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What is Electro-Sensitivity?
Electromagnetic-Sensitivity (ES) 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. 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.
What type of devices can cause ES symptoms?
Symptoms from wireless sources – Most people who develop ES manifest symptoms as a result of exposure to wireless based technologies, including cell phones, Wi-Fi, cordless phones, microwave ovens, wireless utility “smart meters”, cell towers and antennas, radars, wireless baby monitors, Bluetooth and other wireless devices which use the radio (RFs) and microwave (MWs) frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Symptoms from Electric sources – People who develop ES may also experience symptoms when they are exposed to non-wireless electric devices such as refrigerators, air conditions, hair dryers, power-lines which use the lower frequencies (ELFs) of the electromagnetic spectrum.
How can people suffer symptoms from wireless devices?
Humans are electric beings. Our brain, heart and nervous system are electric systems, they work using electric frequencies and pulses and emit EMFs. Therefore all humans are affected by external and manmade EMFs. We have been using EMF-based equipment for various medical treatments for decades because they have biological effects. We are all in a way Electro-Sensitive, since radiation affects all of us. The difference is that people who develop the condition “ES” experience and can detect physiological reactions when they are exposed to radiation while those who are not yet ES are affected by it but do not feel the damage.
To what levels of radiation do people with ES react?
Once people develop the intolerance they may be reacting to extremely low levels of radiation and levels significantly lower than those emitted by wireless sources and from those they were able tolerate previously.
What are the most common symptoms of ES?
The first Symptoms people who develop ES usually experience are a tingling in their hands and pain and a feeling of heat in their head when using a cell phone. Common symptoms include headaches, sleep disturbances, a feeling of pressure in the head, heat in the face, pain in the ears, chest pressure, heart palpitations, nose bleeds, sinuses problems, dizziness, memory and cognitive problems, weakness and exhaustion, tinnitus, flu like symptoms that do not go away, nausea, muscle pain, a burning and twitching of the eyes, night sweats, noise and light sensitivity depression and anxiety. People may experience different symptoms from different radiation sources and the symptoms may change from one day to another and from one person to another.
Does everyone with ES experience the same symptoms and with the same severity?
The symptoms experienced by people with ES vary both in type and intensity. A person can be described as suffering from ES whether he has one symptom or many symptoms as long as the symptom can be correlated to exposure to EMFs. There are different levels of ES. For some it may be merely a nuisance and the sufferer will be able to continue and function within society. For others, the symptoms will be severe and disabling and they may be forced to leave their job, home and withdraw from society in a desperate search for a place without radiation, which is increasingly impossible to find. For stories on Canadians with ES, go to: www.c4st.org/es-stories/electro-sensitive-stories.html .
Do symptoms appear immediately with exposure?
The symptoms may appear every time there is an exposure or occasionally. They can appear immediately with exposure or after a prolonged exposure or hours after the exposure ended.
Are children more vulnerable to develop ES?
Children are a more vulnerable population to develop ES as their skulls are thinner, their nervous systems are still developing and their hormonal systems are changing. Many children develop the condition but most of them are not diagnosed. Some children who experience symptoms and can associate them to their cell phone or other wireless gadgets, hide them from their parents. It is likely that the increase in the rate of children suffering from ES is a result of the irresponsible and uncontrolled deployment of Wi-Fi in schools.
What symptoms are common amongst children?
The most common first symptoms amongst children are pain in the head when using the cell phone, headaches, pain in the temples, noise sensitivity, exhaustion, nausea and vomiting, nose bleeds, deterioration in their school work as a result of developing cognitive difficulties, memory problem and symptoms of ADD. Children may complain that it becomes difficult for them to follow the teacher and the material.
What kind of physiological harm do the symptoms indicate?
