Book Review by Sheila Rogers DeMare
Author Samuel Milham, MD, is Washington State’s former chief epidemiologist. The preface to his book Dirty Electricity begins with this text: This is written in an urgent attempt to warn you about what I believe to be a global man-made health threat. When Thomas Edison began wiring New York City with a direct current electricity distribution system in the 1880s he gave us the magic of electric light, heat, and power, but inadvertently opened a Pandora’s Box of unimaginable illness and death.
“Unimaginable illness and death?” Isn’t that a little extreme? That’s surely what his critics would say. But Dr. Milham has spent decades researching the effect of electromagnetic radiation on humans. He doesn’t claim, of course, that this is the only environmental factor in health. But he is convinced that the “electrification” of the world has had far reaching health effects.
Milham’s recent study of a cancer cluster in La Quinta, California — a cluster that he traced to high levels of electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) in the school — solidified his beliefs. He has written this new book to explain his research and insights into the far ranging effects of EMFs.
Dr. Milham and the LaQuinta Cancer Cluster
A new middle school opened in the town ofLa Quinta, California in 1990. While met with initial excitement, concerns began to develop. An article in Prevention Magazine explained: “One teacher developed vague symptoms — weakness, dizziness — and didn’t return after the Christmas break. A couple of years later, another developed cancer and died; the teacher who took over his classroom was later diagnosed with throat cancer. More instructors continued to fall ill.” In 2003 Ms Cohen, a 6th grade teacher, learned she had breast cancer. She and a peer began to count up all the cancers. “By 2005, 16 staffers among the 137 who’d worked at the new school had been diagnosed with 18 cancers, a ratio nearly 3 times the expected number. Nor were the children spared: About a dozen cancers have been detected so far among former students. A couple of them have died.”
With Cohen’s help, Milham took EMF readings. In some classrooms he found the surges exceeded his meter’s ability to measure them. The teachers filed a complaint with the state and a full investigation was ordered. The final published analysis by Milham and his co-researcher reported that exposure to certain EMFs (transient electricity) in the school increased the likelihood a teacher would develop cancer by 64%. “A single year of working in the building raised risk by 21%. The teachers’ chances of developing melanoma, thyroid cancer, and uterine cancer were particularly high, as great as 13 times the average. Although not included in the tabulations, the risks for young students were probably greater.”
Dr. Milham suggests that health and mortality effects of electrification happened so gradually, and on such a wide scale, that to a great extent they went unnoticed. Many illnesses, he points out, are simply considered “normal” diseases of modern civilization. He invites us:
We are in an electrochemical soup at the cellular and organ level. The very good news is that there are reasonable ways to eliminate or reduce this hazard if society chooses to do so, in ways that can make modern life far safer without requiring us to live in the dark. It took nearly 50 years of education and experience to place me in a position to really understand what the La Quinta school cancer data meant. Please join me in a trip back to Albany, NY, in 1932 as I explain how I got to here from there.
Order book online here.