Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is real, can be demonstrated to be real and must be recognised by international authorities.
These are some of the conclusions of the 5th Paris Appeal Congress, held on 18 May in Brussels. The Congress brought together some of the big names in Bioelectromagnetics research and looked at the latest research on the condition.
‘Electromagnetic hypersensitivity exists and has to be recognised, treated and prevented,’ said Dr Michael Kundi, the head of the Institute of Environmental Health at the Medical University of Vienna.
Dr Dominique Belpomme, a professor of cancer oncology and President of the Association for Research and Treatments Against Cancer (ARTAC), said that there are objective biomarkers for diagnosing EHS. He described his study of 1216 patients referred to him with the condition. When tested, he found that 90 of these patients were genuinely electrohypersensitive. His testing showed that exposures caused observable physiological changes, such as increased levels of histamine, which is triggered by exposure and can cause breaching of the blood-brain-barrier. EHS and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) might actually be part of the same condition, involving the thalamus or limbic system, he suggested. There are a number of scientific arguments ‘strongly suggesting that self-reported EHS and/or MCS are causally-related to EMF and/or chemical exposure,’ he said.
There was general consensus that children are vulnerable and must be protected from wireless exposure urgently. Dr David Carpenter said that wireless routers and wireless devices in classrooms create an ‘enormous’ level of radiofrequency radiation. ‘Not only are children more vulnerable to environmental exposures, but if we allow our children in schools, where they’re supposed to be learning, to be exposed to an agent that reduces their ability to pay attention and learn and promotes illness, this is a tragedy, it’s foolish and we should act to reduce exposure.’
Professor Lennart Hardell said that it is necessary, ‘to abandon the wireless communication in schools. I see this as the rising big problem for human health.’ He referred to the IARC’s decision to classify radiofrequency radiation as a Class 2B (‘possible’) human carcinogen and said that the evidence of carcinogenicity has increased since then. ‘If there’s something that is at least a possible human carcinogen, why are we exposing our children to that when we don’t know the long-term effects?’
“We need biologically based public health standards and we need them now.”
A number of speakers criticised the thermally-based international standards of the World Health Organisation. Dr Michael Kundi said that there is a growing community of scientists who oppose the thermal basis of current standards. Cindy Sage, co-editor of the BioInitiative Reports of 2007 and 2012, referred to the plethora of scientific research showing evidence that everyday levels of exposure that comply with international standards cause harm. ‘We need biologically based public health standards and we need them now,’ she said.
Dr Carpenter pointed out that standards are generally set by engineers and physicists rather than the biologists and health experts who are better equipped to consider health effects of exposure.
Dr William Rea, from the Environmental Health Centre in Dallas, said that chemical sensitivity has been recognised since the time of Hippocrates and perhaps even earlier. He described the setup at his Dallas clinic, discussed different methods of testing for the condition and some of the methods he uses to treated it. People with MCS have abnormal brain scans and 80 percent of people with EHS have chemical sensitivity, Rea said.
Dr Igor Belyaev, from the Russian Academy of Science, discussed studies showing that fields from both electrical and wireless sources produce clear biological effects. These effects, he said, have been shown to depend on metals, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and antioxidants in the exposed subjects. ‘These studies provide a mechanistic background for the treatment of electromagnetic hypersensitivity based on chelating divalent metals, reducing ROS and balancing vitamins.’
Dr S Mortazavi from Iran spoke about the risks of mercury in amalgam fillings and proposed the hypothesis that foetal exposure to mercury could contribute to autism spectrum disorders.
Ms Sage said that the next step was to lobby the World Health Organisation to recognise EHS and MCS as real diseases. The presentations of the 5th Paris Appeal Congress can be found at: http://appel-de-paris.com/?page_id=1667&lang=en
About The Author - Lyn McLean is a consumer advocate, author and educator and has been monitoring and writing on the subject of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) for over 20 years. She is the director of EMR Australia.