People afraid of WiFi's effects head to West Virginia

Technological advancements have caused the increased use of wireless phones and WiFi for Internet connections. But a few people believe that all of those wireless signals in the air can affect their health. It's a condition called Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and about 5 percent of US citizens believe they feel the effects associated with this condition. However, it's also a condition that most medical doctors simply don't believe exists.

That hasn't stopped certain people from trying to escape from all wireless phone, WiFi or indeed all electromagnetic signals. The BBC web site reports that many of them in the US have moved to the tiny town of Green Bank, West Virginia. It's been designated as a US Radio Quiet Zone due to the fact that a number of radio telescopes used by astronomers and the military are in use in the area. This zone is now the new home for dozens of people who are afraid of the health effects of wireless and electromagnetic signals. One of the people profiled in the article is Diane Schou, who blames signals from a mobile phone antenna in her former home in Iowa for a variety of health problems. She claims that moving to Green Bank has been helpful for her health, saying, "Here in Green Bank allows me to be with people. People here do not carry cell phones so I can socialize."

But are all of these people just misdiagnosing themselves? Bob Park, a physics professor at the University of Maryland, says that WiFi signals are just not strong enough to cause people to become sick. He states, "The bigger problem that we face is that in our society, driven by technological change, people have very little education. 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."

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft wants Windows Phone 7 Mango apps now

Next Story

Razer to launch Xbox 360 arcade stick; seeks feedback

15 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

@ Ricky65 the long term effects of microwaves are known you end up cooked if exposed for long enough

@ SpyderCanopus that's an effect of high voltage 10KV or above infact one of New Zealands leading country singers used to live directly below HV lines and was steadily getting sicker and sicker the longer she was there she noticed that when she was away on tour the effects would lesson and recur when back she finally moved house and is now reporting her health as completely fine

It rarely happens to us, but when a wide-area power outage happens, there -is- a calmness in the air. Like time stops until the whirling machines power up again.

Wow, I sure hope they don't use devices like microwaves either. Go to radio shack and buy an EMF meter, hold that next to your microwave next time you run it and just see how many milligauss it picks up. It's a little crazy. These people are so stupid.

Although, I do agree with Majestic as well.

Majesticmerc said,
So somebody has created a technology that takes idiots, and puts them all in one place? Give that person a Nobel Prize!
True. But at least that one place for the idiots is in West Virginia. They sure got pretty mouths out that way.

The biggest antagonist for their argument is the sample size of people who don't notice any effects: 6 billion. I suspect is's more a placebo effect to do with how people feel surrounded by others communicating to (yet) others via wifi/sms etc and not them.

dancedar said,
The biggest antagonist for their argument is the sample size of people who don't notice any effects: 6 billion. I suspect is's more a placebo effect to do with how people feel surrounded by others communicating to (yet) others via wifi/sms etc and not them.

It's not because 6 billions don't notice any effect that it is not real.

It's like sun-sensitive people. It's not because 99% of people don't have any problem with sun light that people who are sun-sensitive lie.

Someone should secretly set up a high power transmitter (obviously avoid frequencies which will screw up the radio telescopes), in the middle of Green Bank, and wait for all the people with this "Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity" to move out (or rather not move out, since, as chAos said, it's purely placebo effect).

Wolfbane said,
Someone should secretly set up a high power transmitter (obviously avoid frequencies which will screw up the radio telescopes), in the middle of Green Bank, and wait for all the people with this "Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity" to move out (or rather not move out, since, as chAos said, it's purely placebo effect).

I like that. lol =P

I'm sure that military equipment is doing its job on them though. Who says they're not more harmful than the normal stuff you'd find back home. =D

Quick Shot said,

I'm sure that military equipment is doing its job on them though. Who says they're not more harmful than the normal stuff you'd find back home. =D

Do you even understand what a radio telescope is?

roadwarrior said,

Do you even understand what a radio telescope is?

Not really. Figured it was something radioactive =D.
I'll google it though

Quick Shot said,

Not really. Figured it was something radioactive =D.
I'll google it though


Think of a satellite TV dish on steroids. It is a passive receiver. Which is why it needs a radio-free zone to function correctly.

Wolfbane said,
Someone should secretly set up a high power transmitter (obviously avoid frequencies which will screw up the radio telescopes), in the middle of Green Bank, and wait for all the people with this "Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity" to move out (or rather not move out, since, as chAos said, it's purely placebo effect).

They did this, a group of people were put in a room with a portable mobile phone antenna array just outside. They were told it would be on in the morning and off in the afternoon and asked them to report any illness.
In truth it was off in the morning and on in the afternoon, and iirc some people said they were feeling ill in the morning, and someone said they were ill in the afternoon. Sadly they found that one person was genuinely ill from another cause so the results were inconclusive