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18 November 2014

Letter of Associations Defending the Rights of Electrohypersensitive (EHS) People of the Countries of the European Union

Letter of Associations Defending the Rights of Electrohypersensitive (EHS) People of the Countries of the European Union to the European Economic and Social Committee.  04.11.2014 
(date of letter 22 September 2014)

European associations defending the rights of EHS people regret we cannot personally participate in this hearing, because we have had knowledge of it with very little lead time, and we have not been directly notified by the organizing committee.

THROUGH THIS LETTER WE WANT TO EXPRESS:  THAT in the last decades the rise of artificial non-ionizing electromagnetic fields experienced an exponential increase due to the widespread use of wireless technologies in both workspaces, and domestic, and generally in public spaces (mobile phone masts, WiMAX, Satellite Internet, Wi-Fi, DECT cordless phones, mobile phones ...).

THAT alongside this fact is constantly increasing the number of electrohypersensitive people. Thousands of people in each country of the European Union are in a situation of total defenselessness regarding the possibility of ensuring our health. People who constantly seek radiation free spaces, moving home and place of residence, are finding it harder to find spaces.

THAT this situation leads EHS people to an extremely precarious life situation: job loss (inability to do so by health problems), lack of access to basic resources for survival, the breakdown of families and personal ties because the isolation that many EHS are doomed with the necessity to maintain a state of health within margins that allow a decent life. There is no specific profile among people EHS, is a condition that does not attend class, age, profession, sex …

Therefore, and in line with the manifesto of the future European Citizens Initiative "Non-ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation" in the specific section on EHS entitled “Recognition of EHS, protection of EHS people and zones protected from EMFs”, OUR CLAIMS and BASIC NEEDS ARE:

- Official recognition of the existence of the "electro-hypersensitivity" syndrome as an environmental disease and – as it is done in Sweden- as a Functional Disability (functional disorders and their resultant disabilities), including both adaptation of the work environment and work disability compensation. Within the meaning of item 8.1.4 of the PACE Resolution 1815 (2011), and item 28 of the European Parliament Resolution P6_TA(2009)0216.

- Ensuring livable housing for EHS people: establishment of WHITE ZONES in towns and cities, as an emergency measure for people at increased risk, and the granting of state aid for the protection of their homes. All this in the line with item 8.1.4 of the PACE Resolution 1815 (2011) and in compliance the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

- Public places as WHITE ZONES, EMF-FREE: schools and kindergartens, hospitals and health care facilities in general, governmental buildings and others (such as post-offices, libraries, etc) attending the public, public transport, community centers and residences for the aged, shopping centers, ...; in compliance with the general principles of International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, of non-discrimination, full and effective participation and inclusion in society, equality of opportunity, accessibility, …

- Establishing health screening and intervention protocols, already made by institutions such as the College of Physicians of Austria. Educating health professionals about the existence of this syndrome and promoting their learning about environmental diseases.

On the other hand, we denounce the selection of members of the Scientific Committee on Health and Emerging and Newly Identified Risks (SCENIHR), and their conflicts of interest. We also support the various letters from scientists and citizen associations to different agencies of the European Commission in this regard. The SCENIHR is a key element in Europe which is deliberately dismissing the research showing health risks of exposure to electromagnetic fields, severely hampering the possibility of legislating in protective terms.

We realize that our very existence is seen as a threat by the wireless industry as the existence of people EHS could mean the evidence of absence of safety of electromagnetic fields used in the industry, reason that have great interest in denial and invisibility of the problem. Therefore we request the European Economic and Social Committee to address this issue and study considering possible conflicts of interest arising, and prime human rights and health over commercial interests, going to independent experts and listening and open space participation of affected and organizations are trying to give voice to this new human drama of this century.

For all the above the EHS community are asking for URGENT HELP: We ordered the urgent intervention of the European institutions to ensure our right to life, health, and social participation. 

We would beg the committee to keep us informed of future actions and consider our participation and contribution of first-hand information.

Thank you very much. We are waiting!

The first signatories:

AMICA (Italy)
Associazione Italiana Elettrosensibiliti (Italy)

Electrosensibles por el Derecho a la Salud (Spain)

Electrosensitivity in Ireland (Ireland)

ElectroSensitivity UK. (United Kingdom)

FELO Foreningen for eloverfølsomhet. (Norway)

SOS EHS (Spain)

Une Terre Pour Les EHS (France)

Vagbrytaren (Sweden)

1.- The European Manifesto in Support the ECI about the “Electromagnetic Radiation” (29 June 2013), in favour of a precautionary regulation of the EMF exposure (English, French, Spanish):

2.- Resolution 1815 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on potential hazards of electromagnetic fields and their effects on the environment (27.05.2011):

3.- European Parliament resolution of 2 April 2009 on health concerns associated with electromagnetic fields (P6_TA(2009)0216:http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2F%2FEP%2F%2FTEXT+TA+P6-TA-2009-0216+0+DOC+XML+V0%2F%2FEN

4.- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006:https://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=150

5.- Guidelines of the College of Physicians of Austria for the diagnosis and treatment of EMF syndrome. EMF Working Group, March 2012: http://www.diagnose-funk.org/assets/oeak_emf-leitlinie_de.pdfEnglish version in:http://www.magdahavas.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Austrian-EMF-Guidelines-2012.pdf

6.- PECCEM letter to John F. Ryan, Acting Director Public Health Directorate, Health and Consumers Directorate General, European Commission (October 2014). This letter contained the links of other letters also denouncing the conflict of interest in the SCENHIR: Eileen O’Connor and Susan Foster of the EM Radiation Research Trust, Cindy Sage on behalf of the BioInitiative Working Group, Mona Nilsson of the Swedish Radiation Protection Foundation, Iris Atzmonh, and scientists
like Hansson Mild, Lennart Hardel, Fredrik Söderqvist, Michael Carlberg, …

Letters in English, French, and Spanish:

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