In tonight’s Evening Standard, Dr Christian Jessen examined the claims that mobile phones cause health problems and came to the conclusion that “the only health issue firmly associated with mobile phones is an increased risk of car accidents for people who use mobiles while driving.” You just know there’s going to be a “but” though, don’t you?
And there is. His final paragraph is this:
By way of an interesting tangent, we do know that some people can be allergic to modern technology, suffering from a condition called electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Exposure to the types of radiation produced by mobile phones, microwaves and wi-fi can cause sleep problems, weakness, dizziness and fainting, severe headaches and even skin rashes. Given that such radiation is now everywhere, it must make life particularly difficult.
A google search for academic investigation of this phenomenon through up this PubMed item which states:
Thirty-one experiments testing 725 “electromagnetically hypersensitive” participants were identified. Twenty-four of these found no evidence to support the existence of a biophysical hypersensitivity, whereas 7 reported some supporting evidence. For 2 of these 7, the same research groups subsequently tried and failed to replicate their findings. In 3 more, the positive results appear to be statistical artefacts. The final 2 studies gave mutually incompatible results. Our metaanalyses found no evidence of an improved ability to detect EMF in “hypersensitive” participants.
The symptoms described by “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” sufferers can be severe and are sometimes disabling. However, it has proved difficult to show under blind conditions that exposure to EMF can trigger these symptoms. This suggests that “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” is unrelated to the presence of EMF, although more research into this phenomenon is required.
I thought an email to the Standard was in order:
Dear Ms Sands
I was disappointed to see that in an otherwise sensible analysis of the health problems associated with mobile phone use, Dr Jessen concluded by asserting as fact that mobile phones and wifi “can cause sleep problems, weakness, dizziness and fainting, severe headaches and even skin rashes.” In fact, research into this phenomenon has failed to establish any kind of link with the microwaves used by mobile phone and wifi systems.
For example, a systematic review of provocation studies available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15784787 concluded that the “symptoms described by “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” sufferers can be severe and are sometimes disabling. However, it has proved difficult to show under blind conditions that exposure to EMF can trigger these symptoms. This suggests that “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” is unrelated to the presence of EMF…”
[phone number given]
I’ll blog if there’s any response but I’m not holding my breath.