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Should we keep our heads down and hope mast hysteria goes away?

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Deleted by topic administrator 02-22-2008 04:00 PM
Rod Read
12:54 AM ET (US)
Yes, as someone here says, until you get EHS or know someone very well who does, it is a strange concept to get your head around, almost unbelievable.
We at ES-UK find the pain of disbelief and isolation, the rupturing of the stability of work, important relationships, even your home, is as bad as the physical EHS reaction itself.
Simply, you do not look ill, maybe some rash or reddening is all. As it is mostly a collection low-level, non-specific symptoms others suffer from time to time, the 'pull yourself together brigade' make absolute hay. It is this unsympathetic response which the sneerers and naysayers, often with vested interest behind them, have found easy to encourage. Dogmatic GPs have caused a lot of unecessary anguish accidentally, but some try really hard to sort it.
Soon we expect malingerers may try to capitalise on it, but not so far.
Let us hope we have made some kind of breakthrough in a process of 'normalisation' of what we cannot really even call an illness. Yes the EHS are ill, but only because a healthy sensitive body is rejecting an invisible toxic soup in the environment. One with wider ecological effects too, across nature, it is very very serious. Probably we are all getting coshed but do not sense it as do the sensitive. Certainly during an extended power cut many acknowledge feelings of lightness, a kind of light-headed relief of pressure. Our kids get quite noticeably giddy.
Much work is to be done, big research, disentangling safe frequencies and signals if such exist, devising therapeutic interventions, at least respite 'safe' houses, shielding, removal of some masts. From where will come the size and bucks for the pressure needed against the inertia and denial which suits so many? And is implicit in the use of 'hysteria' above, as if there was exaggeration ongoing.
Pioneer and Nobel laureate Dr Becker thought one cancer per two people per lifetime would prove inadequate, maybe two per person might be. Then the health risks from all EMF/MW would be accorded the correct balanced proportionately serious response.
Wonderful convenient stuff the 'leccy', the fundamental force of nature electromagnetism, we have had a hundred years of playing with it since releasing it from Pandora's box, now it is biting back us apes like 2001 A Space Odyssey. "Bang Bang Maxwell's Silver Hammer comes down upon our head..." and he did it here, in Cambridge, with equations. Doubt he would get the funding today, just like us. Ho Hum.
Rod Read www.electrosensitivity.org.uk
  Messages 34-22 deleted by author between 05-24-2007 10:24 AM and 05-12-2007 09:51 AM
Olle Johansson
09:02 AM ET (US)
Re: Mast hysteria: is 'electro hyper sensitivity' a real disease? by Guy J Kewney

In Sweden, electrohypersensitivity (EHS) is an officially fully recognized physical impairment (i.e., it is not regarded as a disease). Survey studies show that somewhere between 230,000 - 290,000 Swedish men and women (out of a population of 9 million) report a variety of symtoms when being in contact with electromagnetic field (EMF)-sources.

The EHS persons have their own handicap organisation; The Swedish Association for the ElectroSensitive; http://www.feb.se (the website has an
English version). This organisation is included in the Swedish Disability Federation (Handikappförbundens SamarbetsOrgan; HSO). HSO is the unison voice of the Swedish disability associations towards the government, the parliament and national authorities and is a cooperative body that today consists of 43 national disability organisations (where The Swedish
Association for the ElectroSensitive is 1 of these 43 organisations) with all together about 500,000 individual members. You can read more on
http://www.hso.se (the site has an English short version).

Swedish municipalities, of course, have to follow the UN 22 Standard Rules on the equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities
("Standardregler för att tillförsäkra människor med funktionsnedsättning delaktighet och jämlikhet"; about the UN 22 Standard Rules, see website:
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/dissre00.htm). All persons with disabilities shall, thus, be given the assistance and service they have the right to according to the Swedish Act concerning Support and Service for
Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS-lagen) and the Swedish Social Services Act (Socialtjänstlagen). Persons with disabilities, thus,
have many different rights and can get different kinds of support. The purpose of those rights and the support is to give every person the chance to live like everyone else. Everyone who lives in the Swedish municipalities
should be able to lead a normal life and the municipalities must have correct knowledge and be able to reach the persons who need support and
service. Persons with disabilities shall be able to get extra support so that they can live, work, study, or do things they enjoy in their free time. The municipalities are responsible for making sure that everyone gets enough support. Everyone shall show respect and remember that such men and women may need different kinds of support.

