‘I am the canary in the coal mine!’

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John Scott (date unknown) holding a canary cage used in coal mines rescue training at Cannock Chase, United Kingdom. Image courtesy of Museum of Cannock Chase

Editor’s note: In Part 2 of our series, we thank Judi Wills of Alliance for this e-mail. Here, Ms. Wills offers her frank and alarming response to a front page article last week highlighting health concerns over the growing prevalence of wireless radiation in our daily lives.

NORTH CAROLINA – Thank you for bringing the subject of the Smart Meters to the general public’s attention. It has been a fear of mine that it would make its way to our area. As a resident Pamlico County “canary in the coal mine,” I feel I can share my personal experience.

Being born in Pennsylvania to a coal miner, I would like to explain the analogy used in the story of “canary in the coal mine.” My father toiled in the bowels of the earth to dig, by hand, the coal that was the energy source of that era. The tradition at that time – to foretell the toxic environment down in the mine – was for the miners to take a canary down with them on their daily journey.


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The canary is very susceptible to the toxic gases that were common in the mines, and would die when the gases were at a toxic level – signaling to the miners that they had to immediately exit. The downside of that tradition was that by the time the canary succumbed to the fumes, and by the time the miners (working in very dark conditions) noticed the dead canary, the miners were quite deep into the tunnels.

They had to traverse through treacherous conditions to the surface, which took quite some time to get men and heavy equipment out. By that time, the miners were suffering headaches, nausea, etc. Often times, the men weren’t allowed to leave the job because they were expected to dig a certain quota daily.

The canary was expendable and so were the miners!

My father was a strong, silent man, but his screams of pain throughout the night were very difficult for our family to endure. The purpose for discussing this is that the mining corporations knew that the mines were toxic, but continued putting men at risk without any intervention on the cause of the conditions. They KNEW the men were slowly being poisoned and continued the practice.

And WHY? Because they were reaping big money at that time selling the coal that was brought to the surface by men who suffered and died for a pittance in salary. That is what Duke Energy is now doing. They know the dangers to humans and environment from these Smart Meters and continue to foist them on the public, r they wouldn’t be offering an “opt out”.  And WHY?  So they can make millions of dollars while their customers continue to be sickened.

Since the electromagnetic field (EMF) sensitivity often goes hand in hand with chemical sensitivity, I can attest to the isolation a person suffering from these sensitivities must endure to keep moderately safe. The sensitivity causes neurological problems, cognitive problems, physical problems – every day.

We cannot have Wi-Fi in our home, cannot use a cell phone, even the landline telephone causes disturbances during an extended conversation, and I can only have very limited computer time. I need hearing aids, but cannot endure the head pain and disorientation so my life is less comfortable because of my hearing challenge. My car with electronics is very difficult on me so I am severely limited in my traveling. We must unplug all of our appliances when not in use to reduce my head pain.

Spending time in a medical facility with all its computers and equipment makes me ill for days, my blood pressure and heart rate getting dangerously high. Grocery shopping is difficult because of all the compressors keeping the foods cold, leaving me exhausted by the time I get home. Having dealt with three types of cancer, I have been exposed to endless testing with very powerful electronics, necessary evils but debilitating nonetheless. I was blessed to have a radiation oncologist who understood the extent of the EMF problem for people. He took my sensitivity into consideration in his equation to decide if the radiation would be worthwhile, considering the damage that would occur to me during the weeks of radiation. We opted to avoid radiation in order to not cause cognitive and neurological problems, as well as the physical problems associated with the radiation.

I have told several doctors about my sensitivity and their responses were (without exception other than the radiation oncologist): “Hmmm, you must be ultra-sensitive.” End of conversation.

No, I’m not ultra-sensitive, I merely recognize the cause and effect of the electromagnetic field. I am now the “canary in the coal mine.”

My ongoing and growing fear is for the next generations who are being exposed to unnecessary EMF. As a grandmother and soon-to-be great-grandmother, my heart aches for what is in store for their health. Childhood cancers – many of them considered rare – are on the rise. Personally, I’m not surprised! We expose newborns and children to untold amounts of chemicals and radiation 24 hours a day. Even if adults don’t seem to notice the effects of the EMF, the children are more susceptible to it. If you suffer from headaches, sinus problems, unexplained aches, cognitive problems, burning mouth/tongue you just might be sensitive but are not associating it with your cell phone, Wi-Fi, utility smart meters, and other wireless electronics. Please stand up to Duke and say “No.”

My home is my sanctuary because we have minimal exposure to the EMF and chemicals, and is my safe haven from the rest of the world. If Duke Energy takes that away from me, I have no quality of life. I will have no safe haven. Don’t let this be your plight! Study the effects of the EMF. Don’t be duped by big corporations who are willing to make you sick for their own gain.

I will look forward to specific instructions on how to opt out from the smart meters now being deployed by Duke Energy. Thank you for being a voice in the wilderness for your readers. We rely on you to be a source of information that affects us all.


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