Bridlewood Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) Information Service

Personal Stories



Testimonial of Dalan MCaren

January 22, 2000

In September of 98, I moved into a 21-storey government subsidized building for seniors. The apartment that was my placement is on the 20th floor.

I immediately began experiencing symptoms of a dizzy-off -balanced feeling, headaches which were constant, severe insomnia, profuse nosebleeds, sweating and a feeling like I was cooking. I wasn't able to concentrate, I would often find myself, throuhout the day, feeling "out-of-it", not remembering. I felt drained out and more than half dead. I had anxiety attacks and breathlessness, felt agitated, restless and my joints hurt and my eyes were sore.

I would awaken most often around 3 AM very suddenly feeling "cooked", anxious and like I had to go out. My chest felt pressured and I would either lay there untill morning with all these things going on, or often I just get up and walk the steets where I would feel refreshed, calm and clear headed.

At first I put it down to stess from a difficult year with a major move. But in November of 98 ,my sister and her husband sent me a plane ticket to visit them for a month in the Toronto area. I felt good there, slept wonderfully, had lots of energy, was clear headed, focussed, had no memory problems and felt normal, tranquil and very cheerful.

I returned in December and immediately the nosebleeds and all the symptoms returned. I continued suffering the above symptoms (plus many other ones) until I went away fot 6 weeks in the summer to Vancouver Island to visit my father. Again I felt normal with lots of energy and focus inspite of it being a stessful time with my father being ill and in hospital.

I returned and again - all the symptoms. By this time I had become aware of the effects of microwave towers and telecomunications instalations through a magazine article and also through talking to a repairman from the cable TV provider. He had come because I was having a lot of interference with my TV.

I then began to pay attention to the fact that on the next floor but one - on the roof top of the building I am in, there are at least 25 telecomunications towers and microwave transmitters and the top of the building looks like a porcupine!

I myself was becoming increasingly more distressed now with occasional bouts of rage, feeling at times like I was going crazy and had lost control of my brain. I was having daily bouts of crying for no apparent reason and yet as soon as I would leave the apartment, I felt fine.

Then again, this past 3 months, I went away twice. Once for a month back east again and the last time from 10th Dec. 99 to the 06 Jan. 2000. Upon returning on the 06 Jan., within moments of being on the upper 20th floor, I felt a dizzy-off-balance feeling and within 12 hrs I suffered 2 profuse nose bleeds and couldn't sleep at all.

It is my opinion and experience that since Christmas the frequency of use of these transmitters has increased. It feels like like the walls are buzzing and I have had very little sleep. I am having to walk the streets at night and visit other people's homes during the day in order to write letters or do anything that requires concentration.

Last week, I had 2 visitors on separate days. Both within a minute or so of being in my apartment said they felt blocked in their heads, began experiencing headaches, that "dead feeling". They mentioned they felt agitated and restless and could hear a buzzing, high pitch vibration and had to leave before a half hour was up. I certainly confirmed that wasn't "just me". Both telephoned me later and said that within 5 minutes of leaving they felt back to normal.

I would also like to note that my plants are becoming shrivelled looking and are not growing well. I happen to have a green thumb. For example, I think we are all familiar with Poinsettia's and that their leaves are largish. Well mine are all tiny-only about one half inch to one inch in length and they sort of keep their leaves pointing downward, not out.

I am truly exhausted of this. I only hope that, first of all I can find another place to live that is affordable because I am on a disability pension hence being in government housing and secondly that I can even "get-it-together" enough to pack up and move.

I hope my story helps in some way.

PS: I am a retired school teacher, a massage therapist and an exceptional artist. I haven't been able to do any art since I moved in to this place.

Yours Truly Dalana MCaren

For further information contact Robert Riedlinger


Per Segerbäck's Story

Written by Gunni Nordström
TCO Newspaper No. 18 June 18, 1993
Translated by Leif Södergren
IN A SPECIAL TAXI and AN IRON-CLAD ROOM

Per Segerbäck is forced to live apart from everything electric.

Per Segerbäck, 37, is one of the technicians who helped create Ericsson's world reputation. He works with custom-made integrated circuits for telecommunication. He loves his work but has paid a high price for it. Since 1989 he has been gravely electrically hypersensitive.

