After years of avid use of wireless technology and disregard for the adverse effects of uncontrolled radiofrequency/microwave radiation, Dafna Tachover, an attorney, started suffering from severe EHS symptoms when she acquired a new MacBook in July 2009. “My life had changed dramatically and now, the sole purpose of my life is to help people who suffer from EHS and to fight this criminal disregard to their existence, needs and rights.” Dafna lives in an isolated house in a natural reserve in the Catskill Mountains north of New York City, far away from antennas and cell phones, laptops and Wi-Fi. Both the article about Dafna, “Radiation Victim”, which recently appeared in the leading Israeli newspaper, Yediot Aharonot, and her interview on Israel’s no.1 rated radio show, “Osim Tyohoraim” will be the subject of the next two posts.
This is a call for more persons to share their experiences of this serious medical condition and to salute the courage of those who do so. More and more individuals, health professionals and government authorities should be made aware of this condition which affects so many aspects of the lives of these electrohypersensitive persons.
Following is the article about Hannah Metcalfe.
An iPad could give me a miscarriage, claims pregnant mother who claims she's allergic to electromagnetic waves
by Jill Reilly, published 12 June 2012 on the Daily Mail online, United Kingdom.
Hannah Metcalfe, 34, says her condition gives her splitting headaches, stomach cramps, bloating and flu-like symptoms.
She lives a rural life in the countryside where mobiles are banned, cordless phones are forbidden and wifi is not an option.
In UK electrosensitivity is not recognised as a medical condition.
Suffered a miscarriage in November 2010 that she believes was triggered by sitting beneath fluorescent lights at work.
Hypersensitive: Hannah Metcalfe, 34, says she suffers adverse effects when she is exposed to electromagnetic waves
She cannot make a call on a mobile phone, have a coffee in an internet cafe or pick up an iPad.
So severe is Hannah Metcalfe's sensitivity to electromagnetic waves that her husband has to run errands in town in case she is exposed.
The pregnant mother-of-one suffers from electrosensitivity which gives her splitting headaches, stomach cramps, bloating and flu-like symptoms whenever she is exposed to electromagnetic waves.
Her sensitivity to modern technology is now so severe that she lives a rural life in the countryside with her partner Mark Terry, 34, where mobiles are banned, cordless phones are forbidden and wifi is not an option.
Now eleven weeks pregnant, she is worried for the health of her unborn baby as the condition makes her so ill.
Ms Metcalfe suffered a miscarriage in November 2010 that she believes was triggered by being made to sit beneath fluorescent lights at work.
She believes her condition was caused by using sunbeds every week as a teenager while under doctor's orders to cure the skin condition psoriasis.
Now her condition is so severe she has been forced to quit working as a trainee solicitor.
Ms Metcalfe, 34, said: 'I'm not a technophobe, I wanted an iPad just like everyone else. But within minutes of switching on the wifi router to go on the internet I felt really unwell.
'I started to feel an intense build-up of pressure in my head and my digestive system was upset. I had a painful stomach and intense bloating. The symptoms only stopped when I turned it off.
'I was diagnosed with psoriasis aged two and at the age of nine I started having phototherapy treatments, maybe about half a dozen a year, using UVB light.
'Then when I was 19 I bought a UVA/B sunbed for about £500 and I used to use it at home about once a week because I was young and I wanted to wear short skirts like other teens.
'I never had any trouble with the sunbeds but then when I was about 25, I bought a handheld light which was really powerful. If you held it against your skin for just 30 seconds you would burn but the idea was to build up a resistance so you could use it for a minute or so at a time.
Modern life ban: As Ms Metcalfe's partner is a a farmer the couple are able to live a rural existence away from the hazards of modern technology
'It allowed me to finally wear what I wanted and to go to the gym without having to be ashamed of my skin condition. But I think it's what tipped my sensitivity over the edge.'
Ms Metcalfe started working shortly after completing a law degree at the University of Kent but soon found that sitting under the fluorescent office bulbs made her ill.
