51-year-old Velma Lyrae, from London, England, spends up to 18 hours a day in her homemade Faraday cage, because she is allergic to electromagnetic fields. When she goes out she has to wear a special scarf that shield her from electromagnetic waves.
The Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS) sufferer says her problems began in her teenage years, after she suffered a shock when she touched the switch of an electric fire in her bathroom.At first the symptoms were barely noticeable, and at one point she even worked as a secretary for a number of companies, where she had to use a computer. “Even back then I could feel a huge agitation when using the computer, but I thought it was just because I didn’t have the technological skills,” Velma remembers. Although it is believed previous shocks make people more susceptible, the rare condition really started to affect her after the introduction of 3G technology. Nowadays she has unbearable head and nerve pain, memory loss, tinnitus, heart palpitations, vertigo and aching joints every time she’s close the technology, so she spends most of her days in a Faraday cage she built herself, reading, writing and sleeping.
“I can’t do anything that normal people do without my symptoms showing. I have to do everything in my cage,” Velma Lyrae says. “It’s made my life a living hell.” She says her social life is virtually non-existent, because even though her friends understand her problem and are very supportive, “there’s only so much time you can spend with the woman that can’t go anywhere or do anything.” Unable to get a job or even go out of the house without a special scarf to shield her from electromagnetic waves, Velma spends most of her time behind the wire mesh structure that cost $480 to build.
“We desperately need a white zone — an area where there’s little or no emissions — where we can go to relax and recuperate,” Lyrae says, but the problem is EHS is currently only recognized as a medical condition in Sweden and Spain. She’s been to a physician countless times, asking for tests, but every time she was told there are people out there with bigger problems than hers. Talking about Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome, Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe said: “Adults and children today are exposed to very high levels of electromagnetic fields (EMF) that no life on the planet has ever witnessed before. It is no surprise that the numbers of those with EHS and other conditions linked with EMF exposure are rising.” Independent experts say in five years time 50% of the world’s population could be affected at current exposure levels.