HPA-RPD-010: Definition, Epidemiology and Management of Electrical Sensitivity


Withholding acceptance of something that so many people are suffering from will not help the public 'trust' the reliability of the HPA's knowledge and 'protection role'

As Karen says, the BBC coverage last night was good, their reporter spoke from Sweden and mentioned the financial and practical help available from the Government for victims of electro-sensitivity. If the HPA do deny the condition exists - the huge numbers of us who know we are suffering from ES, will probably think it makes the HPA look even sillier!

Withholding acceptance of something that so many people are suffering from will not make the condition disappear, nor will it help the public 'trust' the reliability of the HPA's knowledge and 'protection role'!

Maybe the H in HPA stands for Heedless (or Headless) Protection Agency!



Maybe we will know better by the end of the day. My reasons for there being a significant need to NOT recognise EHS, meanwhile still stand: http://www.tetrawatch.net/links/links.php?id=nolink




It will look more than a little peculiar if they deny the EHS theory now.

I am sure the reporters did not get it wrong when they had had the first “warning”

From the HPA about the report coming out.

If there had been no hint to the press as to possible conclusion of the report it.

Would have been of no interest to the press.

And, then suddenly the report got delayed by more than a month.

And if you read the HPA brochure: Health protection in the 21 century: Radiation

Chapter 5.1 Radiofrequency fields (e.g. mobile phone technology)

Chapter 2. page: 5.3

A small percentage of the population may express an increased sensitivity to a range of electric and magnetic fields with symptoms including: skin sensitivity, dizziness, headache and fatique 1.4.

This has not been quantified but the symptoms and increased levels of stress and anxiety will contribute to health costs.

And in the accompanying report “Burden of decease from radiation exposure”.

Page 11. chapter 2.

Quote: A number of people report a range of symptoms which they attribute to RF fields.

Symptoms associated with mobile phone use include dizziness, headache, and fatique as well as loss of memory and concentration, skin rashes and diabetes (IEGMP, 2000; NRPB, 2004b). It is unclear as to what extent, if any, these symptoms are caused by RF fields. Nevertheless, the possibility remains that a relatively small percentage of the UK population, presumably including children, show an increased sensitivity to RF fields, and this will have a detrimental impact on their quality of life, and cause them to modify their behaviour.

This sensitivity is not recognized as a physical impairment in the UK.

And chapter 3:

Few studies have investigated the effects of RF fields on cognitive and other behavioral effects in children.

A recent review of the literature (Sienkiewicz et al. in press) concluded that while the existing research did not give cause for concern, the data were to limited TO PROVIDE COMPLETE ASSURANCE THAT LONG-TERM, LOW LEVEL EXPOSURE DID NOT PRESENT A HAZARD TO CHILDREN!

Quote end.

So, from my view: They sent out the message that they had started to take these things seriously.

So why the delay of the report???

So, why the backtracking???

Remember the Iraq dossiers re-write?

Remember the case of Dr. Kelly and the re-write about that?

I have been told of one more incident, where the Government ordered a report into effects of something we all are very passionate about, where the institution who wrote the report got it sent back to them with orders to re-write it after the Governments recipe.

So, can anyone believe in the “Purer than Pure” honesty, truthfulness, and most of all INTEGRITY???

You tell me!



This raises the question as to why the journalists got it wrong.

Robert Rieldlinger noticed that between the press reports of acknowledgement, and the final publication (change of tune)- Mckinlay from the HPA met with Repacholi and this can be the cause of change.

See below:

NRPB acknowledges!!! Electrical fields can make you sick
Sarah-Kate Templeton, Medical Correspondent

The Sunday Times – Britain

September 11, 2005

A GOVERNMENT agency has acknowledged for the first time that people can suffer nausea, headaches and muscle pains when exposed to electromagnetic fields from mobile phones, electricity pylons and computer screens.

The condition known as electrosensitivity, a heightened reaction to electrical energy, will be recognised as a physical impairment.

A report by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), to be published next month, will state that increasing numbers of British people are suffering from the syndrome. While the total figure is not known, thousands are believed to be affected to some extent.

The report, by the agency’s radiation protection division, is expected to say that GPs do not know how to treat sufferers and that more research is needed to find cures. It will give a full list of the symptoms, which can include dizziness, irregular heartbeat and loss of memory.

Although most European countries do not recognise the condition, Britain will follow Sweden where electrosensitivity was recognised as a physical impairment in 2000. About 300,000 Swedish men and women are sufferers.

