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ARTAC conducts a study on electrosensitivity

HEAL member ARTAC, the Association for Research and Treatments Against Cancer, is a French organisation of medical professionals and researchers, which investigates amongst others the implication of chemical exposure on cancer causation.

ARTAC warns that today people are not only exposed to chemical pollution, but also to electromagnetic pollution. This pollution is caused by the increasing presence of electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones, wireless internet, cordless phones, cell phone antennas, etc.

ARTAC has long suspected the carcinogenic effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF). For two types of cancers, they consider the link with EMFs to be sufficiently established. The first type is acute leukaemia, which appears in people living in proximity to high voltage power lines and the second type are brain tumours, which can emerge after ten years of mobile phone use.

But the health effects of exposure to EMF go beyond cancer. Exposure to EMF has also been linked to symptoms such as headaches, concentration and memory problems, tinnitus, fatigue and sleep disruption. In some people, these symptoms can become very severe and disabling, to the extent that a normal life – in a society where EMFs are omnipresent – becomes increasingly difficult. This condition is generally dubbed as ‘electrosensitivity’.

Recently, Prof. Belpomme, president of ARTAC, has taken an interest in this condition. He conducted a series of clinical examinations of electrosensitive people in order to produce a clinical description of the symptoms and the different stages in the evolution of this affliction. He also investigated the possible causal mechanisms involved and looked for diagnostic criteria (characteristic substances or processes present in the body which can indicate damage by or a sensitivity to EMF).

On the basis of this research, Prof. Belpomme concludes that electrosensitivity is real and can sometimes be very disabling. He coined the term “Syndrome of Intolerance to Electromagnetic Fields” (SIEMF) to provide a more clinical name for the condition.

The first results of this research were presented at a colloquium on EMF that took place in Paris on the 12th of January 2009. The final results will be published in a report, which will be available on the ARTAC-website.

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Last updated on 30 June 2011

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