- "A lot of people report symptoms similar to yours,
and there is even a name for it, electrical hypersensitivity (EHS)",
writes Chiyoji Ohkubo of the EMF-radiation project of the World Health
Organisation (WHO) in an e-mail to a patient. Though the WHO confirms the
problem is serious, there will be a 'fact sheet' by the EMF-project within
a few weeks, totally denying the existence of radiation sickness. The information
is based on instructions by a working group of five people in Prague, 2004.
It reads like a political manifesto, to hush up the epidemic and leave
the patients behind without any care.
- Symptoms of electromagnetic radiation sickness are for
example sleep disturbances, dizziness, heart palpitations, headache, blurry
sight, swelling, nausea, a burning skin, vibrations, electrical currents
in the body, pressure on the breast, cramps, high blood pressure and general
unwell-being. According to many testimonies of victims the symptoms appear
in the vicinity of sources of electromagnetic radiation, like GSM- and
3G (UMTS)-antennas, cellphones, DECT wireless telephones and WIFI wireless
networks. Many times the experiences are blind. Radiation measurements
taken afterwards and investigations show, that the radiation density indeed
is increased. Many sufferers find out the relationship with the radiation,
when they stay for a while elsewhere, where the symptoms diminish or disappear.
When they return home the symptoms immediately appear again. Many of the
patients decide to move to another place. Others try to shield themselves
against the radiation, for example building a Faraday cage of fine wire
- Canary bird sings again
- In one documented case a canary bird did not sing anymore
and lost his feathers. The cage was at fifty metres distance from a GSM-antenna.
After his owner had put a Faraday cage of fine wire mesh around the cage,
shielding against part of the radiation, the bird started singing again
and did not pick his skin anymore. So, the symptoms are real and not imaginative.
That is confirmed by the co-ordinator of the EMF-radiation project, Michael
Repacholi. He says, he has met many people who suffer from radiation sickness
and electrical hypersensitivity. "I know how much it affects people
and that the symptoms are real", he writes. But the EMF-project refuses
to comment the many thrustworthy and verifiable testimonies. Repacholi
says it is his responsibility, to tell the public that the problems do
not exist, since science can not find 'electrosensitivity' in people. Of
course not. Humans do not have a sense for the electromagnetic radiation
of the relevant frequencies.
- Secretariat only
- The World Health Organisation does nothing at all to
recognize and take care of the many sufferers reporting electromagnetic
radiation sickness. Nothing is done to prevent future victims, nothing
to map the epidemic and assess the high risks. The reports are not checked
by anybody, not even on a national or local scale. The EMF-radiation project
does not even answer highly relevant questions about individual and collected
cases. Repacholi: "WHO does not make conclusions. WHO gets its information,
conclusions and recommendations from experts worldwide. WHO staff only
act as the secretariat to facilitate this process and then to promote the
results through normal channels of communication. WHO staff do not make
the conclusions and recommendations on any issue. They are merely the administrators
of the project." However, that is in contradiction with the 'fact
sheet'. The instructions for this information leaflet were formulated in
Prague, October 2004, by a group of five people, including Emilie van Deventer
of the EMF-project. These are more than recommendations - they are instructions
of a political character.
- Information for the public
- The information leaflet will be a political document,
though it is called 'fact sheet'. It gives information for the general
public, the medical world and the governments. The instructions for the
public: the symptoms of electromagnetic radiation sickness exist, but it
is not allowed to attribute them to radiation. Electrical hypersensitivity
(EHS) should not be registered or investigated. The public should be warned
against products to measure radiation density and to shield against electromagnetic
radiation from GSM- and 3G (UMTS)-antennas, DECT wireless telephones, WIFI
wireless networks etcetera. Measurements are to be discouraged. There should
not be made any correlation between the symptoms and following diseases
and disabilities. The public should be reminded that only ionisating radiation,
X-rays and radioactive radiation, is considered to be able to damage health.
The symptoms of electromagnetic radiation sickness should be interpreted
as the consequences of stress by the introduction of new technologies.
- No diagnosis, no classification
- The political message is clear. Health problems caused
by electromagnetic radiation are not allowed to exist, even if a lot of
people report them in thrustworthy and verifiable testimonies. The base
of the coming information leaflet is a political document. Governments
are instructed to develop tailored information for medical practitioners.
