“Dirty” Electricity is a National Problem Affecting Everyone’s Health in the United States

August 29, 2017

“Dirty” Electricity is a National Problem Affecting Everyone’s Health in the United StatesHigh voltage towers with sky background.

Comments by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News

Electricity is a part of all of our lives today, and we seldom give much thought to it unless it is not there when we expect it to be.

Like many stories regarding diseases and potential cures that are not widely known, I stumbled upon this one due to a friend who had a health condition, cancer, and his search for what was causing it. He was not finding answers from the standard medical community and their treatments for cancer, which seldom, if ever, look for the underlying causes.

My friend is Amish, and he is part of a community in Wisconsin that raises healthy food that Tropical Traditions sells on the GrassfedTraditions.com website.

This Amish community lives “off the grid” and seldom uses electricity. But in my friend’s search for causes as to why he was struggling to overcome cancer, he contacted a local resident in their area of western Wisconsin who was an expert on the harmful effects of electricity. This person came to his farm, and determined that his farm had large concentrations of electrical current passing through it, something those in the power industry describe as “stray voltage.” With the help of this local electrician, he was able to install some some copper wiring as a “shield” around his living quarters. He reported:

“Headaches, stomach aches, and inflammation which were common before are now much improved.”

So this intrigued me. How could a local “electrician” in rural Wisconsin have such knowledge, I wondered. I decided to look him up, and found that his name is Dave Stetzer. Here is Dave Stetzer’s bio, from his website:

Dave Stetzer has been an electrician by training, education and experience for over 30 years. He joined the United States Air Force in December 1970 and began his career in electricity when he attended electronics school at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi Mississippi from February through November 1971. At that time, Keesler AFB was known as the world’s #1 electronics school.

During this training Dave was given top-secret military clearance, as much of the electronic equipment he worked on was, and still remains, highly classified. Dave completed training as a ground radio communications electronics technician and was assigned to the 676 Radar Squadron, Antigo Air Force Station, Antigo, Wisconsin. There he diagnosed and repaired a variety of electronic equipment, including PC boards, Klystron tubes and integrated circuits, as well as highly classified military electronic equipment, employing among other things, spectrum analyzers, oscilloscopes, signal generators, and digital frequency counters.

In February 1972, Dave received an assignment to go to Vietnam and was sent to KY8-38 Crypto School at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas where his top-secret military clearance was upgraded to include crypto access. Upon completion of this training, Dave returned to the 676 Radar Squadron at Antigo Air Force Station pending his November port call to Vietnam; his assignment was subsequently changed due to the official ending of the Vietnam War in September 1972. Dave’s duties continued as before, with the additional tasks of diagnosing, maintaining, and repairing highly classified crypto electronic equipment. Upon completion of his tour of duty, Dave received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force.


There is much literature in the alternative health field regarding the dangers of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from items such as cell phones, but Dave Stetzer explains that the hazards of electrical current generated by power companies are greater than most of us realize, and that electromagnetic pollution is not strictly a wireless device problem. Mr. Stetzer has been called as an expert witness in lawsuits against electrical power companies due to his vast expertise on this subject.

I seriously doubt there is anyone in the U.S. today more knowledgeable than Dave Setzer on this topic, so I had Health Impact News’ own health writer John Thomas investigate this very important topic that affects each one of us. Much of the research presented here is based on the years of knowledge accumulated by Dave Setzer. Much of how this “dirty electricity” affects our health is based on the research of Dr. Magda Havas, who will be introduced below.

High Frequency Voltage Transients in the Power Grid may be Causing Life Threatening Health Problems for You and Your Family

by John P. Thomas
Health Impact News

In New York City, Jodie Lane was walking her dog when she stepped on a metal plate in the sidewalk and was killed by electricity. [1]

This was not a one-in-a-billion occurrence. Ground current is pulsing through concrete sidewalks, metal grates in sidewalks, manhole covers, metal street light poles, fire hydrants, and even bus stop signs throughout North America.

In Seattle, Lisa McKibbin was walking her 68-pound German shorthaired pointer Sam through a neighborhood when the dog stepped on a metal plate by a lamppost and was electrocuted. Ms. McKibbin indicated that she thought her dog was having a heart attack or having a seizure. She said,

“I opened up his mouth, stuck my hand in his mouth and I received a jolt … I received a jolt of electricity in my hand.” [2]

In a Baltimore public park, 14-year-old Deanna Green was about to go to bat in a church softball game when she touched a metal safety fence. She was killed by 280 volts of electricity that had leaked out of the ground into the fence. [3]

The problem of ground current or stray voltage is so bad that warnings have been issued to residents of New York City, Toronto and other major cities. Pet owners are being warned to take precautions when they walk their animals on city sidewalks to avoid having their pets electrocuted. The problem of ground current is also a greater threat to young children, because of their smaller physical size.

The Today Show recently featured the problem of stray voltage:

Public Warnings about Ground Current or “Stray Voltage”

The Toronto Star recommends that people watch their step. Pedestrians should walk closer to storefronts and away from street lights. Pet owners should also walk their dogs before dark, using leashes made from non-conductive material such as nylon. [4]

The New York Daily News warns that if pet owners suspect that a dog is receiving a shock, then do not touch the dog or the ground with your bare hands. It is best to use the leash or other non-conductive object to move the pet back away from the area. Voltage may increase if you keep going forward, so it is best to go back to a spot that you know was safe. [5] You should do this before you examine your dog for injuries.

