UK Social worker Wins ‘early ill health retirement’

PHIRE - Physicians Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment

PHIRE – Press Release 15 June 2022
Press enquiries to:

59 year old social worker wins ‘early ill health retirement’ for disabling ‘Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS):

“I have worked in Health and Social Care for 35 years, supporting some of the most disabled and vulnerable members of our society and advocating to ensure their rights have been upheld. To have been on the receiving end of societal prejudice, discrimination, ignorance and misunderstanding, has been devastating”, says the 59 year old social worker, Sally Burns.

Mrs Burns is sensitive to non-ionising radiation (NIR) such as Wi-Fi and mobile phone emissions. She experiences dizziness, headaches, palpitations, sleep disturbance, vibrating sensations and sensitivity to noise and light. She feels pain in body areas which are most proximal to the radiation sources, such as heat and pain at the ear from mobile phone use and abdominal pain from computer use. Her reaction is severe enough to have caused her to have to avoid using mobile phones and computers and even to try to avoid public exposures such as phone masts and pubic Wi-Fi / phone emissions. You can imagine how disabling that is within a society that has become so dependent upon use of these technologies in all areas of public life. She is disabled by electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).

Sally’s professional life has been prematurely ended by growing dependence upon radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in the workplace: “My work has been important to me, I hoped to be able to work well past retirement age, not to go early”.

In relation to EHS, the Independent Registered Medical Practitioner (IRMP) report concludes: “Mrs. Burns has a medical condition that renders her permanently incapable of undertaking any gainful work. There currently are no treatments available for her condition; avoidance of emissions is the only way to significantly reduce her symptoms.”

Whilst such emissions were historically presumed to be biologically inert, and are still purported to be safe by many to this day, there is now highly credible evidence to the contrary.

About EHS:

EHS is a multisystem medical condition characterised by physical symptoms such as headaches, sleep disturbance, dizziness, palpitations, skin rashes and multiple sensory up-regulation associated with anthropogenic NIR exposure. Similar constellations of symptoms may also be seen in the general population in cases of relatively high exposure.

Some have suggested a ‘nocebo response’ (symptoms induced by fear of exposure) as the mechanism behind the reaction, but this explanation does not withstand scientific scrutiny. EHS is proven to be a physical response under blinded conditions (1,2) (which rules out that possibility in those cases), biomarkers are being identified,(3) and mechanisms that may explain the reaction are evolving (4-7).

Advice from multiple international medical doctors groups (8-17), scientific panels (18-29) and governmental bodies (30-40) is to decrease exposures and, additionally, guidelines for EHS diagnosis and management have been peer-reviewed and published, which make clear that the mainstay of medical management is avoidance of anthropogenic NIR (41-43). Disability and compensation cases for those with EHS have been won in many different countries and will continue to escalate. Some legal teams are so certain of negative health effects that civil suits for Wi-Fi and other wireless injury are now being offered on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, (44) and insurance underwriters consider related risks to be ‘high’.(45,46)

Medical diseases associated with NIR exposure in peer-reviewed scientific publications:

In addition to the development of EHS, risks associated with exposure to non-ionising radiation in the peer-reviewed scientific literature are: increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damage, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans.(47)

Mounting human epidemiological evidence of increased cancer has now been corroborated by ‘clear evidence’ of carcinogenesis from animal studies. These include the two largest investigations ever undertaken globally, from the widely respected ‘National Toxicology Program’ (USA) (48,49) and Ramazzini Institute (Italy) (50). Law courts continue to validate such causal links as compensation for tumours from mobile phone radiation are also being won in a growing number of cases internationally.(51)

Hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies have demonstrated adverse biological effects occurring in response to a range of NIR exposures below current safety guidelines (52), however emissions continue to escalate.

Medical and scientific efforts to reduce exposures here in the UK:

In addition to the copious international declarations as referenced above, two years ago UK based Physicians’ Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment (PHIRE) in collaboration with the British Society for Ecological Medicine (BSEM) released the 2020 Non-Ionising Radiation (NIR) Consensus Statement. The document has been signed by multiple Environmental Medical Associations from across the globe and represents thousands of international medical doctors. The peer review panel for this document includes experienced clinicians and widely published and respected scientists who are experts in this field, such as:

  • Professor Anthony Miller: eminent physician and expert in preventative medicine, scientific advisor to various scientific and health authorities, and former Senior Epidemiologist and Senior Scientist at the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
  • Professor Yuri Grigoriev: MDr Sc. biology and hygiene of non-ionizing radiation of Federal Medical Biophysical Center. Chief Researcher of laboratory of radiobiology and hygiene of non-ionizing radiation of Federal Medical Biophysical Center. Deputy chairman of the Scientific Council of Radiobiology RAS. President of Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. Member of Int. Advisory Committee of WHO “EMF and Health”

Such experts have gone a step further than simply peer reviewing this document; they have signed in order to formally, publicly endorse it.

Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe – Founding Director of Physicians Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment (PHIRE) and author of the 2020 NIR Consensus Statement states: “We will continue to witness escalating, preventable morbidity and mortality from rising NIR exposures, until we take serious steps to reduce emissions and educate the public. This is entirely feasible, but is currently being held back by ignorance and political conflict. Biological safety guidelines are urgently required to reduce risk of both EHS and also many disease endpoints of rising public health importance”.

This statement declares current safety guidelines inadequate and highlights some of the disease processes linked with NIR exposure in peer-reviewed publications; it points out the vulnerabilities of children (53) and other groups such as those with EHS; it highlights contravention of Human Rights and Equalities acts, and requests urgent responses from governments and health authorities to halt further deployment of emitting technology and address current public health failures. This document was sent to Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, together with UK health agencies, a number of other responsible Ministers in Her Majesty’s Government and the devolved administrations of the UK. However, to this day there have been no meaningful responses to indicate that action will yet be taken to protect the public.

The 2020 NIR Consensus Statement remains open for signing by further experts, medical doctors and scientists in agreement, together with members of wider society who wish to register their concern. To read and sign the statement click here: Read the 2020 NIR Consensus Statement – PHIRE Medical

As it happens, ‘World Electrohypersensitivity Day’ is this Thursday 16th June 2022. Please support friends and family with electromagnetic hypersensitivity by sharing these simple exposure reduction strategies which will optimise health for all, not just those who are acutely sensitive.

Simple NIR Reduction Strategies:

(printable leaflet at the bottom of this webpage):

Radiofrequency Radiation Reduction How To? – PHIRE Medical

Mobile phones: Do not use mobile phones except for emergencies. Store them in ‘airplane’ or ‘flight’ mode (with all wireless services disabled) and switched off. They can also be used via a wired Ethernet adaptor to access the internet whilst in flight mode. If you feel you must use them wirelessly then speakerphone or an air tube headset will allow you to keep the phone at a greater distance from your body, reducing the intensity of radiation.

Wireless internet: Swap your wireless internet for a hardwired system by using wired Ethernet connections (adaptors are available for tablets also). Remember that because RF radiation is emitted from both devices and routers, you’ll need to disable all wireless services on your router, as well as
your devices. You can reduce emissions from computers by disabling the wireless card in the device manager, by using airplane/flight mode, or by turning off wireless services (e.g. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) in network settings.

Landline phones: Swap your cordless landline for a corded speakerphone. If you must have wireless capability, get an ECO DECT phone with a good quality speakerphone, so that it can be used away from your brain, and use ECO mode. This will ensure that at least wireless radiation is emitted only when the phone is in use, rather than continuously – as with other models.

Smart meters: Request a hardwired (non-RF emitting) smart meter or analogue meter to ensure you and your neighbours are not subject to additional wireless radiation.

Other sources in the home: Other common household exposures may come from baby monitors, wireless security systems, smart TVs, printers and other ‘smart’ appliances, and smart watches, among various other IoT devices and wearables etc. In most cases there are hardwired alternatives which can be used in replacement, or flight modes which disable emissions when desired.

Sources outside the home: Emissions such as publicly placed antennas and sources from neighbours’ homes might be possible to shield against, but expert advice and metering is recommended to best help reduce exposures.

Thank you, PHIREmedical

References (as active hyperlinks):

