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When people and machines don't get on ELECTRICITY United Kingdom
Contamination level: Bearable degree of physical symptoms (headache, nausea etc.).
Author: HARRY Fairweather Created: 22 Mar 2006 Updated: 22 Mar 2006 Viewed: 7324 time(s)
Whenever the two-year-old visits shops near his home in Winsford, Cheshire, he sets off security alarms.
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Human beings are electrical machines and the interactions between ourselves and electricity are very little understood Created: 22 Mar 2006
When people and machines don't get on ELECTRICITY

HARRY Fairweather has an electric personality - whenever the two-year-old visits shops near his home in Winsford, Cheshire, he sets off security alarms. His mother Paula, 28, became aware of the phenomenon five months ago when she was leaving the local Asda store with Harry after the weekly shop, and triggered flashing lights and bells.

Store detectives satisfied themselves that no shoplifting was going on and put it down to a faulty alarm - but the alarms continued to go off on every subsequent visit.

How or why this has happened has yet to be explained. What's more, the boy appears to have latent psychic powers. "He once pointed to a woman in Next and said she had a baby in her tummy," said his mother. "I was really embarrassed, but then she pulled me aside and said she had found out the previous day she was expecting a baby."

Human beings are electrical machines and the interactions between ourselves and electricity are very little understood. Michael Shallis, a science tutor in Oxford, made a four-year study of 600 people exhibiting extremes of bioelectricity, and published the results in The Electric Shock Book in 1988.

One woman studied by Shallis was Jacqueline Priestman of Sale, near Manchester, who had ruined 30 vacuum cleaners, five irons and two washing machines in 10 years. When she passed her television, it would change channels, and when she plugged in the kettle, sparks flew from the socket. Then there was Pauline Shaw of Manchester. Whenever she tried to programme a washing machine, the fuses melted and the door flew open, spilling water everywhere.

Some people cause electrical chaos wherever they go; others suffer appallingly in the vicinity of electricity. John Deeley, 48, an electrician from Redditch, Worcestershire, can no longer watch television, use a computer or mobile telephone, or go near fluorescent lights, and has had to shield his house with foil in an attempt to prevent electromagnetic radiation from next door's television making him ill.

"I can't be in a pub or go out to eat if there are any gaming machines or televisions in the vicinity," he said. "Holidays abroad are out of the question with all the equipment inside an aeroplane, and electric trains are a problem because of the high voltages that they work on. Even shopping is difficult because of the fluorescent lights in shops."

Christine Moody, 78, of Southdown, near Bath, has been allergic to electricity since being struck by lightning 20 years ago. She wears special chrome-lined shoes, but still finds walking over buried electric cables painful. During electrical storms, she has to double-wrap herself in special blankets and wear rubber boots to protect herself; in spite of this, she was recently struck by lightning a second time.

Joan Stock, 79, has a more specific problem. She is so allergic to microchips that she lives in a time-warp, unable to use most electrical equipment, or travel by public transport or in modern cars. Instead, she watches a black-and-white valve television at her home at Saltford, near Bristol, and drives a B-reg Ford Escort. She began suffering crippling headaches 20 minutes after an electronic typewriter was introduced at the office where she worked in 1975.

Margaret Cousins, 57, found living with normal domestic wiring impossible, so in 1996 she moved into a wooden chalet in a field in Wexford, southern Ireland, with no electricity supply. Her life improved until April 1998 when the symptoms returned. She blamed the recurrence on two mobile phone masts overlooking her home.

The campaign group Powerwatch estimates that up to one in 100 people suffers from mild electrosensitivity, which can cause nausea, migraines, disorientation and blackouts. With the ever-increasing electronic smog in our environment, such problems can only multiply.
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