Irish Governmental investigation into the effects of EMFs

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Jan 13, 2012, 11:27:00 AM1/13/12
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The Irish Government is about to conduct another investigation into the effects of electromagnetic frequencies on living forms.  And so we prime specimens of such ill-effects have rolled up our sleeves once again and got busy with submissions.  Lets hope this time around . . . yea, let's hope . . .

Below is my submission, with its emphasis on our need for medical recognition of EHS.
Until then,  all we can expect from the medical fraternity is their madcap response of to keep right on locking us up until we admit to the error of our ever thinking we could possibly be adversely affected by frequencies that bring so much pleasure and convenience into other people's lives. 

Best, Imelda, Cork
                                     _______________________________


Dear Mr O'Cruadhlaoich:

Below is my four-page submission to the Committee of 2012 for the investigation of possibly adverse bio-effects from electromagnetic radiative sources. 
I am also posting a package to you containing a printout of this letter  along with printouts of all of the attachments mentioned at the end of my letter.

Yours Sincerely,

Imelda O'Connor



                        

To:                                                                               From:

Eugene O’Cruadhlaoich                                                 Imelda O'Connor

Clerk for Committee                                                      29 Castle Hill

Joint Committee on Environment,                                   The Rock

Transport, Culture and Gaeltacht                                    Carrigaline, Co.Cork

House of Oireachtas                                              imeldaoconnor:hotmail.com   Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

eugene.ocr...@oireachtas.ie

 

11 January, 2012



 Ref:  Effects of Electromagnetic radiation and in the numbers suffering from electrosensitivity


 Dear Mr O’Cruadhlaoich and Members of this Committee:



I am electrosensitive/electrohypersensitive  (ES/EHS).  That is my reason for this submission to you.  I have direct experience of how devastating it is to be misdiagnosed as psychotic and deemed delusional when I insisted I was adversely affected by EMR (electromagnetic radiation).  My case, sadly, is identical to what is happening to almost all EHS sufferers who seek medical help:  current practice is to refer them for psychiatric treatment and /or prescribe anti-psychotic medication.  This appalling medical intervention must stop. 

 As a founding member of IERVN  (Irish Electromagnetic Radiation Victims Network, summer 1999), I have been active in increasing awareness of EHS and networking with other victims and associations worldwide for well over a decade.  And, thank goodness, awareness of this ever increasing and most debilitating condition has grown enormously over the intervening years.  Yet, we have gained minimal medical recognition for the validity of our EHS condition. 



 Other submissions to you will outline clearly why progress in gaining medical validation of EHS has been so difficult.  My submission is mostly limited to explaining to you just exactly what EHS effects I suffer and how devastating it is when the medical community unnecessarily double the suffering by snap-judging us as delusional and in need of psychiatric treatment.  To be locked up, deprived of one’s liberty, and forced to take inappropriate (and in my own case, very dangerous) anti-psychotic medication is a grave violation of any EHS person’s basic human rights.  And, as I’ve written above,  my experience is by no means an isolated one.  I have in my possession countless letters from EHS people worldwide, each with a heartbreaking narrative to relate of how a life has been turned upside-down  as one fled from home and so on to seek relief from manmade radiation.  On the Swedish support website (www.feb.se) the book Black and  White, downloadable there, recounts similarly tragic narratives from EHS Swedes. And there are so many other documented human accounts from various countries, all growing exponentially as more succumb to the EMR onslaught. 

 


I am enclosing with this letter, just one  copy of such a letter from an EHS victim.  It was sent to me by an UK based EHS sufferer who was sectioned and treated roughly and harshly, all in the name of medical intervention!  This letter is easily retrievable via google:  type in Another Tragic Misdiagnosis of an EHS sufferer who has been locked up and forcibly medicated (15/9/02).  I felt at the time that her case was such an outrage  (the health care professionals set her up and then she was pounced on, dragged along a corridor, bruised and battered in the process and committed!  Brutal, unquestionably so.) I should seek legal intervention for her.  In the letter I wrote on her behalf to a London-based Human Rights lawyer, almost ten years ago  (my letter is date September 15, 2002), I stated:  

