Position Paper on Cell Phone Chips,
Pendants and Home Harmonizers
Note: This position paper is the sole opinion of Oram Miller, BBEI and is not intended to represent the official position of the International Institute for Bau-biologieTM and Ecology, which trained and certified him. The opinions expressed in this paper are, however, based in part upon conversations Oram has had with colleagues within his profession as well as his own experience working with electromagnetically-sensitive clients throughout the country.
Comments dated March 30, 2012.
In light of the rapidly growing popularity of devices sold to protect users from the ill effects of exposure to EMFs from cell phones, cordless telephones, Wi-Fi routers and electronic appliances found in the home and office, those of us in the building biology profession are frequently asked for our opinion of the efficacy of these devices. These include chips that you affix to the back of your cell phone, pendants worn around the neck and elsewhere on the body, and devices that are plugged into outlets in the home.
Unfortunately, our experience is that for all those who report improvement from the use of these devices, they are counterbalanced by reports from others who do not. Many of our clients already use them, and while some have noticed a degree of improvement, many are still symptomatic. They do experience further improvement, however, when they adopt the strategies we recommend. This is because our primary approach is to identify and reduce sources of EMFs in the first place, rather than attempting to neutralize them.
The makers of these devices know that their products do not eliminate EMFs, but instead say that they emit a beneficial EMF or effect on their own that is intended to neutralize the ill effects that man-made EMFs have on the human body. Unfortunately, while we can measure the presence of man-made EMFs with our meters and instruments, we are totally unable to measure any demonstrable difference in the strength of these EMFs when chips and other devices are present, and the chips and pendants have no EMF field strength of their own that we can measure.
That means that their effect can only occur on a subtler level, which is what most manufacturers claim. While this likely has benefits in and of itself, it may and often is not effective enough in our opinion to protect against the known powerful influence of measurable EMFs that we all encounter in the home and office.
We are also aware of information presented at our annual conference in 2008 by Dr. George Carlo, which you can link to here. Dr Carlo spoke of reports from individuals who noticed worsening of their symptoms after roughly nine to eighteen months of use of these devices while still holding their cell phone to their head.
These conflicting and somewhat sobering reports require us to exercise caution and follow the precautionary priniciple in safeguarding the health of our clients when it comes to the use of these devices. We have come to the conclusion that clients are not fully protected against the various types of EMFs found in the home and office by the sole use of these devices and products. You don't want to be wrong in ten years.
The analogy to using these devices is like having someone say to you, "You have a room with ashtrays containing lit cigarettes, filling the air with smoke and I can sell you a device that clears away that smoke." He sells you an air purifier that does clear the smoke, but the cigarettes continue to burn all around the room.
We have the expertise to find and eliminate the ashtrays and the burning cigarettes they contain. Once you clear away or reduce the sources of smoke, you can still use an air purifier for all the benefits they provide. Based upon the evidence I have seen and the reports of thousands of people, I believe these chips and filters do work, especially when you leave your house and go into environments where you are exposed to sources of EMFs you cannot control. This is particularly helpful for the EMF-sensitive person. I am in favor of anyone purchasing these products if they feel better using them, as long as they first identify, reduce and eliminate those sources of EMFs in their living and work environment that they can control.
One exception to this is the use of some of the devices plugged into outlets to reduce harmonic transient voltages on electric circuits. These are capacitors that protect against what is known as "Dirty Electricity," and are effective, in our opinion, in reducing human exposure to this, and only this, form of EMF exposure. Two effective products for this specific type of EMF are Greenwave Filters, and Graham-Stetzer Filters, both of which are capacitors.
Unfortunately, there are other types of EMFs that can and do exist in the home that even these capacitors do not protect against. Additional strategies taught and employed by the building biology profession need to be instituted to mitigate these other forms of EMFs. One must also exercise caution when installing these capacitors when sources of magnetic field exposure are present, such as wiring errors or current on the water pipes. In those cases, the magnetic fields from these other sources will be made worse. These sources of magnetic fields therefore need to be tested for and corrected, in our experience, before fully employing these capacitors.
In summary, we are supportive of all strategies, products and devices that provide genuine improvement for people that can be documented and scientifically validated. We cannot, however, endorse the marketing of any of these devices as the sole or primary means of protection against the vast array of EMFs found in the home and office.
Instead we advocate the education of the public about the full array of EMFs that exist in homes along with the health effects that exposure to them creates. We then advocate the use of our strategies as the first means of EMF protection, reducing fields wherever possible. If one then wants to add these devices for the more subtle benefits they are capable of providing, that is fine in my opinion, as long as you reduce the actual EMF fields first as much as possible. Then a much safer and cleaner EMF-free environment can be created. My professional experience with hundreds of clients over the years bears this out.
A combined approach is your best bet when using these devices, in our opinion. We say only use them as a secondary or tertiary means of protection after you first employ the comprehensive strategies that our profession recommends.
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