  1. Rea et al., 1991. Electromagnetic Field Sensitivity. Journal of Bioelectricity, 10(1&2), 241-256.
  2. McCarty et al., 2011. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: evidence for a novel neurological syndrome. Int J Neurosci. Dec;121(12):670-6.
  3. Belpomme D, Campagnac C, Irigaray P., 2015. Reliable disease biomarkers characterizing and identifying electrohypersensitivity and multiple chemical sensitivity as two etiopathogenic aspects of a unique pathological disorder. Rev Environ Health. 2015;30(4):251-71. doi:10.1515/reveh-2015-0027.
  4. Stein, Y., Udasin, I., 2020. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS, microwave syndrome) – Review of mechanisms. Environmental Research Vol 186, July 2020, 09445.
  5. Lai, H. 2019. Exposure to Static and Extremely-Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields and Cellular Free Radicals, Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 38:4, 231-248, DOI: 10.1080/15368378.2019.1656645
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  7. Dimitris J. Panagopoulos, Andreas Karabarbounis and Lukas H. Margaritisa, 2002. Mechanism for action of electromagnetic fields on cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 298 (2002) 95–102
  8. Cyprus Medical Association, 2017. The Vienna / Austrian Medical Chambers and the Cyprus National Committee on Environment and Children’s Health: Nicosia Declaration on Electromagnetic Fields / Radiofrequencies, Nov 2017 Common Position Paper.
  9. Physician’s for Safe Technology
  10. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 2013. (60,000 Pediatricians and Pediatric Surgeons). Letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), August 2013.
  11. American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) Statement on AAEM’s position on EMF radiation The AAEM Statement on WiFi in Schools
  12. International Scientific Declaration on EHS & MCS, 2015. Brussels
  13. International Society (17 countries) of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE)
  14. German Doctors Freiburger Appeal, 2002 and 2012. Radio-frequency Radiation Poses a Health Risk. Physicians Demand Overdue Precaution.
  15. Swiss Physicians for the Environment (MfE)
  16. Irish Doctors Environmental Association (IDEA)
  17. Doctors Call for Protection from Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure: Declaration Submitted to Health Canada
  18. Oceania Scientific Advisory Association
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  20. The Porto Alegre Resolution, 2009, ICEMS (International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety).
  21. Venice Resolution, 2008, ICEMS (International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety).
  22. Benevento Resolution, 2006, ICEMS (International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety).
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  24. Salzburg Resolution on Mobile Telecommunication Base Stations, 2000, Austria
  25. Catania Resolution, 2002, Italy
  26. London Resolution, 2007. Johansson, Pathophysiology 16 (2009) 247–248
  27. Helsinki Appeal 2005
  28. Scientists call for Protection from Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure: Declaration submitted to Health Canada, 2014
  29. Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks SCHEER, Statement on emerging health and environmental issues (2018) Potential effects on wildlife of increases in electromagnetic radiation – categorised as ‘3’ highest priority
  30. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Resolution, 2011. 1815, Final Resolution
  31. Stewart Report, 2000, Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP), Chairman Sir William Stewart.
  32. Cyprus Government ban on Wi-Fi in nursery schools and halted in elementary schools Video from the Government subtitled in English (thanks to EHT)
  33. French National Assembly, Jan 29th 2015
  34. French National Assembly, March 2013
  35. Israeli Ministry of Education recommendations, Aug 2013
  36. Swiss Government Information Document, 2012. Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscapes, SAEFL. Electrosmog in the environment
  37. German Federal Ministry for Radiation Protection recommends against Wi-Fi in schools, 2007.
  38. Russian National Committee on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection RCNIRP, 2012 Recommendations of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection of the necessity to regulate strictly the use of Wi-Fi in kindergartens and schools
  39. ANSES (French Government Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health), 15th Oct 2013. Update of the “Radiofrequencies and health” expert appraisal.
  40. Karaboytcheva, M., 2020. Effects of 5G wireless communication on human health. European Parliamentary Research Service PE 646.172 – March 2020
  41. Belyaev et al, 2016. EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses. Rev Environ Health. 2016 Sep 1;31(3):363-97.
  42. Austrian Medical Association, 2012. Guideline of the Austrian Medical Association for diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses (EMF Syndrome)
  43. Belpomme, D., Irigaray, P., Electrohypersensitivity as a Newly Identified and Characterized Neurologic Pathological Disorder: How to Diagnose, Treat, and Prevent It Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(6), 1915;
  44. Premier Compensation Lawyers, 2020. WIFI.
  45. Swiss Re, 2019. ‘Off the leash – 5G mobile networks’, in Swiss Re SONARNew emerging risk insights. p.29.
  46. Environmental Health Trust, 2019. ‘Insurance Authorities rate 5G and Electromagnetic Radiation as High Risk’
  47. The 5G Appeal, 2017. Over 400 scientists and medical doctors have now signed this appeal.
  48. Wyde, M.E. et al., 2018. National Toxicology Program Technical Report on The Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies in Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD Rats Exposed to Whole-Body Radio Frequency Radiation at a Frequency (900 Mhz) and Modulations (GSM And CDMA) Used by Cell Phones, National Institutes of Health Public Health Service U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  49. Melnick, R, L., 2018. Commentary on the utility of the National Toxicology Program study on cell phone radiofrequency radiation data for assessing human health risks despite unfounded criticisms aimed at minimizing the findings of adverse health effects. Environ Res. 2019 Jan;168:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.09.010. Epub 2018 Sep 20.
  50. Falcioni et al., 2018. Report of final results regarding brain and heart tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to mobile phone radiofrequency field representative of a 1.8 GHz GSM base station environmental emission. Environ Res. 2018 Aug;165:496-503. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.01.037.
  51. The Court of Appeal of Turin full judgment, 13 January 2020 (904/2019 of 3.12.2019, Romeo v. INAIL).
  52. Biolnitiative Working Group, Sage, C. and Carpenter, D, Editors (2012). Biolnitiative Report: A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Radiation at As updated in 2014, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
  53. Morgan et al., 2014. Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences JMAU 2014; 2 (4): 197 – 204

Source – PHIRE Press Release 15June202259 year old social worker wins ‘early ill health retirement’ for disabling ‘Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS): – Press Release PDF