for the greater protection of an undersheet.

    All of these methods of protection are discussed in more detail in Chapter 10.


Living with Microwave Ovens, Telephones, and Computers

The previous chapter concentrated on the electrical problems of the bedroom, but that does not mean you should ignore the rest of the house, particularly if you spend a lot of time at home or have young children.

        As Table 3 shows (p.29), while much of the apparatus we use at home does not produce very powerful fields, it is clear that many common appliances can expose us to magnetic fields of more than 1 milli-Gauss (100 nanoTesla) when we are at a normal distance from them. This field strength has become a fairly widely accepted 'safe' level for prolonged exposure; it is what we experience when at home or at work. Some equipment produces very much stronger fields (for instance electric razors or hair dryers}, but as the user will not normally be exposed for more than a few minutes a day, the dose of electromagnetic radiation is small.

        Some people may still worry that regular use of an electric razor could cause a small but statistically significant increase in the chance of developing skin cancers, and similar thoughts arise with some other devices. If this is a concern, then perhaps we need to question whether there is an acceptable substitute (e.g. shaving soap and razor blade) with no risk of electro-stress. If we are honest we have to admit that a lot of electrical gadgets are not really necessary (particularly obvious examples are electric carving knives or toothbrushes) and sometimes they are not even much more convenient than the manual alternative. Not only will discarding such unnecessary items reduce our electro-stress levels, it will also reduce power consumption (good for our electricity bills and even better for the environment). If we resist electrical gimmicks that come our way in the future, we will also contain overall household expenditure.

        A dramatic example is the remote control television. No-one (unless they are disabled, bed-ridden or infirm) can claim that they need one of these. It is a monument to laziness! Its potential for causing electro-stress is high, since the whole point of such a set is that it is never turned off - it is always either on standby or in use. A television gives off a strong field, but provided you watch TV in moderation,
sit at a safe distance from it and turn it off when it is not in use, you should not be too strongly affected.  If a remote-controlled set is in a place where you spend much time, like the kitchen, the living room, or the bedroom, and you may often be quite close to it, the total Electrostress  is likely to be very high.

        Even worse in many ways, it has been calculated that the remote control sets in a single country require a whole power station to be run just to provide their standby current! There is no doubt that if everyone questioned whether they bought and used electrical devices because they really needed them or just because they were fashionable, prestigious or fun, then our whole environment could be improved.

        It is not even safe to assume that your ordinary television without a remote control is off when you think it is. A great many sets remain live, giving off surprisingly powerful fields even when they are switched off. Fields generated by such a set located on the ground floor can often (In my experience)still be at a high enough level in the bedroom on the floor above to cause sleep disturbance. To be on the safe side, any televisions should be unplugged, not just switched off when not in use.

Accepting all of this, few of us would want to regress to a world totally without electricity, and this is certainly not on the cards. The real need is to understand the true nature of the electrical devices in our homes (which may be hazardous and which not) so that we may be able to make sensible decisions about them.

        The possible problems with televisions are similar to those of computer monitors, with the exception of the different distances generally involved. Someone watching television even for several hours at a time, but sitting at a sensible distance (10 or 12ft, or 3 to 4m for a typical domestic set} is not likely to suffer a very high electromagnetic dose. The situation can be very different with young children, who always seem to want to get close to anything, and the deaf, who tend to get close to avoid inconveniencing everyone else in the room. They are particularly likely to suffer from electro-stress.

        Children are particularly sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, as they are to many other environmental hazards, and will react long before an adult. Wise parents will try to limit viewing even at 'correct' distances. Perhaps without realising it, most people have seen some effects of electrostress when children become tense, over-stimulated and aggressive after a long session in front of the box, even watching something as innocuous as story-time or a soap opera!

        Apart from changing the viewing position and rationing (or banning) it and always unplugging sets when not in use, there is little else one can do about television at present. Low radiation sets are promised, but are not widely available. When they are common in the High Street they will, like low-radiation computer monitors, offer at least a partial solution.

        Video recorders can also emit strong fields when the power is on, which it usually will be if you regularly set yours to record programmes when you are out or asleep. As with televisiod to reset the clock when you turn it back on, but there is a ns, the only practical advice is to unplug your video when it is not in use (you will neeprice for everything!).

In the kitchen, the fields from an ordinary electric oven fall off rapidly with distance and little effect will be evident from about 3ft. Food mixers, blenders and other hand-held equipment can give a high reading, but as they are normally only used for short periods, the resulting dose need not concern us too much. In general, only the person who spends most of every day cooking in an all-electric kitchen or who is particularly electrically sensitive, is likely to have anything to worry about.

        There is one exception to this: the microwave oven. Normal ovens use radiant electric elements to produce heat that then passes to the food by conduction and convection, as with any other traditional fuel. A microwave oven employs a device called a magnetron which produces strong magnetic fields with very short wavelengths (high frequency). These agitate the molecules in the food at very high speed. It is this that produces enough energy in the food to cause it to heat up. The obvious hazard is that anything suitable that the microwaves can reach (including the cook) will also be heated up. This is why it is particularly important to be sure that a microwave oven is properly shielded. They are of course designed with this in mind and the walls, the door and the window with its inset metal mesh all absorb and block microwaves, so that they are almost all kept within the oven. Because it is never possible to shield anything completely, the continuing debate is exactly how much energy may 'safely' be allowed to escape.

        The official view is that the emissions from ovens on the market are all below the safe level, but this begs two questions: firstly, different countries have very different ideas about what level is safe. Their standards keep on changing. Secondly, whatever the emission levels may be when the ovens leave the factory, it is impossible to control what happens to them after that. If door seals become dirty, or if the door or the hinges are distorted, microwave emissions will probably rise, but, as these are not visible there is no ready way for the user to know about this.

        Some years ago a study in Germany of 101 ovens in domestic use illustrated both of these points very well. Almost all of the ovens were emitting more than the makers' design quota, but only one was over the then current German limit. However, every single oven would have failed to meet the standards in force in the U.S.S.R. at the time. The crucial, but (of course) unanswered, question was whose safety limit was correct.
Britain tends to have fairly relaxed standards. Although any supplier should be able to test an oven, very few people have such checks carried out. All in all, the situation does seem to suggest grounds for concern; the more so since microwave radiation has been linked with tumours of various types and genetic damage.

        Fresh concerns have been highlighted by some recent research into the effects of exposure to microwave radiation on the DNA in rat brains1. After as little as two hours' exposure to microwaves at precisely the frequency used in most microwave ovens there was a 20% increase in breaks in the DNA strands in the animals' brains. These breaks persisted for several hours after the experiment and one question is clearly whether such damage would become permanent after repeated exposure. Worse still, these experiments were conducted at a power level which falls within the safety guidelines current in Britain and some other countries.

        Quite apart from this, even a microwave oven in perfect condition will emit extremely strong low frequency magnetic fields while it is operating (well over the ImG limit at a considerable distance). The potential electro-stress level is very high. Again, the concept of dose is important. Most households run the microwave oven only for short periods daily, particularly if it is used mainly for reheating ready meals rather than cooking from scratch. If this is so, the total dose received is probably not worth worrying about. The situation is very different for someone who works in a pub or restaurant using a microwave oven for long periods or even for someone who regularly uses their domestic microwave oven to cook meals from raw ingredients. In such cases, excessive exposure is quite a possibility.

        If you feel you need to use a microwave at home, the advice must be to have it checked regularly for microwave leakage and to use it as little as possible anyway. It can produce electro-stress even when working correctly.

        The difference in attitude to the use of gas for cooking and the use of microwave ovens is remarkable. When Britain changed over from town gas (produced from coal) to natural gas from the North Sea, there was great concern over the fact that natural gas had little or no odour and so leaks would not be so rapidly apparent. To overcome this, an additive with a strong smell was introduced into the supply. This was obviously a wise precaution and has doubtless saved some lives. Why then is there apparently no concern about shielding microwave ovens? No-one seriously questions the fact that regular exposure to excess microwave radiation leaking from a faulty oven will be injurious to health. It is even harder to detect than odourless gas which, at least, may make a noise as it escapes. Yet not only are ovens not fitted or supplied with detectors (which would be cheap if produced in such bulk), but the public are left in ignorance of the need for checks. These are really desirable not just once a year, but weekly or even continuously. Even if someone does know of the risks they will not find it very easy to buy a meter.

        There is also the question of how microwave cooking affects the food produced. Does the process bring about electrical disturbances at the molecular level which alter the nature of the food in a permanent and potentially harmful way? Opinions vary, though the findings of the presence of higher levels of free radicals in some microwave cooked food suggest cause for concern {see Chapter 8 p.67).

        Many dowsers and others claim that the food deteriorates, arguing that this is only logical if you consider that exposure of living beings to microwave radiation is known to cause tumours to develop. Some people find food cooked in this way to be less digestible than that produced by older methods. Conventionally trained nutritionists will tell you that, on the contrary, the briefer cooking time must mean that heat sensitive nutrients are less damaged, so the result must be better for us. Oldfield and Coghill describe the results of Kirlian photography which seems to show that microwave cooked food, while not the best, was better than that cooked in some conventional ways.2 Pending a more definitive study it is a matter of weighing the pros and cons and making a personal choice. (For more about microwaves themselves, refer to Chapter 8}

Many houses still depend on electric storage heaters. These turn on at periods when electricity is cheapest and the heat generated by the electrical elements is stored in special thermal bricks contained in the case. This heat can then be released slowly during the daytime, maintaining a level of background heat in the dwelling. It is unfortunate that the main period of cheap rate electricity is during the night so the fields from these heaters (which can be quite high) are being generated at the very time when people are asleep and at their most vulnerable.

        Another popular form of electric heating that is becoming popular in North America and Europe is underfloor or ceiling heating. This uses the same principle as an electric blanket with a criss-cross of wires used to generate the necessary warmth. While very efficient from a thermal point of view, these arrangements can give out significant fields (as much as lOmG from ceiling heating as shown in Table 4, p.27). Since this is generated both day and night, anyone living in a building with such heating will almost certainly suffer long-term exposure to a field level that is well above the advisable threshold limit of 3mG.

        Skirting heaters are a type of electrical convection heater looking like a large skirting board. Again, their attraction lies in thermal efficiency. You will see from Table 3 (p.29) that the field levels are not particularly high once you are a few feet away from the heaters. The problem is that as they are typically fitted all around the walls the heaters and their associated wiring will produce a day long effect similar to a ring circuit for anyone spending time near them.

Telephones can also cause us problems because of the powerful magnets used in the ear-piece and microphone. The field strength applied to the brain when you hold a handset to your ear is several hundreds of gauss; so if you spend a lot of time on the phone you will receive a high dose of electromagnetic radiation. Indeed some people do notice that they become very stressed, tired or tense if they use the phone a lot, even if the calls themselves are pleasant and enjoyable.

        For every executive or salesmen with a cell-phone there seem to be several young people plugged into the earpieces of a stereo cassette player! Quite apart from the proven risk to their hearing of the high volumes which they seem to find necessary for enjoyment of their music, they are also exposed to binaural magnetic fields for hours at a time. The field strengths are less than those of telephones, but the total electromagnetic dose received by a typical user may well be higher.