The working group writes, that governments are not allowed to propose an
official diagnosis, nor to introduce a classification for handicap status.
That is a reaction to Sweden, where the Federation of Electrical Hypersensitive
(FEB) is a member of the umbrella organization of federations of handicapped.
Indirectly FEB receives some funds from the government. A few hospitals
in Sweden even have a radiation free room. Governments who ignore the instructions
of the WHO, are accused by Repacholi to foster victimisation and "to
perpetuate a myth". Institutions who take the reports of citizens
seriously, get a warning shot across the bows.
- Appropriate interaction
- The EMF-project makes a small exception. The instructions
say the symptoms may be registered, as Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance
attributed to Electro Magnetic Fields (IEI-EMF). But the political instructions
continue. Governments have to make an end to measurements of radiation
densities and structures. They have to develop 'appropriate interaction'
with self-help groups. At last governments have to promote dialogue, to
take away the anxiousness about the electromagnetic radiation sickness.
After reading these instructions the questions are: how do the lots of
reports by people who are sick by electromagnetic radiation relate to this
'fact sheet'? Why WHO refuses to give comment on the many thrustworthy
and verifiable testimonies and cases? Why are these reports not registered
- Epidemiological research
- The scientific foundations of the instructions and the
leaflet are weak. Like with asbestos the only research that can give proof
is epidemiological research, because electromagnetic radiation is a man-made
environmental factor. According to the website <http://www.stopumts.nl/>http://www.stopumts.nl
of Etwald Goes all epidemiologic research until now found negative impact
on well-being and health, from sleep disturbances to death. Moreover, it
is impossible that the negative impact does not exist, since more than
half of the in vitro and in vivo laboratory and provocative research finds
damage. Such investigations can never fully represent true life with all
the parameters of permanent exposure of living people, animals and plants.
However, if most of these investigations show a negative impact, something
must be the matter. Indeed there is a problem, according to the lots of
reports WHO mentions.
- Swiss study
- Politicians should play the ball now. A growing amount
of municipalities takes the anxiousness of citizens seriously, but they
don't register or investigate the reports of electromagnetic radiation
sickness. Politicians are not much interested in this part of public health.
They wait for the results of a study in Switzerland, about 3G (UMTS) and
well-being. Coordinator Peter Achermann: "we are currently in the
process of analyzing the data. We hope to have a publication ready by the
end of 2005." Before he warned the politicians that whatever are the
results of the study, it does not say anything about postponed effects
and the consequences of permanent radiation. It has been established already,
that these effects exist. In a report for T-Mobile by the Jlich Institute
of May 9 2005, the experts report effects on the central nervous system,
cerebral bloodflow, neuronal activity, EEG, working of the brain and cognitive
function. The European Reflex study found damage to DNA, which is an confirmation
of earlier research and has been confirmed afterwards.
- Political manifesto
- Scientifically the harmfulness of electromagnetic radiation
is proven, based on the many testimonies and anamneses, epidemiological
research and most of the laboratory and provocative research. Nevertheless,
the EMF-project of the WHO denies the existence of electromagnetic radiation
sickness and even promotes the non-existence, though many scientists give
a warning. The EMF-project works together with scientists who serve the
wireless providers, not even keeping the appearance of independency. They
simply do not take notion of or wipe away the epidemiologic research and
make laboratory studies cancel each other out, which is scientifically
inadmissible. The 'fact sheet' therefore is not a scientifically responsible
and independent document. The information leaflet is based on instructions
by a working group of only five people, organised by and participated by
the EMF-project itself. It is reasonable to call it a political manifesto.
- correspondence with Chiyoji Ohkubo, Michael Repacholi
of the EMF-project, WHO, Geneva
- correspondence with Peter Achermann of the Institute
of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Zrich
- 'Bobje zingt weer' (canary bird sings again) in Dutch
newspaper De Telegraaf, August 19 2005
- sauvonsleon.fr (42 testimonies in French around one antenna
- >stopumts.nl (questions about health and radiation:
- who.int/peh-emf/meetings/hypersens_wgrep_oct04.pdf (page
- http://www.feb.se and many other websites, like microwavenews.com
- Written by Frans van Velden
- Frans is an accredited journalist