     

          Something must be done, about EHS sufferers being misdiagnosed as 

          psychotic and treated the way they are.  Brice Dickson, who is N. Ireland

          Chief Commissioner of  Human Rights, has said last week that he is trying

          to table for his committee medical misdiagnoses for consideration as

          grievous Human Rights violations.  But there are also other factors:  the

          deprivation of the EHS person’s freedom when  “sectioned”,  the cruelty of

          being forced to take anti-psychotic medication when the person is not

          psychotic, being branded with the stigma that is attached to having a

          mental illness  when the unfortunate EHS sufferer is very sane indeed, etc.


 

And here we are, a decade later, and this barbaric practice of shooing EHS sufferers into psychiatric care continues.  And will continue until medical doctors are properly educated about EHS and the medical establishment accepts the reality of the condition.   In the British ES-UK support group’s latest newsletter  (Electrosensitivity UK News, December 2011, Vol. 9, Number 4) it states (page 3) that from now ES-UK is giving greater  support to sectioned EHS patients.  “With the generous help of some NHS doctors, the charity Electrosensitivity UK has been involved in informing relevant clinicians about the nature of electro-sensitivity and advising on the best medical treatment for sufferers, in place of sectioning and drug prescriptions.  Those doctors who have sectioned EHS patients have often lacked access to appropriate medical advice.  If you are aware  of anyone at risk, please contact the volunteer telephone helpline.”   

 

 I have purposely exposed online details of my own  EHS condition and  how I sought in vain legal help to get my misdiagnosis corrected, so that this information would be available and might be useful to any other EHS victims and/or their supporters who were dealing with a similar situation.  When you Google:  Imelda O’Connor, EHS the heading:  EHS FROM PASSIVE AND TARGETED EXPOSURES    when opened contains a fairly substantial account of my experiences from 1996.

 Relevant information is also retrievable by googling:  Imelda O’Connor, Carrigaline.

 

 I must admit that my initial reaction some weeks ago, when informed of the launch of yet another Irish governmental committee to investigate the possibility of adverse health affects from EMR/microwave sources was:  oh dear, here we go again with yet another sham, a whitewash, that will ensure the inevitable result for industry that all is healthy and well and to keep right on locking up those pathetic deluded creatures—what is that they call themselves?  ES or EHS or whatever!

 

But then on reflection I decided that however sceptical I feel about the sincerity of the latest investigation, I have a duty of care, of support,  toward all those other EHS victims that can not submit their accounts (due to the severity of their condition, residing outside this jurisdiction, or whatever) which does not allow me to just shrug my shoulders and walk away from any involvement. 

 

I hope that the tiny little flicker of hope I  have in your capacity to enact beneficial change for us will have reason to stay alight and may even grow stronger in the course of time.  And that fragile flicker is also sustained by the fact that all is not quite so bleak now as it was prior to 2005 in acquiring some sort of legal justice when medically misdiagnosed with psychiatric illnesses .  In that year, two favourable judgements were handed down , by the Irish High Court to John Manweiler and by the European Court of Human Rights to Vera Stein  (refer to accompanying documents for details), precedents which most favourably enhance the chances of success for  any EHS litigants who have been similarly misdiagnosed.   Furthermore, as statutes of limitation for these cases were unusually generous—they stretched back decades—it would appear that legal justice could yet prevail for EHS sufferers who have been failed by the medical system many years ago.



If you feel I can be of any further help to you in this investigation, please let me know.

 

Sincerely,

 

Imelda O’Connor, Ph.D.

 

Enclosures:

 “Another Tragic Misdiagnosis of an EHS sufferer who Has Been Locked up and Forcibly Medicated (15/9/02)”


“EHS >From Passive and Targeted Exposures”


 “ElectroSensitivity UK News, December 2011)


“ 3 Million Euros  Irish Jury Award for Patient misdiagnosed as Psychotic and Sectioned”


“Vera Stein, Involuntarily Detained, Won at European Court of Human Rights”


A copy of Dr. Jean A. Munro's (Breakspear Hospital, UK)  medical diagnosis of me: that  I am electrohypersensitive.



