Monday, March 20, 2017

Graham Stetzer filters for Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

People occasionally ask whether Graham Stetzer filters are beneficial for people with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity.
 
The company website explains what the filters do:
 
"The STETZERIZER filter is designed to filter harmonics and other high frequency current (trash) from the electrical environment, thereby reducing the potential for leakage into the human environment and creating additional trash in non-liner loads (televisions, computers, variable frequency drives, energy-efficient lighting, etc.)."[1]
 
However, Richard Conrad wrote an article called "EMF SCAMS PROVIDE A DANGEROUS FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY," in which Graham Stetzer filters are listed as the third EMF scam on the list.[2] And emfrelief.com states, "a capacitor filter, by whatever name, will not make your electricity cleaner, but dirtier."[3]
 
I tried Graham Stetzer filters a few years ago and they made my EHS symptoms a lot worse. And my symptoms immediately got a lot better after unplugging them a few days later. So, I wouldn't recommend them to anyone with EHS. My experience seems to be supported by the article at this source[4]:
 
"We conclude the following:
1) The Stetzer filter draws 0.9 amperes of reactive current on its own therefore increasing the amount of current supplied to the home, increasing the burden on the electricity supply and increasing ambient magnetic field levels in the house. The amount of increase may be large or small depending on the number of filters installed.
2) The Stetzer filter does not clean up line voltage harmonics. Nor does it help to restore the current of a non-linear load back to a sinusoidal shape. The Stetzer filter current is highly distorted containing harmonic content up to 10 kHz. (Stetzer current harmonics are accentuated versions of the line voltage harmonics.) Since Stetzer filter currents add vectorily to the other load currents in the home, their distortion products (harmonics) are carried on the electricity supply and add to the level of “dirty electricity” in the house.
3) The Stetzer filter is probably effective in attenuating high frequency (4kHz to 100 kHz) noise on the AC power lines although these components are small to begin with. No assessment can be made concerning its effectiveness in suppressing transient disturbances since these phenomena are random, infrequent events for which we are unable to test."[4]
 
The following two links provide support for the effectiveness of GS filters but I am skeptical of them because of the reasons given above:
 
_____________________

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Hair Clippers for Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

I recently came across some hair clippers that do not use electricity and may be useful for people with electromagnetic hypersensitivity:

http://calmingclipper.com/



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Voice Dictation Software and Headsets for those with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

Because I have Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), I can only use a computer keyboard for a couple of hours per day. The more I type, the more pain I experience. My inability to type on the computer interferes with my ability to work from home, correspond via email, pay bills, and perform other tasks on the computer. I recently discovered that by using voice dictation software, I can significantly increase how much I can do on the computer.

I purchased Dragon NaturallySpeaking dictation software. (see below) This is a great program, but I discovered that having a good quality microphone is essential for accurate dictation. Therefore, I purchased the following headset: Andrea Electronics C1-1022600-50 model NC-185 VM USB High Fidelity Stereo USB Computer Headset with Noise Canceling Microphone and Volume/Mute Controls. I am amazed at how accurate the dictation is with the combination of the Dragon software and the Andrea headset. After researching online, I noticed that many other people had the same experience: a good quality headset or microphone is essential for accurate dictation.



I purchased the "Standard" version of Dragon years ago, and it does not allow me to do voice recognition on an mp3. Performing voice recognition on an mp3 may be a good feature for a person with EHS because, if you have an accurate voice recorder and a good microphone, you could do dictation without the computer on, and perform the voice recognition later. If you need that feature, make sure you purchase the proper version of Dragon.

I also have chemical sensitivity and did not have problems with the Andrea having chemicals on it that make me ill. It is a gamble for me to purchase electronic equipment because it sometimes has solvents or other chemicals on it that make me sick. Because I am chemically sensitive, I do not actually put the headset on my head. I just put the headset up high on a table so I can speak into the microphone.

I purchased a USB headset because I wanted to bypass my computer’s soundcard. If the soundcard on the computer is not very good, that can interfere with the quality of the dictation. After reading websites that reviewed headsets and microphones, I felt like I needed to buy a very expensive headset to achieve accurate dictation. However, I am very pleased with the accuracy I can get with the Andrea headset and I’m glad I did not spend a lot more for a more expensive headset. If price was not a factor, I might have purchased one of the following microphones:

Sennheiser ME 3: The reviews on this headset are very good. Also, because it is only a microphone and does not have speakers, that may decrease the amount of electromagnetic radiation. Also, a person with EHS will want to avoid purchasing a wireless headset and I believe there is a similar model that is a wireless headset so I wanted to flag that issue.