        Something else found in many modern homes that can cause electro-stress is the personal computer. Exactly the same considerations apply as with the commercial units, which are discussed in Chapter 7. You    should pay particular attention to the comments about safe distances and fixed keyboards (much more common on home computers — especially those for games). It is particularly vita! that you should consider the much higher vulnerability of children to electro-stress if they are using a personal computer a lot.

        These special cases aside, it is the total electromagnetic environment that needs to be evaluated in the home. The location of mains cables, particularly those serving the oven, immersion heater and electric shower and any others that carry heavy currents, should be considered. The area close to the mains distribution board and consumer unit (fuse box), may also be suspect. Do not neglect the bedroom immediately above this point. In many houses the distribution board is on a wall vertically below a bedroom and it is uncanny how many times I have found that the person sleeping there has the head of their bed up against that very wail! if, as often happens, that person also has a sleep problem, then moving the bed is a high priority. In the end, if you are worried there is no substitute for an electromagnetic survey of the house. You can get a very good idea of the situation by testing it yourself using the methods described for bedrooms in Chapter 4. Alternatively you may want to Find someone to carry out a professional assessment.

        Because the electrical supply will be required all day, demand switches (see Chapter 9) are not likely to help and shielding is difficult, although installing earthed conduits around problem cables will help if there are severe problems in particular areas. Don't forget, however, that people do not tend to stay in areas of high radiation for long periods. But, if a survey shows that your favourite armchair is in a bad place, you should clearly move it.

The way in which we light our homes can also significantly affect the overall electromagnetic environment. The type and layout of the wiring supplying the lights is clearly important, but this subject is dealt with elsewhere. What is also clear, if you look again at Table 4 (p.38), is that the type of lighting chosen can have a very significant effect.

        Conventional incandescent light bulbs (simply a hot wire glowing brightly in a vacuum) are definitely the safest choice, as they produce very small fields. When you are more than a few inches from them the effect will be negligible. Incandescent bulbs are usually available with clear or 'pearl' glass and there are also some so-called 'daylight' bulbs which are the same rounded shape but which use different colours in the glass to change the light produced to something nearer to sunlight. Some sorts of strip lights (long, straight and tubular in shape, but only a foot or so long) used in such places as over bathroom mirrors and under kitchen wall units are also incandescent and the same general comments apply, [f you have any doubts, an incandescent light always has two characteristics: you can usually see the brightly glowing wire inside when it is turned on and (provided it is not attached to a dimmer switch) it lights up instantly with no flickering or delay. It will also get hot very rapidly.

        Fluorescent lights are most familiar to us as the tubes very widely used for factories, offices and shops, but they are quite often to be found at home, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms. They work quite differently from incandescent bulbs, using an electrical discharge to cause a special coating on the inside of the tube to glow. There is a slight delay and usually a typical flickering when these lights are switched on. Although they are usually long straight tubes several feet long you can also obtain circular ones for domestic use.

        Fluorescent tubes are popular for a number of reasons that outweigh their higher initial cost. They last longer (6000 hours or more as opposed to 1000 hours for a light bulb). They consume less electricity for a given light output and finally, the type of light that they give out can be tailored for particular uses. While some of these are purely cosmetic, such as the pink types used by some butchers to make their meat look more appetising, there are also 'daylight' types producing different colour spectra that are said to be better to work under for prolonged periods.

        Despite the claims which are made, many people find working under fluorescent lights to be unpleasant, leading to excessive fatigue, eye strain and headaches. Dr.John Ott, an American scientist who has studied the effects of different types of light and illumination sources on people is of the firm opinion that there is a cause and effect relationship between bad behaviour in school classrooms and illumination by fluorescent tubes.

        There are reasons why this may be so. As Table 4 (p.38) shows, a fluorescent tube in the ceiling (typically 60 to 80 watts output} will have a much greater magnetic field effect on you than the \ mG limit of an ordinary light bulb.

        Another factor concerns the output of positive ions (see later and the glossary). Most electrical apparatus tends to ionise the air around it with a positive charge and positive ions have a generally de-energising effect on people exposed to them. Fluorescent fittings are unfortunately very good at producing such ions.

        You may have heard about so-called 'full-spectrum' lights. These are quite different from 'daylight' fluorescent tubes. Firstly, the tube (which is fatter than even the older type of conventional tube) has a unique coating which does give a light output remarkably close to full sunlight. It is so close that it can help people suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). This is a severe depressive condition that badly affects some people in the winter months and has been linked to deprivation of sunlight. Sufferers have been successfully treated simply by sitting in front of a bank of these tubes for an hour or two every day. Secondly, they operate at a much higher frequency than a standard tube (because of this some need their own fittings and cannot simply be plugged in to your existing equipment). This frequency change appears to overcome the problems associated with the sub-perceptual flicker that badly affects some people. By contrast conventional daylight tubes are only normal fluorescent lights with a better colour rendition than the standard types.

        Finally you should know about the latest energy-saving lights, designed to fit a standard light fitting. While they do indeed consume very little power, they are in fact miniature fluorescent tubes and so all the comments on their larger cousins also apply to them. If you have any doubts about identification, they are generally quite bulky and heavy — some are cylindrical, some are made of several thin tubes side by side. They will also flicker slightly on lighting, just like a large tube. Obviously everything said about full-size tubes applies to them as well. Since they are quite likely to be used in table lamps, reading lamps and so on, there is a higher risk of getting undesirably close to them and they may cause even more problems.



Living Beneath Power Transmission Towers

Powerful electromagnetic fields exist under overhead power lines. The cables carried on pylons across the countryside often have potentials of four hundred thousand volts or more. If you stand under such a line you will often be able to hear a rhythmic humming. In damp weather you can hear the crackling as some of the electricity discharges into the atmosphere.

        Under the more powerful lines the fields will light up a fluorescent tube when someone stands underneath the cables holding one end of the tube. ( Warning: This is a potentially dangerous trick, so you should not try it yourself!). At least one individual is on record who remembered enough school science to erect a cable strung between two poles under a power line near his home, connected the ends to his household supply and got free power until the authorities caught up with him and sued him for stealing electricity! You do not need physical connections to extract power from an electrical field.

        The person with the fluorescent tube standing under the power line also had electrical currents and voltages induced in his body. This happens because the blood and other body fluids conduct electricity and, as with any conductor in a moving electric field, a current will be produced in the body. You have seen how even the much lower voltages of mains cables at home will produce this phenomenon and you can demonstrate the effect using an earthed voltmeter in the way described in the last chapter. Obviously the effect will be much bigger directly under a pylon.

        You can alarmingly demonstrate this induction effect by parking a vehicle (the larger the better) under a power line' High static charges will build up m the metal body and because of the rubber tyres will only slowly be discharged to earth. A large spark will be produced if you reach out to touch the van.

        Despite these obvious anct measurable effects, the official position of the electric power companies has always been that, party tricks excepted, there is no possibility that even long-term exposure to high electromagnetic fields can have injurious effects on health.

        However, too many people who live in houses under or near power lines complain of a variety of symptoms without apparent cause for such assurances to be accepted without question. Some feel perpetually lacking in energy. In worse cases, they may feel nauseous or dizzy. The long-term effects remain to be assessed, but when we remember the findings of Nancy Wertheimer there appears to be at least a possibility of a link with cancer and there is current litigation in both Britain and the USA against power transmission companies which, if successful, will result in enormous damages being paid to affected families.

Probably the most famous mass example of illness caused by fields from power lines is that of the English (Gloucestershire) village of Fishpond, where many of the residents suffered from similar symptoms over a long period. The village had the misfortune to be effectively surrounded by several high-tension power lines, but a clear connection with the villagers' health was not made until the power line voltages were greatly increased. No-one in the village knew of this, but the incidence and severity of the symptoms increased dramatically with some people even blacking out. Measurements were taken in the village of the magnetic Field strengths in the homes of those affected. While some of the houses had quite high field levels, the houses of other people living further away from the lines, but still showing symptoms had magnetic fields of as little as ImG.

Pylons at Dalmally
A pylon Hangs Over the Village of Dalmally, Scotland

        Another case has been reported from the village of Dalmally in Argyll, Scotland, where 275kV power cables pass over a council house estate, the police station, post office and within 100 metres of the school. In the estate of thirty-six houses, eight people died from cancer over a five year period, and a further three residents of the tiny village died from motor neurone disease. The council built the houses around the existing pylons and so close to them that engineers had to cut back small trees and shrubs in one garden to avoid current earthing through them. Thunderstorms caused especial havoc in that same garden, with sparks flashing to earth, terrifying dogs and the owner, who at the time of writing is confined to a wheelchair, suffering from a severe unspecified myalgic illness.

        When the houses were built in 1977 no-one realised the connection between high-tension cables and illness, but even so, the buzzing and crackling from the cables, even on a dry day, is disconcerting. The incongruity of such a massive high-tension pylon in a crowded road is further highlighted when you look around at the wild Highland scenery, as the nearest hamlet is 18 kilometres away! It may be that the power lines are only partly to blame in this case, as David Cowan found when he investigated a case of M. E. about 150 metres from the lines. A stream runs down the back of the village and at least one line of geopathic energy passes under the affected house, causing unhealthy spirals (see Chapter 15).

        Many people exposed to high voltage fields from power lines suffer the types of stress-related complaints we have discussed earlier. Some develop even more severe symptoms of stress, leading to depression or even a suicidal frame of mind, as was shown by the research of Dr.Perry and Dr.Dowson referred to in Chapter 1. There are those whose asthma and other allergic reactions can be linked to proximity to power lines. Doctors specialising in clinical ecology often find that exposure to electromagnetic fields provides a crucial trigger factor in the onset of attacks.

        Animals can also suffer from adverse reactions to high-tension lines and their response helps to scotch any suggestion that what we are seeing in cases like those described is merely psychosomatic. A three part television series shown originally on British Channel 4 in 1984 and repeated since: "The Good, the Bad, and the Indefensible", illustrated the plight of an American farmer across whose land a massive power line was erected. Shortly after its installation, his hens started to lay 'scrambled' eggs, his cattle aborted and their milk production fell drastically. These results echoed laboratory experiments (referred to elsewhere) in which eggs and mice suffered ill effects when exposed to various types and strengths of magnetic and electrical fields.

Mention was made in Chapter 1 of how the American researcher Nancy Wertheimer, during her research into childhood leukaemia 20 years ago, first identified the possibility of a link between power lines and cancer. It has to be said that when she started she had no thought of power supplies being involved. She was investigating the hypothesis that the answer lay in conventional environmental or infectious factors.

        However, examination of her data eventually led her to the puzzling rinding that children living in two houses nearest to the power poles that carried transformers (where the voltage was stepped down from 13kV to the American domestic 120 volts) showed the highest incidence of the disease. Further investigation showed that the crucial factor was not the proximity to the transformers and the fields that they radiated, but the current carried in the distribution lines. This in turn directly determined the strength of the magnetic field generated by them. Because of the configuration of the distribution system, the field strength fell off sharply immediately beyond the second house from the transformer.