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Jan 13, 2012, 11:46:46 AM1/13/12
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Imelda O'Connor has asked that I forward the following to you regarding the Irish government's call for submissions on electromagnetism / microwaves, etc.

This is part of our submission:


I'm also attaching it as a pdf and Prof. Olle Johansson's submission as well.

I hope you find this of interest. You are free to use it in any way you see fit.

The clerk of the committee has assured me that submissions received after the January 15 deadline will be accepted.

Kind regards,

John Weigel
Alliance for Irish Radiation Protection 
Mr. Eugene O Cruadhlaoich2 (Clerk for Committee), Ref-
signal.pdf

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Jan 14, 2012, 4:49:22 PM1/14/12
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Imelda asked me to resend our attachment. Enough people have complained, more than enough, to raise suspicions.

John Weigel


�The following is the text of Prof. Johansson�s submission:

Stockholm, January 9, 2012

Mr. Eugene O Cruadhlaoich (Clerk for Committee), Joint Committee on Environment, Transport, Culture and Gaeltacht, House of Oireachtas, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

Ref: �effects of electromagnetic radiation and in the numbers suffering from electrosensitivity�

by Olle Johansson,�

The Experimental Dermatology Unit,�

Department of Neuroscience,�

Karolinska Institute,�

Stockholm, Sweden


The present risk assessment of electromagnetic fields, such as mobile phone radiation, is scientifically untenable. In the official assessments from the World Health Organization (WHO) of the modern, man-made electromagnetic fields� health risks, epidemiology (the study of health-event, health-characteristic, or health-determinant patterns in a society) has had a strongly dominant position.

From the point of view of theory of science, it is not justifiable to establish safety mainly on epidemiology because this is a so-called �soft� approach with significant weaknesses that prevent reliable risk assessment. There are many examples of how epidemiological methods have lead to wrong conclusions.

A classical example is that this research method led to the belief that tuberculosis was caused by �bad smell�. Only when better research methods evolved could it be established that tuberculosis was caused by bacteria.

A widely studied example of an erroneous conclusion based on numerous epidemiological

studies is that women who were taking combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) also had a lower-than-average incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD). This lead to the proposal that HRT was protective against CHD. But randomized controlled trials showed that HRT caused a small but statistically significant increase in risk of CHD (see Lawlor DA, Davey Smith G, Ebrahim S (2004). �Commentary: the hormone replacement-coronary heart disease conundrum: is this the death of observational epidemiology?�. Int J Epidemiol 33 (3): 464-467).

Because it tries to deal with whole populations, mostly based on various population subsets, epidemiology is too blunt and indirect to be able to assess risks reliably, rapidly and correctly. For example, it is impossible to know exactly how great the exposure has been in the individual case, because one must rely on subjective estimates in such large-scale studies. Moreover, it is difficult to avoid all sources of error that may make a risk over- or underestimated. (The on-going debate over the recent Interphone and Danish cohort �cancer versus mobile phone use� studies is a grand example of precisely this.) Epidemiology has much weaker evidential strength than experimental approaches, something pointed out even in textbooks of epidemiology!

Some leading experts have questioned whether this method can yield useful results at all :

�And if we take into account the track record [of epidemiological research] .. Would not They do just as well if They simply tossed a coin?� Sander Greenland, professor of epidemiology at McGill University.

In any case, it is not scientifically justifiable to base risk assessment of electromagnetic fields mainly on such an unreliable method.

Proper scientific risk assessment must take into account many different aspects, relying mainly on methods that can establish causation in a correct way. Above all, it is by no means scientifically tenable to maintain that modern, man-made electromagnetic fields, including mobile phone radiation, is harmless on the basis of epidemiological data only (as has often been done).

Scientific risk assessment

To obtain a realistic idea of the risk you have to consider observations from several different research areas in addition to those of epidemiology, including experimental DNA research, cancer research, cell biology, physiology and pathophysiology, brain research, etc.


