[ RadSafe ] TMI - reported "metallic taste"

Bjorn Cedervall bcradsafers at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 13 09:48:08 CST 2006

>In reports from TMI, some residents mentioned noticing
a "metallic taste."

Can anyone give me a physiological basis for this?

I would build a hypothesis on a psychosomatic mechanism.

To take a different example, I spoke in depth (40 minutes) with a so-called 
electrohypersensitive person (he is not a nuts type, basically a smart 
engineer) about his problems a week ago. He is at one of my workplaces and 
has been so for many years so I know him a little (large workplace - 
thousands of employees). I knew that he had problems with the computer 
environment and other electronic equipment. Now I decided to hear his ideas 
about the mechanisms. He promptly first  responded "psychosomatic".

Then he went on and told me that he for some time had lived out in the 
countryside with very little of electrical gadgets around etc and he felt 
much better. Then one day - when he thought about his job - he almost 
immediately got the "electrohypersensitivity" symptoms back.

Besides this he mainly pointed at general stress + perhaps flickering light 
tubes (low frequency). He is well read about most aspects relating to the 

Bearing this in mind - and going back to the "metallic taste". Why not an 
associative mechanism - something happening in the mind?

I can take something different from myself: When I was a kid I had a lot of 
these legless lizards (Anguis fragilis):

I was only allowed to bring two to Stockholm during winter (and outsmarted 
my parents by always including a pregnant female...). I kept these in a 
small terrarium and fed them with earthworms etc. From that came a certain 
smell that I obviously accepted and got used to. This was in the early 
1960:ies and I used to listen to the pop music of that time.

Now to the point: If I today, more than 40 years later, hear some of those 
pop songs, they trigger my mind to give me a sensation of the smell of that 
lizard installation.

I am pretty sure that our minds can stand for all sorts of "automatic" 
associations (just think about dreams!) - so why not a metallic paranoia?

Just my personal reflections,

Bjorn Cedervall   bcradsafers at hotmail.com

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