Chapter 2. Chemical and Electrical Sensitivities
In 1982, the problems experienced by chemically sensitive patients who had become hypersensitive to their electromagnetic environment came to find me. These proved to be the “Rosetta Stone” for the language of biocommunication. The symptoms provoked in them by the chemicals to which they had acquired a hypersensitivity were identical to those triggered by specific frequencies in their environment. It quickly became clear that it was frequency that mattered and that frequency was patient specific. We now had the same effect described in three different languages, the chemical, the electrical, and the potencies of allergy therapy. This led me to the development of techniques for the measurement of frequencies in patients’ body fields, then in water and later in homeopathic potencies.
That year we published a letter1 pointing out that the currents induced in the body by environmental electric and magnetic fields were comparable to those known to produce electro-anaesthesia, which involves the stimulation of endogenous opiates. We therefore proposed that a chronic exposure could result in adaptation. Consequently, effects would only be observed as withdrawal symptoms and therefore might not become associated with the electrical environment.
Farmers had told us that cattle grazing under high voltage lines do not get on with the job of making milk. Therefore we said that a published picture showing cows under power lines did not demonstrate the absence of ill-effects, but showed a field of ‘Junkie Cows’.
This was in accord with thinking on environmental sensitivities and was noted by Dr. Jean Monro (now Medical Director of the Breakspear Hospital, near London, England) who wrote to me asking whether I could help with her electrically sensitive patients. It was thus that I first became involved in the diagnosis and therapy of patients ‘Hypersensitive to their Electromagnetic Environment’. Working with her electrically hypersensitive patients and later with those of Dr. W.J. Rea at the Environmental Health Center in Dallas, Texas, USA, has given me an insight into the extremes of sensitivity of which living systems are capable. Some of the electrical and physics concepts involved are explained in Appendix 1.
2.1 What are Electrical Sensitivities?
Many persons suffer from sensitivities to certain foods and environmental chemicals which cause them discomfort, or even in extreme cases prevent them from functioning in an effective manner. Even the most minute amounts of these substances may on occasions ‘trigger’ reactions which are specific to each individual. Warnings regarding nuts, peanuts or gluten are commonly found displayed on the packaging of food products. When a sensitivity reaction occurs, some regulatory system within the body has ceased to function properly and gives alarm signals calling for an unjustified panic reaction. Usually, it is the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which is the first to become compromised in this way. This system controls all the involuntary body functions. Any part or function of the body might become affected by the same allergen acting in different people. Electrical sensitivity effects do not show up in general medical statistics for this reason.
Those who have already acquired several chemical hypersensitivities which are still ‘ongoing’ are at particular risk of acquiring electrical sensitivities as an additional problem. This effect may transfer from being triggered by a minute amount of some chemical in the environment to some patient-specific frequency of an electromagnetic field in the environment. Usually, it is the same patient symptoms that continue to be ‘triggered’. It is the frequency of the electromagnetic field that matters once some patient-specific threshold of intensity or field strength has been exceeded. This is shown in Appendix 2 for a “Press-Call” in 1984 to present a volunteer subject hypersensitive to 50 Hz, reacting 200 metres from power lines in open country and within a vehicle passing beneath power lines in the UK.
The range of clinically effective frequencies extends from thousands of seconds per cycle (circadian rhythms) through heart beat, audio-, radio- and microwave-frequencies, to visible light. All these effects are so-called ‘non-thermal’, which means that the electrical power is insufficient to produce any significant heating in the body. Again, it is the frequency that matters. In technical terms, it is the spectral power density or the watts per cycle of bandwidth of the radiation which is relevant so that the more precise the frequency range the less is the power needed to exceed the threshold for an effect.
As a matter of public health, Germany has introduced the WHO International Classification of Diseases Code T78.4 for ‘Chemical-Sensitivity Syndrome Multiple’. This enables cases of this syndrome to be reported and statistics collected. There is no electrical equivalent WHO Classification to date, but it would seem reasonable for these cases to be recorded as a complication of multiple chemical sensitivities. Sweden regards electrical sensitivity as a disability, with the implication that all public places must be fit for a person disabled by electrical sensitivity to be in.
