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Doctors do not recognise electrical sensitivity as an illness, although sufferers in America say electromagnetic exposure -such as watching television, working on a computer or walking past a microwave cooker – leaves them nauseated, dizzy and disoriented.

Arthur Firstenberg, a resident of California, says he has experienced electrical sensitivity since 1980, when he was a student. After undergoing a series of X-rays, Firstenberg said he became sensitive to common appliances, such as dishwashers and televisions. He described the sensation as a jangling of the nervous system.

“Imagine sticking your hand in a light socket every time you went by a toaster,” he said.

He questions those who believe electrical sensitivity is a psychosomatic problem. “It's definitely real,” he said. “If people are allergic to chocolate, milk and paint, why not one of the other marvels of the 20th century?”

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