Segerbäck's workplace is in Ericsson's and Swedish Telecom's development company, Ellemtel, outside Stockholm. Here he can exist in only one single room. It is clad in iron sheeting. At home in his house in Vällingby, his employer has also clad one room in iron sheeting to make his room as electrically free as possible.

Between these two iron-clad rooms, one in which he works, the other in which he lives, Per travels in a special taxi, an older, longer model that allows him to position himself far from the electricity generated by the car motor. The driver even turns off the electric fare-meter.

About 50 other highly educated young technicians at Ellemtel experienced, in the late eighties, more or less serious symptoms of electromagnetic allergy while operating VDT's. Several had to take sick-leave. For this reason Ellemtel applied for and received 8.9 million Swedish kronor (1.25 million USD) from the State Working Life fund in order to investigate various methods of helping the electrically hypersensitive.

HE HAS LEARNED TO LIVE WITH HIS PROBLEM

Now everyone is back to work. Ellemtel even recently announced at a press conference that electrical hypersensitivity is no longer a problem at their company. But shortly after the press conference the TCO Newspaper met with Per Segerbäck in his workroom and found that even though he is back at work, the electrical hypersensitivity is still a considerable problem in his life. A problem he has been forced to live with.

Behind the iron sheeting surrounding his room is a layer of seamless, welded aluminium but it is still electrically difficult for him at one side of the room. "Since I moved in here I have had problems with this part of the room. A month ago they made some changes and it was found that some mistakes had been made with the grounding which caused magnetic fields. However, I did not know it at that time but only felt uncomfortable in that part of the room.

QUICK VISITS

Since Per Segerbäck is the head of a group of circuit designers he cannot remain in his shielded (electrically sanitized) room the whole time. He is required to make frequent visits to another room which is also electrically sanitized though not so extensively as his own. In this room, which is shielded with copper sheeting, are some of his electrically hypersensitive co-workers. It is impossible for Per to be in any other part of the building because remaining only two or three minutes in the corridors his skin begins to sting followed by a burning sensation like a bad sunburn. He also experiences great fatigue during which time, says he, "I only want to lie down and sleep."

Segerbäck's shielded room has its own entrance so he no longer has to pass through the building's corridors.

THE INJURED, SILENCED

There has been a great deal of secrecy around the Ellemtel Electrical Hypersensitivity project and it is known that the company has more or less silenced the injured. This does not seem to affect Per Segerbäck who speaks openly about his problems though present at the interview is administration manager, Torbjörn Jonsson, who heads the company's Electrical Hypersensitivity project report (due for publication June 30 1993).

As it developed, Jonsson and Segerbäck had never met to discuss Segerbäck's present condition and Jonsson is now informed that as soon as Per is exposed to the slightest amount of electricity he reacts with pain and his skin is sometimes so sensitive that he cannot stand the slightest touch.

A few days later we meet at Per Segerbäck's house in Vällingby where he lives with his wife and three children. The house looks like most houses except for a window on the top which has something that looks like bars. The bars are aluminium blinds on the window of the shielded room where Per lives. The room is shielded with 1100 lbs of iron sheeting containing silicone in two layers "screwed on with thousands of screws so there is no danger -- my wife was a bit afraid in the beginning that they should fall down...".

FRIDGE AND WASHER

Per can only spend very little time in the other part of his house which contains the fridge and washer etc. Explains Segerbäck: "the family must lead a reasonably normal life. It is bad enough the way it is".

Per Segerbäck has been to work earlier in the day and is rather tired after having been exposed to quite alot of electric-magnetic fields but we speak for three hours about the events that led to this strange illness which came to change his and his family's life and for which no one has yet found a definite cure. He explains how electronics became his great interest, about his engineering degree and university studies in Uppsala and how his department head sent him to Silicon Valley in America to learn more about the construction of micro-processors. While in America he worked with semiconductor manufacturers. He was also one of the first in Sweden to use high-resolution colour VDT's from England. When these were installed he began to experience stinging and burning sensations in his face. "I had my first symptoms at the end of 1988 and at the beginning of 1989. They came at the end of the week after I had worked several hours at the VDT. When you like your job you spend more hours at it than you really should. I had not the faintest idea it could be harmful."

