What is Dirty Electricity and Why Is It So Dangerous?

What is Dirty Electricity?
Electricity has become such an integral part of our lives that it is hard to imagine life without it. For years, we never thought electricity could have a 'dirty side' to it, but after studying many electrical pollution facts, it is being proposed that unused and corrupted electricity can be extremely dangerous for our health.
WellnessKeen Staff
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2018
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Our brains won't work without electricity, nor would our hearts. Our body can generate electricity, since we are made up of atoms. Atoms have negatively-charged electrons and positively-charged protons. When the charge is not balanced, electrons flow from one atom to another. Electricity is nothing but this flow of electrons. When our brain is telling us to run fast or hide, it means it has sensed danger, and is sending electric impulses to protect us. Our body functions because of these impulses. That is why our cells get affected by the electromagnetic field around us.

Most modern electronic appliances generate 'dirty' electricity, which interferes with our system and disturbs the working of the body. You must be wondering what makes this electricity dirty, and how it is produced.
Clean and dirty electricity
Electricity flowing in steady 60-Hertz AC does not harm the body, but modern appliances use the stop and start method to save electricity. This results in sudden fluctuation of speed and sporadic flow of electricity. These voltage transients lead to the formation of harmful electromagnetic fields called 'dirty electricity'. In simplest terms, dirty electricity can be defined as 'unused electromagnetic energy'.
cfl bulbs
What is Dirty Electricity?
Dr. Magda Havas, Associate Professor of Environmental & Resource Studies at Trent University, writes that: 'Dirty Electricity' can ... be used to describe electric power that has become corrupted by our use of modern appliances.

Items such as CFL bulbs, cell phone transmission antennas, power supplies for portable computers, cell phone chargers, dimmer switches, variable speed fans, and many other electronic devices that require a transformer to convert the voltage will 'dirty' the electricity that enters your home.

This form of dirty electromagnetic fields (EMF) is invisible to the eye, but has a biological effect on the human body, and has been associated with a wide variety of illnesses.


Exposure to high frequency voltage transients can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, or suicide. In fact, it is believed that dirty electricity, also called electrosmog, may be the underlying root cause of many diseases. Dirty electricity exists everywhere; in schools, colleges, offices, and our homes, and is affecting kids and adults alike. Once created, it can spread easily in the neighborhood.
Sources of electricity
◆ Computers
◆ Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulbs
◆ Low-voltage Lighting
◆ Dimmer Switches
◆ Wi-Fi Systems
◆ Broadband Internet
◆ Cell Phone Chargers
◆ Cordless Telephones
◆ Hair Dryers
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
Many individuals claim to experience symptoms like headaches, muscle pain, sleep disturbances, and other health problems when exposed to an electromagnetic field (EMF). Such individuals are said to be sensitive to electromagnetic fields. There have been cases where reducing EMF exposure has shown improvement in their condition. Grounding techniques have also helped many people sleep better. Electromagnetic filters can be used to reduce dirty electricity in the house or office.
Electromagnetic Field Detector
Electromagnetic field detector
Dirty electricity levels above 50 mV can be extremely dangerous. Ideally, they should be less than 25 mV, but measures between 25 mV - 50 mV are permissible. If the levels are too high, filters can be used to reduce them. While measuring dirty electricity, it is crucial to check the levels in the entire building for an accurate reading. Special EMF meters are available to measure dirty electricity. These are called EMI meters, as they measure the electrical interference in the area.
Different companies have EMI meters with different ranges. You can rent or buy one that suits your needs to check the electrical interference in your home, office, or building.
Why is Dirty Electricity Dangerous?
Our cells consider EMF as an invader, as it interferes with the millions of electrical impulses that the body uses to regulate cellular activity. Dirty electricity is like unnecessary noise disturbing the cells.

In 2007, an international group of scientists released a report called The Bioinitiative Report. After more than 2,000 research studies, they established a link between exposure to electromagnetic field and various diseases. Dirty electricity, a form of EMF, is associated with cancer, heart disease, low immunity, and various other problems.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), concentration issues, depression, muscle pain, asthma, behavioral problems, etc., can also be linked to dirty electricity. Dr. Samuel Milham, physician-epidemiologist, has established a link between twentieth-century diseases and dirty electricity in his book 'Dirty Electricity: Electrification and Diseases of the Civilization'.

Dr. Milham has also pointed out that urban areas with electrification have more disease than areas without electrification. He says, "The explosive recent increase in radio-frequency radiation and high frequency transients sources, from cell phones and towers, terrestrial antennas, Wi-Fi and Wi-Max telecommunication systems, broadband internet over power lines, and personal electronic equipment may be leading to a new 21st Century epidemic much like the 20th Century electromagnetic field epidemic."

The dangers of dirty electricity are not restricted just to humans. Studies have shown that plants in the vicinity of strong electrical networks are affected negatively too. Differences have also been observed in animal behavior when exposed to high level of electrosmog.
Tips to Reduce Electrosmog
◆ Shield phone lines
◆ Install RF (radio frequency) filters
◆ Turn off and unplug all electronics when not in use
◆ Don't sleep with a cell phone under your pillow
◆ Avoid using a cordless phone
These and many other little habits can help reduce your exposure to EMF. It is impossible to get complete respite from dirty electricity, but we can take simple measures for better health and well-being.