Bridlewood Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) Information Service

Electrical Sensitvity

By: Lucinda Grant
Electrical sensitivity (ES) is a form of environmental illness - a chronic illness triggered by exposure to electro- magnetic fields.

Being electrically sensitive means having an illness that noticeably reacts or intensifies near electrical appliances, power lines, and/or other electromagnetic field (EMF) sources. ES includes recurring feelings of stress or illness when near these EMF sources, even if the person affected has no illness apparent when not exposed to EMF`s. Any noticeable, recurring ill health that is triggered by an electromagnetic field, and that diminishes or disappears away from the EMF source, constitutes a case of electrical sensitivity.

Just as the chemically sensitive can become very sensitive to small amounts of chemicals, ES patients can become hyper- sensitive to EMF levels that normally would not be noticeable to the general public. However, the dividing line between "safe" and unsafe levels of EMF exposure is not generally clear for the public at large.

People sometimes become ill from an EMF source, such as having an electrical appliance (i.e. clock, cassette player, etc.) too close to their bed. Published accounts mention symptoms such as insomnia, nausea, headache, or other noticeable health problems from prolonged exposure to these EMF`s.

In one United States case, a multiple chemical sensitivity patient developed nausea after meals in addition to his usual multiple chemical sensitivity symptoms. He thought about what he was doing differently and began to suspect that maybe his new health problem had something to do with his new VCR (video cassette recorder). He talked to friends about EMF`s. One friend suggested to buy a gaussmeter to measure EMF`s in his house. He did and subsequently measured EMF exposure in his house, including the appliances. A new cassette player on his bed`s headboard gave off a high reading, even when it was shut off. He moved the cassette player away from his bed. His nausea gradually decreased from that point on.

Other similar instances were reported in a United States newsletter that interviewed German EMF testing technician, Wolfgang Meis. Three cases of people with problems sleeping were noted, all corrected by removing everything electrical from the bedroom. In addition, a child who had stomach pains, nervousness, insomnia, and headaches was able to sleep without headaches after the EMF wall wiring problems of his bedroom were solved. One day after the EMF was reduced, all of his health problems began to improve.

In the cases cited, moving the offending EMF source(s) or correcting wall wiring problems produced a return to health or substantial improvement in health.

Were these people electrically sensitive? Although their health problems were not permanent, for a time they seemed to be electrically sensitive to a specific EMF source or location. If the EMF sources had not been found and their EMF exposure reduced they may have developed a more severe and permanent ES.

There are degrees of ES just as there are degrees of chemical sensitivity. Allergies are a mild form of chemical sensitivity; Sick Building Syndrome a more severe form. Multiple chemical sensitivity is chemical sensitivity`s most severe and chronic form. The one-time reversible form of ES from the cases noted above seem to be representative of a mild form of ES.

With chronic, long-term ES, the person becomes sensitive to an initiating EMF frequency, intensity or duration. Later, the illness is further triggered when the person is exposed to other EMF sources also. This environmental illness process is called spreading phenomenon. A one-time ES experience should be considered a warning sign of possible chronic ES susceptibility.

Electrical sensitivity has the great potential for being a missing link that uncovers explanations for many noticeable recurring health problems people currently have no medical answers for and no long-term relief.

The foregoing was excerpted from The Electrical Sensitivity Handbook authored by EMR Alliance member Lucinda Grant. Ms. Grant, who is herself electrically sensitive, is intimately familiar with the issue of ES and provides a much needed overview to this environmental illness. Alliance members are encouraged to purchase Lucinda`s book by sending $23 to Weldon Publishing, P.O Box 4146, Prescott, AZ 86302
Reprinted from the Special Spring 1995 Issue of Network News, the newsletter of the EMR Alliance.
Electrical Sensitivity-Related Web Sites
  • The Electrical Sensitivity Network Web Site



  • Swedish Association For the Electrically and VDT Injured Web Site



  • EMF-L Mailing List Web Site