by Staff Writers
Toulouse, France (AFP) Aug 26, 2015
A French court has awarded a disability grant to a woman claiming to suffer from a debilitating allergy to electromagnetic radiation from everyday gadgets such as cellphones.
The applicant, Marine Richard, 39, hailed the ruling as a "breakthrough" for people afflicted by Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS).
The condition is not recognised as a medical disorder in most countries, including France, but sufferers insist that exposure to mobile phones, wifi routers, televisions and other gadgets cause them anything from mild discomfort to life-ruining disability.
Scientific studies have found no evidence linking electromagnetic exposure to the symptoms -- tingling, headaches, fatigue, nausea, or palpitations.
Richard, a former radio documentary producer, has opted for a reclusive life in the mountains of southwest France, in a renovated barn without electricity, and drinking water from the well.
In a ruling last month, a court in the southern city of Toulouse decided she can claim a disability allowance -- about 800 euros ($912) per month for an adult -- for a period of three years.
The ruling accepted that her symptoms prevented Richard from working, but stopped short of recognising EHS as an illness.
Her lawyer Alice Terrasse said the ruling could set a legal precedent for "thousands of people" concerned.
"It's a breakthrough," added Richard.
The World Health Organisation lists EHS as a condition, but says there is "no scientific basis" for linking the symptoms to electromagnetic exposure.
Sweden and Germany have classified it as an occupational disease.
Double-blind scientific trials, where neither the patient or researcher was aware whether they had been exposed to electromagnetic waves, have refuted any link to the symptoms, and many experts ascribe the condition to a phobia.
Some believe it might be triggered by the so-called "nocebo" effect -- the placebo effect in reverse -- when people feel unwell because they believe they have been exposed to something harmful.
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|