Ground Current Dangers are NOT Rare, and Affect Everyone Living on the Grid

Electrician repair system of electric wire

Electric utility companies want us to believe that ground current and the electrical shocks that occur to people and animals are a rare occurrence caused by old faulty wiring that has been buried in the ground. It is true that there are cases when damaged wiring leaks electric current into the ground and it electrifies metal pipes, sewer lines, and even concrete.

However that is not the whole story. The problem of ground current is not limited to this single cause and it is not limited to major cities. It actually is a threat to all people who live near electrical lines or have electricity in their homes.

To help us get the full picture of the ground current problem in North America, I spoke with Dave Stetzer, one of the leading researchers in the field of electrical power quality and high frequency voltage transients. [6]

Ground Current Dangers Are a Recent Problem in the U.S. – Not Present in Europe

Dave Setzer explained that ground current has become a major problem in North America since 1992 when the electric utility companies started using the physical earth as if it was an electric wire. The single neutral wire that utility companies have been using to return unused electricity to their substations for redistribution to the electrical grid is now too small to carry the flow of electricity.

Thus, instead of taking down the small wires and replacing them with larger wires or just adding an additional neutral wire to the power poles, they decided to just run wires down the side of electrical poles into the ground. Electrical current then can flow through the earth back to the electric substation. Electricity that is put into the earth spreads out for miles in all directions as it meanders back to the electrical substation.

Dr. Sam Milham, MD, MPH, estimates that 80% of the current that is returned to electrical substations actually travels through the ground. [7] This practice is not done in most of Europe, where they have adequate capacity in their distribution lines.

This means that the ground we walk on in North America, regardless of whether it is in a city or in the country, is electrified. When conditions are right, the ground current can become a serious threat for us and our animals. The levels of ground current will vary during the day with local electrical usage rates and can spike as certain types of equipment is turned on and off. Moisture also affects the possibility of experiencing shocks from ground current.

Dairy Cows Harmed by Ground Current

Dave Stetzer was contacted by dairy farmers in the 1990s when the farmers suspected that the health and productivity of their herds of milk cows were being harmed by electricity. He monitored the electrical current in the soil and in the barns over an entire period of cow gestation. He measured currents, milk production and the occurrence of illness and miscarriages. It soon became clear that rapidly fluctuating ground currents were disturbing the cows, cutting down on milk production, and leading to disability and early death.

Dr. Magda Havas, PhD, provides more details about the problems that dairy cows are facing. Dr. Havas is a Canadian researcher who has conducted research on the health effects of ground current, high frequency voltage transients, and radio frequency radiation. She described the situation that cows are facing:

Cows exposed to ground current have swollen joints, open sores that fail to heal, and they “dance” (lift their feet) as they try to break the flow of electricity through their body coming from the ground. Milk production is reduced and many have difficulty conceiving. Once they are unable to stand they are no longer useful to the farmer. [8]

The following video clip shows how cows lift their feet in a hopeless attempt to escape the ground current that is pulsing through their bodies.

How the Electrical Grid Causes Illness

In the late 1990s, Dave Stetzer was also approached by people from rural areas of Wisconsin and Minnesota who believed that they were being made sick by their exposure to electricity. He saw the relationship between their symptoms and symptoms of radio wave sickness that had been identified by the military many decades earlier.

The problem was that these people were not in the military and they were not living near military installations or even large airports where radar and similar equipment were located. At that time, there were very few cell phone towers in these rural areas, and that type of radio wave activity didn’t seem to be a likely cause of what he was observing.

He began to suspect that the human illnesses and animal illnesses were coming from the same source – the electrical grid.

group of electric power poles

Measuring High Frequency Wave Forms Generated by Electricity

In 1998, Dave Stetzer began to look more deeply into the electrical activity that is present in the wiring of homes and barns. He knew that in addition to the normal 60 Hz electrical frequency that was in electrical wiring, there were many other high frequency wave forms that he could see with an oscilloscope.

He set out to determine which frequencies in the electrical system were the most biologically active. In other words, he wanted to know if these high frequencies were harmful, and if they were, then which frequencies were the most dangerous for human life and for animal life.

Researching Russian Electrical Frequency Weapons: HFVT

To answer these questions, Dave Stetzer travelled to Russia and Kazakhstan to consult with scientists who had been researching this question for the purpose of developing weapons. He learned that frequencies between 2 kilohertz and 100 kilohertz were the most harmful to human health. He took many measurements of the electrical frequencies found in North American homes and realized that there are a large number of these harmful electrical frequencies in our wiring.

The normal electrical frequency that is in North American electrical systems is 60 hertz. This is the frequency that is used to operate our refrigerators, our washing machines, and lights.

However, it was the high frequencies that were causing serious health problems. These harmful electrical frequencies are called High Frequency Voltage Transients (HFVT).

High Frequency Voltage Transients are Created in Our Homes


HFVTs are actually produced from electrical equipment that we have in our homes. HFVTs are sometimes called “dirty electricity.” They are found in ground current and in the wiring of our homes and businesses. They are also created by certain types of electronic devices that are in our homes and in the homes of our neighbors.

Dave Stetzer and other scientists have determined that these high frequency voltages come from our computers, televisions, game boxes, printers, copiers, tube fluorescent lights, compact florescent light bulbs, dimmer light switches, variable speed motors, treadmills, vacuum cleaners, sewing machines, solar energy inverters, wind turbines, smart meters, and other electronic devices. All of these modern electronic devices add high frequency transients to the electrical wiring in our homes.

It is our own electronic devices that are harming our health, the health of cows, and our pets.

High frequency voltage transients can also be caused by arcing on power lines during storms when lines touch trees. HFVTs can also be created from unfiltered cell phone and broadcast frequencies from nearby antennas.

