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Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization

Posted by Lloyd Burrell on March 24, 2013 under EMF Books | 29 Comments to Read

EMFs are dangerous, you know that. Right?

But what EMFs? And what are EMFs anyway?

Have you ever tried explaining any of this to a friend?

Say ‘EMFs’ and watch peoples eye’s glaze over.

Say ‘electromagnetic fields’ and its even worse.

OK, so what about explaining it in terms of everyday appliances? Things that emit EMFs?

I guess you would talk about things like cell and cordless phones, cell towers, ‘smart meters’, WI-FI, wireless laptops, wireless routers, baby monitors etc.

But what about the electricity running through the wires in your home?

Could that be another source of EMFs?

What???? Don’t be so stupid!!!! Electricity can’t be bad for us?

Our lives are built around the use of electricity. Government and industry say its safe. It must be safe.

Not according to Sam Milham MD,MPH, here is what he says:Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization

“There is a high likelihood that most of the twentieth century “diseases of civilization”, including cardiovascular disease, malignant neoplasms (cancer), diabetes, and suicide, are not caused by lifestyle alone, but by certain physical aspects of electricity itself.”

This is a bold statement for anyone to make. But when you know it comes from the mouth of one of America’s most noted epidemiologists of the last 50 years, it does get you thinking. It got me thinking anyway.

To think that the electricity running through the wires in your home could be dirty or dangerous is a frightening thought. But it wasn’t fear that I felt when I read this book for the first time. It was more relief.

Relief because it confirmed what I already knew to be right.

I discovered dirty electricity because I felt unwell in my own home. My body was telling me something was wrong. I had already got rid of my cell phone, cordless phones etc. So what could it be?

When someone explained to me that maybe dirty electricity was behind what I was feeling I didn’t need any convincing to go out and buy a microsurge meter. And I’m glad I did.

What’s In Sam Milhams Book?

Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization is a fairly short book (104 pages). But it packs a powerful punch.

Its powerful because this is not some dry academic account. Sam Milham shares his story. And what a story.

He was born in The Albany Hospital, in Albany, New York. Ironically he later attended medical school in the same building he was born. He became interested in epidemiology (the study of disease in populations) while running a baby clinic and a VD disease clinic.

He first started investigating leukemia in populations in the 1960s. The Lancet published a query asking for information on leukemia clusters.  He was finally able to show that the childhood leukemia peak was linked to residential electrification. It took him 40 years!

In the first six chapters he recounts his career. His internship, residency, his time at the New York Health Department of Health and then his work at the University of Hawaii and the Washington State Department of Health. He studied leukemia in electrical workers, in amateur radio operators, EMFs in radial tires, cancer in firefighters and office workers.

Cancer At La Quinta Middle School

Sam Milham should have been enjoying a peaceful retirement when he became involved with La Quinta Middle School (LQMS). Just as well. For him it became a career defining moment and for the rest us it gave concrete proof about the adverse effects of this dirty electricity.

He saw an article in his local newspaper recounting the incidence of a cancer cluster, 11 cancers in all, in a nearby school. He decided to study the data, with the help of Dr Martin Graham and Dave Stetzer who had developed a device (microsurge meter) for measuring dirty electricity. He found a positive correlation between dirty electricity exposures and cancer.

Not Just Cancer

Sam Milham goes on to outline his concerns regarding EMF exposures from stray currents, radiofrequency radiation, radar facilities and other diseases. He suggests that Lou Gehrig’s Disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) may be caused by elevated EMF exposures.

Other Reviews Of Dirty Electricity

‘Dr. Milham shows how the increase in childhood leukemia and the diseases of the post-industrial age (depression, suicide, heart disease, diabetes and cancers) are associated with electrification. Sam Milham should receive a Nobel Prize for his research and his discoveries as he was among the first to document the biological and health effects of electromagnetic pollution.’
Dr. Magda Havas, Associate Professor of Environmental & Resource Studies at Trent University

‘Everyone concerned about health issues beyond contagious diseases should read this short and highly readable book, then each reader should pass on to their friends, what an important book Dirty Electricity is.’
Lloyd Morgan, Senior Research Fellow of the Environmental Health Trust

‘Sam Milham is a world-class epidemiologist…… After a long, productive career….Sam is now on the trail of another invisible agent that he believes is causing an epidemic of many different diseases, most especially cancer. He is convinced that they are caused, at least in part, by EMFs and especially by high-frequency transients (little bursts of electromagnetic energy) or what he calls dirty electricity.’
Louis Slevin, Microwave News


There’s no point in pretending this problem doesn’t exist. It does exist.