COULD NOT STAND THE CAR

The symptoms grew worse and soon Segerbäck discovered that he was also sensitive to fluorescent lights and to other kinds of electric machines besides VDT's. When, in the summer of 1989 he made a journey with his family, he discovered he was sensitive to the electromagnetic fields of the car. When he came back to work after his vacation he and his co-workers lined their VDT's with grounded aluminium foil. By now several others had the same problems. When Segerbäck, their manager, spoke of the problems he had struggled with, the others dared to tell of their own problems. Says Segerbäck: "It was we, the enthusiasts who worked weekends, who got sick." "Were you stressed?" "Sure. We were in a rush, we were busy with two rather complex circuits and it was important that the job be finished quickly. But we are used to this and I, myself, find it only stimulating. We have had blood tests but we do not have higher than average levels of stress hormones. We are no more stressed than anyone else in this company.

In January, 1990, Per Segerbäck had had it. He reacted strongly to electrical environments, he burned and had red patches all over his body. He went on sick leave but he had no place to recover since he got sick in his own house too. This meant endless walks in the surrounding countryside near his house and spending nights in his car (with the ignition off!) "It sure was cold" he remembers but would rather not talk about this period. "I have repressed it" he says.

SLEPT IN CAMPER

The company doctor, Anders Bayard, was understanding and had compassion for Segerbäck as well as with the other electrically injured but neither he or anyone else could tell them how to be rid of their problems.

The Ellemtel management now had to deal with problems they had never before experienced. The first measure was to park a camper made of aluminium outside Per Segerbäck's house so he would have an electrically-free place to sleep.

Yngre Hamnerius, at Chalmers Technical University in Gothenburg, was then called in to measure the electric-magnetic fields and the so called "vagabond" magnetic fields and Segerbäck's whole house was electrically "sanitized". After this, a similar rebuilding of his work room at Ellmentel was begun. It was finished in 1991 and Segerbäck moved in. Before that he had attempted to work in a worker's portable hut but that was not very successful perhaps because, he thinks, of several nearby subterranean electrical lines.

Today he uses an LCD overhead display unit which is placed in a metal, grounded box with a grounded Sunflex filter in front of it. An incandescent light bulb supplies the background lighting. This is a specially constructed VDT unit by Ellmentel. But Segerbäck still feels something he thinks might be high frequency signals from the electrical cable which runs from the computer which is about thirty feet away from his workroom and VDT. It makes no difference whether the VDT is on or not. The VDT itself does not give off any fields. "When my computer broke recently", said Segerbäck, "I had to use another which was temporarily placed closer than the ordinary one and I felt it right away. It means that there is alot of direct radiation from the computer itself.

PAINFUL SKIN

Per Segerbäck's fatigue is apparent. He is rid of his light-sensitivity which plagued him two years ago -- it disappeared -- but his sensitivity to electricity remains. "My skin still hurts when I am exposed to electricity" he says, "It does not show in any other way except that I get blotchy red. It is terrible and hurts alot more than it might appear to."

In spite of his difficulties Segerbäck has kept his enthusiasm. He plans to study by correspondence. How does his family take his electrical hypersensitivity? He replies: "My oldest son, who is twelve, is often sad but Anna, two, has never experienced anything but my illness so she takes it naturally. When we are together she runs ahead and turns off electricity everywhere."

The Segerbäcks have considered applying for a local community subsidy to rebuild the rest of the house but they have been told that it is difficult to obtain such subsidies. The local communities refer to Federal precedents and usually deny applications. Those who appeal usually lose. The Housing Board has asked for guidelines and have been told that "Electromagnetic allergy does not exist today as a defined and limited illness from a traditional medical point of view." This argument is also used by other agencies when denying workers compensation claims.

ELECTRICAL SANITATION HELPS

Skin doctors Mats Berg and Sture Liden and stress researcher Bengt Arnetz, who participate in the Ellemtel project, have at various times recommended not to carry out electric sanitation (since they do not believe that electricity has anything to do with the problem. "But we technicians at Ellemtel know that electric sanitation is the only thing that helps" says Per Segerbäck.

