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We are all familiar with the case of the former prime minister of Norway, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former director general of the World Health Organization, who has admitted that she suffers headaches and “strong discomfort” when exposed to cell phones. “My hypersensitivity,” she told a Norwegian newspaper in 2002, “has gone so far that I react to mobile phones closer to me than about four meters.”
There are many adults worldwide suffering from electrohypersensitivity. But, how many parents consider that their children’s symptoms might be caused and aggrevated by wireless technologies and EMF’s? Is your child’s healthcare provider aware of this issue? Has your child’s paediatrician enquired about his/her EMF exposure?
Common symptoms of electrohypersensitivity include:
Headaches, dizziness, sleep disturbance, sensory up-regulation, palpatations, unusual pain in multiple sites, visual disturbance, auditory disturbance (especially tinnitus), membrane sensitivity, muscle twitching, dermatalogical complaints, hyperactivity/fatigue, restless leg syndrome, memory/concentration disturbance and anxiety, dyslexia, attention disorders and concentration, loss of memory attachment, sometimes behavioral problems (child refusing to go to school without reason).
Dr Mallery-Blythe states that many children are currently affected, but undiagnosed. Children are likely to be more vulnerable to developing EHS since their exposure is higher and outcomes may be worse given their developing systems and greater time for latent effects. (1)
A Case study from the Physicians For Safe Technology website
R.W., an 8 year-old boy, comes into your office accompanied by his mother with a chief complaint of dizziness and depression. She states that since her son started the new school year he had episodes of dizziness at school, nausea and at times vomited. He said he only gets dizzy when they turn on the white board to project images and videos to the class. She took him to his regular pediatrician who could find nothing out of the ordinary. She noticed over time he was developing symptoms of depression. She wondered why he was dizzy only at school and why this had never happened in all the years before at the same school. There were no changes in his diet, exercise or health. He had many friends and was quite social. He did not use a cell phone.
If this were your patient how would you approach this? What other questions would you ask? Would you think that the wireless radiation from the white board could be responsible for the symptoms? Here is what happened.
His mother found out that the white boards were new at school and were wireless. Her son’s symptoms persisted when at school but not at home. After reading about the issue and thinking he may be electrosensitive his mother went to the school and talked to the principal and the teacher. She asked that a consultant do measurements to determine the levels of radiation he was exposed to. She was told that there was no scientific evidence of harm and that they would not turn off the white boards in class nor do any measurements. The best that could be done was to allow her son to be farthest away from the white board in class.
Her son was able to cope with this situation for a while. One day her son wanted to go to on a school field trip to an art gallery. The mother was concerned as she was convinced he was sensitive to wireless radiation and it would likely be stronger in the gallery. She asked him not to go but he wanted to be part of the group. She took him there and came back an hour later to see how he was. He was quite agitated and couldn’t sit still. His short term memory was impaired. After that he also became hypersensitized to wireless devices such that he could tell if someone had a cell phone on across the street.
His mother then removed all wireless devices from the house. He was home schooled after that and once his symptoms calmed he was placed in a public school where he received a 504 ADA accommodation such that wireless devices were turned off in his classroom and surrounding areas until he was symptom free. He still has to avoid wireless devices but otherwise is doing well.
The case of Jenny Fry, from Oxfordshire, England. For over two and a half years, Jenny had been feeling ill, complaining of headaches and exhaustion. She couldn’t concentrate at school and couldn’t sleep at night. She developed nosebleeds. Her mother replaced the Wi-Fi in her family home with wired Ethernet connections, and pleaded with Jenny’s school to do the same. The school refused. Jenny continued to suffer, returning home from school with splitting headaches that would dissipate at home. Jenny Fry killed herself in 2015. (2)
Quebec: An electrosensitive student who could no longer attend his school in Ville Mont-Royal, because the Wi-Fi in his school make him sick. The symptoms are very real for this student who preferred not to reveal his face or his real name, being afraid of being ridiculed.
