In an article published in 2006, Örjan Hallberg and Gerd Oberfeld estimated that by the year 2017, 50% of the population will be electrosensitive. 1 This estimate was extrapolated based on data collected between 1985 and 2004 that shows a steady increase in the prevalence of electrically hypersensitive (EHS) people over the years.
Sufferers of EHS experience symptoms when exposed to non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation. Symptoms vary widely, and the most commonly reported include headaches, heart palpitations/pressure in the chest, extreme fatigue, stress, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), skin symptoms ranging from rashes to burning sensations, pain, muscle aches, issues with memory and concentration, irritability, and sleep disturbances.
Although the actual number of EHS people today is unknown, the prevalence of EHS is no longer insignificant even based on the numbers collected a decade ago. Even with this growing number of EHS sufferers, support for those who are electrosensitive is still widely absent. However, there is a glimmer of hope as EMF refuges are now cropping up around the world:
- United States National Radio Quiet Zone – Green Bank, West Virginia
Originally created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1958 to protect the radio telescopes in Green Bank and Sugar Grove, the United States National Radio Quiet Zone has become a safe haven for many who suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity. It includes 13,000 square miles that spans West Virginia, Virginia, and a small part of Maryland. Due to the sensitivity of the telescopes, wireless technology is banned within the zone, and radio, cellular, and other broadcast transmissions are restricted to certain frequencies. The few allowed transmitters operate at reduced power using highly directional antennas. This makes it an ideal refuge for many severe EHS sufferers who find themselves able to live more of a normal life inside the Quiet Zone.
- Snowflake MCS/EHS Community – Snowflake, Arizona
This community is comprised of a few dozen people suffering from severe MCS and electrical sensitivities who live in close proximity. The area is mostly rural and mostly zoned for 20 acres per house, so there is little electropollution from neighbors. The levels of electro pollution in Snowflake are generally low; there is one cell tower in Snowflake with the next closest tower a few miles away.
- The Quiet Dome – Grass Valley, California (Not yet complete)
Built to be electromagnetically quiet, the dome is situated far from cell towers or WiFI in the Sierra Nevada mountains. “The dome has no WiFi (it has wired internet), no cell towers within 2 miles, clean power (harmonics are filtered out), and silent appliances (all lighting is DC).” The dome is built by someone who developed many environmental and food sensitivities at age 15 after dental work for a gold bridge next to existing mercury fillings. In addition to being electrosmog free, the dome is built with non-toxic and mold-hostile materials, and intended to provide a place for EHS sufferers to detox and recover.
- ElectroMagnetic Sensitivity Research Institute – Rockvale, Colorado (Not yet complete)
A project in progress, the ElectroMagnetic Sensitivity Research Institute (EMSRI) is working on the development of safe housing for those with sensitivities. The initiative was started by Dr. Gary Johnson, who purchased 59 acres in Rockvale, Colorado, which includes a gulch shielded from electromagnetic waves from three sides by topography. The EMSRI is currently actively looking for people to help with the initiative, including researchers, medicial people, people suffering from EMF sensitivies, and investors.
- Parc de Carnè, within the Vena del Gesso Regional Park – Brisighella, Ravenna, Italy
Parc de Carnè, within the Vena del Gesso Regional Park, located in the province of Ravenna, is the first EHS Refuge Zone in Italy. Opened in May 2010, everything in the zone is electrosmog-free, and has been deemed a radiation-free “White Zone,” designed to help those with EHS to rest and recover from their symptoms. The area features a Bed & Breakfast called Eremo del Lupo, “The Wolf’s Hideaway,” which is shielded with anti-EMF insulation and has space for five EHS guests.
- EHS Refuge Zone in France – Drôme, France
The EHS Refuge Zone in France is located in southeastern France in a large private property in an unspoiled country area. The refuge was created by Next-up, a non-governmental organization promoting natural environment and raising awareness regarding the harmful effects of EMF. All the facilities are free, but an EHS person who stays in the Refuge Zone must have their own camper van or caravan with a metal body. The Refuge Zone does have some caravans available for free for a maximum of a 3-day trial stay for those who do not have a vehicle. The facilities include communal cooking areas, showers, toilets, water, electricity, and a discharge unit for grounding and getting rid of invasive and disturbing electrical currents. An organic vegetable garden is also on the premises for those who wish to use it.
- Town of Olvera – Cadiz, Spain
Originally announced on WavesGuard.es, a Spanish blog on electromagnetic radiation, the City Council of Cadiz has declared the town of Olvera Electromagnetic Pollution free. This is the first and only such decision in Spain, although other villages have pushed for a similar decree.
- Mid West Radio Quiet Zone Coordination Zone – Murchison, Australia
Like the US Radio Quiet Zone, the Mid West Radio Quiet Zone is not an official EHS refuge, but was created to protect the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO). Wireless devices such as mobile photos or CB radios are prohibited, and the Murchison shire, with a population density of 110 people, is affected by very little radio interference from nearby residents.
- Rose Hill Off-Grid Farm – Horsefly, British Columbia, Canada
A short-termed 162-acre retreat surrounded by forest with no human neighbors, Rose Hill is an off-grid facility with no cell towers, Wi-Fi routers, or Smart Meters nearby. The phone and internet is via satellite, with the dish on a pole mounted away from the house. There is no electrical utility or municipal water on the property, with water being supplied by wells and electricity generated by solar and gasoline-powered backup system. Note: Some people react to solar converters, so we recommend checking with the facility to see where the converter is situated in regards to where you will be staying.
- Cedar Rock – British Columbia, Canada (Not yet complete)
Designed to be self-sufficient and self-contained, Cedar Rock intends to provide a healthy living environment for those who have environment sensititivies. The location was “carefully selected and specially designed to address the specific issues surrounding environmentally-induced, cyclic conditions like Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s and moderate Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity.” The vicinity is free of cell towers and smart meters, and cell phones and wi-fi will not be permitted on the property.
Please help us maintain this list! If you know of an EMF quiet zone not included here, please send us a link so we may consider adding it to this list.
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Sources and References
- Letter to the Editor: Will We All Become Electrosensitive? – Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 25: 189–191, 2006, Informa Healthcare ↩