Translation note: Electrical Sanitation means reducing electric and magnetic fields. Electric fields are reduced by using shielded and grounded wiring. Magnetic fields are very difficult to shield against. It is best for the affected person to move as far as possible from the source of the magnetic field. If this is not possible only the use of metal as described above will be effective.

Alex Gabor's Story

By Alex Gabor
Here is my story, how life turned to hell -if you care to spend a few more minutes reading it.

Last year a major phone company put up a cellular base station on the top of the three story building where we leased an office. During the few weeks while the construction was going I noticed nothing particular. However, one day I felt pain in my shoulder and back, somewhat similar to the feeling when influenza attacks you. For next two days during the weekend I stayed home and the pain was gone. Monday in the office the pain started again, going home by the evening it subsided. Next day it started again in the office and within a few days the pain was so strong, that I had to leave the office early. Staying away helped. When I started thinking, I realized, that the worker who were working on the installation of the cell station left a day earlier than my first day of pain, so very likely the station started transmitting on the day when I first began experiencing the pain.

No other employee complained, however I managed to move the office to a new location, where for a couple of months I was OK. One day, however, my pain started again. This time the collar bone hurt, the spine (maybe it was the muscles around it) and the breasts. I couldn't understand why, till I saw a cell- tower. It was at the end of the long street, as later measured with my car at 0.8 miles distance. I work long hours in the office, so the pain stayed with me even after I went home.

A month later I traveled on the east coast. Within a two weeks time period I stayed in the car most of the time, towards the end of the trip the pain was very mild. The last night of the trip I felt stronger pain again. In the morning when I woke up and checked the surrounding area, I found cell towers on both sides of the hotel within a 1.5 mile distance. This strengthened my belief that I must be sensitive to whatever radiation they emit.

When I arrived at home, and went to work, within two days the pain came back. In my profession I was able to work from home, so that was my choice, and for a few months everything went well, no pain at all. Till one day the flu like pain came back, that got worse the next few days. I drove around, saw no cell tower, there was not even any two story or three story office building on which they could have put a cell base station.

Maybe something is wrong with me - I thought- and my theory of cell tower, base station effect is false. A few days later while jogging, I discovered at the side of the highway on one of the steel structures which holds the high voltage power lines an antenna similar to the one that we had on our first office building. That was 0.3 miles from our home in straight line. In the meantime the pain got stronger and felt like the intensity moved within the body between the shoulder and the pelvic area.

I went to a doctor, describing my situation and asked to be examined as to whether I may have an illness that I do not know about and blame it on these cell towers. My tests and my general checkup showed full health, however in the eye of my doctor I was able to see a concern about my mental health. I knew that I didn't lose my mind, however I started having doubt about it, as nobody in my household felt anything, nor relatives who lived in the same area.

One day I read an article about various groups who are concerned about the effect of cellular towers, the reported mentioned names. I called one of them, who had invited an expert from New Zealand on a meeting with the phone company representatives. I asked him if he has ever heard something similar to my case.

He said yes, more than one. He gave me the name and phone number of one person, to whom when I described my symptoms his response was, that he had identically the same. He moved out of the city where he lived and found a place in the country where he felt good, but saw as the phone companies were closing in on him with the towers. He heard of three more people with similar symptoms.

I drove around the western part of the country to look for a place, where I can escape. I noticed that not only cities are full of these cell towers and base stations, but outside of the them they are springing up. To my biggest surprise I saw many towers at the top of hills surrounding the highways, all over the states that I visited. Unless I am willing to settle down in the middle of the desert in Nevada or perhaps in a totally uninhibited area of Montana, during my weeks of search I found no place free of cell towers.

As a result of not being around my business suffered a lot, customers left. I could not even tell them why I was not around, they would have thought that I lost my marbles. Even very close friends I told my case to thought that I had gone crazy.

Why I put this on the web? I think there are people out there who could have had a similar experience to mine, who are running around scared looking for solutions and thinking if millions are not feeling similar pain, there maybe something wrong with them.

Their lives could have been turned upside down too. They need a job to survive, so are stuck in cities and live with constant pain. Some others maybe willing or able to move away, but where? What opportunity they would have to start life over? What about people with a family, who cannot drag them around in good conscience? Even if it looks like one found a place, they can't be sure the phone companies are not catching up with them.

