Pablo Iglesias and Estefanía Torres, two Spanish politicians (from populist party Podemos) just asked the European Parliament to recognise the made-up illness known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity:
This year once again, International Day against Electromagnetic Pollution was marked on 24 June. Both the European Parliament (in 2008 and 2009) and other bodies — such as the European Environment Agency (from 2007 to the present) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (in 2015) — have drawn up a series of resolutions on this topic.
In the European Economic and Social Committee, however, lobbies have boycotted an opinion based on a precautionary approach that sought to protect people’s health and that contained demands and warnings similar to those previously set out in the above resolutions, with a basic recognition of the rights of electrosensitive people. This matter is currently being investigated by the Ombudsman in relation to a possible conflict of interest. At the same time, scientific committees such as the SCENIHR clearly lack independence and neutrality.
Will the Commission take steps to end this boycott and find a solution to the lack of protection and vulnerability of children in the face of the growing use of wireless technologies in schools?
Ohh, boy! This is so wrong.
In regards to “electorsensitive people”, they simply don’t exist. The best available evidence on the so called electromagnetic hypersensitivity couldn’t find any trace of such a thing.
A number of studies have investigated the effects of radiofrequency fields on brain electrical activity, cognitive function, sleep, heart rate and blood pressure in volunteers. To date, research does not suggest any consistent evidence of adverse health effects from exposure to radiofrequency fields at levels below those that cause tissue heating. Further, research has not been able to provide support for a causal relationship between exposure to electromagnetic fields and self-reported symptoms, or “electromagnetic hypersensitivity”.
If the European Parliament were to waste everyone’s time, energy and money paying any attention to these fear mongers, it would be setting a really crappy example.
This is when the science advisor role is most needed — too bad the European Union dispensed with it.
(image: Wikimedia Commons)