Speechware TableMikes: This product may also be a good option for a person with EHS because you do not need to put your mouth close to the microphone. The website states: "The TableMikes feature an industry first 'Speech Equaliser (EQ)' and 'Automatic Gain Control (AGC)' or Amplifier which allows for an unprecedented long-range and variable dictation distance (up to 50 cm or 20") with very high accuracy . . . ."

My system for voice dictation

I first write out what I will say. Then, I turn on the computer and do the dictation. This system minimizes the amount of time that I am close to the computer and the headset. Dragon allows me to dictate directly into a word processor and I use Microsoft Word. I position the headset about as far away from the computer as it will reach. I am considering purchasing a USB extension cord to increase the distance but I am not sure whether it will work with my headset. Also, if it will work, I may need a powered USB cable, especially if it is a long USB extension cord. I also increase the font size so I can read it from where I am dictating. I am impressed with how quickly I can produce a significant amount of content--for me, dictating seems to be almost as fast as typing!

Good luck!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and Prayer

I recently did a post on my chemical sensitivity blog and thought it would be relevant here as well:

    “A 2003 survey of 917 MCS patients revealed the two most effective treatments for MCS, in order of self-perceived harm/benefit ratio, were a chemical-free living space and chemical avoidance. Next came prayer and meditation . . . .”[1] I do  not consider myself an expert on meditation, but I have benefited immensely from prayer, so I decided to do a post on this topic.
    I prayed regularly before I became chemically sensitive and developed electromagnetic hypersensitivity, but my isolation has given me much more time to devote to pondering and prayer. Those with chemical sensitivity are often forced to live in relative isolation. Schools, churches, stores, theaters, businesses, and even the homes of friends and family members harbor chemicals that often cause symptoms in individuals with chemical sensitivity. Consequently and unfortunately, many chemically sensitive individuals do not have much interaction with other people and cannot participate in many social activities and events.
    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and much of what I have learned about prayer has come from the Bible, and especially the teachings of Jesus. Prayer has brought a lot of peace, hope, and comfort into my life. Through prayer I have felt the love my Heavenly Father has for me. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers. In fact, I believe that many of the ideas I have had for how to deal with chemical sensitivity and electromagnetic hypersensitivity (including some of the ideas on this blog) have come as inspiration from God.

    How to Pray

    A prayer might include the following:

    1) Address Heavenly Father
    2) Express gratitude for blessings
    3) Ask for things you desire
    4) Close in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. ("If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." (John 14:14.))

    Other subjects appropriate for prayer include praising God, repenting of sins, and seeking forgiveness. Jesus was often engaged in prayer and gave an example of how to pray in the Lord’s Prayer:
 9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
 10  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
 11  Give us this day our daily bread.
 12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
 13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.[2]
I also thought that the following quote on prayer was instructive:
    As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11).  Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other.[3]
    The following site gives a fabulous overview of prayer: http://www.lds.org/topics/prayer?lang=eng. Chemical sensitivity and electromagnetic hypersensitivity can be extremely difficult illnesses and I feel compassion for those who must deal with them. I often pray for those who are struggling with these conditions and if you are one of those people, I'll  keep praying for you.

____________________________________ 

[1] Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. In Wikipedia. Retrieved April 22, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_chemical_sensitivity (citing Gibson, P. R.; Elms, A. N.; Ruding, L. A. (2003). "Perceived treatment efficacy for conventional and alternative therapies reported by persons with multiple chemical sensitivity". Environmental health perspectives 111 (12): 1498–1504).

[2] Matthew 6:9-13.

[3] LDS Bible Dictionary, Prayer (available at http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/prayer?lang=eng&letter=p.)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Space Heaters for those with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

    I found two brands of space heaters that have worked really well for me and I thought I would write a post on this topic. I have Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), and devices with an electric motor seem to emit a lot of electromagnetic radiation. For example, blenders, vacuum cleaners, and the electric motors in hybrid cars cause me significant discomfort. The fan in forced air space heaters is powered by an electric motor, and I do not tolerate those types of heaters very well. I do better with radiant heaters. The following two heaters worked well for me:

1. Honeywell baseboard heater (model number: HZ-519):



2. Optimus H-5210 Infrared Quartz Radiant Heater:


  
     I also have chemical sensitivity, and I could tolerate both types of heaters. However, I did turn the heaters on in the garage for a time until they gassed off sufficiently. The Honeywell heaters gassed off more quickly than the Optimus heater. We purchased five Honeywell heaters and one suddenly stopped working one day when the breaker tripped, so that heater no longer works. We have not had any problems with the Optimus heater.
    I have had to rely on electric heaters because I have chemical sensitivity and cannot tolerate our natural gas heating system. The natural gas also triggers my arthritis symptoms. A friend of ours who has EHS and chemical sensitivity recently installed some 220V ceramic glass heaters, but I am not sure which brand. Ceramic glass heaters are generally quite expensive, but are supposed to be good for those with chemical sensitivities. Also, to install a 220V heater, it would probably be necessary to hire an electrician.

