In addition to numerous other health affects, electromagnetic pollution has been associated with an increase in the number of individuals suffering from a condition known as electro-hypersensitivity (EHS).
EHS is defined by the World Health Organization as: “…a phenomenon where individuals experience adverse health effects while in the vicinity of devices emanating electric, magnetic, or electromagnetic fields.”
In Australia EHS is acknowledged but not officially recognised and/or clearly understood by all health and medical professionals.
Environmental Stress & Electrosensitivity
EMR expsoure and chronic illness… could there be a connection?
Human beings embody bioelectrical systems. Our hearts and brains are regulated by internal bioelectrical signals. Environmental exposures to artificial EMFs can interact with fundamental biological processes in the human body.
All wireless devices emit EMR. With an increase of emerging wireless technologies, comes emerging public health risks. EMR exposure in our homes and environment from wireless communication technology will be unprecedented over the few years with 5G, industry innovations and the Internet of Things.
In Sweden, EHS is classified as a disability. As a result the government has ensured that health care facilities with low levels of exposure to electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation are available to the public.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission report also acknowledges environmental sensitivity attributed to electromagnetic exposure. Researchers estimate that approximately 3% of the population has severe symptoms of EHS, and another 35% of the population has moderate symptoms such as an impaired immune system and chronic illness (Havas, 2007).
In Australia, individuals report electrosensitivity from being around sources of EMF/EMR such as computers, fluorescent lighting, transformers, wireless antenna, cell and cordless phones, appliances and out of proximity to cell phone towers, electrical substations and power lines.
The Austrian Medical Association has put together a guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of EMF related health problems and illnesses.
1. History of health problems and EMF exposure
A patient questionnaire to facilitate a systematic history of health problems and EMF exposure, compiled by the Austrian Medical
Association’s EMF Working Group, is available here.
The patient questionnaire consists of three sections:
a) List of symptoms
b) Variation of health problems depending on time and location
c) Assessment of EMF exposure
a) List of Symptoms
The list of symptoms in the patient questionnaire serves to systematically quantify stress-related health problems regardless of their causes. It also includes questions on when the health problems first occurred. Most EMF-related symptoms fall within the scope of so-called stress-related health problems (see below).
The biological effects from exposure to EMF/EMR include both adverse health effects and loss of homeostasis and well-being. Symptoms vary from patient to patient depending on their physical biology and exposure intensity and duration. Symptoms quickly improve when away from EMF/EMR sources and symptoms recur on returning to the irradiated environment. Over time, sensitivity is increased to smaller and smaller EMF/EMR exposures. (Sage, 2001)
The health problems may range in severity from benign, temporary symptoms, such as slight headaches or paraesthesia in the head when using a cell phone, to severe, debilitating symptoms that drastically impair physical and mental health.
Opening of the Blood-brain barrier, effects on the dopamine-opiate systems of the brain, and blood cell clumping. See References
Sleep Disturbances & Fatigue
Exposure to EMF can cause insomnia. It impairs our bodies ability to produce melatonin, affecting our circadian rhythms. Only 3 hours of exposure prolongs latency to reach 1st deep sleep cycle, and decreases Stage 4 sleep.
Tinnitus - Ringing In Ears
This is commonly experienced by even mild EHS sufferers. A study at the University of Vienna (Hans-Peter Hutter et al, 2010) found that risk of tinnitus increased with years of cell phone use. Researchers have hypothesised that this is due to an over activated cortical distress network.
If you have a heart pacemaker, you can be adversely affected. But twitch muscle fibers in your heart are also electrically sensitive, and EMF can act like a mild remote defibrillator, causing palpitations and tachycardia. Don’t hold your cell or cordless home phone near your chest or heart!
Neurological Effects - Anxiety or Depression
EMF Affects blood levels of serotonin in participants within 300m of a cell site. See References
Memory Loss Difficulties & Brain Fog
Reduced synaptic activity in hippocampus neurons; Memory loss and neuronal death observed in rats. See References
Hypertension (High Blood pressure)
Found in double-blind studies (see Devra Davis’ book Disconnect)
Burning or Tingling Sensations
Does your ear/temple heat up using a mobile phone? Does the wireless mouse cause your hand to warm. Do titanium plates in any part of your body react to EMF?
Calcium pathway disruptor
Per Dr. Martin Pall in PubMed, non-thermal effects of EMF stimulation include increases bone growth. Is this why the fingers holding your cell phone get rheumatism? Does it also explain the sometimes hereditary onset of diseases like Hypercalcaemia Here is a Mayo Clinic overview: Intracellular Ca2+/calmodiulin dependent nitric oxide increases as a result of EMF stimulation to bone.
