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EMF (Electromagnetic Field) Irritants

Taos hum revisited


Various low level and low frequency sounds have been claimed to exist, and attempts to define their sources pursued. Generally, however, source identity remained elusive, and speculation became dominant, in lieu of proven and testable discovery. Most efforts centered on sounds produced by mechanical sources. Some sources are yet to be investigated, and I would like to suggest the electrical built infrastructure as a potential culprit. In retrospect the cause(s) may be mundane, but it sure does not feel mundane to those genuinely irritated by it.

Mechanical machinery and electrical devices produce a gamut of frequencies that can be very irritating, spanning from frequencies below our hearing range (about 20 to 20,000 Hz (Hertz, or cycles per second)) to those above it. Some of those frequencies can elicit brain-wave-induced physiological responses, epileptic seizures being one such reaction. Whatever the case, the only frequencies considered are the few that are suspected as culprits from a strictly acoustic perspective. While this may be legally defensible, it has it severe limitations, when it involves humans.

Harmonics & Biological relevance

Humans have a variety of senses, that normally remain separate from each other. However, certain inputs may elicit stimulation crossing sense boundaries, and causing unusual perceptions. The human skeleton has electrical semi-conductive and piezoelectric properties. That is, it allows current to flow in only one direction, and is considered a semi-conductor. If one is exposed to Radio Frequency (RF) with certain modulation (the frequencies on top of the RF), the skeleton's semi-conductivity will respond non-linearly and de-modulate the RF and make the modulation / pulsations physically audible. As far as piezoelectricity, electrical stimuli will cause the skeleton to flex, perhaps in minutely measurable amounts, and cause it to be microphonic, not unlike a string on a musical instrument. While this may be undesirably technical for some, it has its wide-spanning implications, and is worth consideration. Yet arguments are tossed back and forth as to whether the individual is really "hearing" the information riding on the RF.

Another effect of semi-conductive non-linearity is that when an individual is exposed to more than one frequency, the body's non-linear reaction causes sum and difference frequencies to also be perceived. This is called Heterodyning, and is a well-established and understood phenomenon in the world of physics and electronics. Electronic filters, especially designed for this process, can be manufactured to selectively allow or block certain frequencies. The sum and difference frequencies are altogether real, and exposing someone to Electric or Magnetic fields which have specific frequencies whose sum or difference can elicit the undesirable responses mentioned earlier, will cause the specific effect as if the causative frequency was there to begin with. Our bodies' electrical non-linearity brings on added complexity, in that the Harmonics that some are complaining about are not constant in amplitude. As if they were modulated with an external signal, their amplitude will change, perhaps cyclically so that our bodies can extract this sound on top of the sound. Using a simple hand-held radio you can appreciate the phenomenon, in that as you change the frequency of reception, you will acquire different signals, sounds, etc. Ironically, due to various factors we are not all identical in electrical behavior. So some people will perceive the multiple sounds, while others will not. A population most sensitive to Magnetic field influence, for instance, is that of people wearing a Cochlear implant, to stimulate the auditory nerve. Since the implant is stimulated by Magnetic fields, ambient power frequency fields can be most irritating, because the Current that causes the Magnetic field is extremely rich in Harmonics. The tendency of the non-hearers is to declare those that perceive these electrical "sounds" to be mental. It's their loss, as our health is not 100% from birth to death, and there will be times when we are sensitive, and times when we are not. If we are the ones declaring others "mental," what happens when our health forces us to perceive the same sounds?

