Creative Housing Solutions To Support MCS/EHS Populations

© Ken Lund via Wikimedia Commons
Snowflake, Arizona

Heart warming stories of college students receiving free housing in exchange for living in a nursing home, and nursery schools installed in nursing homes, demonstrate the creative potential for human collaboration through co-housing, particularly for more vulnerable populations.

An invisible crisis of survival is facing those suffering with functional impairment through electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), which is an adverse reaction to the microwave radiation that powers all wireless devices. Like the multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) population, avoidance of any triggering agent, whether it be electrical or chemical, is essential just for survival on a day-to-day basis. Increasingly, both these populations are being threatened with loss of habitat all over the planet.

In response, some communities have formed to address the needs of these individuals. Snowflake, Arizona, is a community that serves as a refuge for chemically sensitive individuals, where each house is constructed without plastics, glues or chemicals. Although many residents still suffer from a variety of disabilities and impairments that drove them there in the first place, Snowflake has become their refuge in the desert. A short film, “Searching for a Golden Cage,” shows to what lengths EMF refugees will go to find a safe place to live.

Green Bank, West Virginia, a remote town inside the U.S. National Radio Quiet Zone, where all EMF radiation is banned to minimize effects to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, has attracted a group of residents who require protection from these frequencies. The town has no radio, TV, wi-fi or cell phone use because there are no signals present to pick up on. Current population: 147.

The cost for those who have migrated to these communities has been the loss of family, friends, jobs, and communities in order to preserve their health. But what about those seeking safe housing who desire to remain in New England? Many of these individuals are not impaired when they are able to secure a chemical-free and/or radio frequency-free environment. It also reduces healthcare costs and lowers the burden on social services which must be provided for disabled people unable to work.

Inadequate regulation of the chemical and wireless industries results in inadequate health protection for those who need it most. Second hand radiation is the equivalent of second hand smoke.

The demand for faster, more powerful wireless connectivity snaking into every portal of our lives is an acquired mindset. We can choose something different.


1. Get informed.

2. Get rid of your cordless phone all together. DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) technology is extremely harmful. The range of the phones often extends into neighboring homes. Get a corded land-line with a long cord.

3. Get a voice activated baby monitor if you use one at all to avoid radiating parent and child..

4. Turn your wifi off at night until you can hard wire. The transmission of wifi in empty houses all day long and at night while people are sleeping wastes energy and causes second hand radiation exposure.

5. If you have rental property or the ability to take in a boarder, consider forming a refuge house for health vulnerable community members.

6. If you are a health care practitioner, clear your space of chemicals and wireless devices for your own health and that of your staff; begin to educate your patients.

7. Advocate for regulation of infrastructure placement, analogue utility meters, warning labels on wireless devices including cellphones, and hard-wired schools and public places.

8. Call on your legislator to support MA bills that ensure the rights of vulnerable individuals in your community.

9. In the short term, advocate for public buildings including schools and libraries to turn their wifi systems off at night, which saves energy and creates a healthier natural sleeping environment in the community.

10. Understand that "the cloud" consumes vast amounts of energy. According to Time, “our computers and smartphones might seem clean, but the digital economy uses a tenth of the world’s electricity — and that share will only increase, with serious consequences for the economy and the environment."

If you would like to explore co-creating temporary or long-term refugee housing opportunities for the MCS/EHS populations, please contact Patricia Burke at

Patricia Burke works with activists nationally and internationally calling for biologically-based radio frequency exposure limits to replace current FCC guidelines, which are 30 years out of date and inadequate for the protection of human health and the environment. She can be reached at

See also:
An Open Letter To President Obama On The Eve Of His Farewell Address
Fighting An Invisible Enemy In Our High-Tech World