“I have headaches, sleep problems,” the young man told TVA Nouvelles. This student’s doctor even set up a special waiting area for his electrohypersensitive patients at the hospital. His problems started with the arrival of smart meters. According to the article this is not a unique case and other parents are looking to enroll their children in a classroom sheltered from wireless internet. (3)
Quebec: Tachycardia, tinnitus, headaches – A Montreal lawyer filed a discrimination complaint against the Montreal Public Health Division (DSP) and the Quebec government, who refused to grant his three children reasonable accommodation for electrohypersensitivity. The lawyer said his 9 year girl often bled from the nose when exposed to Wi-Fi. According to their doctor the children had developed a severe intolerance to radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted by antennas and wireless devices, such as Wi-Fi modems and routers.A complaint was filed with the Quebec Commission on Human Rights (4)
Massachusetts: After a more robust school Wi-Fi was installed in Spring 2013, a 12 year old boy started to experience troubling symptoms, which he reported to his parents when he came home from school. These included severe headaches, itchy skin, and rashes. The school nurse indicated that various children in the same classes were reporting increased headaches, dizziness, nausea and chest pressure. The symptoms were present whenever he was at school. The child was diagnosed with Electrical Hypersensitivity (EHS) after several tests. An ADA Federal Complaint was laid against the school. (5)
One family had a non-verbal ten-year-old boy who screamed every night from 10pm until 3am. Within three days of turning off their Wi-Fi at night and unplugging their cordless phones, this boy spoke a complete sentence. This family lived on a military base, and still they kept reducing their own EMR emissions, and the doctor (Dr. Jelter) prescribed therapeutic-grade fish oil. After three weeks, the boy’s screaming stopped. He slept through the night. His mother’s seizure disorder also decreased. (6)
South Africa: Twelve year old autistic girl Skyla Collins from Montrose Park, Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town: The house where Skyla lives has a cell tower almost on her doorstep. Skyla’s condition and that of her single mother has worsened significantly since the tower was installed. The City of Cape Town is not interested to have this matter resolved despite numerous appeals.
Tyler Hoffmann – Colwood BC: In April 2012, Tyler began coming home from Sangster Elementary School in the Sooke School District with extreme headaches, fatigue, and he was having trouble sleeping at night. When asked to touch the part of his head that hurt, he would point to the top, his mother Lori recalls. But as the headaches grew worse over the next few weeks—to the point of nausea—Tyler was no longer able to touch the source of it, stating it was now in the middle of his head. “After a few weeks of using Advil and Tylenol to alleviate the severe pain in Tyler’s head, we knew something was seriously wrong,” Lori says.
The following month, she discovered what it was.
“We accidently discovered, through another parent, that the school district had just finished installing commercial wi-fi networks throughout every school,” Lori explains. “This was done without informing parents. We were denied any opportunity for input,” she adds.
Tyler’s pediatrician recommended that the school shut off the wi-fi router closest to Tyler’s classroom, so that Tyler could remain in school and complete Grade 2 with his friends.
“I don’t have a cell phone, wireless router, cordless phone, wireless keyboard, wireless mouse or any other wireless devices in my home because I have made the choice of not exposing my children or myself to microwave radiation. The school district has now decided for me that Tyler will be exposed to it,” she says. Lori pulled Tyler out of school that same day rather than risk his health any further. “After we removed Tyler from school, his headaches and associated nausea completely stopped,” says Lori.
In September 2012, his mother enrolled Tyler in an elementary school in the neighboring Victoria School District, where there would be no wi-fi router in his classroom. Free from the toxic effects of commercial wi-fi in the classroom, Tyler performed at the top of his math and reading classes at his new school. (7)
The Jeske Family Langford, BC
Jaden and Evan Jeske – both boys are electrosensitive. Jaden was lucky enough to be attending a school that had minimal wi-fi and none near his classroom. Evan was not. The Jeskes removed all computer wi-fi, cordless phones and other sources of microwave radiation from their upscale home in Langford, a western suburb of Victoria, and replaced it with hard-wired equivalents. At night they shut off the electricity to the bedrooms, and all members of the family slept under special shielding canopies to block the wireless radiation from four nearby cell phone towers.
The boys remember what their lives were like before their sensitivity was discovered and the wireless radiation removed from their home.