What can you do? You need to get wise on this subject. Read this book.

Read other books like this one, on EMFs. Though really there are no books like this one, this is the only book I know of that talks about dirty electricity in such detail.

Then, act.

Sam Milham talks about how important it is that more studies are done on this and how buildings, devices and infrastructure that create these EMFs should be re-designed. Dimmer switches, computers router/modems, TVs, CFLs are all possible culprits.

An ordinary portable AM radio can help you detect dirty electricity in your wiring a microsurge meter can help you to measure it. You can then either eliminate these culprits or install GS filters.

For more information on how to deal with dirty electricity click here.

  • jamesmccutchan said,

    ordered “dirty electricity” as soon as i read this post. thanks Lloyd, you’re a voice in the wilderness. j.

  • Ruth Ruddock said,

    Lloyd, this article is so interesting, and glad that you mentioned Dave Stetzer. Because I live in Wisconsin I am fortunate to have Dave Stetzer come to the home that I am now living in, and as he measured all the electricals in the house, he taught us much about dirty electricity and how to protect ourselves. I am using the GS filters and have recommended them to other people in the family, and to friends.

  • M Schultz said,

    You no doubt have heard of Earthing. If one practices earthing in ones house, grounding your body to the earth through metal padding and metal sheets. can this protect you against EMFs?

    Also, Will running house wiring in conduit protect you against EMFs? I may rewire my house if that will help.

  • Lloyd said,

    Earthing can be beneficial in certain circumstances, see Before rewiring your house you need to measure the electric and magnetic fields from the wiring, the Trifield 100XE meter is a good choice for this.

  • Wayne Thompson said,

    I work as a public bus driver in Canberra Australia, the magnetic field in buses is huge, especially around the drivers area. I had a brief talk with the safety officer regards to the matter he said we need to find more solid evidence before we can act.
    Any ideas in regards to DC magnetic fields 24 volt? These buses have been tested with TRIFIELD xe 100. The results are way into the danger zone.

  • Lloyd said,

    Hi Wayne
    The 100XE is designed to measure AC magnetic fields….it will measure DC fields but the readings are not sufficiently reliable for your purpose. The DC milligauss meter sold by lessemf is a good choice for what you are wanting, it has high resolution and a digital readout.

  • Solomon Nicolae said,

    What about GPS on cars, they have stronger signals than mobile phones, and are everywhere, i can’t sit in one like this more than half of an hour, people just don’t realise where the illness is coming this days; I do felt unwell in my own home, around washing machine, TV, and other electric devices.

  • Lloyd said,

    GPS navigational systems in cars are another source of EMF exposures….when I was at my most electrically sensitive a few years ago I was badly affected by these devices….but the exposures should be less than those of a cell phone….in principle a GPS only receives a signal where as a cell phone is an EMF emitter/receiver.

  • Neil Hunter said,

    Hi Lloyd, I work with a company called EMF Power Pro and we have a filter that helps reduce “Dirty Electricity” in indoor environments. Oram Miller, Building Biologist recommends our product along with Graham Stetzer and Green Wave Filters on his website
    “Create Healthy Homes”. We are in Eugene, OR and expanding Nationwide and in Canada. Thanks for all the wonderful information you share. Neil

  • clyde said,

    Hi Lloyd, Good day, does EMF can cause neurological movement disorder? has anyone can prove it? most people here in my town are usually using wifi and there are not aware of it. I’m getting sick and dizzy daily maybe i am exposed to this “dirty electricity”. Thanks

  • Lloyd said,

    Hi Clyde
    I don’t now of any studies linking EMF exposures to neurological movement disorder…..this is not to say there aren’t any……such is the wealth of studies linking low level EMF exposures to neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, Autism, Parkinson’s disease, autoimmune diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) its not unreasonable assume that EMFs also have some role to play in movement disorders. My free EMF protection report will give you some good pointers on what to do.

