Comments on ‘Representative survey on idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields in Taiwan and comparison with the international literature’

Link to the study:

https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-018-0351-8 

The conclusions of the study:

We found the prevalence rate of IEI-EMF has been declining, instead of increasing as predicted previously. Women are more likely to report having IEI-EMF than men. Further studies to explore the causes leading to the declines may help the public, scientific community, and government deal with idiopathic intolerance to other environmental exposures.

Comments by James C. Lech
  1. The results are skewed and open to weakness based on the methodology and limited scope.
  2. The way the questions are explained are different to historical questions.
  3. Questionnaires can also be problematic because they are subject to bias. In addition there are no dosimetery or biomarker tests conducted to correlate the data in the study. Studies that include all three demonstrate better results.
  4. The rate of decline is also subject to social currency parameters. Wireless devices are now needed for people’s consumerism requirements. Gaming consoles, banking, social networks, etc. If you provide information that jeopordises their way of life, the first social instinct is to deny it as they are not aware of any other form. This is why there are psychiatric DSM studies that look at the addiction element.
  5. The words  ‘sensitivity or allergy’ are used, which many people may confuse with the word allergy. Also in Chinese culture most studies trying to map any form of disability are compromised by the cultural factor that the society does not accept and shun’s disabled persons. Therefore, again, the study requires biomarker tests.
  6. The results collected are technically correct, but these results are flawed because of the flawed details of the methodology.
Weaknesses and misleading results of the study are as follows:
    1. IEI-EMF. It is not the official designation by the WHO but rather the designation by a sub-domain of the WHO. From my thesis, (see below) it is not technically correct to label one scientifically or medically as EHS. From a scientific-technical-analysis, a biological system is broken up into three states:
      1. Sensitive: the degree to which a system will respond to a change in the pollutant variable condition, including the extent of change in ecosystem composition, structure and functioning.
      2. Adaptability: the degree to which adjustments are possible in practices, processes, or structures of systems to projected or actual changes of climate. Adaptation can be spontaneous or planned and can be carried out in response to, or in anticipation of changes.
      3. Vulnerability: the extent to which pollutant emmissions change may damage or harm a system. This depends on a system’s sensitivity and ability to adapt to new environmental conditions.
      4. First, everyone is electrosensitive, this is fact, however, everyone has different adaptability compensatory mechanisms to EMF radiation as a pollutant emission. It is when the adaptability begins to fail that the person or biology enters into a state of vulnerability to which damage and harm occurrs.
      5. I found Prof. Belpomme to provide the best and accurate medical description for a state of vulnerability of  the Electromagnetic Field Intolerance Syndrome (EMFIS), a condition that has been recognized by the State and conferred in the High Court of Cape Town. Medically, using the term EMFIS, it is more effective at describing the relevant ICD-10 codes, and investigation of different symptoms because a syndrome is a compilation of multiple issues, and different persons will demonstrate different degrees of vulnerability to different sources for biological and non-linear reasons.
    2. The mechanism of the questions has not evolved to the updated phenomenon of the incidence of technological systems in social systems in modern society.
    3. Many recent studies have demonstrated an actual increase of incidences of intolerance to EMF radiation exposure and not a decrease as described in the study.
    4. The study does not take into account influence by community values as a result of the occurrence of the shifting baseline syndrome, which, in turn, may offset tracking a model forecast for adaptability.
      1. A shifting baseline (also known as sliding baseline) is a type of change to how a system is measured, usually against previous reference points (baselines), which themselves may represent significant changes from an even earlier state of the system.
      2. Historically, the proliferation of EMF emissions and sources were minimal in comparison to today. In the past persons may have complained about symptoms because they were only occurring when in proximity to exposure.
      3. With the ubiquitousness of EMF devices, the allergy stimuli is constant, meaning that the person is  unable to properly discern between an alternative. For example, a bad smell in the air, at first it is noticeable, but if it continues for days, the body adapts and compensates to think that it is ambient.
      4. Regarding EMF sensitivity: different population categories have different levels of sensitivity. Of those, an even much smaller level has “sense-sitivity”, the ability to sense EMF. The majority that do not “sense” but are still sensitive would then demonstrate a syndrome of symptoms and diseases.
    5. Social currency and cultural factors: society today is constructed as an information structure dependant on wireless technology for essential purposes, for example, banking, municpal services etc. The most prevalent and powerful is social currency. Consumerism requires the latest phone, Xbox or Playstation, social media, the biggest TV etc… in order to maintain a social standing. The study did not account for this skew in the data recorded. Persons bound by social currency, would then rather lie about a reaction to the EMF radiation, because to do so would result in them having to reduce their use of the technology, causing their excommunication with their societal networks. This is why there are psychiatric DSM studies that look at the addiction element with devices that are designed to leverage on addiction through Game Theory in order to enable interaction for prolonged periods of time.
    6. In Chinese culture most studies trying to map any form of disability is compromised by the cultural factor that the society does not accept and shuns disabled persons. Therefore, again the study requires biomarker tests.
    7. Most EMF related studies that lack detailed dosimetry, biomarker or bioset data are inherently weaker. This is mainly because of the complexity of the EMF domain and the shifting baseline syndrome issue.
James Lech curriculum vitae :

Biosketch – JC Lech copy

Link to thesis below:
About the author