What is Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity?
“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). ”
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.
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).