Good news for some people who have MCS/ES, CFS/ME, and FM
RESCUE PLAN FOR PEOPLE WITH CENTRAL SENSITIVITY SYNDROMES:
THE CITY OF TARRAGONA (CATALONIA, SPAIN) IS THE FIRST MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT THAT IMPLEMENTS IT!
The first municipal government that has stepped forward to implement this plan, is the City of Tarragona Municipal Government (Tarragona is a major city 100 kilometres south of Barcelona). In the plenary session held last November 30th, the “Institutional Declaration of support for people with Central Sensitivity Syndromes” was approved, which consists of a concrete programme of measures. This is a historical step.
In part, the agreement includes:
FIRST. Create and develop a specific support programme for people with CSS and their families in the City of Tarragona, in which the representatives of those affected have to be involved and which will include:
Carry out (with a yearly update) a diagnosis and census of those affected by CSS in the City of Tarragona, showing what is the actual situation and the specific needs of these patients and their families.
An intervention protocol for the staff of the Area of Services to Citizens of the Tarragona City Government to look after those with CSS- including a list of economic subsidies for food, first necessity elements, reduced water bill, and home help specific to the needs of these patients.
Housing protocol for people with CSS, especially those who have MCS and/or EHS, those threatened by eviction or those who are forced to leave their home. This protocol has to include a series of safe social housing (green/white spaces: free of xenobiotics and electromagnetic waves).
Create green/white spaces in all municipal buildings (free of xenobiotics and electromagnetic waves).
Eliminate, as much as possible, the use of pesticides in the whole of the municipality. In the case when this is not possible, establish a communication protocol to contact those affected and the press regarding the places and dates of the interventions with preventive advice.
Training for social workers and educators about CSS, its social, health and economic reality. Elaboration of information and education to increase the knowledge about these illnesses amongst the general population and of the city workers in particular, with the objective of diminishing the stigma that is now present regarding these illnesses.
Protocol for adapting working conditions of the municipal workers who have CSS with specific measures of support when having a flare up. These would be the measures: work schedule flexibility, encourage work from home through internet (teleworking), reserved parking spaces and include in the collective agreement not deduct the salary of the first 20 days of sick leave.
<<For Anton Fernhout of ARA, if an intoxication by heavy metals can be the main factor causing electrohypersensitivity, then it can also occur after prolonged exposure to non-ionizing waves. “This occurs with any intoxication; the body is capable of stocking a certain dose of a toxic substance. Once attaining a certain threshold, it is too much and the floodgates open.”>>]
11 January 2016 – “mieuxprevenir.blogspot.ch”
Waves, this treacherous enemy
by Gregory Balmat, lacote.ch, 30 September 2015 (translation from French by the Editor of “Towards Better Health”)
Inquiry: Electrohypersensitivity can make life nearly impossible. The phenomenon is given far too little recognition in Switzerland.
Migraine headaches, skin burns, joint pains, sharp stinging sensations, this is just a small sample of the physical suffering experienced daily by electrohypersensitive persons when they are exposed to electromagnetic fields or electrosmog.
Ills that are sufficiently painful to completely upset living. The status of this disorder remains unclear in many countries, including Switzerland.
In August, in France, the disability of a woman was recognized by the Incapacity Dispute Court of Toulouse because of her electrohypersensitivity (EHS). In evaluating her functional disability at 85%, the French court allowed her to receive an allowance as a handicapped adult, a first in the Hexagone which could set a judicial precedent and also radically transform the status of French electrohypersensitive persons.
From cause to symptom
In Switzerland, for the time being the recommendations of WHO are being followed, which recognize the symtpoms of affected persons but do not confirm the causal link between their ills and non-ionizing radiation. “These persons are suffering, it’s undeniable. But at present, there is no scientific evidence of a causal relationship between exposure to electromagnetic fields and the symptoms of persons suffering from electrohypersensitivity”, explains Dr. Isabelle Rossi, deputy cantonal physician for canton Vaud.
A lack of causality which risks to cause a problem if an electrohypersensitive person knocks on the door of the Disability Insurance (Assurance invalidité – AI) in Switzerland. “In order for us to be able to consider this, we need to have a medical certificate which links the professional environment of the applicant and the suffering he is experiencing. Since in Switzerland, this link is not recognized by the medical profession, there is little chance that the case would be solid and thus accepted,” explains Dominique Dorthe, spokesperson for the Disability Insurance Office for canton Vaud. He adds that although his office has never handled cases of electrohypersensitivity, it does not mean that affected persons have not requested its services for related disorders like depression.
