(NaturalNews) Scores of people who believe that continual exposure to wireless signals have made them ill have begun streaming to a small town in West Virginia where Wi-Fi has been banned.
According to Britain's Daily Mail, these "Wi-Fi refugees" are making the move to Green Bank, a tiny place located inside the U.S. National Radio Quiet Zone, established by the FCC in November 1958 to "minimize possible harmful interference to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory" located there, according to the observatory's website.
Many of those trekking to Green Bank complain of painful symptoms when they are near cell phones or any device with Wi-Fi, two creations that define modern technology. Burning skin, chest pains and acute headaches are among the most common complaints.
Those suffering symptoms, which scientists have labeled "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" (EHS), say that the move to Green Bank has led to a dramatic easing of their condition.
'I used to be sick all the time'
Dozens have made the move to the tiny West Virginia enclave, so as to avoid cell phones, wireless hotspots and TV and radio transmissions. As of last year, the British paper reported, 36 people claiming symptoms of the condition had moved there.
One of them, Diane Schou, came nearly 1,000 miles, from her former home in Iowa. She joined a town with a population of only 147 people.
"I used to be sick all the time when I lived in Iowa. I was in constant pain," she told the Mail. "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," she said.
More from the Mail:
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.
The paper said that almost 4 percent of populations in the U.S. and the UK could be affected with some degree of EHS.
According to a World Health Organization website post titled "Electromagnetic fields and public health," the problem has gotten worse as more societies industrialize and advance their technology. As for physical findings:
EHS is characterized by a variety of non-specific symptoms, which afflicted individuals attribute to exposure to [electromagnetic fields]. The symptoms most commonly experienced include dermatological symptoms (redness, tingling, and burning sensations) as well as neurasthenic and vegetative symptoms (fatigue, tiredness, concentration difficulties, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitation, and digestive disturbances).
WHO says these symptoms are not part of any "recognized syndrome" or condition, but the Mail reports that Sweden has nonetheless recognized EHS as a legitimate condition -- and sufferers there can claim some degree of public benefits assistance the same as if they had other disabilities. Sweden is the only country to have recognized EHS as real.
'Even my cat was affected'
Another EHS sufferer, Deborah Cooney, 50, a former bank vice president, said that she felt as though she was being "slowly poisoned" back home in San Diego.
She said she didn't develop symptoms until hundreds of Wi-Fi-enabled smart meters were installed in her neighborhood, beginning in 2011.
"It began with a constant ringing in my ears," she told the Mail. "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," she continued. "I got heart palpitations. It was like I was slowly being poisoned."
She said even Mimi, her pet purebred Himalayan cat, got ill from what she believes was the harmful radiation being emitted from the smart meters.
The pet "went from being a typical house cat to one that would never stay home and eventually she ran away and never came back," she said.
Richard Mankiewicz, writing at Science 2.0, said that EHS has been studied since the 1970s, long before wireless technology was digitized enough for the consumer market.