Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity – A cause for concern?

Date April 8, 2013 Author Comments Leave your thoughts

Claims over harmful nature of WiFi signals are unfounded.

Electrosensitivity is not a word, or indeed a complaint, that we hear much about in our day-to-day lives, so I will forgive your ignorance if you’re not up to speed. Caused by a perceived ‘overexposure’ to electromagnetic fields, electrosensitivity or, to give it its full title, electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), causes it’s sufferers to feel a number of physical symptoms ranging from severe headaches and dizziness to skin problems and tiredness.

Although these symptoms are surely terrible, and not something one would wish upon anyone, there are some interesting dynamics at play within the issue of EHS and as such, any reporting or comment (this piece included) should be done so with some degree of care and with prudence to the facts.

To imply that EHS is fast propelling us into a hideous electromagnetic future, in which we are all plagued by omnipresent radio waves, constantly penetrating our feeble frames like some macabre game of techno-kerplunk would, of course, be nothing less than… unfounded.

Something, it seems, that the Guardian in this week’s edition of their ‘Weekend Magazine‘ have elected to overlook.

In a one sided article, Nicholas Blincoe, not only skirts around the diagnostic discrepancies but instead attempts to (and in many cases, I’m sure, succeeds) coerce the reader into feeling a level of empathy with the ‘afflicted’ subjects. This could be pegged as an ill-considered tactic, serving only to further propagate current fears over manmade radiation, without careful consideration (or significant mention) of the research surrounding the subject.

As purveyors of WiFi technology, Ensign do indeed have an inconcealable interest in playing down any suggestion that radio waves could be harmful. Don’t let this cloud your judgement though, as many studies into the potential risks of radio waves from sources such as; WiFi signals, mobile phone radiation, telephone and TV masts (the latter of these supposedly being the most menacing), have all proved to be inconclusive. And, supplementary to this, medical studies attempting to legitimise the self-diagnosis of EHS have identified more cases of psychosomatic, or psychophysiological, illness than anything spotlighting devices such as your humble iPhone as the cause.

There is also a major geographical element to any proposal of harmful magnetic radiation in the ‘developed’ world. In certain corners of the globe we have been using, and have therefore been exposed to, electricity for over a century, allowing even the most primitive of scientific minds to posit that an obvious comparison can be made with lesser developed areas, in which exposure ranges from minimal to none at all. As one might expect, there are no physiological trends to suggest that geographical levels of exposure can add weight to arguments in favour of EHS. When considering inner-city and countryside comparisons, the same is true, with no correlation between levels of radiation and physiological harm having been identified.

To summarise, there are far too many individual studies to list here, but suffice to say, they all come to the same conclusion – EHS, although clearly a debilitating affliction with real symptoms, cannot conclusively be associated with exposure to  any kind of electromagnetic radiation. The World Health Organisation’s official statement is possibly the most apt way to close this entry – their 2005 study concluding, very succinctly, that there is, “no clear diagnostic or scientific criteria to link EHS to EMF exposure.”

Take a look at this related article…

Bad Science

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Author Gregg Meade

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