Information

What is Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity?

Sensitivity to EMF has been given the general name “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity” or EHS. It comprises nervous system symptoms like headache, fatigue, stress, sleep disturbances, skin symptoms like prickling, burning sensations and rashes, pain and ache in muscles and many other health problems. As written in the proceedings from the International Workshop on EMF Hypersensitivity organized by the WHO in Prague in 2004,

“Whatever its cause, EHS is a real and sometimes a disabling problem for the affected persons. Drawing on the findings in report we recommend treating EHS clinically as part of the group of chronic multisystem illnesses (CMI), but still recognizing that the underlying cause remains the environment. In the beginning, EHS symptoms occur only occasionally, but over time they may increase in frequency and severity. Common EHS symptoms include headaches, concentration difficulties, sleep problems, depression, a lack of energy, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms.

As of 2019, no official research or findings have drawn conclusive evidence to the main causal factor of people who suffer from the effects of long term exposure across the frequencies of the Electromagnetic Field (EMF). ”

However one fact remains that although no one causal link has yet been found conclusively, there is no denying the fact of the existence of the condition itself is real. The WHO workshop on Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity held in Prague on October 25-27, 2004 was arranged in collaboration with the National Reference Laboratory for Non-Ionizing Radiation, Ministry of Health, Czech Republic and was cosponsored by the European Commission Coordinated Action EMF-NET and the Action COST 281 (Potential Health Implications from Mobile Communication Systems) within the European Framework for Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research.

As of 2019, no official research or findings have drawn conclusive evidence to the main causal factor of people who suffer from the effects of long term exposure across the frequencies of the Electromagnetic Field (EMF). However one fact remains that although no one causal link has yet been found conclusively, there is no denying the fact of the existence of the condition itself is real. The WHO workshop on Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity held in Prague on October 25-27, 2004 was arranged in collaboration with the National Reference Laboratory for Non-Ionizing Radiation, Ministry of Health, Czech Republic and was cosponsored by the European Commission Coordinated Action EMF-NET and the Action COST 281 (Potential Health Implications from Mobile Communication Systems) within the European Framework for Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research.

Main conclusion from the workshop is that EHS is characterized by a variety of non-specific symptoms that differ from individual to individual. The symptoms are certainly real and can vary widely in their severity. For some individuals the symptoms can change their lifestyle. The term "Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance (IEI) with attribution to EMF" was proposed by the working group to replace EHS since the latter implies that a causal relationship has been established between the reported symptoms and EMF. The term IEI originated from a workshop convened by the International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS) of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1996 in Berlin. IEI is a descriptor without any implication of chemical etiology, immunological sensitivity or EMF susceptibility.

Rather it has been described as:
  • an acquired disorder with multiple recurrent symptoms,
  • associated with diverse environmental factors tolerated by the majority of people,
  • not explained by any known medical, psychiatric or psychological disorder.

In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO)/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as a Group 2B 'Possible Human Carcinogen’. According to Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe, founder of PHIRE (Physician’s Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment) in her ‘Summary to Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity’, stated these few points:

Recognized by World Health Organization (WHO):

The WHO states that 'symptoms are certainly real' and 'in some cases can be disabling'. ‘Some studies suggest that certain physiological responses of IEI individuals tend to be outside the normal range. In particular, the findings of hyper reactivity in the central nervous system and misbalance in the autonomic nervous system need to be followed up in clinical investigations and the results for the individuals taken as input for possible treatment.’

Proven physiological condition:

EHS has been demonstrated in a published, peer-reviewed, double blind research study, as an ‘environmentally inducible bona-fide neurological syndrome’, and other provocation tests corroborate this evidence. In addition, multiple papers have demonstrated physiological variations in those with EHS and genetic variations. Furthermore, mechanisms are evolving that may explain the symptomatology of EHS. Therefore, increasingly, professional bodies are recognizing this as a physiological condition.

Recognized as a functional impairment::

-Under the disability act in Sweden, USA and Canada.
-Legal cases are now being won for long term disability pensions/compensation (Australia, France, Spain, UK and United States.
-The UN and the European Parliament have made clear the requirement for equal opportunities for those with EHS.

Medical guidelines for management exist:

Medical guidelines have been drawn up for doctors to diagnose and manage the condition physiologically with advice to urgently reduce exposure, and this advice is echoed by many other organizations. Additionally, research has shown avoidance can be the only reliable form of management to improve symptoms. Currently the most reliable way to diagnose EHS is via history, i.e. it is a clinical diagnosis, but there are other tests currently being used in the private sector and in the research forum believed by their users to be diagnostic or aid diagnosis.

Vulnerable groups and white zones:

In addition to those with EHS and children, other vulnerable groups include the elderly, pregnant women, foetuses and those with co-morbidity (concurrent) illnesses. In order to protect vulnerable groups there has been increased call for designated, legally protected white zones (no or low EMF areas).

Subscribing also to the recommendations European Academy for Environmental Medicine (EUROPAEM) EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses, it has been stated by the authors that “the primary method of treatment should mainly focus on the prevention or reduction of EMF exposure, that is, reducing or eliminating all sources of high EMF exposure at home and at the workplace.” The reduction of EMF exposure should also be extended to public spaces such as schools, hospitals, public transport, and libraries to enable persons with EHS an unhindered use (accessibility measure). If a detrimental EMF exposure is reduced sufficiently, the body has a chance to recover and EHS symptoms will be reduced or even disappear. Many examples have shown that such measures can prove effective. To increase the effectiveness of the treatment, the broad range of other environmental factors that contribute to the total body burden should also be addressed. Anything that supports homeostasis will increase a person’s resilience against disease and thus against the adverse effects of EMF exposure
.

"To download and read the full reports featured above, please subscribe below:"

Subscribe Now