This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 25 January, 2020
Advertisement

French woman gets €200/week disability allowance for controversial 'gadget allergy'

Marine Richard has a condition known as Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity.

Pylons leukaemia scare Source: EMPICS Sports Photo Agency

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 mobile phones.

The applicant, Marine Richard, 39, hailed the ruling as a “breakthrough” for people afflicted by the controversial condition 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, which include 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 disability allowance – about €800/month – for three years.

The ruling accepted that her symptoms prevented Richard from working, but stopped short of recognising EHS as an illness.

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.

PHOTOS: Meet the people who are allergic to almost everything>

Read: Quicker diagnosis needed for Ireland’s 8,000 rare diseases>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (17)