Woman claims skin reaction to wireless internet:
For most people talking on a mobile phone, cooking dinner in the microwave or driving in a car is simply part of modern living in 21st century Britain.
But completing any such tasks is impossible for Debbie Bird - because she is allergic to modern technology.
The 39-year-old is so sensitive to the electromagnetic field (emf) or 'smog' created by computers, mobile phones, microwave ovens and even some cars, that she develops a painful skin rash and her eyelids swell to three times their size if she goes near them.
As a consequence, Mrs Bird, a health spa manager, has transformed her home into an EMF-free zone to try and stay healthy.
The walls are all covered in special carbon paint, the windows have a protective film on them and she and her husband, Tony, 45, even sleep under a silver-plated mosquito net to deflect the radiowaves.
'I can no longer do things that I used to take for granted,' Mrs Bird said last night. 'My day-to-day life has been seriously affected by EMF.
'I don't own a microwave. I don't use mobile phones at all. I can't even use a cordless phone. We have a plasma screen TV because the old style one gave out gamma rays, which brought on my reaction.
'I can't even get in my friend's BMW. If I do I immediately start getting a headache and my head starts tingling.
Perhaps I am too skeptical, but I find this hard to believe. Psychosomatic illnesses have been extensively documented, but EMF-based ones? I don't think so. There are people who have a skin reaction to bright sunlight, but that is a very different type of problem and it begins at birth. In fact, allergies in general almost never spring up that late in life, unless some unusual situation brings it about.
Plus, she is all over the place about what she claims to be allergic to. Wi-Fi, microwave ovens, cell and cordless phones are indeed all around the same waveband (UHF and SHF). But there are plenty of other things around there that she does not claim an allergy to, particularly different kinds of broadcast radio and TV. And the proposition that cars are somehow emitting anything around that part of the spectrum makes no sense.
The worst part is definitely "the old style [TV] gave out gamma rays, which brought on my reaction." First of all, no it didn't. Second of all, that is soooo far from microwave radiation. And third of all, televisions emit very little radiation, being a receiver doesn't somehow cause that device to be a "hub" for some wavelength. And if it did, it would never be gamma rays.
It is unfortunate that in a story about a rather dubious medical/science issue the newspaper hardly managed any degree of skepticism. They added one sentence saying that practically all doctors doubt the veracity of "Electro-sensitivity" and then immediately counter it with some pseudo-scientist. Textbook false balance.