Computer network forced man to quit job

10 July 2006 | 07:14


A FORMER furniture worker has told how he has had to give up his job because a wireless computer network installed by his boss started making him sick.

Ryan Warne, 35, is one of a tiny percentage of people in the UK made ill by electromagnetic microwaves emitted by mobile phones, cordless telephones and other wi-fi equipment.

When he is in the presence of today's wireless technology he suffers burning sensations in his head, dizziness and nausea. The headaches can last for days if he is exposed to it for a long time.

He became electro-sensitive in 2004, when a wireless computer network was installed in the furniture showroom where he worked.

Mr Warne, of Elmstead Market, near Colchester, started suffering from burning sensations in his head and dizziness, which he put down to the radio waves in the wireless network. After taking time off sick, he eventually had to give up his job and is currently unemployed.

Now Mr Warne avoids contact with mobile phones, wireless computer networks and cordless phones.

The extent of his symptoms depends on the level of exposure. “If I get a lot of exposure to mobile phones I get headaches which go on for days afterwards. If I get short bursts of exposure I have a headache for an afternoon, it depends on how much I'm absorbing,” said Mr Warne.

“I had a mobile phone. I mainly used it for texting. I started to notice when I was using it I started to get a sensation in my head, I was feeling dizzy and nauseous.”

He added: “My grandfather was dying of prostate cancer last autumn. I went to see him once at Colchester General Hospital but I couldn't go back because there's a big mobile phone mast and I had to say goodbye to him then.”

Now he has no mobile phone, no cordless text phone and no wireless network. “I've become slightly worse. I'm starting to react to normal electrical things like TVs. I had to modify my computer and I can't use it for very long.”

“I've had to modify my lifestyle. I do hope to try and reverse things and build up tolerance. I've heard people do get better and go back to the lifestyle they had before.”

In the meantime, Mr Warne has joined one of several support groups available for electro-sensitive people, ElectroSensitivity-UK, which is trying to inform the public about the problem and campaign for recognition of the illness.

“I'm trying to raise public awareness of what these mobile phones potentially are doing to people, not just to highlight my story, but to make people stop and think,” he said.

Dr David Dowson, a leading complementary medicine doctor and expert on electromagnetism sensitivity, said “radiation sickness” from exposure to electromagnetic emissions used to affect radar operators and electrical supply workers.

“The increasingly widespread use of many new electrical devices in both home and workplace at the same time as completely original technologies based on microwaves have been introduced has spread this environmental trigger.

“Now a vulnerable minority of sensitive individuals are presenting with identical symptoms to those previously only resulting from specialised circumstances. One to 3% may be affected.”

He said it is a rapidly increasing phenomenon. “Up until two years ago I'd only seen about three cases. Now I've seen 10 in the last two years because of our increasingly polluted environment and the increasing use of mobile phones and wireless technology.

“The agricultural revolution led to food sensitivity, the industrial revolution led to chemical sensitivity, the technological revolution is leading to this.”

A former Prime Minister of Norway and ex secretary-general of the World Health Organisation, Gro Harlem, is the most high profile case of electrical hypersensitivity. She gets headaches from mobile phones and other wireless technology, including laptops.


Copyright © 2006 Archant Regional. All rights reserved.



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