Allergic to Electricity in an Electronic Age

Pocahontas Times February 12, 2009

Suzanne Stewart


Staff Writer


Imagine living your life without your television, computer, mp3 player, radio, video games, microwave and vacuum cleaner. For Green Bank resident Diane Schou, avoiding these objects is a life long burden. Schou suffers from electromagnetic hypersensitivity, a condition in which sufferers experience medical symptoms caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields. The illness is not recognized as a disease because the diagnosis relies mainly on self-reported symptoms. There is no specific test that can verify if someone is affected. Also, many of the symptoms are directly related to other medically accepted diagnoses. Schou first developed the sensitivity around seven years ago on her farm in Iowa. “By our farm, they built a cell phone tower,” Schou recalled. “It took nine months before I became ill from it and I never suspected that it would be a problem.” The tower was a U.S. Cellular tower which, for a long time, was the only type of cell phone tower that bothered Schou. “I didn’t have a problem with AT&T, Sprint, Cellular One or any of the other cell phone companies. It was only U.S. Cellular,” Schou explained. The frequencies of cell towers are so close, Schou was surprised she could tell the difference in companies. Eventually, as her illness progressed, she became sensitive to the other towers.


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