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Joyfullyblessed

(UPDATE on Decison) Living Near High Voltage Power lines/towers... Anyone w/ Experience or Advice

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****FOR NEWEST UPDATE, SCROLL TO THE END OF THIS THREAD (3-11-19)

UPDATE: 

I want to thank you all again for your advice. I read everything and definitely took it all into consideration. My husband and I have talked and looked at our situation and have decided to move forward with buying the home.  Right now, we are simply not the best position to move (financially or job wise), and this house IS one we can afford to buy at the moment, located in our desired area. 

What we HAVE decided is that this won’t be the fixer upper, forever home we once thought due to the existing concerns. We plan to purchase the home (having instant equity)  & do smaller fixes instead of a big overhaul on the house over the next two years.  After two years, we plan to move, using this home as an investment property to rent out. We do know that it will rent out very well in this area. 

In the meantime, the power company is coming out to do testing (not so sure I’ll believe them, but we will see), & we may invest in our own EMF meter as well. Due to some issues with black mold (which have recently been remediated) that could also be the cause of some of my health issues, we’ve asked the landlord to have the ductwork cleaned out and will be getting air purifiers for the home too. 

While these may seem like small things, I’m hoping they will make a positive difference and that our family can enjoy the next couple of years here, knowing our new plans. I’ll deal with the ugly eyesores to the left and right of us for a little longer, doing as much as I can to keep our family safe and healthy. Thank you again for the wonderful responses. Everyone have a great day! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, 

I was wondering if anyone has experience living near high voltage power lines & towers? If so, how has it been? Any concerns in regards to health or safety that you’ve seen or are experiencing?

I ask because we are currently renting a cute ranch home that has the high wires running throour backyard. We can see the large towers to both the left and right of us when we go outside, even though those aren’t in our yard. We are planning to buy the house in June because it’s in a wonderful location, great buy for the area, and is a little bit of a fixer upper (which we happen to love). However, I don’t want to buy if the lines/towers cause a definite health or safety concern. It would not be easy to pick up and move either, but it’s a definite consideration if we’re dealing with these causing issues. 

I’ve done a bit of reading, and can’t seem to find solid answers. Many sites say that the items in our homes actually affect us more with the EMF’s than the high voltage lines. We’ve called our local power company also to see if they will come out and do an electromagnetic spectrum test on the house. I just thought that maybe someone would have experience with this situation and could over some advice. 

Thanks so much and have a wonderful day. 😊

 

Edited by Joyfullyblessed
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Our current home is near high voltage lines. I couldn't get a clear answer with regards to risk/effects online either so I bought an EMF meter. Readings from various appliances within our home were way higher than any readings I got walking near the power lines so I decided not to worry about them.

 

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If you are looking for simple anecdotal- My paternal Grandmother has lived in a house that backs to the huge high voltage towers for 50 years. Well, to clarify- the towers went in over 30 years ago- they weren’t there the whole time. She’s 95 with no health issues beyond her hips- still going strong. Her dh died of Alzheimer’s- but that’s linked to so many things from pesticides (he grew up on a farm in the 30’s) to aluminum that I’d personally not say that’s a reason to worry. 

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No experience, but I'd have no problem with it.   

Have you ever heard of the J-curve?   When they got enough data to plot health problems from things generally considered to be bad for us, radiation and alcohol are two examples, they find that Health Problems vs. Dosage follows a J-curve.   So, no radiation exposure is worse than some.   But both are better than lots.  When I was reading about the j-curve, living next to a power line was an example of the good part of the curve.   But, this would have been pre-cellphones.  So, maybe those push the cumulative into the Going Up part of the curve.  

I always found it amusing that it is SOP to put parks and schools under power lines.  

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When we were house hunting, we looked at a house with the type of power lines and transformers in the neighborhood.  For what it's worth, my electrical engineer husband refused the house for this reason.  

 

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IMO this is a VERY controversial topic.  That probably means that there is validity to both sides of the arguments.  Where we lived before (we are in Colombia) there was a high voltage AC line across the street from our house. Where we lived was far back from the street. Possibly approximately 50 meters (yards) from the power line.  I personally am glad that we moved from there, early in 2004.