        Wertheimer, together with another researcher called Ed Leeper, carried out further detailed analysis of the results as well as some more epidemiological studies, all of which supported the idea of a link with magnetic field strengths. The results were finally published in 1979.

        Several later investigations including work by Becker, Marino and Savitz in the U.S.A. and Tomenius in Sweden, have supported Wertheimer's findings. Until recently, the medical profession and the electric power companies have stubbornly refused to admit that electromagnetic fields could produce carcinogenic conditions and have generally rejected the research. There have, however, been some notable court cases in America that have, for example, led to the very expensive re-routing of a power line built near a school and to several claims for damages.

        While it is clear that American researchers have led the way, notably with the New York State power lines project headed by Savitz, UK power companies have undertaken a number of research projects and it appears that some more serious investigation is now under way, even though this is still being done very discreetly and with, as yet, little evidence of a changed attitude. The official position remains stuck somewhere between scepticism and hostility, but there are signs that policies are quietly changing. Lofty dismissals of any suggestion that there may be a link are beginning to give way to more cautious reactions. New lines are being routed further away from dwellings than would previously have been the case, and enquiries from concerned members of the public are often treated with much more understanding and tolerance. Some recent planning decisions in the UK have gone against building near or under power lines.

        None of this should lead anyone to conclude that the case is officially conceded. Nevertheless, over the last few years there has certainly been a marked change of attitude. A court case underway at the time of writing illustrates the increased level of public awareness which has doubtless contributed to such changes. The Studholmes, a family in the Manchester area in England, have finally been awarded Legal Aid to sue the local electricity company over the death of their 13-year old son Simon from leukaemia. The family home was near to 660kV power lines. He had slept with his head near to the electricity meter. An electricity sub-station was outside the room and two cables from it ran under the drive of the house. The same power lines run directly over a nearby pub, called The Sparking Clog' (producing fields 24 times the recommended Swedish limits) and the landlady complained of headaches and other illness which disappeared when she spent time away from the pub.1

        Conversely, someone living 100 or 150ft from a high-tension power distribution line may not experience very strong fields. At these distances, the fields may often be only a few milli-gauss and thus much weaker than those from a hand-held domestic appliance, but it is again the question of length of exposure that is crucial. A hair dryer will commonly generate a 300-400mG magnetic field in the brain, but only for 5 minutes a few times a week. A power line (at 100 feet away, or more) may produce a more or less uniform field of barely 3mG in a house, but this will result in a magnetic 'dose' several times higher than that from the hair dryer for someone spending most of their time at home. Even more important, this level of background exposure will continue throughout the crucial sleeping hours.

        Of course, a great many people live much closer to power lines than that. Indeed, if the line is a 400-600KV one carrying high currents, the fields produced by it will be many times higher than in our example.

The only sensible advice for someone living close enough to a power line to be affected is to move, particularly if there are young children at home. Whether the symptoms felt are those that have been attributed to electro-stress or the much more worrying possibility of carcinogenic effects, even if they have not been officially 'proven', it is still wise to move.

        Only constant public challenging of the electricity companies and the government will bring about a change of attitude. We may then see regulations compelling the siting of power lines routed away from existing residential areas and builders no longer able to put houses within high risk zones. Planning blight and legal action are both possible consequences of a change of policy, not to mention severe effects on the market value of houses already situated unfavourably. On the other hand, it seems to be increasingly clear that lives are at risk in the meantime.

        A further concern is that electricity companies are known to be keen to develop super-conducting cables. The attraction is obvious as the resistance of any normal cable leads to significant loss of power. This is greater the higher the voltage carried and the further the distance the electricity travels. Not only would super-conductor cables cut these losses, they would also make it possible to carry even higher voltages. Unfortunately, this would mean yet more powerful fields surrounding the transmission lines, increasing the width of the blighted corridor along each line of pylons.

        Safe corridors around lines in many countries are still a hope rather than fact. With so many dwellings and other buildings already far too close to lines anyway, the potential for many hundreds of Fishponds-like incidents (but of a much greater magnitude) is clear. Legislation of the type discussed later is a matter of extreme urgency.



Emissions from Visual Display Units

Today we have reached the point where we have computers small enough to be carried around and used on one's lap while travelling. They are many times more powerful than those which only two or three decades ago needed an entire air-conditioned room to house them. The use of computers at work and in the home has grown explosively. The extent of that growth would have seemed fanciful if predicted — even in 1970, when the electronic typewriter was just becoming standard equipment. Today, most small businesses and every large one would grind to a halt without the aid of these ubiquitous machines.

        One consequence of such a short history and rapid change is that, although it is beyond question that computers produce a variety of strong electrical and magnetic fields, there is still much room for debate as to the precise effects on health of all the various emissions. On top of that, the speed of changes taking place in equipment specifications means that conclusions of epidemiological studies are likely to  be out of date almost before the ink is dry on the paper.

        Certain facts are undeniable. For instance, it is still the visual display unit (VDU) which produces most of the disturbing fields that radiate from a conventional office computer or work station with a conventional cathode ray tube monitor (a TV-like screen). Even that must be qualified because over the last few years there have been tremendous changes in monitors. In the late 1980s low-emission types were still a comparative rarity in the UK. Those available were made mainly by Scandinavian companies. The Swedes led the way in imposing very strict limits on the legally permissible levels of electrical, magnetic and static fields that monitors could produce. If you wanted a low radiation monitor in 1980 it took quite some finding, and you would certainly expect to pay a premium price.

        The Swedish regulations were introduced following a number of studies of animals exposed to radiation from computers. For instance, in one set of experiments mice thus exposed had five times as many malformed offspring as those in control groups. As so often has been  the case, the studies were generally dismissed for one reason or another, although they were duplicated later. However a subsequent survey (see also " Research" be(ow) of a group of 1500 pregnant women in California showed that those using computers for more than twenty hours a week miscarried twice as frequently as did women in similar but non computer-based work. While the total number of birth defects was small enough to allow the statistical validity of the analysis to be questioned, the risk did seem to be of too high a significance to be ignored altogether.

        Today low-emission monitors are tending to become standard equipment on all but the very cheapest makes of computer. That said, there is still no agreed international standard on what constitutes a 'safe' level of the various electromagnetic fields produced by VDUs; indeed there is still what looks like official indifference. For example, the recent EU (European Union) directive on use of computers in the workplace concentrates entirely on ergonomics and the effects of possible eyestrain and makes no mention at all of EMFs. It is therefore still worth looking at the hazards that have been ascribed to computers.

        A normal screen produces high levels of both electrical and magnetic radiations at many frequencies (fig.6). First there are extremely low frequency (ELF) fields from around 15 to 50Hz. These are produced by the mains transformer and associated circuitry that controls the screen display, and are very powerfully 'spiked', which is to say there are very sharp peaks of power. There is also a wide range of radio-frequency fields and there are strong electrostatic fields, as high as!2to201<V. The potential hazards of all of these are on p.6. While these fields account for the bulk of the emissions from monitors, there is usually some microwave radiation. Most screens also emit some 'soft' X-rays and a small amount of gamma-radiation. However it has to be said that modern tubes produce what are probably negligible levels of these last three types of radiation.

        One very important consideration is that much electromagnetic radiation emanates from the sides and rear of a VDU, so it is not only the operator who is at risk. In fact field levels can be much higher behind the computer than in front. This is important to remember when planning the layout of an office, and when considering protection.

It is perhaps not surprising that a whole host of minor and major health problems have been ascribed to spending long hours in front of VDUs. The first questions were raised in the 1970s and '80s when Zaret's research suggested a causal link between working on VDUs and the incidence of eye tumours and cataracts,1 Then, over the period from 1979 to 1982 a number of studies in Canada and the U.S.A. seemed to show that pregnant women working on computer terminals suffered an alarmingly high incidence of miscarriages and congenital deformities (Table 5). These conclusions were based on the health histories of relatively small groups of workers, and so have been criticised as alarmist, but they led in Toronto at least, to strict laws banning pregnant women from such work and severely restricting the number of hours per day which anyone could spend at a VDU. Not long afterwards the Swedish authorities also concluded that there was cause for concern and (as mentioned earlier) they introduced stringent legal limits on the levels of electrical, magnetic and static fields that any VDU manufactured or used in the country could emit.

Emissions from Computers

Emissions from Computers

It has to be said that the quality of VDUs has improved enormously since the date of these studies and electromagnetic emissions are far lower today. However, we still do not know what level, if any, may be considered safe. Whatever the truth eventually turns out to be, it does seem prudent for pregnant women to think carefully about whether any risk, even if not conclusively proven, is worth taking at such an important time of life. Since most thinking mothers-to-be are (understandably) almost obsessively careful about diet, use of drugs, exertion and general life-style would seem reasonable to suggest caution about possible electromagnetic hazards such as this.

Abnormality                                           Nos.
Deformities                          10
Miscarriages                         38
Premature births                   3
Respiratory Illness                2 
Stillbirths                                 1
Total abnormalities
As % of total pregnancies   62.8
Table 5: Abnormalities in 86 pregnancies of women working on VDUs (Canada &. USA 1979-82)

A major difficulty in researching this area has been that the introduction of computers tends to lead to many changes in working practices. It is not always clear whether it is these or the electromagnetic emissions that are to blame for some of the undoubted health problems suffered by many workers in modern offices. For instance, computer-based work is often very intensive, so that long hours can be spent without much movement away from the keyboard. Problems due to poor ergonomic design of chairs, desks and keyboards are thus highlighted. Modern keyboards needing only a very light touch make high typing speeds possible. With 'word wrap' on word processors (the machine automatically moving on to the next line when the current one is filled), there is not even the pause in rhythm and variation of movement that a mechanical typewriter required to push the carriage back to the start. Again, a complete document of several pages will often be prepared on screen before there is a break while a copy is printed.

A plausible case can thus be made that mental stresses, or neck, back and shoulder pains, or repetitive strain injury (RSI} an increasingly common affliction of the wrists and hands, or even some eye problems, may simply be due to considerations of a mechanical nature, or of working practices.
However, it seems unlikely that this is the whole story. Even the best designed office equipment does not appear to resolve the aches and pains associated with keyboard work. Nor are there records of typing pool workers showing signs of RSi when in the recent past they used electronic typewriters. These offered very similar 'touch' and potential for speed — and similarly intense workload.

        Those who worked in the highly electromagnetic environment of the London stockbrokers' dealing rooms of the City of London, surrounded by banks of VDUs, were reputedly the first to develop M.E. (whence the derogatory name of 'yuppie flu'). The high stress levels in that environment are well documented. Many VDU operators complain of sore, dry eyes. There appears to be more to this than the simple glare from the screen, as anti-glare filters can improve the situation, but fail to cure the problem. It seems more likely that the cause is static electrical charges building up on the skin and eyes, transferred from the field surrounding the screen and resulting in charged dust particles adhering to the eyeballs. Certainly, installation of an earthed conductive screen produces noticeably better results than a simple nylon mesh.