High frequency voltage transients in our electrical wiring have been linked to many modern diseases and health conditions. As will be explained, symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, elevated blood sugar, obesity, migraine headaches, Attention Deficit Disorder, asthma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, miscarriages, infertility, depression, suicide, and cancer have been shown to increase with long-term exposure to high frequency voltage transients.

How Do High Frequency Voltage Transients get Created in Our Homes?

Dave Stetzer explained that most modern electronic devices use DC (Direct Current) power. These electronic devices have a power switch mode converter that converts the AC electrical current from wall outlets into DC current.

Power Extension Cord In Use.

These AC to DC power mode converters create high frequency transients, which are then added to our electrical wires. These converters are the plastic cubes and rectangular boxes that fill up our surge protector strips or plug directly into our wall outlets. On larger electronic devices, the converters may be built into the equipment.

Compact Florescent Light Bulbs Worst Contributors to HFVTs

incandescent vs compact fluorescent

Compact florescent light bulbs are among the worst contributors to high frequency voltage transients. They are pulsed electronic technology.

The standard incandescent light bulb that everyone once used, were linear load devices. The AC power went into the light bulb, light was produced, and unused current was simply returned to the electrical system. High frequency transients were not added to the current. 60 Hz went into the linear devices and unused 60 Hz was passed back into the electrical system.

Compact florescent light bulbs add large amounts of high frequency voltage transients to the wires. HFVTs come from the pulsing of the electrical current as it goes through the light bulb. This means that there is an electronic switch that rapidly turns the current off and on again many times per second.

In the case of a compact florescent light bulb, the switch is activated 20,000 times per second. It is the switching activity, which breaks up the normal 60 hertz sine wave of electrical power into fragments and returns the unused electrical fragments to the electrical system. These fragments are high frequency voltage transients.

Compact florescent light bulbs add energy to wiring at the 50 KHZ to 100 KHZ level. One compact florescent light bulb can contaminate the electrical system of an entire house when it is in use.

(60 kilohertz has a frequency that is 1,000 times higher than 60 hertz.)

High Frequency Voltage Transients Cause Disease

Dr. Magda Havas, PhD, has been studying the biological effects of high frequency voltage transients and other forms of electromagnetic pollution since the early 1990s. She has conducted research on the health effects of ground current, high frequency voltage transients, and radio frequency radiation from wireless technology and cell phones. She works with diabetics as well as with individuals who have Multiple Sclerosis, tinnitus, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and those who are electrically hypersensitive. She also conducts research on sick building syndrome as it relates to power quality in schools. She described the situation that we are facing today:

Most of the research on the biological effects of nonionizing radiation is done at one of two frequency ranges: extremely low frequency (ELF) associated with electricity (50/60 Hz) and radio frequency (RF) associated with wireless telecommunication devices (800 MHz to 2.5 GHz range).

An intermediate frequency range [high frequency voltage transients], at the low end of the RF spectrum (kHz), flows along and radiates from wires and thus has characteristics of the two major types of electromagnetic pollution mentioned above.

Scientists doing research on the biological effects of power line frequencies seldom measure this frequency range and thus ignore the effects it might have on health. [9]

How Does Electrical Power in a Wire become a Health Risk?

This question has several answers. First, as has been discussed, ground current is a health risk regardless of whether we live in the city or the country. Ground current is everywhere; however, its dangers become even more hazardous in the presence of large amounts of high frequency voltage transients, which flow through the ground and our electrical wiring.

High frequency voltage transients pose an even greater risk to our health, because they are in our homes. These high frequency voltages behave differently than regular 60 Hz current that we use for our electrical devices.

HFVT does not like to travel through electrical wiring along with the 60 Hz current. It exhibits the skin effect. It prefers to travel on the outer skin of electrical wiring. It travels on the surface of the wire and easily radiates through the walls into our living spaces.

Closeup side view of messed wires connecting computers and print

These high voltage frequencies are invisible and undetectable with normal human senses. Fortunately, high frequency voltage transients can be easily seen with an oscilloscope and measured with electronic meters designed for that purpose. Such equipment can measure the amount of high frequency voltage transients in our electrical system and identify the sources that produce it.

Technically speaking, human exposure to high frequency voltage transients harms health by capacitive coupling. These high frequency electrical fields pass into our bodies and the bodies of our animals, and are a source of exogenous electrical currents that exist outside of cells.

Such currents were never intended to be in the human body. Researchers are able to measure the high frequency voltage transients that are in electrical wiring. They can measure these same frequencies in the electrical fields that pass out of our walls into our living spaces, and the same frequencies can be measured in our bodies when we spend time in our homes.

High frequency voltage transients easily pass through walls and enter our bodies, and then couple with the human energy system and alter its normal functioning. The result is weakness, depression, and numerous illnesses. [10, 11]

Even though our five senses cannot detect HFVT, some people know that it is present, because they experience the symptoms of radio wave sickness.

Radio Wave Sickness is Well Documented

Antenna and cell phone towers

Radio wave sickness was first documented among radar workers during the Second World War. People with radio wave sickness had constant exposure to high frequency radio waves while they worked, and would also have lived near the radar installations.

The list of these symptoms resembles those now experienced by people who have electrohypersensitivity. It is no longer necessary to live near a radar installation, military base, major airport, or weather station to experience symptoms of electrohypersensitivity.

Many people feel as if they are living in a World War II radar installation, because of the combined effects of high frequency voltage transients, radio waves used for digital cordless phones, microwave radiation used for wireless internet devices (Wi-Fi and WiMAX), and even higher frequency microwave radiation used for cell phones and cellular communication towers.

