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Electrical Sensitivity: Mobile Phones, Microwaves, 'Electro-smog' and what to Avoid

by Dr Diana Samways(more info)

listed in environmental, originally published in issue 192 - March 2012


When we lived in caves, the only thing that was electric was a thunderstorm. Since then things have changed massively and we have adapted slowly. The modern technological world is a mixed blessing, with an official lack of concern for the health effects of the various technologies that we are importing into every home, workplace, car, train and the general outdoor environment. We need to consider, particularly, the multiplicity of gadgets using wireless microwave electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

Electrical Sensitivity image

Until fairly recently we limited ourselves to mains electricity and its generating and distributional network, the National Grid. Now we have a multiplicity of wireless microwave equipment and its transmitting networks infiltrating most buildings; we cannot isolate ourselves electrically from our neighbour's wireless microwave equipment and its effects.

There is an increasing body of people who believe they are adversely affected by this and regard themselves as electrically sensitive. Recently I attended a conference for these patients; there were 100 of them and I was horrified to see the degree and variety of disabilities from which they suffered; some of them could barely function. If someone in authority says this is "only anecdotal" we can remind them that the first few cases of bubonic plague were anecdotal. Everything starts 'anecdotal'.

The concept of 'electro smog' expresses the idea of generalized electrical pollution of the air and atmosphere and that of 'total load' explains why increasing numbers of people are suffering from environmental illness, including Candida, yeast and mould problems, ME, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and are made worse by electrical and microwave exposure.

'Total load' is a concept I use with patients. A man loads a donkey cart unwisely, gradually adding items to the cart until the donkey collapses to its knees... the cart owner then starts to unload things and the donkey gratefully gets up. This analogy shows what we do, unwittingly, to our bodies; most of what we add is invisible, gradual and goes un-noticed at the time.

A colleague has described "the boiled frog syndrome". Apparently, if you place a frog in a saucepan of cold water and slowly bring it to the boil, the frog doesn't notice the heat and fails to jump out, so is gradually boiled alive...Are we doing something similar to ourselves with our increasing 'soup' of wireless microwaves?

It is worth comparing a microwave oven (source of microwaves in a metal box) with mobile phones, Wi Fi etc. in cars and trains (sources of microwaves in a metal box or tube). The effect of the metal box in both cases, is to reflect the microwaves back and forth inside, magnifying the effect in order to cook the food in the oven. If people knew this they would not use mobile phones in cars etc, and this is not about road safety.

Without wishing to venture into complex electrical engineering, we need to be aware that electro-magnetic fields in the home can be measured using meters. There are International government standards and limits concerning EMFs from mobile phone technology, but these vary and are much more restrictive in Sweden than here, where our various studies have largely been funded by the government and the mobile phone companies, who stand to profit. Our government's limits are solely concerned with the heating effect of microwaves, ("if it doesn't burn you or electrocute you... it's safe...") without considering the cellular effects on electrolyte transfer across cell membranes, including calcium transport, and the suppression of melatonin secretion at night. We are 'the body electric'.

Symptoms of Electrical Sensitivity (ES)
The symptoms are so diverse that a list would be very long. The commonest that I see are 'flu' like (cold shakes, no energy, depression, anxiety,) skin rashes, and symptoms pertaining to the ear to which the person holds their phone, including burning and pain sensations. Other symptoms include insomnia, mood swings and headaches and much else, including atypical migraine and epilepsy and heart rhythm problems.

This is made from a careful history, including that of symptoms improving when the person is away from the causal electrical equipment. An electrical and microwave survey of the person's house using meters can be done cheaply and will reveal which domestic appliances are causing the problem. Sometimes measurable EMFs come from a neighbouring flat or property, through walls.
GPs are not trained to diagnose or recognize the existence of ES, and usually miss it and treat the general symptoms with drugs for something else.

Treatment of ES

Avoidance of the cause where possible, extinguish the 'worst first'. Just turning off items may not help as electricity still flows. Plugs need to be pulled out and mains turned off. There are screening materials that may help. Professional advice should be sought to avoid unnecessary expense.

