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Best option vs.dirty emf's

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October 24, 2010 6:45:15 AM

Hi, my question flys in the face of current convention, so I'm appealing to anyone with enough imagination to picture him/herself in my situation. I'm not a tech expert like most of you. I'm merely trying to survive. Literally. I've been forced to become a detective, to try and figure out how to get the least combo of dirty electricity in my computer area.

For example, when the screen of my X31 thinkpad is turned off, there's alot less dirty noise than when it's on. The X31 is 1.4 ghz Pentium-M, yet it still zaps me eventually due to having become oversensitized. BTW, I'm also very sensitive to fluorescent lights, such as in stores, etc.

A filter expert notified me that even a common-mode filter would not help against frequencies emanating from circuitry that's within the computer display.

To get to the point:
What's unclear to me, is which of the below is the best option for someone desperate to minimize EMFs for health reasons. :sweat: 

So here's the acid test:
If a portable AM radio tuned to white-noise is placed near any of the below, which would cause the radio to emit the least noise:


Lowest TDP net/notebook
...except TDP is never listed among specs!
Single Core processor (vs. duo) net/notebook
Low freq. celeron such as 800 mhz
low-voltage processor net/notebook
fit-pc + projector (vs. net/notebook)
pixelQi-type display
1.2ghz i7-640um
1.06ghz i7-620um or i5-520um


P.S. seems the only choice nowadays is either:
eyestrain (due to humongous size websites with tiny text squeezed to fit into tiny displays)
OR:
huge screens with their associated heavy EMFs that zap one's health
OR:
using projectors with either low-EMF PCs or with low-EMF netbooks

More about : option dirty emf

a b à CPUs
October 24, 2010 6:59:58 AM

Other than the laptop and monitors, have you tried placing the offending devices behind a shield?

Does an LCD screen actually affect you or are you worried about it doing so? Frankly, if your answer is "worried", my reply is get over it. OTOH, if you are sensitive to the flickering of low frame rates, does the situation improve when frame rates are higher?

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a c 107 à CPUs
October 24, 2010 7:21:33 AM

Are you sensitive to LCD displays with LED back-lighting?
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October 24, 2010 8:10:31 AM

..uh, my main Q is highlited, first in blue, then in violet.
Which among the violet listing, would cause an AM-radio (tuned to white noise) to emit the least noise?

As far as LEDs, because they're so bright, there could be bad eyestrain which also can affect nerves. I've heard from several techies that LEDs were bad news for them, so I prefer to avoid them. LED lightbulbs may be OK cuz they're on ceiling, but when viewing directly, it may be another story entirely.
I do know that even my digicam with tiny LED bothers me.

I know of some electrosensitives whose problems were solved via use of projectors (in fact this was recommended by forementioned filter-expert). Another eSensitive techie recommended Fit-PC and lower freq. processors (especially 800mhz). Another recommended pixelQi. Another one said that newer laptops bother him but not newer towers. Another said that single core vs. duo core celeron are most tolerable.

Because all this disparate info is mind-boggling, I'm floundering, and seeking further tips from people who (even if not electrosensitive), nevertheless, probably have experience with loads of stuff. Because I haven't owned all that much equipment, I'm hoping some experts out there can help.

P.S. the primary reason I asked this Q on this forum, is because members here seemed to be familiar with terms such as TDP etc. whereas elsewhere, people might not be familiar with such specs.. The risky flip side of having posted this type of Q, was that I was opening myself to ridicule, without really getting explanatory tips relevant to my needs, similar to the drain I experience when interacting w/outsourced personnel.
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a b à CPUs
October 24, 2010 8:23:43 AM

The odds you will get an answer useful to you here are about the same as if you asked the question in, say, a California Airport. We have no practical use for the data you seek.

And I am in full sympathy with your concern about subjecting yourself to ridicule. I can tell by your input that you already have received the advice I might offer many times.
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October 24, 2010 8:27:03 AM

Does that hold true for the entire tomshardware forums?
or just CPUs?