Next door neighbors we were friendly with, their house was very close to the street and much closer to the power lines. She got Cancer. Did the power line cause or exacerbate her Cancer? Only God knows the answer to that question. Is it possible? I think the answer is yes, but there really is no proof, one way or the other about this topic.

The power companies will always say there is no danger. Possibly that is true, if the power lines are maintained in perfect condition. Possibly it is false.

IMO the nearby power line would, in the USA, lower the value of the property.

We had a situation similar to that regarding a Cell Phone tower here in our HOA, about 5 years ago.  We had a meeting and a neighbor we are friendly with (he is an Electronic Engineer for that Cell Phone provider)  pointed out things in your house that have far more radiation that a Cell Phone tower puts out.  One couple there had moved here from Peru or Chile (I forget) and I think they lost a child and they blamed it on a power line. Everyone commiserated with them, but when we voted on whether or not to accept the offer from the Cell Phone provider to install the tower on the edge of our property, we voted to accept it. Part of that reasoning was that if we did not accept the tower the people across the fence would have the tower and they would receive the $ every month from the Cell Phone company and it would only be a few meters farther from any houses here than if it was on our property.  Would I like to live very close to that Cell Phone tower? No.  It is approximately one block (by air) from our house and that's fine with me. 

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We don't live near any towers but we have high voltage lines going down our road right by our house. We've lived here for 16 years. The only problem we've had in that time is that once one of the lines blew and it caused a power surge to go through our house and it took out a bunch of appliances that then needed to be replaced. 

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Thank you so very much for the responses! I’ll continue to research & y’all continue to respond if you think of or find anything new please. So far, it appears that the lines/towers may possibly be less of a concern than items we already have in our home with EMF’s, or foods that we eat with chemicals and goodness knows what added to them. 😳

Here’s a couple of pics looking to the left and right when standing in our backyard. 

 

A7DF5698-1569-43C0-855A-B47C17D33B27.jpeg

425A0026-F6A0-46F9-9237-AA5688B10301.jpeg

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We lived very near power lines/towers like that.  It wasn't quite exactly over the back yard like your pic shows, but in relation to the yard, they were probably where that tree line is in your pick.  We were there for 4 years, and didn't really notice anything, but I am not sure that 4 years is enough for anything to be considered "long term".  

 

Having said that, I am not sure I would want to live with that in my back yard for other reasons.  First, it's really ugly.  Second, because it's really ugly, resale could be more difficult should it be necessary.  Third, I live in the midwest, in or near tornado ally and having something like that over my head in a high wind/tornadic storm situation would freak me the HE🏒🏒 out

Edited by happysmileylady
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After seeing the photos you posted, I hope you are getting an incredible deal on that house, because those power lines are going to kill your resale value and make it take a very long time to resell it when the time comes. Even if we completely disregard the fact that many people will have health concerns about them, they are just plain hideously unattractive. 

Sorry to be so negative, but unless the house is super-cheap compared to others in your town, I would find a different house to buy.

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Ok, now I'll give a twist. I'm extremely EMF sensitive and was made sick by power lines much lower voltage than what you're living under. I have a gauss meter and have measured different places. We actually have transmission lines like that on one of our fields, not near our house, and I can tell you the EMF you're living under is exceptionally high. There's high and then there's very high. You're under very high. On our property those lines are 250k volt but yours look even higher honestly. Once I stayed at a hotel overnight that was rather near lines like that. I didn't realize it till the next day when it was light (we arrived in the night) and I was a mess, a total mess. For me the physiologic stress when I lived under them caused depression, crashed my thyroid, gave me brain fog, and I could actually *feel* the lines. 

Yes the power company will have meters, but you can rent/buy one yourself. No need though, as the levels will be shockingly high. I agree with the resale value issue. That's probably why the people decided to rent and then try to sell it off, because they couldn't sell it outright. Our house, which was only under 12k volt lines, sat on the market over a year and potential buyers did ask, yes.

What is the ACTUAL RISK? Ha, good luck getting clear answers. I can tell you that the power company initially refused to do the modification we requested, stacking the lines vertically, which would have canceled the fields and allowed me to live there safely. They asked some exhorbitant fee we could not possibly have paid ($80k? I forget). Anyways, we sold the house, built elsewhere, moved away from them. A few years ago, that power company, ever so quietly, went back through and made that change. So is that some quiet admission that even the power companies know there are issues?