Physicians’ lack of awareness
This lack of recognition directly affects the detection of electrohypersensitivity. “Diagnosis is basically complicated,” explains Anton Fernhout of the Association romande alerte (ARA), which fights for more restrictive norms concerning electrosmog. “The symptoms are non-specific and can be related to many illnesses. In Switzerland, the medical profession is little aware of environmental medicine. Practitioners who make the link are rare.” Some countries are nevertheless ahead regarding consideration of electrohypersensitivity. In particular, Sweden treats the issue very seriously especially when it is linked to the professional activity of the affected person. “Austrian physicians have developed a protocol for the diagnosis of electrohypersensitivity but few Swiss practitioners are aware of its existence and even fewer use it. It is particularly true in the case of French-speaking Switzerland,” regrets the vice-president of ARA, an environmental engineer by training.
Ways exist, however, to alleviate the suffering of electrohypersensitive persons. An intoxication by heavy metals [see text below] could be the cause in certain cases. But according to Anton Fernhout, it is necessary to try to provide places that are less exposed to non-ionizing radiation, such as the apartment building in Zurich which is exclusively for environmentally intoxicated persons. It must be noted that there exists practically no white zone in Switzerland.
Right now, it is not a question of revising the norms in place for emission levels of relay antennas or mobile phones. The cantonal department of the environment which is dealing with the issue explains that technological surveillance is in place and they are looking at studies on the subject. There is a plethora of studies but their conclusions cast doubt. “Most of the works deal with acute, short-term exposure to electromagnetic fields. There are, by contrast, less studies on the long-term effect of exposure to electromagnetic fields on health. These studies do not imply the existence of a causal link which, however, does not mean that there is the absence of an effect,” comments the deputy cantonal physician.
Moreover, the fact that many researchers are financed by the telecommucations giants leaves one unsure of their impartiality.
A culprit called heavy metals
Aluminum, lead, mercury, silver, tin. These “heavy” metals are present in the human body. Aluminum is for example used as an adjuvant in certain vaccines, while mercury is present in old dental fillings (still current in France due to cost considerations). These substances, however, are potentially toxic to the body. They represent a credible indicator for electrohypersensitive persons. “In some persons, an excessive presence of heavy metals can damage the immune system and favor the proliferation of opportunistic conditions such as the fungal infection Candida albicans which is particularly electrosensitive”, explains Dr. Daniel Chervet at Swiss Medical Detox in Nyon. More generally, these heavy metals can affect the nervous system: “Electromagnetic fields make the protective layer of the brain, the blood-brain-barrier, more permeable and this can favor the intoxication of the brain by heavy metals. The practitioner has already treated patients suffering from EHS with chelation therapy, noting a decrease in symptoms. For Anton Fernhout of ARA, if an intoxication by heavy metals can be the main factor causing electrohypersensitivity, then it can also occur after prolonged exposure to non-ionizing waves. “This occurs with any intoxication; the body is capable of stocking a certain dose of a toxic substance. Once attaining a certain threshold, it is too much and the floodgates open.”
Diana Crumpler, whose first book, Chemical Crisis, received widespread critical acclaim, wrote Prostituting Science – The Psychologisation of MCS, CFS and EHS for Political Gain in memory of a friend and fellow sufferer of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). They shared “a wonderful 25 year long, hands-across-the-ocean friendship.” Pam lived in Ontario; Diana lives in Australia where she worked as a teacher and librarian until she retired in 1984 due to ill health.
Taking up from where Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring left off, Prostituting Science delves into the subject of non-communicable diseases plaguing society today. Based on the understanding that illnesses like ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, schizophrenia, MCS, EHS (electromagnetic hyper-sensitivity), and CFS are more than just diseases of our civilization, Crumpler asserts they are by-products of our reliance on chemo- and electro-wizardry, and she presents credible, authoritative evidence to support her claim.
In the introduction, Crumpler writes, “Welcome to the world of alien refugees: the world of the chemically and electrically hypersensitive, aliens within their own civilization, refugees from the realm of twenty-first century chemo- and techno-wizardry. For such people, ‘going green’ is not an ideological or a philosophical choice; rather, it is their only feasible modus vivendi, their only way to wellness, and for some, the only means of survival. It is a world that I, myself, know all too well, having inhabited that hell-hole for the best part of my life.”
In addition to an impressive collection of scientific data, the author shares the story of her own family’s descent into the disabling illness of MCS, CFS, and EHS – all of which were a consequence of exposure to heavy pesticides. Skeptics may be dismayed to learn that these pages contain all the evidence needed to convince even the most hardened among them that all of the above-mentioned diseases are bona fide physiological disorders.
But Crumpler does not stop there. She includes an extensive Glossary, References, Index list, and effective treatment protocols for recovery. She also documents gross abuse of civil and human rights – including the author’s abduction and committal under an involuntary psychiatric treatment order on the grounds that “MCS and EHS do not exist” and that “to believe in their physicality constitutes a delusion and, hence, a manifestation of psychosis.”
