The pros and cons of earthing or 'grounding'

André Fauteux of the MaisonSaine has been gathering opinions on earthing. As he says:
While some say ‘earthing’ devices saved their life by providing them with beneficial free electrons from the ground and draining excess electricity from their body, many experts warn they present real dangers because these devices also use your body as an electrical conductor. I have exchanged several emails about this with experts for the last few years. Here is a summary of those emails.

1. Dr Mercola: Grounding Helps Thin Dangerously Thick Blood & Fights Inflammation & Disease

2. Gaetan Chevalier PhD and Director of the Earthing Institute wrote:
The AC voltage at the surface of the body is greatly reduced by grounding. This effect is due to the fact that the human body, being electrically conductive, receives enough electrons from the Earth and with sufficient rapidity for these electrons to be configured on the surface of the body to cancel electromagnetic fields at low frequencies 60Hz) produced by the electricity circulating in the electric wires of our houses (more precisely, it is the electric field of the electromagnetic wave that is canceled). It is the operating principle of the Faraday cage which has the result of protecting the inside of the cage from external electromagnetic waves. This protection becomes less and less good as the frequency of electromagnetic waves increases because it happens that at high frequencies (above 100,000Hz approximately) the electrons provided by the earth are no longer able to move enough Rapidly to cancel these high-frequency electromagnetic fields. This is why Wifi and cellphones are damaging because the Faraday effect no longer works at microwave frequencies.

Yes, we recommend checking the quality of the earth connections with a circuit checker to ensure that the voltage does not exceed 0.1 volt.

When the ground is made with a stem planted in the ground, it is necessary to plant another stem at a distance (at least one meter, measure at difference distances is recommended) and measure the voltage and resistance between the two rods with a multimeter . The voltage should be less than 1 volt per meter and the resistance less than 100 kiloOhms per meter. If the soil has too high a resistance, it is possible to reduce it by moistening the soil.

4. Award-winning science (and EMF) journalist Blake Levitt

I know many people who have reacted badly to Earthing mats. I do not recommend them.

5. British Columbia electrician Walter McGinnis, EMF Measurement and Mitigation and Producer of Citizen’s Forum Online and on Shaw TV, wrote :

''One should be very careful when discussing the concept of body voltage. Voltage is the measurement of difference in potential between two objects. When we place our bodies in an electric field, when we are near electrical systems such as what exists in our homes and offices, our bodies carry a charge. We all should be concerned with is the potential between our body and the earth.

The only safe solution to reduce body voltage is to eliminate the man made electrical source. If we ignore the cause of the excessive body voltage and instead we ground our bodies using grounding pads and grounding sheets our bodies become electrical conductors. This is exactly the opposite to what we are trying to achieve and for those who are EHS this could make them very ill, in my opinion.

Our bodies operate with their own electrical system which is in an exquisite balance with nature, the planet and indeed the universe. Manmade electrical charges disrupt this normal function. I recommend not to listen to tendentious drivel, masquerading as common sense spouted by the purveyors of grounding pads who have a very limited knowledge of electricity.

Ensuring you that your ground is good is irrelevant to this discussion. Your body voltage will go down if you are properly grounded using a grounding pad, and if you are taking the measurements correctly. That is exactly the problem. Your body is now an electrical conductor when you use a grounding pad. No EMF expert would ever would ever assist you in energizing your body with manmade electricity.

It seems to me that we need a national association for EMF testers that will strictly engage guidelines that will end unsafe practices. This is for the thousands of people who are suffering from over exposure to electricity. Grounding pads can harm you. If you use the grounding pad as the sellers tell you to, that is. If it is installed correctly according to their specifications, your body will be a conductor. It matters not what condition your building grounding is in, except that if there is stray current on the bonding wire the situation is only more dire.