In Sweden, impairments are viewed from the point of the environment. No human being is in itself impaired, there are instead shortcomings in the environment that cause the impairment (as the lack of ramps for the person in a wheelchair or rooms electrosanitized for the person with EHS). This environment-related impairment view, furthermore, means that even though one does not have a scientifically-based explanation for the impairment EHS, and in contrast to disagreements in the scientific society, the person with EHS shall always be met in a respectful way and with all necessary support with the goal to eliminate the impairment. This implies that the person with EHS
shall have the opportunity to live and work in an electrosanitized environment.

This view can fully be motivated in relation to the present national and international handicap laws and regulations, including the UN 22 Standard Rules and the Swedish action plan for persons with impairments (prop. 1999/2000:79 "Den nationella handlingplanen för handikappolitiken - Från patient till medborgare"). Also the Human Rights Act in the EU fully applies.

A person is disabled when the environment contains some sort of impediments. It means that in that moment a man or woman in a wheelchair can not come onto the bus, a train, or into a restaurant, this person has a disability, he or she is disabled. When the bus, the train or the restaurant are adjusted for a wheelchair, the person do not suffer from his disability and are consequently not disabled. An EHS-person suffers when the environment is not properly adapted according to their personal needs. Strategies to enable a person with this disability to attend common rooms
such as libraries, churches and so on, are for instance to switch off the high-frequency fluorescent lamps and instead use ordinary light bulbs. Another example is the possibility to switch off - the whole or parts of - the assistive listening systems (persons with EHS are often very sensitive to assistive listening systems).

In the Stockholm municipality - were I live and work as a scientist with the responsibility to investigate comprehensive issues for persons with EHS - such persons have the possibility to get their home sanitized for EMFs. It means for example that ordinary electricity cables are changed to special cables. Furthermore, the electric stove can be changed to a gas stove and walls, roof and floors can be covered with special wallpaper or paint with a special shelter to stop EMFs from the outside (from neighbours and mobile telephony base stations). Even the windows can be covered with a thin
aluminum foil as an efficient measure to restrain EMFs to get into the room/home. If these alterations turn out not to be optimal they have the possibility to rent small cottages in the countryside that the Stockholm
municipality owns. These areas have lower levels of irradiation than others. The Stockholm municipality also intend to build a village with houses that are specially designed for persons who are electrohypersensitive. This village will be located in a low-lewel irradiation area.

Persons with EHS also have a general (legal) right to be supported by their employer so that they can work despite of this impairment. For instance, they can get special equipment such as computers that are of low-emission type, that high-frequency fluorescent lamps are changed to ordinary light bulbs, no wireless DECT telephones in their rooms, and so on.

Some hospitals in Sweden (e.g. in Umeå, Skellefteå and Karlskoga) also have built special rooms with very low EMFs so that persons who are hypersensitive can get medical care. Another example is the possibility for
persons who are electrohypersensitive to get a specially designed car so that the person can transport himself/herself between his/her home and their workplace.

Recently, some politicians in the Stockholm municipality even proposed to the politicians responsible for the subway in the Stockholm City that a part of every trainset should be free from mobile phones; that the commuters have to switch of the phones in these selected parts to enable persons with EHS to travel with the subway (compare this with persons who have an allergy for animal fur whereupon people consequently is prohibited to have animals, such as dogs or cats, in selected parts of the trainset).

In addition, when the impairment EHS is discussed it is also of paramount importance that more general knowledge is needed with the aim to better adapt the society to the specific needs of the persons with this impairment. The Swedish "Miljöbalk" (the Environmental Code) contains an excellent prudence avoidance principle which, of course, most be brought into action also here, together with respect and willingness to listen to the persons with EHS.

