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 Electromagnetic Sensitivity Case Study
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Snuggle Wolf

1443 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2018 :  12:26:45  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My neighborhood mailing list has posted about health concerns about Smart Meters. I tried to explain that low-energy photons are harmless and electromagnetic sensitivity isn't a a medical thing. One of the neighbors insists and sent me a link to a 1991 case study from the Journal of Bioelectricity.

I haven't dug deeply into it yet, but one concern that I have with the study is that they used square waves and that can allow participants to hear a high pitched noise when the device is turned on.


The study author, William J. Rea, has been involved in pseudoscience and dubious diagnoses...

Skeptics Doubt ‘Bubble’ Woman’s Environmental Illness

The legal case of a town against the accommodations of a woman suffering from an “environmental illness” draws attention to this obscure condition and controversial doctors who diagnose it.

The Texas Board of Medicine claims that [William J. Rea's] methods have not been substantiated by impartial studies, and that he poses a public health danger to the state.

Edited by - ThorGoLucky on 02/07/2018 14:36:54

Evil Skeptic

13444 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2018 :  18:30:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Rea said he has treated more than 30,000 people who have complained of environmental illness. His Environmental Health Center–Dallas, established in 1974, prohibits cell phones, regularly filters the air, and has porcelain walls and floors, “because there are no fumes and particulates,” Rea said.

Rea tests his patients for allergens and “detoxifies” them with “saunas—to ‘sweat out’ the toxins—purified air, and certain kinds of food in a controlled environment,” according to ABC News.
Heh. No red flag there.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

25951 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2018 :  19:26:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Electromagnetic Field Sensitivity Case study evaluation" has been cited three whole times since it was written 27 years ago. All three citations were in 2014 and 2015 by a dentist named Yoshiro Fujii, who seems to think that there exist "metals that collect harmful electromagnetic waves."

Aside from that sort of guilt by association, the original article was published in the very last issue of the Journal of Bioelectricity, which managed to push out two issues a year for ten years, and was so uninteresting that nobody has even bothered to calculate its impact score.

But really, the idea that one can collect subjects for a double-blind study from those who "pass" a single-blind study and have the former still mean something is news to me. So is the idea that one could expose a person to one real and five placebo trials in a reasonable period of time when the authors themselves insist that the reactions to exposure could take days to manifest and last for days afterwards. Speaking of bad reactions, who the hell was on the oversight board that approved a trial that would purposefully sicken people? Josef Mengele, Michael Swango and Orin Scrivello?

(That is, after all, why nobody will do a vaccinated-versus-unvaccinated trial with any research institution's approval.)

The article is so poorly written that it's impossible to tell if they took any care with the blinding. As you noted, Thor, coils can whine (even with sinusoidal input). I can hear the flyback coils in old tube TV sets, and not many can, so it's safe to say that it's plausible that the researchers thought they had a completely silent device when they did not. The blazingly obvious typos in the article suggest a less-than-optimal attitude towards "giving a shit." Table 6 in particular is a nightmare, since the text claims that it somehow describes the "autonomic nervous system dysfunction, as measured by the iriscorder" in the 16 "sensitive" patients, but table 6 itself is titled, "Parameters of 25 Normal Controls’ Pupillary Light Reflex—Iriscorder". Which was it, doc?

(Note also that PubMed finds eight whole articles that reference the iriscorder in the last 50 years.)

And Dr. Rea appears to be a victim of crank magnetism, as his "clinic" also advises people about dental mercury:
Mercury fillings can pose a severe problem for some individuals. A Hair Mineral Analysis can be performed to evaluate your heavy metal body burden. The Environmental Health Center-Dallas can skin test you to determine if you are experiencing an allergic response to mercury. We provide treatment for mercury toxicity and for mercury sensitivity. We advise you when it is safe to engage in detoxification treatments...

The choice of a dentist to remove mercury fillings is very important. The Center can provide the patient with a list of dentists who specialize in the proper technique for mercury removal.
In other words, "if you're already afraid of your fillings, you can give us money to enable your fears and help you spend even more money on unnecessary procedures!"

Nope. Dude is a quack, and "Electromagnetic Field Sensitivity Case study evaluation" was never replicated nor expanded, as it would have been were its conclusions true.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Snuggle Wolf

1443 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2018 :  10:13:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your input. I posted a reply to my South Corvallis mailing list:

I was giving a link to a 1991 study, Electromagnetic Field Sensitivity Case Study Evaluation, as evidence for wifi harm, but there are several problems with it, so I thought it prudent to let people know lest it continues to be touted.

The study is not rigorous, has never been replicated, and the journal that it's published is so poor that it doesn't have an impact score.

The study author, William J. Rea, is infamous for pseudoscience, dubious diagnoses, and has been in trouble with the Texas Medical Board. One could counter that research should stand on its own regardless of the researchers, but research has degrees of freedom where strong bias can increasingly throw a study's results further into question (see a phenomena called "p hacking" as one example). Strongly biased researchers deserve extra scrutiny.

The study used single-blinding to filter participants. That's wacky protocol. Single-blinding is only useful for preliminary studies to help design future rigorous studies that will be double or even triple blinded. Care must be taken to not let the test subjects to know whether or not the device is on. The principle of science is to try not to be fooled by our fallible ape brains.

A concern of mine as someone who has designed and built electronic devices is that the study chose to use square waves that are notorious for causing high pitched noise allowing test subjects to possibly have noticed when the electromagnetic device was turned on.

Lastly, electromagnetic sensitivity is not recognized by the medical community. It's a fringe claim that quality/rigorous research has been unable to validate. And claims have failed in court:
Edited by - ThorGoLucky on 02/08/2018 10:13:49
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