The RNCNIRP 2011 mentioned that a number of papers published in 2010 showed immune response to RF EMF and that chronic RF EMF exposure may lead to “borderline psychosomatic disorders.” See Bionititative Report Section here
Myelin is the (cholesterol-like) fatty sheath that covers the so-called ‘white brain cells’. It acts is an electrical insulation for nerves. Since certain types of EMF has been found to damage myelin, EMF is therefore likely to affect onset of diabetes.
Important hormone-regulating glands like the pituitary and pineal glands are compromised by EMF. Melatonin, prolactin, estrous, and gonadotropin, are all affected, leading to immunological and reproductive damage. Mostly these are mediated by ARPANSA-acknowledged thermal effects of EMF.
EHS Treatment Options
1) Reduce EMF Exposure
The primary method of treatment should consist in the prevention or reduction of EMF exposure, taking care to reduce or eliminate all sources of EMF if possible. Many examples have shown that reducing exposure to electric and magnetic fields and high frequency electromagnetic waves can prove effective.
Since sufficient EMF reduction is not possible in all cases, other measures can and must be considered. These include not only keeping additional exposure to a minimum, but also enhancing and increasing resistance to EMF.
3) Holistic Treatments
In some cases, positive effects of holistic medicine treatments have been reported. Holistic treatments such as anti-oxidative and anti-nitrosative therapies, trace elements, vitamins, amino acids.
2) Lifestyle Coaching
Lifestyle coaching (exercise, nutrition, addictive substances, sleeping habits etc.) and stress reduction measures (reduction of general stress and work stress), as well as methods to increase stress resistance (autogenic training, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, breathing techniques, meditation, tai chi, qui gong).
4) Treatment of Symptoms
Treatment of the symptoms until the causes have been identified and eliminated. There is increasing evidence that a main effect of EMF on patients is the reduction of oxidative and nitrosative regulation capacity. This hypothesis also explains observations of changing EMF sensitivity and the large number of symptoms reported in the context of EMF exposure. From the current perspective, it appears useful to recommend a treatment approach such as those gaining ground for multisystem disorders, with the aim of minimizing adverse peroxynitrite effects.
What Do The Experts Say?
A study conducted in 2007 by Abdel-Rassoul et al, published in Neurotoxicology, found that the prevalence of neuropsychiatric complaints, such as headaches (23.5%), memory changes (28.2%), dizziness (18.8%), tremors (9.4%), depressive symptoms (21.7%), and sleep disturbance (23.5%) were significantly higher among those in close proximity to cell phone base stations as opposed to the control group: (10%), (5%), (5%), (0%), (8.8%) and (10%), respectively (P<0.05) ( Abdel-Rassoul et al, 2007)
The BioInitiative Report and Physicians for Safe Technology publish studies showing extreme risks of harm to mitochondria and DNA damage, neurological disorders, hormonal changes, infertility interference, learning, attention and memory deficits, anxiety, depression, heart irregularities and more (IARC, 2011). These studies clearly show adverse health effects on exposure limits way below the current safety standards.
A paper published in The Lancet Planetary Health Planetary electromagnetic pollution: it is time to assess its impact by Oceania Radiofrequency Scientific Advisory Association, serves as a wakeup call.
Biological effects of EMR have been known for over 50 years
The Naval Medical Research Institute Research Report (1972), “Bibliography of Reported Biological Phenomena (‘Effects’) and Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and Radio-Frequency Radiation and The US Defense Intelligence Agency Report (1976) on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation both reports showed adverse effects of radio frequencies and microwaves on life.
Since that time, significant body of scientific evidence has been gained through independent peer-reviewed scientific studies that shows irrefutable risk of harm to health (thermal and non-thermal biological effects) from EMR.
A WHO publication called the International Classification of Diseases (known as ICD-10) provides a code for diagnosis and recognises exposure to non-ionizing radiation, including radio frequency as a adverse health effect.
EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016: Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses.
Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe MD of the United Kingdom delivers presentations to medical doctors and includes mitigation strategies to reduce EHS:
A Summary by Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe
Dr Russell Cooper, MBBCh, MSc, ABAARM, FACNEM, FACoHM, FAMAC, located in Tasmania Australia talks about Biological Markers of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
Letter from Dr Andrew Tresidder MBBS MRCGP (1989) Cert Med Ed, Section 12 Approved Doctor to Medical Colleagues, GPs, Psychiatrists, Neurologists and others:
Electrosensitivity – an Environmental illness, an Authentic Diagnosis, not a Delusional Disorder
Belpomme et al, 2015: 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
German psychiatrist and psychotherapist C Aschermann Observations from a Psychotherapy Practice on Mobile Telecommunications and DECT Telephones
Andrew Tresidder & Michael Bevington: “Electrosensitivity: Sources, Symptoms and Solutions” ch. 47 in: Textbook of Bioelectromagnetic and Subtle Energy Medicine, 2nd ed., Paul Rosch, 2015.
