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12 February 2016

France: "Unbearable" Pain and Vested Interests: Laurence Abeille Tackles Electrohypersensitivity

Laurence Abeille denounces action led by lobbys allowing the authorities
to pass laws on wireless technology. 
©Stéphane Allaman/Sipa
"Unbearable" pain and vested interests: Laurence Abeille tackles hypersensitivity to (electromagnetic) waves
by Pierre Plottu, francesoir.fr,
10 February 2016
(editorial changes of auto translation by the Editor of "Towards Better Health")

MP Laurence Abeille (EELV, Val-de-Marne) and MEP Michèle Rivasi (EELV) are organizing a symposium to publicize and recognize electro-hypersensitivity, Thursday [11 February 2016] at the National Assembly. In an interview with "FranceSoir", Ms. Abeille calls for awareness of the health authorities "that the protection of populations is a priority, and to set standards."

Known for decades, the subject remains taboo for health authorities. In any case, this is what the submissions of Laurence Abeille MP (EELV, Val-de-Marne) say about electro-hypersensitivity . She is organizing a symposium on the subject at the National Assembly this Thursday the 11th for the purpose of recognition of this disease that affects hundreds of thousands of French persons according to experts. Because there is a long way to go, Ms. Abeille discloses in an interview with FranceSoir. Ms. Abeille protests in particular the lack of interest of the Minister of Health for these patients. "A mistake" on the part of Marisol Touraine she said, "Today's children are born in this context and there is no attention that this is being seriously considered."

First, what is electro-hypersensitivity?

"Electro-hypersensitivity is a phenomenon known since the 1950's. Originally, these are symptoms related to the use of radar, and precautions exist today for the use of military hardware that function with waves. (...) Today, we have an explosion of wireless technologies and over the last decade, cases of intolerance to electromagnetic waves have appeared. Symptoms are quite varied, making it sometimes difficult to make the connection, but the best known are unbearable headaches or skin problems. There is also the recognition of brain tumors directly related to the use of a mobile phone held to the ear. (...) As for numbers, experts agree that 1-3% of the population would be affected by electro-hypersensitivity to different degrees (between 600,000 and 1.8 million French, Ed). These figures are increasing and some mention 4 to 5% of the population could be affected in the coming years. "

What is the purpose of the symposium that you are organizing on this issue in the Assembly?

"To take stock with specialists, doctors and scientists. (...) This is important because those affected are isolated due to the fact that means of communication are unbearable for them. They are not being heard.

"I made a law on electromagnetic waves, enacted a year ago, in which I mention this isssue, but which still awaits implementation decrees. It foresees a report on the issue of electrohypersensitivity in children which was to have been published in late 2015, but is now announced for the end of 2016 by ANSES. (...) All the studies on the subject show that there is greater risk for younger persons because their blood-brain barrier, the shell that protects the brain, is not sufficiently developed and is more porous. The authorities already recommend not to let them play with connected tablets or phones and thanks to my law, have banned Wi-Fi in nursery schools, but not in other schools"

Precisely what reception did you receive from the authorities?

"Doctors have prepared an appeal that we wanted to send tomorrow (Thursday 11, Ed) to Marisol Touraine, but the minister refused. This is a mistake. That she does not even bother to send someone from her office is scandalous. (...) This technology is allowed to develop without bothering to study its impact on our health. (...) I think there is a major health scandal coming which will be linked to environmental pollution, by waves or other, and that this subject is absolutely not treated by the health authorities. (...) We are faced with a wireless lobby, notably telecoms operators which is up in arms against the law which I had voted, even if it is very measured, and against anything that might limit their profit. (...) For the Minister to be represented at the symposium would be a recognition by the authorities that we have a public health problem and that without panicking, must be treated. "

Recognized by the courts following a decision of the Incapacity Dispute Court of Toulouse in July 2015, or by the departmental center for disabled persons of Essonne in April 2014, electrohypersensitivity remains contested. In January this year, the Administrative Court of Marseille refused expertise for a teacher who said she was afflicted ...

"Scientists from around the world have published numerous studies proving the existence of this disease (...) This is the whole issue: that studies on this or another subject, which constantly hinder the advance of protecting people, are dismantling the results. This "strategy of doubt" is being implemented by the industrial and financial lobbies, this is what happened with asbestos. It is here that the political decision-making must intervene: to say that protecting the population is a priority and to set standards (...) Today's children are born in this context and there is no attention being seriously given to this. What will this bring in the coming years? Brain tumors? Attention disorders? Infertility problems? "

Original article in French:

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