Subject: shielding question
Dear (Director, CEP),
I found your article about your story with the smart meter [Living Nightmare: How SDG&E Smart Meter Led to Headaches, Hearing Loss]. I live in Canada, and don’t have a smart meter, but I am very sensitive to my computer and to cell phones (I don’t use a cell anymore). I get constant pain in my ears, especially the right one. I was recently out in the country/forest for 2 weeks, far from computers and phones and my ears finally stopped hurting. Now that I am back in the city, my ears are in pain again. I read that you shielded your computer so that you’d be able to use it.
I’m a first year XXXX school teacher and I’ve just started my first job this week. My classroom is right next to the electrical room (bummer!) and the school relies heavily on emails, which will mean plenty of time at the computer.
Can you give me any suggestions on what to use to shield my computer? Can you suggest reputable websites? I’ve seen some sites selling products for shielding, but I want to make sure I’m not buying something that’s just a scam.
Thanks for any advice you can offer and thank you for all that you are doing to fight smart meters and EMR.
I am happy to respond to your inquiry as best I can. As you may know, I am a retired teacher (retired early due to environmental exposures) … I can well picture your situation. I have known a number of teachers who had environmental sensitivities and were able to continue working (usually with accommodations or a lot of “luck”), while others found it very problematic to find a healthful situation. The teachers may have been sensitive to mold and damp buildings, chemicals, and/or RF radiation – most commonly all of the above, as all can produce inflammatory reactions for some sensitive individuals or those who develop sensitivities over time.
I would, first of all, request in writing, if possible, that your room be located away from the electrical room, based on discrimination laws, if need be and if applicable. [See sample accommodation letter that you may rework to fit your circumstances.]
Worst case scenario is becoming far more sensitive, so avoidance is helpful if it can be accomplished. (That also may not occur, check with your own physician [hopefully one versed in RF (radiofrequency) - especially microwave - radiation and health about his/her recommendations.] I know that requesting accommodations, if you decide to do it, may be scary and may not have a good outcome. You will have to weigh the risks and decide what to do. First year teachers and those without tenure are particularly unprotected, at least in the USA, so do take care and receive advisement – perhaps legal or from your union, as well as your physician. But remember, too, that health is essential to being able to work, longterm.
Hopefully they will accommodate you without any major issues. You could also try shielding the entire wall, but from what I understand, the magnetic fields may also be an issue and this is harder [perhaps impossible] to shield against. You may wish to consult an expert in shielding RF radiation and electrical/magnetic fields. These are far and few between, however. I do have a friend in Canada who might recommend one if you need a name. Of course, shielding on school property is more difficult than in one’s own home.
I hope there is no WIFI on the campus. If there is, some electro-sensitives have significant problems, over time. Being far from the routers may be of help, if there is. For a YouTube video on how RF radiation is greatly increased by use of WIFI on the laptop (you can turn off the setting and hook it up wired to eliminate this source) view Is Your Laptop PC Polluting Your Home With Electromagnetic Radiation?(WiFi) . For more on School WIFI click here and click this link to view Youtube, WiFi in Schools Proved Dangerous .
To shield the computer, I ordered several items from www.lessemf.com. One is called Swiss Shielding or Silver Bullion Mesh Shielding, 4 sq. feet of it, which I fold about four times and place over the laptop (bottom portion). They no longer offer it but it could be obtained elsewhere or something similar ordered. Then, I ordered their AL100 Wall Shield, which I fold four times and place over the Silver Bullion Mesh on the bottom of the laptop. I use the laptop placed about 2.5 feet away from me, with an extended keyboard and mouse (wired, of course). I recommend getting the low EMF [extended keyboard and mouse] set from lessemf.com as well. Allow air flow around the computer. Mine is placed on a tilted stand that has a mesh bottom to it, so that the laptop is not overheated.