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is experienced by people in most areas of the United States. Rural areas are no longer exempt from exposure.

According to Philips and Philips (2006) 3% of the US population has electrohypersensitivity and 35% have symptoms of electrohypersensitivity. [12] This means that people are made sick by the high frequency voltage transients in their homes and by radio wave radiation from cell phones, cell towers, and wireless computer equipment and phones.

Common Symptoms of Radio Wave Sickness and Electrohypersensitivity

Basic RGB

Symptoms of radio wave sickness were summarized by Arthur Firstenberg in a 2001 article. These symptoms are similar to the symptoms of electrohypersensitivity, which people experience today. He identified the following symptoms:

Neurological: Headaches, dizziness, nausea, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, weakness, tremors, muscle spasms, numbness, tingling, altered reflexes, muscle and joint paint, leg/foot pain, “flu-like” symptoms, fever. More severe reactions can include seizures, paralysis, psychosis, and stroke.

Cardiac: Palpitations, arrhythmias, pain or pressure in the chest, low or high blood pressure, slow or fast heart rate, shortness of breath.

Respiratory: Sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma.

Dermatological: Skin rash, itching, burning, facial flushing.

Ophthalmologic: Pain or burning in the eyes, pressure in/behind the eyes, deteriorating vision, floaters, cataracts.

Other: Digestive problems, abdominal pain, enlarged thyroid, testicular/ovarian pain, dryness of lips, tongue, mouth, eyes, great thirst, dehydration, nosebleeds, internal bleeding, altered sugar metabolism, immune abnormalities, redistribution of metals within the body, hair loss, pain in the teeth, deteriorating fillings, impaired sense of smell, ringing in the ears. [13]

Of course, the symptoms vary from person to person. Some people experience debilitating levels of symptoms, while other people experience mild or no symptoms when exposed to the same frequencies.

Sometimes people experience certain symptoms and then assume that their symptoms are caused by a specific disease. They do not look for environmental causes. They might think that they just have bad luck or were genetically predisposed to certain diseases, when the truth is that their illnesses could be caused by high frequency voltage transients or by devices such as wireless routers, cordless phones, cell phones, and cell towers.

High Frequency Voltage Transients Can Come From Neighboring Homes

High frequency voltage transients are created by our own electronic devices, but they also come into our homes from the electronic devices in other homes or businesses that share the same electrical transformer with us.

Electrical Transformer picture

Transformers are the large metal cylinders that are located on electric poles. In a residential area, many homes will be connected to the same transformer. The homes share the same power source and they share the high frequency voltage transients that are created by everyone else that is connected to the same transformer. [14, 15]

Dave Stetzer described how HFVT created in neighboring homes effects the level of HFVT in our homes.

This can be demonstrated with the use of the microvoltage meter that was developed by Dr. Martin Graham, Professor Emeritus, College of Engineering, University of California at Berkeley. This meter measures high frequency voltage transients. The test will require the use of a dimmer switch used for a light fixture. Dimmer switches produce large amounts of high frequency voltage transients. Begin by inserting a microvoltage meter into a wall outlet of your home. Write down the measurement. Then ask your next door neighbor to vary the dimmer switch on a light fixture in his home while you watch the meter in your home. You will literally see the reading for high frequency voltage transients on your meter go up and down as your neighbor changes the current that is flowing to his light.

HFVT and Ground Current are Entering Homes

We might assume that the ground current that we have previously discussed simply stays in the soil and is not a problem for us in our homes.

Unfortunately, this is not true.

It is easy for ground current and the high frequency voltage transients that it contains to enter our homes. These high frequency voltages can enter our homes by way of metal water pipes and metal gas pipes, and by way of metal grounding rods.

Duct Work For Home Heating Cooling System

If a home has a forced hot air heating/cooling system, for example, and it is grounded to the earth, then high frequency voltage transients can travel up the ground wire and enter the metal of the central heating/air conditioning system. HFVT then can travel along the metal ducts throughout a home. [16]

Case Studies and Research Findings

At this point, I will share some case studies and research results to illustrate how high frequency voltage transients affect human health. I will begin by looking at a select group of people who do not use electricity from the power grid and who do not have devices that produce high frequency voltage transients.

Old Order Amish

The religious communities of the Old Order Amish in the United States and Canada continue to live without electrical power. There are several important observations that can be made from their health and disease status.

Dr. Milham reports the following information about the health of the Amish who still live with very little electrical exposure:

By way of contrast, the Amish in the United States and Canada, who live without electricity, have a current pattern of morbidity and mortality remarkably similar to that of United States rural residents in the early part of the twentieth century. Their type 2 diabetes prevalence rates are about half those of the non-Amish, even though their obesity rates are comparable.

Also like the early rural residents, the Amish have lower rates of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and suicide. The life expectancy of the Amish is above seventy years and has been stable since 1890. At the turn of the twentieth century, when almost all United States cities were electrified, urban residents had an average life expectancy below fifty years. [17]

Dr. Milham continued his discussion of the Amish:

A recent study, “Low cancer incidence rates in Ohio Amish,” by an Ohio State University Medical Center group (Westman, et al. 2010), showed that the low cancer incidence in the Amish cannot be explained solely on the basis of their tobacco abstinence or other factors. I’d postulate that another major factor in their low cancer incidence is that many Amish, especially the Old Order Amish (OOA), live without exposure to electricity.

