Journalist Mark White from Stuff.co.nz recently spent a day with Bruce Evans, who is likely the last man one would think suffers from this syndrome by looking at him. He is a 50-year-old web designer and former Australian Army commando, and he has electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
In the world today, we live in a society drowning in technology, which leaves those with the syndrome little-to-no places to hide. The syndrome itself is controversial, only partially recognized by the medical community and still not recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is caused by electromagnetic fields (EMF), which are emitted by power lines, cell phones, laptops, wireless routers and the like.
The symptoms of this disease have a wide range — from small headaches to nausea, migraines, fatigue, tingles, and heart palpitations. Basically, EHS puts a large mental strain on anyone affected by it. This stems from both the actual symptoms of the syndrome and the idea that they are faking it.
The syndrome is controversial because the frequencies at which people are affected tend to be well below what is considered even slightly dangerous. It’s a case where most don’t understand, so it’s written off.
Yet a recent study pointed out that chronic EMF exposure causes cells to experience physiological stress after just 1.5 years of exposure, and in today’s world, it’s impossible to not have chronic EMF exposure.
However, a WHO fact sheet still denies its existence. “The collection of symptoms,” says the organization, “is not part of any recognised syndrome.”
In fact, the WHO says that these issues can be classified with other issues already recognized by the organization — Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance (IEI) and multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) both closely resemble EHS, according to their fact sheet on electromagnetic sensitivity.
The issue, Evans says, is that many sufferers are made to feel silly, or like refugees within their own countries. They often have to move around a lot to find places where they won’t be as affected.
Evans says that his vision for the future is one where there is a community, set away from EMF zones, for sufferers to come to for sanctuary. With a handful of people around the world wishing for the same thing, his dream may take shape soon.