  • linda laing said,

    I never heard of these GS filters and have been exploring the web to find them. I ordered the trifield 100XE and look forward to it getting here. am I right needing the DC milligauss meter along with the GS filters? what I have found the filters are very expensive so I do not want to buy things I do not need.
    I live in an apartment with 9 smart meters on the outside of my dinning room wall so assuming I need at least one filter for each electric outlet and maybe more then one on some of them. this is a very big expense for me but I need to do this for my health since I am extremely effected by all these waves of all kinds. my friend has a seizure disorder and I feel is very effected also.
    where do you suggest buying the filters ?
    thanks you very much.

  • Lloyd said,

    I wrote a review on dirty electricity and GS filters which you can read here At the bottom of the page there is a link to a company which sells the filters. A word of advice – before buying GS filters test your DE levels with a GS meter, you might not need filters.

  • Darryl said,

    Lloyd, do you know of dealer(s) in or around Vancouver Island BC, Canada? It wouuld help if they carried both
    the GS Meter and filters (if measured results indicate).
    My wife is extreemly sensitive ever since the blasted power meters were installed.
    I refuse to call them smart!!

  • Lloyd said,

    Hi Darryl
    Stetzerizer deliver to Canada, there is a link to them on the bottom of this page

  • Debbie Ahrns said,

    Hi you mention low level exposure and epilepsy my neurologist asked if I could send him information on this do you have links with supportive data. I have epilepsy and I am concerned about my exposure to EMF at work. Cell phone base station within 400 meters of building as over 22 antennas on it. Plus the building is WiFi as it is office and the systems is running many devices. I get headaches and my head gets tingling feeling after being there about two hours. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Lloyd Burrell said,

    I know of 2 studies that covered magnetic field exposures and epilepsy:

    Epidemiology. 2003 Jul;14(4):420-6; discussion 427-8.
    Neurodegenerative diseases in welders and other workers exposed to high levels of magnetic fields.
    Håkansson N, Gustavsson P, Johansen C, Floderus B.
    Source Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

    Epidemiology. 2003 Jul;14(4):413-9; discussion 427-8.
    Occupational magnetic field exposure and neurodegenerative disease.
    Feychting M, Jonsson F, Pedersen NL, Ahlbom A.
    Source Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

  • Susan Burke said,

    As I am recovering, for the most part, from the blocking of a smart meter discovered in our basement, I am now free to say, definitively, that ITRON, the manufacturer of smart meters is a blatant culprit in the contribution to disease, sickness, illness and death in our country and world today. And I believe babies, in utero are subjected to this “dirty electricity” and born already sick, diseased and symptomatic. Once they can walk or talk, and exhibit any signs of problems, whether ADHD or ODD, and all other now diagnosed childhood disorders, they are immediately put on heavy meds, antidepressants and psychotropic drugs. This country is in a sad state and getting worse by the second. And in the words of “Roger Waters” from “Pink Floyd” we have “amused ourselves to death”. What a shame. Our old home has very old wiring, and I know it is not grounded, but we cannot afford to rewire our house, nor can we move as a corrupt mortgage broker and a very unscrupulous bank has destroyed our mortgage by falsifying documents, so we are in preforeclosure for seven years with no resolution and I can get out of here if I wanted to or redo my wiring. My sickness was devastating from a smart meter. And I am speaking out and will not stop until these devices are banned, recalled or pulled from the market. In the meantime we must block all meters. Youtube has videos to show you how to do it. It is simple and cheap. But we must send a signal back to the utility companies and take back our power. TODAY!

  • Wilfred Miles said,

    Using an AM radio, I have detected considerable dirty EMF radiation from these low wattage flourescent light bulbs. Not good to use in light fittings that we use close to where we work or sleep

  • Giselle said,

    We purchased a trifeld meter. One power point reads discharge but it stops a few inches out from the power point ie no reading. My son assumes this means no further contamination past this point. Is this the case.

