Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

16 July 2015

Comments on Wireless Technology and Electrosensitivity

We are updating this newspaper comment by adding one from Nancy Miller in Canada, replying to a CBC radio program on the subject of "How are employers accommodating your disability?" (Federal public servants with visual impairments say their employer is failing to get them the tools they need to do their jobs. How well are employers accommodating you?):

Nancy Miller

I resigned from my teaching position due to lack of accommodation for an invisible illness - environmental sensitivity. I did get accommodation for chemicals/scented products, but NOT for electrohypersensitivity (EHS), which is a biological reaction to radiation frequencies from wireless networks (and is recognized as a disability by the Ontario Human rights Commission).

There is an increasing number of teachers (and students) who can no longer tolerate being in a wireless environment for extended periods of time. We experience chronic head and muscle aches, extreme fatigue, rashes, foggy thinking and irregular/rapid heart rates. These health effects are not conducive to effective teaching! The accommodations we are requesting are easy to implement: a wired connection for our personal computer, on/off switches for the access point (router) in the classroom and in common areas, and requesting that those working within 15 meters put their cell phones in "airplane" mode.

Teachers with this disability are being denied accommodation, as I believe it is becoming a hot-button issue, just as cigarettes were a few decades ago.

If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would be too ill from wifi technology to continue in my job, I would not have believed them. Yet this is my reality; it's been a financial struggle as well as a social one, and one that has a very reasonable solution.


And another published in the Tribune de Genève:

Wi-Fi:  Precaution Should Take Precedence
by Meris Michaels, Readers' Mail, Tribune de Genève, 16 July 2015

Thank you to Catherine Marti (Municipal Councillor, Carouge, Green Party) for her good sense in abstaining from voting for the project to install public Wi-Fi in the streets of Carouge [commune of Geneva] on the grounds of invoking the precautionary principle because "we do not clearly know the consequences of these waves for health."  We must listen to the testimonies of very young "electrosensitive" persons:  how these waves have ruined their childhood:  making it impossible to attend school, enjoy a social life, which is devastating for a young person.  And if there is Wi-Fi everywhere?  These persons will not be able to go out into the street, but instead will have to stay home, imprisoned by the need to protect themselves from the waves that are so damaging to their health.  Instead of protecting the most vulnerable persons in our society, most elected officials prefer to sacrifice them to the egotism of those who demand to be connected everywhere at all times.  Please, invoke the precautionary principle by limiting installation of public Wi-Fi!

Wi-Fi and Disability Insurance (AI)
by Meris Michaels, Readers' Mail, Tribune de Genève, 20 juin 2015

Persons suffering from fibromyalgia or a whip-lash injury may more easily have access to disability insurance (AI).  But when will the ordeal of electrohypersensitve (EHS) persons end?  They also merit being understood and having the right to a disability allowance.

It is also time that physicians in Suisse Romande recognize EHS and ensure that such environmental diseases are included in medical training.  With Wi-Fi everywhere in Geneva (more than 300 public access points, in offices, in some schools) and hundreds of mobile phone antennas, more and more persons will be afflicted with this syndrome of intolerance to electromagnetic waves.  According to estimates, electrosensitive persons already make up 5% of the population (nearly 24,000 persons in Geneva).  They should receive an allowance to enable them to purchase protection materials and be compensated for their inability to work.

Every one of us can ease their suffering by switching off Wi-Fi and cordless phones in one's home between use.  May the public show more compassion for electrohypersensitive persons, by taking action to reduce exposure to waves and ensuring the right to a disability allowance for these people.

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