The phone companies are transmitting at higher and higher frequencies. Thus it seems that sensitive people would feel the effect from farther away distance than before. Research is funded by the telecommunication industry. This is a big business. I don't think I or any of us can fight it. I can see, cell phone is the future, it is convenient and has advantages with its portability over the wired phone.

What I hope for is, that research can be funded independent of phone companies. If I recall my memories correctly, a few years ago in the state where I live, people tried to navigate a lost humpback whale back from the river to the sea -unsuccessfully- this endeavor cost the taxpayers a few million dollars. I hope, that in this country the lives of effected people - maybe hundreds of us, worth at least that much.

If you had a similar experience, E-mail me. Once we know there are many of us, perhaps we can ask our government to assign a small place -or several of them- where no cell towers/base stations would be put up. Perhaps the millions of people who are not sensitive to this would forgive us for the inconvenience of not being able to talk on the phone while driving through these areas. I don't care whether the FCC admits or not that exposure to radiation from cell phones and towers causes cancer or not. I do not want to sue the phone companies for causing me pain or loss of income. I do not think other human beings deliberately cause pain to a few of us by advancing technology for better life style.

All I want to do is to live a normal life.

Write me (E-mail: microhazard@razban.com ). The solution to solve our problem is easy. We simply have to show that enough of us are affected.


EMF Hypersensitivity - Tower Trauma In Canada

By Robert Riedlinger
My wife and I thought we had the world in our hands when we bought a home in a resort area east of Vancouver B.C., Canada in the fall of 1995. We both enjoyed good health and planned to retire in our new home by a lovely lake and a nice quite village, but our world came crashing down soon after moving in. First we heard a buzzing sound like bees in a distance and we started to feel strange symptoms one after the other the longer we stayed there. We would wake at the same time every morning with the buzz and within a short while I would feel a pressure in my ears and my head would ache. My wife and I both woke with pain in our necks and shoulders and all day we would have continous nausea and stomach gas.The longer we stayed the more symptoms appeared and the more we suffered.

My ears would block and any normal sound, like breraking glass, would hurt them. Even flushing the water closet would hurt my ears. It got so I could not use the phone and I would have to ask people to repeat themselves when talking to me. My wife became ill with pain in her lower part of her stomach and two different doctors diagnosed gall bladder problems. Her shoulder became so painfull she could not raise her arm to do her hair. I made a pad from aluminum foil and placed it on her shoulder and that helped. I sat many hours under a cone of aluminum insullation to rest my nerves and I place a solar blanket made of plastic clad with aluminum over my blanket and that seems to reflect a lot of rays.

We became so ill that we had to move from our home after a year and I am now hypersensitive to microwaves. I had to sleep in a metal box for months untill I regained some health. After my wife spent a few months in Brazil she came back feeling better.

I would advise any one that lives near a tower and starts to feel the following symptoms to get out fast before you become sensitive as I have . The symptoms started with a buzzing sound and developed into a high pitch sizzle sound in my head , pressure headaches, blocked ears, pains in neck shoulder and other joints, nausea, excessive stomach gas, stress, burning eyes, memory loss and fatigue.

Our Health Ministry won't help us. They accept test results that were take by the Cellphone Company which were taken at the base of the tower, where there is lower density, and inside of a vehicle that would shield the rays. A proper test instrument which is a spectrum analizer cost about thirty grand so the average person can't afford it. Don't you think that it would be only fair if they intend to keep us in a microwave oven that they supply us with a rotating bed so that we cook evenly on all sides. I intend to do all I can in the future to see that no one else ever gets burn't as I did. I often think of babies and older people that are helpless and can't move as we did. I would like to hear from any one that has had a similar experience.


A Case of Two Grandchildren

By JoanneC. Mueller
This was originally posted to the EMF-L mailing list and appears here with the permission of the author
I can certainly appreciate what you are saying about the immune system. I do know in the case of my two grandsons (both from different parents i.e., one from my daughter and her husband and one from my son and his wife) that we have medical records to support the dramatic changes in their immune systems after removing both children from waterbeds which were immediately adjacent to power sources in both instances.