Prostituting Science details one family’s battle with MCS, CFS, and EHS. The book also explores the mechanisms behind these diseases and their allied disorders and explains the paradox whereby the more that is known of a cause of any of these three illnesses, the more vehement and widely accepted have become allegations of what is called psychogenesis (the origin of symptoms seen as a result of emotional [versus physiological] causes). Crumpler refutes these allegations and takes the risk of publicly declaring her belief instead in the physicality of MCS and EHS. She writes, “Only by speaking out, by making MCS, CFS, and EHS issues of public concern can we create the climate of awareness necessary to prevent being done to others (possibly with fatal results) what was done to me. To allow oneself to be cowed into silence is to betray the memory of the many friends already dead from these, the most physical of illnesses.”
Writer Pelda B. Hyman called Prostituting Science “A monumental and perhaps the most inclusive work ever on MCS and EHS.” But I think the last word should go to the author, whose dedication includes this tribute: “To Owen, Belle, Jordan, Fraser, April, Emily, and Sebastian, our hopes for the future, in the hope that hard-won awareness will allow your futures to be all that we had once planned our own to be. And in memory of my father, Francis Denis Connellan (1904 – 1979), field naturalist and campaigner for environmental awareness in the days before that term had become a buzz word.”
[Da tantissimo tempo ormai si conosce la pericolosità dei Campi Elettromagnetici (CEM), i quali, tra i numerosissimi effetti avversi (che spaziano dalle malattie neurodegenerative al cancro), sono in grado di sensibilizzare l’organismo portando allo sviluppo della Elettrosensibilità.
Il fenomeno è in tale espansione a causa dei livelli crescenti di CEM cui la popolazione è esposta, che stanno venendo pubblicati in merito sempre più articoli di carattere divulgativo e da parecchi anni (in rete ne esistono di molto vecchi).
Il seguente è un articolo di oltre due anni fa.]
24 settembre 2013 – “sexandthestress.vanityfair.it”, di Elisabetta Ambrosi
Nente sms, niente smartphone, niente computer, almeno fino a quando non starà meglio. Se vuoi chiamarla, la trovi sul fisso di casa, come un tempoe per vederla devi darle un appuntamento preciso. Come ho fato l’altro giorno, alle due e trentacinque davanti al benzinaio, senza bisogno di due o tre messaggini di conferma e poi di informazioni inutili (“Stiamo salendo in macchina”. “Arriviamo” e così via). Saliamo in macchina e lei “sente”, il mio cellulare acceso, così lo spengo e sto felicemente per un intero pomeriggio senza.
Da qualche settimana, Paola ha smesso di usare quasi tutto, oltre ai cellulari, di qualsiasi tipo, anche il wifi (usa le prese ethernet, ma per ora non si avvicina al computer), e uguale per gps, radio e ogni forma di onda elettromagnetica. I sintomi? Un dolore enorme al braccio che si irradia fino alla spalla e alla testa, oltre ad un malessere più generale. Paola era pronta a partire per la Svezia, perché lì la malattia – elettrosensibilità – è riconosciuta, e quindi, ad esempio, puoi metterti in malattia per quel motivo. Poi per fortuna ha scoperto che anche in Italia, e a Roma in particolare, ci sono esperti e anche un centro specializzato, si è tranquillizzata. E ora si gode, per così dire, la sua terapia desensibilizzante: tanto verde, alberi, una cura omeopatica e soprattutto drastica lontananza dagli oggetti da cui siamo ormai inseparabili.
«NIENTE CELLULARE (DI QUALSIASI TIPO), PC, WIFI, GPS E RADIO: A PAOLA OGNI ONDA ELETTROMAGNETICA FA MALE. PER SENTIRLA LA TROVI SUL FISSO DI CASA, PER VEDERLA LE DAI UN APPUNTAMENTO E BASTA. SI CHIAMA ELETTROSENSIBILITÀ E PRESTO SARÀ UN PUNTO INTERROGATIVO PER TUTTI NOI»
E su questo vale la pena di fermarsi un attimo a pensare: perché presto la malattia di Paola sarà quella della nostra civiltà. Forse è tempo di rendersi conto, anche se il corpo non ci dà ancora sintomi, che un po’ bisogna proteggersi, e proteggere anche i bambini da un’invasione fatta di cellulari accanto al comodino, wifi acceso tutta la notte, cellulare usato per ore attaccato all’orecchio. È vero, siamo circondati, direbbe Grillo, non possiamo che arrenderci, però qualche piccolo accorgimento potrebbe farci stare meglio.
1) usare l’auricolare del cellulare, sempre, ormai ci sono studi certi e solo la miopia delle case produttrici e delle istituzioni impedisce una campagna informativa a tappeto (leggete anche su questi l’inchiesta di Riccardo Staglianò, Toglietevelo dalla testa, Chiare Lettere).
