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Diane Schou  (Source:

Diane Schou, who left her home in Iowa to live in West Virginia, said she used to live in a Faraday Cage prior to finding shelter in Green Bank

There have been attempts in the not-so-distant past where citizens strapped on their tin foil hats and complained of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), which is an illness typically caused by electromagnetic fields created by mobile devices and Wi-Fi. Earlier this year, for instance, some San Francisco, California residents pushed legislators to force cell phone sellers to display labels providing the amount of electromagnetic radiation their devices produce. This law was shelved in May 2011. 

While this attempt may seem ridiculous to those who believe EHS is a fictitious illness, about 5 percent of Americans say they have become sick due to excessive exposure to electromagnetic radiation from wireless devices -- and some of that 5 percent have found a safe haven in West Virginia. 

Wi-Fi refugees have found a hideout from wireless technology in the mountains of Green Bank, West Virginia according to Discover Magazine. This area is part of the U.S. Radio Quiet Zone, where wireless technologies are banned for 13,000 square miles due to the number of radio telescopes in the area that can’t be exposed to electromagnetic interference. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the U.S. military both own telescopes in this area.

Cell phone-fearing people from around the U.S. have flocked to Green Bank in order to live a life without electromagnetic radiation. Many of the people who moved there claim to have EHS, which is not a recognized illness in the United States. Nevertheless, some say they experience negative side effects when exposed to wireless technology.

Diane Schou, a former Iowa resident, is among those who have left their homes to live in Green Bank. She claims to have experienced symptoms such as chest pain, headaches, rashes and vision changes due to radiation from Wi-Fi and other electromagnetic fields in her home state. 

Back in Iowa, Schou lived solely in an insulated living space known as a Faraday Cage. Her husband built the cage for her as a form of protection from the radiation. The cage consisted of a wooden frame with two layers of wire mesh and a door that had the ability to be sealed shut. Inside was a twin mattress on a plywood base, where Schou spent much of her time. 

"It's a horrible thing to have to be a prisoner," said Schou. "You become a 
technological leper because you can't be around people. It's not that you would be contagious to them - it's what they're carrying that is harmful to you."

Schou's symptoms eventually got to a highly uncomfortable point, and that is when she decided to abandon the family farm and move to West Virginia.

"Living here allows me to be more of a normal person," sad Schou. "I can be outdoors. I don't have to stay hidden away in a Faraday Cage.”

EHS may not be a recognized illness in the United States, but there's plenty of debate surrounding the matter. 

The wireless association CTIA has said that scientific evidence shows that 
wireless devices do not pose a public health risk or cause adverse effects because of the limits established by the government. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) agreed, saying that "EHS has no clear diagnostic criteria and there is no scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF (electromagnetic field) exposure. Further, EHS is not a medical diagnosis, nor is it clear that it represents a single medical problem." However, WHO does recognize that the symptoms are genuine and even 
labeled cell phone radiation as a possible carcinogenic hazard back in May.

On the other hand, research from scientists at Louisiana State University showed that EHS can be caused by low-frequency electromagnetic fields. They made this claim after testing it on a 35-year-old physician who had diagnosed herself with EHS. They seated her in a wooden chair while applying voltage to metal plates for 90 second pulses to produce a series of magnetic fields. After each exposure, she was asked to describe her symptoms. Some of the exposures were fake, where no voltage was applied. But the physician was unaware when there were real exposures and fake ones. 

The physician described headaches and muscle twitching during real exposures and no symptoms during fake exposures. 

"The study provides direct evidence that linking human symptoms with environmental factors, in this case EMF," said Dr. Andrew Marino, who led the study. "It's a watershed in that regard. There have been no previous studies that scientifically assess whether electromagnetic fields in the environment could produce human symptoms. And the symptoms matter because they are the first steps that show how EMFs produce human disease."

Still, other professors, such as physics professor Bob Park from the University of Maryland, say Wi-Fi is too weak to cause any changes in the body that people who claim to have EHS describe.

"The bigger problem that we face is that our society, driven by technological change, people have very little education," said Park. "There are lots of things people need to learn and they're not learning it. The thing that's going to kill them is ignorance."

Currently, Sweden is the only country that recognizes EHS as a real syndrome.

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I happen to...
By MrBlastman on 9/15/2011 12:17:51 PM , Rating: 5
Own one of these:

It is amusing in the least but useful when I want to separate sensitive electronics to prevent interference from each other. I've also used it to test EMF/MW/Electric etc. fields around the house, outdoors and so on.

IF this lady really _is_ sensitive to EMF (which I highly suspect she isn't as there really isn't any biological process that can correlate with it at low levels), then:

a. What happens to her when she sits in the front seat of a car? (Lots of EMF output there...)?

b. What happens to her when she walks up to the curb of the street (I've received high ratings here due to buried power lines and whatnot)?

c. What happens to her when a... Microwave is running! (it takes about 3-4 feet for the field to drop off)

If she really is sensitive to it, living in the rural mountains isn't going to save her. She's going to have to give up basic things in life such as cars, microwaves or even walking around town. She can't hide. EMF... is EVERYWHERE!!!!!

