There is progress towards the path of recognition of Electro Magnetic Sensitivity (EMS). Certain important milestones have already been achieved: even if this condition is not recognized as an illness, it is recognized as a disability in Sweden.
The example of Sweden
Sweden has recognised electro hypersensitivity. According to Professor Olle Johansson, the condition is a disability: “In Sweden, electro hypersensitivity is officially a disability which is completely officially recognized (this is not recognized as an illness because no diagnosis exists for this condition).” Professor Johansson gave the example of a head ache “ how can one measure the pain or prove the existence of a head ache?”, The disability is different for each person and it depends on the individual environment. In the Supreme Administrative Court in Sweden, some complainants received compensation due their disability. The number of people suffering from EMF in Sweden is 2.5% or around 230,000 people.
Recognition of some National and International Organizations
The World Health Organization (WHO)
“EHS is characterized by a variety of non-specific symptoms that differ from individual to individual. The symptoms are certainly real and can vary widely in their severity. Whatever its cause, EHS can be a disabling problem for the affected individual.”
The Health Protection Agency of UK
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has now recognized electro sensitivity in the mandate of Public Health; HPA has attributed certain symptoms due to exposures to electromagnetic fields in general, without implying an acceptance of a specific relation between symptoms and exposures to radiation and electro magnetic fields, including radio frequencies.
Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC)
Canada recognizes EHS as a handicap which is included in environmental sensitivities. More information
European Environment Agency
The European Environment Agency acknoeledges the Bioinitiative Report, which describes the dangerous effects of electromagnetic fields on health. http://www.eea.europa.eu/
Click to download the EEA pdf
Even though a large number of doctors still ignore EMS and its symptoms, certain researchers and medical centers treat people who suffer from EMS:
• National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health (NCCEH) - bringing together practitioners, policy-makers, and researchers for evidence-based practice and policy. http://www.ncceh.ca/en
• L’ARTAC (Association pour la Recherche Thérapeutique Anti Cancéreuse): This is an Association of Researchers focused on anti-cancer therapy. It is in this particular field that Professor Belpomme is interested in electrohypersensitivity and the effects of electrical fields on our health.
Centers of Environmental Health
• Breakspear Hospital – Great Britian
• Environmental Health centre Dallas – États-Unis
The degree of recognition varies between one country and another. Some countries such as Japan and Canada are more conscious of the condition and increasingly recognize EMF sensitivity. Other countries still doubt the link of cause and effect and the link between electro magnetic fields and certain symptoms. It is difficult to evaluate the degree of recognition, but it must be noted that many local initiatives are working towards the recognition of EMF sensitivity. Here are a few examples:
• The town of Colwood, Canada, recognizes EMF sensitivity in 2009
In an official declaration, David Saunders, the mayor of the town, declared that he was ‘proud to announce that the town had proclaimed the month of August as the month for awareness of electro magnetic hypersensitivity.’ ‘This proclamation establishes that some people of Colwood and across the world have developed electromagnetic hypersensitivity resulting from an exposure of electromagnetic pollution. ‘Electrohypersensitivity is a chronic, painful illness…, treatment cannot be obtained except by eliminating exposures to electromagnetic radiation from emitting appliances such as cell phones, wireless technology, transmitters and cordless phones, lamps, energy efficient lamps, changes in life style, etc. This illness could possibly be prevented by the reduction of the level of exposures both inside and outside. Thorough medical research and education are necessary as support and for the family, friends and society to understand the people who fight against this environmental illness and who are so poorly understood.’
• Florida, Connecticut and Colarado recognize EMF sensitivity
Charlie Crist, Governor of Florida, Bill Ritter Governor of Colarado, Jodi Rell, Governor of Connecticut: ‘Therefore, I, M. Jodi Rell, Governor of the State of Connecticut, do hereby proclaim the month of May 2010, as Electromagnetic Sensitivity (EMS) Awareness Month.
• An eco-village in France
An eco-village (pilot project) in France guarantees that people suffering from EMS will be exposed only to mild radiation. This village will be built soon in a confidential location in the South-East.
Even though EMS is still not recognized as an illness, the different initiatives show a trend toward recognition, and equally towards awareness of phenomenon that is largely unknown to the public