Dr. William Rae, a former surgeon from Texas , discovered his own sensitivity to electromagnetic fields while working in the modern operating room. As medicine became a technology, the operating room became a home to more and more electrical devices. Today, in my opinion it could be classified as a hazardous environment. By eliminating other sources, Dr. Rae determined that his allergic fields in the and neurological symptoms were caused by the electromagnetic fields in the operating room. He subsequently discovered that he was not alone in his hypersensitivity, and that there was a growing population of patients with the same condition. These people are typically told by their physicians that their symptoms are "all in their minds" and that they should seek psychiatric care.
Rae became outraged about this situation, and he established a clinic to deal with this problem as a real entity. His Environmental Health Center in Dallas , Texas , is probably the best-equipped clinic of its kind in the country. The patients are tested through exposure to a spectrum of electromagnetic fields in such a fashion that they are unaware it is being done. In most patients, a consistent sensitivity to certain specific frequencies can be found and quantified through objective measures of the activity of the autonomic nervous system. In this way, Rae has proved that the electromagenetic-hypersensitivity syndrome is a real clinical entity.
People with this syndrome have a number of characteristics and symptoms in common. The following case history is typical.
Mary M. had worked for an international company for many years asa computer supervisor. She enjoyed her work and had no medical problems of note until she was asked to try out a different make of computer that the company was considering using. The machine seemed perfect-it was easy to use as well as fast and powerful, and she enjoyed working with it the first day. She went home that night with a minor headache, which subsided with an aspirin. Returning to work the next day, she used the new machine for less than an hour, and the headache returned. She took another aspirin and wondered whether she was "coming down with something." As she continued to work with the new computer, she became nauseated and dizzy, and the headache did not go away.
Mary then went to the dispensary, where she was told that she had a slight fever and was no doubt "coming down with the flu." She took two days off, and she felt fine when she returned to work. But within minutes of turning on the computer she experienced return of the nausea, dizziness, and headache. A short time later she began to experience severe fatigue, an inability to concentrate, and difficulty with her vision. As she continued to work, the symptoms became worse, until finally she could not continue. She began to think that perhaps something was wrong with the machine, and she mentioned this to the dispensary staff before going home again. When she reached her home, she noted that her face and the exposed portions of her neck and chest were noticeably reddened. This time she took a full week of sick leave: on returning to work she went straight to the dispensary so that the doctor could see that she was quite well before she used the machine. She was told that in her absence, the manufacturer had checked her machine and found that it was operating normally and not producing a harmful field.
As she opened the door to the area, she felt as though she "had walked into a blast furnace." The whole room had been equipped with the new machines, and her staff was busily working with them. She stayed for only a few minutes, during which time she became extremely ill and had to leave. This time the doctor asked if she were having any emotional or personal problems of any kind, and he suggested that if so, she see a professional about them. Mary refused to return to work, and left for home.
She then noticed that her TV and stereo produced the same symptoms in her if she was within a few feet of them. Over the next few weeks, her condition gradually worsened, until even using the telephone made her ill. She also developed what appeared to be "allergies" to sunlight and the smells of such things as laundry bleach and perfumes, all of which made her feel nauseous and dizzy.
The skin rash reappeared, and Mary consulted a dermatologist, who told her that the electromagnetic radiation from the computer was the culprit and that he had similar cases. He recommended that she go away for a few wekkds to some very rural aread and see whether she recovered. His other patients had sometimes been able to return to work after such a respite from electromagnetic fields.
Mary took his advice, and she did get better. However, when she returned to the city, her symptoms returned. She never returned to her old job, and she now lives in a very rural area of a foreign country, where she is fine. One final not on this case is the at the computers are no longer in use by the company, which refuse to discuss the situation.
Computers are not always the common factor, but exposure to a novel electromagnetic field of some kind was always the inciting cause. These people experienced the same symptoms and became sensitive to many common devices that had never before any symptoms in them (for example, TVs, computers, stereos, fluorescent lights, telephones, electric heaters, high-voltage power lines, and electronic security systems).
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