My annoyance with the reception delay on my cell phone started me on a path that led to Ann Louise Gittleman’s book Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn’t Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution. She sorts through the data on the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on human health, details all the sources you’re likely to encounter in your home and environment, and gives lots of options for counter-measures you can take. She maintains an optimistic tone throughout which I appreciate, as I tend to get stressed and tune out when listening to doomsday pronouncements.
After reading about a quarter of the book, I spent three days making what alterations I could in my apartment. I turned off my cell phone and replaced the cordless phone with a corded one. Since the wired version of the beautiful Apple keyboard turned out to be $100, my poor iMac now suffers the indignity of a $13 plastic knockoff. I tried a wired mouse but fighting the drag of the cord drove me insane — how did we ever use those things? — so I switched to a trackball.
I already turned all my appliances on and off from power strips. This way you don’t have to unplug the appliance from the outlet to keep it from drawing power. I also replaced my kitchen’s fluorescent task light with an incandescent one and got rid of two lamps in my bedroom. My air purifiers will be turned off over my dead body.
I finished all these changes on a Monday. For the next three days I kept catching myself thinking it was Friday. The same thing happened the next week, also starting on Tuesday. The next week, a holiday week, that I’m-on-vacation feeling did not return but I’m still experiencing a noticeable increase in calm.
I made another change at around the same time that must also be considered. The week before I had added magnesium to my regimen. I’ve taken it before, and it can definitely be a relaxant, but it had never had this kind of effect on me. However, this was the first time I’d ever taken it in conjunction with selenium, which I’d started several months before and which for me also has a calming effect.
To me the rapid onset after getting rid of the cordless phone points to an electrosmog correlation. Another is the weird weekend and holiday increase in jitteriness, which could be explained by the increase in the neighbors’ electricity use compared to the work week. I am one of the few people in the building who work at home.
Ideally I should reinstate the cordless phone and wi-fi and see how I feel, but I can’t bring myself to do it just yet. And of course actually measuring their EMF output would be interesting. But as subjective as this is, I’d say that the cordless phone was responsible for the greatest part of the effect I noticed.
After making those changes I got a little overwhelmed by Gittleman’s other suggestions, which cost a lot more money. Moving my iMac’s CPU tower further away from my body isn’t possible (it’s grafted to the monitor), so I’d have to purchase a different computer setup. Microsurge suppressors, which block voltage spikes from outlets, would add up to several hundred dollars. I wouldn’t want to try them until I could actually measure what they were lowering, but the gadget to measure that also costs several hundred bucks.
I’d also eventually like to measure everything you can’t shield yourself from as easily, such as the power line with two step-down transformers that’s 100 feet outside my window, my neighbors’ cordless phones and wi-fi, and the ceiling fan of my downstairs neighbor that is three feet below my bed. (Remember: EMF go right through walls.) But measuring these sources requires at least one other expensive meter. You can hire an expert to do all this, but only if you can find one in your area, and it will cost at least $300.
In the middle of this experiment I started wondering about incidents over the past three years where I’d get off the cordless/cell phone after a long call and have the sensation that everything was suddenly much quieter, as if I’d been yelling to someone in a windstorm and now was indoors. That hasn’t happened since I started the experiment. Electrical pollution experts believe that EMF disrupts your body’s electrical signals and can destroy cell walls. Perhaps my brain had to work at a higher output to fight the phone interference, and that change registered in my memory after the interference was gone.