‘Electrosmog’ and ‘Type 3’ Diabetes

[BPSDB] Mike Adams, the self-styled ‘Health Ranger’ reports on yet another alleged health problem caused by electrical devices. It would appear they cause diabetes.

He says:

Most people are familiar with type-1 diabetes and type-2 diabetes, but did you know researchers have discovered a third type of diabetes? Type-3 diabetes, as they are calling it, affects people who are extra sensitive to electrical devices that emit “dirty” electricity.

Type-3 diabetics actually experience spikes in blood sugar and an increased heart rate when exposed to electrical pollution (“electropollution”) from things like computers, televisions, cordless and mobile phones, and even compact fluorescent light bulbs.

‘Dirty electricity’ is another non-existent danger promulgated by people who just happen to have a cure for it. The claim is that electrical items such as computers produce higher frequencies which are superimposed onto mains current producing high frequency spikes on mains frequency. When I first heard this claim I connected an oscilloscope to a few electrical items in the lab but failed to find these HF spikes. This did not surprise me, since the claim makes about as much sense as saying that electricity produced by nuclear power stations is radioactive.

The source of this claim is a study by Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University in Canada. Once again Adams fails to link to a research paper he cites. Why is that, I wonder? However, he does mention that the study is published in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine so I got to work on google and came up with this.

The meat of the article is not a trial or provocation study (where people claiming to be electrosensitive are subject to microwaves at random intervals and have to say when the transmitter is on or off) but four case studies. She does not say how the four came to her attention or whether or not they were selected from a larger number who did not exhibit the signs and symptoms described so we cannot know whether or not these cases have been cherry-picked.

It is all grist to Adams’ mill:

One of the most interesting finding in her study was that electro-sensitive people whose blood sugar decreases when they go for a walk outdoors actually experience an increase in blood sugar when walking on a treadmill.

Treadmills, you see, are electrical devices that emit electrical pollution. But interestingly, even the physical exertion of walking on the treadmill did not make up for the blood sugar spiking effect of the EMFs emitted by the treadmills. Despite the exercise, in other words, type-3 diabetics experienced significant spikes in blood sugar when walking on the treadmill.

So from four case studies he extrapolates to people in general. There is an alternative explanation that does not appear to have occurred to either Adams or Havas; if people are told that a treadmill emits ‘electropollution’ that makes them ill – and are then made to walk on a treadmill, they are bound to feel stressed and this stress could be the cause of the blood sugar spikes. In fact, now I think about it, one has to question the ethics of a researcher who makes her subjects use a device that she believes is going to make their illness worse.

Adams also cites a “2008 study published in New Scientist [that] revealed that cell phone radiation causes human cell proteins to improperly express themselves.” It might be worth pointing out that New Scientist publishes science journalism, not peer-reviewed research. However he does link to it this time.

The article does not support his case:

Radiation from cellphones is too weak to heat biological tissue or break chemical bonds in cells, but the radio waves they emit may still affect cell behaviour.

“Our study suggests that it is possible that mobile phone radiation alters the expression of some proteins in living humans,” says Dariusz Leszczynski at the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, in Helsinki.

Leszczynski exposed 10 female volunteers to radiation at 900 megahertz from GSM phones to simulate an hour-long phone call. He screened 580 different proteins in their skin cells and found that the numbers of two proteins were altered in all of the volunteers: one protein increased by 89 per cent, the other decreased by 32 per cent (BMC Genomics, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-9-77).

Although similar effects have been observed in cultured cells, this is the first study to show molecular effects of phone radiation on humans. It does not necessarily mean that the radio waves have a negative health effect,
Leszczynski says. “But it does mean that the human body recognises this low-level radiation and reacts to it.”

This is interesting stuff and warrants further study but clearly the claims by the anti phone mast brigade that telephone microwaves fry users brains is knocked on the head since “Radiation from cellphones is too weak to heat biological tissue or break chemical bonds in cells”. Furthermore these protein changes were brought about by 900MHz radio waves. Mains operates at 50 Hz (60 Hz in the US). Since the energy of a photon is proportional to its frequency, the effects of ‘electrosmog’ will be a tiny fraction of one percent of those observed by Leszczynski.

I have no doubt that people who believe themselves to be electrosensitive are genuinely ill but by continuing to chase the wild goose of ‘electrosmog’, people like Adams and Havas are doing them no favours.


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11 Responses to “‘Electrosmog’ and ‘Type 3’ Diabetes”

  1. pv Says:

    JQH, you are too kind to Mike Adams, the “self styled Health Ranger”.
    Anyway, what does a health ranger do exactly?

    Nice blog post, btw.

  2. jaycueaitch Says:

    Judging by the evidence so far, I would say that a ‘Health Ranger’ talks complete bollocks about health and nutrition.

    Reminds me of someone.