And trust me, i'm way, way more concerned about subjecting myself to EMFs than I am about subjecting myself to "ridicule".

You woud, too, if your body felt incessantly, literally fried. It never fails to amaze me, how coldly the world treats people who are in pain. (i.e. "we have no practical use for the data you seek")

The world relates to people in "emotional" pain (such as "ridicule"), but NO SYMPATHY for people in OUCH!! type of pain.
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a b à CPUs
October 24, 2010 9:26:04 AM

minni said:
Does that hold true for the entire tomshardware forums?
or just CPUs?

And trust me, i'm way, way more concerned about subjecting myself to EMFs than I am about subjecting myself to "ridicule".

You woud, too, if your body felt incessantly, literally fried. It never fails to amaze me, how coldly the world treats people who are in pain. (i.e. "we have no practical use for the data you seek")

The world relates to people in "emotional" pain (such as "ridicule"), but NO SYMPATHY for people in OUCH!! type of pain.



i guess hes saying dont hire a car mechanic to fix your jet
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a b à CPUs
October 24, 2010 10:12:25 AM

EMFs are created by the differences in voltage per meter, so I would say that a culv processor would be the best choice to have the lowest EMFs. Sorry, I don't know the voltages of the processors there, but lower TDP will most likely correlate with lower voltage(atom or culv processors).

EMFs can also be shielded with metal, so spending a little more for an aluminum case on a laptop would help. This won't protect you from the screen's EMFs, but LEDs don't produce EMFs(the option that seems like it would work best is a MacBook as is has both of these; there are probably other options though).

I just decided to research this as I found it interesting when you brought it up. I would hate to be in pain when around electronics :sweat: 

Edit: BTW, they also dissipate the further away they get from the source, that is probably why laptops affect people more than towers.
Don't worry about LED monitors, they are the same as CFL LCDs, except for the lower power consumption and no EMFs ;) 
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a c 82 à CPUs
October 24, 2010 12:51:02 PM

minni said:
Hi, my question flys in the face of current convention, so I'm appealing to anyone with enough imagination to picture him/herself in my situation. I'm not a tech expert like most of you. I'm merely trying to survive. Literally. I've been forced to become a detective, to try and figure out how to get the least combo of dirty electricity in my computer area.

For example, when the screen of my X31 thinkpad is turned off, there's alot less dirty noise than when it's on. The X31 is 1.4 ghz Pentium-M, yet it still zaps me eventually due to having become oversensitized. BTW, I'm also very sensitive to fluorescent lights, such as in stores, etc.

A filter expert notified me that even a common-mode filter would not help against frequencies emanating from circuitry that's within the computer display.

To get to the point:
What's unclear to me, is which of the below is the best option for someone desperate to minimize EMFs for health reasons. :sweat: 

So here's the acid test:
If a portable AM radio tuned to white-noise is placed near any of the below, which would cause the radio to emit the least noise:


Lowest TDP net/notebook
...except TDP is never listed among specs!
Single Core processor (vs. duo) net/notebook
Low freq. celeron such as 800 mhz
low-voltage processor net/notebook
fit-pc + projector (vs. net/notebook)
pixelQi-type display
1.2ghz i7-640um
1.06ghz i7-620um or i5-520um


P.S. seems the only choice nowadays is either:
eyestrain (due to humongous size websites with tiny text squeezed to fit into tiny displays)
OR:
huge screens with their associated heavy EMFs that zap one's health
OR:
using projectors with either low-EMF PCs or with low-EMF netbooks


TDP is irrelevant, cpu frequency is probably irrelevant as its broadcasting from such a small area. FSB might be relevant due to track lengths being longer, beyond that i'm not sure.

I worked with some one who claimed to be sensitive, he came to work for my previous employer, we made alternators, the whole factory was awash with rotating magnetic and electric fields, he didn't question this when he came to work there, and never felt a thing, not from his monitor or the office full of PC equipment surrounding him. He changed his car from a saab to a toyota camry because of his sesnistivity, I know whihc on I'd think was better set up for emf? and its not the toyota.