It appears to me what Dr. Jerry Tennent is discussing in Healing is Voltage is the natural voltages within the body. This is very interesting and we should pay attention to this work.
But Building biologists recommend to not have energized wiring near people unless the wire is shielded for electric fields. This can be accomplished quite easil.y
Walt McGinnis

6. Epidemiologist and author of Dirty Electricity Dr Sam Milham

Dear Andre,
I couple of years ago, Dave Stetzer and I measured the fields an earthing pad would put in your body. In most places in North America, using an earthing blanket is the same as connecting your body to the utility neutral return wire.The grounded Wye electrical distribution system here is now dumping up to 80% of the dirty neutral return currents into the earth for return to the substation.

Here is what Dave Stetzer and I found at my Olympia Washington house when we set up an earthing blanket connected either to the earth or to an outlet ground. We found in excess of 4 volts of dirty electricity in the ground being delivered to the blanket. Many people have complained to me about being made ill by earthing, and dirty electricity in the ground has been making cows sick for decades.
Best, Sam

7. James L. Oschman, Ph.D. Nature's Own Research Association

Dear Dr. Milham,
Thanks for your note about grounding.

You connected the Fluke Scopemeter between the ground and the Earthing product. The meter is a high impedance device, so the product was not grounded. It was "floating" above ground, and therefore the scope would obviously pick up the oscillations of the ambient 60 Hz field and the harmonics, and this is what you recorded. It is well known that a high impedance device in this arrangement will pick up a lot of ambient noise. The grounding products will not work if they are not grounded.

The idea that the power returns to the electric utility sub station via the earth is a fiction that was created by Dr. Magda Havas. She stated that the laws of physics require that the electron that leaves the power station must ultimately be returned to the station. There is no such law of physics. She has subsequently retracted that erroneous statement.

Dr. Chevalier and I wrote an article to help clarify some of the issues and abundant confusions about grounding and Earthing. I attach the relevant part of that essay.

8. Dr Magda Havas wrote to Jim Oschman:

I have two points to make.

1. Your statement that, "The idea that the power returns to the electric utility sub station via the earth is a fiction that was created by Dr. Magda Havas.” is false.

You have obviously not read the NESC Handbook that I am attaching to this email. It states the following and these are direct quotes:
“When the earth returns were used in some rural areas prior to the 1960’s, they became notorious offenders in dairy areas because circulating currents often cause both step and touch potentials."
"In some cases, they have adversely affected milking operations by shocking the cattle when they were connected to the milking machines, and have affected feeding."

2. Please have the courtesy and decency to quote me properly. Your statement that, "She has subsequently retracted that erroneous statement. “ is a false statement. Some would call it a “lie”. I have never “retracted” my statements about an earth return.

Jim, we disagree about the value of grounding.

Grounding in a clean environment is a good thing and the best way to do it is to walk barefoot on wet grass or along the beach.

Grounding in a polluted environment can make people ill. I have had several people contact me telling me they felt ill after using your grounding sheets. They did not believe this was a “detoxing” as they become more ill the longer they used them. As soon as they stopped they felt fine. All of these people were attaching the grounding plug to the house grounding and, I expect, this is the problem.

We can choose to disagree but please have the courtesy not to make false statements about what I have or have not said. Also, please familiarize yourself with the facts before you make yourself look like someone who does not know what he is talking about. You are the one who is going to lose credibility among those who are in the know.

9. LA Building Biologist Oram Miller’s Position Paper on Earthing and Grounding Pads

10. Wolfgang Maes is the author of the Baubiologie EMF evaluation guidelines
(Google translation from the German text.)

Is the grounding of the people important? What must be considered when grounding measures?

Man is a supernatural being and any contact with his livelihood called Earth is reasonable and healthy. We block in our civilized life far too often contact with the Earth, for example by insulating building mass, synthetic carpets, plastic soles, especially in the car and in bed. All this cause the connection to the earth, the people for a long time holding isolated from ground.

It would be natural and sensible, relaxing in the truest sense of the word as often as possible grounded, to be in contact with "Mother Earth". On the one hand provides us with natural earth energies and on the other hand it takes us technically caused energies such as the recorded and accumulated in our bodies electromagnetic or induced by synthetic electrostatic charges. Earth discharges us, actually a good thing.

If it were not for these wretched and sometimes critical side effects were ...

