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EMF Studies

15 March 2017

Letter by Dr. Andrew Tresidder on Electrohypersensitivity

Letter by Dr Andrew Tresidder MBBS MRCGP on electrohypersensitivity.
March 2017 (Extract)

To my Medical Colleagues, GPs, Psychiatrists, Neurologists and others:

Electrosensitivity – an Environmental illness, an Authentic Diagnosis, not a Delusional Disorder


Electrosensitivity is the symptomatic sensitivity to Electric or Magnetic Fields of any frequency, including RadioFrequency (RF or Microwave) transmissions. As a symptomatic condition, it is becoming common due to the increasing environmental pressure on human biology. The source is pollution from wireless and other EM fields. Doctors as yet rarely recognize it due to educational issues. Safety always lags technological advance. There are barriers to recognition of harms. Current UK Advisory Safety Limits are based upon the outdated and disproven myth that Non-Thermal means Non-Harmful. Society and organizations have yet to fully travel the road from ‘there isn’t a problem’, ‘there might be a problem but it’s very small’ to ‘there is a problem’. Society does not recognize humans as electromagnetic beings, as well as physical bodies needing careful nutrition to maintain health. Meanwhile, increasing numbers of people suffer, often ignored or dismissed because society doesn’t yet appreciate the issue, and doctors have no answers. Electrosensitivity is soundly supported by both biology and physics.

You may be being consulted by a person who has this under-recognised condition.Thank you for reading this. It provides information that you may not easily find elsewhere. Electrosensitivity (ES) is a condition first described in 1932, and is when a person’s physiology is affected by external Electromagnetic (EM) fields, giving rise to a typical spectrum of symptoms, often neurological. It is therefore an illness caused by environmental agents – essentially an environmental toxic pollutant. Electrophobia is a fear of EM fields, and is a nocebo driven response. Symptoms of fear or paranoia about any agent, circumstances, person or issues can be part of a psychiatric condition, and may be part of a delusional state which will have other features. ES is completely separate from any delusional condition and from Electrophobia.  ES is a condition that can arise due to continued exposure to an environment polluted by man-made EM and RF (radio-frequency) wireless signals at levels at orders of magnitude below heating effects, and is well understood in Russia. Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, disturbed sleep, tingling, pains in limbs, head or face, stabbing pains, brain-fog and impaired cognitive function, dizziness, tinnitus, nosebleeds, palpitations and others.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, (now known to be partially a failure of mitochondrial function) was initially difficult to diagnose and indeed construed by some as psychological illness. I have written this briefing sheet to summarise my understanding of ES in case you wish to consider it in your differential diagnosis.


Potential Diagnostic Traps: If we as doctors cannot explain something, it’s only too easy to diagnose the problem as either psychological or delusional, and in this we may fall into error, caused by our own unfamiliarity or the progress of understanding faster than our educational system transmits to us. If one has never yet diagnosed a case, it can need an astute diagnostician to differentiate between the unfamiliar yet real effects happening in a body at unseen levels resulting in distressing symptoms which give avoidance behaviour (because that person knows that they feel unwell near certain devices), and on the other hand a patient with a true delusional state as part of a mental disorder. However, once the clinician is aware of the existence of Electrosensitivity, the differentiation becomes easy, especially after seeing the pattern of several cases, as delusional states usually have several characteristic facets to them, and do not claim a plausible (though as yet unfamiliar) Physics based explanation.

An unfortunate myth/mantra perpetuated in science, by Private Industry Bodies such as ICNIRP, with its own vested interests, and repeated by Regulatory Bodies including PHE (HPA), (some of whose advisers are members of ICNIRP, which is surprising, and could be construed as a conflict of interest) is that non-thermal = non-harmful (now known to be FALSE) (i.e. if it doesn’t heat you over 6 minutes) – but this completely ignores all signal effects, which have known biological consequences. If ants can die from proximity to a wifi router, mobile phone or laptop on wifi (because they lose their ability to navigate, as caused by a signal, not a thermal effect) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23977878 ), rats’ retinas be harmed by certain frequencies of LED light https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25863264 whilst our ears can detect a billionth of a watt and our eyes a single photon, then is it surprising that measurable EM or RF fields can affect some people – and some people become hypersensitive and develop nervous system symptoms to extremely weak signals?

Safety issues always lag technological advance, whether from new medicines, car safety (think seat belts and tyre tread), asbestos etc, and early advice about possible problems is often ignored by not believing, by discrediting or worse by blaming the messenger. (It is human nature to be conservative).

From research, I have learnt about the importance of sleep, posture, breathing, emotional support, nutritional correctness, and freedom from electromagnetic transmission fields amongst other areas. I have seen a number of people who feel unwell in the vicinity of wireless transmitters, mobile phone masts, cordless phones, from using a mobile phone, and from active alarm sensors, amongst other things, in my practice as a GP and elsewhere. I can confirm this from experience of headaches, brain fog and word finding difficulties with prolonged exposure to RF including wifi, mobile or cordless phones.

A typical history of a more severe case is that after an electromagnetic insult (such as a new powerful RF (wireless) device being introduced into the person’s environment, or an electric shock), symptoms may progressively appear, in response to exposure to electromagnetic fields of various different types. These fields include using appliances such as hair-driers, vacuums or cookers, which produce high levels of electric and magnetic fields, or cordless phones, wifi routers, mobile phones and a whole range of wireless transmitting technology which produces RF (radiofrequency, or microwave) transmissions, or computers, monitors and other devices, and fluorescent lights (as opposed to the older incandescent type of bulbs). A careful history is paramount in detecting this condition, especially if aggravating and alleviating factors are described and detected, possibly helped by using field detectors (measuring devices for EM fields and wireless radiation).

Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, disturbed sleep, tingling, pains in limbs, head or face, stabbing pains, brain-fog and impaired cognitive function, dizziness, tinnitus, nosebleeds, palpitations and others. It is clear that the primary area of disturbance is in the nervous system. It is not known why some people react to these and others do not, however it may be that heterogeneity of genetic make-up, nutritional status, and other factors predispose people to develop the condition once sensitised. Certainly general factors like lack of sleep can exacerbate the issue.

Mechanisms include voltage-gated calcium channel disruption, upregulation of the sympathetic nervous system, interference in the blood brain barrier and alteration of melatonin production, production of heat shock proteins, failure of DNA recombination due to the radical spin pair mechanism, and interference with intercellular microsignalling and circadian rhythms. It is likely that biophoton communication patterns are disrupted. What is certain is that it is not a nocebo effect, as animals are affected, such as ants, fruit flies and others. As we understand more about biological systems using electromagnetic signals to communicate, a whole host of biological effects will become apparent. We already know that semen quality is affected by RF https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24927498 .

Prevalence: some people suffer from Electrosensitivity to a severe and incapacitating degree, which affects less than 1% of the population, whilst moderate may affect up to 3-5%, and mild 20-30%. Please see: The Austrian Medical Association EMF Guidelines, and also Chapter 4 “Electrosensitivity: Sources, Symptoms and Solutions” by Tresidder and Bevington, in Textbook of Bioelectromagnetic and Subtle Energy Medicine, 2nd ed., Paul Rosch, 2015.

Electrosensitivity is an under-recognised illness in the Western world. However, since the 1930s it has been recognised by Russia and the former Eastern Bloc countries, and also by the US in Naval Medical research http://www.magdahavas.com/wordpress/wpcontent/uploads/2010/08/Barrie_Trower_SA.pdf 
It did not exist before mains current was used. Now that many people are being exposed to radio frequency transmissions, both in and outside the home and workplace, the number of people who fall ill because of this will rise. Current sufferers, if able to obtain a correct diagnosis, are likely to be seen in retrospect as the canaries, the early messengers of problems. ES appears to be a disability caused by environmental pollution, and may be a useful warning sign for society of a problem. For an interesting view on this, with research based upon many years of government activity from the 1950s on, see
http://www.radiationresearch.org/10-uncategorised/336-wifi-a-thalidomide-in-the-making-who-cares . The whole area may be an inconvenient truth, and sometimes it is easier to discredit the messenger than to honestly investigate forwards. It is not yet taught about at medical school or to PostGrads and
  therefore is unlikely to be diagnosed by most GPs or Hospital Specialists at present. In two or three years’ time, the picture is likely to be different regarding medical knowledge and expertise. This is a new area of disability that is explicitly recognised in Canada, Sweden and the USA, and is becoming more and more important.

Treatment is currently problematical. It is essential to minimise exposure to adverse EM fields, as well as pay attention to nutrition, sleep and other factors to ensure high levels of health. Despite this, many people steadily worsen, and become casualties of the environmental RF and EM pollution, causing a steady decline in their health, often losing their jobs, ability to enter public places, and sometimes even unable to remain in their houses. Current UK NHS medical knowledge and approaches offer little hope of any treatment or improvement, although a number of GPs and others do recognise the condition. Future hope may be found by taking a salutogenic (health oriented) approach.

Current and historical UK PHE (HPA) advice is based on the outdated incorrect theory that only thermal effects may cause harm, and takes no recognition of signal effects, and therefore is unhelpful. The PHE advice is based upon the flawed Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR) 2012 Report, which has ‘an incorrect and misleading executive summary and overall conclusions, inaccurate statements, omissions and conflict of interest’ (see Appendix). Unfortunately, senior people in UK Scientific and Advisory bodies still trust this outdated theory, partly due to the System Educational Problems. A few authorities still consider that the condition is a psychologically mediated nocebo effect (‘we don’t know what’s going on, so the patient must wrong’) – such authorities come from the same school of thought that decided that CFS/ME was solely psychologically mediated. We now understand the biological basis of compromised mitochondrial function. This historical view of CFS can be replaced now we understand how mitochondrial function is implicated. http://www.ijcem.com/files/IJCEM812001.pdf . A thorough review of up-to-date papers on Electrosensitivity appears in Bevington’s summary 'Select Studies on ES and EHS' available on the Research tag in the ES-UK website:

Society is aware that most mobile and smart phones now include advice to keep them away from the body (though ‘pocket hotspots’ are being popularized); it seems as though the industry may be shifting position towards acknowledging not just heating effects, but also other significant non-thermal effects. Some areas of the Insurance Industry have serious concerns about the health effects, and exclude cover for EM and RF from their policies. In the USA, unusual multifocal breast cancers in young women in their 20s have been reported immediately adjacent to where their mobile phone has been kept in the bra. Since symptoms from EM exposure can be delayed and cumulative, a patient's history of symptoms and exposures may be difficult to follow for someone not experienced in the types of technology now known to have biological effects.

Thank you for considering this diagnosis in your differential of possibilities. I hope this is of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely,
Andrew Tresidder

TA19 0SB


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