  3. Neuroskeptic Says:

    Reminds me of heavy electricity

  4. Evette Says:

    “When you meet a person who is taking multiple prescription drugs, they are overweight or obese, chronically fatigued, mentally depressed, sickly in appearance, mentally clouded, suffering from several blood chemistry problems, burdened with weak immune systems, suffering from low bone density, and emotionally unstable.”

    And if you ridiculously believe else-wise your just a monotonic idiosyncratic trying to push Big Pharm ideas. The only “quackery” around here is pharmaceuticals and mainstream medicine. Your a mediocre solipsism simply in line with government and your supposed “unique” ideas are just another piece of insignificant trash on the giant heap of societal faux.

    And besides theres many other great health gurus out there if you don’t agree with Adams (who can be a bit fanatical):
    http://www.reformfda.org/FDA_Reform (told you! Don’t trust government)
    http://www.advancedscientifichealth.com/ (scientific evidence!, for you shitholes) http://www.advancedhealthplan.com/cancerresearchfraud.html
    http://www.healthtalkhawaii.com/Health_Talk_Hawaii/Welcome.html (amazing guy) http://www.ginatyler.com/
    http://www.lef.org/ (the originals)
    http://www.homeopathicrevolution.com/ (see this is why all the rich people are in much better health than the herd is, they have access to information that the little guy is systematically denied) http://www.psrast.org/ (so they are concerned…)
    http://www.healthhabits.ca/ (practical knowledge without the paranoia)
    http://www.theherbprof.com/ (another amazing person)

    Want more? Contact me and I’ll try not to bite! puffa56@yahoo.com

  5. jaycueaitch Says:

    First, the above has nothing to do with the thread topic.

    Second,I know people on multiple prescription drugs who do not fit the description in your first paragraph. Third, even if such a person exists, what is your evidence that the drugs caused the problems? Perhaps s/he had the problems first.

    Rather simplistic notion in your second paragraph: the fact that someone does not agree with you does not mean that they are just pushing Big Pharma ideas.

    I suggest you buy a dictionary, you plainly do not know what solopsism means.

    I’ll check out your links but your description of them as “gurus” does not fill me with confidence. On that subject – might be wise not to include so many links should you post again: I had to rescue your post from the spam dump.

    Incidently, why are you posting using multiple names?

  6. jaycueaitch Says:


    I’ve checked a couple of your links:

    Advanced Scientific Health offers not a jot of scientific evidence; it is just a sales pitch for supplements.

    As for Homeopathic Revolution, I covered that here. No evidence that homeopathy works. I recommend the comments, which feature Dana Ullman ducking like a quack.

    It’s not looking promising…

  7. Fleur Says:

    Eh, sorry about the multiple names (and the misuse of the word solopism).

    I actually don’t care as much about homeopathy as I do natural health remedies. My line of thinking is that many people have been helped by naturopathy and that you should look at all the links and not just “a couple”. And if someone had a problem to begin with than pharmaceutical drugs should take care of it and a person should have that illness no longer. And all the people I meet that take multiple drugs are overweight and smell bad all the time and have no energy. Not appealing at all.

    Pharmaceuticals are approved by a corrupt FDA that pretends to protect public health and marketed by a for-profit machine. I would rather not support that kind of thing. When theres plenty of non-invasive approaches to getting better.

    Cure cancer naturally (she did it!)-http://www.naturalcancergirl.com/

  8. Green Eagle Says:

    “cell phone radiation causes human cell proteins to improperly express themselves.”

    Well, perhaps if someone had taught them better grammar, that wouldn’t happen.

  9. Akin Says:


    I have a beef with the tail end of your analysis:

    “Furthermore these protein changes were brought about by 900MHz radio waves. Mains operates at 50 Hz (60 Hz in the US). Since the energy of a photon is proportional to its frequency, the effects of ‘electrosmog’ will be a tiny fraction of one percent of those observed by Leszczynski.”

    You have not considered the fact that it is not the 50 Hz mains which generates the effect; otherwise people would be reportedly equally “ill” just being next to mains regardless of the device. It is the effect of the electronic components, generating frequencies of the MHz range, which are being considered. Their photons would be much more energetic.

    I know you couldn’t measure them, but I am an ex-test engineer, and I have! Their intensity outside of devices is low, because devices are fitted with EMC supression devices by law. However, if photons emanate from within these devices, they could, by the Planck relation you site, be energetic enough to cause problems for those with sensitivity, without being observable on the mains supply (because of legally required suppression to protect the mains).

    I do not wish to comment on your larger contention about quasi/quack science; just to ask to to reflect this possibility in your analysis.


    • jaycueaitch Says:

      Being an ex-test engineer, you will be able to provide a link to a paper which measures the intensity of 900 MHz photons from domestic appliances, won’t you?

  10. A Third Year of Steam « Letting Off Steam Says:

    […] scare conjured out of nothing, electrosmog and electrosensitivity, had more outings. In June I fisked a Natural News claim that ‘electrosmog’ causes diabetes. In November the METRO published a shoddy piece of […]

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