2) Spegnete il wifi, ma pure la tv e tutti gli apparecchi, di notte, e se gli ambienti sono molto piccoli usate le prese a muro di giorno (difficile, oggi siamo tutti addicted del wifi). 3) Banale ma importante, prendetevi ogni tanto mezzo pomeriggio per andare al parco, o una domenica in mezzo agli alberi, in campagna, al mare. Ma ancora di più, cercate di imporvi un’igiene digital-cellulare, decidendo un tempo in cui stare connessi e uno in cui stare connessi. Senza fobie eccessive – le onde comunque non sono il monossidio di carbonio – ma senza sottovalutare questa nuova, sottile e pericolosa forma di inquinamento.
Magari appunto farete per un po’ come Paola che (aiutata anche da un contratto a tempo indeterminato, come lei stessa ammette): si riposa, legge solo cose di carta, ha ripreso a cucinare – mi ha fatto mangiare un hummus squisito – prende suo figlio e lo porta in giro ovunque ci siano grandi parchi verdi, parla al fisso come una signora d’altri tempi e soprattutto se ne va in giro assolutamente irraggiungibile, senza cellulare. Io le dico guarda che è magnificamente chic, ma forse – soprattutto – penso che la sua vita è invece una forma d’avanguardia. Con cui prima o poi dovremo fare i conti. E forse ricominciare una vita in parte diversa.
«SE È VERO CHE PRIMA O POI CON QUESTI DISTURBI DOVREMO FARE I CONTI, PICCOLI ACCORGIMENTI FONDAMENTALI SONO POSSIBILI: USARE SEMPRE L’AURICOLARE CON IL CELLULARE, SPEGNERE IL WIFI E TUTTI GLI APPARECCHI DI NOTTE, PRENDERSI MEZZO POMERIGGIO PER STARE IN UN PARCO: IL CORPO E LA MENTE RINGRAZIERANNO»
“Controcorrente: vite appese ad un filo”, diventa un documentario il caso di via Sottocorno: 30 malati di cancro nei due palazzi che convivono coi tralicci
13 gennaio 2016 – “www.ilgiorno.it”, di Laura Lana
Sesto San Giovanni (Milano), 13 gennaio 2015 – Ci sono malatidi elettrosmog che raccontano il loro linfoma allo stadio avanzato, i 36 cicli dichemioterapia, un doppio trapianto e un po’ di interventi chirurgici, «che mi hanno permesso di essere qui oggi». Ci sono gli esperti, i medici, che spiegano come sia «possibile che per l’esposizione ai campi magnetici alcune cellule si trasformino incellule tumorali». C’è anche chi soffre dielettrosensibilità, con un conseguente effetto di smarrimento. Alcuni sono «casi» limite: vivono in mezzo alle foreste, due amiche francesi si sono trasferite in una caverna e non sono mancati i suicidi.
Infine, non manca Sesto San Giovanni con la suavia Sottocorno, i tralicci dell’alta tensione che corrono accanto alle case e gli oltre 30 casi di cancro contati in due palazzi, «4 o 5 decessi solo negli ultimi sei mesi. Tutti per tumori», come raccontava due anni faMassimiliano Corraini, portavoce dell’associazione Sottocorno, alle telecamere di Marco Puelli, Claudia Mingardi, Marcella Vezzoli e Francesco Berlucchi.
I quattro, circa un anno e mezzo fa, hanno realizzato la video-inchiesta «Controcorrente: vite appese ad un filo», un documentario sulla questione irrisolta dell’elettrosmog e delle sue conseguenze sulla salute di chi è esposto. Il lavoro, che tratta anche il caso sestese, è trasmesso in questi giorni da Tele Ambiente(canale 78 o 218 del digitale terrestre) e in streaming sul sito della televisione: dopo le prime visioni di ieri e lunedì, il documentario è in programma domani alle 22,30 e sabato notte alle 2. «Dovremmo essere noi a seppelire i cavi e non più i cavi a seppelire noi», dice un anziano nel corso del film.
Tuttavia, a oggi, il progetto per interrare un elettrodotto, che attraversa i campi di Cascina Gatti, è ancora fermo al palo. Lo stesso vale per l’indagine epidemiologica, per verificare l’eventuale incidenza dei fattori di inquinamento sulla salute dei residenti. Nel 2014 Asl, Arpa e i due Comuni interessati, Sesto e Milano, avevano concordato e annunciato un progetto con tanto di stima dei costi e cronoprogramma per un’analisi nella zona tra le vie Sottocorno e Adriano.
«A ottobre 2015 era fissata la data di chiusura. Peccato che non sia nemmeno partita: non è stato steso nessun programma né presentato un protocollo – rivela Corraini –. Capiamo i vari cambiamenti, anche politici e istituzionali, che ha affrontato in questi mesi Palazzo Marino, ma non si è fatto alcun passo avanti». Tutto è in stand by. Gli unici documenti risalgono ancora alle indagini strumentali, condotte da Arpa e concluse ormai oltre un anno fa.
