Author Topic: EM fields and radiation  (Read 896 times)

Offline Dalhousie

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EM fields and radiation
« on: March 31, 2017, 12:27:42 AM »
Hi all

A relative of my wife's is currently obsessed with the radiation she thinks she is exposed to from microwaves and even domestic appliances like electric stoves.  It is seriously impacting on her ability to function because of her fears that it is giving her high blood pressure and other ills.  She is convinced that she is a "sensitive" and the normal limits and levels (which are suspect anyway because they come from government authorities) don't apply.  She needs an X-ray for a medical condition and refuses to have one because it will killer her (she thinks).

Anyone come across this sort of stuff before?  I's definitely a harmful and expensive conspiracy theory that has limited her (and her long-suffering husband's)  access to and use of technology and fed her already exteme anxiety.

« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 12:29:46 AM by Dalhousie »

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2017, 04:00:44 AM »
Best putting her in the hands of the medical practice. She may be suffering from early onset dementia or some other medical condition. Once an obsession starts to impact the quality of life then the person needs more than a well-intentioned relative offering internet sourced wisdom, no matter how well-meaning.
"Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur"
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” – Christopher Hitchens.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2017, 07:09:01 AM »
Best putting her in the hands of the medical practice. She may be suffering from early onset dementia or some other medical condition. Once an obsession starts to impact the quality of life then the person needs more than a well-intentioned relative offering internet sourced wisdom, no matter how well-meaning.

We are working on this. But it's not easy.

Offline bknight

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2017, 08:59:05 AM »
Best putting her in the hands of the medical practice. She may be suffering from early onset dementia or some other medical condition. Once an obsession starts to impact the quality of life then the person needs more than a well-intentioned relative offering internet sourced wisdom, no matter how well-meaning.

We are working on this. But it's not easy.
I know what you mean, my ex thought the microwave oven was going to give her cataracts, and made me line the outside with aluminum foil!  No amount of wisdom worked on her obsession.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
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Offline Allan F

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2017, 09:47:46 AM »
Does she use a cell phone?
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 06:08:56 PM »
Does she use a cell phone?

No.  Nor WiFi, or a microwave. her long suffering husband does all the cooking.

Offline Peter B

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2017, 08:49:32 PM »
Given that she considers herself uniquely vulnerable when compared with others, logic and evidence aren't ever to likely work on her - not standing her out in the Sun so she can be bathed by solar radiation, or getting her to watch the TV or sit under an electric light, or any other normal source of EM radiation.

So the idea of working with her to solve the problem seems unlikely to work. That means you (collectively) have to solve the problem in spite of her.

I'd suggest thoroughly briefing her doctor about the situation and working out what (s)he can perform in the way of interventions without referring her on to another medical specialist. Then arrange a visit for her on a subterfuge - perhaps tell her that her husband needs to see the doctor and that the doctor needs to talk to her about her husband's "condition". A doctor who's good at working with patients should be able to achieve a fair bit with a patient who doesn't realise she's a patient.

One alternative which might be worth exploring (although it might raise medical ethics issues) is to see if you can convince her to visit someone like this lady: http://www.lynnekelly.com.au/the-skeptics-guide/cold-reading-with-tauromancy/

The lady in question, Lynne Kelly, is definitely one of the Good Guys. To get an understanding of how Cold Reading works, she made up her own divining system called Tauromancy (you should be able to work out the joke there). Using it (and Cold Reading techniques) she was scarily effective at looking like she was psychic.

Perhaps someone who looks like they're a woo-woo healer but actually using scientific techniques could help resolve your relative's concerns.

Offline Abaddon

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2017, 01:05:27 PM »
Hi all

A relative of my wife's is currently obsessed with the radiation she thinks she is exposed to from microwaves and even domestic appliances like electric stoves.  It is seriously impacting on her ability to function because of her fears that it is giving her high blood pressure and other ills.  She is convinced that she is a "sensitive" and the normal limits and levels (which are suspect anyway because they come from government authorities) don't apply.  She needs an X-ray for a medical condition and refuses to have one because it will killer her (she thinks).

