From the UK’s Daily Telegraph 9/5/2015
As France bans Wi-Fi in nursery and primary schools, a British expert who has given up using wireless gadgets says we should do the same
Six years ago, Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe moved to the country, stopped carrying a mobile phone and sacrificed a successful career in emergency medicine to focus on a new medical interest – radiation emitted by Wi-Fi, mobiles and other wireless devices.
She is now one of the country’s few professional advisers on medical conditions related to radiofrequency (RF) radiation and other electromagnetic fields (EMFs).
“I was using wireless devices before most people I knew – I loved it,” says Mallery-Blythe, who was ahead of the tech trend even in 1985 when she was handed her first mobile phone, aged 10.
“But as soon as I started digesting the literature on EMFs it was a no-brainer,” she says of her decision to relinquish wireless gadgets. I wasn’t willing to take that kind of risk for something that was purely convenient.”
Her interest in EMFs started in 2009 after she began noticing increasing trends in certain symptoms – headaches, insomnia, fatigue and palpitations, but also more serious conditions including brain tumours in young people, fertility problems and accelerating neurological diseases such as early onset Alzheimer’s and autism.
Over the past few years, as Wi-Fi, laptops and iPads have become increasingly prevalent in classrooms, Mallery-Blythe says “hundreds” of families have sought her help with what they believe to be EMF-related diseases and health issues.
One such case is that of nine-year-old Jessica Lewis’s family. In the autumn term of 2011, Jessica started to complain that she was getting bad headaches at school. She was also feeling overly tired, developed rashes on her legs and her parents said she looked “completely washed out” after school, particularly on Mondays. A quick internet search threw up a forum where parents had written that their children complained of similar symptoms after installing Wi-Fi. Now Jessica is home-schooled, much to her frustration, because symptoms resurface when she’s exposed to Wi-Fi.
In February, insurance market Lloyd’s of London informed schools that it was excluding liability coverage for injuries “resulting from or contributed to by electromagnetic fields, electromagnetic radiation, electromagnetism, radio waves or noise”, which means that school officials could be personally liable for exposing children and staff to microwave radiation.
Associate Professor Olle Johansson, a neuroscientist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, compares putting an iPhone near a baby’s head to “putting it next to several electric train engines”, pointing out that working with train engines is Sweden’s highest occupational exposure allowance.
Johansson has been researching the biological effects of radiofrequency (RF) wireless radiation for more than 30 years. He predicts a “paradigm shift” in attitudes towards EMF. We are currently living in an environment estimated to contain more than 10 billion times more RF radiation than it did in the Sixties. “We just want to see some precautionary action put in place, and we’re not seeing it.”
In February the French government banned Wi-Fi in nursery schools and restricted use in primary schools. The German government has recommended that the use of Wi-Fi in the workplace or home should be avoided where possible.
The French National Assembly made history by passing a new national law to reduce exposures to wireless radiation electromagnetic fields. 1. WIFI and Wireless devices will be banned in “the spaces dedicated to home, to rest and activities of children under 3 years.” 2. In schools for children up to 11 years, WIFI routers should be turned off when not in use for pedagogic purposes.