• 16 JAN 06
    • 0

    Question from Shivani Arjuna

    From Shivani Arjuna:

    Don’s NOTE: I will be away for about two weeks so any replies should be sent directly to Shivani Arjuna at: SArjuna@aol.com


    Dear friends,

    I am particularly interested in the following three paragraphs from Katharina Gustasv’s posting of January 15th.

    “Compared to magnetic field research, there have been rather few studies on 60-Hz electric-field effects. When Wolfgang Maes, the co-founder of the Building Biology Guidelines, had 500 of his EMR surveys from the 1980s analyzed for the dominant ELF factor in the bed where people actually sleep, it was not the magnetic field component, but the 50-Hz electric field component that seemed to contribute the most to electromagnetic exposure in bed. (The electric field measurements were taken with state-of-the art equipment from www.combinova.se, one of the research companies involved in the development of the Swedish low-emission standard for computer monitors www.tcodevelopment.com).
    In 1997 Gisbert Gralla, Ph.D., an electrical engineer from Germany, came to the same conclusion when he compared AC electric and magnetic field measurements for over 300 EMR surveys of sleeping areas. He measured the actually induced body current on the skin of sleeping subjects caused by the 50-Hz electric field component. The induced body current caused by the magnetic field component was calculated from the ambient magnetic field measurements. (www.datadiwan.de/netzwerk/index.htm?/esmog/es_98_02.htm The summary in the Elektrosmog Report published by the Nova Institut is in German only.) The specifics of the measurements are documented in the Journal of Electro- and Magnetobiology, which is now called Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine: Gralla, G: Estimation of 50-Hz electrically vs. magnetically generated body currents in sleeping subjects. Electro- and Magnetobiology 16(3), 235-241 (1997).
    Roger Coghill, the pioneering EMF researcher from the UK, also moved his testing equipment right into the beds where children sleep and took 50-Hz electric field measurements. In his 1996 pilot study (reported on in his presentation at the Childhood Leukemia Conference 2004 www.leukaemiaconference.org/programme/posters/day3-coghill2.pdf) he found a “near five fold relative risk [of childhood leukemia] using a cut off of 20 V/m.” (From plugged-in extension cords running along a bedside, my electric field meter often registers above 20 V/m at 60-Hz even at three feet away right in the bed, but at a three-feet distance I usually do not measure VLF signals anymore except for there are fluorescent lamps including energy-saving lamps or an inverter for an alternative energy system turned on, to name only two of the more prominent sources of major VLF exposure in residences.)”

    I wonder if Katharina or others can comment on whether Maes, Gralla and Coghill checked for the presence of the higher frequencies of electrical pollution when they took these measurements, or just presumed that the current present was 50 Hz only. These days, it is indeed rare to find utility-rovided current in developed nations that is not polluted with higher frequencies.
    The human body has considerable resistance to 50 and 60 Hz, but the higher the frequency, the less resistance we have to it. Since energy increases tremendously at higher frequencies, a small voltage at high frequency is sufficient to cause damage to living bodies. Above 1.7 KHz all the energy dissipates internally into the human body.
    Is there research demonstrating that “clean” 50 or 60 Hz is related to health symptoms?
    Clearly, more research remains to be done. However, I would like to share the following excert from

    Shocking News October 26, 2004, indicating that it was specifically the high frequencies that were associated with leukemia in the famous Wertheimer study of 1979.

    “Electrical engineers and epidemiologists re-examined the EMF-cancer hypothesis by measuring the current (amperes) at the utility neutral-to-ground wire at the transformer or pole near the homes, the amperage on water lines serving tthe homes, and the intensity of magnetic fields in the living areas most occupied by victims who had lived in the homes. BTD sampled 81 of the 579 cases (cancer) and control residences that were coded by Wertheimer and Leeper in 1979 [20] and by Savitz et al. in 1988 [In ref. 11]. In this study 60 Hz, 180 Hz, and harmonic magnetic fields are associated with wire codes, but only 180 Hz and harmonic magnetic fields are associated with case/control status; case being a cancer victim lived at the residence.
    The odds ratio (OR) combined across strata (HCC, LCC) for the 180 Hz and the sum of 3rd , 5th , and 7th harmonic fields were 4.0 and 4.3 respectively. Both were significantly elevated above the null value of 1 ( P = 0.0061) for either field components. The odds ratios indicate cancer deaths were four times more likely among victims who lived in homes with high levels of 180Hz current or the 3rd , 5th and 7th harmonics than among controls with similar socioeconomic backgrounds. The conclusions reached 25 years earlier [20] were validated, but an improved measurement instrument with coil censor signal analyzer (HP Model 3561A) implicated harmonic currents which earlier test meters did not detect.’

    The point I wish to make is that it appears that in normal home situations the specific frequencies a person is exposed to are much more important than the strength of the fields present. Even a very low voltage field containing high frequencies is to be avoided in order for an individual to remain symptom free.
    Grounding techniques are therefore risky, as they can bring damaging high frequencies in to the building from the ground outside, thus exposing the individual who is hoping for relief.

    Shivani Arjuna

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