At the very least you can say the levels you're exposed to are high enough that very sensitive people would have symptoms. I would be non-functional in your house. I hear the lines and feel them, would develop severe insomnia, depression, headaches, and my whole system would crash. Yet you're happy as a lark. Even the cancer risk is obviously just as variable.

Also, as someone who is extremely sensitive to these things (like you can check me with a gaussmeter, I'm that accurate and over-sensitive), the comments they'll make about oh no more than a lightbulb, etc. are just all crap. Yes what's coming out of there is WAY more intense than anything in your house. It's your choice whether you want to live under it or not. I physically can't.

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B

Hello Again, 

I am in COMPLETE agreement that the lines/towers are a HUGE eyesore. There’s no getting around that fact. Surprisingly, I’ve gotten used to them over the past few months. Weird, I know. If we stay, we can eventually do some landscaping that will help distract from the ugliness. No, it will not hide them at all, but I’m just hoping it will help draw the eye to something more pleasant looking. 

And, yes, we would be getting an incredible deal on the house compared to homes in this area. This includes a house only two houses down that has the same exact issue I’m speaking about. Just between what that house is listed at right now and what we will be able to purchase this house at in June is an $80K difference. 

The area we are in is highly sought after and has neighborhood after neighborhood of homes ranging from $300K to over a million. We would be purchasing the house from our longtime friend. He lived here for 16 years (has no known health issues related to the high voltage lines), but needed to move for a job.  

Our plans are to buy the house and basically make it our forever home, fixing it up into a really beautiful place over the next few years. Of course, we know plans may change, but that’s our thinking now. We realize resale would be hard on this house also, but also know that our friend has had offers from others already to buy the house if we don’t, so maybe not as difficult as I may think. Again, it’s the location.  As mentioned in the original post, the main thing that MAY change our minds isn’t the thoughts we have for the house, but the concerns over the lines/towers. 

Thanks you all sooo much! 

***I meant to also add that based on a recent appraisal, we would have an instant $15k equity in the house also.

Edited by Joyfullyblessed
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After seeing your pic, I'm curious if you can hear them? A buzz or a low din?

Dh has a relative that has the exact same orientation to the high voltage lines and when we are there I hear a constant hum. I leave with a massive headache every time. 

It sounds like you are getting an amazing deal though, and if you and your dh are happy with the situation, that's all that matters. 😊

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PeterPan: I’ve definitely wondered about this issue with myself.  I just didn’t mention it because when I have said something to family or friends, I hear that I haven’t been here long enough to be having any symptoms. About 3 months after moving here, I began having issues that started with what I now refer to as a migraine type headache. Then, my ear, jaw, and left side of face hurt, tingled, etc.... my back left shoulder blade hurt too, along with my neck and the back of my head. I went to a primary physician a few times, then a dentist, then an oral surgeon & had plans to see an ENT. I was a mystery to all but the oral surgeon. He disagnosed me with Myofascial Pain Syndrome. It’s not been fun. And, I believe I’ve had fibromyalgia for years, but never officially was diagnosed, so maybe not. 

Anyway, this issue began due to a very stressful event that occurred at that same time, and I know that stress is a trigger for MPS. So, I’ve always just associated that with this happening. However, recently it occurred to me that MAYBE the power lines may be contributing to my problems. Again, I didn’t receive much support, so I dropped it. I have to wonder if I just might be extra sensitive to EMF’s also. Hmmmm. 🤔🤔🤔

MrsRobinson: There is definitely a buzzing or crackling sound that can be heard from the wires. At times it’s much louder than others, while sometimes it’s very quiet. 😬

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4 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

Having said that, I am not sure I would want to live with that in my back yard for other reasons.  First, it's really ugly.  Second, because it's really ugly, resale could be more difficult should it be necessary.  Third, I live in the midwest, in or near tornado ally and having something like that over my head in a high wind/tornadic storm situation would freak me the HE🏒🏒 out

This is a very good point. I also live in an area prone to tornadoes and high winds, and when power lines come down, it often sparks a fire. I wouldn't want that happening in my yard.

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4 hours ago, Joyfullyblessed said:

However, recently it occurred to me that MAYBE the power lines may be contributing to my problems. Again, I didn’t receive much support, so I dropped it. I have to wonder if I just might be extra sensitive to EMF’s also.