High frequency screens might have an imapct again because of the large area of transmission. But a CRT could be worse because of the accelterated electrons being smashed through the screen into your face.

I don't get the AM radio bit, are you saying that its within the am band, or are you using it as an analogy?
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a b à CPUs
October 24, 2010 4:36:06 PM

13thmonkey said:
I don't get the AM radio bit, are you saying that its within the am band, or are you using it as an analogy?


I think he's saying he uses the detuned AM radio as an RFI (radio frequency interference) detector. The less audio noise it generates means the less broadband RFI the source is emitting, since AM is amplitude modulation. RFI is the higher-frequency portion of the more general term EMI (electromagnetic interference), which is the term I believe the OP meant, not EMF which is either electromagnetic frequency or electromotive force.

OP: My suggestion is that you try some other laptops, including those with LED backlighting and perhaps a metal shell casing (i.e,. a sort of Faraday cage), and see if you can live with them, after making sure you can return them if unsuitable. Also I bet you can get an RF meter at Radioshack if you live in the US - that is much more accurate than using a detuned AM radio. In fact I have a multimeter I bought from them that includes an RF detector (basically a diode bridge connected to an antenna to rectify the current) that works pretty well - under $100 IIRC.

Otherwise, my suggestion is to use an actual Faraday cage for a desktop or laptop, with a projector or an LCD TV as your monitor, located some distance away. If you have a desktop, make sure it doesn't have any plastic view windows on the side and that it uses either a steel or aluminum case, preferably with a metal cover to close over the front drive bays. You can also jury-rig some aluminum (not plastic) screening over the rear of the case, with holes cut in it to let the various cables pass through. Or just build an aluminum frame with aluminum or copper screening to enclose the entire computer. I would also use the RF meter near the power cable, to see if any RFI might be leaking from the PSU (as a switching PSU basically switches the 60Hz house current at many KHz to generate the various DC currents a computer requires - although PSUs along with every other electrical device sold to consumers must be certified as to RFI emissions, you could still get a defective one).

From Wiki:

Quote:
Radiated EMI or RFI may be broadly categorized into two types; narrowband and broadband.

Narrowband interference usually arises from intentional transmissions such as radio and TV stations, pager transmitters, cell phones, etc. Broadband interference usually comes from incidental radio frequency emitters. These include electric power transmission lines, electric motors, thermostats, bug zappers, etc. Anywhere electrical power is being turned off and on rapidly is a potential source. The spectra of these sources generally resemble that of synchrotron sources, stronger at low frequencies and diminishing at higher frequencies, though this noise is often modulated, or varied, by the creating device in some way. Included in this category are computers and other digital equipment as well as televisions. The rich harmonic content of these devices means that they can interfere over a very broad spectrum. Characteristic of broadband RFI is an inability to filter it effectively once it has entered the receiver chain.

Conducted electromagnetic interference is caused by the physical contact of the conductors as opposed to radiated EMI which is caused by induction (without physical contact of the conductors). Electromagnetic disturbances in the EM field of a conductor will no longer be confined to the surface of the conductor and will radiate away from it. This persists in all conductors and mutual inductance between two radiated electromagnetic fields will result in EMI.

Interference to consumer devices.

Complex electronic circuitry is found in all sorts of devices used in the home. This results in a vast interference potential that didn't exist in earlier, simpler decades. In the United States, Public Law 97-259, enacted in 1982, gave the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the authority to regulate the susceptibility of consumer electronic equipment sold in the country. The FCC, working with equipment manufacturers, decided to allow them to develop standards for EMI immunity and implement their own voluntary compliance programs.

Broadcast transmitters, two-way radio transmitters, paging transmitters, and cable TV are potential sources of RFI and EMI. Other possible sources of interference include a wide variety of devices, such as doorbell transformers, toaster ovens, electric blankets, ultrasonic pest control devices, electric bug zappers, heating pads, and touch controlled lamps. Multiple CRT computer monitors or televisions sitting too close to one another can sometimes cause a "shimmy" effect in each other, due to the electromagnetic nature of their picture tubes, especially when one of their de-gaussing coils is activated.

