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What is it?
It 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 condition was called “electrosensitivity (ES)” and “electrohypersensitivity (EHS)”, and although these terms are commonly used they do not adequately describe the distressing, debilitating and constant pain of having your health and life severely affected by RF and electromagnetic radiation pollution.
“… is a condition in which adults and children develop intolerance to radiation from wireless technology devices and infrastructure such as cell phones, Wi-Fi, wireless utility “smart”meters and cell towers and antennas. Once they develop the condition, they experience various symptoms from tingling in the hands and pain in the head when using a cell phone to severe and disabling illness. The most common symptoms are headaches, sleep disturbances, nausea, dizziness, cognitive and memory problems, a racing heart and heart palpitations, burning sensations, nose bleeds and noise or light sensitivities.
Recent research suggests that these symptoms indicate severe physiological harm including breakage of the Blood Brain Barrier, damage to the limbic system and the thalamus, oxidative stress, autoimmune damage and neurodegeneration. The prevalence of the condition is growing rapidly, including amongst children. Surveys from a decade ago suggest that 10% of the population already suffers from symptoms. However, this rate is likely understated considering many people who experience symptoms are not aware that their symptoms are caused by wireless devices and in addition. Given the exponential increase in the past decade of the use of wireless devices including Wi-Fi and smartphones and increase in the levels of radiation in the environment from the wireless infrastructure, it is likely that the rates of people who suffer from the condition are higher and will continue to rise.
What are the symptoms?
Sufferers 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 dysfunction
- Hypersensitivity to noise
- Cognitive and memory problems
- Muscle & joint pain
- Tachycardia – racing heart
- Chest pain & palpitations
- 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.
Those with the condition include Gro Harlem Brundtland, once the Prime Minister of Norway and head of the World Health Organization; Matti Niemela, former Nokia technology chief; and the wife of Frank Clegg, former head of Microsoft Canada and current head of Canadians for Safe Technology.
“While other conditions have been associated with exposure to radiation from wireless technology, such as brain & breast cancer, fertility problems, autism and ADD, it seems that the most widespread manifestation of harm from this technology is ES.” http://c4st.org/electrosensitivity/What is ES-In a NutShell?
Sufferers can also experience ridicule and disbelief from others, including even those in the medical profession. These ignorant attitudes can cause further distress and isolation.
The condition is often progressive, so symptoms and intolerances to wider frequencies can increase. Many also develop intolerances to chemicals and fragrances and perfumes (which all contain toxic ingredients) – a condition know as Multiple Chemical Sensitivities MCS.
All combined can make life extremely restricted for some, unable to work, socialise, shop, travel, even visit doctors, dentists or hospitals. Some affected are unable to use a computer, telephone or watch television.
Recognition of EHS
Electrosensitivity is recognised as a functional impairment in Sweden. The Canadian Human Rights Commission also acknowledges environmental sensitivity attributed to EMFs. The Women’s College Hospital in Toronto provides support to sufferers and education to other healthcare professions on EHS and the environmental effects of electromagnetic radiation. In 2019, a French Court recognised EHS as an occupational disease
In 2012, a Written Declaration was made by members of the European Parliament that Member States recognise multiple chemical sensitivity and electrohypersensitivity in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), including urging them ‘to apply the precautionary principle strictly, with effective health and environmental measures, in order to immediately protect those affected, whose number is growing exponentially‘ EU Parl ICD-11 pdf
2021 OPINION European Economic and Social Committee – The societal and ecological impact of the 5G ecosystem :
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity or electromagnetic intolerance is an illness which has been recognised by the European Parliament, the EESC and the Council of Europe. It affects a number of people, and with the roll-out of 5G (which needs a much denser electronic network)it is to be expected that this condition may affect more. https://kompetenzinitiative.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/EESC-2021-02341-00-00-AC-TRA-EN.pdf
Magda Havas, B.Sc., Ph.D. Elecctrohypersensitivity(EHS) is an Environmentally-Induced Disability that Requires Immediate Attention OpenCitation:JSciDiscov(2019);3(1):jsd18020;DOI:10.24262/jsd.3.1.18020*
Physicians for Safe Technology – Scientific Literature on Electrosensitivity https://mdsafetech.org/science/es-science/
Safer EMR – list of studies and articles https://www.saferemr.com/2014/10/electromagnetic-hypersensitivity_30.html
Dec 2014- Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and Human Rights – Commentary to the European Economic and Social Committee Isaac Jamieson PhD DIC RIBA ARB DipAAS BSc(Hons) Arch MInstPf
EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/reveh-2016-0011/html
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS, microwave syndrome) – Review of
mechanisms – Yael Stein (MD) , Iris G. Udasin (MD) 2020 Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS, microwave syndrome) – Review of mechanisms
Electrohypersensitivity: a functional impairment due to an inaccessible environment – Olle Johansson Electrohypersensitivity: a functional impairment due to an inaccessible environment
Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity A Summary 2014 http://www.iemfa.org/wp-content/pdf/Mallery-Blythe-v1-EESC.pdf
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: Fact or fiction? – Stephen J. Genuis, Christopher T. Lipp https://www.emfsa.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Geniu-and-Lipp-20111.pdf
Electrohypersensitivity as a Newly Identified and Characterized Neurologic Pathological Disorder: How to Diagnose, Treat, and Prevent It https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7139347/
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.
Why electrohypersensitivity and related symptoms are caused by non-ionizing man-made electromagnetic fields: An overview and medical assessment – Dominique Belpomme Philippe Irigaray (2022) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935122007010?via%3Dihub
See more on the work of Professor Olle Johansson and EHS http://www.cellphonetaskforce.org/the-work-of-olle-johansson/
Why are some people more affected than others? http://mieuxprevenir.blogspot.com/2018/03/electrosensitivity-why-are-some-people.html
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.
Your doctor may not recognise that your symptoms are related to EMF exposure and EHS, as they will not have learned about this in medical training. Thankfully, 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 :-
Info kit page with helpful information for your GP/consultant.
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, ie 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?
Lewis Evans – EHS is a biologically correct response to an environmental pollutant.
Around the World
Just a small number of EHS organisations and websites worldwide …
EHS A Personal Case Study by Steve Weller BSc
Facebook Groups and Forums
UK Electrosensitives (excellent support and information and welcomes 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
Spain Electrosensibles Derecho Salud
Sweden FEB The Swedish Assoc for the Electrohypersensitive
Swedish Radiation Protection Foundation
Australia EMRAustralia Health & Electrosensitivity
ALSO : For up to 90 websites and support groups worldwide see EMRAware.com/organisations