The acknowledgement may fuel legal action by sufferers who claim mobile phone masts have made them ill.

In January Sir William Stewart, chairman of the HPA and the government’s adviser on mobile phones, warned that a small proportion of the population could be harmed by exposure to electromagnetic fields, and called for careful examination of the problem.

The HPA has now reviewed all scientific literature on electrosensitivity and concluded that it is a real syndrome. The condition had previously been dismissed as psychological.

The findings should lead to better treatment for sufferers. In Sweden people who are allergic to electrical energy receive government support to reduce exposure in their homes and workplaces.

Special cables are installed in sufferers’ homes while electric cookers are replaced with gas stoves. Walls, roofs, floors and windows can be covered with a thin aluminium foil to keep out the electromagnetic field — the area of energy that occurs round any electrically conductive item.

British campaigners believe electrical devices in the home and the workplace, as well as mobile phones emitting microwave radiation, have created an environmental trigger for the syndrome.

There is particular concern about exposure to emissions from mobile phone masts or base stations, often located near schools or hospitals.

In January Stewart also called for a national review of planning rules for masts. The review was launched by the government in April.

British sufferers report feeling they are being “zapped” by electromagnetic fields from appliances and go out of their way to avoid them.

Some have moved to remote areas where electromagnetic pollution is lower.

The HPA report is eagerly awaited by campaigners. Alasdair Philips, director of the campaign group Powerwatch, said: “This will help the increasing number of people who tell us their GPs do not know how to treat them.”

Rod Read, chairman of Electrosensitivity UK, added: “This will be the beginning of an awareness of a new form of pollution from electrical energy.”


Best regards.



From Microwave News

September 22, 2005

WHO Welcomes Electric Utility Industry To Key EMF Meeting, Bars the Press

The week of October 3 in Geneva, the World Health Organization (WHO) will set its recommendations for public exposures to power-frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

A 20-member task group from 17 countries, assembled by Michael Repacholi, the head of the WHO EMF project, will finalize an Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) document, which is designed to guide the development of standards for extremely low frequency (ELF) EMFs all over the world. It will likely represent WHO’s official position on EMF health risks for years to come.

Last month, Repacholi gave eight observers the green light to attend the meeting —all eight either work for electric utilities or have direct and strong ties to the industry. Other than WHO staff, these are the only people on the Repacholi’s list of approved observers:

Kazu Chikamoto, Japan NUS Co., Tokyo Rob Kavet, EPRI, Palo Alto. CA, U.S. Michel Plante, Hydro-Quebec, Montreal, Canada Jack Sahl, Southern California Edison, Upland, CA, U.S. Martine Souques, Electricity de France-Gaz de France, Paris Hamilton Moss de Souza of CEPEL, Brazilian Electrical Energy Research Center, Rio de Janeiro John Swanson, National Grid, London, U.K. Tom Watson, Watson & Renner, Washington DC, U.S.

Although Watson is on the list, he will not be at the meeting. “I tried to become an observer, but I did not succeed,” he said in a recent interview. It is not clear why Repacholi changed his mind and disinvited Watson.

Chris Portier of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) will chair the task group.

Very few other members of the EMF community are aware of the meeting. A spot check, an admittedly unscientific survey, found that staff members at U.S. health agencies knew nothing about it. The single exception said that he had heard about it from colleagues in the electric utility industry.

When asked whether Microwave News could sit in as an observer, Repacholi dismissed the idea. “The press is not permitted to attend EHC Task Group meetings,” he told us.

Did Repacholi invite the industry representatives? If not, how and when did they first learn about the meeting and request observer status? Have any of the companies or associations, other than EPRI, contributed to the WHO EMF project or its activities? (It is already known that EPRI cosponsored a WHO workshop on EMF risks to children held last year in Istanbul; see August 8 entry below.)

While Repacholi has long said that the EHC would be revised around this time, the specific schedule has not been previously publicly disclosed. For instance, the October 3-7 task group meeting is not in the listing of meetings on the WHO Web site nor is it included in the Bioelectromagnetics Society Newsletter conference calendar .

The WHO released its first EHC for ELF EMFs in 1984. Repacholi chaired the task group that wrote that report. Back then, 20 years ago, the panel recommended that: “efforts be made to limit exposure, particularly for members of the general population, to levels as low as can be reasonably achieved” (a policy known as ALARA). Yet for the last ten years while he has been at the helm of the WHO EMF project and while the health risks posed by power-frequency fields have become much less uncertain, Repacholi has consistently refused to endorse ALARA for ELF EMFs.