Physiological research shows that the symptoms experienced by people with ES are an indication of severe physiological injuries. Prof. Dominique Belpomme’s research which was published in 2015, examined 673 people with ES. The research found severe injuries including breakage of the Blood Brain Barrier, damage to the limbic system and the thalamus, oxidative stress, autoimmune damage and neurodegeneration (Belpomme et al 2015). Prof. Belpomme’s research started in 2008, and although the findings were not yet published, the data from the research was quoted by the Council of Europe in its 2011 opinion paper on wireless harms “The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment” as support to its determination that ES is a physiological condition of intolerance to electromagnetic fields and radiation (sections 8.1.4 & 22).
Many other published peer-reviewed studies found severe physiological injuries from radiation in people with ES including heart irregularities, damage to the autonomous nervous system regulation when exposed to RF (Wilén et al, 2006); effects on the heart rate, heart rate spectrum ratio spectrum, electrodermal activity and changes in alpha and theta spectral bands of EEG when exposed to magnetic fields (Lyskov et al 2001); reduced intracortical facilitation (Landgrebe et al, 2007) ; thyroid dysfunction, liver dysfunction and chronic inflammatory processes (Dahmen et al, 2009); changes in (1) heart rate variability (2) microcirculation (capillary blood flow) which is analyzing the capacity of autonomous nervous activity (3) electric skin potentials (Tuengler et al 2013)
Do we know the mechanism of ES?
The mechanism of ES is not yet known but more papers with suggested potential mechanisms are being published (for example, Prof. Martin Pall’s paper form 2013) . Following the findings of Prof. Belmomme’s research (Belpomm et al 2015), it is possible that ES may not be one condition with one mechanism but a few separate conditions, all caused by exposure to EMFs and manifesting similar symptoms, but the type of injury and the mechanism of each injury is different. It is important to note that it is not necessary for a mechanism of a condition to be understood or proven in order for the condition to be recognized and diagnosed. We still do not know the physiological mechanism of many recognized conditions.
Is ES a diagnosable condition?
ES is a medically diagnosable condition. A substantial and increasing body of objective diagnostic tests and guidelines for the diagnosis and management of the condition exist.
In 2011 The Austrian Medical Association published Guidelines for the diagnosis of ES. The Guidelines rely on 3 principles (1) the ability of a person to correlate between cause and symptoms, which is the basis and important tool for every medical diagnosis (2) a list of objective diagnostic tests (3) the elimination of other potential causes. These guidelines have been adopted by doctors around the world.
New additional tests and bio-markers can be found in the research of Prof. Belpomme (Belpomme et al 2015) which was published in 2015. Additional scientific papers suggest bio-markers for the diagnostic of ES including metabolic and DNA testing (De Luca et al, 2014) and Prof. Von-Klitzing’s research (Tunegler & Von Klitzing 2013) showed that when some people with ES are exposed to radiation from cell phones, cordless phones and Wi-Fi changes can be recorded with their (1) heartrate variability (2) microcirculation (capillary blood flow) which is analyzing the capacity of autonomous nervous activity and (3) electric skin potentials. While such provocation tests that show immediate physiological changes as a result of exposure to radiation are ideal, these tests must be conducted in an environment clean from radiation which does not exist in normal medical facilities and is difficult to create.
The EMF Working Group of the European Academy for Environmental Medicine (EUROPAEM) is currently working on a comprehensive European EMF Guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of ES and will include the recent findings and tests of Belpomme. The guidelines are in the final stages of editing and scheduled for publication soon.
In Canada, The Environmental Health clinic at Toronto Women’s Hospital can diagnosis and offer advice for the treatment of ES. www.womenscollegehospital.ca/programs-and-services/environmental-health-clinic/
Can my family doctor diagnose ES?
Family doctors should be able to diagnose ES reliably even without additional tests. The most important and elementary tool of diagnosis for a doctor is the ability of the patient to correlate between the cause and the manifestation of symptoms and the way the patient describes the symptoms. There are many conditions of which the mechanism is unknown and for which no diagnostic tests exist, such as the case of Migraines. Doctors diagnose Migraines only based on the way the patients are describing the headache. The same can and should be applied to ES. If a person feels pain in the head every time they use a cell phone, then clearly the cause of the pain is the cell phone. It is basic common sense especially if the person is credible and shows no psychological issues otherwise.
