While many scientists believe that low-powered EMF, such as comes from cell phones and WiFi, affects all living tissue. However, there is a group of people who are more vulnerable to damage from EMF— the electro hypersensitive.
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (or EHS) is a condition in which people suffer from symptoms — such as headaches, fatigue and disrupted sleep — which are attributed to a heightened sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation (EMF). In some cases, the symptoms are so extreme, that those who suffer from EHS find themselves unable to function, to work, or to participate in society.
One recent sign that this condition is receiving more recognition, is a new apartment building that recently opened in Switzerland. As the article explains, this building is designed for those who are hypersensitive to several different environmental pollutants, including perfumes and smoke, as well as microwave radiation.
No smoking, no perfume, no mobile phone use — the list of rules at a newly opened apartment building on the outskirts of Zurich is long.
For a reason: the structure has been purpose built for people who say exposure to everyday products like perfume, hand lotion or wireless devices make them so sick they cannot function…
Many occupants also suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity, in which electrical circuits and radiation from wireless equipment make them equally ill.
“It makes me weak, anxious, I can’t breath, my lungs hurt, and I get dizzy,” says Schifferle, who suffers from both conditions.
While living in the building will not cure Schifferle or others, it aims to make daily lives more comfortable for people whose conditions have often left them isolated and unable to hold jobs.
And as the number of technologies that emit EMF continues to grow, EHS is becoming a more serious concern as it is increasingly difficult for those who suffer from the condition to find any respite— it is increasingly difficult to find locations that do not have detectable levels of EMF radiation from a wide variety of devices and communications systems.
As with many aspects of EMF science, there has been a debate about the validity of EHS. However, it is increasingly recognized as a real medical condition— even while there remains no tests to verify its presence. And an increasing number of organizations and standards-setting bodies recognize the existence of EHS, even as questions remain about how to address the problem.
As Paul Demers, director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre in Toronto stated, regarding the recent review of Safety Code 6 (that governs EMF exposures in the Canadian population), which he chaired:
Demers said members heard testimony from a number of people who considered themselves to be hypersensitive to emissions, with symptoms that fall under a broadly defined category called idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields, or IEI-EMF.
“We were very concerned with the health of these folks who did present to the panel,” he said. “So we recommended that Health Canada further investigate their problem … understanding their health conditions and finding ways to find effective treatments for these individuals.”
While everyone should attempt to minimize their exposure to non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, it is important to remember there is a group of individuals for whom this is a more pressing concern, impacting many aspects of their daily lives.