Alzheimer’s disease has also been reported to have a low prevalence in the Amish. A pediatric group practice, in Jasper, Indiana which cares for more than 800 Amish families, has not diagnosed a single child in this group with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Childhood obesity is also virtually nonexistent in this population (Ruff 2005). [18]

Multiple Sclerosis and Electrohypersensitivity

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disorder. Many of the symptoms of MS overlap with electrohypersensitivity. Sometimes people with electrohypersensitivity may be misdiagnosed with MS and some may have both conditions.

Dr. Magda Havas explains this situation in more detail:

In a study we conducted a few years ago, we found that some people diagnosed with MS improved when power quality was improved in their home environment. Subjects documented better sleep, more energy, clarity of thought, improved balance and motor coordination, better mood among other symptoms. Changes were documented within a matter of days and weeks. However, not everyone who participated in this study noticed benefits.

One might expect that people who have a compromised nervous system and an impaired immune system may be particularly vulnerable to electromagnetic energy. MS patients have both. The myelin sheath around nerves cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged and this is believed to be an autoimmune response. [19]

Dr. Havas concluded that people with MS may be able to get relief from their symptoms and some may be able to delay, halt, or reverse the progression of this disease by reducing exposure to high frequency voltage transients and radio wave radiation from cell phones and wireless technology. The steps that can be taken will be presented below.

Diabetes and Electrosensitivity

Dr. Magda Havas described the relationship between high frequency voltage transients and elevated blood sugar:

If you have difficulty regulating your blood sugar and you are electrically sensitive you may have type 3 diabetes according to research published in the Journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine in 2008.

Unlike Type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes) that is largely genetically controlled, and Type 2 diabetes (adult onset) that increases with obesity, Type 3 diabetes is influenced by environmental exposure to electromagnetic pollutants. [20]

The research of Dr. Havas was published in a peer-reviewed article. She presented 4 case studies that showed marked changes in blood sugar associated with exposure to high frequency voltage transients. She converted her research paper into a short video called “Diabetes and Electrosensitivity.” If you have diabetes or know someone who does, please watch this video. Dr. Havas advises those with diabetes to watch this video, and to share the information with their doctor. She advises diabetics to clean up their electromagnetic environment. Steps for doing this will be presented below.

Attention Deficit Disorders and Asthma in Schools Related to Electric Power Quality

In other research, Dr. Havas evaluated the effects of electric power quality on teacher well-being and student behavior in public schools. I will summarize her research in this area.

High levels of high frequency voltage transients are common in schools with fluorescent lights and computers. Nearby high voltage transmission lines and antennas for wireless communication add to power quality concerns. Previous studies have shown a relationship between the presence of HFVT and student behavior problems. HFVT was also shown to be associated with the occurrence of health issues in the teachers.

In this study, researchers evaluated the use of HFVT power line filters to reduce high frequency voltage transients in three Minnesota schools. This research was done prior to the use of wireless internet routers in the school. They documented changes in health and behavior among teachers and students when HFVT was minimized.

Researchers either installed Graham Stetzer HFVT filters or installed dummy filters in schools. The Graham Stetzer filters reduced high frequency voltage transients by 90%. The dummy filters did not alter HFVT levels. Teachers completed a daily questionnaire regarding their health and the behavior of their students for an 8-week period. Teachers were unaware of which filters were installed at any one time.

Researchers found that teacher health improved during the period of the study. Headaches, general weakness, dry eyes/mouth, facial flushing, asthma, skin irritations, overall mood including depression and anxiety improved significantly among staff. Of the 44 teachers who participated 64% were better, 30% were worse, and 6% did not change. Behavior of high school students did not improve but elementary/middle school students were more active in class; more responsive, more focused; had fewer health complaints; and had a better overall learning experience. In another case, in a Wisconsin school that was experiencing sick building syndrome, children with asthma no longer needed daily use of their inhalers after HFVT filters were installed. This was documented by the school nurse. [21]

Tips for improving the learning environment in homes and schools are presented below.

Other Dangers from HFVTs for Children Documented

I Did A Good Job

I want to provide a warning to parents who have provided cell phones to their children. High frequency voltage transients, wireless internet routers at home and in schools, and cell phone radiation can work together to cause a large number of developmental problems for children such as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, and learning disabilities. These exposures may also set the stage for the development of cancer later in life. [22]

A new study published in December of 2014, indicates that children absorb more microwave radiation from cell phones than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner and their relative size is smaller.

Radiation from cell phones and other devices that use microwave technology has been declared a possible human carcinogen. Children are at greater risk than adults when exposed to any carcinogen. Because the average latency time between first exposure and diagnosis of a tumor can be decades, tumors induced in children may not be diagnosed until well into adulthood.

Babies in utero are particularly vulnerable to negative health effects from microwave radiation. Exposure to this form of radiation can result in degeneration of the protective myelin sheath that surrounds brain neurons. Microwave-emitting toys are being sold for use by young infants and toddlers. Digital dementia has been reported in school age children. A case study has shown that when teenage girls place cellphones in their bras, multiple primary breast cancer can develop in the area where the phones are placed. [23]

You also may wish to watch this very informative video to help your children be better learners and have better health.

Other Electronic Technology that Causes Harm

Even though high frequency voltage transients are the most biologically active frequencies for harming human health, it will be necessary to address other electromagnetic frequency sources to bring about health improvements for people with serious modern illnesses. The resources below will introduce you to research findings that relate to other specific conditions.

Radiation from Cordless Phone Base Station Affects the Heart

Recommendations for Reducing Exposure to HFVT and other Radiation

Here are some tips on how to practice good electromagnetic hygiene. The goal is to reduce exposure to high frequency voltage transients in your home and to reduce exposure to radio wave and microwave radiations.

