What is Electrosensitivity?
Electrosensitivity is a physical intolerance of electromagnetic radiation, first described in 1932. People working with electricity, radio and radars reported feeling unwell. In Russia in the 1970s, large numbers of workers who were exposed to microwave or radiofrequency radiation were becoming very sick. This led Russian doctors treating them to term this occupational illness as “radio wave sickness” or “microwave sickness. Over time, more people worldwide were becoming ill from exposure to both microwave RF radiation, and radiation from electric and magnetic fields, In the 90s, the conditions were called “electrosensitivity (ES)” and “electrohypersensitivity (EHS)”, and these terms are now commonly used. These terms, however, do not adequately describe the distressing, debilitating and constant pain of having your health and life severely affected by microwave RF and electromagnetic radiation pollution. For ease of reference, we will use the term EHS to describe the condition.
EHS is often progressive, so symptoms and sensitivities to wider frequencies can increase. May also develop sensitivies to chemicals and fragrances (multiple chemical sensitivities MCS). All combined can make life extremely restricted for some, unable to work, socialise, shop, travel, even visit doctors, dentists of hospitals. Some people with EHS are unable to use a computer, telephone or watch television.
Electrosensitivity/Electrohypersensitivity is recognised as a functional impairment in Sweden. Aspects of Studies on the Functional Impairment Electrohypersensitivty by Prof Olle Johansson, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
Women’s College Hospital in Toronto recognises EHS and provides support to sufferers and education to other healthcare professions on EHS and the environmental effects of electromagnetic radiation Environmental Health Clinic Studies
EHS Discussion Paper by Steve Weller BSc (32 page pdf)
What is Electrosensitivity? Citizens for Safe Technology
In 2005 the World Health Organisation stated that the non-specific symptoms characterising electromagnetic-hypersensitivity are “certainly real”. The WHO also stated that “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity can be a disabling problem for the affected individual”.
Are you ill from electromagnetic and wireless radiation?
EHS is a functional impairment caused by exposure to electromagnetic and microwave radiation in our environment. It is both highly controversial and little understood. The symptoms can vary a lot between sufferers, but will normally include some of the following: sleep disturbance, tiredness, depression, headaches, restlessness, irritability, concentration problems, forgetfulness, learning difficulties, frequent infections, blood pressure changes, nose bleeds, anxiety, limb and joint pains, numbness or tingling sensations, tinnitus, hearing loss, auditory problems, impaired balance and eye problems. Some people might only experience a few of these symptoms, and maybe just with one or two frequencies, eg wifi and mobile phone. Others are adversely affected to almost every frequency.
People with EHS can also suffer with MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities) – Reliable disease biomarkers characterizing and identifying electrohypersensitivity and multiple chemical sensitivity as two etiopathogenic aspects of a unique pathological disorder – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26613326.
Symptoms often decrease when you remove yourself from the area of radiation, eg wifi, mobile phone, mast, but this can prove difficult for some depending on where you live or travel to. For those who are worst affected, the symptoms can continue for many hours after exposure, having a delayed effect on how the cells in your body react to radiation. This can have a knock on effect on your whole system, resulting in poor sleep, chronic health conditions etc. Many sufferers have had to leave jobs, education, even their homes to escape the radiation causing their symptoms, some even resorting in desperation to living in remote areas and sleeping in their cars or tents.
Many people in Ireland are already adversely affected by exposure to electromagnetic and microwave radiation and are now suffering with EHS, and this number is growing. Read personal accounts from around the world .
In 2011, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly made recommendations to EU Governments to “pay particular attention to “electrosensitive” people who suffer from a syndrome of intolerance to electromagnetic fields and introduce special measures to protect them, including the creation of wave-free areas not covered by the wireless network;” Resolution 1815, (2011) 8.1.4 See full report here
As well as the Assembly’s recommendations, calls have been made on Government and Health agencies in the country over the years to recognise and assist EHS sufferers in Ireland. Numerous Oireachtas submissions have also been made in this regard but still no recognition or consideration is granted to sufferers in this country. The human rights of people with EHS are being ignored. United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Your doctor may not recognise that your symptoms are related to EMF exposure and ES, as they will not have learned about this in medical training. Some doctors across the world are starting to learn about this and it will help you greatly if you provide your doctor with some information :-
What are the symptoms?
Electrosensitive individuals may experience some or more of these symptoms:
- Chronic Insomnia and sleep difficulties
- Chronic fatigue and ME symptoms
- Neurological symptoms eg tremors, dizziness
- Auditory problems and Microwave Auditory Effect
- Headaches & sinus issues, and pressure in the head
- Burning on face
- High blood pressure
- Nose bleeds
- Thyroid dysfuntion
- Hypersensitivity to noise
- Cognitive and memory problems
- Muscle & joint pain
- Tachycardia – racing heart
- Chest pain & palpatations
- Crawling & burning and heat sensations
- Increase in allergies
- Irritability, anxiety, depression
Exposure has been shown to exacerbate existing conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, back problems, asthma and heart conditions.
Avoidance is key. It can reduce or eliminate your symptoms very quickly. If you can find a place where you feel better, try to spend as much time there as possible, eg by the sea, countryside where there is little mobile coverage etc.
For information on what to do to reduce your exposure to radiation, and hopefully ease your ES symptoms, go to our What Can I Do page?
Electrohypersensitivity Around the World
Just a small number of EHS organisations and websites worldwide …
United Kingdom Electrosensitivity UK (ES-UK)
Facebook Groups and Forums
UK Electrosensitives (group members are from all over the world)
Families with EHS Children
SMART EMF Resistance UK (group members are worldwide)
EMF and EHS Law
Are Wearables/Implantables Safe?
Netherlands Stichtingehs.nl EHS foundation
Australia EMRAustralia Health & Electrosensitivity
ALSO : For up to 90 websites and support groups worldwide see EMRAware.com/organisations