Having an engineering degree, in addition to a medical degree, made him a little more educated on the matter than the average person. However, when I mentioned to him some studies about the effect of dirty electricity (from a variety of sources including compact fluorescent light bulbs) on blood glucose levels in diabetics, he was unaware of the impact. Which isn't too surprising since the research done is relatively little and most likely something not in the purview of a foot doctor.
According to one study done, in an environment free of EMFs, Type 1 diabetics needed less insulin and Type 2s had lower blood glucose levels. The researchers also noted that diabetes testing done in a high EMF environment can lead to false positives. While the research so far done on diabetics is somewhat dubious, I'd like to see some more work done to either confirm or dispel this theory.
Most people are unaware of the unseen and (mostly) unheard bombardment of low and high levels frequencies being generated all around us from our microwaves to our cordless and cell phones to the computer monitor you are currently staring at. More recently is the concern of the type of electricity generated from CFL bulbs. Not all CFL bulbs generate the same level of dirty electricity, but it is something to be aware of.
The big deal is that high-frequency voltage transients, aka "dirty electricity", is a by-product of modern energy efficient electronics and appliances which reduce the amount of electricity they use. By tamping down the current, these electronics create a wildly fluctuating electromagnetic field that not only radiates into the immediate environment but also can back up along your home or office wiring all the way back to the utility, affecting every energy customer in between. So, even if you unplug all your electronics and are "going Amish" at home, your next door neighbor could be impacting you from afar, unless you've unplugged yourself from the grid.
Dr. Olle Johansson, a Swedish neuroscientist claims that:
"The human body, whose cells, nerves and organs function with electrical impulse, have difficulty adapting to 60-Hertz cycles, let alone transient high frequencies that last milliseconds. We are dealing with amplitude-modulated or pulsed microwaves in the 2.45 Ghz range (or nearby), in a form that has only been around to any extent for the last 10-15 years.
Compared to the natural background fields, in which living cells have developed during the last 3.8 billion years, these electromagnetic fields are actually very, very strong. It is thus wrong to believe that evolution has furnished us with a safety protection shielding layer against such WLAN (wireless local area network) signals. It has not."
Whether or not you think dirty electricity is a problem (and, for the record, the CDC and the WHO are following research done on this), some suggestions for reducing exposure include limiting wireless Internet, avoiding dimmer switches, limiting CFLs and using LEDs instead, using a landline phone rather than a cordless phone, avoiding Bluetooth headsets, avoiding cell phones when the signal is low, charging your laptop when it's not on your lap and unplugging everything when you aren't using it (which we should all be doing anyway). If you do think your home has high EMFs, you can get an EMF capacitor filter that you plug into the electrical outlet to help reduce it.
I know this sounds all conspiracy theory, but what do you think about EMFs? Do you think it's something to worry about or that it's not a big deal? Has the issue of dirty electricity stopped you from buying CFLs?
More reading (caveat emptor - I am in no way endorsing the content of these):
Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization
Is Dirty Electricity Making You Sick?