«L’associazione ha avuto degli incontri con Asl per l’analisi dei dati, ma da agosto non ci sono più stati aggiornamenti – continua Corraini –. Dopo il tavolo di luglio e gli incontri di agosto, abbiamo ricevuto un’unica comunicazione a dicembre: una raccomandata del direttore generale Walter Locatelli, con cui si conferma l’impegno dell’Asl a effettuare l’indagine epidemiologica in collaborazione con il dipartimento di Medicina Preventiva della fondazione I.R.C.C.S. Ca Granda».
“Controcorrente: vite appese ad un filo” è un video inchiesta sull’Elettrosmog e i suoi effetti dannosi sulla salute umana, realizzato circa due anni fa da Marco Puelli, Claudia Mingardi, Marcella Vezzoli e Francesco Berlucchi con la collaborazione della nostra e di altre Associazioni.
[Raccolta di 11 articoli un po’ datati sulla Elettrosensibilità, che vale la pena leggere.
Evidenziamo quanto segue: “EHS is analogous to an allergy and once the body becomes sensitized to sources of EMF pollution, the only known treatment is to significantly reduce exposure. This can have a dramatic impact on one’s life, with some electro-sensitive people giving up their career, their home, social networks and sometimes even their family because it is difficult to live in our modern environment that is now filled with electrical pollution and microwave radiation. There have been multiple suicides around the world related to severe cases of EHS. Thus, the condition can have devastating effects on individuals and families.”]
Electro-Hypersensitivity (EHS) is a condition that has been known about since 1932 and has been called various names in different countries around the world (particularly in Europe, Canada and the former Soviet Union). The labels include Microwave Sickness, Radio Wave Syndrome, EMF Intolerance Syndrome and Rapid Aging Syndrome. Whatever you call it, the condition is real and has been known to exist for over 80 years. Approximately 3% – 5% of people are moderately affected, with another 20-25% of people being slightly affected. Less than 1% of the population is severely affected, but the numbers are rapidly increasing with the exponential rise in EMF pollution in our homes and communities. Even if you do not feel the effects of EMF pollution, your biology is still being damaged by this invisible pollution. Thus, all humans are electro-sensitive to a degree. People with EHS are in some ways lucky because their bodies are telling them to get away from a potent source of man-made environmental pollution.
The most famous person who is EHS is Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is widely thought that she was forced out of the WHO in 2003 because she admitted in a press interview that cell phones within a few meters would give her a headache. This revelation was not aligned with the economic interests that govern the World Health Organization. She has been silent about the EHS issue for over a decade, until this statement was made recently stating that she is still cautious with cell phones and other sources of microwave radiation. She also recently made this statement regarding EHS in a speech at the University of Waterloo in Canada (the home of the BlackBerry smartphone).
The typical EHS symptoms are headaches (tension along the sides of the head), heart palpitations/pressure in the chest, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), fatigue, skin rashes (particularly on the face), memory & concentration difficulties, irritability and sleep disturbance. Approximately 300,000 people in Sweden (a country that officially acknowledges EHS as a functional impairment) are affected. Millions of people throughout the world are likely affected, yet most do not realize that microwave radiation and electrical pollution are the cause of their symptoms.
EHS is analogous to an allergy and once the body becomes sensitized to sources of EMF pollution, the only known treatment is to significantly reduce exposure. This can have a dramatic impact on one’s life, with some electro-sensitive people giving up their career, their home, social networks and sometimes even their family because it is difficult to live in our modern environment that is now filled with electrical pollution and microwave radiation. There have been multiple suicides around the world related to severe cases of EHS. Thus, the condition can have devastating effects on individuals and families.
While much of the press and even some physicians still keep their heads in the sand with regard to EHS, the evidence of its existence is too strong to deny. Both anecdotal and science-based evidence, as you can see below, makes such denial an increasingly untenable position. It may take some time for it too fully sink in (just like it took generations of doctors to believe in “invisible” germs), but society is beginning to realize that microwave radiation from wireless communication technology and electrical pollution is in the same category as tobacco, asbestos, pesticides, chemicals like BPA, fracking and GMO’s. Tens of millions of people will be affected unless society begins to listen to these canaries in the coal mine and begins to implementsolutions.
As you do your own research on this topic, you will see that many mainstream sources of information (such as Wikipedia or The New Yorker) label this condition as psychosomatic and quote outdated or flawed studies. Others go so far as to state that the only way this condition can be helped is through Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) or other psychiatric methods. Mental illness is a convenient scapegoat that has been used for centuries when powerful economic interests face an uncomfortable inconvenient truth that threatens the status quo. It is being used yet again for a condition that is real. It may benefit the reader to remember that homosexuality and even peptic ulcers were once thought to be mental disorders. This may still be the case if you live in certain areas of the world.