Wow, that's freakish. The only way to know is to leave and leave long enough that your body starts to feel better. So go take a two week cruise or go to the mountains somewhere. Just scoot, get out. Go visit relatives. If you start to feel better, that's your big clue.

And no, given what you've described, there is NO WAY I'd be living under those lines. They don't just affect the sensitive. I've read stories of people having effects who otherwise had no unusual sensitivities. But here you are HAVING HEALTH PROBLEMS so significant you're at a doctor with inexplicable pain, and they're like oh no, we can't say there's a connection.

What's $80k for health? Makes no sense. Leave. But really, it was going other places, feeling better, and then returning and feeling worse that confirmed it for me. So catch a cruise for two weeks and when you get back you'll know. But I would RUN. You have to self-advocate and take care of yourself. Your health is worth more than that house or a good deal. 

And yeah, we have an area near us that has those $$$$$$$ houses built right under the crazy high tension power lines, and I always wonder why the people are willing to live there. 

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Nothing to share about health, but my daughters are apparently sensitive to the sound (???) They went hiking last summer near big power lines and now they groan whenever we drive past any, recalling how it drove them nuts, one more than the other.

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Ok, not to beat a dead horse if you're not interested, but I'll toss out two more observations. One, people who are living in those homes under the lines, near certain types of towers, etc. aren't necessarily HOME ALL DAY. They might be, but they probably aren't. They probably go to work, volunteer, go to the gym, whatever. Even retirees often have their routines about town and are gone. Homeschoolers can be home all day, day after day. We might go to a co-op or we might not. I know I'm home a lot! Even though I buzz out for ds' sessions, that's an hour or two and then I'm right back. So any effect from the source is going to be more significant on the people who are there more.

Thing two, the thing to watch out for, when you're having health problems and trying to sort out the cause (or any kind of problems for that matter), is the "lobster pot" effect. So you're there, you start to not feel as well, people blow you off, you're not sure, you're a nice person, you back down, and slowly, slowly, you don't feel quite as well. Then you don't self-advocate as much because you don't have quite as much spunk or fight in you. And it keeps going on, till there you are, in a pickle, really not feeling well, and wondering how it got to that point. 

So when I say self-advocate, that's what I'm talking about. You have to fight and be self-protective while you HAVE the energy. If something is affecting you and you DON'T take care of yourself, it can get to where it's hard to self-advocate and make it change.

So then ask reasonable questions. Why is this $80k price difference so important? My SO did not make a change when we KNEW the lines were making me sick. Why isn't your spouse up in arms about even the POTENTIAL for this to be harming you? I'm sorry, but if there's the POTENTIAL that it's harming you and causing these significant symptoms, why is your spouse willing to live there? Why do you not value your own health enough to say you know, there's a chance that it's harming me, let's just move on. Why is the money more important than your health, your welfare, when there's a reasonable possibility you know the cause? 

That's self-advocating. Now maybe you live with someone who isn't paying attention or doesn't realize. But you have to love yourself enough to self-advocate.

Is it possible you're experiencing depression from the EMF exposure and that's why you're not self-advocating? Have you filled out an online depression survey to see? 

Whatever, do what you want. I'm just saying, having btdt, that's how it happens. Take care of yourself.

Edited by PeterPan
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As far as resale, there will always be someone willing to overlook those types of things in order to be in a certain location or have more square footage. 

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I have never lived under power lines, but I've heard them. The sound itself, the crackling and buzzing, would bother me a lot, but I don't like noises in general. I can't leave the fan in the bathroom running because I can hear it throughout the entire house.

OP, it's a tough decision! 

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Good Afternoon! 

I want to thank each of you once more for all the responses. It gives me a lot to think about and consider when making this decision. 

PeterPan: Thank You for your responses, I really appreciate hearing them. I do want to clarify that my husband is very supportive of whatever I want to ultimately do regarding the house. He’s concerned, and while he knows it may be hard for us, he’s willing to move if needed. The family or friends I spoke of does not include my husband, and I know that it is a very short span of time to know if the lines or towers are hazardous health wise or not. I believe that that so much is unknown that friends and family don’t really know what to say, which may be why they come off as unsupportive. 