HFVT from sources such as computers, televisions, electronic game boxes, printers, copiers, compact florescent light bulbs, dimmer light switches, smart meters, and various energy efficient appliances is the most bioactive and potentially harmful type of radiation. Sources of microwave radiation from cordless phone base stations, DECT phones, and baby monitors represent serious threats to health. Wi-Fi, WiMAX, cell towers, and cell phones have clearly been shown to be related to cases of cancer and other illnesses.

It is of course impossible to escape exposure to all the sources just mentioned. The goal is to reduce and eliminate as much exposure as possible. Sometimes we can make no-cost or minimal cost changes that will substantially reduce our exposure. In some situations we may need to invest money to protect our health.

These recommendations were compiled from the work of Dave Stetzer [24], Dr. Magda Havas [25], and Dr. Sam Milham [26]. I have also added comments based on my personal experiences with reducing exposure in my own home.

Fluorescent Light

1. Do NOT use compact fluorescent light bulbs. As mentioned, this technology adds high levels of HFVT to your electrical wiring. These bulbs also emit high frequency energy into the air. Just sitting or standing under one exposes you to energy currents that will enter your body. The best alternative is the traditional incandescent light bulb which is being phased out. Buy up a stock for future use. Compact florescent bulbs contain mercury and are extremely dangerous if broken. Also, they are nearly impossible to recycle in most areas. If you cannot obtain incandescent bulbs, then purchase LED lights, but be sure they are not the dimmable type. Dimmable LED lights produce HFVT. If you have florescent tubes in your office, try keeping them turned off and use a desk lamp equipped with an incandescent bulb or LED light.

2. Electric Equipment: Separate yourself from electrical cords and electric equipment. Move power strips at least 3 feet away from your feet. Use a wired keyboard with a cord extender to increase your distance from the computer screen. This will reduce your exposure to magnetic field. Do NOT use electric blankets or water beds. Laying down in close proximity to such devices will irradiate your entire body with electrical fields and high voltage transients. If you use an electric blanket, just warm your bed before going to sleep, and then unplug it before retiring for the night.

3. Do not sit or work near an electrical panel or electrical utility room. Stay at least 10 feet from electric panels and avoid working in rooms that are adjacent to the utility room. These sources produce high levels of magnetic fields. Keep alarm clock radios at least 6 feet from your bed. These devices emit electrical fields and have antennas, which attract radio waves.

4. Replace cordless phone with corded phone. The old fashioned phones that have a wire that plugs into a phone jack emit very little harmful radiation. If you can buy phones that do not have an AC power converter cube, then you will also avoid the creation of additional HFVT.

5. Measure high frequency voltage transients in your home & install filters if values are above 50 GS units. GS units are measured with a Graham microvoltage meter designed for measuring HFVT. Graham Stetzer filters can be installed in electrical outlets to bring down the HFVT to 40 GS units or lower.

6. Replace Wi-Fi routers with equipment that uses Ethernet cables for your computer. It is true that Wi-Fi is convenient; however, most of us set up our computer and then never move it even if it is a laptop. Replacing a wireless router with a less expensive Ethernet wired router will eliminate substantial radiation. Wireless routers emit a constant stream of microwave radiation 24 hours a day regardless of whether you are connected to the internet. If you must have a wireless router, then at least turn it off at night. You are not using your computer while you sleep. Some wireless keyboards and mice also use microwave frequencies. Replace these with wired versions.

7. Use cellphones as little as possible and only in speaker mode. Hair dressers are now noticing discolored skin on the side of the head where cell phone users hold their cell phones for many hours per day. I would be very concerned about using cellular technology when it has the power to change the color of my skin and change the temperature of my brain. A better option is to use the phone in speaker mode or with a headset that uses a hollow tube to bring the sound to your ear. Text messaging may be the safest method of cell phone use, because the message is sent in a quick burst of energy and does not require constant exposure as when speaking on the phone.

8. Ask your electric utility provider to remove wireless smart meters and replace them with a wired smart meter. In some areas you can pay a fee to keep the standard analog meters that do not broadcast microwave data and which do not create HFVT. Wireless smart meters constantly emit both microwave radiation and add high frequency voltage transients to the electrical power in your home. If you need to purchase a new appliance such as a refrigerator or freezer, try to avoid purchasing units that are configured to communicate with smart meters. Most all new appliances broadcast and receive microwave communication from the smart meter. Sometimes this is actually being done every 20 seconds — 24 hours per day.

9. If you are already seriously ill, consider measuring radio frequency in your home & install radio frequency-reflecting window film or fabric to shield from external sources. This can be important if you have a wireless smart meter that uses a microwave broadcast transmitter.

10. If you are already seriously ill, then you may need to consider moving if your residence is within 6 tenths of a mile of transmission lines or within ¼ of a mile of cell phone antennas. This precaution is recommended for everyone even if you are not yet aware of health problems.

For additional information about cleaning up your electromagnetic environment, please read this article from Dr. Havas: Electromagnetic Hygiene in 12 Easy Steps: How to create a cleaner electromagnetic environment at home and at work.

A Warning About Grounding Mats and Sheets

Many people have become concerned about imbalanced electrical activity in their bodies which has been caused by various types of electronic equipment in their environment. To solve this problem, products have been created to help ground us and to balance energy in the body. Dr. Milham and Dave Stetzer have explained that grounding mats and sheets may actually increase our exposure to high frequency voltage transients. I have summarized their comments below. [27, 28]

We now know that our homes are contaminated with high frequency voltage transients. The ground wires in our homes actually are bonded to the neutral wires in our circuit breaker boxes. This means that the high frequency voltage transients that are created and released into the neutral wires of our home also are present in the ground wires. Thus, if you plug in a grounding mat into the ground wire portion of an electrical outlet, then the high frequency voltage transients flow into the grounding pad and into your body.