        There have also been reports of an abnormally high incidence of cataracts developing at around the age of thirty, not just in young women working with VDUs, but also in young male radar operators who use similar screens. The possibility of the electromagnetic emissions being to blame for this is supported by recent experiments which have shown that the radiations from a VDU will cause minute holes to develop in soft contact lenses, whether they are in the eye or not.

        Mention has been made of the growing use of portable machines, both the so-called lap-top (which can still be fairly bulky) and also the smaller notebook devices. All of these use alternatives to cathode ray tubes (CRT) screens. There are various types of liquid crystal display (LCD) units which use a principle similar to the pocket calculator, but are much more sophisticated and can be monochrome or colour. The thin film transistor (TFT) gives a display quality equivalent to a good CRT, but these are even more expensive than the LCD models. While it would be a brave person who would claim any of these to be hazard free, they do produce less radiation and certainly not the powerful spiked fields from the transformers in the CRT monitors.

        However, even the cheapest are significantly more expensive, so most offices continue to use conventional monitors and doubtless will do so for some time to come. It is also important to mention the obvious hazard of the lap-top model: if you do use one in your lap you will be likely to come into much closer contact with its electric fields than you would with a desk-top computer.
Of the remainder of the computer, the only part likely to emit noticeable fields is the hard disk drive which usually runs continuously while the computer is switched on and which will be part of almost all desk-top and portable machines. The electric motor that drives it will certainly produce measurable fields, but these are of a much lower  Intensity than from CRT monitors and will fall off rapidly even a foot or two away.  They do not seem to have been the subject of any published studies.

There are on the market, one or two partially effective filters that can be mounted in front of a VDU to reduce some field levels to more acceptable values, cutting down glare at the same time. There are many cases recorded of good response to such protection, particularly in reduced operator stress and fatigue, as well as the virtual elimination of sore eyes.

        However, you will recall how difficult it is to shield against magnetic fields and so no filter is going to offer much realistic protection against these. The electrical field component and the static field will be very greatly reduced and this is what must account for improved operator comfort. Whether any pregnant woman should consider that such a screen would offer adequate protection is a matter for individual decision. The question has to be whether any avoidable risk, however slight, is worth taking at such an important time of life.

        Short of scrapping existing equipment and installing new low radiation monitors, screen filters appear to offer the best solution currently available, it must be stressed that simple nylon mesh screens will not offer significant protection. Many other types promising great improvements fail to live up to the claims made for them. While a suitable filter will give a measure of benefit to the operator, we should not forget the way that radiation is emitted in all directions. Computers should be located so that other people using the room will be at least 3-4ft. (1-1.25m) away from any part of the unit. It is also prudent to look at screening for the back of the unit, reducing the powerful spiked ELF fields. Again, there are one or two products on the market which seem helpful in this connection.

        However good our precautions, until we know more about the risks, it is prudent to limit the number of hours per day an operator spends at a VDU. The latest EU legislation sets an upper limit of five hours daily at a stretch. It demands regular eye tests, although the concern is with the effects of optical glare and prolonged staring at the screen, rather than with electro-stress.

        One final piece of advice is simple, but can make a lot of difference: it is to move the keyboard two or three feet from the screen. It is also sensible to avoid computers with keyboards attached to the monitor (though these are not so common nowadays). This one precaution can reduce the field levels for the operator by 30% or more.

        While you will have gathered there are no entirely 'safe' distances, many researchers agree that sitting a minimum of three feet (1 metre) from the screen provides reasonable conditions for all but the most sensitive individuals. The typical magnetic field strength at this distance will be around ImG and, together with the use of an effective screen filter of the type described (which tackles electrical and static fields), the operator will be reasonably well protected.

Chapter 8


Problems with Ovens, Acid Rain, Dying Forests

To most people, microwaves are associated with a quick and convenient form of cooking (and we took a brief look at microwave ovens on p.45), but there is a lot more to them than that.

       Microwave frequencies are high up in the electromagnetic spectrum, just below infra-red and visible light. There is a small amount of natural microwave radiation, originating in the Sun, which normally does not cause us any problems. In a way which must be becoming familiar to you by now, it is not the naturally occurring variety, but the massive intensity of man-made microwaves that poses the perceived threats to our wellbeing.

        With frequencies of between ten and a hundred thousand million (10'° and 10")Hz (which means that their wavelengths are measured in centimetres or millimetres), microwaves have some rather special properties. Provided there are no physical obstructions, such as buildings, a narrow, focused microwave beam can be transmitted over tens of kilometres with relatively little loss of strength and without 'scattering' in the way which lower frequencies do. So a microwave beam can be sent out from one tower and be accurately received on a dish on a distant tower. This makes microwaves very useful as carriers of information, and they are used for inland transmission of telecommunications, radio programmes and so on. They are also widely used for air traffic control, and other civilian and military applications, including surveillance (Early Warning) systems.

        Amongst the earliest commercial microwave installations was a radio transmitter on the roof of the Empire State Building in New York in the 1950s. The workers looking after the installation there discovered some of the less pleasant properties of microwaves. They found that if they put a hot-dog sausage on a stick in front of the transmitter dishes it was rapidly heated. This is of course the principle behind microwave ovens, which work because the high frequency oscillations agitate the water molecules in the food very rapidly and the resultant friction produces heat. Unfortunately the workers went on to use the heating effect in another way — to warm themselves on cold nights by standing in front of the dishes. At the time it no doubt seemed fun and a bit of a party trick. However, it all turned sour when, years later, most of fthe workers started to develop and (in many cases die from) a variety of cancers. It is now recognised that exposure to microwave radiation is potentially very dangerous and has to be carefully monitored and limited.

        We have looked at the safety of microwave ovens as far as their ; electromagnetic emissions are concerned in Chapter 6, but what about ['the food?  Most people would probably be surprised at any sugges-' tion that food cooked in such an oven is not perfectly safe, except that it can go on 'cooking' for some minutes after leaving the oven with a consequent risk of burns to the mouth.  However, people working in this area have long felt uneasy about the effect of subjecting our food to strong magnetic forces and have wondered whether there could be some permanent and potentially injurious changes to its very nature. Now there is research which has shown that food cooked in a microwave oven can have a significantly higher proportion of compounds called free radicals, compared to food cooked in the conventional way with radiant or convected heat — and free radicals are acknowledged to be potentially cancer causing.1

It is quite a leap from cooking food to problems with the ears, but it appears that microwaves may have some other unwelcome effects. Tinnitus is a most unpleasant affliction, commonly called 'ringing in the ears' since the classic form is said by sufferers to be like eternally listening to a clanging bell. However the noise that the sufferer hears, often every waking hour of the day, can take an almost infinite variety of forms, from bells to buzzers and beyond. Classical tinnitus can be caused by many things, from physical damage to poor blood supply and most forms are considered to be effectively incurable.

        Tinnitus is nothing new, mainly afflicting the middle-aged and elderly, but in recent years there have been increasingly numerous reports of a particular variant of the complaint, christened 'the hum' by many of its victims. It is always difficult to produce hard and fast proof of the origin of this phenomenon and there is as yet no certain explanation of the cause. However, many sufferers believe that its roots lie in the microwave radiations used for some types of communications and in particular by military installations designed for aircraft guidance and early warning systems.

        This was originally suggested when it was noticed that the hum seemed to be reported more often in those parts of the UK with the greatest concentration of military airfields and defence installations and was also more common near civilian airports. There have also been anecdotal reports of a sudden upsurge in both the number of reported cases and the intensity of the noise experienced by sufferers during the late 1980s when, it is believed, the power of the UK's early warning system was stepped up. This is difficult if not impossible to prove as defence matters are all subject to the Official Secrets Act.

        Menieres Disease, which severely affects the sense of balance, also seems to be on the increase. We usually keep our balance thanks to the vestibular apparatus in the inner ear and in particular the cochlea (snail-like, fluid-filled coils). The tubes are lined with tiny hairs — the cilia — which move in the fluid and effectively amplify the effects of any movement. Quite why this mechanism should cease to function has yet to be adequately explained by medical science and there is no reliable treatment.

A persuasive explanation of the way in which both of these afflictions could be caused has been put forward by a German researcher Volkrodt. He believes that the growing intensity of microwave radiations will cause the cilia in the cochlea to resonate. The cilia are short, only a few millimetres long, and this size is close to the wavelength of some microwaves commonly used for communications, especially by the military and emergency services.

        To understand Volkrodt's theory, you will need to know a little about two basic principles of physics: resonance and harmonics. A steady musical note will tend to cause a wire or fibre of the appropriate length to vibrate in sympathy with it. This is termed resonance, which is exemplified by the middle C string on a piano vibrating when a tuning fork of the same note is struck and held near to it. However, if you try this yourself, you will find that the other C strings on the piano will also vibrate, although they will do so less strongly the further they are above or below middle C.

        The reaction of these other notes is an illustration of the second principle: harmonics. The wavelength of the C above middle C is half that of middle C. Every C has a wavelength half that of the C below it and twice that of the C above. The same applies to all other notes, of course. When a tuning fork sounds middle C it will also produce harmonics which are notes with wavelengths twice, four times, etc, as well as one-half, one-quarter, and so on, of the main note. The harmonics are weaker the further they are from the main note but they will still have a similar effect, which is why more than one C string responds.

        Finally, the frequencies at which two strings made of the same material resonate is related to their length; a string half the length will vibrate naturally at twice the frequency (half the wavelength) and so on.

        Frequencies higher than those of audible sound can have similar effects; the tuning of a radio receiver or TV relies on similar principles of resonance and harmonics although achieved electrically.

        Considering these facts, Volkrodt postulates that the cilia in the cochlea will tend to resonate with waves of the same length or a harmonic of that length. Because of their mass, small as it is, it is not physically possible for cilia to vibrate at microwave frequencies. There will also be the 'damping' effect of the fluid surrounding them. However they could vibrate at much lower harmonics, which could feasibly give rise to a low frequency hum. While there is, as yet, no experimental support for Volkrodt's theory no-one has so far produced anything else which gives a convincing explanation of the hum.

Volkrodt also believes that microwaves provide a major clue to the dying of the conifer forests of Germany and other parts of central Europe as well as Scandinavia.2 This serious problem (called Waldsterben in German) has generally been blamed on acid rain resulting from the sulphurous emissions from power stations and other industrial users of large amounts of fossil fuels. It is suggested that the acid pollution acts mainly as a result of concentrations building up in lakes and water-courses, although direct fall-out in rain will also have an effect.

        Although the acid rain theory has been widely accepted it does not really explain all the facts. For instance, some of the worst affected areas are furthest from the industrial complexes said to be responsible for acid fumes. A particular case is that of the forests in centra! Germany along the line of the old East-West border. These are very badly affected, even though Germany has had a strict policy to control harmful emissions from both industrial and domestic sources for many years. While pollution carried on air currents from countries (such as the UK) with less rigorous controls could be part of the cause of the dying forests of Scandinavia, the pattern of prevailing winds suggests that this is less likely to be the case in Germany. Even more significantly, wind-borne effects would scarcely be likely to show up as a narrow band as along the border.