  • Nancy said,

    Which micro surge meter do you recommend for measuring dirty electricity in a single wide mobile home with an “Itron kill device” located about 30ft. from the mobile home? Are mobile homes likely to have worse or better dirty electricity?

  • Larissa Grosvenor said,

    My house is about to be gutted. Can you advise me via the above email what I should tell the electrician. I showed one of you articles on dirty electricity and received a blank stare in response. Can you please spell it out for him. I know nothing other than what I have read on your site. I definitely need some help. Thank you for opening my eyes to this dreadful (criminal) problem. Larissa

  • Tina said,

    I have had problems with EMF’s for 3 years. Started when I switched to a smartphone. It burned my head and caused blisters. I took my phone in after a year telling the phone company it was burning my head. Their tech opened it up and said the battery had melted. They did not know if it was a bad phone or battery. I got a different phone and the pain continued. I went to 8 doctors (2 family doctors, 5 dermatologists, and one hairloss specialist telling them that the “roots” on my head hurt and it feels like something is crawling on my scalp…… and then I started losing hair. (I continued to use it because I was told it could not be my phone or they would not be on the market.) I have had three blood tests and a scalp biopsy….everything looks fine. Most of the doctors look at me like I am crazy, but a few said they have read about EMF’s but just don’t know enough about it. The hair loss specialist said that he believes it is the cellphones. He said in the past, out of 20 patients, he would have 19 men and 1 woman, now it is half and half with the women being in their 20’s which is way to early for hair loss. I am 50 and live in a rural area and used my phone on long drives which I did frequently to see family. All of these calls ended with, “I can’t talk anymore, my head is burning.” Anyway, 3 years later, and I only use it on speaker if I have to. (I use it for GPS in big cities, but my hand starts hurting from holding it up where I can see it better and still drive.) We removed cordless phones and went back to landlines. It took me months to figure out that streaming movies from the computer was the culprit for more burning on my scalp and also an odd feeling in my right cheek which my doctor said could be the infraorbital nerve reacting to the wireless. We removed wireless and went back to an ethernet cord on computer and to tv. I have removed alarm clock/radios from bedroom. I bought the Stetzerizer filters. I begged the electric company to replace my smart meter. They did, but put it back on when I was on vacation. I retired from teaching in May because they put wireless in the school. The pain also increases when I pass a cell tower or transformer unit. I feel the EMF’s wherever I go (hotel, friend’s house…etc.) and take steps to lessen it. I realize I have to find ways to cope and deal with this and as you can tell, I have. I have done everything I can think of. The problem is in my own home. The days are bad, but the nights are unbearable with the burning and feeling like something is crawling on my scalp. I am going to remove my metal headboard even though I have tried sleeping in the other bedrooms that have wooden headboards and I still have the pain. I sleep with my head at the bottom of the bed in case it is my metal headboard. I have even purchased 2 “EMF” caps for my head. I was out of the house for a few month and have just returned and it is still bad. Is there anyone that could come to my home and see if they could figure out what I have missed? Also, I like to travel and need the GPS. Is there a checklist when looking for a car with a navigation system? Some vehicles with it bother me and some do not. When you turn the navigation system off in the car, does that stop the radiation? While test driving certain cars, I could still feel it when it was off. Also, a year ago I replaced 9 recessed lights with pendant lights by simply taking the bulb out and screwing the pendant fixture in. Could that cause any problems with dirty electricity? And…. ALL of our light switches have dimmers on them. Could that be a problem? My husband has been dragged along with me on this crazy journey including to the point of cutting all the power to the house when we go to sleep, so I don’t want to change the dimmers or pendent lights if it is not necessary. I also want to thank you for your website. It was a lifeline I grabbed when I felt like I was drowning with this new “disease”.