We are at the very beginning of understanding EHS and most of the recent science shows that EMF pollution affects our biology. To dismissively label this condition a mental illness is both arrogant and lazy. Such a stance does nothing to advance medicine and science. It only benefits the hugely profitable industries that rely on the proliferation of wireless technology and electrical pollution such as telecommunications, utilities, technology, military, media conglomerates, finance and pension systems. With our very economic and political foundations now reliant on this technology, it is easy to see why there is such a concerted effort to discredit EHS as a bonafide medical condition.
If you research this subject with an open mind and search for the truth, you will find that this condition is a real and growing issue for our society. The following are news stories, articles, research papers and websites that you will rarely see in the main stream press. This is how the truth becomes evident: (See below this article for these listings)
(to read the full article, please click on the link below/per leggere l’articolo nella sua interezza, cliccare sul link qui sotto)
[Articolo un po’ datato che tratta del primo rifugio Europeo per persone affette da Elettrosensibilità e Sensibilità Chimica Multipla, costruito a Zurigo e completato nel dicembre del 2013.]
15 August 2014 – “mieuxprevenir.blogspot.co.uk”
We do not wish to discourage the initiator of this project, but it seems that the site is badly polluted with cell phone tower radiation. The article, however, describes well the plight of people living with chemical and electromagnetic sensitivities. In Zurich, the first European refuge for electrosensitive people
by Solène Cordier, Le Monde, 12 August 2014 (translated by the Editor of this blog)
At first glance, nothing distinguishes this apartment building in the suburbs of Zurich from those surrounding it. Located on the heights of the quiet neighborhood of Leimbach, its sand-colored walls are surrounded by a vast garden of tall grasses. The big trees of the forest of Entlisberg, perched on the adjacent mountain, extend their refreshing shade to the surrounding area.
It is because of the particular setting that the building, destined to welcome people suffering from multiple chemical hypersensitivity (MCS) and electrosensitivity, has been constructed in this location. “Five sites were studied in the beginning,” says Christian Schifferle, the initiator of the project. “Measurements showed that this site was radiated very little thanks to the nearby mountain which offers a protective environment.” The absence of antennas was also a precondition for construction, as well as air quality.
Headaches, chronic fatigue, difficulties concentrating, respiratory problems, depression, food intolerances… the list of disorders of the 14 residents is long. “We do not tolerate fumes from chemical products and electromagnetic wave emissions coming from wireless networks,” says Mr. Schifferle.
At age 59, he says he has been hyper-allergic and electrosensitive since childhood. His suffering has constrained him to live for long periods alone in the forest in a caravan with walls covered in aluminum foil. At that time, all odors assaulted him: perfumes, cleaning products, paints, cigarette smoke… At age 35, he discovered in the press that other people suffered the same symptoms which, when they reached a critical level, constrained these sick people to interrupt all professional and social life. With only his disability pension, Christian decided to fight for recognition of his pathology.
« Today, this building symbolizes our emergence from invisibility, » he says with emotion, « even if in Switzerland as in France, MCS and electrohypersensitivity are not recognized officially as diseases.
A total cost of 4.9 million euros
Completed in December 2013, this first anti-allergic apartment building in Europe cost 6 million Swiss francs (4.9 million euros), the materials and technologies used raising the cost around 25% compared to the usual apartment building in Zurich. The cooperative presided over by Christian Schifferle has benefited from the support of the city which furnished the land of 1,200 square meters and financial aid.
When one goes inside the building, some details betray its specificity. The walls of the common areas painted with lime, the ceilings of raw concrete, and the floor in stone leave an impression of being unfinished. The natural materials were given preference by the architects, who received the support of a chemist during construction. “It is the plaster used for the walls which posed the most difficulty. It was necessary to reduce the additives in order that for it to be tolerated by the residents,” explains the architect, Andreas Zimmermann.
In order to provide protection from electromagnetic waves, fiberglass was used in place of the usual metallic frame. At the entrance of each apartment, a sealed-off area has been foreseen to remove clothes that have too much of an odor and each room is equipped with a system of air purification. In the basement, next to the communal washing machine, there are authorized detergents and cleaning products, all labeled, “odorless” and “without dyes”.
The day before our arrival, Mr. Schifferle explained the rules: no cell phone, no smoking, no perfume is tolerated inside the building. “I have two smartphones but they are nearly all the time in “airplane” mode. I use them to take photos, one of my passions,” says Christian. For communication related to his activity as president of the cooperative and of a foundation for recognition of MCS and electrosensitivity, he uses a corded telephone and a computer connected by cable to the Internet.
Moreover, a special shielding covers all the electric cables in the building which has a minimum number of outlets. Differing from other electrosensitive people, the intolerance of the residents to waves concerns only high frequencies (mobile phones and Wi-Fi).
