Submission to The Joint Committee on Disability Matters, Houses of the Oireachtas – November 2020

Submission to The Joint Committee on Disability Matters, Houses of the Oireachtas

12th November 2020

As stated in the accompanying letter, the expertise of Electromagnetic Sense Ireland is based on real life experience, and many years of study and knowledge regarding the functional/environmental impairment Microwave Sickness/Electrohypersensitivity (EHS).  Dating back to its foundation as IERVN (Irish Electromagnetic Radiation Victims Network), ES-Ireland is a voluntary non-profit group comprised mainly of people suffering adverse health effects from Electromagnetic/Radiofrequency – WiFi (EMF/RF/WiFi) and in particular from pulsed Radiofrequency microwave emissions.  The website is dedicated to creating awareness regarding the implications of this non-ionising radiation for the health of humans, wildlife and the environment based mainly on the  European Council Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 1815 (2011) The Potential Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields and Their Effect on the Environment.

Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) or electrosensitivity (ES) has been a health issue now for at least four decades.  A prime example of independent research on this issue is contained within the report BioInitiative: A Rationale for a Biologically-Based Public Exposure Standards for Electromagnetic Fields 2012 (Summary for the Public (2014 Supplement)).  This report produced by the BionItiative Working Group, an international collaboration of prestigious scientists and public health experts provides a summary of key scientific evidence, including EHS, from a total of 3,800 peer-reviewed research papers.   The daily lives of those who are actually suffering is seldom expressed and we take this opportunity to attempt a description of that.


The Daily Lives of those with Microwave Sickness/Electrohypersensitivity

People who are EHS are affected in different ways and to different extents but main effects have been identified as: severe crippling headaches, ‘brain fog’/loss of concentration, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, nose bleeds, ‘microwave hearing’, muscle tingling/sensation of crawling skin, abdominal cramps/digestive problems, heightened sensitivity to noise/light/chemicals, palpitations/arrhythmias, limb currents/ shooting pain, ‘chest tightness’, burning of skin, hand and leg dysfunction, immune problems, insomnia/sleep disruption.  Increased likelihood of long-term effects:  Cancer, neurological diseases, depression, significantly decreased sperm counts/genetic effects such as male sterility, miscarriage and birth defects.  (BioInitiative Report – Conclusions 2012).  In the year 2000 such symptoms were identified in the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) Code of Diagnoses, version 10 (ICD-10; R68.8/now W90) and while some subjective symptoms may be treated by a medical physician the underlying cause still remains only the toxic environment.

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) and World Health Organization: A. International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) B. International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)

Through experience and observation sufferers learn that being away from sources of EMF/RF/WiFi gives them relief and in this way they self-diagnose in the absence of any expertise or medical professionals trained in this subject.

The main issue for sufferers lies in an inaccessible environment associated with unsustainable levels of EMF both within and outside of their homes. Although effects are accumulative, those with less severe symptoms can initially manage their lives by taking measures to shield rooms with specialist paint and materials and/or their bodies with protective clothing etc – at great expense to themselves. For others, symptoms become so severe that they have no option but to move house, others move from place to place continuously, some resort to living in sheds; sleeping in cars, avoid public/social service providers, hospitals, schools etc. Some become prisoners in their own homes.  Needs such as shopping, attending the doctor, using public transport, use of social services etc., become almost impossible. At the severe stage there is an inability to continue participating in society or the social activities considered necessary for health and wellbeing. The daily toil of survival is a 24/7/365 operation. Some personal accounts are accessible on our website at

In 1998 and 2005 a group of EHS sufferers made presentations before Oireachtas Committees as noted in the Joint Committee on Public Enterprise and Transport report on Non-ionising Microwave Radiation Emissions from Communications Masts (1998)

and the Joint Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Report on Non-ionising Radiation from Mobile Phone Handsets and Masts (2005).

The suffering of these victims was, and continues to be, for those who have survived, completely ignored.

One of the most debilitating symptoms of EHS i.e. ‘microwave hearing’ is caused by the absorption of continuous microwave radiation (Wi-Fi/3G/4G/ 5G) on the brain, resulting in a ‘thermoelastic wave of acoustic pressure’ that travels to the inner ear (Lin & Wang).  This tortuous effect is added to by the continuous resonance from telecommunication mast emissions and their cooling equipment. The European Council Recommendations 1999/519/EC on the limitation of exposure of the general public to EMF (0Hz to 300 GHz) have recommended limits for pulse duration in the frequency range 0.3 to 10 GHz and for localised exposure of the head, ‘in order to limit and avoid auditory effects.’  The phenomenon of ‘microwave hearing’ was studied and published in the Journal of Applied Physiology as far back as July 1962 by Allan Frey. Recommended reading: Auditory Perception of Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Fields by Chung-Kwang Chou and Arthur W. Guy – Journal of Acoustical Society of America, Vol 71 (6): 1321 – 1334, June 1982 (published online 1998).

For many, the notion of a percentage of the public being affected to such an extent from modern technology is unbelievable.  However, other real evidence comes from the Insurance Industry, which withholds cover for risks linked to EMF/RF-WiFi. Insurance Company specialists in Emerging Risks have warned the insurance industry about the impact of potential risks from the ‘unforeseen consequences of electromagnetic fields.’ ‘The Electromagnetic Fields Exclusion (Exclusion 32) is now a General Insurance Exclusion applied across the market as standard.’ Therefore liability coverage for claims ‘Directly or indirectly arising out of, resulting from or contributed to by electromagnetic fields, electromagnetic radiation, electromagnetism, radio waves or noise’ has now been excluded from public liability policies.