Anyone come across this sort of stuff before?  I's definitely a harmful and expensive conspiracy theory that has limited her (and her long-suffering husband's)  access to and use of technology and fed her already exteme anxiety.

Sigh. Since I occupy that professional space for over 30 years, you can tell her that long term exposure has little to no consequence. Your microwave could leak microwaves but it would be a stretch to think such leaks would do much of anything to you. In any event, your microwave would have to be particularly messed up such that it was A: leaking microwaves B: such leaking microwaves were focused on a location outside the microwave chassis and C: You stood in that unlikely location every time the microwave was running. As for WiFi, it matters not a whit that you don't have it in your home, everyone else's signals will permeate your home, place of work, public transport, hotels/restaurants/coffee shops. It's everywhere. Eliminating it from your home is a useless gesture. Same applies to cell phones.

Offline Bryanpoprobson

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2017, 02:15:28 PM »
I had hydrodyalation therapy on my left shoulder the other day and the surgeon stayed in the room as the needle has to be placed using an x-ray. He does wear a leather gown but his head and hands were exposed. I asked him about the dangers of working every day in such an environment but he said the only real danger was from cataracts in later life.

I did start a thread myself regarding the danger of multiple x-rays and the accumulative effects of these. Because of follow-ups to cancer treatment I have had in the Past 2.5 years:- 10 CT scans, 4 Chest X-rays and recently three hip X-Rays, two shoulder X-rays plus the X-rays used in my procedure, I should be glowing in the dark. As far as I know I have suffered no adverse effects from all this.

But I remember there were a lot of concerns regarding the safety of Microwaves (Re: cataracts in particular) in early days and the possibility of people boiling their brains with mobile phones, these fears are not uncommon. But in the years since we have had these devices, has there even one medical case of anything like this occurring?
"Wise men speak because they have something to say!" "Fools speak, because they have to say something!" (Plato)

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 12:37:25 AM »
Hi all

A relative of my wife's is currently obsessed with the radiation she thinks she is exposed to from microwaves and even domestic appliances like electric stoves.  It is seriously impacting on her ability to function because of her fears that it is giving her high blood pressure and other ills.  She is convinced that she is a "sensitive" and the normal limits and levels (which are suspect anyway because they come from government authorities) don't apply.  She needs an X-ray for a medical condition and refuses to have one because it will killer her (she thinks).

Anyone come across this sort of stuff before?  I's definitely a harmful and expensive conspiracy theory that has limited her (and her long-suffering husband's)  access to and use of technology and fed her already exteme anxiety.

Sigh. Since I occupy that professional space for over 30 years, you can tell her that long term exposure has little to no consequence. Your microwave could leak microwaves but it would be a stretch to think such leaks would do much of anything to you. In any event, your microwave would have to be particularly messed up such that it was A: leaking microwaves B: such leaking microwaves were focused on a location outside the microwave chassis and C: You stood in that unlikely location every time the microwave was running. As for WiFi, it matters not a whit that you don't have it in your home, everyone else's signals will permeate your home, place of work, public transport, hotels/restaurants/coffee shops. It's everywhere. Eliminating it from your home is a useless gesture. Same applies to cell phones.

I know, we have tried this.  But she has alternative facts and authorities.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2017, 12:38:58 AM »
I had hydrodyalation therapy on my left shoulder the other day and the surgeon stayed in the room as the needle has to be placed using an x-ray. He does wear a leather gown but his head and hands were exposed. I asked him about the dangers of working every day in such an environment but he said the only real danger was from cataracts in later life.

I did start a thread myself regarding the danger of multiple x-rays and the accumulative effects of these. Because of follow-ups to cancer treatment I have had in the Past 2.5 years:- 10 CT scans, 4 Chest X-rays and recently three hip X-Rays, two shoulder X-rays plus the X-rays used in my procedure, I should be glowing in the dark. As far as I know I have suffered no adverse effects from all this.