An inexistent social life
For Christian as well as his 13 neighbors, this place serves as a refuge. Conceived as a Faraday cage, it allows each person to recharge his/her batteries and hope to again return to normal activities.
Marc (his first name has been changed) is 32 years old. Originally from Fribourg, he moved here in April. Like Christian, he receives a disability pension for reasons other than electrosensitivity and MCS. However, after several experiments, he arrived at the conclusion that his exhausted state was very likely due to exposure to waves and chemical products. “They diagnosed me with anxiety disorder, but I believe that this is not the cause but a consequence of my fragility,” he explains.
The victim of severe digestive disorders, chronic exhaustion and food allergies since childhood, Marc had to abandon his studies at age 22. He has never succeeded in holding down a job for more than several months. A year ago, he discovered that his condition substantially improved when he was not in contact with waves. “I slept on many occasions in the cellar of my parents, then I went to live for some time at a farm in the Jura,” he confided, before learning through his brother of the existence of an apartment building project in Leimbach and submitting his application.
Since settling in, he has the impression that his state of health has slightly improved. To his great surprise, in arriving in Leimbach, he met several persons his age. His neighbors include a 28-year-old woman who has been living there since the beginning of the year with her companion who does not suffer from any pathology.
With the exception of the latter person, in order to obtain an apartment, all the residents of the building have had to justify their symptoms by presenting a medical certificate. Certain social criteria are also required to benefit from an apartment whose monthly rent is between 1,300 and 1,600 Swiss francs (1,000 and 1,400 euros), in great part borne by the city of Zurich.
The city of Zurich is awaiting the results of an evaluation conducted by the University of Bern of the inhabitants of this pilot project for an eventual repetition of the experiment. Christian Schifferle has already looked at land in the Ticino and in France on the Côte d’Azur. “For people like us, it would be wonderful to imagine being able to go on vacation”, he says, smiling.
[In ricordo di una donna che, con grande impegno e soprattutto con grande tenacia, ha perorato la causa degli Elettrosensibili e della Elettrosensibilità come compromissione funzionale, aiutando così tante persone affette da questa invalidante malattia.]
A few days ago, I have painfully learnt that one of the real heroines, Ms Anne-Marie Granath (whom I know many on my mailing list knew), on December 14, 2015, passed away at Västervik’s Hospital, here in Sweden.
Anne-Marie has been my, and many others’, tutor regarding legal and practical issues of functional impairments, especially electrohypersensitivity, for many years. She is dearly missed; she leaves a gigantic mental, philosophical and human as well as humane gap. She was always very strong, positive and filled with life and joy. She refused to step down from the barricades; her powerful, yet composed, approach helped so many persons with the functional impairment electrohypersensitivity, as she always helped me when I felt blue. I have saved all the letters she wrote me, and they form a wall of bricks to hide behind when the opposing wind blows especially chilly and hard.
Anne-Marie had it all: intelligence, a warm heart, a very special form of clever and black humour, and a definite belief in a better future for us all; when she called me or wrote me I felt she was an equal, our detailed discussions helped me often to correctly formulate myself in public appearances as well as in scientific publications. Her belief in functional impairments as the largest and best legal umbrella for electrohypersensitive persons was kept until the very end. So you may easily imagine that it breaks my heart to witness the current trials by certain physicians and scientists to instead turn the electrohypersensitive persons into patients, thus completely violating their UN rights.
Anne-Marie Granath made a huge difference. She was a genuine Mahatma, both high-souled and revered. I will miss her voice until I meet her again, in her Heaven.
Olle Johansson, associate professor
The Experimental Dermatology Unit
Department of Neuroscience
171 77 Stockholm
19 dicembre 2015 – “www.vanityfair.it”, di Alessio Caprodossi
Si chiamano elettrosensibili e non possono (o riescono a) vivere in presenza di campi elettromagnetici.
Come Caterina, che un giorno vide il suo corpo gonfiarsi. E da allora vive giorno e notte in cucina
Immaginate di vivere in due metri quadrati, 24 ore su 24, sette giorni su sette. In pratica per tutta la vita. È la vita di Caterina, costretta a non muoversi dalle mura di una cucina per colpa di una malattia poco nota quanto tremenda. Si chiama elettrosensibilità (che nei casi peggiori diventa ipersensibilità), un problema che causa l’esposizione a campi elettrici, magnetici ed elettromagnetici crea numerosi fastidi, come emicrania, vertigine, disturbo del sonno, vuoti di memoria, sbalzi di pressioni, dermatiti, formicolii cutanei, stanchezza cronica e calo della vista. Per completezza, c’è da dire che i pareri in merito sono contrastanti, e per molti studi scientifici i i sintomi non sono direttamente legati ai campi elettromagnetici, ma al cosiddetto effetto nocebo: se una persona affetta da elettrosensibilità pensa di essere esposta, comincia a manifestare i sintomi. Il disagio, in ogni caso, è assolutamente reale.
