Jenny, aged 15, committed suicide last summer. She had a history of health issues. Her mother attributed her problems to electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
Mrs Fry told Oxfordshire Coroners’ Court that Jenny had started showing signs of EHS in November 2012 and that the closer she was to a wireless router, the worse she felt.
“Jenny was getting ill and so was I” said Mrs Fry. “I did some research and found how dangerous Wi-Fi could be so I had it taken out of the house.
“Both Jenny and I were fine at home but Jenny continued to be ill at school in certain areas.
It’s a tragedy to have a young life claimed in this way. And it’s a tragedy that the mother was misinformed to do the best thing to perhaps prevent it. EHS, also known as electrical hypersensitivity, and Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) in the medical literature, is not recognized as a single illness. That is, electromagnetic fields, including wi-fi, have never been found to be the cause of harm in the levels that surround us daily. The Telegraph notes that back in 1932, there was a claim of “radiowave sickness”. To this day, there is NO evidence that radio waves have harmed people as claimed.
This could be shown to those who claim this disability by constructing a relatively simple, blinded test using a wi-fi router. But it’s not done.
The science results shows no harm, but you can’t tell that to people who are suffering because they believe that it does. Belief overrules facts. A growing number of people do subscribe to the unsupported idea that there is something to this mostly thanks to media coverage. Parents threatened to sue in other cases alleging their children are affected with this condition. Some parents and individuals want the rest of society to give up tech conveniences in order to placate their desire to be free of all EMFs. That’s irrational and a dangerous precedent to invoke.
What is suggested in this article is that her mother’s belief in the wi-fi allergy and attention to it could have made the situation much worse. Also, Jenny may not have obtained the behavioral or medical help she may have needed due to this red herring of EHS. It’s unpleasant to say such things but the fact is that something bad happened and it should NOT happen again. Ignorance and misinformation is dangerous. Just the news surrounding this case will prompt even the casual viewer in the audience to give this fear more concern than it warrants. We expend energy by fearing the wrong things and overlook more important ones. Science must inform our decisions. Let’s hope it does in this sad situation as well.
See all our past stories on electromagnetic sensitivity here.