Electromagnetic interference at 2.4 GHz can be caused by 802.11b and 802.11g wireless devices, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors and cordless telephones, video senders, and microwave ovens.

Switching inductive loads, such as electric motors, often cause interference, but it is easily suppressed by connecting a snubber network, a resistor in series with a capacitor, across the switch. Exact values can be optimised for each case, but 100 ohms in series with 100 nanofarads is usually satisfactory.

Switched-mode power supplies can be a source of EMI, but have become less of a problem as design techniques have improved, such as integrated power factor correction.

Most countries have legal requirements that mandate electromagnetic compatibility: electronic and electrical hardware must still work correctly when subjected to certain amounts of EMI, and should not emit EMI which could interfere with other equipment (such as radios).

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a c 82 à CPUs
October 24, 2010 6:06:01 PM

fazers, I don't think that the mechanism for how emf effects people who are sensitive is at all understood, and the AM portion of the spectrum may not be relevant.

however I do see adverts for crystals that stop emf, and quantum entangled things to stop it, so i tend to call BS on these cures.
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a b à CPUs
October 24, 2010 7:13:18 PM

^ True, I find it surprising that somebody could be sensitive to millivolt fields, which is what normally would be present in a typical residence at broadband radio frequencies. Unless you live nextdoor to a cellphone or TV/radio broadcast antenna :p . Of course at lower frequencies, such as 50 or 60Hz, the EMF would be higher since the house wiring acts as an antenna and is physically much closer to you. In fact, if you are 6' tall, there's about a 240V potential difference (EMF field at 0 Hz) between your feet and head everytime you stand up, due to so-called 'sky voltage'.

However, by "AM", I don't mean the 520KHz - 1.6MHz frequency band. I meant actually detecting broadband RFI using an AM radio that is tuned inbetween stations so that all you normally hear is static. That static is a combination of RFI emitted by local sources, lightning strikes from hundreds of miles away, even the secondary particles generated by cosmic and solar radiation hitting the upper atmosphere. IOW, anything that generates an EMF field. And some small but measurable portion of the noise is the echo of the Big Bang creation of the universe some 13 billiion years ago, as discovered by Penzias and Wilson in the '40s and got them the Nobel prize in 1978.

Anyway, the volume of sound from the AM radio is proportional to the amplitude of the radio signal (or noise in this case) that it receives, so the louder the sound the stronger (or closer) the noise source. True the AM radio only responds to a 10KHz slice of the AM frequency spectrum, but we're talking broadband noise here which means several decades of frequencies - anywhere from KHz to GHz. So even measuring a small slice of the total radiation will give an indication of the strength of the source.

Finally, a Faraday cage is an old and well-known electrical engineering solution for preventing RFI or EMI. Named after the physicist Michael Faraday, who discovered electromagnetic fields while investigating electrical currents in coils of wire in the early 1800's. It's also known as a Faraday shield since it shields whatever is inside it from outside RFI, or whatever is outside it from an internal RFI source. It's not BS by a long shot, since you can calculate the exact attentuation using Maxwell's equations :) ...
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a c 82 à CPUs
October 24, 2010 9:30:57 PM

I can get the AM thing now, and faraday cage, yep, well aware of that, BS is the crystals that might stop EMF.
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a c 107 à CPUs
October 24, 2010 9:51:01 PM

There's also a Faraday suit that some linemen wear when working on live high voltage power lines.
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a b à CPUs
October 25, 2010 10:15:01 PM

13thmonkey said:
I can get the AM thing now, and faraday cage, yep, well aware of that, BS is the crystals that might stop EMF.


Oh, OK - thought you were saying Faraday cages were BS - my bad, sorry.
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a b à CPUs
October 25, 2010 10:35:51 PM

ko888 said:
There's also a Faraday suit that some linemen wear when working on live high voltage power lines.