Accepting that a person feels a pain from their cell phones and that the cell phone may cause such pain is a matter of simple common sense and science. Not only are the symptoms of people with ES documented in the scientific literature (though unfortunately most doctors are unaware of them) but also it makes sense that such effects may occur. The radiation from cell phones and other manmade wireless sources is not “low” as it is often suggested. It is in fact a trillion times higher than the radiation in the natural environment in which we evolved. Since our brain, heart and nervous system are electric, external electric sources with such high levels of radiation will have an impact on our body and physiological electric system.
What treatments exist for ES?
Currently there is no treatment for ES. People who develop the condition should take immediate steps to avoid exposure and if not possible, they should reduce exposure as much as possible. Research has shown that reduction of exposure is the most effective “treatment” (Hagström et al, 2013). The research also shows that psychogenic treatments and medications were much less effective than avoidance providing yet another proof that ES is a physiological condition not a psychogenic one and that any contention to the contrary is baseless.
How many people suffer from ES? (What is the prevalence of ES in the population?)
ES is a widespread condition with the rate of people who suffer from it increasing rapidly. It is already in the scale of an epidemic. While the WHO in 2004 estimated the rate of ES in the population as 3%, , this estimation is based only on a couple of older surveys that were conducted before the massive proliferation of wireless technology. Surveys conducted by leading universities and institutions up to 2005 indicate a significantly higher rate with an average of 10%. Surveys in Germany found 9% (2005) 8% (2003), 6% (2002); in England 11% (2004); in Austria 7%-19% (2003); in Switzerland 5% (2005). A list with a reference to all the surveys that were conducted up to 2005 can be found in a paper by (Hallberg & Oberfeld 2006). The health minister of Norway also stated in 2013 that up to 10% of the population is suffering from ES. This data makes it clear that the attempt to suggest that those who suffer from the condition are a small fraction of the population that is “sensitive” and their response to radiation deviate from that of the general population are false.
Further, nowadays exposure to wireless radiation is no longer voluntary and radiation is everywhere which makes it harder for people to realize that the source of their symptoms is the radiation. Therefore, it is possible that the rates of ES are significantly higher than surveys may indicate.
Can everyone develop ES?
Everyone can develop ES. People are not born with ES but develop it as a result of exposure to radiation from wireless sources. People usually get ES either by a one-time acute exposure (for example, acute exposure of cell tower antenna installers) or by chronic and cumulative exposure from normal exposure to wireless sources. As with other conditions a person may have a disposition towards a certain condition and therefore may develop it sooner than another person with the same exposure. The increasingly high prevalence of ES makes it clear that the attempts to suggest those who suffer from the condition are a small fraction of the population that is “sensitive” or that its response to radiation deviates from that of the general population are false.
Will everyone develop ES?
Many studies conducted on the general population (not merely on people with ES) to evaluate potential health effects from exposure to radiation from cell towers, cell phones, smart meters and other wireless sources, indicate that many people in the general population (i.e., those who do not identify themselves as suffering from ES), are experiencing the same symptoms which people with ES report (Santini et al 2003). These findings suggest that many people are not aware that their symptoms result from exposure to wireless sources and therefore the rate of ES in the population is underestimated. These studies also indicate that if the levels of radiation continue to rise and assuming that the exposure of the population continues, the entire population may develop ES.
Was ES Proven Scientifically?
ES has been scientifically proven by numerous peer-reviewed, double-blinded studies including (1) subjective provocation studies (2) objective physiological provocation studies (3) physiological studies and (4) hundreds of studies which proved that the same symptoms reported by people with ES, and the physiological injuries suffered by people with ES, can result from exposure to radiation.