The observations in these areas all indicate that modern, man-made electromagnetic fields, including mobile phone radiation, causes a significant risk of various disturbances of the physiology as well as damage to biological tissues, cells and molecules, in particular proteins and DNA.

It is therefore high time to apply rigorous multidisciplinary assessment of electromagnetic fields� risks.

It is therefore high time to abandon the pseudo-scientific risk assessment methodology that industry-sponsored top experts have designed to benefit industry interests at the expense of the public health.

It is therefore high time to replace an inconclusive and unreliable epidemiology-based risk assessment with a rigorous interdisciplinary risk assessment, where epidemiology must assume the subordinate role it should have.

Since over 10 years there exists sufficient interdisciplinary data to indicate what will be the result of such a rigorous multidisciplinary risk assessment of modern, man-made electromagnetic fields, including mobile phone radiation. It is now very high time to do this assessment.

As a matter of fact, the current data are already so abundant that there is no need to wait for further research before action is taken to limit the exposure to e.g. mobile phone radiation. This is the clear responsibility of our radiation safety authorities, public health authorities and national boards of health and welfare as issued in the form of risk management protocols from parliaments and their governments, and has been pointed out many times (see e.g. Fragopoulou A, Grigoriev Y, Johansson O, Margaritis LH, Morgan L, Richter E, Sage C, (2010) Scientific panel on electromagnetic field health risks: Consensus points, recommendations, and rationales. Rev Env Health, 25(4):307-17).

Had all these points above been taken in consideration one can be sure that the recent classification of The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC; May 31, 2011) of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, which are emitted by mobile phones, wireless devices, radar and radio and television broadcasts, as possibly cancerogenic to humans (IARC Group 2B) instead had been termed �probably� or even �definitely�.

+++++++++

From the above mentioned paper, The Seletun Scientific Panel Statement, by Fragopoulou et al (2010) the following may be summarized.

Electromagnetic field (EMF) exposures (static to 300 GHz) result from the use of electric power and from wireless telecommunications technologies for voice and data transmission, energy, security, military and radar use in weather and transportation. The Scientific Panel recognizes that the body of evidence on EMF requires a new approach to protection of public health; the growth and development of the fetus, and of children; and argues for strong preventative actions. Personally, I have met a vast number of sufferers, including persons with the functional impairment electrohypersensitivity, who have been referred to me over the years. The incidence increases seen for a multiplicity of diseases as well as dwindling health resources in the face of anticipated demand, do make me worried.

The existing scientific evidence, the body of evidence on biological and biomedical effects of electromagnetic fields, and public health implications of the unprecedented global exposures to artificial electromagnetic fields requires a new approach to:

1) Low-intensity (non-thermal) bioeffects and adverse health effects are demonstrated at levels significantly below existing exposure standards.

2) ICNIRP and IEEE/FCC public safety limits are inadequate and obsolete with respect to prolonged, low-intensity exposures.

3) New, biologically-based public exposure standards are urgently needed to protect public health world-wide.

4) It is not in the public interest to wait.

Strong concern has been voiced by the public, and by scientists as well as public health and environmental policy experts, that the deployment of technologies that expose billions of people worldwide to new sources of EMF may pose a pervasive risk to public health. Such exposures did not exist before the �age of industry and information�. Prolonged exposure appears to disrupt biological processes that are fundamental to plant, animal and human growth and health. Life on earth did not evolve with biological protections or adaptive biological responses to these EMF exposures. Exceptionally small levels of EMF from earth and space existed during the time that all life evolved on earth on the order of less than a billionth to one ten-billionth of a Watt per meter squared. A rapidly accumulating body of scientific evidence of harm to health and well-being constitute warnings that adverse health effects can occur with prolonged exposures to very low-intensity EMF at biologically active frequencies or frequency combinations.

The Seletun Scientific Panel has adopted a Consensus Agreement that recommends preventative and precautionary actions that are warranted now, given the existing evidence for potential global health risks. We recognize the duty of governments and their health agencies to educate and warn the public, to implement measures balanced in favor of the Precautionary Principle, to monitor compliance with directives promoting alternatives to wireless, and to fund research and policy development geared toward prevention of exposures and development of new public safety measures.

