As electrosensitive as they are…

Photographerphcreated a series of pictures looking at people who suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) or Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance Attributed to Electromagnetic Fields (IEI-EMF). The condition is deemed controversial by medical sciences.

The stories of British people in Thomas Ball photographs, however, are quite compelling.

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Tim Hallam, 37, Leamington Spa.

Tim is a graduate from Cambridge University. He has gone to great lengths to insulate his bedroom and has fitted foil on the walls, under the floor and on the ceiling. He sleeps in a custom-made silver coated fabric sleeping bag at night, which he says helps to block out electromagnetic fields. Tim can’t work in an office environment and the condition has severely impacted his career aspirations. He currently drives a supermarket delivery van.

“Where I’m living now, it’s not a great situation. I’m lucky that the shielding worked to a large degree. But I would love to live somewhere I didn’t have to live in a metal box and sleep in a bag, where I could go to a café and see my friends, go to the cinema, all those things that people take for granted.”

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Brian Stein (64), Nottinghamshire.

“Generally speaking, people don’t talk about it. Can you imagine that you can’t use a computer, you can’t watch TV, you can’t fly on a plane, go on a train, stay in hotels, or walk round the high street when there’s wi-fi?  My credibility in my job was very very important to me.  So did I talk to customers about this to begin with?  Not at all, but there came a point in time, where I took the view, if Brian Stein doesn’t speak out about this, who will?”

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Hannah Metcalfe, Kent.

Hannah suffered from psoriasis as a child and started sun bed treatment at the age of 9, to help clear up her skin. In her late twenties, she started developing severe migraines and fatigue when working in offices with fluorescent lights. She always felt discomfort when using a mobile phone. The severity of her symptoms got worse when she later discovered a sensitivity to wi-fi. As a result of her sensitivities Hannah gave up her job as a trainee criminal solicitor in 2010 and now lives with her husband and two children on a farm in Kent.

“When I realised that wi-fi was making me ill, and I also turned off the digital phone; so [there] was nothing wireless in the house, I just went from feeling like this sluggish person, to feeling so vibrant and alive, with so much energy. Just amazing to feel well.”

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Michael Bevington, Stowe School, Buckinghamshire.

Michael has been a Classics teacher for 34 years.

In 2006, the school had wi-fi fitted in his classroom. He immediately developed symptoms of severe headache and heart palpitations. As he had been working in the same classroom for many years without any ill-health, he was able to quickly attribute his symptoms to the wi-fi. He asked the school for it to be removed and returned to a wired connection instead, and his symptoms at work went away.

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Raphael Cuesto, London.

In 2004, while working for a telecommunications company in Kuala Lumpur, Raphael noticed that he was developing pains in his arms and hands every time he worked on his laptop. His symptoms got worse and he began getting headaches and heart palpitations from using his mobile for only a few minutes, and this progressed to almost immediate pain when he brought the phone near his head. He decided to stop using his mobile altogether and left his job in the telecoms industry. He is now a teacher and lives in London.

“When you spend a minute on the phone and get palpitations, you know you have to do something about it. I remember one day turning [over] a piece of paper and writing in the middle of the page ‘jobs without a mobile phone’. I had to change everything.”

There is plenty more pictures and stories where these came from.

Is there a place on earth where EHS sufferers can live undisturbed by electromagnetic fields?

Yes, there is. The place is a tiny town called Green Bank, West Virginia, USA, population 143.

The residents of Green Bank can’t use cell phones, wi-fi, or other kinds of modern technology because of a government ban. The reason of the ban? Green Bank houses Robert C. Byrd telescope, a gleaming white, 485-foot-tall behemoth of a dish that looms over the town.

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In Green Bank, you can’t make a call on your cell phone, and you can’t text on it, either. Wireless internet is outlawed, as is Bluetooth. It’s a premodern place by design, devoid of the gadgets and technologies that define life today. And thanks to Uncle Sam, it will stay that way: The town is part of a federally mandated zone where a government high-tech facility’s needs come first. Wireless signals are verboten.

In electromagnetic terms, it’s the quietest place on Earth—blanketed by the kind of silence that’s golden to electrosensitives […] (– From the article in Washingtonian. The article has the stories of technophobes and electrosensitives  who recently moved to Green Bank.)

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