There are subjective studies which prove that some people with ES can detect radiation. For example, in 2011, a research led by Prof. Andrew Marino, one of the most prominent EMF scientists, proved that an ER doctor who suffers from ES can reliably detect EMFs. The authors determined that “EMF hypersensitivity can occur as a bona fide environmentally inducible neurological syndrome” (McCarty et al, 2011).
There are also numerous objective physiological provocation studies where people who suffer from ES were exposed to EMFs and the study recorded physiological manifestations resulting from the exposure. Scientifically, these are the more important studies, as they do not rely on the subjective perception of the subjects, but test objectively measured physiological changes. They also prove causation between the exposure to EMFs and the manifestation of physiological reactions and provide bio-markers for the diagnosis of ES.
Some of these studies have proven heart irregularities, damage to autonomous nervous system regulation from exposure to RF (Wilén et al, 2006); effects on the heart rate, heart rate spectrum ratio spectrum, electrodermal activity and changes in alpha and theta spectral bands of EEG when exposed to magnetic fields (Lyskov et al 2001); reduced intracortical facilitation (Landgrebe et al, 2007) ; thyroid dysfunction, liver dysfunction and chronic inflammatory processes (Dahmen et al, 2009); changes in (1) heart rate variability (2) microcirculation (capillary blood flow) which is analyzing the capacity of autonomous nervous activity (3) electric skin potentials (Tuengler et al 2013).
Is ES recognized by international organizations?
ES has been recognized by international organizations including the European Parliament (2009) as part of a resolution on EMFs and Health which passed with a majority of 559 to 22 , and the Council of Europe (2011). In a report titled “The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment” following an extensive and unbiased investigation, the Council concluded that “…A syndrome of intolerance to electromagnetic fields (SIEMF) does exist and that those people are not feigning illness or suffering from psychiatric disorders”.
Is ES recognized by the World Health Organization?
The WHO in 2005 recognized ES is a real condition and wrote that “symptoms are certainly real…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.” Nevertheless, the WHO concluded that correlation to EMFs was not established. The report is a sham, contaminated by industry involvement. Even if it contained some specks of truth, recent scientific advances, human evidence and the recognition by courts and important international organizations prove it has been rendered obsolete.
Which countries have recognized ES?
Amongst countries which recognized ES is Russia who acknowledged ES as far back as the 60s when it was called “microwave sickness”. Sweden recognized ES in 2000. In 2011 a Spanish Court recognized that a University Prof. suffered from ES and awarded her disability. In 2014 the German Supreme Court of Administrative Litigation recognized that a person suffered from ES as a result of exposure to radiation while in the army. Recently, in 2015, a French Court determined that a woman suffered from an “Allergy to Wi-Fi” and awarded her disability payments. In 2015 the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition to ban Wi-Fi in schools. Following the presentation of evidence of children who suffer from ES, the court wrote that it expects the government to follow its own words and accommodate children who may suffer from sensitivity to RF. Furthermore it stated that if the government would not act accordingly, then “the doors of the court are open for the Plaintiffs to sue”. The head of the Radiation Department in the Israeli Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also admitted that “there are children who suffer from ES”. In 2014, the Attorney Generals of the cities of Boston and Philadelphia in the US, wrote to the Federal Communication Commission regarding its policy on EMR and its obsolete safety standards and demanded the protection of the rights of people who suffer from ES.
What is the Canadian Government and institutions position regarding ES?
The Canadian Human Rights commission recognizes ES and states those living with environmental sensitivities are entitled to the protection of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.
Here is the policy statement
Here is the medical perspective
Here is the legal perspective
Canada’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health dedicated three sessions to hearing expert testimony regarding Health Canada’s safety guidelines for wireless technology. Their final report, tabled to the Canadian Parliament in June, 2015, received support from all parties. Six of its twelve recommendations were related to ES. The report can be found here.
See the original article (link on top) for the many links therein and for references at the end.
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