Zweden: De man die allergisch was voor radiogolven. (Upd. + 2nd ext.)

donderdag, 11 maart 2010 - Categorie: Verhalen

Gepubliceerd 24 febr. 2010, laatste wijziging 11 maart 2010

Update in verband met de stortvloed aan reacties op het originele artikel in Popular Science. Zeer veel mensen schrijven onder hun eigen naam over hun eigen ervaringen, daarnaast ook (betaalde?) anonieme bijdragen van zogenaamde deskundigen (van Big Telecom?) die de slachtoffers met dezelfde argumenten als de Nederlandse Gezondheidsraad naar de cognitieve therapie proberen te verwijzen, zo niet erger.

Oorspronkelijk bericht van 24 febr. 2010:

Al in 1993 publiceerde Ericsson een rapport onder de titel “Hypersensitivity in the
Workplace”. Toen al was men er intern van op de hoogte dat sommige mensen van sommige elektromagnetische velden ziek worden, zoals Per Segerbäck, top-ingenieur bij Ericsson.
Zijn ervaringsverhaal is een must voor de auteurs van het Kennisbericht elektrogevoeligheid:

Bron: Popular Science 14 febr. 2010

Per Segerbäck lives in a modest cottage in a nature reserve some 75
miles northeast of Stockholm. Wolves, moose and brown bears roam
freely past his front door. He keeps limited human company, because
human technology makes him physically ill. How ill? On a walk last
summer, he ran into one of his few neighbors, a man who lives in a
cottage about 100 yards away. During their chat, the man’s cellphone
rang, and Segerbäck, 54, was overcome by nausea. Within seconds, he
was unconscious.

Segerbäck suffers from electro-hypersensitivity (EHS), which means he
has severe physical reactions to the electromagnetic radiation
produced by common consumer technologies, such as computers,
televisions and cellphones. Symptoms range from burning or tingling
sensations on the skin to dizziness, nausea, headaches, sleep
disturbance and memory loss. In extreme cases like Segerbäck’s,
breathing problems, heart palpitations and loss of consciousness can

Segerbäck was once an elite telecommunications engineer. He worked
for Ellemtel, a division of the Swedish telecom giant Ericsson, for
more than 20 years, leading an engineering group that designed
advanced integrated circuits for prototype telecommunication systems.
He used the newest and most advanced computer and telecom equipment
available, the kind of stuff only Ericsson and the Swedish military
had access to. He was, as a result, up to his eyeballs in a
non-ionizing radiation bath, from computers, fluorescent lights and
the telecom antenna located right outside his window.

He noticed his first symptoms—dizziness, nausea, headaches, burning
sensations and red blotches on his skin—in the late 1980s, a decade
into his telecommunications research work. All but two of the 20 or so
other members of his group reported similar symptoms, he says,
although his were by far the most severe. His EHS worsened and now, he
says, even radar from low-flying aircraft can set it off. Segerbäck
is convinced that the perfect storm of EMFs in his office, combined
with potentially toxic fumes from his brand-new computer, were
responsible for his condition. “The company doctors didn’t
understand what was going on,” he says.

Agne Fredriksson, who managed Segerbäck’s group at Ellemtel and
retired from Ericsson in 2006, says a commonly reported symptom was
“a feeling of heat in the face,” which everyone attributed to the
new computer workstations. When members of Segerbäck’s group
started calling in sick and people from other departments began
reporting similar symptoms, Fredriksson recalls, “that’s when we
started to look into what could be done about it. There was a lot of
worry from the groups in which people reported the most symptoms.”

A new office space was created for the worst-affected employees; about
half a dozen people shared this fully shielded room. Others switched
to different computer workstations, while others managed by spending
less time in front of their screens. No one had ever encountered
anything like it before. “Why are we so special?” Fredriksson
remembers wondering. He later learned that other companies faced
similar situations at the time, although that information remained

Ericsson went to great lengths to keep Segerbäck, a key member of the
firm’s design team, on the job. In the early 1990s, the company
installed metal shields around his bedroom and study at home so he
could sleep and work without radiation exposure. To enable him to go
outside, medical authorities gave Segerbäck an EMF-resistant suit
like the ones worn by engineers working in close proximity to live
telecom towers and high-voltage power lines. The firm even modified a
Volvo so he could travel safely to and from work. His commutes ended
when cellphone towers began to spring up around Stockholm in the
mid-1990s, eventually forcing his retreat to the woods.

In 1993 Ericsson produced a report, “Hypersensitivity in the
Workplace,” about what happened at Segerbäck’s lab. In the
foreword, Ellemtel’s vice president Örjan Mattsson and
administrative chief Torbjörn Johnson wrote: “A new problem in the
work environment has appeared: hypersensitivity. When dealing with
traditional occupational injury, as a rule you can establish a cause
and effect relationship. Not so with regard to hypersensitivity. When
the first serious cases occurred at Ellemtel at the end of the 1980s,
we were not prepared. Soon, we came to look upon hypersensitivity as a
serious threat to the company business. . . . We started wondering if
we were faced with a modern-day scourge.”


Segerbäck is convinced that cellphones are dangerous. “I’m an engineer, and even I don’t know how to design a phone that doesn’t affect health,” he says. Radiation limits “are all based on thermal effects, and that’s wrong.” In the early stages of his condition, Segerbäck was still able to lead a fairly normal life. His daughter, Anna, was just a child when he became ill. She used to run ahead of him at home switching off all the lights in every room before he entered. It is everyday family life that Segerbäck misses the most, something as simple as the chat and laughter on the morning drive to school.

Today he cooks all his meals on a wood-burning stove. The fireplace is his only source of heat. He has electric lights, a phone and a computer, but their power source—a 12-volt battery—is buried in an underground cellar about 30 yards from his house, far enough away that the EMFs can’t reach him. His computer and his mouse are both surrounded by metal plates so no radiation escapes. His neighbors all know about his condition and (with occasional, painful exceptions) know not to carry cellphones near his house.

Segerbäck is surprisingly sanguine about his situation. “Of course it’s a very sad thing that happened to me,” he says, “but it can only be regarded as an accident. I am a positive person, from a line of very stubborn people able to survive under tough conditions.” He is determined, in his affable, soft-spoken way, to gain greater recognition and greater credibility for EHS. Not by banning cellphones—he’s still too much a telecom engineer for that—but by somehow making cellphones safer. In fact, he even takes some responsibility for being part of an industry that designed devices he now believes are hazardous to people’s health. “Guys like me were so far ahead of society,” he says. “We didn’t know medicine. We didn’t think what we were developing could harm anyone. It’s hard to admit we’ve been wrong for so long.”

Voor het volledige artikel (4 pagina's met foto's) en de stortvloed aan reacties zie: .

Opm. Stopumts:
Als Ericsson al in1993 wist wat elektromagnetische velden bij een topmedewerker kon aanrichten, hadden ze dan niet kunnen bedenken dat er nog veel meer slachtoffers zouden vallen als miljarden mensen met een hoogfrequent zender aan hun hoofd zouden gaan rondlopen?

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