The alternative is to plug the grounding mat into a grounding rod that has been pushed into the ground outside your home. The problem here is that the physical earth that we walk on, drive on, and that our homes are built on, contains high frequency voltage transients from ground current. Thus, if you plug in a grounding mat into a grounding rod, then the high frequency voltage transients can flow up the wire into the grounding pad and into your body.

Dave Stetzer and Dr. Sam Milham recommend another alternative to balancing one’s biological energy system. Dave Stetzer explained to me that there is a common misunderstanding concerning the use of grounding mats. Most people think they are draining excess energy from their body that they picked up during the day. A better way to describe grounding is to bring balance or restoration to our energy that has been disturbed by exposure to high frequency voltage transients and radio wave radiation. We do not need a grounding mat to accomplish this.

Dave Stetzer recommends balancing our electrical activity by simply standing on a piece of aluminum foil in our bare feet for 30 to 60 seconds. Our feet will act like two electrical terminals, and the aluminum foil will conduct the electrical activity in our body back and forth between our feet until it reaches a point of balance. If you don’t like aluminum, then you could stand on stainless steel. It doesn’t matter whether the foil is on wood or carpet. Nothing is being drained off.

Dr. Milham explained that grounding mats can be used safely in Europe and they will work as designed, because the European electrical grid does not put voltage into the earth. All electrical current in Europe is contained in electrical wires. In North America, we must contend with ground current.

Conclusion: Research Shows Correlation Between Increased Electricity Use and Disease Rates

Power transmission line pole and wires over a city

Dr. Sam Milham prepared a very interesting analysis of disease rates in relationship to the availability of electricity in rural verses urban locations. He suspected that the rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and suicide increased when electricity became available in the first part of the twentieth century. [29] I will summarize his findings below.

When the electrical grid was being installed throughout the United States, the process began in the large cities. As a result, there were several decades during which people living in the cities had electricity, and people in most rural areas throughout the US did not yet have electrical power.

Dr. Milham studied US vital statistics and census records for 1920–1960 and compared the health of these two groups. He found that urban death rates were much higher than rural rates for cardiovascular diseases, malignant diseases, diabetes and suicide in 1940.

He believed that his statistical analysis shows that the 20th century epidemic of the so-called diseases of civilization including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and suicide was caused by electrification, not by lifestyle. Therefore, a large proportion of these diseases could be prevented today if appropriate steps were taken to reduce the harmful effects of ground current, high frequency voltage transients, and radio waves.

There always seems to be a small number of scientists who question the safety of modern advances. Researchers such as Dave Stetzer and Dr. Magda Havas, and physicians such as Dr. Sam Milham are not willing to assume that new and modern means are always helpful and safe. They are not afraid to make scientific measurements and to raise a warning when harmful patterns of illness have been found. The evidence is strong that high frequency voltage transients should be taken seriously. HFVT causes costly damage to sensitive electronic equipment; and most importantly, it is a threat to our health.

Governmental agencies, and the corporations who create high frequency voltage transients with their products, both continue to underestimate the potential harm of HFVT and radio wave radiation. This is the same pattern we have seen with the underestimation of the risks associated with pesticides, chemicals, GMO food, highly processed food products, vaccines, antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical products.

Even though government agencies and corporations continue to overlook the harmful effects of HFVT and radio wave emitting devices, we do not need to resign ourselves to being victims of modern technology; rather, we can make choices to limit our exposure.

Dr. Milham believes that the problems with high frequency voltage transients and radio wave radiation are so pervasive that we could achieve huge changes in our health status by simply following the recommendations for controlling our exposure that were presented in this article. He explained it this way:

If the rest of the US population had the disease incidence and prevalence of the Old Order Amish, the US medical care and pharmaceutical industries would collapse. [30]

Dr. Milham is not advocating that we remove the electrical wiring from our homes and discard most everything that runs on electricity, and live like the Amish. He is challenging us to be smarter users of electricity and technology. He and the other experts that I have mentioned are encouraging us to take steps to protect our health and to advocate for the creation of a safer electrical system and for the creation of safer electronics. They are encouraging us to be smart and live longer.


Note from Pam from research:

American Academy of Environmental Medicine

Doctors’ danger report on smart meters:



About the Author

John P. Thomas is a health writer for Health Impact News. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


[1] “N.Y. Utility Looks for ‘Stray Voltages’ After Woman’s Death,” John J. Goldman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, February 01, 2004. http://articles.latimes.com/2004/feb/01/nation/na-shock1

[2] “Stray voltage: Hidden danger that can strike from everyday objects,” Jeff Rossen and Jovanna Billington, NBC News, Nov. 13, 2014 at 7:39 AM ET. http://www.today.com/news/stray-voltage-hidden-danger-can-strike-everyday-objects-1D80279142

[3] IBID.