«ALL’IMPROVVISO VIDI IL MIO CORPO GONFIARSI»
A quattro esami dalla laurea in medicina e con tanti sogni da realizzare in ambito lavorativo e famigliare, la vita di Caterina (nome di fantasia) è cambiata radicalmente con l’acquisto di un telefono con tecnologia LTE: «Una volta comprato il nuovo telefono iniziai ad avvertire forti mal di testa, sbandamenti, svenimenti e cadute. Un giorno, poi, in uno studio di avvocati mi sono seduta per caso vicino a un router e all’improvviso il mio corpo iniziò a gonfiarsi».
Così Caterina ha scoperto il suo problema, che secondo gli studi dell’Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità riguarda il 3% della popolazione globale, «colpevole» come la ragazza di non tollerare le onde provenienti da cordless, smartphone e reti Wi-Fi. Queste ultime, più dei cellulari – che gli elettrosensibili ovviamente non possono usare – sono il fulcro del problema, poiché pur se banditi nelle proprie case, sono presenti e attivi in quelle dei vicini finendo così per colpire gli intolleranti alle onde.
«PER FAVORE, SPEGNETE IL WI-FI DI NOTTE»
«Di fronte alle mie richieste di spegnere le stazioni Wi-Fi almeno durante la notte, sono stata derisa e vittima di atti di bullismo dagli abitanti del condominio dei miei genitori, dove sono dovuta tornare dopo aver lasciato il mio appartamento, inadatto per le mie necessità. E vivo nell’incubo che qualcuno arrivi ad abitare al piano di sotto, che con la presenza di una rete Wi-Fi aggraverebbe di molto la mia situazione».
LA VITA PASSATA IN CUCINA
Caterina passa ogni giornata all’interno della cucina, che ha schermato con oggetti metallici. E la notte dorme su una sedia a sdraio: «Dopo due anni, però, sono arrivate le fratture su tre costole e nonostante i dolori non posso andare in ospedale, perché la presenza di forti segnali sarebbe ancor più dolorosa da sopportare».
IL PENSIERO DI FARLA FINITA
Caterina ci ha pensato. Ha pensato più volte di farla finita, emulando così la 15enne Jenny Fry, adolescente inglese suicidatasi perché stanca di convivere con i dolori provocati dall’impianto Wi-Fi della sua scuola: «Io non posso pensare al mio futuro, non devo pensare al mio domani ma solo aspettare il giorno in cui l’elettro-sensibilità verrà riconosciuta come malattia invalidante anche in Italia».
LE MISURE NEGLI ALTRI PAESI
Questa è la battaglia che conduce l’Associazione Italiana Elettrosensibili, da oltre dieci anni attiva per convincere il governo italiano a seguire l’esempio della Svezia, dove i 2,5 milioni di elettrosensibili ricevono un contributo economico dai comuni e i datori di lavoro sono obbligati a trovare una condizione sostenibile per i dipendenti. È un caso quasi unico nel panorama europeo: l’elettrosensibilità infatti non è riconosciuta come una malattia né dall’Oms né dalla comunità scientifica perché i sintomi, nonostante siano stati riconosciuti come invalidanti, sono vissuti in prima persona e difficili da verificare.
ALMENO 600 MILA ELETTROSENSIBILI IN ITALIA
Gli elettrosensibili e in misura maggiore gli ipersensibili tendono a una vita solitaria; c’è chi vive nei boschi, chi nelle caverne, chi si trasferisce in piccoli centri montani oppure chi si rifugia in macchina per passare la notte. Le condizioni di vita minano anche la tenuta psicologica, con numeri allarmanti per l’Italia, dove la stima si aggira tra 1% e il 3% della popolazione (tra i 600 mila e gli 1,8 milioni di individui).
UNA CITTA’ SENZA ONDE ELETTROMAGNETICHE
«Noi viviamo il problema come una fuga dalla città, per questo lottiamo per avere un riconoscimento che ci consenta di vivere in una condizione decorosa», spiega Paolo Orio, vice presidente dell’A.i.e. che sottolinea come anche l’Assemblea Parlamentare del Consiglio d’Europa abbia messo in guardia gli stati membri nel «dover prestare attenzione a chi soffre di intolleranza ai campi elettromagnetici e di introdurre specifiche misure per proteggerli, inclusa la realizzazione di aree non coperte dalle reti wireless». Per questo l’A.i.e. sta provando a replicare l’esempio di Green Bank, cittadina americana nel West Virginia sorta per accogliere gli elettrosensibili, dove sono banditi telefoni, reti Wi-Fi, tv e radio. «Stiamo valutando dove poter creare una soluzione di questo tipo, anche perché ci arrivano tante richieste pure dall’estero» dichiara Orio, indicando nella Toscana la potenziale terra della salvezza.