Justine Hansen, Constantia
Electromagnetic Hypers-ensitivity (EHS) is still widely considered a taboo topic and many people affected by this environmental condition have been stigmatised and disbelieved.
It was therefore encouraging to see serious consideration given to the subject in last week’s article (“Debilitated by electro hypersensiti-vity…”, Bulletin July 28).
For years there has been speculation that the root cause of EHS may simply be an irrational fear of electromagnetic fields but in the 2013 publication, “Radiation from wireless technology affects the blood, the heart, and the autonomic nervous system”, Dr Magda Havas from Trent University demonstrates that the response to electrosmog is physiologic and not psychoso-matic. She also elaborates on the symptoms of EHS which she says is best described as “rapid aging syndrome”.
Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe (an experienced emergency medical doctor) also offers an in-formative overview of EHS which she says is “characterised by an awareness or adverse symptomatology in response to even extremely weak electromagnetic fields, which can be orders of magnitude below current safety levels”. These publications along with other EHS research are avail-able on the website of EMRSA (Electromagnetic Radiation South Africa).
In recent years there has not only been accumulating evidence of harm from electromagnetic radiation but also breakthroughs in understanding the under-lying mechanisms and calls for more responsible use of wireless technology. In light of this, surely it’s time for our local policy makers and National Department of Health to also make more progress in the protection of electro-sensitive people instead of continuing to deny, ignore and entrench the problem?
Failure to do so could potentially have far-reaching health implications down the line as thousands of expert cell biologists and medical physicians have forewarned.
Muna Lakhani, Earthlife Africa Cape Town
It seems that the notion of harm from Electromotive Field (EMF) is wilfully ignored by the powers that be, in the name of “profits before people” (“Debilitated by electro hypersensitivity…”, Bulletin July 28).
The growing body of evidence, all scientifically based, in acknowledged and peer reviewed journals, as well as multiple statements by scientists, medical professionals and others, confirms that indeed, many people, not just hypersensitive ones, are harmed by such non-ionising radiation. Most vulnerable are pregnant women, children, the elderly and the infirm – while hypersensitivity can affect anyone (and the number is growing), the issue is problematic and roundly ignored in the location and placement of cellphone towers in Cape Town, many erected illegally and continue to operate in defiance of legal processes. It is time for a people-centred policy process for the City of Cape Town to not only limit the harm done, but to ensure that our most vulnerable people are taken into account before we have the largest forest of celltowers in the world. Another natural wonder? I think not!
James Lech, Edgemead
The article “Debilitated by electro hypersensitivity…” (Constantiaberg Bulletin, July 28) refers.
Your article quotes me as saying “many studies have examined the potential health effects of non-ionising radiation from radar, microwave ovens, cellphones, and other sources but there is no evidence that it increases cancer risk” and that “the only biological effect of radiofrequency energy is heating”. It also says that I said “microwave ovens heating food are examples of this effect and cellphone use causes heating to the ear or head”.
I have not said or written anything of the nature of the statement above.
* Editor Chantel Erfort responds: Constantiaberg Bulletin apologises for the error and has ensured that the link to the incorrect article has been removed from social media and that our online version of this story has been corrected.