The human cost of wireless convenience
When people hear about electro-sensitivity (ES), and the more extreme electro-hypersensitivity (EHS), a common response is either to assume the sufferer is imagining their symptoms, that they are psychosomatic, or in fact due to some other cause.
Even when the person with ES makes it clear they feel fine in certain environments and ill in others, there is still doubt in many people’s minds. There is a tendency to dismiss the sufferer and what they are experiencing, or even to be hostile. This leads to isolation and depression on top of the existing physical stress of ES symptoms.
This attitude has already caused at least one suicide in this country. In 2015, Oxfordshire schoolgirl Jenny Fry took her own life aged just 15 after struggling and failing to get support from her school for her EHS symptoms.
The Wi-Fi in her school made her ill and stopped her from being able to concentrate or think clearly. An able and hard-working student, she would attempt to work in corridors or anywhere she felt slightly better – the school would give her detentions for leaving her classroom.
As well as concentration problems and feelings of agitation, Jenny’s symptoms included bladder problems, headaches, and very heavy nosebleeds that her mother, a nurse, found difficult to stop.
After exhausting all possible medical causes, her mother disabled the Wi-Fi in their home, which had been making her ill as well as her daughter. The symptoms there reduced. However, the school situation became unbearable for Jenny as she approached her GCSEs and tragically she took her own life.
Her parents are campaigning for more awareness and understanding of ES as a real physical condition, so that their daughter’s death will not be in vain.
The AWARE campaign supports this wholeheartedly and it is our wish that no one else has a similar experience to that of Jenny and her family. We offer them our deepest sympathy and a determination to help others like Jenny.
Electro-sensitivity UK – alliance of ES sufferers, doctors and scientists whose aims include raising awareness and providing support for those with ES
PHIRE (Physicians’ Health Initiative for Radiation & Environment) Doctor-led information and research on the health effects of Wi-Fi and other microwave radiation including mobile and cordless phones, and mobile phone masts.
Video on Wi-Fi use in schools and the precautionary principle