Im just trying to learn as much as I can before jumping to any conclusions, and that’s also why I decided to ask my question here too. I knew I’d receive several answers that bring to light things I may not have thought about yet. Stress & diet may be the key cause of my Myofascial Pain Syndrome, but I also MAY be EMF sensitive. I just don’t know. 

Your suggestion of leaving for a time, seeing how I feel, then coming back, and seeing what happens is wonderful. I can’t get away for two weeks, but possibly 5-7 days, which might be fine. So, I may just try that & see what happens.  Your point about me being home more is a valid one also. Very good thinking! I’m home most of the time, getting out for errands only a few times a week. My husband works away from home and seems to have no issues. Our son is home like I am, but also seems to have no issues. I’m going to keep that in mind too though. 

Also, the money thing isn’t ruling my decisions. I was just providing more information to give a clearer picture of why we may choose to purchase the home over moving. I will say that finances are tight and it would be harder to up and move again right now, but not impossible. There are many unknowns and I’m just trying to figure out what our best decision might be regarding all of this. 

Thank you all so very much! I have so much to think about, try out, and learn. All of which will hopefully help me in making the best decision for our family. Have a wonderful day. 🤓

 

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UPDATE: 

I want to thank you all again for your advice. I read everything and definitely took it all into consideration. My husband and I have talked and looked at our situation and have decided to move forward with buying the home.  Right now, we are simply not the best position to move (financially or job wise), and this house IS one we can afford to buy at the moment, located in our desired area. 

What we HAVE decided is that this won’t be the fixer upper, forever home we once thought due to the existing concerns. We plan to purchase the home (having instant equity)  & do smaller fixes instead of a big overhaul on the house over the next two years.  After two years, we plan to move, using this home as an investment property to rent out. We do know that it will rent out very well in this area. 

In the meantime, the power company is coming out to do testing (not so sure I’ll believe them, but we will see), & we may invest in our own EMF meter as well. Due to some issues with black mold (which have recently been remediated) that could also be the cause of some of my health issues, we’ve asked the landlord to have the ductwork cleaned out and will be getting air purifiers for the home too. 

 While these may seem like small things, I’m hoping they will make a positive difference and that our family can enjoy the next couple of years here, knowing our new plans. I’ll deal with the ugly eyesores to the left and right of us for a little longer, doing as much as I can to keep our family safe and healthy. Thank you again for the wonderful responses. Everyone have a great day! 

 

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ANOTHER UPDATE: Well, we received the EMF report back from the power company today and as I thought, readings are high around the exterior of the house and very high under the power lines. It’s making me rethink our plan of buying and staying two years before we sell. While our finances are very tight, I still want to make sure my family is safe. Goodness, sometimes I think I’m crazy worrying about all this, then other times, I feel like it makes complete sense. 

It sure would help if all the research on these things over the years was more definite with their findings. Now you have to wonder... is it the EMF’s, chemicals & pesticides all around, mold exposure, genetics, etc... or just a mix of everything that makes people sick?!? The news reports something different every other month or so. 🤪 

Anyway, sorry for babbling. The report is making us second guess our decision thoigh, so here we go again. Fun! 🙄😕

B69536E4-9215-46AB-B146-22DE69991C06.jpeg

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One of my best friends lived under one of these for about 6 years.  Then she developed an aggressive breast cancer and she was dead in less than 5 years leaving a 13 year old daughter behind.   I never even talked to anyone about it but I have always wondered. 

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given how much higher the numbers are, can the power company be required to do something about this?

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8 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

given how much higher the numbers are, can the power company be required to do something about this?

Fat chance. "Doing something" implies admitting liability for anything you say happened as a result. The developers built houses under major transmission lines and it's just how it is. When we had our fight, they quietly did the change (which you actually can on lower voltage lines, you stack the lines to get the fields to cancel, look when you're out and you might see lines like this stacked vertically), but they did it YEARS AFTER we asked. We said we would pay, but they quoted us almost as much as the property was worth.

11 hours ago, Joyfullyblessed said:

Anyway, sorry for babbling. The report is making us second guess our decision thoigh, so here we go again. Fun! 🙄😕

B69536E4-9215-46AB-B146-22DE69991C06.jpeg

Ok, so here's my two cents. One, be thankful they aren't higher. As you see, EMF levels will drop off exponentially with distance. If you look at the numbers, you see this. Moving back 10 feet is a major drop. 