UPDATE (05.18.13): We recently received a recall notice from Amazon.com for the Optimus heaters we purchased: "The heater design can fail to prevent ignition of nearby combustible materials that come in contact with the unit, posing a fire hazard." And, "The affected products were sold from October 2011 through December 2012 . . . ."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to make a shielded keyboard for a person with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS)

    Soon after I developed EHS, I discovered that it caused me pain to use a computer, and especially a computer keyboard. The longer I used the keyboard, the more pain I experienced. I built a shielded keyboard so that I would be able to use the computer more. My shielded keyboard has worked really well for me and has allowed me to use a computer much more than I could without it. However, I am still limited to about two hours per day.
    With this keyboard, I have been able to do some work from home. In fact, I am using my shielded keyboard to write this article. I will say that it is quite a bit of work to make one of these keyboards and various tools are necessary.

    Here are the steps I took to make my shielded keyboard:

1.    I purchased a Logitech Classic Keyboard 200 from Walmart. I think it cost around $12 to $15. It is good to have a USB keyboard with a long cord (or USB extension cord) so that, if necessary, the keyboard can be positioned a significant distance from the tower and monitor. I have chemical sensitivity and the Logitech keyboard was not a problem for me.

2.    I cut a clear quart-size Ziploc bag down the sides and laid it out full length across the keyboard. I then taped the plastic bag to the keyboard to secure it. After that, I marked the position of each key on the plastic bag with a magic marker. I put a dot in the center of each key. Here is a picture of this process (though it is a different type of keyboard):



3.    Next, I removed the plastic bag from the keyboard and taped the bag to a manila folder. I poked holes in the manila folder for each key (where the dots were) with a push pin. After removing the plastic bag, I then poked each pin hole in the manila folder with a three-inch-long nail to make larger holes. I then taped the manila folder onto the surface that I was using for the keyboard (plastic, mu metal, sheet metal, or other material), and marked the location of each key.



4.    After that, I used an electric drill to drill a hole for each key (someone without EHS should do the drilling). If you are drilling through something thick, such as a thick piece of wood, it is beneficial to use a drill press to make sure the holes are straight. I used a Black and Decker hand drill, and had to drill some holes over again that were crooked.

5.    For the keys, I used plastic rods that were about three inches in length. If I make another keyboard, I would like to try using longer plastic rods. As the distance from the electronic device increases, the electromagnetic field becomes weaker.

6.    I then assembled the shielded keyboard and secured it to the Logitech keyboard.


    Instead of using a laser mouse (which causes me considerable pain), I now use MouseKeys with the numeric keypad to control the pointing device. I should also note that because I have chemical sensitivity, I made one keyboard out of materials that I could put through the dishwasher if they became toxic. There are various materials that can be incorporated into the keyboard to limit electromagnetic radiation, including mu metal. I have purchased mu metal and other materials that can lessen electromagnetic radiation from the following site:   Shop EMF protection and shielding at LessEMF.com


Shop EMF Meters & Shielding

Best of luck!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Product Review: NEO 2

    The NEO 2 is a keyboard with a small display screen. (see http://www.renlearn.com/neo2/). According to the company website, the NEO 2 can run up to 700 hours on three AA batteries. The NEO 2 reminds me of a big calculator, is very portable, and seems durable. It costs about $100.
    Because I have Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), I can only use a computer keyboard for a couple of hours per day. I purchased the NEO 2 with the hope that I would be able to use it more than I can use my standard USB keyboard. The NEO does seem to emit significantly less electromagnetic radiation than a typical computer setup with a monitor, tower, keyboard, etc.
    To distance my hands from the keys, I fashioned a keyboard for my NEO 2 so that I could depress a plunger (of a few inches in length) for each key. I attached the USB cable included with the unit to a long USB extension cable so that I could transfer text files from the NEO 2 to my computer from a significant distance.
    As far as I can tell, the NEO 2 cannot browse the Internet. The dana model has quite a bit more functionality as far as software but at a significantly higher price ($350). (http://www.neo-direct.com/Dana/default.aspx).
    I also have chemical sensitivity, and the NEO 2 did not cause problems for me in that regard. In sum, the NEO 2 may be a good option to try for someone with EHS. However, I do not want to overstate the case—I still am quite limited in how long I can type on the NEO 2.