Not to mention your car (with a metal exterior) is also a kind of Faraday cage - very handy if and when lightning strikes it :) . Since like charges repel each other, a lightning bolt travels down the outside layer of a tube of ionized air, or plasma. If it strikes a hollow metal object, the charges pass through the outside layer of the metal, so that if you are inside the object, none of the current will pass through you as long as you are not touching any part of the metal exterior.

Essentially it is the current passing through you, not the voltage, that kills. You could be hit by a 100,000 volt Taser gun and merely suffer some short-term paralysis and disorientation (if you are otherwise healthy), because the current passing through you is less than a milliampere. However, touch a 100,000 volt power line and you will literally boil your tissues and break out in flames, since the current through you is hundreds of amperes.

IIRC less than a hundred milliamps passing through your heart region is sufficient to kill you.

I took an electronics shop class in junior high school (we learned stuff like Ohm's law, build some simple circuits, etc) and the teacher was an old-time radio engineer who used to work at some of the local radio stations until he retired and took up teaching as his second career. He had an RF "final" amplifier that featured a huge triode vacuum tube, about a foot high, that used around 2KVDC plate voltage. Output was something like 750 or 1000 watts RF to the antenna. We had to take off any watches and anything else metallic before entering the shop when that baby was powered up, since it acted like an open microwave oven despite the shielding and dummy antenna it was connected to. The plate (collector) on that tube glowed cherry-red when it was at max power - we never had to worry about being cold during the winter months :p .
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October 25, 2010 10:46:11 PM

So you have hypersensitivity to EMR, I have read of a few cases. Involves mainly headaches from what I've heard. Very rare but not unheard of and on the increase as people find out why they get constant headaches.


Which frequencies are you most susceptable to?
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October 26, 2010 3:01:01 AM

Haserath, thanks for the info re: atom & culv processor probably being low TDP & low voltage.

When I'd tried getting hold of those military shielded monitors, a guy who used to carry them notified me that the frickin' gov't forced him to trash them due to lead (and never mind they can help shield sensitives against EMFs). He himself was disgusted by the waste. Just let those gov't criminals get a taste of EMF-stew & they'd change their tune but fast. Maybe in their next incarnation IF there is one.

As for the various advices about building myself this & that, it's beyond my capabilities & resources.

As forGraham-Stetzer power strip, I just bought same and it isn't helping me. My mouse-palm & mouse-arm are still getting fried, and terrible symptoms flaring.
...therefore, what the filter-expert told me about radiation being generated within circuitry of screen as byproduct of producing the image, makes sense.

He said filtering the power will probably not be a viable solution. I'd sent him a pic of my setup, and he said that it appears I have a ground isolator plugged into the wall with the power strip plugged into it, and that in such case, I'm eliminating the ground connection to my power strip. So, he went on to say, even if it did have common mode filtering, it would not work because of the lack of a ground connection, and he advised taking the projector route.

Whereas prior to purchase, I'd been given to understand that as long as the Stetzerizer powerstrip is plugged into the ground isolator, and the rest of my equipment plugged into that, then I'd stop having mouse-arm issues.

Yet...
I'm still being fried (mouse-arm, sore throat, eyes, jitters, you name it). I also placed snugly-hugging ferrite chokes on the mouse cable. Two of them from RadioShack.
Useless.

I have yet to test it near my radio (since I get headache & heart palps when listening to radio prolongedly.

I've no doubt that decades of this radiation have depleted my supply of stem cells, including myelin-sheath.

One thing I'm confused about. EMF experts who test fluresent bulbs & state they have EMFs but also state that LED bulbs do not have EMFs:

Isn't LIGHT ITSELF electromagnetic fields?
Isn't PHOSPHORS - LIGHT?
Aren't LEDs made up of phosphors?
So therefore, aren't LEDs EMF-emitting as well?

Furthemore, I once in desperation tried a fluresent-free TINY computer screen which looked like a fish bowl with letters floating inside it, as well as it being lit by tiny incandescent bulb. A guy was selling it but it was phony baloney. After just a short time, I felt like I was being zapped.