Countless technical electromagnetic factors affect us: electric fields, waves, radio ... And a grounded man pulls them even better, is like an antenna for the plentiful around us electrosmog example of installations, cables, devices, neighbors, power lines, stations ... It is as a result of field effects under tension, even more than without grounding, and thanks grounding now critical currents flowing through his body.

Conclusion: Grounding? Yes! But please only if the environment of the grounded people - we take as a particularly important example of the bed space - guaranteed to be free (or at least very poor) is of technical electromagnetic fields. Otherwise: Verschlimmbesserung. Therefore: No grounding actions without expert measurements of electromagnetic pollution present in the environment and - if necessary - appropriate remediation.

And, also important: What we consider to earth, is often no real earth in the natural sense more, eg the protective conductor of the socket or the bare radiator pipe. They are so often full of "dirt" from "Dirty Power" of the whole electronic energy saving lamps, computers, the entire electrified house and the public electric grid, and these electromagnetic dirt we pull us through the protective conductor, the "earth" and in our body.

Next Conclusion: Grounding? Yes! But please only if ... it comes to a clean, natural earth without technical deposits, without artificial electromagnetic signals, without civilized dirt. Even that should be considered before grounding plans.

Sometimes the protective conductor of an electrical outlet or radiator or water pipe are not grounded - technical Hudel - and it closes here trusting his grounding mat on, please do not.

Sometimes even supplies the spike in moist garden soil no solid earth more because the ground - especially in large cities, especially in nearby technical facilities such as power lines, railway lines, transformer and substations, cellular towers ... - no longer is clean, full of technical voltages and signals. Usually, however, the garden soil is better than the house, especially in rural areas and further away from major electrical and industrial equipment.

You see, quite as easy as it is described by the grounding apostles in their books and publications, it is not time again.

From the USA currently spills over a Earthing- or grounding-wave to us. Grounding is praised here as a wonderful panacea for and against almost everything. The lost and by Earthing (grounding sleeping mats, floor mats, films, conductive shoes, ...) now restored ground contact to heal, promote sleep, relieve fatigue and stress, inflammation, attenuate, support the immune system, eliminate indigestion, calm the nervous system, promote detoxification, thin the blood, eliminate menstrual cramps, improve erections, dampen hypersensitivity, compensate for jetlag, accelerate weight loss. Grounding is "the simplest and most natural measure against the increasing painful and often fatal diseases," the "power source ground" offer an almost "endless supply of negatively charged free electrons that neutralize positively charged free radicals".

In addition, it must be read in the US literature, "earth reduces the electromagnetic fields acting on the body" and "the electrons of the earth shield the body against these disorders from". Certainly not earth reduces the forces acting on us electromagnetic fields, on the contrary, it attracts - as mentioned - rather still, and the earth does not shield the body from too, but it conducts electrical fields from the prize: current flow in the body.

On the edge: Be careful with the body voltage measurement by grounding measures or grounding bed pads. This measurement method is unfortunately often abused for the alleged evidence of a reduction of the voltage applied to the people. This does not work because the body voltage measurement (so-called capacitive coupling body) can only work if the - lying in bed, for example - does not guarantee any human contact with the ground or near the Earth has. Otherwise: unforgivable measurement error.

Some people feel better spontaneously and permanently grounded on such mats in bed, in my experience. Why? If, despite all the possible side effects of the "power of the earth", at the Erdnähekontakt, on contact with one of the most important means of livelihood? Or is it because of the sudden collapse of the technical Span¬nungspotenzials after partial years of exposure time? Or the fact that it is now no more potential differences are in the body, which are a special risk? Or?

Everything in life is grounded, everything is in flux: animals, plants, everything. On the ground, in caves, even in the nests of rooted trees with the earth. We humans should lichst often be possible with Mother Earth in harmony. We Civilized there are fewer and fewer. The perfect insulation is the bed, no more ground contact, made of wood, latex and / or foam. That is why? Why do we feel in a conductive environment well? In the Spanish finca with stone floor? In the shower? In the sea? Barefoot in the wet grass? Relaxed in contact with the earth energy.

