How Dirty Electricity Causes Diseases

Dr. Samuel Milham has published an important new book, "Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization." It is a call to action for the public health field, implicating electromagnetic fields in a wide range of health problems.

Dirty electricity — high frequency voltage transients on electrical wiring — is a potential universal carcinogen. For over a hundred years, it has been assumed that the higher incidence of diseases in urban areas was related to lifestyle. But according to Electromagnetic Health:

“Analyzing death records from electrified rural areas and non-electrified rural areas in the early part of the 1900s, Milham has shown higher incidence of 'diseases of civilization,' such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and suicide, were in fact strongly correlated with electrification.”

You can listen to an audio interview with Dr. Milham.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

In Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization, epidemiologist Sam Milham, MD points out that the major diseases plaguing modern man -- heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. -- may be triggered by a prevalent, yet nearly entirely overlooked, cause: dirty electricity.

You generally cannot feel or touch electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and electricity in your environment, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that your cells are indeed impacted.

Dr. Magda Havas writes:

““Dirty Electricity” can … be used to describe electric power that has become corrupted by our use of modern appliances.

Items such as CFL bulbs, cell phone transmission antennas, power supplies for portable computers, cell phone chargers, dimmer switches, variable speed fans and many other electronic devices that require a transformer to convert the voltage will “dirty” the electricity that enters your home.

This form of dirty electro-magnetic fields (EMF) is invisible to the eye, but has a biological effect on the human body and has been associated with a wide variety of illnesses.”

An Explanation for the Rise of Disease Beginning in the 20th Century?

After analyzing health demographic data going back to the early part of the 20th century, Dr. Milham showed that populations without electrification experienced less disease than in urban areas with electrification, and that rural death rates correlated with levels of electrical service for most causes examined. Conditions linked to electrification included cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and suicide.

Camilla Rees of says:

 “Dr. Milham’s work suggests society may have overlooked one of the most important underlying root causes of illness.

The health sector’s focus on lifestyle, chemical pollutants, genetics and the like, may have missed the role of every day electromagnetic fields from electrification.

It is now clear we must assess all sources of electromagnetic radiation in our midst, not just wireless communication technologies, but also electric and magnetic fields, and high frequency transients on electrical wiring, known as “dirty electricity.”

Milham says,

“The explosive recent increase in radio-frequency radiation and high frequency transients sources, from cell phones and towers, terrestrial antennas, Wi-Fi and Wi-Max telecommunication systems, broadband internet over power lines, and personal electronic equipment may be leading to a new 21st Century epidemic much like the 20th Century electromagnetic field epidemic.”

Milham’s research suggests that patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) may develop it through exposure to electromagnetic fields applied to or induced in the body, such as from conventional medical electromagnetic stimulation, used by many athletes.

He also suggests that most cancer in firefighters is due not to exposure to inhaled carcinogens, but to their exposure to EMFs and radiofrequency radiation (RFR) from mobile two-way radio communications devices and firehouse and fire vehicle radio transmitters.

Milham has even linked an increased incidence of cancer among teachers at one California school with high frequency voltage transients in the school environment. According to a study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, the attributable risk of cancer associated with electrical exposures at the school was 64 percent, and a single year of employment at the school increased a teacher's cancer risk by 21 percent.

It is interesting to note, too, that Dr. Milham’s work has shown that the Old-Order Amish, who don’t use electricity, have lower rates of diabetes, heart disease, suicide and cancer than would be expected. They also have uncommonly low levels of neurodegenerative disease and not one case of ADHD on record.  

How is Dirty Electricity Dangerous?

It’s important to remember that you are an electrical being; the human body is composed of conductive and semi-conductive materials, and cells in your body can react to EMFs as a harmful invader, just like they do to other environmental toxins.

Your body is a complex communication device where cells, tissues, and organs “talk” to each other to perform basic functions. At each of these levels, the communication includes finely tuned bio-electrical transmitters and receivers, which are tuned like tuning into a radio station.

What happens when you expose a radio antenna to a significant amount of external noise? You get static from the noise -- and that is what is happening to your body in today’s “electrosmog” environment.

Two of the more well-known biological impacts from electrosmog are the interruption of the brain wave pattern leading to behavior issues and the interference to your body’s entire communication system (cytoskeleton) leading to abnormal neurological function, such as dementia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia.

At a cellular level, your cell membrane receptors (the brain of the cell) recognize electromagnetic fields at very low levels of exposure producing a stress response similar to that produced by exposure to heavy metals or toxic chemicals.

This can cause the cell membrane to go from an “active” or permeable state where it allows nutrients in and toxins out, to an “inactive” state where the cell membrane is impermeable.

During a normal day, your cells will change states thousands of time, but when under constant environmental stress, the membranes can be locked in the inactive state. This is often referred to as “oxidative stress” as nutrients are able to enter into the cell, while toxins (free radicals) are not allowed to leave.

We are not really sure what the “trigger” is that causes health problems from EMFs and other forms of electricity, but we know that the electrosmog is definitely a contributing factor. For health, your body must be able to communicate within itself, that is, to be in harmony with the natural rhythm of the earth and all life.

How to Protect Yourself from Dirty Electricity

People living in most cities and suburbs are literally bathed in a variety of electromagnetic fields, microwave radiation and dirty electricity 24/7. If we refuse to address the potential hazards of this way of life, we may end up with a currently inconceivable health catastrophe on a worldwide scale.

What is truly needed is a strong worldwide initiative that focuses on green buildings, green electronics, green IT and new energy technologies that acknowledge the health consequences of these technologies and take steps to effectively reduce them.

In the meantime, test your home and work environment for EMF. The Web site offers a helpful summary of the various meters recommended to detect EMF and dirty electricity in your home. If you find elevated levels of dirty electricity, filters and various shields are available to help neutralize them.

+ Sources and References