Much more so, in fact, than the X31 thinkpad I'm typing on now, which has 1.4ghz Pentium-M.

This whole topic remains a hugely-suppressed riddle, which even the most tech-speekee guys on the eSens yahoo group have been debating here & there.

All of you can pose zillions of "authoritative" "science-quoting" authorities, but you should know that that electrosensitve techie had been in touch w/me by email (in response to mine), and he said he had had plans to collaborate with someone else on a solution, except..
...he's so sensitive himself, that that's what's been preventing him, and in fact, our email correspondence had been difficult for him.

What that eSensitive guy would really need, is someone in strapping health to collaborate with, except the irony is, usually nobody's interested in anything "different" outside the parameter of their usual comfort zone, until they've been zapped themselves, but by then it's too late cuz they've become disabled themselves.

So once again I emphasize:
Don't assume that both myelf & other sensitives haven't already tried a zillion proposed solutions proposed by "experts". Including "biopro chips" and a long string of others, ad nauseum.
Also don't assume that any of those experts were ever truly in the place of those whom they were proposing to "help" or that they even care about the many other hoops we've tried jumping thru in vain.
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October 26, 2010 3:06:36 AM

P.S. I'm finding it difficult posting on tese forums. It's loading very slow, and also the display is just appearing along the left side of the screen in a long narrow string. Also the SUBMIT button often fails to appear, forcing me to be a contortionist & go back via the link in my eNotificatin.
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a c 215 à CPUs
October 26, 2010 3:17:58 AM

Light is an eletromagnetic wave, so are the millions of microwaves passing through your house from radio broadcasts, so is radiant heat , and so are the Xrays that from cosmic rays entering the atmosphere. You can never be away from EM Fields, however, most EM fields only react with certain things, like microwaves which only react with fats, oils, and water.

You arent going to be able to shield yourself from all of them, but its also unlikely its a broad spectrum that is causing your issues.

We can basically rule out the radio spectrum as a likely source, otherwise you would be bother by it continuously. Its likely that you are sensistive to a very low frequency that would be present in systems running off of household power.

Rather than a lower frequency system, you might be better off with a higher frequency one, 2.4GHz is the frequency that WiFi and many mobile phones run off of, and if they dont cause constant problems for you then that may be a frequency to check out.
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November 3, 2010 6:06:26 AM

Actually, it's high-frequency DECT that's among the most complained about by electrosensitives. I read a posting by "sarjuna" who's researched EMFs alot, and she stated the low AND high frequencies are dangerous. A sample of one of her posts is further down.

There's also a fairly recent still-informal paper put out by Dr.Magda Havas, comparing fluresence to incandescence. It's PDF format, and should interest.

I gather that "light" is very high frequency = emitting high energy
...it's light that's most definitely the biggest culprit for many sensitives

here's the forementioned post:
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/eSens/message/6204
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a c 215 à CPUs
November 3, 2010 9:24:01 PM

Light isnt very high frequency relative to what we usually consider high frequency, i feel an image will help here.



Note that the scale on the side is a log scale, UV is about 10x higher frequency and Xrays are about 1000x high frequency, these arent just bad to electrosensitive, they are bad for any biological organism in sufficient quanity so the very high end should be complained about, but soft UV and down wont cause biological damage to normal organisms so i would focus more on that realm than the very high end. Visible light doesnt have much energy and doesnt trigger reactions in stuff like microwaves do with water, and oils.

Since most things in a computer system are around a GHz or two you are near the top end of the UHF range which is what a large chunk antenna TV is broadcast over, and at much higher power than your system is.

Fluorescent tubes are not likely to be at fault, its more likely the ballast that powers them that releases various annoying stimuli, in particular they boost the frequency of the power to 10-20kHz which is within the range of human hearing which can irritate many people.

Go about this scientifically to track down the stimuli that cause you issues, find something that blocks a certain stimuli that you can reliably generate, like light. Expose yourself to it, if it hurts stop, then use the thing to block it, like a dark cloth, if it still hurts its not then what you are blocking is not the cause of it and you move onto the next option.
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