Points of Agreement � Global populations are not sufficiently protected from electromagnetic fields (EMF) from emerging communication and data transmission technologies that are being deployed worldwide, affecting billions of people;

� Sensitive populations (for example, the elderly, the ill, the genetically and/or immunologically challenged) and children and fetuses may be additionally vulnerable to health risks; their exposures are largely involuntary and they are less protected by existing public safety standards;

� It is well established that children are more vulnerable to health risks from environmental toxins in general;

� It is established that the combined effects of chemical toxins and EMF together is greater than either exposure alone;

� The Seletun Scientific Panel takes note of international scientific reviews, resolutions and recommendations documenting scientific and public health evidence on EMF exposures;

� The Seletun Scientific Panel notes that complete �consistency� of study findings is not to be expected, and it should not be interpreted as a necessary pre-condition for a consensus linking EMF exposure to health impacts. �Consistency in nature does not require that all or even a majority of studies find the same effect. If all studies of lead showed the same relationship between variables, one would be startled, perhaps justifiably suspicious� (Needleman HL. Making models of real world events: the use and abuse of inference. Neurotoxicol Teratol 1995;17: 241-2; discussion 249-51);

� The Seletun Scientific Panel acknowledges that some, but not all, of these exposures support preventative and precautionary action, and the need for more stringent public health limits (Fragopoulou et al, 2010). In addition to this, one may add the need for legislation limiting the number and types of frequencies a person can be exposed to simultaneously. In addition, the implementation of genuine Healthy and Smart Building codes is a must. Along this I strongly urge you to shield and bury cables rather than using pylon systems as carriers of information as well as power;

� The Seletun Scientific Panel takes note of international scientific resolutions and expressions of concern including the Salzburg, Catania, Freiberger Appeals, and the Helsinki, Irish Doctors (IDEA), Benevento, Venice, London, and Porto Alegre Resolutions (2000-2009);

� The Panel is guided by previously recommended target limits for EMF exposure in the BioInitiative Report (2007) and the London Resolution (2009);

� The Panel urges governments to adopt an explicit statement that �the standard for judging and acting on the scientific evidence shall be based on prudent public health planning principles rather than scientific certainty of effect (causal evidence)�. Actions are warranted based on limited or weak scientific evidence � or a sufficiency of evidence � rather than a conclusive scientific evidence (causation or scientific certainty), where the consequence of doing nothing in the short term may cause irreparable public health harm, where the populations potentially at risk are very large, where there are alternatives without similar risks, or where the exposures are largely involuntary;

� The Seletun Scientific Panel urges governments to make explicit that the burden of proof of safety rests with the producers and providers of EMF-producing technologies, not with the users and consumers. (N.B. This means that the current use of whole - or parts of � populations as �test rabbits� in a live environment must end. [I am aware of the fact that the Irish government "rents" frequencies for anybody to come and test their technology through a programme called "Test and Trial".]);

� The Seletun Scientific Panel recommends an international registry be established to track time-trends in incidence and mortality for cancers and neurological and immune diseases. Tracking effects of EMF on children and sensitive EHS populations is a high priority. There should be open access to this information;

� The Panel recommends existing brain tumour registries provide timely age-specific incidence rates. An early indication of brain tumors from mobile (cell) phone use could be in the younger age-specific incidence rates. Where such brain tumors registries to not exist, they should be established;

� In accordance with this, the introduction of a radiation-monitoring department is highly desirable. There should be open access to this information.

It must be in everyone's interest, including the industry and the financial sector, to develop tomorrow's human-friendly and �green� technology � and to do it now! This is the clear responsibility of the democratically elected body of every country as well as of the EU.

With my very best regards, Yours sincerely,

Olle Johansson, Assoc. Prof., The Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden


�I�m also attaching the �Warning Signal� in pdf format.


�I can�t say thank you enough for participating in this process. I think we are all becoming aware of what we�re up against...


�Thank you and, as the Irish say, look after yourself.


Kind regards,


John Weigel

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