‘I used to be sick all the time’: Dozens of Americans who claim to be allergic to electromagnetic signals settle in small West Virginia town where WiFi is banned
- Green Bank, West Virginia is situated in the middle of the National Radio Quiet Zone
- All electromagnetic signals are banned within the zone including WiFi and cellphones
- The zone was set up to protect the world’s largest radio telescopes from electronic interference
- Americans from across the country have resettled in Green Bank to get away from the signals, which they find physically damaging
- More than 30 people have relocated to Green Bank as of 2013
PUBLISHED: 13:19 EST, 9 March 2014 | UPDATED: 15:11 EST, 9 March 2014
A small remote town where Wi-Fi is banned has become an unlikely haven for people claiming modern technology has been making them ill.
The so-called ‘Wi-Fi refugees’ are flocking to the tiny settlement to escape painful symptoms including burning skin, chest pains and acute headaches.
The sufferers argue the affliction – a condition known as Electromagnetic Sensitivity – has been eased by the move and report feeling much better.
Many have relocated to Green Bank, West Virginia, from across America to avoid mobile phones, Wi-Fi hotspots, TV and radio transmissions. As of 2013, 36 people have relocated to Green Bank.
One, Diane Schou, travelled nearly 1,000 miles from her former home in Iowa to join the isolated town of just 147 residents.
Diane said: ‘I used to be sick all the time when I lived in Iowa. I was in constant pain.
‘If anyone came near me with a cell phone or a device with Wi-Fi I would be in agony.
‘But since I’ve moved to Green Banks the illnesses have cleared up.’
Green Bank, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, falls in the middle of the 13,000 square mile National Radio Quiet Zone.
Here, mobile phones, radio and TV transmitters and Wi-Fi are forbidden to prevent interference with one of the world’s largest radio telescopes.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory telescope is the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope.
Nearly 4 per cent of the UK and US population could be affected by EHS, estimates reveal.
But despite nearly 30 studies being carried out into the phenomena, Sweden is currently the only country to recognise it as a medical condition.
Sufferers there can claim social support the same as if they had other disabilities.
Another EHS sufferer, former bank vice-president Deborah Cooney said she felt she was being ‘slowly poisoned’ back in San Diego, California.
The 50-year-old said her symptoms developed after hundreds of Wi-Fi enabled smart meters were installed next to her home in 2011.
Deborah said: ‘It began with a constant ringing in my ears. I couldn’t sleep in the house anymore and felt sick all the time.
‘Any food I brought into the house would make me feel ill. I got heart palpitations.
‘It was like I was slowly being poisoned.’
Even her pet cat Mimi, a purebred Himalayan, became ill from the harmful radiation she believed had been emitted from the smart meters, she added.
Deborah added: ‘Mimi went from being a typical house cat to one that would never stay home and eventually she ran away and never came back.’