Now because you don't have a gauss meter, you can't just go around and test places. I can tell you that *I* would be sick even at the 2.8. I'm hyper-sensitive. But if I HAD to live in that house right now and had zero choices, I'd keep at that very back point, the point farthest away, as much as possible. Unfortunately, that lowest area is probably your garage, right? If it's a screened porch, then spend more time there til you can move.

I think they say the ambient EMF off the earth is around 1. To me, I'm not gonna be freaky about anything in that 1-1.5 range. In fact, if your WHOLE HOUSE was under 3, we wouldn't be having this conversation. To me that would be a choice range where someone might be like well I work, I made a choice, I feel fine, I don't care. 

Reality is those EMF levels fluctuate. They're making it sound like it's an absolute thing with those numbers, but it's not. Voltage being transmitted on the lines goes up and down and the meter itself will read up and down, usually within say .5, but sometimes dramatically more. It's just not like this wow static, fixed kind of thing, like the depth of the pool. It's more like the waves of the ocean. So they gave you the average, what it's basically reading, at that spot at that time. So say 5-8pm, high usage time, not to scare you but those numbers could be higher. I don't remember doing that with my meter, but I'm just saying usage fluctuates therefore the EMF will fluctuate. If they took those readings during the day, any fluctuation will be UP.

So I personally would leave. I personally would not stay there because your defacto exposure is 4-7mg, constantly, all day long.

A lot of houses are near some kind of power lines, something with lower voltage, lower tension, and they'll have some EMF in places. My mother's old house, for instance, was in a residential district and there were just basic, boring power lines running along the alley behind her. That meant that in her guest room closest to those lines, the EMF came close to 2.5. I think that is right, it has been a while. It was high enough that someone like *me* could feel it, but certainly it never affected her ability to live there. Her own bedroom was farther from them and the fields probably dropped off. Now I say that and she did have minor complaints about sleep, etc. and seems to be doing noticeably better since she moved. But was there anything so dramatic at that level of exposure that people were like oh fire sale, get out? Nope. 

So if you turn on an electric stove, the fields are crazy high, way higher than what is coming off those lines in fact. But nobody stays that close to the stove. Actually, I used to watch the microwave spin when I was a kid and I kept my face really close. Maybe that's part of why I'm so hypersensitive and my brain is really wacky? 

So your exposure in most of your house is 4-7milligauss, which is at a range where it's reasonable to think you could have physical effects on your health. Some people will, some people won't. Those are the levels I was living in (averaging 5) when I lost my health. So no, I personally would do anything it took to get out of there, but that's because one you're there all the time and two you're developing strange health complaints without explanation.

One thing I did when sorting out what effect the power lines were having was to camp. Like if you could pull back another 30' beyond the farthest point the power company measured, you're probably dropping back down to a pretty low level. So pitch a tent there and sleep a week and see what happens. Or go on a cruise. 

I said this before, but you have to self-advocate. Money is not more important than your health. You can't buy back your health.

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This is the company we used when sorting through our problems and building our new, safer house. http://www.emfservices.com  You might just give 'em a call and ask. You're not trying to take a ton of their time and there's nothing that can be done for canceling, etc, given the types of wires. Well that's not true, there actually is a system they offered us, but it was complex and wouldn't have gotten it down enough for me. Anyways, they're straight shooters. When you're talking $$$$, it's good to get a 2nd opinion.

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11 hours ago, Joyfullyblessed said:

is it the EMF’s, chemicals & pesticides all around, mold exposure, genetics, etc... or just a mix of everything that makes people sick?!?

Ok, so most practitioners who are dealing with these cases will say it's a mixture. So you could have stellar genes but you had a lot of childhood cigarette exposure, say. So then your weakest organ (in this case the lungs) is what is going to be susceptible to the STRESSORS from the radiation exposure, chemical exposure, etc.

I used a nutritionist for years to help that part of the picture and she was like well we can get your body strong enough nutritionally that you can live in this house and not be sick. Nope. It was the most unkind, uncaring, oblivious, stupid, misprioritized thing ever to keep me in that house. 

So the most susceptible things on you (given your genes, give your background, etc.) are where it can show up.

Like I said, take care of yourself. 

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If you do buy the house, remember that now that you know the readings, you’ll have to disclose them when you sell. 

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