The Environmental Health Clinic at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto recently held an educational event on the environmental health condition called electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EMS, aka EHS). Dr. Ray Copes, chief, environmental and occupational health, Public Health Ontario, Dr. Magda Havas, associate professor of environmental and resource studies, Trent University, and Dr. Riina Bray, medical director, Environmental Health Clinic, WCH were among the speakers.
“We need to create more awareness about this condition,” said Dr. Riina Bray. “Health-care practitioners need to better understand EMS (EHS) so they can help their patients prevent and manage their symptoms. The public needs to know how to protect themselves from the broad range of health impacts electromagnetic fields have on their minds and bodies.”
Recognition of EHS is slowly growing as more people are affected. The number of wireless devices is growing, and it’s difficult to avoid exposure. Smart meters on every house, cell phones in nearly every pocket, cell towers in every neighbourhood, wifi in every other café and home… Never before in human history have we been exposed in this way.
I personally am lucky that compared to some people, my EHS symptoms are mostly mild to middling, although they have been severe at times.
I had problems with fluorescent lights causing migraine headaches since junior high, and those problems intensified as years went bye. Things got worse after myriad chemical exposures while living in what became the sick house in Toronto. Having my health knocked back so much by the chemical injuries made me more vulnerable to developing EHS. I think it was wearing a wireless microphone for a tv news interview that really triggered it for me. After wearing the mike for about 30 minutes, I felt buzzing for the rest of the day. Having very high dirty electricity measurements in the house did not help (bad wiring, probably not to code, including some old knob and tube in parts of the house).
The biggest (most obvious) problems I’ve experienced are with the phone. Thanks later to a BELL tech at the cabin who identified stray voltage or current on the phone line, who then found me a line that was free of this current, and having my symptoms resolve, I now understand the issues I was having with my phone in Toronto were also due to stray voltage on the line there, probably because it was illegally cut and patched several times. I didn’t know to ask Bell to test the line for stray current then, but now whenever my head starts buzzing from using the phone, I’ve asked them to check, and sure enough… they’ve found some.
It got so bad for me in Toronto that from a couple of minutes on the phone, it felt like a swarm of angry bees was buzzing around inside my head, and the longer I tried to ignore it, the longer it took before I could use the phone again without the effects becoming excrutiatingly disabling. I was down to being able to use the phone for less than 5 minutes a WEEK and this small amount of time exacerbated the symptoms I was already experiencing from the chemical exposures in addition to making my head feel like the swarm of bees was in there. All this was at a time I needed to be able to communicate with others to find new housing. Needless to say, there were a lot of unresolved communication problems as a result.
I’ve been affected when driving (or being driven) past electric transformer stations, under high transmission lines and past cell towers, sometimes severely. I can’t be around cell-phones, or wi-fi without symptoms, some serious if the exposures are prolongued.
The smart meters here are affecting me, but fortunately for me, my unit is the farthest away from them. Tragically, the woman who sleeps against the wall they are all mounted against has been experiencing some serious problems since they were activated, problems she didn’t have before. Co-incidence? From what I have learned, I think not.
From the WCH press release:
“Cell phones, cell phone towers, wireless internet routers, cordless phones and power lines of all sorts have all been recognized as possible contributors to an environmental health condition called electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EMS) caused by significant exposure from radio waves.
EMS symptoms include poor sleep, fatigue, headache, nausea, dizziness, heart palpitations, memory impairment and skin rashes. Patients’ reactions vary, some requiring life-altering changes to minimize exposures as much as possible.”
“Earlier this year (March 2012), the Austrian Medical Association released a very important document: Guideline of the Austrian Medical Association for the diagnosis and treatment of EMF related health problems and illnesses (EMF syndrome). Consensus paper of the Austrian Medical Association’s EMF Working Group (AG-EMF). Click herefor pdf.
If you think you are responding adversely to electromagnetic radiation, it is important that you share this document with your doctor/health care professional. EHS is an emerging illness that has not been taught in most medical schools, especially in North America. However, it is increasing at an alarming rate and now children as well as adults are adversely affected by this radiation.”…
The Canadian Initiative to Stop Wireless, Electric, and Electromagnetic Pollution is an organization formed to inform the Canadian public about the potential environmental effects associated with various forms of electric and electromagnetic emissions
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