        Volkrodt himself lives in Germany on a ridge in the mountains not far from the old East-West border. He has observed that trees he planted on the side of the ridge facing the east have always failed to grow well, whereas those on the western slope have flourished. Climatic factors, exposure to acid rain and other such variables are clearly not going to change much over a small area such as this.

        However, a feature for many years of the German forests and those in Sweden and Finland was (and to a large extent is still) a high volume of microwave traffic since these areas were in the front line of the defence and surveillance systems of the Eastern and Western blocs. Volkrodt's land looked down into a valley which bristled with military equipment emitting microwave radiation. While his sickly trees received the full force of this radiation, the healthy ones were protected by the ridge. Volkrodt asserts that all of the worst affected forests are victims of microwaves and that this is the major factor causing their destruction.

        His explanation of how this comes about again relies on the idea of resonance. The worst affected conifers are all of the type with relatively short needles, around 10mm long on average. As with the cilia in the ears, this corresponds closely with the typical wavelength of microwave broadcasts from military installations. The illustration (fig.7} shows there is a disquieting similarity between the appearance of a conifer twig and a typical aerial used to receive very short wave transmissions. This would make the twigs very efficient receivers of the defence transmissions.

        The effect of resonance would, Volkrodt suggests, be similar to that used in a microwave oven. That is to say, the water molecules will tend to vibrate at high speed causing a heating or cooking effect. This certainly accords well with the scorched, dried appearance of branches on affected trees. Another fact that supports this theory is that it is usually the tops of the trees which are worst affected and the microwaves (which travel in straight, pencil-like beams) are transmitted just above the line of trees and other obstructions.

        The microwave theory also explains better than acid rain why it is that deciduous trees in the forests are not so badly affected as conifers even though they are exposed to the same air, water and ground conditions. While it is true that these trees do not have needles, the tracery of veins which carry water to the leaves, once again resembles some types of aerial, so a similar 'receiver' mechanism could apply. Because broad-leaved trees do not growvas fast or as high as pines they will usually be well below the line of the microwave transmissions and of course they lose their leaves and so will be unable to receive the microwaves for half of every year. Taken together these facts could explain why deciduous trees are not suffering to anything like the same extent as conifers.

Fig.7: Tree leaves and needles as microwave receivers?

Finally, we are likely to hear more of the possible danger of microwaves in relation to 'secret' defence installations. As this book went to press microwave radiations from the missile firing range and tracking installation on the Hebridean island of Benbecula were being considered as the cause of a ten-fold increase in cancers, rather than the politically more acceptable scapegoat of caesium fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.



Reducing Electrostress in the Home

Having looked at evidence of the potential perils of our electromagnetic world, we will now summarise some of the main methods of coping with many of the problems.
We will start by examining in more detail some precautions you can take and devices that you can use to reduce the level of unwanted electromagnetic fields which occur in your environment. You will find some suggestions for the sources of suitable equipment or services in the 'Suppliers'section at the end of this book.

        We will discuss some of the ways in which you can try to reduce the effect which unavoidable exposure may have on your body. Finally we will look at some of the ways in which power generators and other producers of large-volume electromagnetic radiations, such as telephone companies and the military could help (or be made to help) the situation.

A theme which runs through this book is avoidance. There is still much debate about exactly what a 'safe' level of exposure to any given wavelength or waveform might be. Since we are still far from certain which frequencies may be the most hazardous, it seems logical to avoid tempting fate (without becoming paranoid). It makes sense to avoid using electrical equipment that, while sometimes helpful or novel, is not by any stretch of the imagination essential: for example the 'electrical gimmicks' you see advertised in newspapers and by mail order companies. We should also try to minimise use of the types of apparatus that give off strong fields or those to which we are likely to be exposed for long periods. We have to recognise that the convenience and efficiency of much electrical equipment is such that there will be considerable reluctance to do without it.

        Where continued exposure is likely because of personal choice or conversely, lack of choice (perhaps because of your occupation), there are several possible ways of minimising the effects, some more complex than others. There is certainly quite a lot that can be done with some careful thinking about the problems and with little expenditure.

        Firstly, you can do your best to keep as far as possible from the source. Remember that electromagnetic fields roughly obey the 'inverse square law'. This means that if you move twice as far away from the source, the effect on you will be reduced not to one half but to a quarter. As a result you can often achieve a real improvement by working, sitting or sleeping in a more favourable position, or by moving the source of the problem if this !s possible. Increasing the distance is particularly important in the bedroom or any other place where you spend long periods. If your problems come from a power line in the garden, a factory down the road, or even the three computers in your neighbour's flat, there may be little alternative to moving house!

        Secondly, you should try to select equipment producing low emissions. Though matters have improved, making an informed choice is not always easy as manufacturers are often reluctant or unable to disclose the information you need. For instance it is possible in theory to find lower radiation television sets, but they are still hard to identify and obtain. In contrast, low emission VDUs have become widespread in the last few years and are virtually standard equipment with leading computer makers although there is still no absolute definition of what qualifies as low emission. If possible, check whether the VDU conforms to the more stringent Swedish standards. The current standard (known as MPR2) came into force in 1991, replacing MPR1 which was introduced in 1987. However, any statement such as 'meets the Swedish standard' should be acceptable. Who knows, now that Sweden has joined the European Union, Europe may at last get an EU standard for VDU emissions to go with rules about ergonomics, working hours and so on.

        The screens on lap-top and notebook computers employ quite different technology and can be counted as virtually emission free for all practical purposes provided they are used on a desk or table rather than on the lap. However, portable computers are significantly more expensive, especially those with high quality (TFT) colour screens. Domestic equipment can be more of a problem; the maker of a microwave oven will have a lot to tell you about turntables and power settings, but little to say about magnetic field emissions to the surrounding area (it has possibly never even been measured).

        Thirdly, you should try to use equipment producing high emissions as sparingly as possible. Some of the main types to be wary of have been identified for you in this book. You may feel that you must use an electric hair dryer or razor, but you should keep the length of use and number of times it is used to a minimum. Generally, try to limit the length and degree of your exposure to high fields which you know exist. For instance, you do not need to stand right next to a microwave oven or many other appliances at home or at work while they are working.

    Fourthly, ensure that equipment is kept in good working condition, and that known potential hazards like microwave ovens are regularly checked and serviced.

        Finally, it is a good idea to unplug (not just switch off) apparatus not in use. Not only will all flexes give off electric fields night and day if this is not done, but in particular, electric blankets, televisions and some other equipment will often produce strong fields even when apparently turned off.

        It should, by now, be obvious that it is possible to take all of these sensible precautions and still be left with significant problems, particularly at work where people generally have less control over their environment. The extent to which you are able to do anything about it other than change your job, may depend on the attitude of your employer. It is to be hoped that eventually awareness of these hazards will increase to the point at which Health and Safety regulations are as concerned with electromagnetic hazards as they are with toxic chemicals and falling objects.

Demand switches are ingenious devices that originated from Germany (where they are called Netzfreischalter) and can be installed next to or in the consumer unit (fuse box) on any domestic circuit. About the width of two mains fuses or miniature circuit breakers, a demand switch is simply wired in as shown in fig.S, a job that takes an electrician only a few minutes. It incorporates special electronics that continuously produce around 4 volts DC (direct current), and this is applied to the mains circuit. As DC is biologically friendly at low voltages it produces none of the fields which have been concerning us.

        The purpose of this small voltage is to tell the switch as soon as anything connected to the circuit is turned on, as this will allow the DC current to flow. Until this happens, the demand switch remains in the off position and so the whole circuit is disconnected from the mains and none of the usual disturbing AC fields will be generated from any of the mains cables, flexes, etc. However, as soon as any switch is turned on, the DC current is able to flow. This in turn causes a solenoid in t e demand switch to operate, restoring mains electricity to the circuit in a fraction of a second. Conversely, a second or two after the last appliance on the circuit is turned off, the demand switch disconnects the mains at source and the AC electromagnetic radiation ceases.

Demand Switch

Fig.8: Demand switch.

Such a device is obviously ideal at night, when it is possible to turn off all lights and other apparatus connected to the circuits supplying the bedroom area. The advantage over simply removing the fuses (apart from convenience!) is that should you awake while it is still dark, switching on any light will immediately restore normal power for as long as you need it.

        In a typical house with a ring main or ring circuit, two demand switches are needed, one to control the ring mains serving the bedroom area, and one to control the lighting circuit. This assumes that all the lights are on one circuit, their cables passing below and above the bed to supply both floors. Occasionally, the lighting may be split into two circuits, in which case an extra demand switch may be necessary.

        The situation is simpler in houses supplied by the spur system, as all that is then necessary is to insert a demand switch intp the spur serving the sleeping area in question. This will generally isolate both power and lighting circuits. It is much easier in this case to identify and monitor the total supply to any given location.

        Of course, such a system does mean that anything consuming power will need to be turned off at night (so no more mains clock radio!). There can be a problem if you have anything that has to be left switched on at night (for instance, boilers, immersion heaters, freezers — or home office equipment such as computers and fax machines etc.). Provided these are far enough away from the bedroom, are on a separate circuit and you can ensure that no cables connected to such circuits pass near to the bedroom — a minimum of 6-10ft (2-3m) should be sufficient (remember the inverse square law — you will probably be all right). Otherwise demand switches will be of no use to you. But it must also be noted that If a significant amount of the problem originates outside the building, a demand switch will be, at best, a partial solution.

        Every case is different, and there is no space to go into all the possibilities here. However, demand switches can certainly offer a simple and effective answer in many cases where the night time environment is of concern.

        There are one or two limitations to the use of these switches. For instance they are not triggered by fluorescent lights unless a simple adaptation to the light is carried out. Remember that this includes the new low-energy bulbs (which are effectively small fluorescent tubes). Nor can demand switches be used on circuits with dimmer controls. (Since dimmers and fluorescent tubes produce their own electromagnetic hazards, they are best avoided in any case as you have seen.)

Protective groundsheet

Fig. 9, above: A protective undersheet grounds electromagnetic fields
Another way to tackle the problem of the electrically polluted bedroom is to place an earthed protective undersheet under the mattress. Such a sheet is of particular value because it helps to shield the sleeper from all electromagnetic fields wherever they come from — indoors or out. A bed with a sheet is illustrated in Fig. 9 (above) and you will see that radiations coming from above the bed are dealt with just as effectively as those which originate below. This is because the sheet provides an excellent earth, fields are attracted to it preferentially and are then discharged harmlessly to earth.

        The action is demonstrated simply and convincingly using the earthed voltmeter method described earlier. A high induced voltage previously found when lying on the bed will be reduced to background level or less once a protective undersheet is in place. As the diagram indicates, the protected zone is in the form of a tunnel over the mattress. This can be demonstrated if the 'sleeper' sits up, when the reading will rise as the head and upper body leave the 'tunnel', increasing still further if the subject stands on the bed and returning to normal when standing beside the bed.