General Measures
Reduction of total load by dealing with additional conditions such as Candida and mould, allergy including remedying house mould problems, dietary improvements and nutritional supplements.
Antihistamines may help some people.

The Main Culprits
Below is a list of the commoner electrical and microwave devices to be avoided as far as possible. It is not exhaustive. First some general comments:

Houses and Electricity
Apart from cell phones of whose microwave emanations we are aware, house cordless digital (DECT) phones and their chargers are a major cause of electro-magnetic pollution, (this can be measured and goes through brick walls.) These are best avoided; certainly the phone and charger should not be by the bed, unless pulled from the main at night. Hard-wired phones (or the old analogue cordless phones, see below,) are much safer, especially for the electrically sensitive.

The list of electrical gizmos in houses that may affect us is endless; some of the worst are the small transformers (boxes on wires) that reduce the voltage for many appliances and these should not be near the bed at night, which is when the body tries to repair itself from the ravages of the day. Similarly electric blankets and bed heaters should not be left running at night.

Electrical and Microwave
*Starred items are using microwave wireless technology

Inside House

  • Consumer unit and house wiring (ring main)
  • Transformers
  • Low Energy Light Bulbs
  • Telephones: Cell Phones*
  • Cordless: DECT* digital house phones
  • Computers and Wi Fi* routers
  • Wireless burglar alarm sensors*
  • Fluorescent (strip) lights
  • Wireless baby Alarms*


  • High voltage power lines, transformers, electrical sub-stations (National Grid)
  • Mobile phone masts (microwave)*
  • TETRA masts (microwave and pulsating signal)*
  • Public WiFi computer hot spots*
  • Car: The car's own electrics
  • Sat. Nav. Systems*
  • Radio and TV transmitters and satellite receiving dishes
  • Lamp posts* in some areas  are controlled by mobile phone technology.

Coming Soon
"Smart" (utility) meters *
Wind Turbines, and photo-voltaic roof panels require electricity from the National Grid to run the inverter required to convert the current from DC to AC(!)

The worst offenders are the DECT phones in every home and the computer WiFi home hub. Pull the DECT phone and make the computer connection wired, and the electro-smog will be considerably reduced.

Coming Soon: Smart Domestic Utility Meters
These will be controlled by microwave (mobile phone) technology; each utility meter (gas, electricity) will have a transmitter and receiver using mobile phone signals to transmit the house utility usage to the company concerned on a half-hourly basis. There will also be a wireless gizmo on the meter transmitting to a central 'home hub' to alert you that when you turn on anything, your usage and costs will go up, and by how much. This will be using different microwave frequencies (868MHz band) and presumably will involve two lots of transmission and receiving frequencies, per house or flat. The overlap from this will provide an electronic 'soup' that doesn't bear thinking about.

TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio)
This is a separate mobile phone system used by the police and emergency services, and on the railways. It requires masts to be 'line of sight' (frequent, and often outside houses). TETRA transmits data by pulsing at 17.5 Hz (cycles per second) which is our brain's beta wave frequency. There is concern that this may be harmful to those near the base stations or using the handsets.

Food for Thought
There is evidence regarding increases in cases of childhood leukaemia in those living near high voltage power lines. There is evidence (being denied) that there is an increase in various cancers in heavy users of mobile phones. There is an increase in cases of chronic neurological diseases (MS, Motor Neurone Disease etc.), especially in those living near wireless transmitting masts and military installations. These diseases used to be very rare forty years ago. There is a theory that sufferers from ES are likely to be of small frame or stature, rendering them more susceptible; if true this is bad news for children.

There seems to be a connection between airborne mould allergy and electrical equipment (computers, Wi Fi routers in my experience) which may be because the mould particles in the air become charged, and so more active and may go further into lungs, sinuses etc.

