Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity & Arrhythmia

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Arrhythmia
Last Reviewed 03/06/2014

I must admit that, a few years ago when I first started worrying about the effects of wireless technology and electromagnetic hypersensitivity, I had as much resistance as everyone else we knew. After all, it meant considering that I might have to re-think many of the day-to-day conveniences that I truly enjoyed!  

So, you can imagine how I “boiled over” the day I came home to find out that my husband had disconnected all the phones in our house and just discarded them. Granted, they were all cordless, but I was expecting calls from family members with medical needs that day … major yikes!

As usual, it appears now that my seeming rush to judgment is once again validated, this time by a 2010 provocation study suggesting there may very well be a real connection between our cordless phones and cardiac arrhythmias

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity May Explain Cardiac Arrhythmias

Irregular and rapid heartbeats are one of the symptoms reported by people—even kids—when they are in areas heavily laced with routers, cordless devices and Wi-Fi. Editor-in-Chief Eric Goldman addresses the subject in an article from Holistic Primary Care titled  “Cordless Phone EMFs Trigger Heart Rhythm Abnormalities.” 

One reference he cites IS downright “provocative!” It is the work of lead researcher, Dr. Magda Havas, in the field of heart rate variability (HRV) and cardiac arrhythmias. Dr Havas is associate professor of environmental and resource studies at Trent University in Ontario, Canada, and co-author of Public Health SOS: The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution.

Dr. Havas headed up an international team from Canada, Europe and the United States that collaborated to design a small but very sophisticated study into the world of electromagnetic hypersensitivity that was conducted in Colorado. 

Investigators took a small group of 25 generally healthy people to see if they could “provoke” any cardiac arrhythmias by exposing study participants to an electrical field generated by a wireless cell phone base. Researchers controlled for extraneous sources of electrical fields and then exposed subjects to a 2.41 GHz cordless phone base station that was actively emitting a signal, or one that was turned off (placebo). 

Surprising Results from the Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Study

Even I was surprised that five people (or about 40 percent of the participants) exhibited an increase in their heart rates, cardiac arrhythmias and other HRV disturbances. One person’s heart reacted by speeding from 61 BPM to a whomping 154 BPM in only a second or two of exposure to the cordless phone base! 

Before the study started, 40 percent of the people identified themselves as “electro-hypersensitive,” meaning they reported experiencing difficulty with memory, concentration, sleep, vision, heart palpitations and cardiac arrhythmias with exposure to electromagnetic fields. Another 16 percent reported being a little sensitive, while 8 percent felt they had none.  

The objective cardiac monitoring confirmed the same number: 40 percent of the subjects were reactive, though not the exact same people as pre-study. 

Dr. Havas suspects that about 30 percent of U.S. adults are sensitive to electromagnetic fields, and 3 percent to 5 percent react strongly enough to have clinical symptoms. So, it’s not a matter of whether or not electromagnetic fields are a health risk, according to Dr. Havas, but for whom it is a health risk. 

Are you one of those with electromagnetic hypersensitivity?

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