When her boss removed them, she felt much better but continued to be exposed to EMF waves outside work. Following a miscarriage in November 2010 Hannah decided to quit the job she loved.
She was even forced to stop going to the gym as the fluorescent bulbs were ubiquitous wherever she went.
Energy saving lightbulbs at home also had a negative effect on her health and Hannah had to revert back to the old-fashioned variety.
She said: 'I loved the people I worked with and I loved my job but gradually the situation with the lights was getting worse and worse.
Hannah, now a full-time mum to Ollie, three, said 'My boss was really understanding and at one point was going to fit the whole office with LED lighting but I knew it wasn't going to get any better.
'In November 2010 I had a miscarriage and the whole time I had been pregnant the symptoms had been intensifying. When I lost the baby I was sure it had to be because of how ill I felt. I think my body had gone into attack mode. I wanted to carry on working but the miscarriage was the last straw.'
WHAT IS SENSITIVITY TO ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES?
Up to 5 per cent of the general population believe themselves to be affected by electro- or radiosensitivity and experience flu-like symptoms, headaches, lethargy and nausea when exposed to various electrical appliances.
It is not recognised as a disability or a medical condition in the UK. Many medics are sceptical about electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome and research has not provided any official statistics. The condition is not officially recognised by the NHS.
Electromagnetic waves are everywhere and we are constantly bombarded by them from space.
Although there is no evidence of any permanent damage to the body from electromagnetic waves, some people have reported that they feel unwell when they are within reach of wi-fi or, occasionally, other types of electromagnetism.
Wi-fi, which Hannah Metcalfe can't go near, uses the same type as mobile phones, TV and radio signals. They are all different in wavelength, so have different properties. Wi-fi waves are higher in frequency than mobile phones and are intense due to the amount of info they carry. So far research has not provided any official statistics.
Since then Hannah has found it is not only lighting to which her body reacts. She gets pounding headaches if she uses a mobile phone for just a few minutes and has had to throw out all her cordless phones.
In November 2011 she bought a iPad and turned on the wireless router within her home but within half an hour Hannah was experiencing the familiar symptoms of her electrosensitivity and was forced to turn it off.
She now cannot go anywhere with wifi internet access as even a brief exposure leaves her bloated, sick and unable to function.
She said: 'Before buying the iPad I used to have a coping mechanism and I could go to Starbucks and have a coffee and I guess I just tolerated it.
'But now I can feel the pressure building in my head and my stomach becomes sore and swollen. I would love to be able to go to a cafe or a restaurant with Mark but everywhere seems to have it these days, there's no escape.'
As her partner is a farmer the couple are able to live a rural existence away from the hazards of modern technology. However, gadgets are banned in the house and he has to do all of the errands in town so his partner can avoid wifi.
Ms Metcalfe is now 11 weeks pregnant but after having a scare just a week ago is concerned her sensitivity to EMF waves could be affecting more than just her. She said: 'I had some very bad bleeding and I was sure I had miscarried again because of what happened the last time but thankfully the baby is fine. 'A few days prior to that I had gone to my midwife appointment and there was wifi in the clinic. I was pretty ill that day and when I came home I started bleeding.
'I can't take any chances now, I know I need to avoid wifi as much as I can. I know it makes me ill and I have to consider what it could be doing to the baby as well.
'I'm in a privileged position because I live in a rural area and at the moment it is possible for me to escape it but having found a Facebook group dedicated to electrosensitivity I know others are not so lucky.
'People who can't work like me don't get any financial support like disability benefit.
'There is lots of research out there about the effects these things have on our bodies and unfortunately it is not being listened to. My fear, for myself and for my kids, is that the technology is moving faster than our understanding of it.'
Graham Lambrun, spokesman for Powerwatch, said: 'There are a now a significant number of people who appear to be sensitive to modern wireless technologies. 'A minority of those suffer so severely that they have to resign from their job and move house to minimise their exposure. 'Unfortunately electrosensitivity is not recognised as a disability or a medical condition in the UK, leaving these individuals with no way of financially supporting themselves or their families.'