Grounding yes! We are far too little grounded, especially at home. But please, just as described, if not critical technical fields affect us, and only when the soil is really anansonstenen earth: aerial man.

My bed is grounded, the most conductive surfaces, floors and walls of my living and working spaces also. But beware: My bed environment and the other rooms are free of technical electrosmog. And these are the most bed-, living and working areas of my fellow human beings not.

11. Arthur Firstenberg of the Cellular Task Force wrote:

This guy (Maes) knows what he is talking about. Here is a bit of wisdom, accumulated from my 34 years of research and experience:

Grounding is often trial and error. The rule taught by Baubiologists is there should be one ground and one ground only on the customer side of the transformer. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. I have been in houses where a second ground was a vast improvement, and I have been in houses where removing the only ground was a vast improvement. Electricity takes the paths of least resistance, and you never really know where that is, or what the effects of adding or removing ground connections will be, until you try it.

I agree with Mr. Maes about so-called body voltage. Measuring the electric field you are in is much more relevant than measuring your body's potential with respect to some arbitrary point in the ground outside.

One thing Mr. Maes says is not quite correct. If ground currents from the electric grid are a severe problem, you do not want to be grounded. Wear rubber soles, don't walk barefoot, and certainly don't attach yourself to a ground rod. You'll just pull up dirty electricity from the earth into your body. However, if you are suffering from radiation through the air, the frequencies will accumulate in your body to the extent that they enter you faster than you can discharge them. Take off your shoes and provide a path to ground, and you will get rid of them faster and be relieved of your symptoms. Our clothing can also be a barrier that prevents discharging electricity. Silk is such a good insulator that they used to use it to insulate transmission wires on utility poles. Cotton is also an insulator, not quite as good as silk. Inability to discharge electricity can cause severe skin itching. I no longer wear cotton on my upper body, and under no circumstances do I wear silk any more.

The situation is actually much more complex than that. We are actually always grounded to some extent, whether we are touching the ground or not. We could not live long if we were not. There is a science called magnetotellurics, which measures the conductivity of the earth at different depths by sounding the earth with different frequencies. Our bodies are connected with the different depths of the earth in a similar way, whether we are touching the earth or not. And the properties of the earth underneath where you live are just as important as the amount of radiation around you from cell towers and other technology. Carl Blackman and others proved that the magnitude and direction of the ambient magnetic field completely changed the outcome of their experiments, to such an extent that the biological effects of the same frequencies can be entirely different at different places on the earth. And the situation is even more complex than that. My experience is that the conductivity of the different layers of the earth underneath me determines how electrically sensitive I am at that location, and also where in my body I feel it. I live in Santa Fe on purpose because the conductivity of the ground here, all the way down to mid-mantle, is higher than almost anywhere else on earth. In this situation, the earth is very effective at "absorbing" the frequencies that enter you from techological sources.

12. Building-Biology trained Quebec EMF inspector Stephane Bélainsky wrote:

The best way to ground your body is to go outside in a park and away from electrical distribution facilities. You can simply kiss and hug a tree for a few minutes. The roots are excellent grounds.

Indeed a socket ground is very effective in draining 60 Hz AC electric fields. Earthing mats capture these fields but they are connected to the neutral of the electricity supplier. And this neutral can carry, in certain to places, low-frequency electric fields (a few Hz or electric fields in the kHz commonly called dirty electricity) and sometimes even small measurable currents (milliamperes), so beware, listen to your feeling. For this reason we measure the state of the earth connections during experiments and with increasingly sophisticated devices. It is preferable to use a rod planted in the ground which is uncontaminated outdoor floor, but not always easy to find! Quality grounding mats are preferable to metal, as they prevent conduction of current (milliamps).

Water is an excellent insulator against microwaves (WiFi, etc.) and for 60 Hz electric fields. Salt baths are sometimes a real salvation for people in electromagnetic stress provided the plumbing does not carry too much net current.

January 2017

Click here for more articles on the management of ES.

Top of page