Electro-sensibilité, le cri d’alarme des médecins

19 février 2016 / Marie Astier (Reporterre)

Excerpts from translation:

Adopted a year ago, the law on electromagnetic waves, although timid, will allow to better regulate the implementation of  antennas. Nevertheless, the electro-hypersensitive always struggle to have the ‘disease of the waves’ recognized.

A year ago, after a series of parliamentary setbacks, the law was finally adopted. A first, timid, text on “sobriety, transparency, information and consultation on exposure to electromagnetic waves”. Where are we today? Enforcement decrees are ready, but not yet published. Not to worry for now, reassures the deputy ecologist at the origin of the law, Laurence Abeille. In a few months, the establishment of relay antennas will be subject to new rules.

Only mention of electro-hypersensitivity in the law: a report to be carried out by the National Agency for Food, Health and Safety (Anses). It should have been made at the beginning of the year, but it will be done at the end of 2016: “It is probably because there are a lot of new studies on the subject. So much  better if it helps to have a better relationship, “. On Thursday, 11 February, she organized a symposium on the subject. A recall because sensitivity to waves “is a public health issue,” says Laurence Abeille. According to estimates by the experts working on the issue, between 2% and 10% of the European population would be affected by this disease.

“A dramatic increase in serious and chronic diseases”
At the symposium, fifty medical doctors, scientists and health professionals called for understanding and taking into account this disease. “In recent years, we have seen a dramatic increase in serious and chronic diseases in our patients,” they begin. Visual, muscular, cognitive disorders, insomnia, even depressive tendencies, and even symptoms close to those of Alzheimer’s disease ... “We often see a correlation in time and space between the onset of these disorders and the beginning of the extension of the radiation “, they continue, that is to say the installation of antennas or the intensive use of the mobile phone. In particular, the call calls for reducing children’s exposure to electromagnetic waves, “independent and thorough” research, “white areas” – without waves – for electro-hypersensitive people and recognition of this disease as a handicap.

“The medical world needs to get hold of the subject,” Laurence Abeille agrees. But the question is difficult to take into account by doctors, who either do not take this illness seriously or do not know how to diagnose it. A feeling confirmed by Dr. Pierre Biboulet: “Symptoms are mundane: headaches, insomnia, migraines … We see a lot and we do not necessarily make the connection with electromagnetic waves.

This practitioner discovered electro-hypersensitivity a few months ago. He went to meet a patient for an expertise report requested by the Tribunal of the incapacity of Toulouse. “We talked for more than three hours, I could see where she lives, she had time to tell me about her problems,” says the doctor. This meeting convinced him that the disease was real. “But it’s very rare that you can spend so much time with a patient,” he admits.

“We’re going to do training to teach doctors how to diagnose the disease,” said cancer survivor Dominique Belpomme. The professor, at the origin of this call of the health professionals, was one of the first to be interested in the effects of the waves. The text was to be handed to the Minister of Health, “but we were told that it could not be for agenda reasons,” says Laurence Abeille. If the minister can not move, the least is that she delegates someone. This shows that she refuses to take this issue into account. I’m disappointed, angry! ”

“We have identified biological abnormalities”
Often considered as phobic or paranoid, electro-hypersensitives struggle to have their disease recognized, and thus the potential dangerousness of electromagnetic radiation. But a study published in December 2015 could change the situation: it identified “biological markers”, that is, specific reactions of the body to the disease. Led by Professor Dominique Belpomme, the study followed more than 500 patients with electro-hypersensitivity. In addition to analyzes of blood and urine, which showed certain abnormalities, the professor observed the activity of the brain: it shows that certain precise areas are less well irrigated in electro-hypersensitive patients.

“We wanted to objectify what patients say by testing,” says Professor Belpomme. We have identified biological abnormalities in order to be able to affirm that these patients who are considered suffering from psychosomatic affections do not belong to psychiatry. The publication has already caused a stir in the scientific community. “A team in the United States and another in Sweden will launch similar studies,” enthuses the professor. I am almost certain that within five to ten years of additional research, it can be said that these patients are suffering from a disease as a result of exposure to electromagnetic waves. ”

On the legal side too, recognition of the disease is progressing in small steps. On August 25, the DisabilityCourt in Toulouse acknowledged an 85% disability to an electro-hypersensitive and awarded  a disabled adult allowance. A radio technician who became sensitive to the waves, Marine Richard had taken refuge in Ariège, but the departmental handicapped house had initially denied  the allowance of disabled adult. She went to court.

Her lawyer, Alice Terrasse, had the good idea to ask that the expert visit the  patient so that the specialist can see her living conditions. It was Dr. Pierre Biboulet who agreed to visit her in at the remote mountain. “We came across someone very understanding, although not really aware of the issue. We had an excellent report, “says lawyer Alice Terrasse. This is probably what enabled a favorable court decision. “It is the first time in France that justice recognizes this handicap and maybe even in Europe,” the lawyer welcomes. This decision by independent judges makes it possible to instil in public opinion the idea that this disease really exists. This can be a case law and help in other matters, but it will be case by case. ”

However, the absence of the Ministry of Health at the symposium, although organized in the National Assembly, is significant, according to Laurence Abeille. “In France, public authorities have always had difficulty taking environmental pollution into account,” she says. We have grown up with the history of asbestos and I have the impression that this absolute refusal to consider studies is being replicated, and we continue to say that we must promote employment. It is patent for the waves, the pesticides, full of subjects … That shocks me. “Did you like this article ? Support Reporter. Link to article: https://reporterre.net/Electro-sensibilite-le-cri-d-alarme-des-medecins

Read also: Nasa has known for thirty years that electromagnetic waves can harm health

Source: Marie Astier for Reporterre

. Chapô: Robin of the roofs
. IDF: Flickr (Region Ile-de-France / CC BY-NC 2.0)




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