2.2 The Electrical Environment
Electrically hypersensitive patients may experience problems from frequencies in the natural environment. Atmospheric frequencies arising from weather changes such as approaching weather fronts and from thunderstorms may be troublesome. The frequencies may be electrical or acoustic.
Fluorescent lighting and laser bar-code readers at check-outs make shopping difficult, particularly if inhalants such as chemicals on fabrics or from plastics provide an initial chemical sensitisation. The patient may experience problems from electrical equipment such as power lines, radio- TV- or mobile phone transmitters, tape or CD/DVD-recorders/players, computers, mobile phones, satellites, in fact any one of the multitude of electronic devices in the modern environment. It is not necessary for an electrical device to be active, a passive resonant circuit may suffice to trigger a reaction. Such persons may become aware of having electrical appliances malfunction when they handle them or, even when in their vicinity.
The female sensitivity characteristic is towards chronic sensitivities appearing at an early stage, resulting in being labelled as “over-anxious”; the male characteristic is for no reaction until the onset of a sudden and disabling crash which may result in the person becoming completely unable to function normally.
The hazard from chronic over-exposure to electrical frequencies in a healthy person is equivalent to having a homeopathic proving trial prolonged until the symptoms become indistinguishable from the disease condition characteristic of that remedy. This problem seems to arise when the frequency pattern of a chemical already in the body and toxic to it matches a frequency pattern from the electrical environment. This makes the body think it is under chemical attack.
2.3 Clinical Observations relating to Electrical Sensitivities
Objective clinical observations include: changes in respiration, heart rate changes, eye pupil dilation, perspiration or lack of it, muscular weakness, loss of visual acuity, speech or writing difficulties, loss of consciousness, convulsions.
Typical Subjective Symptoms relating to Electrical Sensitivities include: drowsiness, malaise and headache, mood swings, tearfulness and eye pain, poor concentration, vertigo and tinnitus, numbness and tingling, nausea and flatulence, convulsions, noise sensitivity, alteration in appetite, visual disturbances, restlessness, blushing.
2.4 Dallas Electrical Sensitivity Trials.
These trials2 to demonstrate the reality of electrical sensitivities were conducted in four phases:
- Development of a controlled test environment and test procedure.
- Single-Blind screening at frequencies 100 mHz – 5 MHz on 100 patients.
- Double-Blind tests on the 25 patients showing no reactions during placebos and 25 control patients.
- Two Double-Blind tests on 16 patients at their most sensitive frequency using 5 placebos to 1 active test.
- To determine a suitable testing environment – Chemically clean; porcelained-steel walls; ceramic tiled floor; filtered re-cycled air; electric field zero V/m; magnetic field 20 nT at 60 Hz; daylight illumination.
- To determine suitable test conditions – Patient comfortably seated, magnetic field from coil connected to an oscillator giving 3000 nT at foot level and 70 nT at head level. A total of 21 oscillator frequencies were used ranging from 100 mHz to 5 MHz. The symptoms induced during testing are shown in Figure 1.
Phase 2 – Results:
100 patients were involved and received a total of 2600 challenges.
25 patients gave 0% responses ( EMF insensitive);
25 patients gave true positive responses 62%, false positive responses 0%;
50 patients gave true positive responses 71%, false positive responses 60%.
Phase 3 – Results:
25 patients from Phase 2 giving zero false positives were re-tested double-blind.
Of these, 53% gave true positives, 8% gave false positives. No patient reacted to all the frequencies tested. The 25 controls gave 0% responses to any frequency.
Phase 4 – Results:
16 patients from Phase 3 were twice re-challenged double-blind at each patient’s most sensitive frequency. Both the Phase 4 trials gave 100% reactions to the double-blind challenges, 0% reactions to the placebos.
2.5 Testing for Electrical Sensitivities
Just as abnormal food and chemical sensitivities can be tested for, so can electrical ones. Initially, our procedure was simply to sit the patient a controlled environment. In practice, this was a chemical and particulate clean room, with negligible electrical fields from within or without and lit by daylight. An electrical oscillator was located at a normal TV-viewing or computer-using distance away from the patient as shown in Figure 2. This gave the patient a controlled electromagnetic field comparable with that commonly experienced in the environment within which the patient must be able to function.