Untangling red tape surrounding EMF exposure

In 1972,  I could not have imagined the brief warming sensation on the side of my face would be the reason why I would need to learn to sit up again 29 years later, to learn to walk again and learn many of those daily activities we take for granted. Learning to sit up again would be just one of the many life-changing experiences I have endured in the last few years.

At first I accepted having an Acoustic Neuroma tumour removed as one of those unfortunate experiences we all have. None of the experts could suggest a reason why they occurred. In my search to try to find answers, I became a member of the Board of Directors of the Acoustic Neuroma of Canada Association. No answers were found, but there was the developing of a vague awareness that the once rare tumour was becoming more common.

As a result of a complication, a tiny piece of tumour was left after my original 12-hour surgery and regrew, resulting in emergency surgery to remove it in January 2010 — followed by a new round of learning to walk again.

Shortly after leaving the hospital I acquired a laptop and wireless router. Within two weeks, I developed an itch on my legs which became unbearable, an itch on my foot to the point of pain and a rash on my abdomen. Cortisone prescribed by the doctor did little to help. I reassessed the recent changes in my life and realised it could be related to the use of WiFi. I was able to do some rearranging and found a way to use the computer without WiFi. Within two days, the symptoms were tolerable and improving.

Through research, I learned others had similar experiences. Casual research over the next couple of months showed my experience was less than the tip of the iceberg.  Globally, people are experiencing similar symptoms and many attribute these to the radiation emitted by cell phones, cell towers, baby monitors, cordless phones, WiFi and smart meters. The number of people with the condition is increasing.  Some estimates are as many as 50 per cent of the population will have symptoms by 2017.  For those with the condition, the experiences are getting more intense. The most severe symptoms may include a variety of cancers and a benign tumour — an Acoustic Neuroma. The World Health Organization has defined the condition — Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), a disability recognised by the UN and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

More research and literally thousands of documents are proving microwave radiation is the cause of many biological effects — usually harmful ones. Canadian university professor, Dr. Magda Havas, refers to them as premature aging.

While reading through some of the hundreds of scientific papers, I began to feel they were too close to describing my experiences. The warming sensation many years earlier had been “harmless” microwave radiation. The experience was at work. My tumour was a valid Worksafe BC claim.

After continued dealing with Worksafe BC, I realised that many more have claims.  Each claimant is assigned the task of proving the science to Worksafe. Few, if any, have the resources to do so. The same as other groups, like Asbestosis, a group of claimants suffering symptoms related to EMF and microwave radiation is being established so each claimant does not need to reprove the science.

Norm Ryder is a resident of Central Saanich who runs a website dedicated to helping those with Worksafe BC claims for EMF exposure —  www.wcb-emf.ca.

Editor’s note: The World Health Organization states: “extensive research has been conducted into possible health effects of exposure to many parts of the frequency spectrum. All reviews conducted so far have indicated that exposures below the limits recommended in the ICNIRP (1998) EMF guidelines, covering the full frequency range from 0-300 GHz, do not produce any known adverse health effect. However, there are gaps in knowledge still needing to be filled before better health risk assessments can be made.”