Electrical hypersensitivity can have a variety of causes; computer monitors (VDUs), fluorescent lights, mobile and cordless phones are believed to be among the most common initiators of the problem; working in high magnetic fields, MRI scans, wireless computing systems, chemical overload, ‘closed head’ injury, allergy, low energy lamps, trauma, electric shock, metallic implants, even lightning strikes are other initiators. Many people experience an abrupt onset of symptoms following exposure to a novel EMF such as fields associated with a new computer, a new phone or new fluorescent lights.
Working in high electromagnetic fields can produce sensitivity. Drivers of electric trains are members of a group in which hypersensitivity can lead to very dangerous consequences. 10 – 25% of UK train drivers report ‘missing time’, time in which they were unaware of their surroundings. However brief this ‘absence’ may be, if it is at a critical place, e.g. coming up to a red light, it is possible that this could lead to fatal accidents.
British biophysicist Peter Alexander said, “Once the individual is sensitized to an agent the initial aggressor is immaterial. The biological reaction will be the same to all agents.” EHS commonly also develops with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Computer monitors, and many other electronic items, give off quite toxic volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) when the cases and electronic components ‘burn in’ from new.
According to the UK’s Building Research Establishment, and a separate Australian study, new houses 1-2 years old can emit many times the level of potentially carcinogenic volatile organic compounds as houses built just 10 years ago. The sources include formaldehyde from treated wooden floors and furniture, toxic compounds from fresh paints and solvents, and hormone disrupting chemicals from carpets and vinyl flooring.
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