I may have mentioned previously that my daughter and I discovered when we went to purchase a new heater for her son's waterbed that the salesperson did discuss EMF's and actually showed us a publication citing various EMF issues. The salesperson said "EMF's from new waterbed heaters had been substantially reduced."

IGG tests on my daughter's son were up almost 100 points (or whatever technical term would be) several months to six months after removing him completely from his waterbed/power wall situation. We did not see any such dramatic results during the time he had the new waterbed heater and while he remained sleeping adjacent to the power wall. Had I been able to convince my daughter of probable EMF risks in the first instance, a new waterbed heater would have never been purchased at all. However, this was a very long and difficult process and I had to be satisfied with one step at a time.

I will refer to him as grandson A and my son's boy as grandson B. Before the immunologist knew anything about grandson B, he had stated grandson A had a "very unusual immune deficiency and that we needed to check for other family members with the same problem." The doctor also asked whether other family members had died at a very young age. Neither case is applicable here or in the case of grandson B. However, you can well imagine the doctor's surprise when I stated "I have a carbon copy of this child at home" (meaning identical health problems of earaches, sinus infections and asthma).

Grandson B was later discovered to be sleeping in conditions identical to grandson A (although I still find it overwhelming and almost impossible to believe myself). Grandson B didn't have a waterbed of his own like grandson A but rather slept with his dad in the master bedroom. Ironically the reason he slept in "the big bed" is BECAUSE he was SO SICK!!! It took many more months to learn all of this and to make the necessary changes (a very long story) but the bottom line is that within two weeks of grandson B going from the waterbed/powerwall situation to a regular bed on a "safe wall", he started to eat and stopped coughing. Since Bud and I were watching him daily, his mom asked "....did you put magic pills in his food or something?"

Grandson B, we had learned shortly after the diagnosis of the "very unusual immune deficiency" was diagnosed with the identical "unusual immune deficiency." We were told both boys could develop lymphoma or colon cancer. We have been told there "is no name for their illness" but rather the deficiency is referred to as a "symptom" -- hypogammaglobulinemia. Both children have low IGG-1 and IGG-3. We are told persons with low IGG's usually have low IGG-2's and 4's. We were told our situation with grandson A was "rare" even if a parent or parents had same problem. Their was "no comment" after we presented grandson B in regard to how "rare" the problem is/was. Incidentally grandson B is said to have a completely normal immune test result even tho he was originally 100 pts. low. Grandson A is still low but continues to do fairly well. He does have some asthma and daily inhaler. Also occasional headaches. Grandson B no longer receives any treatment for asthma and hasn't even been on antibiotics for a very long time.

As you may recall I stated in one of my letters to President Clinton that the immunologist admitted to us that studies have shown EMF's lowered immune functions in mice. You may or may not be aware of the many books on melatonin but there is plenty of information regarding the circadian rhythm, EMF's and hormones in those books. I will be glad to tell you which ones I have read should you be interested. I knew nothing about melatonin at the time I told the doctors what we had done to bring about such dramatic results in the children. It was some time later when "one of my angels" happened to give me an article on melatonin she had cut out of an Enquirer that later prompted me to look for more information on melatonin. I believe it was from books such as Warning, The Electricity Around You May be Hazardous to Your Health, Currents of Death, The Great Powerline Coverup and many other publications that somehow it made sense to me that EMF's might be interfering with the childrens' sleep to the point it affected their circadian systems and thus their hormones. As I said, I didn't know about melatonin but found out that it is a major hormone that affects all of the rest of the hormones in the body. I also didn't know about the pineal gland during the bed replacement stage......

We, of course, have other problems in our family and families of persons who lived in this neighborhood that are too coincidental not to be strongly related to the "threatening powerlines." However, we have never found another connection to EMF's and immune function. This could, of course, be due to the fact that immune tests are not easy to come by and are very expensive.

No one can convince me EMF's aren't the reason my babies may yet develop lymphoma, leukemia or colon cancer. As to my children -- parents of grandson's A and B, I do not let them know how much I still worry in spite of many improvements in the health of both children.

I guess none of us knows for sure. As you and others have said, "we can only tell what we, ourselves, know....... " Take care - Joanne


REVISED JANUARY 2000
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