Not to mention the cosmic background radiation. I just don't buy it. I really don't.

RE: I happen to...
By MrTeal on 9/15/2011 12:48:50 PM , Rating: 5
I don't think you understand how this works.

Those things you listed are now familiar and comforting. It's the NEW things we have to be scared of. Cell phones are full of the radiations, just waiting to poison us.

I have a family friend who is an intelligent, articulate older lady who unfortunately believes a little too much in alternate medicines and the like. While we were up at their cabin her husband was using an IR thermometer to check for cold spots around the cabin. She remarked that he should be careful with it, since it had a radiation warning on it and "You never know what kind of rays it's sending out." Despite carefully explaining that it consists of a little sensor and a red laser pointer so you know where you're aiming, she never trusted the damn thing.

People are weird with new technology they don't understand, especially if they can't see it or touch it. Some people are crazy and latch only it. The crazy lady in WV would probably show many more symptoms if you put her back on the farm in her Faraday cage with 3 iPhones with their radios removed than if you installed a 5kW radio transmitter under her West Virginia cabin.

RE: I happen to...
By MrBlastman on 9/15/2011 1:04:31 PM , Rating: 3
No, you see, that's my point and why I listed normal, everyday things.

RE: I happen to...
By MrTeal on 9/15/2011 1:19:09 PM , Rating: 4
Sorry, I guess I needed a smiley on the first line. I know that's what you were getting at.

This entire thing is a parallel, even more ridiculous extension of the fear over nuclear power. The difference there is that we do know nuclear plants are dangerous, and we have to be diligent in design and operation to ensure danger is minimized. There's abundant evidence that getting a good blast of gamma rays or eating radioiodine is pretty bad for you, so while people freaking out over nuclear power might be off base, at least it's understandable.

With this though... there's nothing saying that non-ionizing EM is really bad for anyone in anything but ridiculous quantities. There's studies showing that having a reasonably powerful transmitter right next to your head (like a cell phone) can cause heating just from the absorbed energy, but I've never seen any reasonable study that shows this to be a real health issue. It's paranoia over something we've been living with for years.

RE: I happen to...
By Black1969ta on 9/18/2011 1:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
We know that old underfunded, antiquated designs are dangerous, modern fail-safe designs like those used in France, They also use breeder reactors that reuse nuclear waste and recycle it.

But uneducated people hear "nuclear" and automatically images of Hiroshima, 3-mile island,Chernobyl and cry out, "Not in my Back-yard!"

RE: I happen to...
By Black1969ta on 9/18/2011 1:34:11 PM , Rating: 2
We know that old underfunded, antiquated designs are dangerous, modern fail-safe designs like those used in France are not dangerous.

The breeder reactor help to reduce the danger created by the nuclear waste.

RE: I happen to...
By nafhan on 9/15/2011 2:42:17 PM , Rating: 4
The problem is the word "radiation" for these people. They don't understand what it means, they don't want to understand, and they just know it's BAD.

I've had decent luck with the "heat from the oven and light from a light bulb are radiation" conversation. Although, that's just as likely to get them to disbelieve anything you say.

RE: I happen to...
By wyrmslair on 9/15/2011 5:03:12 PM , Rating: 4
You're so right. After all, only 38% of the people in this country believe evolution is correct. What that really says to me is that 62% of this country failed basic science classes and have no idea how their toys really work. Then again, I was a philosophy major in college, so what do I know? ;-)

RE: I happen to...
By Samus on 9/16/11, Rating: 0
RE: I happen to...
By Skywalker123 on 9/16/2011 2:13:47 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know and have NEVER even heard of anyone who thinks that marijuana cures cancer.What drugs are more effective than pot without major side effects?

RE: I happen to...
By bigdawg1988 on 9/16/2011 12:37:25 PM , Rating: 2
Now an ounce typically costs $400+ and lasts about a month.

According to Doc Severinsen having an ounce means you're about out.

RE: I happen to...
By RivuxGamma on 9/15/2011 2:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
Or her own brain. Though hers is probably not producing as much EMF as it should...

RE: I happen to...
By Sazabi19 on 9/15/2011 3:38:20 PM , Rating: 2
Lol I don't think these retarded people realize that there is a "quiet" zone that leads up to the telescopes but these things emit a hellton (actual unit of measurment). It may be "quiet" at a certain area but they are going to be blasted the closer towards the center they get. Also, our atmosphere and living space is constantly bombarded by many forms of radiation, not just radio waves. Unless they live in a cave they will be subjected to this... or a very thick concrete/lead/iron structure above ground. That is why very sensetive instruments are usually in facilities underground.

RE: I happen to...
By Omega215D on 9/15/2011 4:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
Some of the caves on the east coast contain some radioactive elements but I guess these people would never think of a "rock" emitting radiation.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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