I recently ordered RIPSTOP SILVER FABRIC http://www.lessemf.com/fabric.html , which may also be used to cover the bottom of the computer or the tower as well as used to cover your body, as needed, and the 3-Axis RF Meter http://www.lessemf.com/rf.html (TenMars TM-195) to be able to measure RF and try to achieve the .001 (or less) Microwatts per cm2 that electro-sensitives reportedly need. (.000 is best, which is a normal background level, one which we have evolved to be able to handle, physiologically, according to some physicians familiar with RF radiation sickness and electro-sensitivity.) I now have to measure all my environments, keep the RF very low, and avoid WIFI. With a RF field meter, you can also measure the effectiveness (before and after testing) of your shielding.
I also ordered, on amazon.com, a Kensington Radiofrequency Computer Monitor Shield (grounded) for the computer screen. Though this doesn’t seem to show up as effective for RF radiation (in the range my meter will measure, on pre-and post testing), it is helpful in some manner, according to my own physiological reactions, and may reduce low frequency EMF’s. These were designed years ago for the large older monitors that were making people ill at the time.
If very sensitive, you can compose emails or other items to be typed on a simple word-processing gadget that does not cause emf exposures and then upload the text to the body of the email on the computer, and thus reduce your exposures. The AlphaSmart 3000® is one to explore as a possible option.
Lastly, the new aluminum laptops that Apple has put out (MacBooks?) are very low in RF, according to my measurements – likely due to the aluminum case which would act as a shield, vs. a plastic case. You could measure these in the store, perhaps. This is why having a RF field meter is so very important, for sensitive individuals. You can then be sure of the levels of RF– I encourage you to measure all these yourself to confirm. I do not use recommend using your body as the gauge, as that is not good for you as the cumulative exposure may be happening.
Additionally, per my environmental physician’s advice, I have stopped using cell phones, microwave ovens, cordless phones, no wireless Internet (I set up wired access), and I don’t allow cell phones to be “on” near me (or in the house as much as possible) either. It is quite a challenge outside the home, as you can imagine, at this point.
Of course, have opted out from smart meters (had to help fight for that for a year and a half). If I could not opt-out I would NOT allow their installation, no matter what. Fences, cages, whatever it took. Ahead of time, had I known. Smart meters are coming to your area, you can be sure. Plan accordingly. Work with a local group Smart Meter Activism Sites – CA and USA or start one if possible.
I hope this helps. We advise seeking legal assistance before contacting your employer and medical advisement from your own doctor or an environmental physician, who may issue you a letter. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has issued a set of Recommendations for exposure to RF radiation for a variety of medical conditions and disabilities. ALERT: AAEM Releases Recommendations EMF and RF Exposures (7/12/12). This may be of help, also. Everyone is different with regards to their tolerances, too, so what works for one may not work for all, what one can tolerate may not be the same as what others can (or can’t). It is trial and error.
The Less EMF site is provided as an example only. There are other places to purchase shielding products. Ask and get in writing statements about whether you can wash the shielding materials and whether they will guarantee their products, with a money back warrantee. I do not recommend placing the shielding materials in water based on feedback from our contacts, in any event.
We cannot guarantee any outcome. All of the above falls under our site disclaimer.
Director, Center for Electrosmog Prevention
Dr. Magda Havas: The Truth About Wired and Wireless Technologies
Dr. Havas is an associate professor of Environmental & Resource Studies at Trent University where she teaches and does research on the biological effects of environmental contaminants. Her research deals with the health effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic energy at the extremely low frequency range associated with electricity (60 Hertz) and at the radio frequency range commonly associated with wireless telecommunication. Dr. Havas is particularly interested in monitoring exposure of the population in urban centres to radio frequency radiation and power-frequency fields. She is the author of numerous works on the subject. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, completed Post-Doctoral research at Cornell University, and taught at the University of Toronto before going to Trent University in Peterborough, Canada.
Dr. Magda Havas: WiFi in Schools is Safe. True or False?
s Wi-Fi in schools safe? Find out by watching this video. Learn how the Wi-Fi routers used in schools differ from those in homes; learn about studies that have documented the adverse effects of this radiation on rats, blood cells, the heart, cancer; learn about alternatives to wireless routers that are cost effective, energy efficient and that don’t emit microwave radiation.