  • Susan Burke said,

    Tina, I know your story too. My husband did exactly what your is doing. And, yes, the dimmer switches must go. Anything that transforms or pulses power. Also the ceiling fans have motors. I can no longer run appliances while in the house, and the A>C over the summer was disturbing as well. One more then the other, don’t know why. Two things I did immediately helped considerably: One-cranial sacral therapy, and then the purchase of a “still point inducer”, I use it 2x a day. Twenty bucks. Then I bought an “EMF” shielding pendant, $35 and do not take it off, ever, use a sterling silver chain to hang it around your neck. This works really well. Read up on shielding. I also take magnesium or epsom salt baths almost daily and do body brushing to move lymph fluids around and though and out of the body. Detoxing, is important and reamping the body with good, clean wholesome foods, green juice drinks and wheat grass are amazing for the system. I am able to go out now, but it has taken a year of all methods of therapy and eastern remedies to help me heal. Also prayer. NO doctor will help with this 21st century disease. They are clueless. Students today must study electrical engineering and start running tests on how EMF’s affect the human biology. I am too far gone to go back to school. Besides, I couldn’t survive with all the technology in the classrooms today. No wonder our students are having problems with drugs and alcohol, and the suicide rates is climbing. We are doomed by modern technology. And must gather forces and revolt against the installation of all smart meters in our homes. A smart meter made me sick and I am now fighting the good fight calling all agents, reps. legislators and the manufacturer of the smart meters, “Itron”. Call them please and tell them a smart meter made you sick. Here is the number: 1-800-635-5461. Then call your local health department and file a complaint, also with local legislator and call the utility services and tell them you are OPTING OUT of all smart meters. There are avenues to take to do this, forms and registered mail. There are three states left in the country where smart meters have not been installed yet, two of them are Vermont and New Hampshire, I believe, not sure of the other one, it is more west coast. You can get better, but you must NOT use the cell phone at all. I put it down six months ago for good. People have to call my princess phone. And use the therapy I described, most of all don’t lose hope. I now go to restaurants, libraries, malls, and so on. Unfortunately, I cannot go into anyone’s home where a smart meter may exist. For me it is a lose-lose. So the party is at my house, where I know I am safe. Be well, my friend and know you are not alone. Speaking out and writing is the one way to vent and help others. You being on the front lines, now have an obligation to tell your story on facebook, tweet and blog about it. You have a civic obligation, as do I, to help others get well. Helping is cathartic too. Susan <3

  • Tina said,

    Susan, Thank you for taking time out to reach out to help. I appreciate it so much! It is so helpful to be able to talk to others that are going through this. Wishing you the very best. Tina

  • Karl Humphreys said,

    I live in an area now being dubbed the future Solar capital of the world. We already have two of the largest Solar farms in the world here and there are prospects for 51 such farms in the future. A few of us recently took a reading on a Gauss meter, and it was off the scale It was the same at every farm. and it extends out hundreds of yards. We have ordered new meters to better identify the radiation. I have been in contact with Dr. Milham.

    Do you know of any research on EMF or radiation on solar panels. Dr. Milham said he had no knowledge of any research, but agreed that the fields were a danger to humans.

    There is technology out there that produces no radiation, and it’s amazing that it isn’t being used. If this keeps up, our area will become a Non-habitation, zone, and the county and state don’t seem to care.

    I also understand that the effects can be accumulative, is this true?

  • Nancy said,

    I was thinking of having solar, but now, I’ve decided against it due to the high emf. What is an alternative? Diesel generators produce much dirty electricity,too, Milham warnes.



    As to tower to home or cell phone radiation in general.

    My house siding, my roof, my windows and screens are all metal to keep microwave radiation from entering my home from any tower. I am the person, in 1962 at Airtron in Morris Plains, NJ that designed the microwave transmission systems for 2 navy subs and a square waveguide microwave transmission system for AT&T for an across the country communication system. My research at Airtron on human cell dangers caused by microwaves was made know to the Navy and was placed in documents. They were also made known to AT&T at that time. I am also the person that designed “a Novel High-Power Harmonic Suppressor” which design was printed in IRE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques in November 1962.

    Any company that transmits microwave energy from a tower to homes or to peoples cell phones should be held accountable for the health conditions they create.

  • T.makinen-Potts said,

    They are planning to put a 200 acre solar farm in my neighborhood rural residential . The township is going on with approval even though none of the resident around the solar site approve. Are there health concerns we should be aware of? They are just ramming this down our throats and we are all very upset. Also the town coucil receives some money from the company ( sun edison ) to give approval, but when asked what they are going to spend it on they refuse to say!!

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