The residents of Green Bank, West Virginia, can't use cell phones, wi-fi, or other kinds of modern technology due to a high-tech government telescope. Recently, this ban has made the town a magnet for technophobes, and the locals aren't thrilled to have them.
I almost feel like screaming whenever I see people blame "Smartmeters" for a sudden onset of some sort of physical symptoms - usually on the baseless and incorrect information that is out there on the 'net regarding these devices.
Having people claim that these devices - that essentially work in a batch mode transmitting a small amount of data maybe once or twice a day - somehow are suddenly a major source of EMI is just plain wrong, but they keep doing it!
Compared to the background EMI from the electricity service itself including all of the devices that consume power, the contribution of a "Smartmeter" would struggle to be measured let alone be significant.
The underlying problem I have seen with "Smartmeter" rollouts are people whingeing that their bills are higher because their old, inaccurate electricity meter has finally been replaced by something that now measures consumption accurately and they now have to pay their way.
I have to wonder whether electrosensivity is a binary condition or it's just that electrosensitives are so sensitive that they are consciously aware of the stress - and the rest of us are still affected, but not enough to feel it.
I'm not qualified to say whether "electrosensitives" can actually feel the energy coming from a wi-fi transmitter, and I don't want to get into a debate about the effects (or lack thereof) of electromagnetic radiation.
I think the residents of Green Bank have the best of both worlds. They still have wired phones, and (I assume) access to DSL, so I doubt they are as cut off as the report makes them out to be. As for not having cellular service, think about it: wouldn't you like to know that once you left work, your time was all your own?
But they can only use wired computers. No tablets, for instance, so they're stuck using the computer at a particular location in the home. They can't take a laptop or tablet to Starbucks, for instance.
Having a cell phone doesn't automatically mean that your work is allowed to call you at all hours. That's a function of your job duties, not your high tech equipment. Consider this: you could have a cell phone, but NOT give the number to your office.
Wouldn't you like to know that if your car breaks down, you can call a tow truck?
I'd like to see a scientifically-valid blind test on these self-proclaimed electrosensitives. Put them in a room and turn on and off various frequencies and power levels, not telling them when. Let them tell when it's on or off.
Instead we hear anecdotes that seem terribly psychosomatic. WiFi is mostly very low power. Cellular phones are weak but close to the body. Broadcast transmitters put out real power.
I can say, though, that a few decades ago, when my hearing was keener than it is today, I could often tell which motel rooms were occupied by hearing their television set's horizontal sweep oscillator's uniquely high-pitched squeal from outside their locked entrance doors. Utterly mystified my spouse of the time, who couldn't hear that squeal at all, even while seated directly in front of a TV.
So I'd rather give the "electrosensitives" the benefit of the doubt :-) .
Analog TV sets have a high-powered horizontal sweep oscillator running at 15,734 Hz. That's within the range of a young human's hearing. Now theoretically the electrical signal does not radiate, but the magnet sits on the tube and physically oscillates a little with the signal, so it really does put out an audible tone -- I could hear it too, back in the day.
WiFi, on the other hand, is low power microwave radio, so unless it's powerful and you're close to the source, human detection strikes me as improbable. Note however that if you are actually sitting next to a high-powered AP (I like my MikroTik "1 watt" router/AP but don't turn it all the way up), you are probably taking a bit of a risk.
The so-called electrosensitives, however, seem to detect it from afar.
But the alleged electrosensitives appear to be selectively sensitive to stuff they've read about. Cell phones use frequencies that used to be assigned to UHF TV, but cell towers rarely are as much as 100W, while UHF [transmitters use] multiple megawatts.
If people were really as sensitive as claimed, there would have been giant Zones of Death around TV towers for the past 60 years.