        A typical undersheet is made from a thin aluminium film (anodised to prevent oxidation) bonded to a strong non-woven fabric sheet. A flexible wire bonded to the metallic sheet is connected to the earth pin of a suitable plug that is then placed in a convenient socket. The mains earth can normally be used for convenience and reliability, but other earths such as a pipe buried in the ground can be employed. There are circumstances where this is necessary for full effectiveness as discussed below. Adequate earthing of an undersheet is essential if it is to be effective. Simply placing a piece of foil under the bed will not provide reliable protection, nor is it easy to connect a wire effectively to ordinary aluminium foil.

        Where electrical pollution from outside is a significant part of the problem, a protective undersheet under each bed may be an alternative to moving house. Of course, if the external source is a power line above the roof, you may not consider this an adequate safeguard.

        Installing a protective undersheet provides a good example of just how aware we need to be today about the complications of even a simple task like arranging an earth connection. Not so long ago you could simply attach a wire to a bare water pipe or to the earth pin of a plug and be sure it would do the required job. However, that was in the days of old-fashioned earthing systems which typically consisted of a copper wire run from the house and connected to a piece of copper pipe that was buried a foot or two in the ground. From this comes the name 'earth' or in America 'ground' for the connection. These were not always too efficient, for instance if the ground the pipe was buried in dried out, or the wire was broken when someone dug the garden, a dangerous situation could arise.
Now most houses have an earth provided by the electricity company which runs along a return cable to a central earthing point. The only problem is that for technical reasons this cable typically carries unbalanced return currents and apparatus earthed to it will tend to radiate energies at mains and other frequencies. This is not usually a problem for small domestic equipment, but a large metallised sheet above which you sleep could easily produce in these circumstances, more disturbance than it removes.

        This sort of earthing arrangement is becoming very common and checks show that the level of emissions from any large metal object (including such things as metal sink units or other kitchen equipment) can reach significant levels. So if you cannot have your installation professionally checked, the safest recommendation is that such sheets are earthed in the old-fashioned 'inefficient' way with a buried pipe to ensure a quiet night's sleep. Not so easy, but far safer.

In parts of mainland Europe special shielded mains cables to reduce electrostress have been produced for some time. These have a metallic layer wound around the conductors underneath the insulation. You will by now realise that if this layer is earthed, all radiating mains electrical fields will be eliminated, as will a proportion of the magnetic fields.

        Wiring regulations do vary widely from one country to another, so it is not generally possible simply to import cable for installation in your own home. However, similarly shielded cable (often made for installation in circuits serving fire alarms and other protective devices) is available in most countries, and it should be possible to identify a local supplier by contacting an electrical wholesaler or a professional electrician.

        The alternative is to run the mains supply in conduits (metal tubes screwed together) which are earthed at intervals and this will achieve much the same effect, if not quite so conveniently. It is certainly worth thinking about if you are building a new house, but would not be as easy to install in an existing building.

In really bad cases of electromagnetic radiations coming from outside a building, a possible (though radical) protective measure is to line the walls facing the hazard with some sort of earthed conductive mesh. If the concern is with mains frequencies (for instance if there is a nearby pylon) then any normal mesh size will be effective as the wavelengths are extremely long. As you have learned earlier, screening will be effective mainly against the electrical component of the field so the measure is at best partial, but it may be the best that can be done. You will find in Table 3 (see page 29) the degree to which a number of common materials will shield against electrical and magnetic fields. You will see that while all of them will effectively block almost all of the electrical field, only 60cm (2 feet) of concrete will provide the similar protection against magnetic fields. These figures (by the way) are only for 50Hz (mains) fields. Radio and higher frequencies, having much shorter wavelengths, are even more difficult to deal with.

        If a troublesome source is a radio transmitter then a very fine mesh will be needed and this will work only if any windows facing the transmitter are also shielded, which is not generally possible. Some time ago 1 saw a sample of a non-woven synthetic fibre randomly interspersed with metallic strands. This looked very promising, although I have not had the chance to test it in use for protection. It was originally developed to stop one form of industrial espionage, the reading of sensitive information on computers by picking up the radio-frequency broadcasts from their screens on receivers located nearby. Because of the random nature it was said to be effective over a wide frequency spectrum and because it was very thin, could be pasted to walls under normal wall coverings.

        Another method which I have not tested — lining walls with the type of plasterboard that is backed with an aluminium foil layer (designed to minimise heat losses through walls) — should theoretically give a measure of protection from mains frequencies if properly earthed. However, earthing these boards effectively is difficult and it is known that if they are not earthed the foil can radiate large amounts of electro-pollution into the rooms. So on balance such wall lining is better avoided altogether.

        If the source of concern is a local microwave transmitter (such as is used for communications links) then there really is little you can do. Because the wavelengths are so short, simply covering the walls and windows with a very fine mesh with a pitch of a millimetre or less would have little effect and that would be at best partial. Nothing short of lining the house with solid steel a centimetre or two thick or living in a deep cellar could be considered truly effective.

        You can buy devices designed to be placed in affected areas of your house or office which are said either to disperse or block the intrusive radiations or else to enable those in the fields to resist their effects. In my experience you cannot test the effect with a meter or other mainstream scientific method, but those using muscle testing or dowsing claim that the results can be demonstrated.

Because there is no practical way in which you can exclude totally all hazardous electromagnetic fields from your environment. In any case, we still do not know for certain exactly which fields are dangerous — so it is only prudent to do what you can to protect yourselves from any ill effects resulting from unavoidable exposure.

        I discussed earlier (Chapter 1) why the general level of stress which we experience is important in determining how we react to electro-stress. As you may recall, I suggested a number of measures to help.

        One of the key processes which leads on to cancerous conditions and other types of degeneration is the production of potentially dangerous molecules called 'free radicals' in the body. In Chapter 8 we saw that microwave cooking can produces higher levels of these in some foods and it may well be that other types of electromagnetic fields directly stimulate their production in the body. A result of this heightened awareness is the growing popularity of anti-oxidant mixtures of vitamins, herbs and other ingredients with properties known to help reverse the effects. These are certainly worth considering and as a bonus they are said to slow down the ageing process.

    It is a medical truth that a healthy immune system is central to our bodies' fight against disease. It is only common sense that anything which can boost our immune system must help to protect us. As with anti-oxidants, a healthy diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables is an important starting point, but there are various specialised food supplements and natural remedies which can also help. A nutritional consultant, naturopath or even a good health food shop should be able to give you advice in this connection.

        There are also several of devices designed to be worn or carried with you which are claimed to increase the body's ability to resist the stressful effects of external fields, whether man-made or natural. Examples are Harmonisers, the Charged Card and Electronic Field Generators. It has to be said that there is little scientific evidence of their efficacy, but it is claimed that users' experience backs up the claims made for them. As most of them are not particularly expensive you may feel that they are worth trying, at least as a way of reducing stress levels.

A question that is natural to ask is why government and science do not act to stem the increase in microwave towers, warn of the dangers of portable telephones, allow people to live under power lines or next to transforming stations?

        It should be apparent to most that government is hardly impartial. Inevitably and increasingly it responds to the pressure of powerful special interests, like the electricity industry, the farming lobby, the pharmaceutical industry, and big business generally. Increasingly, universities are dependent on industry to fund research, and the poor consumer is left to discover the truth for him/herself, and to take appropriate action.

        There are various steps, some of which we have touched on earlier, that could be taken to decrease electromagnetic hazards, but which are beyond the scope of individual action. They could only be achieved by voluntary codes of practice adhered to by power producers and equipment manufacturers, or by legislation. Realistically, only the latter means is likely to be successful at an international level.

    Dealing with power distribution first, if the establishment of corridors along power lines within which the building of houses, factories or offices was banned, this would avoid a lot of future problems.

        Another change that could bring benefits is the replacement of pylons by underground lines in built-up areas. While this does not eliminate all hazards (as you have read in Chapter 6), it could reduce levels of exposure by a useful amount. Against this must be set the fact that, since it is generally not obvious where such cables run, they are harder to avoid than pylons — and we do have the evidence of links with mental illness, even from underground cables. There is also the question whether such a move might unintentionally bring about unpredictable clashes or interactions with earth energy fields.

        The number of broadcast communications transmissions (another major source of trouble) could be greatly reduced if wider use were made of fibre optic cables, sending the messages harmlessly underground instead of beaming them from mast to mast across the country. In Germany a programme to do just this has been under way for some years, but it is relatively little used in the USA and the UK, at least for long-range connections. This method is useless for police or other emergency broadcasts that need to be picked up by mobile receivers in vehicles, but a high proportion of microwave broadcasts is between fixed points.

        Turning to domestic and commercial equipment, you have already read of some of the potential areas for improvement, such as the production of low-emission television sets and computer monitors or the provision of some easy, preferably automatic way of detecting microwave leakages. The consumer can do much to speed these improvements by creating a demand for them. Ask manufacturers and suppliers what is available and if nothing is, ask why not. Ask them about the field levels produced by their equipment — and if they cannot or will not — ask why not. Ask your MP or Congressman as well, and press for legislation to be framed. Do not be put off by being told that there is no demand or that the cost is prohibitive. You can create the demand and costs have a way of shrinking when there is no alternative, but to provide something!

Slowly but surely, public and other authorities are beginning to show more interest in this important subject. We need more research - and that means funding — especially into the possible serious, even fatal, effects of chronic exposure to different types of electric field. There is a very urgent need for the results of exposure to microwave radiation, whether from ovens, from computers, radar or from communications to be investigated and for clear and responsible exposure limits to be set.

        If you are convinced that a case has been made for the existence of less serious, but still distressing effects of ELF exposure such as sleep disturbance and rheumatism, then in the short term the protective measures discussed are available to you. In the longer term there is no substitute for the fundamental changes needed. We must all play our part if change is to be achieved speedily.

        Truly the discovery of the means of production and transmission of electricity and our ingenuity in exploiting it has led to undreamed of complications. We must wake up to the perils before we may have done terrible damage to ourselves, to our environment and to future generations. The situation has never been more urgent.

Chapter 10


Electro-magnetic Therapies
Until now, we have concentrated on the ways in which a wide variety of man-made energy fields may be harmful to us. Now let us look at some of the ways in which carefully chosen electromagnetic fields and electrical impulses are used with the intention of benefitting people.

        In both orthodox and complementary medicine such electrical effects are used widely in diagnosis as well as treatment. While it is important to be aware of possible adverse side effects when using electrical interventions on the body, the general opinion is that in most cases the risk/benefit equation comes down firmly in favour of the benefits. It is very interesting to observe these positive uses of electromagnetic radiations if only because they provide yet more support for our proposition that the body is sensitive to the influence of even very weak fields.

Some relatively well known uses of directly applied electricity which benefit patients are:
TENS devices, in which a directly applied pulsed current is passed through an area of the body. These are used regularly in physiotherapy and by many dentists. The right sort of pulse will block pain signals from the nerves in the area of application. It is an effective and useful technique for the relief of pain, especially while the patient is recovering from an acute injury, although it is also used to control some chronic pains.