Recommendations to the Committee

Recognition of EHS as an environmental impairment

EHS needs to be officially recognised as an environmental impairment/functional impairment and as a disability in order to enable access to necessary resources and to live an equal life in a society based upon equality as per the E.U. Human Rights Act and the U.N. Convention on Human Rights for People with Disabilities. An action plan needs to be drawn up which will enable citizens who are electro-sensitive to live, socialise and work on an equal basis with others

Establishment of EHS Hotline

The Introduction of a ‘hotline’ for EHS sufferers where a registry could be kept that would give some indication as to the numbers, geographical areas and scale of effects. This should also provide access to ‘experts’ including e.g. building biologists, bio-physicists and engineers who have the ability, skills and knowledge needed to measure EMF pollution in the homes of sufferers and suggest protective steps, with resources provided by the State.

Creation of White (EMF Free) Zones

Sufficient evidence already exists regarding adverse health effects of EMF to warrant immediate intervention that could commence with the provision of ‘white zones’ i.e. an area free of EMF/RF-WiFi in each county and in public places such as libraries, public transport, hospitals etc.

Public Participation in Decision-Making and Information Campaigns

One of the consistent points made by the E.U., and also referred to in the Aarhus Convention, ratified by Ireland in 2012, is that information regarding the risks associated with EMF should be provided to the public and also that public participation in decision-making regarding the environment should be made a priority. The dangers to the public are not being given sufficient prominence. Direct public participation in the decision-making process is a Constitutional right.

Reduction of Electrosmog in Wireless Local Networks

A system may be available that would assist in the reduction of electrosmog from wireless local area networks designed to reduce the risk of damage to health. Swisscom’s patent application confirms adverse health effects and also confirms that health destruction is ‘not dependent upon temperature increases. This system offers an initial solution to a difficult situation.

Ref: WIPO Patentscope, 1. (W02004075583) Reduction of Electrosmog in Wireless Local Networks.;jsessionid


Other Supporting Information: 

  1. In 2011 the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified EMF as Group 2B, a possible human carcinogen (page 419), (Vol 102)

Press Release:

  1. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) (USA), which, under the National Institutes of Health, have completed the largest ever animal study on cell phone radiation and cancer. The results were consistent with findings in humans of increased risk of glioma and acoustic neuroma (cancers of the brain) and of malignant schwannomas – cancer of the heart (a rare cancer), as well as DNA damage. These effects occurred even within threshold levels currently allowable. The NTP study has now (2018) been peer-reviewed and accepted by independent experts.
  1. The second recent study is a corresponding large Animal Study on Base Station/Cell Tower Radiofrequency Radiation undertaken by the Ramazzini Institute (Italy). The importance of the key conclusions of this study is that they are consistent with and therefore reinforce the findings of the National Toxicology Program. Key findings attest to an increase in the incidence of glioma, acoustic neuromas (cancers of the brain) and rare malignant tumours such as schwannomas of the heart.

  1. The recent review by Professor Martin Pall, a winner of eight international awards, entitled Wi-Fi is an important threat to human health, and published in Environmental Research 164 (2018) 405 – 416 considers repeated studies on Wi- Fi and other microwave frequency EMFs. He identifies seven effects that are consistently accepted as proven in 10 to 16 studies and which can therefore be scientifically referred to as established. These established effects are oxidative stress, sperm/testicular damage, neuropsychiatric effects including EEG changes, apoptosis, cellular DNA damage, endocrine changes and calcium overload. The review informs that EMF effects are often cumulative and irreversible, and that EMFs may impact young people more than adults.

Thank you again for this opportunity,

Ethna Monks

Member of Electromagnetic Sense Ireland, (ES-Ireland),

 Additional Information

 Some ES-Ireland submissions:

January 2016 United Nations Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) – on rights to inclusive education, article 24

October 2019 United Nations Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.  Response to Questions on New and Emerging Digital Technology and Human Rights.

Open Submission (June 2018) to Government Departments and Agencies regarding Public Health and Wellbeing Protection in Ireland in respect of Electromagnetic Fields – Request for a Public Inquiry on behalf of the public, especially children and vulnerable groups.


Electrohypersensitivity: a functional impairment due to an inaccessible environment Professor Olle Johansson   REV ENVIRON HEALTH:  2015;30(4):311-21.


Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity A Summary by Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe December 2014 WORKING DRAFT Version 1

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and Human Rights    Commentary to the EU Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

BEES, BIRDS AND MANKIND – Destroying Nature by ‘Electrosmog’

Ulrich Warnke

Effects of Wireless Communication Technologies

A Brochure Series by the Competence Initiative for the Protection of Humanity,

Environment and Democracy

2020 Consensus Statement of UK and International Medical and Scientific Experts and Practitioners on Health Effects of Non-Ionising Radiation (NIR) Press Release: Embargoed until 10/11/2020

PHIRE Medical UK Press Release Nov 2020 on Non-Ionising Radiation

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