Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity – A Challenge for Digitilisation – Opinion of the European Economic & Social Committee

Digitilisation – Challenges for Europe

Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

https://www.eesc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/files/qe-01-19-295-pdf page 85

Rapporteur: Bernardo Hernández Bataller

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity


Each day the number of EHS sufferers increases: according to new estimates, between 3% and 5% of the population are electro-sensitive, meaning that some 13 million Europeans may suffer from this syndrome, which has various names (electro-sensitivity, Wi -Fi syndrome, microwave syndrome, electromagnetic hypersensitivity, etc.).

Gist of the opinion

Exposure to electromagnetic fields has been increasing in recent years, following the expansion of technologies. In addition to health problems, this can result in limited access to many public or private facilities, especially in buildings where devices have been installed for transmitting wireless technology.

These people may sometimes suffer the incomprehension and scepticism of doctors who do not deal with this syndrome professionally and therefore fail to offer proper diagnosis and treatment. Due to the serious differences in scientific opinion, the independence of bodies involved in establishing maximum exposure levels must be reinforced. The EESC is in favour of adopting binding safeguarding legislation that reduces or mitigates exposure to electromagnetic fields.

The EU should assist currently affected groups and limit exposure fields in light of the recommendations set out in this opinion, especially with respect to recognising this exposure as a cause of functional disability and environmental illness. The EESC emphasises the need to step up the application of the ALARA principle, bearing in mind the risk of non-thermal biological effects of electromagnetic emissions. In addition, it is important to facilitate research in this area. The EESC is in favour of ensuring a high level of health protection for workers by applying the improvements that are available, while this principle should be included in European legislation.


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