“I had heart palpitations when wi-fi was on,” Evan tells me. “And I had headaches because I had a metal plate in my mouth, which amplifies it and shoots it right to my brain.” Jaden recalls his own allergy-like symptoms before the family got rid of the wireless router for the computers: “My throat was really sore. I had a lot of trouble breathing and a lot of mucus. Then they turned off the wi-fi, and right away I could breathe—within one day.” “It’s not about doing without technology,” says their mother Tammy. “It’s about using it as safely as possible. Our family uses the Internet like every other family—we just choose to do it with wires.” (8)
Cases of children developing symptoms after smart meter placement:
1. “I am the proud parent of six, of the six children we have four children who are under the age of six. Our children started to exhibit health symptoms and health signs that alarmed myself and my husband. The children began to have fevers out of nowhere, essentially their bodies were boiling and their fevers would go from 101 to 104 and sometimes to 105. My husband is a Clinical Partner at (name witheld for privacy) Hospital in the ICU so he is versed in the area of taking care of patients in extreme health decline, but he was not prepared to handle the weekly and monthly bouts that our smaller children began to have. Our children also began to have problems with the inability to control their bodily fluids, our five year old began peeing and pooping herself, our four year began to display the same problems, soon many of the smaller children were all displaying these symptoms and concerns. The children became depressed, and essentially we began to realize that our children were not the children who we cared for prior to the smart meter being placed on our property. “
The mother wrote that after the Smart Meter was removed the children’s symptoms “diminished greatly, they no longer get high fevers, or suffer from loss of their bodily function.”
2. Debilitating symptoms, including headaches, diarrhea, nausea, hand numbness, chest pains, neck pains, and extremely upsetting cognitive impairment. My ten year old son and I had to start finding different places to sleep. I soon began to realize that some of the symptoms he had been having disappeared away from the apartment – chest pains so alarming I had to take him to a pediatric cardiologist, “stinging” headaches, and bouts of fatigue.
3. Within days after our smart meter was installed I experienced a very painful miscarriage. After the miscarriage I started experiencing mysterious pain throughout my body that could not be explained. My two children who are diagnosed autistic regressed in their autism after much work with behavioral therapy and other interventions. (9)
Professor Belpomme: An oncology professor at Paris Descartes University, Prof. Belpomme is President of the Association for Research and Treatments against Cancer (French acronym ARTAC, artac.info), which shifted to cancer prevention from 2004 on. Since May 2008, his team has been studying what he named Electromagnetic Fields Intolerance Syndrome (French acronym SICEM). “I have 450 patients and I see up to 20 new patients each week, including children with headaches, memory loss, attention or language troubles. We have the biggest cluster in Europe of electrosensitive patients. This is a major problem in public health. Alzheimer’s may appear at age 15, 20, 25.” He describes some of the young people he has seen:
– a 15 year-old comes into the office holding his mother’s hand – he had slept 3-4 years with his cell phone switched on beneath his pillow. He could not find his way out of the office and was suffering from behavioral disorders.
– a young person with a pre-Alzheimer’s condition – who, after birth, had been using a babyphone for 3 years.
– a 14 year-old who did not know how to read and was dyslexic. (10) (11)
Californian doctor Karl Maret measured higher levels of cumulative exposure in a hypersensitive child at his school than those measured in an internet café. “Electrohypersensitive children and pregnant women,” he said in a conference at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco in June 2015 , are most at risk. They are like the canaries that were once sent to the mines and tell us that there is a problem and that it is high time we took care of it. ” (12)
Increasingly, children in school with WiFi, where wireless tablets and laptops are commonplace, complain of headaches, difficulty concentrating and feeling tired. Children are put on medications for insomnia, anxiety, ADHD, and much more, when the root of the problem is sensitivity to the artificial man-made electromagnetic fields.
