The World Health Organization (WHO) states that electromagnetic pollution represents one of the most influential environmental issues and that it has largely grown due to technological advances. One of the consequences of this type of pollution is the increase in cases of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), a phenomenon in which people experience symptoms associated with exposure to low electromagnetic frequencies such as radio and microwaves. These frequencies are generated by electronic devices such as wi-fi routers, fluorescent lights, mobile phones, and electric blankets among others.
EHS symptoms include tiredness, insomnia, neurological problems (e.g., memory loss, cognitive impairment), headaches, body, and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tinnitus, palpitations, chest pain, redness, itching, burning sensation, stress, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, irritability, mood swings, anger, excessive worry, and crying. Symptoms can appear with greater or lesser intensity as well as take minutes or many days to vanish. They can make people’s life so difficult that some are even forced to stop working and change their lifestyle completely.
|Increased body temperature||Anger|
|Sound and Light Sensitivity||Crying|
Despite people’s experience, WHO states that, after conducting “well-controlled” and “double-blind” studies, no correlation has been found between symptoms of EHS and exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic frequencies (also known as non-ionizing radiation). This is not, however, true. In a CIA secret document from 1976, we find several studies carried out by the former Soviet Union. These studies investigated the impact of electromagnetic radiation on living organisms and one of the states that, despite the adoption of protective measures at work, workers exposed to radio devices showed symptoms of regular and prolonged exposure to electromagnetic frequencies (e.g. increased body temperature, high concentration of carbon monoxide).
This same secret document contains a study ran with 365 workers in which the majority of them showed signs of illness as a result of being exposed to electromagnetic low frequencies. Among these signs were cerebrovascular diseases, generalized and distal hyperhidrosis, cyanosis, distal limbs, inefficient thermoregulation, feverish temperatures, palpitations, headache, chest pain, asthenia, feelings of fear, irritability, crying, tiredness, desire to sleep during the day, lack of interest in distractions (e.g., family, hobbies), memory loss, difficulty in assimilating information, mental tension, hypnagogic states, visual hallucinations, paraesthesia (burning sensation on the skin without external cause), obsession, anxiety and decreased affectivity.
Another study described what scientists called “microwave syndrome”, and which was identified in at least a quarter of the military men who worked with radio and radar equipment. It is important to mention here that this equipment functioned with frequencies lower than today’s reference values. Among the reported symptoms were fatigue, dizziness, headaches, problems with concentration and memory, sleep disorders, and exalted temperament. In the 80s, a study was carried out in Sweden that showed people exposed to computer video screens built with cathode ray tubes reported similar symptoms to those found in the microwave syndrome: headaches, dizziness, flushing, burning sensation on the skin, tiredness, eczema, sensitivity to sound and light, swollen faces and sensitivity to electronic equipment.
In 1984, a study was also carried out by the US naval unit which concluded that exposure to radiation emitted by electronic devices can change cellular behavior, tissues, organs, hormone levels, immune processes, and brain waves. In 1997, another study with 540 people who lived near high voltage poles also concluded that there is a correlation between the exposure length to radiation and the existence of psychiatric symptoms. The study suggests that the greater the number of times people are exposed to radiation, the more likely they are to develop psychiatric conditions.
In 2000, a study with 138,905 workers exposed to low radio frequencies at a power plant was published and the results suggest an equal association between exposure to low frequencies and the number of suicide cases. This same study added that these changes may be related to a mechanism involved in the regulation of melatonin and depression. A 2004’s Iranian study with 103 electricians also showed an existent relationship between the length of exposure to low frequencies and the development of depression, psychosis, compulsion, hostility, and anxiety.
All these studies represent scientific evidence that there are harmful effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic energy (e.g., radio frequencies) on people’s health and well-being. The negative impact of such exposure has been found to compromise growth, regulation of body temperature and hunger/thirst mechanisms as well as emotional impairment. Nonetheless, governments and international organizations continue to deny such harmful effects while even promoting initiatives that increase electromagnetic pollution. These initiatives include the installment of more cell towers, antennas, and free wi-fi networks that cover entire cities.
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