Electromagnetic Hyper Sensitivity (EHS) – Allergy to WiFi
This highly controversial and little-understood condition has drawn a lot of media attention as late and could see much more publicity in weeks and months to come following a landmark ruling in France for a lady who claims to suffer from Electromagnetic Hyper Sensitivity caused by exposure to electromagnetic radiation from man-made sources and has been forced to live in a somewhat nomadic state out of the radius of wi-fi signals. A French court recently ruled that this lady would be entitled to disability living allowance of €800 per month for a period of 3 years. This ruling could ultimately be very damaging.
Sufferers of EHS are supposedly made sick by signals from mobile phones, wi-fi routers and other gadgets, with symptoms including headaches, sleep disturbance, tiredness, nausea, depression and blood pressure changes to name but a few. In medical terms these symptoms are ‘nonspecific as they could be relatable to a multitude of conditions or ailments. It should be noted that the French court ruling did not recognize EHS as an actual illness, and most experts feel it is caused by the ‘nocebo effect’ which is just knowing that wi-fi signal is present makes people think that they should be feeling unwell.
The World Health Organisation does list EHS as a condition, but it doesn’t suggest that electromagnetic radiation is the cause however. EHS officially doesn’t have any diagnostic criteria.
The French ruling brings to light many other similar legal battles, including one of a set of parents in Boston Massachusetts who are suing their son’s school for damages of $250 million, as they claim the school wi-fi signal is making their son sick. They propose that the school should either switch to ethernet connection or a former wifi supplier that did not appear to give their son symptoms of EHS.
The ruling in France adds to a growing body of legal precedent on EHS and its legitimacy. Ruling that EHS is a disability (or warranting of disability allowance) shows the court to be legitimizing the claim of the plaintiff – Marine Richard (39).
On a worldwide scale, courts in Australia have awarded workers compensation to EHS patients, while in Sweden, EHS has been officially classified as a ‘functional impairment’ which affords a range of legal protections and accommodations.
Will this ruling open floodgates on other schools, employers and go so far as multi-national corporations? If nothing else, it has most certainly shone a closer light on the condition and its potential ramifications.