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article image'Technological lepers' seek refuge in mountains of West Virginia

By Kev Hedges     Sep 13, 2011 in Health
Every day we are all faced with mobile devices and embrace connectivity to our friends, associates and loved ones. But for some Americans they believe continuous electromagnetic radiation is making them physically ill.
It has been estimated that as much as five percent of all Americans believe they suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS). They say exposure to such devices like cell phones, wi-fi and other electronic equipment is causing severe headaches, skin burning, muscle twitching and chronic pain. Diane Schou says she suffers from EHS and says, "My face turns red, I get a headache, my vision changes, and it hurts to think. Last time [I was exposed] I started getting chest pains - and to me that's becoming life-threatening."
When Diane lived in Iowa she believed her illness was triggered by emissions from a cell-phone mast. She was even forced to live in a specially-adapted cage where electromagnetic radiation could not penetrate. Her symptoms were so severe she was compelled to move to Green Bank, West Virginia - a so-called "US Radio Quiet Zone" - here wireless is prohibited across 13,000 sq miles (33,000 sq km) to prevent transmissions interfering with a number of radio telescopes in the area which listen out for extra-terrestrial signals from different places in the universe, reports the BBC.
Some of the telescopes at Green Bank also serve the government's critical spy network, as reported in NRAO (National Radio Astronomy Observatory) website.
It is because of this Quiet Zone that Green Bank has served as a haven for the likes of Diane. The small village of Green Bank is home to 143 residents in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains - several dozen of whom are sufferers of EHS.
Many experts do believe radiation emitted by wi-fi is minimal and unlikely to cause the type of changes in the body's chemistry that could make people sick. Others argue there is evidence from studies that point to neurological symptoms being evident after exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
More about wifi refugees, green bank, Electromagnetic radiation
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