Electromagnetic Radiation Sensitivity

– The underlying explanation for many of our health issues

by Dr. Maria Theologides

“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”

― D.H. Lawrence.

If you’ve looked up at the night sky recently, you might have been surprised to see a train of bright lights moving across from one side to the other. The lights appear in groups of up to 60 in a long line. These lights are actually satellites, launched into space by the U.S. company SpaceX, run by South African entrepreneur Elon Musk. The satellites are part of something called Starlink. This is a project by SpaceX to launch thousands of satellites into orbit, and beam the internet to Earth from space. On January 29, 2020, SpaceX successfully launched its fourth train of 60 Starlink satellites, the first phase will total 1,584 satellites, with eventual plans to expand to ~12,000 and then ~42,000 to increase coverage, connectivity, and data throughput. SpaceX is just one of many companies ⁠— including Amazon, OneWeb, TeleSat and others ⁠— with plans to launch 5G-providing satellite mega-constellations this decade.

Besides having an enormous cost to one of humanity’s greatest and oldest resources: the night sky, these swarms of satellites are not only an unprecedented source of light pollution to skywatchers and amateur astronomers, but threaten ground-based human beings at a frightening level.

Chronic diseases and illnesses associated with non-specific symptoms are on the rise. In addition to chronic stress in social and work environments, it seems necessary now to take “new exposures” like electromagnetic fields (EMF) into account. Having completed the International EMF training last year I have become acutely aware of the role of EMF in ill-health in my patients. Studies, empirical observations, and patient reports clearly indicate interactions between EMF exposure and health problems, raising new challenges for medicine and society.

For instance, the issue of so-called non-thermal effects and potential long-term effects of low-dose exposure were scarcely investigated prior to the introduction of these technologies.

Common electromagnetic field or EMF sources: Radio-frequency radiation (RF) (3 MHz to 300 GHz) is emitted from radio and TV broadcast antennas, Wi-Fi access points, routers, and humans (e.g. smartphones, tablets), cordless and mobile phones including their base stations, and Bluetooth devices. With 5G we are not only constantly receiving EMF through our devices but become transmitters too.

Worldwide, the emerging electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is more and more recognized by health authorities, disability administrators and case workers, politicians, as well as courts of law. Austria and and Sweden both recognise EHS as a disability and have created guidelines for individuals diagnosed with this condition.

Common EHS symptoms include headaches, concentration difficulties, sleep problems, depression, a lack of energy, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms. In addition, screen dermatitis, pallor, decreased hearing, tinnitus, confusion, anxiety, nausea, when sitting in front of a screen. In addition, Dr Havas, reported clumping of red blood cells (rouleaux formation), heart palpitations and chest pressure/pain. We have seen a significant increase of these symptoms over the last few months as 5G towers are rolled out across South Africa at alarming rates.

It should also be mentioned here that very specific exposure conditions may trigger biological responses in one individual, but not in others. Anecdotal reports, however, indicate that such individual responsiveness or susceptibility does expand over time and the intolerance then extends over a broad range of exposure conditions. The more sensitive the individual, the more likely it is that they will be affected. Patients who already suffer from MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity) or suffer from Fibromyalgia and similar conditions, are more likely to be EMF sensitive.

We recommend treating EHS clinically as part of the group of chronic multisystem illnesses (CMI), but still recognizing that the underlying cause remains the environment. In the beginning, EHS symptoms occur only occasionally, but over time they may increase in frequency and severity.

As a Paediatric Specialist I am horrified at the increase of mobile phone use by children and adolescents over the last 15 years. The brain (in particular the developing brain) is the main target organ for RF emissions from the handheld wireless phone. CEFALO is an international case-control study examining the association between mobile phone use and the risk of brain tumors in children and adolescents. The study was conducted in Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden and the main results have been published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in July 2011 (Aydin et al., JNCI, 2011). So please parents, encourage your children to stay off devices and to go play outside in the fresh air.

In May 2011 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) evaluated cancer risks from radiofrequency (RF) radiation. Human epidemiological studies gave evidence of increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma. RF radiation was classified as Group 2B, a possible human carcinogen. Further epidemiological, animal and mechanistic studies have strengthened the association. In spite of this, in most countries little or nothing has been done to reduce exposure and educate people on health hazards from RF radiation. On the contrary ambient levels have increased.

Several laboratory studies have indicated mechanisms of action for RF radiation carcinogenesis such as on DNA repair, oxidative stress, down regulation of mRNA and DNA damage with single strand breaks. A report was released from The National Toxicology Program (NTP) under the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in USA on the largest ever animal study on cell phone RF radiation and cancer. An increased incidence of glioma in the brain and malignant schwannoma in the heart was found in rats. Acoustic neuroma or vestibular schwannoma is a similar type of tumour as the one found in the heart, although benign. Thus, this animal study supported human epidemiological findings on RF radiation and brain tumour risk.

The exposure from mobile phone base stations, Wi-Fi access points, smart phones, laptops and tablets can be long-term, sometimes around the clock, both at home and at school. For children this risk may be accentuated because of a cumulative effect during a long lifetime use. Developing and immature cells can also be more sensitive to exposure to RF radiation.

I am reaching out to you to become more open and aware of EHS, despite cel phones having become an integral part of our lives, become more conscious of keeping your phone as far away from your body as possible, consider hard wiring your home and office and turn off your wifi and put your phones on flight mode when you go to sleep.

Add this as an area to be investigated when you tell your doctor about your medical history, include all symptoms and their occurrences in spatial and temporal terms and in the context of EMF exposures. (see our EMF questionnaire which will help assess whether this is something that should be a concern for you and your family) The EMF exposure is usually assessed by EMF measurements at home and at work, we have experts on our team who can assist you with this.

The primary method of treatment should mainly focus on the prevention or reduction of EMF exposure that is, reducing or eliminating all sources of high EMF exposure at home and at the workplace. The reduction of EMF exposure should also be extended to public spaces such as schools, malls, hospitals and public transport. We need your help to spread the word and take a stand for our children and our planet. Many countries ban Wi-Fi in schools or Paediatric hospitals, where they recognize the decreased healing when exposed to EMF. If a detrimental EMF exposure is reduced sufficiently, the body has a chance to recover and EHS symptoms will be reduced or even disappear. Anything that supports homeostasis will increase a person’s resilience against disease and thus against the adverse effects of EMF exposure. I hope that together we can increase awareness and prevent our skies from falling.