Living with electrical hypersensitivity — a picture tour
People living with severe EHS have many ways to cope. We show some in this picture gallery.
Keywords: electrical sensitivity, electrical hypersensitivity, EHS, adaptive technology
Coping with electrical hypersensitivity focuses on reducing exposures to electromagnetic fields (EMF). These radiate from electrical wires, home appliances, portable electronics, computers, cars, transmission towers, and much else. For people who have the milder versions of the illness, that may mean they use mobile phones and computers sparingly. For those with the severe versions, the changes to their lifestyle can be much more involved.
In rare cases, the illness becomes so severe that they have to move to a rural area. Some move to where other people with environmental illnesses live, so they can still have a social life among people who are not addicted to electronic gadgets.
The picture above is from a Christmas party in an EHS/MCS community in Arizona. Those who own cell phones leave them in their cars.
Here we show examples of what some people with severe EHS do to manage their illness. One basic method is simply keeping a distance from the problem devices, which is hard to show in a picture. But there are many other things that can be shown visually. These measures do not work for everybody, and they are not used by everyone.
One of the most important measures is a low-radiation bed. Here the bed is protected from radio waves by a canopy of Swiss Shield shielding cloth. There are cheaper ways to do it (Picture courtesy RTK in Sweden).
Outdoor events where one can keep a distance from other people can ease the social isolation. Non-electric events are best, such as this Renaissance festival.
Board games, card games, and other non-electric entertainment when having friends over.
Traditional incandescent light bulbs are safer than LEDs and fluorescents. Some people have hoarded a lifetime supply of incandescent bulbs.
Television screens radiate. Some people sit well back, some also use lightweight binoculars. Some give up on television.
Books and magazines can replace the electronic media.
Instruments to measure EMF are helpful. Here, a simple AM radio demonstrates radiation from a laptop computer with no wireless transmitters.
Computers are now often necessary for finding information or ordering things. But they are tough. Some manage by disconnecting the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth transmitters. Instead they use cables for the keyboard, mouse, and network connection.
Even with no wireless, computers still radiate. Here is a projection device behind a shielded wall, and a low-EMF keyboard, while the computer itself is further away with long cords. But few can afford such a setup.
Friends and family quickly get tired of helping on their computers. Instead there are people who hire out their services by the hour.
With little or no internet access, printed editions of dictionaries and other reference books fill a need. Microsoft used to sell one in book format.
Some vendors still send out printed catalogs.
Traditional letters, sent by postal mail, are used by some people instead of e-mail and social media.
Some electronics happen to radiate less than others. One person had to try four cameras before finding one that didn’t hurt as much. Using a smartphone as camera is worse.
Non-electric tube phone. The sound travels in tubes to/from a box with speaker and microphone.
Unfortunately, pay phones have disappeared, making traveling with EHS more difficult. In case of emergency, people with EHS may have to rely on strangers to call for help.
Mechanical watches are safer than electronic versions — or cell phones — to tell the time.
Newer cars radiate a lot more than older models. One person drives this 1999 Toyota. Some drive even older diesel cars, which radiate still less.
Placing the electrical meter on a pedestal away from the house helps with wireless smart meters. Most of the radiation comes out the front, so it should not point towards the house.
Heating and cooling using a mini-split heat pump located away from the house.
Even better are in-floor heating systems, which can be designed to be completely noise-less and zero-EMF.
People who can’t afford a house sometimes live in travel trailers. A DC-only solar system makes off-grid living more comfortable.
The ultimate is a DC-only analog solar powered home in a remote area far from electrical service — even if snow has to be brushed off the panels now and then.
This is not a complete list. There are many more technologies in use, such as shielding of household wires, remote shut-off of refrigerators, electrical line filters, and “scanmail” where a helper scans a handwritten letter and sends it by e-mail.
For people who have both EHS and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), there are additional technologies, such as non-electric reading boxes.
More about electrical hypersensitivity at www.eiwellspring.org/intromenu.html.