In addition to NIEHS’ Portier, the members of the EHC task group are:

Houssain Abouzaid, WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Cairo, Egypt Anders Ahlbom, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden Larry Anderson, Battelle Pacific Northwest Labs, Richland, WA, U.S. Christoffer Johansen, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen Jukka Juutilainen University of Kuopio, Finland Sheila Kandel, Soreq, Yavne, Israel Leeka Kheifets, University of California, Los Angeles and EPRI, Palo Alto, CA, U.S. Isabelle Lagroye, University of Bordeaux, France Rüdiger Matthes, Federal Office of Radiation Protection, Oberschleissheim, Germany Alastair McKinlay, Health Protection Agency (HPA), Didcot, U.K. Jim Metcalfe, University of Cambridge, U.K. Meike Mevissen, University of Berne, Switzerland Junji Miyakoshi, Hirosaki University Faculty of Medicine, Japan Eric van Rongen, Health Council of the Netherlands, The Hague Nina Rubtsova, RAM Institute of Occupational Health, Moscow, Russia Paolo Vecchia, National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy Barney de Villiers, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa Andrew Wood, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia Zhengping Xu, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China

Those attending from WHO include Elisabeth Cardis (IARC); Chiyoji Ohkubo, Rick Saunders (on leave from the U.K. HPA) and Emilie van Deventer.

As we post this on the Web, we have learned that Michinori Kabuto of Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies will also be an observer at the meeting.


While the HPA-RPD, Dr Irvine report may disappoint in what it delivers, to be fair to it, it does fulfill its self-professed modest aim: "attempting to define the phenomenon of ES through a review of the relevant literature." (1.2)

It also has many merits in that it helps us to identify shortcomings/blackspots in our present campaign and thus can help us chart the way ahead so that we WILL attain official ES/EHS status at national and global levels.

The report most emphatically does not downplay the reality of ES. It acknowledges it. It just doesn't participate at all in the hardball, ongoing game of its source/attribution/aetiology. Neither does it include within its ambit those who are reporting ES-type symptoms from masts and cellphones. Dr Irvine specifically suggests that the latter--sharing as they do broad similar symptoms with that far smaller ES population which has been the focus of his study--could do with the same ES labelling.

My initial response to this paper is that while it doesn't give us that manna-from-heaven of "recognition of ES as a distinct medical condition" (and, if my reading is correct, this option wasn't even to be considered in this study: In section 1.2 "Project Scope" it is stated that typical "intervention options" such as acknowledging ES as a med. condition would be excluded) it has some very helpful suggestions on our campaign route ahead for achieving that recognition.

Primary among these is that all those whose health is being adversely affected by masts, cellphones, etc and who report similar symptoms to those who have been "traditionally" labelled ES (that is in reality prior to the arrival of our ever increasingly RF/MWs polluted environment) come fully onboard the ES/EHS wagon. That means that they label themselves ES and join major ES support/special interest groups--
http://www.electrosensitivity.org.uk/, for instance. It is obvious that the vast ES membership of http://www.feb.se underpinned its successful lobbying for ES recognition and disability entitlements in Sweden.

From our perspective, some regrettable limitations for Dr. Neville's study were these: "the majority of peer-reviewed scientific literature considers ES in terms of exposure to VDUs and other electrical appliances." (5.4, par. 1, page 29); his chosen "search strategy in this review largely failed to identify systematic studies examining symptoms attributed specifically to these [RF and other EMF] exposures . . .." (5.4, par. 3)

Can we help to correct these limitations? The next time a major HPA-RPD (or its equivalent in the UK or elsewhere) study of ES gets underway and a "search strategy" similar to the one outlined in 3.1 in this report is selected, we should do our utmost to ensure that those two limitations no longer exist. What a pity that the vast resource data in our support that you maintain at:


for instance, was omitted from this report. I don't know if this ommission was due to their not being ES cross-referenced and thus easily retrievable in an online ES literature research.

Having reflected on Dr. Irvine's suggetions (5.5), I suggest that the most important strategy for our gaining formal recognition of ES is that all who experience ES symptoms from whatever EMF source are marching together under the ES banner and join up with ES support/lobbying groups.

Best, Imelda, Cork


Petition to remove Dr. Mike Repacholi

British HPA report downplays electrosensitivity

Experts put a health warning on 'electrical allergy' advice

Powerwatch on HPA's EHS report

PRESS Release: Health Protection Agency (HPA)


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November 2005

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