[4] “Hydro Q&A: Stray voltage safety primer,” Jennifer Yang, Staff Reporter, Toronto Star, Published on Wed Jan 20 2010. http://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2010/01/20/hydro_qa_stray_voltage_safety_primer.html

[5] “Stray voltage a concern for dog walkers as snow melts,” Ginger Adams Otis, NY Daily News, Thursday, February 20, 2014. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/stray-voltage-concern-dog-walkers-snow-melts-article-1.1621035

[6] Health Impact News Telephone interview with Dave Stetzer at Stetzer Electronics, 1/20/2015 and 2/3/2015. http://www.stetzerelectric.com/

[7] Interview of Dr. Sam Milham, MD, MPH, by Patrick Timpone on OneRadioNetwork.com, The Morning Show with Patrick Timpone, Dirty Electricity, March 18, 2013. http://oneradionetwork.com/environment/sam-milham-md-dirty-electricity-electrification-and-the-diseases-of-civilization-march-18-2013/

[8] Dr. Magda Havas, PhD; “What do dancing cows and zapped dogs have in common?” Posted February 2010, Retrieved 1/22/2015. http://www.magdahavas.com/what-do-dancing-cows-and-zapped-dogs-have-in-common/

[9] Magda Havas, PhD; “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Biological Effects of Dirty Electricity with Emphasis on Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis,” Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 2006, ISSN 1536-8378, DOI: 10.1080/15368370601044192.

[10] Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization, Dr. Samuel Milham, MD, MPH, 2nd Edition 2010-2012, page 60.

[11] Interview of Dr. Sam Milham by Patrick Timpone on OneRadioNetwork.com, The Morning Show with Patrick Timpone, Dirty Electricity, WiFi, Microwaves and Stray Voltage, July 21, 2014. http://oneradionetwork.com/environment/dr-sam-milham-dirty-electricity-wifi-microwaves-stray-voltage-high-tech-modern-world-impacting-health-july-21-2014/

[12] A Philips and J Philips, 2006, The Power Watch Handbook. London: Piatkus Books Ltd., 294 pp. (Reference provided by Dr. Magda Havas in “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Biological Effects of Dirty Electricity with Emphasis on Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis,” Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 2006, ISSN 1536-8378, DOI: 10.1080/15368370601044192.)

[13] Arthur Firstenberg, No Place to Hide, Volume 3 (1): April 2001, Special Issue on Russian and Ukrainian Research, Cellular Phone Taskforce, Mendocino, CA.

[14] Magda Havas, PhD; “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Biological Effects of Dirty Electricity with Emphasis on Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis,” Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 2006, ISSN 1536-8378, DOI: 10.1080/15368370601044192.

[15] Health Impact News Telephone interview with Dave Stetzer at Stetzer Electronics, 1/20/2015 and 2/3/2015. http://www.stetzerelectric.com/

[16] Interview of Dr. Sam Milham, MD, MPH, by Patrick Timpone on OneRadioNetwork.com, The Morning Show with Patrick Timpone, Dirty Electricity, March 18, 2013. http://oneradionetwork.com/environment/sam-milham-md-dirty-electricity-electrification-and-the-diseases-of-civilization-march-18-2013/

[17] Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization, Dr. Samuel Milham, MD, MPH, 2nd Edition 2010-2012, page 79.

[18] IBID.

[19] Dr. Magda Havas, PhD » Multiple Sclerosis and Electrohypersensitivity, Retrieved 1/24/2015. http://www.magdahavas.com/multiple-sclerosis-and-electrohypersensitivity/

[20] Dr. Magda Havas, PhD » Diabetes and Electrosensitivity. http://www.magdahavas.com/diabetes-and-electrosensitivity/

[21] Havas M, Olstad A.; Power quality affects teacher wellbeing and student behavior in three Minnesota Schools. Sci Total Environ (2008), doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.04.046.

[22] “Cancer,” Dr. Magda Havas, PhD, Retrieved 1/22/2015. http://www.magdahavas.com/category/health-issues/cancer/

[23] L. Lloyd Morgan, Santosh Kesari, Devra Lee Davis; “Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences,” Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure, Volume 2, Issue 4, December 2014, Pages 197–204. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213879X14000583

[24] Interview with Dave Stetzer by Patrick Timpone on OneRadioNetwork.com, The Morning Show with Patrick Timpone, An Easy Fix To Dirty Electricity (Electrical Pollution) In Your Home: A Cause of Disease and Chronic Illness, March 21, 2013. http://oneradionetwork.com/health/dave-stetzer-dirty-electricity-electrical-pollution-a-cause-of-disease-and-chronic-illness-march-21-2013/

[25] Dr. Magda Havas, PhD; Electromagnetic Hygiene in 12 Easy Steps: How to create a cleaner electromagnetic environment at home and at work. http://www.magdahavas.com/electromagnetic-hygiene-in-12-easy-steps-how-to-create-a-cleaner-electromagnetic-environment-at-home-and-at-work/

[26] Interview of Dr. Sam Milham, MD, MPH, by Patrick Timpone on OneRadioNetwork.com, The Morning Show with Patrick Timpone, Dirty Electricity, March 18, 2013. http://oneradionetwork.com/tag/sam-milham/

[27] Health Impact News Telephone interview with Dave Stetzer at Stetzer Electronics, 1/20/2015 and 2/3/2015. http://www.stetzerelectric.com/

[28] Interview of Dr. Sam Milham by Patrick Timpone on OneRadioNetwork.com, The Morning Show with Patrick Timpone, Dirty Electricity, WiFi, Microwaves and Stray Voltage, July 21, 2014. http://oneradionetwork.com/environment/dr-sam-milham-dirty-electricity-wifi-microwaves-stray-voltage-high-tech-modern-world-impacting-health-july-21-2014/

[29] Dr. Samuel Milham, Washington State Department of Health, Olympia, WA, USA Medical Hypotheses, September 2009 in press, Retrieved 1/24/2015.http://www.magdahavas.com/electrification-caused-diseases-of-civilization/

30] Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization, Dr. Samuel Milham, MD, MPH, 2nd Edition 2010-2012, page 79.

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