While we are in luck, in that such combinations are not easily produced, nor the devices to cause them easily portable, they can nonetheless exist in real and ubiquitous infrastructure components. One such component is the electric power system. Its fundamental frequency is 60 Hz, or 50 Hz, depending on where on the planet you reside. When devices have electric power applied to them, they will allow a certain amount of current flow to pass, based on their design. If they allow current to pass in the same manner as the voltage that is applied, the device is defined as being linear, and the resulting current has the same frequency component fed to it (a hot wire in an incandescent lamp has this quality). That is, 60 Hz in, 60 Hz out. If, on the other hand, the device allows current to flow in a non-smooth fashion, such as a dimmer switch, then the device is defined as non-linear, and the current out has many additional frequency components that were not there when the device was turned off. These additional frequency components are Harmonics, or whole-number multiples of the applied frequency. There is chatter on the Internet about harmonics that are not whole-number multiples of a specific input, or "non-Hertzian" waves, and this is all fodder by the uninformed for the uninformed, which causes lots of circular reasoning with some. So be it.

Combine many non-linear devices in a contemporary residence, and we now have a mechanism to bring about the demise of many within the population, who will be deemed "mental" by a medical profession in denial, as well as by the engineering disciplines that subscribe to "thermal" effects as exclusively relevant. Combine many residences with non-linear devices in a neighborhood, and we now have a mechanism whereby each neighbor is unwittingly contributing to the plentiful availability of these harmonics. Let's blame the neighbor, because he/she is doing this intentionally to cause the irritation. No, let's blame those neighbors because several customers are fed off of one power source and they "are all after me." No, wait, let's blame the power utility, because it's a conspiracy, and maybe we can get money out of them. Keep dreaming. Who's really at fault?

The answers are not easy. Marketing what it is, the cheapest and most vulnerable solutions will be first, and many will be taken. Consider "dirty" electricity filters. 1) How can electricity be dirty? And 2) how can this dirt be quantified? While the "dirt" amounts to non-linearity of the waveforms produced (current) and the associated harmonics required to produce them, there are several vendors marketing such filters, with an air of confidence and helpfulness, yet their filters' properties address Voltage anomalies (which will typically be < 5% of the total voltage), while the problem resides with the Current anomalies that may constitute 50% of the total current. So buyer beware! Unreal solutions will proliferate because no administrative authority has the guts to step out and make statements that could implicate a cause and effect . . . and then - there's the government, struck with the reality of dwindling resources trying to make ends meet (never mind their money mismanagement (that'll be fixed after the elections)) in concert with power utilities promoting Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) which are more efficient at producing brightness (in the interest of "energy efficiency", but which are electrically non-linear (source of copious harmonics) and a source of Mercury pollution, and we have a recipe for disaster. Who's to blame?

The real problem is that we cannot get inside a human, and detect what the human is "perceiving" - and then bring that to the court room. Although the facts stand on their own, no one will tempt fate and step out and state the facts, for fear of losing favor with the masses, or fear of having some highly paid university stooge come to the court as an "expert witness" and cut up the real expert . . . because they can't cut up the factual evidence.

The facts are laid before you. Read and understand. AND realize, that solutions may have to begin with you . . .

In North America Electric fields are prevalent because of the type of wire installed. In North America and elsewhere Magnetic fields due to wiring errors are also complicit. In North America, due to a flawed electrical system design, shared currents also play a large part, in that normal operation may cause large magnetic fields, even with no wiring problems. Depending on where in the world your reside and what type of construction you live in, either or both types of fields may abound.

To yet implicate another joy of modern technology, that may be complicit to the many who have tinnitus-like ringing in the ears, consider the automobile. It has a miniature power system with many loads within close proximity of the occupants. I once owned a rear-mounted-engine VW. While all the power equipemnt was located at the rear about 10 feet (3 meters) away, the control wiring to the ignition system and the battery formed a loop with the occupants sitting directly above it. Had there not been other engine-related issues, I would have rewired it to remove the current loop from the proximity of the occupants. Discouragingly, rear-mounted engines are a thing of the past, forcing automobile users to ride next to the electrics, motorcycle riders no exception. A possible improvement being an older diesel, where after the engine is operating, the alternator can be disengaged, and without frequent electric needs, one can operate the vehicle until the fuel supply runs out.

As with most irritants, those most sensitive have a weakened immune system (from any one (or more) of several factors), even if only temporarily.