The Hazards of Dirty Electricity
Most of us don't give much thought to the electricity that enters our home every day. We don't want to waste it of course, because that costs us money. Poor power quality, also known as dirty electricity, refers to the combination of harmonics and electronic noise generated by certain electrical devices that are used in the average home. Items such as computers, dimmer switches and compact fluorescent bulbs can cause electrical interference because of the way they use power. Most of these devices require DC power to function so the AC power that enters your home must be converted to DC power for their proper operation. This conversion process distorts the incoming AC power wave and causes unusable electrical energy. This junk energy flows along the electrical power lines inside your home and produces harmonics and other "noise".
It has been assumed for many years that these harmonics and electrical distortions have not had a biological component. In other words, we thought that only the health of the electrical devices were in question, not our own health. However, recent studies have indicated that dirty electricity may be causing electrical hypersensitivity in some individuals. Tests conducted in schools in Toronto, Wisconsin and Minnesota have indicated that both students and teachers are affected by dirty electricity in ways that are quite surprising. One school in Toronto installed 50 electrical filters designed to reduce electrical noise by 43%. Over the six week test period, teachers reported they were less tired, less irritable and suffered fewer headaches while experiencing a sense of greater satisfaction and accomplishment. Students were more active and better able to concentrate on their lessons and less time was required for classroom disruptions.
Noticeable changes in behavior have also been observed in children suffering from attention deficit disorder (ADD). A commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood, ADD and its cousin ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) may affect up to 18% of school-aged children. Inability to focus and disruptive classroom behavior were symptoms that were reduced in the above-mentioned Toronto study. Today's children are exposed to more dirty electricity than ever before because of the ever-increasing use of computers, televisions, video games and cell phone usage.
Individual filters to reduce the amount of electrical noise in the home can be purchased online for $40-$50 each. However, most homes will require at least 15 plug-in filters to reduce the electrical noise enough to make a difference. Whole house power conditioning systems are also available that combine electrical noise filtration with surge protection and energy savings, which may be a better solution.