Some people with ES have developed extreme mood swings and been admitted to psychiatric units diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disease (manic depressive psychosis). I spoke to an experienced psychiatric nurse who told me that the symptoms these people are suffering from are different in that they lack periodicity (up and down) and these patients are very unhappy. (Bipolar 'high' is qualitatively different and pleasant.) Some people have been sectioned to mental hospitals because of this. The real diagnosis would be made by the history of heavy microwave exposure or working with computers.

Those who Forget History are Doomed to Repeat it
It is worth remembering the early days after the discovery of radio-activity (ionising radiation). This was not considered harmful and was scattered around and used on non-essential good ideas such as luminous watch dials and devices to x-ray feet in shoe shops. Eventually the association with cancer was accepted. Ionising radiation is now very carefully rationed. How long will it take before non-ionising radiation is admitted to cause health problems?

Another sad analogy is the tobacco industry's original refusal to admit that smoking causes cancer, with tragic and expensive results. You can not prove a negative, so when the vested interests state that "there is no evidence that our expensive little miracle gadget causes illness..." you have to wonder what tests were done.

It is important to keep optimistic; undoubtedly knowledge and understanding of what is happening in the wireless world is a tremendous asset. Perhaps we should remember the 'canary in the coalmine' early warning analogy. Those who suffer from allergies, or chemical and electrical sensitivity are analogous to the canary in the coalmine (an early warning to miners of poisonous gas; being smaller, the canary keeled over first). Sadly, as yet, this is not being heeded.

"Science advances one funeral at a time..."

Useful Websites
Patient support group and info. Tel 0845 643 9748.   
General and comprehensible scientific information
Measuring Instruments  
Location of mobile phone and TETRA masts
Government site for info. about smart meters  (Charles Hendry MP)
Reconditioned analogue cordless phones (BT Quartet)


  1. Ann Fillmore said..

    Just what I needed to show my doctor. Two days ago, after exposure to some heavy EMF locally and powerful HAARP effects in the sky overhead, I had what the doc is calling a HPN (shingles-like) attack with aberrant migrane and tinnitus (felt like my ears were being pulled inside out). She did not want to even discuss the energy impact, in fact, she became so frustrated, she ended up telling me my 'spell' was due to old injuries in my neck which now has arthritis! She could not explain the burning skin, the itching, and so on.

    This was no 'spell' -- it was almost a seizure and it was SCARY. I know now to look at the radar over the Oregon coast and see what HAARP is doing. And with Dr Samway's advice, I'm pulling the plugs on appliances when not in use. THANK YOU, Dr S.

  2. AnnaMariah said..

    Love the tobacco analogy, I think we all remember when tobacco, asbestos, and various pesticides and food additives were all "safe". Many of the people who discount radiation as an issue are looking at the short-term affect and saying there's not a problem, but the real issue shows up 10-20-30 years later. However, as you've pointed out more and more people are beginning to show symptoms of EMF sensitivity. Brain fog is one of the biggest effects our new technologies have created.

    Many people think it's age, but the other thing that has changed since the 90's when you were more focused was that we have much more electronic smog than we did back then. What I found that helps is wearing a BioElectric Shield a pendant that helps neutralize and deflect not only the EMF but other people's negativity and stress, thousands of people report greatly increased focus. (yes, I work for the company, but I do so because I know it works and enjoy sharing something that can change someone's life for the better).

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About Dr Diana Samways

Dr Diana Samways MBBS qualified in Medicine from the Royal Free Hospital and worked in General Practice. She is an expert on Environmental Medicine and now runs a holistic medical practice in Haslemere Surrey with a particular interest in IBS, Candida, allergies, including moulds and much else. She advises about remedies for mouldy houses. Diana sees people with ES. Her consultations are educational and designed to give the person concerned the tools to make their own healing journey. She can visit and do an electrical survey for microwave pollution in houses etc. in Haslemere and the surrounding area. Dr Samways is an entertaining public speaker on holistic health topics. Her popular book: I’m a Patient… Get me out of Here… (the paper-back equivalent of rescue remedy...) is available through Tel: 01428 643021; and Dr Samways may be contacted via

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