Naturally, all initiatives for scientific studies of the impairment EHS must be characterized and marked by this respect and willingness to listen, and the investigations shall have the sole aim to help the persons with this particular impairment. Rule 13 in the UN 22 Standard Rules clearly says that scientific investigations of impairments shall, in an unbiased way - and without any prejudice - focus on cause, occurrence and nature and with the sole and explicit purpose to help and support the person with the impairment. Nothing else!

In addition, it must also be mentioned that quite recently, by the end of 2004, The Irish Doctors' Environmental Association (IDEA) has announced that
"they have identified a sub-group of the population who are particularly sensitive to exposure to different types of electromagnetic radiation. The safe levels currently advised for exposure to this non-ionising radiation
are based solely on its thermal effects. However, it is clear that this radiation also has non-thermal effects, which need to be taken into consideration when setting these safe levels. The electrosensitivity experienced by some people results in a variety of distressing symptoms which must also be taken into account when setting safe levels for exposure to non-ionising radiation and when planning the siting of masts and
transmitters. (The Irish Doctors' Environmental Association (IDEA), 2004, "IDEA position on electro-magnetic radiation"; http://www.ideaireland.org/emr.htm)

Furthermore, the IDEA also points out the following:
 "1. An increasing number of people in Ireland are complaining of symptoms which, while they may vary in nature, intensity and duration, can be demonstrated to be clearly related to exposure to electro-magnetic
radiation (EMR).
 2. International studies on animals over the last 30 years have shown the potentially harmful effects of exposure to electro-magnetic radiation. In observational studies, animals have shown consistent distress
when exposed to EMR. Experiments on tissue cultures and rats have shown an increase in malignancies when exposed to mobile telephone radiation.
 3. Studies on mobile telephone users have shown significant levels of discomfort in certain individuals following extensive use or even, in some cases, following regular short-term use.
 4. The current safe levels for exposure to microwave radiation were determined based solely on the thermal effects of this radiation. There is now a large body of evidence that clearly shows that this is not appropriate, as many of the effects of this type of radiation are not
related to these thermal effects." (The Irish Doctors' Environmental Association (IDEA), 2004, "IDEA position on electro-magnetic radiation"; http://www.ideaireland.org/emr.htm).

Finally, The Irish Doctors' Environmental Association "believes that the Irish Government should urgently review the information currently available internationally on the topic of the thermal and non-thermal effects of
exposure to electro-magnetic radiation with a view to immediately initiating appropriate research into the adverse health effects of exposure to all forms of non-ionising radiation in this country, and into the forms of treatment available elsewhere. Before the results of this research are available, an epidemiological database should be initiated of individuals suffering from symptoms thought to be related to exposure to non-ionising radiation. Those claiming to be suffering from the effects of exposure to electro-magnetic radiation should have their claims investigated in a
sensitive and thorough way, and appropriate treatment provided by the State. The strictest possible safety regulations should be established for the installation of masts and transmitters, and for the acceptable levels of
potential exposure of individuals to electro-magnetic radiation, in line with the standards observed in New Zealand." (The Irish Doctors' Environmental Association (IDEA), 2004, "IDEA position on electro-magnetic radiation"; http://www.ideaireland.org/emr.htm).

Of course, these very recent findings must also be taken into serious consideration for any research proposal.

With my very best regards
Yours sincerely
Olle Johansson

(Olle Johansson, assoc. prof.
The Experimental Dermatology Unit
Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institute
171 77 Stockholm
Pat Ormsby
10:07 AM ET (US)
If you don't have EHS, it is really easy to dismiss as hysteria, and industry and its dependent media will do all they can to reassure you that you can continue to buy and use their products. Please consider the size of the industries that would be negatively impacted by an admission of harmfulness. The tobacco industry pales. Few in America know that the former head of the WHO, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, found she was EHS and had herself tested to avoid charges of hysteria. She removed all doubt. Still, the head of the ICNIRP, Dr. Michael Repacholi, who served under her, continues to say it is all imaginary. Folks, that is how loudly money talks.
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