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EMF (Electromagnetic Field) Irritants

The Blessings and Curses of Aluminum Foil

On behalf of a friend.

Certain individuals have been using Aluminum Foil as a seal against aromatic components. They've applied it to door frames, to wall sections, to cabinetry, to floors, etc., with mixed results. While Aluminum Foil is fairly inert chemically, and a good seal against volatile emissions, it has another property that warrants a closer look at its use, and whether it is appropriate or not. That other property is its Electrical Conductivity.

I've received calls from some who have even shielded appliance wiring or light fixture wiring with Aluminum Foil, and did not feel any improvement, or felt worse. The primary reason for the concern was Environmental Hypersensitivity, which includes Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Electrical Sensitivity. So why would a power cord be an irritant?

Putting aside for the moment the fact that the plastic covering has aromatic emissions, while the insulation of a power cord eliminates direct contact with energized wiring, and thus electrocution, it allows the resident Voltage to produce an Electric Field that emanates past the insulating jacket and radiates out into space for several feet in every direction. The voltage in question is Alternating, that is, constantly changing with time. The human body is not designed for exposure to single-frequency Alternating Fields of any lengthy duration. It is my opinion, and experience with clients, that the biological irritating effect of the electric field emissions far outweighs the aromatic emissions from the wiring insulation. While many have been unwittingly focused on Alternating Magnetism as the sole irritant of EMFs, this is blatantly incorrect, and in a properly wired home there should be NO Alternating Magnetism originating within the home, other than an occasional point source, whereas Alternating Electric Fields abound.

Residential home construction has been driven by least cost and most profit (both to the builder), with one of the consequences being a constant 60 Hz Alternating Electric Field environment throughout most homes. This occurs because the type of wiring employed, NM 14/2 or NM 12/2 (Non-Metallic insulated 14 gage . . . a.k.a. Romex) is similar to a light fixture cord, in that its protection is simply a plastic cover. With that in place, Alternating Electric Fields emanate past the plastic insulation and through sheetrock, wood flooring, or particle board (as used in cabinetry) panels. The typical home then is built with wall-cavity wiring that creates an Electrified Bird Cage effect. Guess who's the canary? Using Aluminum Foil will then bring about additional problems, because anything Electrically Conductive within a field absorbs the field and radiates some of it back, acting as secondary source (radiator/antenna), making for a stronger presence than if the secondary source was not there.

The hearing input from about 20 to 20,000 Hz, is frequency-variant, i.e. we do not hear a constant tone or a constant frequency. The visual input, being figures and colors, is also frequency based, but at a much faster rate (around 1015 Hz), as light is also part of the Electromagnetic Frequency Spectrum, and again the input is frequency-variant/diverse. The human brain reacts to frequencies slower than about 20 Hz (referred to a Schumann Resonance), available through a Planetary Electric Field, which keeps us in sync-lock with Normal Cycles. Thus we may know that it is time to get up (without an alarm clock ringing), or time to go to sleep, or for certain animals time to hibernate, etc. Our internal clocks, which some know as Circadian clocks, are free-running with a period somewhat longer than 24 hours. The Planetary field being slightly faster than our clocks brings us into sync-lock with our environment.

The Natural Electric Field of the Earth has a non-changing component and a few very low frequency components. It is essential to life. While a non-changing field will exert a certain amount of stress, all chemical patterns subjected to it are still preserved. On the other hand, the constant Alternations of the 60 Hz fields are homogenizing in character, in that they tend to erase all patterns. House construction can greatly reduce or eliminate The Earth's field entirely from the indoor environment, while simultaneously substituting a 60 Hz component. Homeopathic potions are one of the most immediate victims, as their potency is greatly reduced or eliminated in the presence of Alternating Electric Fields.

Using foil around a power cord then, will make the situation worse. Using foil around cabinets will make the situation worse if any energized wires are nearby. Using foil around wood trim will make the situation worse if any energized wires are nearby. Using foil on the floor will make the situation worse if any energized wires are nearby. Using Aluminum Siding can be the worst if NM wiring is used, as the entire shell now becomes an electrified birdcage with solid surfaces, all radiating. The same can be said for foil-faced wall/floor-cavity insulation. Using a metallic roof is definitely a no-no, as it will serve to sever the connection we need with the Earth's electric field, especially if the roof is grounded, and it inevitably will be because of rain-spouting or other inadvertent electrical interconnection.

How Aluminum Foil can be used beneficially in these applications, is by proper grounding to a separate and isolated electrical ground. As a last resort, foil shield around a power cord can be grounded to the electrical ground from the outlet. A larger foil application on a floor needs to be grounded to an isolated electrical ground, ensuring the foil does not inadvertently also touch other metallic structures connected to the electrical system ground. The key difference between the cord and floor application is that it becomes cumbersome to shield cords with isolated grounds. Because of the Primary Distribution type in use, the Electrical System Ground can be electrically floating above Earth Ground by several volts, (and in my limited experience) to as much as 25 Volts higher than the nearby soil it is in contact with! Shielding a power cord and using the Electrical System Ground is an improvement as even 25 Volts is a lot less than 60 Volts (the equivalent of one wire at 120 and the other at zero). However, applying foil to a floor and using the Electrical System Ground may cause additional problems, as a localized wide-band problem can now become a wide-area problem.

For one whose Immune System is weakened by age or injury, aromatic chemistry can be a major problem. Adding Alternating Electric Fields will make a bad situation much worse. Making the Alternating Electric Field presence more intense can make one wonder what is really happening, when a benefit is sought but a detriment is achieved. While a chemically safer residence can be built, not taking into account the electrical aspect will throw all the chemical considerations out the window, as anyone who is chemically sensitive and lives in an electrified home with the type of wiring described above, will get sicker, and go through several "experts" and may not find solutions, although real solutions and workarounds are available.

While having undesired Alternating Magnetic Fields can be an irritant, and their path can involve water piping, concrete, the Earth, etc., Alternating Electric Fields are more immediate and prevalent, and found in a great majority of homes, and as stated previously, in the presence of pervasive Alternating Electric Fields, all chemical considerations and precautions are of limited value.

A presentation on Electromagnetic Fields was made to a past CIIN conference. The full presentation is available in DVD or VHS tape from CIIN (www.ciin.org), and is worthwhile. The text is available in the December 2003 OTT and in an updated fashion in this web site - it is well worth reading for those who want to improve their life with reality and not imagination.

As a humorous side note, reinforcing the fact that some individuals are real idiots, some on the web have the gall to offer foil beanies, to "ward-off" Radio Frequencies (RF). Ironically, some ignorant people are buying into them.

Some claim you can use the "stuff" to block RF from coming in a window. Maybe . . .

As stated above, anything with electrical conductivity exposed to a field will absorb and then echo a portion of that field, causing a locally stronger echo. This can happen with Electric Fields and with RF.

So maybe grounding is the issue . . . maybe. The world of RF is like a zoo, but with all the animals loosely roaming about and bouncing off of everything. If you try grounding such a foil barrier, the grounding cord needs to not be resonant at the frequency of interest. So which is the frequency of interest? Is it WiFi today and cellular tomorrow, or viceversa? If the cord is anything close to resonance at a specific frequency, it is electrically absent. Can you make a cord not resonant at both WiFi and cellular?


There are ways of reducing RF ingress using partially conductive or non-conductive materials, that are best suited for the job. Aluminum Foil may not be one of them.