        A similar device may be used to send a current through muscles causing them to contract and relax. This improves muscle tone without the need for exercise and has been used commercially for so-called slimming machines. It is unlikely to cause any weight loss but can improve the appearance by taking up the slack in surface muscles. A similar device was developed several years ago to help control involuntary urination in women. It can aid muscle tone in the pelvic floor.
A more violent, but very valuable use of the direct application of an electrical stimulus, is in defibrillators, used in hospitals and by the emergency services to restart the arrested heartbeat of a patient. At the other end of the scale, some acupuncturists use needle stimulators to heighten and accelerate the effects of their treatment, passing small pulsed currents between pairs of acupuncture needles that have been inserted into the patient.

All the techniques mentioned so far are deemed on balance to benefit patients. However, some of the apparently healthy methods used in health care contain a hidden menace. We have already considered X-rays. Many people wonder whether a similar pattern is likely to develop in the case of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). This highly sophisticated, if expensive, diagnostic tool has become widespread in hospitals over the last few years. It involves passing the patient through a very high intensity magnetic field of a particular type, so designed to change temporarily the alignment of the nuclei of the cells. When they return to their normal state the consequent energy release enables an image of the whole of the internal structure of the body to be obtained. This technique has considerable diagnostic advantages. Unlike X-rays, it makes it easy for the physician to examine soft tissue and in particular the brain and spinal column in detail.

        The fields used are massive, indeed metal objects in near-by rooms can move when the machine is turned on. Although the length of exposure is relatively short, one has to wonder about the long term effects of so radical a disruption of the body's normal electromagnetic state. Of course we are assured that there are no possible harmful effects or, at worst, that any slight risk of disruption is greatly outweighed by the benefits of an accurate diagnosis. All this sounds reminiscent of what was said about X-rays 50 or more years ago and it is undoubtedly an area that needs to be watched with some care. There are certainly some doubts even in conventional medical circles about the possible ill effects of using MRI, the more so because patients are likely to be already unwell and in a weakened state when such scans are undertaken.

        However, the potential risks of MRI are probably minor compared to those posed by CAT scans. This newer technique produces impressively detailed pictures of the interior of the body, but only by using X-ray doses some 30 times higher than a typical conventional X-ray. As even the latter (generally accepted as 'safe'} are calculated by radiological experts to give rise in the long-term to around 1000 cases of cancer a year, the implications of CAT scans are of great concern.

        Staying with the idea of relatively strong magnetic fields (though considerably weaker than in MRI) we come to the many forms of magnetic field therapy that are used, particularly by osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists. The technical details of these devices vary greatly with little apparent agreement of the ideal frequency, strength and pulse pattern to be used. Nevertheless there is much clinical evidence that pulsed or alternating magnetic fields can have beneficial effects, including relaxation of tense muscles, stimulation of blood flow in affected parts of the body, reduction of inflammation and swelling, acceleration of wound healing and dispersal of bruises. Fields have been used with reported success to accelerate knitting of broken bones. Some even claim they stimulate underactive internal organs.

        The size and cost of these units vary as widely as the fields they produce, ranging from large, clinic based machines to small hand held units designed for home use. On balance they seem to be safe, particularly when magnetic field therapy is used only over short periods for acute injury or pain. However, because of the wide variety of field patterns and strengths employed it is impossible to generalise with any certainty and this is undoubtedly an area that would benefit from further investigation.

        For some reason the Scandinavian countries seem to have been particularly active in the development of a variety of rather more sophisticated magnetic therapy devices and Germany has also been involved. In these countries the beneficial effects of magnetic field therapies are claimed for a huge range of ailments, covering almost every aspect of human disease. There has been particular, if controversial, interest in the use of magnetic fields to treat a variety of different forms of cancer. In some cases dramatic cures are claimed, but although the anecdotal evidence sounds convincing, I can find no trace of any controlled studies.

        In particular, devices using pulsed DC fields developed by Ivan Troeng of Sweden were claimed to have produced positive results in many cases and the evidence certainly sounded convincing. However, I know of at least one doctor in England who acquired some of Troeng's treatment coils and confessed to obtaining no consistent or particularly encouraging results with any of the patients he attempted to treat with them. In view of the epidemiological evidence linking some magnetic fields with tumours (discussed earlier) it would seem that this is an area to be approached with extreme caution. It would be prudent for anyone to avoid treating known cancer patients with any electromagnetic field therapies, at least without a full medical consultation and very rigorous monitoring.

Although a' little outside the remit of this book it is worth adding a note about the specialised use of static magnetic fields, if only to support the idea that the body is indeed sensitive to very small magnetic influences. One particular form of acupuncture developed in Japan uses small magnets attached to the ends of the acupuncture needles or else applied separately to acupuncture points on the skin. I have seen this demonstrated and have no doubt that at the muscular level one or more tiny magnets with a field strength of only a few gauss can, when applied to the correct locations on the body, produce quite remarkable and instantaneous realignments of the skeletal system. I have seen a pelvis (tilted so that one leg appeared shorter than the other) immediately realigned once the magnets were applied. It is claimed by practitioners using this technique that the results can persist over a long period, even after the magnets have been removed.

        Similarly, a colleague and I carried out some experiments several years ago in which we applied a rubber based magnetic strip with a field strength averaging only around 15 gauss to the necks of patients and used thermography to monitor the temperature distribution of their hands and feet. In every case circulation and temperatures improved within 10 to 15 minutes of application of the magnetic strip. Although the temperature would soon return to the starting value if the strip was then removed, there were indications that after the magnetic collar had been worn for a week or two the effect would persist for some time after removal. This suggested the possibility of achieving a more permanent physiological change. Clearly the remoteness of the point of application (the neck) to the point of measurement {hands and feet) ruled out any effect due simply to local insulation.

        In what was probably our most spectacular case a patient with a severe congestive heart condition experienced a temperature rise in his toes of around 10°C within 15 minutes of the magnetic strip being applied to his neck. When he was checked again some two weeks later he reported not only much more comfortable extremities, but also that he had noticed an ability to take more exercise without breath-lessness and discomfort, indicating a general improvement in his circulation. These examples, being concerned with static magnets rather than electromagnetic fields are somewhat of a side issue, but they do give an excellent example of just how sensitive we are to what we would normally consider to be insignificant magnetic field effects. However, if we remember Einstein's discovery that all matter is in constant vibration, then perhaps even to talk of the concept of a static fie'ci is inaccurate.

There are many diagnostic and therapeutic devices used today which in one way or another owe their existence to the research and inventiveness of Dr.Reinhard Voll working in Germany in the 1940s and '50s. He took as his starting point acupuncture diagnosis which has been used for several thousand years in China, but which is now practised in most countries. In this technique the trained acupuncturist reads the pulse in the various acupuncture meridians. (This is not a pulse in the conventional Western sense). The meridians are energetic pathways through the body whose nature and purpose is as yet imperfectly understood and Dr.Voll reasoned that they must have electrical characteristics.

        With the newly emerging electronic technology, one of the positive outcomes of the Second World War, he was able to develop measuring devices which could for the first time give some indication of the more subtle electrical fields of the body. There is not space here to go into the full development of the technique now commonly known as EAV (Electro-Acupuncture according to Voll). Suffice to say that he developed protocols which enabled someone trained in his techniques to determine the state of health of internal organs by taking electrical readings at the acupuncture points located at intervals along the acupuncture meridians.

        This was impressive enough, but his second and perhaps most important breakthrough was the concept of remedy testing. When a homeopathic remedy appropriate to the patient's condition is brought near to the patient (without the patient actually taking it), a response can be measured in the form of altered readings on the relevant acupuncture points. Remarkable though this seems, it has been used clinically with great success for around 40 years now and has indeed been extended to testing a patient's sensitivity to allergens and other irritants.

        The stock response from those who reject the technique has been to suggest that all readings must be the result of conscious or subconscious manipulation of the probe used by the doctor. This objection now appears to be overturned by some recent, but as yet unpublished experimental work. Means have been found of applying the probe to the acupuncture points in a totally standard way and also of avoiding any local damage of the skin at the acupuncture point. Trials have shown that not only is a consistent reading produced on any one point, but that a reproducible response to the same remedy is also obtained.

        The only plausible explanation of this effect is that the body must indeed be responding to some extremely minute electromagnetic fields, far smaller than anything we have previously been considering in the book. These fields must result from some characteristic of the vibration of the molecules in the homeopathic preparation and are certainly well below the level at which any conventional scientific apparatus would be able to detect them. Experiments conducted by Dr.Jean Monro with severely allergic patients are described in the book Electromagnetic Man.' In the most extreme cases nothing more than the introduction of a vial containing a homeopathic-1 ike preparation into the same room as the patient was needed for the production of a clear reaction. To rule out psychosomatic effects Monro experimented with randomly bringing in vials of remedy and vials of pure water. The latter produced no reaction. In this area it appears we are truly working at the boundaries of scientific knowledge.

        Homeopathy itself is a subject that still arouses strong feelings and the mechanism of which has still not been conclusively proven. However a report in The Lancet a few years ago surveyed over 200 experimental studies reported in the literature and concluded that on balance the case for the validity of homoeopathy was made.

Amongst the many devices that have followed on from Voll's work is the 'Mora'. In addition to using Voll-like techniques to diagnose the patient's condition, the Mora has a specialised form of biofeedback device. This reads energetic information from the patient's body through electrodes and then analyses it electronically. Those parts of the signal that are considered to be beneficial are amplified and those parts that are harmful and produced by disease processes in the body are electronically inverted. This modified signal is then broadcast back into the patient through a special electrode. The theory is that the net effect will be to amplify the healthy processes in the patient's body and to counteract the disease processes. Hundreds of these devices are in daily use in Germany and elsewhere and the results certainly seem to indicate an effect. We are again dealing with quite small fields, well below those produced by domestic and industrial equipment.

        Remedy testing is used in a number of devices including the Vega and Mora and has now been developed to the point where the remedy need not even be brought close to the patient. A vial containing the preparation is simply inserted into a hole in a metal block connected into the lead for the probe that is applied to the patient's acupuncture points. Despite the remoteness of the remedy from the patient the effect is similar and the technique is (as with Dr.Voll's work) successful.

        This principle has been taken even further in a number of systems developed mainly in America, such as the Eclosion, the Listen, the Interro, the Discovery and the Quantamed. In these, the energetic 'signatures' (read electronically from samples or even actual specimens of hundreds or thousands of substances) are held within the apparatus. During testing the devices are apparently able to access the unique information for each separate sample and test the patient's response to it, as judged by galvanic skin resistance or other electrical characteristics of the body such as capacitance, inductance, current and voltage. All of these systems are computer based and can record and mathematically process the information gathered to give a detailed analysis of the patient's health. One or two of them also have an automated test procedure using fixed electrodes and so are apparently not subject to physical manipulation by the practitioner.

        All of these diagnostic techniques have been used successfully to determine whether the patient is suffering an adverse response to geopathic or electro-stress.

A remarkable system originating in England and based on a principle quite different from EAV is 'the Empulse'. Developed originally as a way of giving relief from migraine attacks, the Empulse has proved to have a far wider range of applications and indeed has apparent potential for tackling a great many symptoms.

