Could Dirty Electricity be contributing to health problems in your home or workplace?

EMR Australia - Monday, November 09, 2015

At least some evidence suggests that it may be linked with a number of chronic diseases.

What is Dirty electricity?

Dirty electricity is a term used to describe interruptions to the flow of current running through electrical wiring. Electricity leaves the generating plant that gave rise to it in the form of a smooth undulating sine wave that looks rather like this—although, in reality, over 4800 kilometres separates each of the peaks on this graph.

However, during its travels, the smooth undulations of the sine wave become distorted by the electrical equipment it feeds. The result is a high frequency signal that’s superimposed on the low frequency sine wave.

Dirty electricity in a home can originate from electronic equipment within the home, from neighbours’ electronic equipment or from external sources such as base stations. It can be carried by both wiring and by conductive water pipes. Some of the devices that commonly cause dirty electricity are these:

  • computers;
  • halogen lights,
  • compact fluorescent lights; older fluorescent lights; transformers;
  • plasma TVs;
  • DVD players;
  • sound systems;
  • dimmer switches; 
  • variable-speed motors; 
  • mobile phone base stations; 
  • solar power inverters.

Dirty electricity and health

Dirty electricity has been linked with a number of health and behaviour problems.


A cancer cluster in teachers at the La Quinta Middle School in California (18 cancers in 137 teachers) was linked to dirty electricity. The higher the levels in the classroom, the greater the cancer risk. (Milham, S, ‘Dirty Electricity’, iUniverse, 2010.)

Behaviour and learning

Students at Vista de Monte elementary school in Palm Springs, California were reportedly hyperactive and unteachable. When dirty electricity was reduced in the classroom, behaviour and teachability improved. (Milham, S, ‘ibid)

Health and behaviour

Dirth electricity levels were reduced by over 90% in three schools in Minnesota. 64% teachers reported improvements in headaches, weakness, dry eyes or mouth, facial flushing, asthma, skin problems, mood, depression and anxiety. 30% felt worse and 6% reported no changes. Student behaviour reportedly improved. (Havas and Olstad, 2008.)


High levels of dirty electricity were measured at the Olympia Timberland Public Library in the US. When DE levels were reduced, levels of two neurotransmitters (dopamine and phenylethylamine) improved in seven library workers. (Milham ibid)

Other problems

Case studies and anecdotes showed that reducing DE:

  • reduced students’ needs for asthma inhalers;
  • improved ADHD behaviour in students;
  • reduced insulin requirements for type 1 diabetes
  • lowered blood sugar in type 2 diabetes
  • improved balance and led to fewer tremors in MS patients. (Havas, 2006)

What can you do?

Dirty electricity can be measured with our new DeTekta meters, available for hire or purchase, which measure in the frequency range 10 kHz to over 1 MHz.

Dirty electricity can be reduced with our Dirty Electricity Mains Filters— usually a small number will suffice for the average home.

About The Author - Lyn McLean is a consumer advocate, author and educator and has been monitoring and writing on the subject of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) for over 20 years. She is the director of EMR Australia.

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