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10 most bizarre allergies

By: Laura Moss on Jan. 17, 2011, 11:05 a.m.
Man takling on cellphone and using laptop computer

Photo: jupiterimages

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Modern living

Talking on a cellphone, reheating leftovers in the microwave, using a computer, cleaning the bathroom and driving a car are normal parts of living in the 21st century, but doing such ordinary tasks is painful for some people. A person with multiple chemical sensitivity experiences headaches and flu-like symptoms when exposed to anything from perfume to laundry detergent. Perhaps even more bizarre are people with allergies to electromagnetic fields from phones, computers, cars and microwaves.

Electosensitivity syndrome isn’t a recognized medical condition, and doctors say there’s little scientific evidence to support a link between electromagnetic fields and poor health. But many people claim to suffer from this condition and say they experience painful skin rashes, swollen body parts, headaches and nasal discharge, among other symptoms. Debbie Bird believes she’s allergic to modern technology and says she develops a rash and her eyelids swell whenever she’s gets in a car, uses a microwave or enters a place with Wi-Fi. As a result, she has transformed her home into an EMF-free zone, putting protective films on windows, using special carbon paint and even sleeping under a silver-plated mosquito net.