West Virginia Town Full of Those Sickened by WiFi

Green Bank residents say they have Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2011 12:02 PM CDT
A sign at West Virginia's National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank warns visitors to turn off electric devices to prevent them from interfering with radio telescope operation.   (AP Photo/Brian Farkas)

(Newser) – Most Americans hate being out of range of a cell phone tower, but not the residents of Green Bank, West Virginia. A growing number of Americans are moving to this mountain town, population 143, specifically because cell phones and WiFi signals are banned there, lest they interfere with the gigantic radio telescope nearby, the BBC reports. Many of these so-called “WiFi refugees” say they have Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), and believe electromagnetic-field exposure literally makes them ill.

“It’s a horrible thing … you become a technological leper,” says one self-professed EHS sufferer, who previously lived in a wire mesh-wrapped cage to escape the radio waves. “Living here allows me to be more of a normal person.” But the mere existence of EHS is disputed; the World Health Organization says that it’s “not a medical diagnosis” and that there’s “no scientific evidence” for it. One recent study did demonstrate a link between sufferers' symptoms and electromagnetic fields, but many still dispute it. (Read more electromagnetic sensitivity stories.)

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