        In brief, the process starts with scanning the brainwave pattern of the patient using a novel electrode-less system. The purpose is to measure the strength of output from the patient's brain over a range of brainwave frequencies up to approximately 25Hz, at intervals of 0.1 Hz, producing what is called a power spectrum analysis. Clinical work has shown that patients suffering from a given ailment tend to have a pattern of under powered brainwaves in particular, very specific areas of the frequency spectrum. These are not standard from patient to patient but do tend to occur in broadly similar areas for a particular ailment.

        It has long been known, for instance, that someone in a relaxed state will produce far more Alpha waves (7-1 ZHz} than someone who is tense. By means of biofeedback, hypnosis, meditation or other forms of training it is possible for a patient to learn how to produce more Alpha waves and hence suffer less stress. The other major bands known as Delta, Theta and Beta have their own specific roles.

        The Empulse analysis takes this concept further, recognising that individual frequencies or narrow bands of frequencies within each of the broader bands will have very specific effects on the body. They may, for instance, affect the output of certain hormones, stimulate the body's natural pain response, influence how relaxed the individual's muscles tend to be and so on.

        Through computer analysis, the weaker parts of the patient's brainwave spectrum are identified and selected 'low' frequencies are programmed into a computer chip in the battery powered Empulse device. This then broadcasts the necessary fields to the patient in turn for a few seconds each, the cycle being repeated 24 hours a day. Depending on the patient's progress some resetting may be necessary as the body responds to the treatment. Results with the Empulse are very impressive with success rates {as judged by total relief from or significant relief of symptoms) rising to as high as 80% or more of those treated.

        The message that emerges from consideration of the sorts of apparatus described above is simple, but seems fundamental. Namely, if the body responds demonstrably to such a variety of 'good1 electromagnetic signals, many of which are relatively weak and spread over a fairly large frequency band, it lends considerable support to the thesis of this book, that the body is indeed sensitive to external electrical and magnetic influences. It must also surely underline the need to be aware of and concerned about the potential for uncontrolled and unwarranted effects on the body when it is exposed to fields of particular strengths, wave forms and intensities.

        It has to be admitted that over large parts of the electromagnetic spectrum we are unsure of exactly what potential for harm exists. As you have learned, there is a body of evidence concerning extra low frequency fields in and around the mains frequency band and also for very high frequencies such as microwaves, but there is rather less certainty when considering much of the radio frequency spectrum.

        However, I hope that what you have read in the preceding pages will at the very least have convinced you that the potential for hazard is something that we simply cannot afford to ignore. On the one hand, we should take such precautions ourselves as seem sensible and possible, while at the same time pressing for necessary safeguards to be developed by power providers, equipment manufacturers and indeed government. On the other hand, we should be doing everything we can to encourage that the necessary research is funded, not by those with a vested interest, but by neutral and scientifically credible bodies to discover the real truth about the implications of our modern electromagnetic world.

A map of Weardale and surrounding regions showing important specimen

A map of Weardale and surrounding regions showing important specimen and ore-producing mines. Base map courtesy of

Map of North Pennines orefield showing mineralized veins, mineral zonation, and location of major specimen-producing mines. Of note is the well-defined boundary between the inner fluorite-rich zone centered on Weardale and the surrounding barium-rich zone. Adapted from Dunham, 1990.

A map showing mines in the Alston Moor area of Cumbria, and East and West Allendale in Northumberland. Map by Peter Briscoe.

Lune Head

A stone circle right by the B6276, It has 8 stones in a 10 m diameter circle.

Country: England County: County Durham Type: Stone Circle

Map Ref: NY850204

Latitude: 54.578582N    Longitude: 2.233572W

How Tallon Stone Circle

Country: England County: County Durham Type: Stone Circle

Nearest Town: Bowes

Map Ref: NZ05150755  Landranger Map Number: 92

Latitude: 54.463302N    Longitude: 1.92206W

Plain circle in County Durham. Located beside the footpath at the southern end of Osmonds Gill, marked Osmarils Gill on the OS 1:25000 map.

Circle diameter: 48 by 38 feet, Number of stones: ?

Long walk on moorland, without visible trace of circle at provided coordinates. If stones are less than 8 inches high, they could be lost in the gorse. There are lots of grouse blinds in the vicinity made of stone. It lies beside a well-worn footpath and at the head of Osmonds Gill (marked Osmiril Gill on the OS maps).

The circle is approximately 12m in diameter and is composed of 7 sandstone blocks all of which look like they've been toppled. The two largest stones are in the north & south. There is a possible outlying stone to the west. The area has suffered from a degree of subsidence leaving the circle on uneven ground. Some of the stones are cupmarked although there are also 'erosion cups'. One of the stones has a faintly carved cross upon

Newton Under Roseberry Standing Stone

Country: England County: Cleveland Type: Standing Stone (Menhir)

Nearest Town: Middlesbrough  Nearest Village: Newton Under Roseberry

Map Ref: NZ570131

Latitude: 54.510013N  Longitude: 1.121159W


Within County Durham there are three known stone circles all within the Teesdale locality. The best preserved is on Barningham Moor on the southern slopes of Teesdale.

DISTANCE: 9 miles (14.5 km) ASCENT: 728 feet (222 metres)

START: Forestry commission car park in the Stang Forest (GR NZ 023 082). There is no charge for this car park.

TERRAIN: A total mixture ranging from forest road to moorland path and quiet country road. There is one very steep climb on the route.


Sat on a ridge overlooking the Burnhope valley stands a single standing stone.

DISTANCE: 7.8 mile (12.5 km) ASCENT: 771 feet (235 metres)

START: Small parking area just outside of Edmundbyers alongside the B6278 Edmundbyers to Stanhope road.  GR NZ 013 497.

TERRAIN: Field and moorland track and path all of which are quite defined.

Hunstanworth Moor north  Standing Stone (Menhir)

Country: England County: County Durham Type: Standing Stone (Menhir)

Nearest Town: Stanhope   Nearest Village: Townfield

Map Ref: NY9398546500

Latitude: 54.813321N     Longitude: 2.095118W

Standing Stone (Menhir) in County Durham         The Butter Stone

Latitude: 54.560565N     Longitude: 2.001823W       Map Ref: NY99981837

The Butter Stone is an oddly shaped sandstone rock with a single cup mark.

It is about 15 metres from the Cotherstone to Bowes road, easily visible from the road. There is a pull-in for parking, and a short walk over rushy ground.

Heathery Burn Cave

Country: England County: County Durham Type: Cave or Rock Shelter

Nearest Town: Stanhope  Nearest Village: Crawleyside


The area surrounding Butterknowle sits upon a geological feature known worldwide as the Butterknowle Fault. This fault throws the coal seams to great depths under the North Sea and on the east coast of the country gradually decreasing in depth the further west it goes until it reaches its end at Wooley Hills and Egglestone Fell, where coal can be found just a few feet below the surface. In some cases it actually breaks through the surface. This is known as outcropping and outcrop coal is the easiest to obtain. The Butterknowle Fault itself is split up into various other minor faults, which emanate from it and Butterknowle village lies between the Butterknowle and Wigglesworth Faults. Wigglesworth - BD23 4RR - is a village and civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. It is on the road between Long Preston to the east, Clitheroe to the south and the small village of Rathmell lies just to the north.

It is about 5 miles south of Settle. Wigglesworth is a small rural village situated in lower Ribblesdale, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, close to Settle and Skipton. Surrounded by the beautiful countryside between the Trough of Bowland and Gisburn Forest, and with views of Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough (two of the Yorkshire three Peaks)   Grasshill Causeway - A very rough road which runs from Grass HIll Farm at the head of Teesdale over to Ireshopeburn in Weardale. At one time, the road served the lead mines in the vicinity. In the middle distance can be seen the roof of the shooting hut which services the grouse butts on Ireshope Moor.

Knock Fell Caverns — situated at the head of Knock Ore Gill, this is the most extensive maze cave system in Britain.   

Fairy Hole Cave — Weardale

Fairy Holes Cave is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in the Wear Valley district of west County Durham, England. It is located on the western flanks of Snowhope Moor, on the right bank of Westernhope Burn, some 3 km south-west of the village of Eastgate.

The cave is the longest known stream passage in the Yoredale Limestone of the North Pennines and the best developed example of its type. The Geological Conservation Review classes it as being of national importance.[

St Oswald’s Way Map

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NE65 0UJ Warkworth Hermitage click links below - LEFT

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    The Cheviot Hills - Introduction The Cheviots are the long line of hills that straddle the Anglo-Scottish border from North Tynedale all the way up to the Tweed valley. The Pennine Way finishes (or starts!) near the northern terminus of the Cheviots in the Scottish town of Kirk Yetholm. Cheviot Hills Gallery: Click on the photos below to enlarge. There is only one major road that crosses the range, the A68 from Newcastle to Jedburgh which reaches an altitude of 418m at Carter Bar. The moors to the south of the A68 are part of the Kielder Forest Park while to the north they are part of the Northumberland National Park. The Northumberland National Park was formed in 1956 and is the second smallest national park in the UK. Despite also containing the finest stretch of Hadrian's Wall it is also apparently the least visited National Park in the country. This rather sad state of affairs speaks more of the Park's remoteness rather than any deficiency in scenic merit. In fact the remoteness of the range does have the happy benefit of making the hills much quieter than more popular and easier to reach areas such as the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales.

    Our Photo Pages >> The Devil's Stones, Crook - Natural Stone / Erratic / Other Natural Feature in England in County Durham

    Submitted by durhamnature on Monday, 16 July 2012  Page Views: 2417
    England Site Name: The Devil's Stones, Crook
    Country: England County: County Durham Type: Natural Stone / Erratic / Other Natural Feature
    Nearest Town: Crook
    Map Ref: NZ16483557
    Latitude: 54.714870N  Longitude: 1.745712W
    4Almost Perfect
    3Reasonable but with some damage
    2Ruined but still recognisable as an ancient site
    1Pretty much destroyed, possibly visible as crop marks
    0No data.
    -1Completely destroyed
    4 Ambience:
    2Not Good
    0No data.
    3 Access:
    5Can be driven to, probably with disabled access
    4Short walk on a footpath
    3Requiring a bit more of a walk
    2A long walk
    1In the middle of nowhere, a nightmare to find
    0No data.
    5 Accuracy:
    5co-ordinates taken by GPS or official recorded co-ordinates
    4co-ordinates scaled from a detailed map
    3co-ordinates scaled from a bad map
    2co-ordinates of the nearest village
    1co-ordinates of the nearest town
    0no data

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    The Devil's Stones, Crook submitted by durhamnature
    The Devil's Stones, Crook Natural Stone / Erratic / Other Natural Feature in County Durham

    Three large stones of igneus rock, said to be erratics from Borrowdale in the Lake District.
    Originally found at Dowfold Hill, NZ1736, now in the town centre at Crook.
    The plaque refers to the "Devil's Stone", singular,
    but there are three separate stones, which don't appear to have been broken.

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    The Devil's Stones, Crook The Devil's Stones, Crook submitted by durhamnature
    The Devil's stones plaque. Site in County Durham England

    Do not use the above information on other web sites or publications without permission of the contributor.

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    NZ1635 : St Catherines Church, Crook by Bryan Richardson
    by Bryan Richardson
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