Dieudonné M, 2016: Does electromagnetic hypersensitivity originate from nocebo responses? Indications from a qualitative study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26369906
Even though most people may not feel the effects of EMR, our cells are being damaged. Our bodies are electric, we are all electrosensitive to artificial electromagnetic fields and erratic pulsed modulation signals.
Even in healthy individuals, live blood cell analsyis demonstrates that exposure to wireless devices such as smartphones, Wi-Fi and SMART meters will cause cells to become sticky and clump together (rouleaux formation), impairing immune function.
Brain & Nervous System Analysis
Electro-Encephalographical (EEG) Analysis with EHS persons show large expressiveness in alpha-rhythm parietal-occipital areas.
Slow EEG readings and Central Nervous System reactivity are also indicative of EHS.
24-hour blood pressure monitoring with EHS individuals not experiencing the expected night-time decline when exposed to EMF pollution.
Electro-Cardiography (ECG) with EHS individuals experiencing higher arterial pressure when exposed to EMF pollution.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) tests with EHS individuals experiencing rapid changes in heart rate variability when exposed to blinded DECT cordless phones and Wi-Fi routers. The following illustration was done by Dr. Magda Havas and shows how an EHS individual’s heart rate can be affected by a DECT cordless phone. A non-EHS individual will not see a fluctuation in HRV when exposed to the DECT phone.
Live Blood Analysis After EMR Exposure
Approaching Your Health Profesisonal
Health Professionals Have A Duty Of Care
EHS needs be officially recognised as a health condition by the Australia Government. This condition is included in the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision – (ICD-10), the global standard for diagnostic health information. In Australia, the existing complaints mechanism by which the public can report adverse health effects of EMR is via the Health Complaints Register, managed by Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA). This register is not well promoted to the public and health professionals. Health Professionals are encouraged to do their own research and consider the independent studies available and educate their patients on how to reduce, prevent and treat exposure to EMR.
Medical doctors and health professionals have a duty of care. However, most health professionals may not be familiar with the health risks associated with non-ionising electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted from everyday sources of wireless devices and cell towers. Before your appointment, get prepared and gather credible scientific studies and information. You could choose to send your GP this information to read at least one week prior to your appointment. If you are a SEEN member ask us about the GP Info-Pack.
Ask For A Medical Opinion
Request a written medical opinion from your doctor as to whether EMR emissions are safe or not and whether your fears of risk to your health are valid. Refer to SEEN website for examples of medical opinion letters to give to your GP or use our GP Proforma and ask your doctor to complete.
Medical Opinion Letter
The letter from your doctor, should ideally include their medical expert opinion to validate your claim of fear of harm and risk to your health. Remember, you are not seeking a diagnosis of Electrohypersensitivity.
The letter, should ideally include:
A brief summary of your consultation with your doctor:
- Stating your fear of harm and risk of harm to your health.
- Identifying the RF emissions source(s) in your everyday environment.
- Your health circumstances, health conditions,
- Any presenting symptoms,
- The doctor’s expert medical opinion based on the credible peer reviewed scientific evidence that supports your claim
- Recommendations to mitigate the RF emissions (the Precautionary approach).
- InfoSheet: A guide for GP Appointments
- GP Pro-forma
- GP Info-Pack
- EHS Checklist
*Some resources are available to SEEN Members only.
Take 1-2 printed hand-outs with you to leave with your doctor at your first appointment to solicit their attention. For example, the BioInitative 2012 and Summary for Public and Conclusions Table 1.1 (https://bioinitiative.org/). Check our website for more scientific studies. State your claim of risk to your health, and discuss with your doctor the sources of wireless radiations, and your symptoms.
Request a Follow-up appointment (if required)
Request a follow-up appointment in 2 weeks’ time (if required) to collect your medical opinion letter. If you GP cannot help you, ask for a referral to a specialist medical practitioner that regularly sees patients with electrosensitivities.
So, at your follow-up appointment, you would like to follow-up:
A. Your doctor’s medical opinion that supports your concerns and risk of harm to your health.
B. Obtain a medical opinion in writing in the form of a letter (preferred outcome) OR a completed GP Proforma.
C. If your GP is unable to provide you with a medical opinion, or it’s outside the scope of their professional practice, ask for a referral.
Keep All Correspondence
It is important to keep all correspondence and medical tests as evidence in the event that you wish to object to a Mobile Phone tower or small cell installation or object to other emitters (e.g. Wi-Fi in schools or workplace).
If you are following Broomhall Legal Protocol, then obtaining a medical opinion letter is a requirement. To learn more about the Broomhall Legal Protocol contact SEEN.