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03 November 2019

Switzerland: "Among specialists, two visions clash": Interview on electrohypersensitivity with Dr. Martin Forter, Director of Doctors for the Environment (MfE)

Interview on electrohypersensitivity with Dr Martin Forter, Director of Doctors for the Environment (MfE)

Among specialists, two visions clash
by Lucie Monnat, ABO+, Tribune de Genève, 2 November 2019 . translation
Dr. Martin Forter
(Image: Dave Joss)

Can we say that electrosensitivity is a real disease, or is it an affliction that comes from the mind?

Electrosensitivity is not a diagnosis, but a subjective notion. Some people assume that the cause of their ailments is related to wireless or electrical devices, or that their condition is getting worse under the influence of electrosmog. In representative surveys conducted in Germany and abroad, 5% of respondents reported that they were electrosensitive. But none of the studies conducted so far have been able to demonstrate a correlation between patient complaints and electrosmog.

WHO therefore does not recognize a causal link. For us, the results are not convincing from a medical point of view. The researchers tested people's ability to perceive or not exposure to waves under conditions specially created for their study. These can never reflect actual conditions. As part of a pilot project (editor's note: in collaboration with the Federal Office of Public Health), we carried out a physical, psychological and environmental examination of electrosensitive patients.

For some of them, a link with electrosmog could be attested, even if the limit values were respected. Our own experience also confirms this. What is also quite convincing is that the symptoms disappear when the stress stops. An in-depth analysis report of ANSES (editor's note: National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety in France) showed that there is an urgent need to create counselling structures for those affected and to investigate electrosensitivity further. I can only support this opinion.

What can be recommended for electrosensitive people?

The suffering of each electrosensitive person is very individual. We recommend that they contact their general practitioner for a thorough medical examination. In a second step, the patient can monitor, discuss and take certain related actions in the environment in which he or she lives with his or her family doctor. For environmental issues, doctors and environmental protection doctors, but also the cantonal environmental offices, are at the disposal of the family doctor and his patient.

Is radiation protective clothing effective against electrosmog?

No studies have examined their effectiveness or impact. I can't answer that question.

Can 5G worsen the condition of people who report suffering from it?

Electrosensitive people complain about the effects produced by the proximity of objects related to wi-fi or Bluetooth technologies and with high-voltage power lines. With the introduction of 5G, it is likely that the use of devices connected close to the body will increase considerably.

Devices worn directly on the body, or commonly used, such as smartphones or many devices related to the "Internet of Things", will send and receive more and more data. Unfortunately, therefore, we must assume that daily radiofrequencies will generally increase, even if new technologies transmit more efficiently per unit of data.


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