Magda Havas, expert in EMF effects at Trent University, Ontario states that Wi-Fi exposes many children to annual doses of RF much greater than those received from a cell phone. Since 2010, there have been several cardiac arrests in schoolchildren in Collingwood. The incidence of this in the Collingwood region seems abnormally high for a small community in Canada; and such symptoms should be extremely rare in children. One student was encouraged to have exploratory heart surgery. However, her parents provided her a MW-free environment at the end of the school year and her symptoms disappeared. No surgery was required. (13)
Professor Martha Herbert is a pediatric neurologist and neuroscientist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and on the staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She is Board Certified in Neurology with Special Competency in Child Neurology, and Subspecialty Certification in Neurodevelopmental Disorders. “Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from wifi and cell towers can exert a disorganizing effect on the ability to learn and remember, and can also be destabilizing to immune and metabolic function. This will make it harder for some children to learn, particularly those who are already having learning or medical problems in the first place. And since half of the children in this country have some kind of chronic illness, this means that a lot of people are more vulnerable than you might expect to these issues” (14)
New Studies Show Health Risks from Wireless Tech: Warnings from the BioInitiative Working Group/ University at Albany, Rensselaer, New York /April 16, 2014: The extent and severity of long-term health effects among children and adolescents using wireless technology are not known. However, there are already numerous peer-reviewed studies showing health hazards from wireless devices. Mobile wireless devices like phones and tablets are big sources of unnecessary biological stress to the mind and body that can chip away at resilience over time. (15)
We urge parents to apply the precautionary principle. Not only because of the cancer risk but also to prevent electrohypersensitivity as described above. Children with existing neurological problems that include cognitive, learning, attention, memory, or behavioral problems should as much as possible be provided with wired (not wireless) learning, living and sleeping environments. All children should reasonably be protected from the physiological stressor of significantly elevated EMF/RFR (wireless in classrooms, or home environments).(16)
Cell tower exposure can be problematic for children:
At least five new cell tower studies are reporting bioeffects in the range of 0.003 to 0.05 μW/cm2 at lower levels than reported in 2007 (0.05 to 0.1 uW/cm2 was the range below which, in 2007, effects were not observed). Researchers report headaches, concentration difficulties and behavioral problems in children and adolescents.
The connection between ill health in students and dirty electricity: Dr Magda Havas, studied the effect of dirty electricity in schools with sick building syndrome. After after remedial action was taken, the number of students needing inhalers for asthma was reduced in one school and student behavior associated with ADD/ADHD improved in another school. Blood sugar levels for some diabetics respond to the amount of dirty electricity in their environment. Type 1 diabetics required less insulin and Type 2 diabetics had lower blood sugar levels in an electromagnetically clean environment. (17)
Note: We do not advise the indiscriminate placing of dirty electricity filters, one should first measure. We prefer the filters from EMF Fields Solutions. These have an internal electric field screen which greatly reduces the electric field around the outside of the filter plus an internal safety fuse. 18.
We hope that more in the medical community will take heed and consider the electromagnetic exposure environment of their pediatric patients. The chronic burden from artificial electromagnetic radiation is an important biological factor that should not be overlooked in the diagnosis of diseases and chronic symptoms.
Solutions and recommended reading:
Consider the steps in the two links below as first course of action. Then determine your exposure levels by having an EMF assessment done by a qualified professional who can further advise on remaining issues. This assessment should include measuring your exposure levels to high frequency, low frequency and dirty electricity. Beware of products that claim to ‘protect’ harmonise’ or ‘neutralize’. Always apply the precautionary principle – reduce your exposure levels first by using technology in a safer way.
A helpful tip is to disconnect the electricity to the bedroom at night, including the lighting circuits and not to put the child’s bed or cot next to a wall that contains a power outlet. Ideally there should not be a power point or any electrical appliance on the other side of the wall either.
As for wi-fi in schools – campaign together with other parents to have it replaced with a wired system.
Nicosia Declaration on Electromagnetic and Radiofrequency Radiation – 2017
EMF Remediation should take precedent over medication. Treat the cause and not the symptoms.
The above information was compiled by EMFSA. We would appreciate a mention if this information is used.
- http://www.bioinitiative.org/new-studies-show-health-risks-from-wireless-tech/ http://www.newsweek.com/2016/07/08/electromagnetic-hypersensitivity-wifi-allergies-474404.html
- Los efectos de las ondas electromagneticas – Conferencia Dr.Belpomme You Tube