But I remember there were a lot of concerns regarding the safety of Microwaves (Re: cataracts in particular) in early days and the possibility of people boiling their brains with mobile phones, these fears are not uncommon. But in the years since we have had these devices, has there even one medical case of anything like this occurring?

I have noticed that my dentist no longers uses lead shielding for x rays.  I gather this is because new technology allows better collimated beams so less spread and scatter, and digital imaging allows lower doses to be used.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 01:21:43 AM by Dalhousie »

Offline gillianren

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2017, 12:47:22 AM »
Simon had his first-ever dental X-ray this year.  I stayed in the room, and they didn't even suggest covering me up.
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Offline Abaddon

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2017, 07:38:08 AM »
Hi all

A relative of my wife's is currently obsessed with the radiation she thinks she is exposed to from microwaves and even domestic appliances like electric stoves.  It is seriously impacting on her ability to function because of her fears that it is giving her high blood pressure and other ills.  She is convinced that she is a "sensitive" and the normal limits and levels (which are suspect anyway because they come from government authorities) don't apply.  She needs an X-ray for a medical condition and refuses to have one because it will killer her (she thinks).

Anyone come across this sort of stuff before?  I's definitely a harmful and expensive conspiracy theory that has limited her (and her long-suffering husband's)  access to and use of technology and fed her already exteme anxiety.

Sigh. Since I occupy that professional space for over 30 years, you can tell her that long term exposure has little to no consequence. Your microwave could leak microwaves but it would be a stretch to think such leaks would do much of anything to you. In any event, your microwave would have to be particularly messed up such that it was A: leaking microwaves B: such leaking microwaves were focused on a location outside the microwave chassis and C: You stood in that unlikely location every time the microwave was running. As for WiFi, it matters not a whit that you don't have it in your home, everyone else's signals will permeate your home, place of work, public transport, hotels/restaurants/coffee shops. It's everywhere. Eliminating it from your home is a useless gesture. Same applies to cell phones.

I know, we have tried this.  But she has alternative facts and authorities.
A standard X-ray is a trivial exposure. Is she bothered by the fact that the nurses/technicians/radiographers go behind a screen and don lead coats? They work with X-rays all day every day for a career. She doesn't. Amount of exposure is the key. Even when I shattered my ankle last November I was having three X-rays every two weeks and no precautions were necessary. Some years ago I had a CAT scan (and that is a whole level up) and still no precautions were necessary. The X-ray simply is not sufficient to worry about. These days, it is a matter of routine to me.

How exactly you can communicate this to your lady wife's relative is just a difficult thing. Were any sources for this indicated? Knowing why she believes as she believes might give an indicator as to a strategy.

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 08:07:19 AM »
How come these people don't get antsy about radio transmitters or TV signals? Why is it always something that is relatively modern? WiFi, mobile phone signals and so on?

She's got a psychological problem. Time for professional help.
"Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur"
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” – Christopher Hitchens.

Offline Peter B

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Re: EM fields and radiation
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2017, 09:06:04 AM »
How come these people don't get antsy about radio transmitters or TV signals? Why is it always something that is relatively modern? WiFi, mobile phone signals and so on?

Some of these sorts of people do get antsy about radios and TVs as well. I understand there's a small but measurable movement of people into radio-quiet parts of the USA for exactly that reason.

The problem, like a lot of these sorts of psychological issues, is that there isn't any underlying logic to these people's problems. No matter how much logic and evidence you use on them, they simply fabulate some explanation to keep it at bay and retain their concerns.

Quote
She's got a psychological problem. Time for professional help.

I wouldn't be too quick to send in the white coat cavalry. We know nothing about this woman's age, family, financial or employment circumstances. Dalhousie simply said the husband was "long-suffering". Well, perhaps there are ways to mitigate her concerns and relieve his long suffering without resorting to potentially expensive medical intervention; if, for example, it was possible for them to move to a radio-quiet location which was vouched for by someone as "sensitive" as this woman, then her symptoms may well go away all by themselves. No guarantees, obviously, and such a solution doesn't address the underlying illogic of her original concerns...but, then, I'm a pragmatist as well as a skeptic.