When did you first start to develop RF/Microwave sickness/EHS, or make the link that your symptoms were caused by RF/EMFs?
I got a mobile phone mid 2000 and used it mostly for texting. Even early on when on a call, I would feel a discomfort and burning in my ear and head. Over time the pain increased and even using loudspeaker with the phone away from me I would feel unwell so I stopped taking or making calls. I got similar effects when using a cordless home phone, and couldn’t bear to use it. Eventually I got rid of the mobile altogether as I became affected by the radiation emitted when sending and receiving texts. I already had health issues having been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and ME and RSI for some years but this was a very different pain.
When cafes and libraries first installed wifi, I would feel similar nausea, and a build-up of pressure and heat in my head after a short time, and would get nosebleeds. The effects became more pronounced. I would feel unwell in certain places and would then discover there was wifi, a mobile phone mast or antennae nearby. I found it difficult to sleep at night, with headaches and sweating and discovered the neighbours wifi or cordless phone was on constantly.
I now believe that my initial illnesses were largely as a result of working in a bank where I would spend 8 hours a day on a very large cheque processing machine (high electric and magnetic fields), on computers and under fluorescent lights. Found out years later that workers in other banks suffered similar health effects.
What are your symptoms?
Acute symptoms when near a source of wireless radiation are almost like the start of a flu or sunstroke – burning and prickling heat on my face and head, nausea and a build-up of pressure and vice-like sensations in the back of my head and neck. After a while I start to feel dizziness, palpitations, agitation, irritability, difficultly in thinking straight.
It is very difficult to describe but when in an area of radiation for a while, I experience an overwhelming, extremely uncomfortable and distressing feeling – it feels like my head will burst. There is no getting used to it, or taking a painkiller to ease the pain – I just have to get away. Visible symptoms are reddening on my face as if sunburnt and my brain feels like it is burning. I have to cool it down by putting my head under cold water, often having to put ice packs on my face and head.
Over the past few years, chronic and knock-on effects include regular migraines, sinus problems, under-active thyroid, auditory imbalances – a constant hum like a generator or diesel engine running – dizziness, difficulty concentrating, sensitivity to lights and noise, multiple chemical sensitivities (nausea, chest pains and headache from perfumes, washing powders, chemicals etc – MSC and EHS have the same biochemical pathways in the body). These symptoms are all common for other EHS sufferers and can be overwhelming.
How does it affect your life on a day-to-day basis – home, work, socially?
I am unable to work, go shopping, socialise, visit family and friends in their homes or in hospital, attend weddings, funerals etc. I spend most of my day in my home, much of which is shielded (at great expense) from nearby mobile phone antennae and neighbours’ wifi, cordless phones and smart devices.
Places locally where I used to go for walks are now bathed in 4G mobile or wifi coverage so my options are limited, even my own garden.
The only places I feel good are areas with very little or no coverage – a forest half an hour from home and away from people carrying smartphones and wireless devices.
I have to cover my head and upper body with 3 layers of shielding material just to block out some of the radiation on any journey in the car.
Visits to doctor, dentist and chiropractor or anywhere are difficult.
What changes have you had to make in your life to reduce your exposure to RF/EMF radiation (eg, moving house, leaving work, shielding)?
At first I got a loan of a shielding bed canopy for a while which really helped with my sleep and was somewhere I could escape the neighbours wifi radiation. A very kind fellow sufferer I met would regularly let me stay at her home which was naturally shielded from outside RF sources. She had moved there after getting sick living near a Garda station. I don’t know how I could have coped without her help.
In 2014 I left my home, partner, family and friends to move to a very remote part of the country and while my health improved, it was extremely isolated. In 2015 I rented a house in a less remote rural area which had very low mobile phone coverage. The house was sold after 2 years later. Soon after I left, a 4G mast was erected nearby.
With wireless broadband, wifi hotspots, 4G and 5G on the increase, it is now difficult to find anywhere suitable to live in Ireland that has little or no RF/EMFs. For people with severe EHS, you have to factor in Tetra (garda and emergency service masts), wireless broadband covering large areas, wifi from neighbours, wind farms, pylons and the fact that companies from all over the world are allowed to test and trial their wireless frequencies in Ireland, most likely in remote areas where there is little interference from other frequencies.
At home we have covered most of the rooms with shielding paint and material, which blocks out most of the radiation coming from outside sources (including at least 12 neighbour’s’ wifi signals, Tetra from the Garda stations and recently erected 4G antennae).
I don’t use a mobile phone. Our computer is hardwired. My partner still has a 2G phone which he takes with him when out on call. He has never had a smart phone. He uses landline for calls and the mobile is always kept in another room and off most of the time. I am also affected by electric and magnetic fields so have to reduce my time even on computer and landline, but this is easier to manage.
How do your family and friends, and others, respond to your situation?
My family and friends are very respectful of my requests not to bring their phones or other devices into my home, or when with me. Some understand more than others, but I feel uncomfortable talking about it, partly because some expressed disbelief at the beginning and I suspect there a few sceptics still.
Naturally when you find out that this radiation is harmful to everyone, and EHS is not the only consequence, you want to warn your loved ones about the increased potential for cancer and a whole host of other illnesses, particularly for children and those already sick, especially when you know there are safer ways to access the internet, etc. Sadly, most don’t want to know so I reluctantly keep my mouth shut most of the time, even when I know their health is being compromised by their exposure to their wifi and smart devices.
It is a very isolating condition for many sufferers, not just because of the physical symptoms but due to other people’s attitudes and misunderstanding of the condition. And being intolerant to fragrances from other people’s clothes and perfumes just adds to the distress.
I’ve had some interesting and unhelpful comments from others over the years.
Thankfully, my partner is extremely supportive, has done all of the shielding in the house and, as an electrician, understands the effects of RF/EMFs.
How does your GP respond to your situation?
I don’t attend my GP much but he is supportive as are complementary health professionals I have seen.
What do you think our government and decision makers should do?
Provide grants for shielding our homes, and designate “White Zones” in the country for sufferers to either live in or use as badly needed respite, as requested for nearly 20 years. This is easily doable. They know that illnesses are caused by exposure to RF/EMF radiation, but they prefer to pander to Industry. It’s disgusting how we are treated.
How do you feel about the roll-out of further 4G, 5G, smart meters and LED street lighting in your area and across the country?
Angry and frightened. Not just for me, but for others already suffering, vulnerable people and children. Given the considerable weight of evidence showing biological harm already, it is absolutely criminal that this is all going ahead. The telecom companies and the government (present and past) are complicit in causing considerable damage to our health and environment.
People will suffer, they will get sick and many will die because of it.
Life is already challenging and painful for many with EHS. It will soon be very difficult to escape and shield from – and why should we have to? I know there will be devastating consequences for many.
Painting the house with Y-Shield paint, and specialist fabric on the windows, to shield from RF radiation from neighbours’ wifi, smart devices and local mobile phone masts: